#Cubs notes: Russell anniversary, roster moves & more
* The Fourth of July means more than fireworks for rookie Addison Russell. It marks the one-year anniversary of when the infielder was traded from the Athletics to the Cubs. Russell, 21, posted on Twitter: “Happy 4th to everyone out there! July 4th is also the day @billy_mckinney and I became Cubbies #WeAreGood #missyabud”
Russell, Billy McKinney and pitcher Dan Straily were dealt to Chicago in exchange for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Hammel now is back in the Cubs rotation, and he posted on Twitter: “On this date, 1 yr ago, I was on a plane leaving the @Cubs. Told Theo I’d b back. Wasn’t lying. Thx 4 bringin me back Cubbies! #Happy4thJuly.” McKinney is playing for the Cubs’ Double-A Tennessee team.
A year ago, Russell was playing shortstop for Double-A Midland, and got the news late at night. He flew with the team to Birmingham, Ala., and then joined the Tennessee team.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Russell said of the past 365 days. “This time last year, I was getting traded at night, and I didn’t know what to expect the next day. A year later, I’m here in the bigs and playing second base. It’s all just a whirlwind.”
* Jorge Soler, sidelined since June 3 with a sprained left ankle, could rejoin the Cubs as soon as Sunday. Soler played nine innings on Friday for Triple-A Iowa, his fourth rehab game. He was 2-for-13, but manager Joe Maddon said he wasn’t that concerned about the statistics.
“I don’t worry about that stuff,” Maddon said Saturday. “To me, it’s a matter of if he’s healthy and he’s seeing the ball, what does his timing look like, those are the kind of things you’re trying to get from the guys down there.”
* The Cubs selected the contracts of left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard and catcher Taylor Teagarden from Triple-A Iowa. Catcher David Ross was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to July 2, and right-handed pitcher Donn Roach was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Tommy La Stella (oblique strain) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and right-handed pitcher Gonzalez Germen was designated for assignment. Roach, 25, made one start June 27 for the Cubs and gave up four runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Cardinals. He is 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 14 starts with Iowa this season. Germen, 27, was 5-1 with four saves and a 3.78 ERA in 24 outings with Iowa.
* Maddon was able to attend Friday’s Grateful Dead concert and Soldier Field, the first time he’s seen the band perform live.
“It was a pretty impressive evening and pretty inspirational, too, to be over 60, as they all are pretty much, and to have that kind of energy and play that long, they were really good,” Maddon said of the band.
— Carrie Muskat