#Cubs notes: Rondon, Richard & roster moves
* Hector Rondon has picked up saves in his last three outings but he’s not the Cubs closer, even though that was his job at the beginning of the season. Manager Joe Maddon moved Rondon out of that role and decided to go with matchups rather than one pitcher. It’s worked so far, plus helped ease Rondon back into late inning situations.
“Any situation they want to put me in, I’m available,” Rondon said. “Right now, I throw most of the time seventh, eighth, ninth innings. I’ll always be ready.”
Rondon said he benefited from the brief break in May and June when he wasn’t used in save situations as much. Does he need to know his role?
“For me, I don’t care if he tells me or tells other guys who’s the closer,” Rondon said. “What’s most important for us is to win games.”
* Catcher Miguel Montero (thumb) will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Sunday with Double-A Tennessee. Meanwhile, infielder Tommy La Stella, who started his rehab assignment at Tennessee last Wednesday, was expected to return to action on Sunday. La Stella, out since early April with an oblique strain, had some soreness in the same area after playing in one game.
* The Cubs added pitchers Haren and Tommy Hunter on Saturday, and optioned right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the roster. Reliever Ben Rowen had been designated for assignment on Friday.
The Cubs also announced first baseman Mike Baxter, who was designated for assignment, had cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Iowa.
Did Maddon expect the Cubs to make any more trades in August?
“Of course [we can], but I don’t expect anything to happen,” he said. “There’s nothing really prominent conversation between me and the guys.”
* When Montero does return, expect rookie catcher Kyle Schwarber to stay.
“This guy, hitting him second, you want his bat in the lineup,” Maddon said of Schwarber. “He’s done a nice job behind the plate. I’d like to believe he’s here for awhile.”
* Left-hander Clayton Richard will start Sunday in the series finale against the Brewers. It’ll be his fourth start with the Cubs. In his last start at Triple-A Iowa, Richard gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings.
— Carrie Muskat