#Cubs and Hammel face Pirates

Jason Hammel will start Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Tommy La Stella is back, and starting at second base. La Stella was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and right-hander Spencer Patton optioned to Iowa, although Patton may not need to join the Minor League team. Rosters expand on Thursday.

Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Soler LF

Heyward RF

Russell SS

La Stella 2B

Contreras C

Hammel P

La Stella opted to go home rather than report to Triple-A Iowa when he was optioned to the Minor League team on July 28, and the Cubs gave the infielder time to decide what to do. La Stella eventually reported to Double-A Tennessee on Aug. 17, and played in two games before joining Iowa. In six games with Iowa, he was 6-for-23 (.261) with two doubles.


They should have released LaStella. Sends a bad message to every player in the organization.

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I respectfully disagree, Bob. It will be interesting to see if the fans boo Tommy, as some have already suggested will happen. La Stella`s refusal to report to Iowa and his decision to return home to New Jersey was indefensible. He did express loyalty to the Cubs when he declared he had absolutely no desire to play for another organization. There is something to be said for redemption, and I have the sense that most Cubs` fans will be in a forgiving frame of mind tonight. It`s why this fan base is exceptional, and the organization remains one which ranks above the others. (See the decision on refusing to send scouts to the Tebow fiasco.)

Aloha jhosk, the bp fell apart tonight and that concerns me. If Addison does not make that great play, I think 2-3 runs score there. Then Wood had issues and Chapman scared me with his 3 wild pitches. Give Contreras credit. I hope this gets worked out. Hammel did well. Take care now, Mahalo!

Chapman is being overused, k.g. See my other post. {Btw, which team won that Cal/Hawaii contest in Australia? I missed that.} Enjoy Friday`s game, and I hope it`s not necessary for Aroldis to make an appearance. That was a remarkable grab Russell made Wednesday. Given he has all those rbi, I assumed his batting average with RISP must be very high. But it`s not the case. It`s .260 or so, not all that much higher than his average in every other circumstance.

Aloha jhosk that too is a good point in regard to Chapman. One hopes that Rondon and Strop can come back soon. Well, da Shark is back, big series! Take care now! Mahalo!

GREAT GAME TONIGHT! I’m real thrilled w/ talent & progress of Wilson Contreras & his versatility. I have one criticism though. Wonder if anyone has mentioned to him about staying stationary behind the plate & not jumping from side to side. The batter can see out of corner of their eye that he’s sitting way off plate & not be tempted to swing. It looks like it makes it harder on the pitcher to throw a strike, too! Since he’s jumping around so much it causes way too many walks. If he would just squat behind the plate & hold glove where he wants pitcher to throw ball, I think there’d be a lot more strike calls from HP umpires. Would appreciate you passing this comment on to him as it’s meant to be constructive criticism!

Aloha Polly, that is a good observation; so often we talk about a pitcher’s control or lack thereof but his receiver is a part of it too. In the past I have spoken about pitch framing and that is at the heart of your question. Contreras is more “mobile” then say Montero right now, part of that maybe youth and part is working out any nerves he maybe having. I agree with you that if can become more “quiet” in his position and let his mit do the framing like a Lucroy or Molina, it will help not only himself but his pitchers as well. I will say though, it would not have been easy for him, Ross or Montero in the 9th, the way Chapman pitched, thankfully they got out of it! Take care and go Cubs! Mahalo!

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