Tsuyoshi Wada makes his second big league start Wednesday as the Cubs continue their 10-game homestand against the Padres. Here’s the lineup:
* Anthony Rizzo recorded his seventh-career multi-homer effort, his third of the season and his second in four games on Tuesday. He now has eight home runs in his last 12 games since July 7, including five in four games to begin the second half.
Named NL Player of the Week last week, Rizzo leads the NL with 25 homers this season and is fourth in the Majors. His 25 home runs have contributed to a .924 OPS, fifth in the NL. Rizzo has 22 homers since April 30, the most in the NL and second in the Majors in that span (Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion leads with 24).
* The Cubs recorded their seventh shutout of the season Tuesday after recording six all of last season. Chicago had nine shutouts in 2012. The team has been blanked 11 times this year.
* Mike Olt leads all National League rookies with 12 home runs, but he’s also first with 84 strikeouts and was batting .139 after going 0-for-4 Tuesday with three K’s. After the game, Cubs announced they were optioning Olt to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs need to open a roster spot for pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, who will be making his second big league start Wednesday against the Padres. Olt, acquired one year ago Tuesday from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal, went 2-for-35 in June, and was 3-for-25 in 12 games in July. If there’s a plus to the demotion, it’s that he’ll be reunited with Manny Ramirez, who is a player/coach at the Cubs’ Triple-A team, and a former teammate of Olt’s.
* Fans eager for the so-called “core four” to get closer to the big leagues got their wish. On Tuesday, the Cubs announced they were promoting top prospects Jorge Soler and Albert Almora. Soler, 22, was batting .415 at Double-A Tennessee after going 2-for-3 on Tuesday with a triple. The outfielder was limited early this season because of leg injuries. Almora, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, hit his seventh home run on Tuesday, and was batting .283 with 50 RBIs.
* Darwin Barney was designated for assignment, and Emilio Bonifacio activated from the disabled list Tuesday. Barney, 28, was batting .230 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 16 RBIs in 72 games this season. He won the Gold Glove in 2012 after tying a Major League single-season record with 141-consecutive errorless games. But his offense has not been able to keep up with his defensive skills. He batted .254 in 2012, and .208 last season. Since making his big league debut with the Cubs in 2010, Barney has batted .244 with 88 doubles, 18 home runs and 146 RBI in 542 games.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs announced Tuesday night that Mike Olt will be optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Tsuyoshi Wada. Olt was batting .139 with 12 home runs 84 strikeouts.
The Cubs announced Tuesday night that Jorge Soler would be promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa, and Albert Almora will be promoted from Class A Daytona to Tennessee.
The Cubs’ youth movement is underway with the team’s decision to stick with Arismendy Alcantara and say goodbye to Darwin Barney, who was designated for assignment Tuesday.
“It’s time for ‘Mendy’ to play,” GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “He’ll play second, he’ll play center. I think he’ll be in the lineup every day. One of the things we feel strongly about is that when we do bring guys up, they here to play. We’re not going to bring up these guys who are part of our future to share time on the bench.”
Alcantara was called up from Triple-A Iowa on July 9 when Barney went on paternity leave, and was batting .286 in his first eight games. He will play both second and center field, switching with Emilio Bonifacio, who was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, which prompted the need for a spot on the roster.
“We don’t expect [Alcantara] to come up here and set the world on fire,” Hoyer said. “I think he’ll have some great series like he had, and he’ll have some struggles like he did in Arizona (when he went 1-for-12). That’s part of the process and it’s part of the process for every one of the young guys we bring up, as Starlin [Castro] and [Anthony] Rizzo can attest to.”
Alcantara and Bonifacio are interchangeable at the top of the Cubs’ order, too, as both are switch hitters, and both have speed.
Barney was DFA’d to make room for Emilio Bonifacio, who was activated from the disabled list. Barney, 28, was batting .230 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 16 RBIs in 72 games this season. He won the Gold Glove in 2012 after tying a Major League single-season record with 141-consecutive errorless games.
“I think he got out of whack mechanically last year,” Hoyer said of Barney. “I think he’d be the first person to admit that. He got pull happy and struggled to get back to what he’d been. I think he can get back there. A change of scenery and maybe an offseason, I think he can get back to that. He’s at his best as a pesky player, hitting balls the other way. When guys get pull happy and power happy, it can hurt him.”
– Carrie Muskat
Kyle Hendricks makes his second Major League start Tuesday night as the Cubs begin a 10-game homestand against the Padres. Here’s the lineup:
The Cubs designated Darwin Barney for assignment on Tuesday and activated Emilio Bonifacio from the disabled list.
Here are the pitching matchups for the Cubs’ upcoming series against the Padres, which starts Tuesday at Wrigley Field:
Tuesday: RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 6.00) vs. LHP Eric Stults (3-11, 4.98)
Wednesday: LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.62)
Thursday: RHP Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.61) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (8-10, 2.70)