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#Cubs updates: Ramirez, Soler

* Reliever Neil Ramirez was scheduled to make his first rehab outing on Wednesday for Double-A Tennessee. He’s been on the disabled list since April 16 with right shoulder inflammation. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said they’ve scripted a plan for the right-hander, but his progression will depend on how he feels.

* Outfielder Jorge Soler, on the DL with a left ankle sprain, did some work in the batting cage on Tuesday without wearing the supportive boot. Epstein said Soler has a “legit ankle sprain” and they don’t want to rush him back.

#Cubs Rizzo visits patients

Anthony Rizzo visited the oncology floor and Family Life Center at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday, bringing Cubs hats and teddy bears to patients and their families.

LCH61603

#Cubs lineup vs Indians: Arrieta to start

There is no rain in the forecast and Kyle Schwarber will be on the bench as the Cubs conclude this two-game Interleague series at Wrigley Field Tuesday night. Jake Arrieta gets the start. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Castro SS

Coghlan LF

Denorfia RF

Arrieta P

Russell 2B

* Note to those who take these blog posts and use them on their sites, I am eagerly awaiting the royalties check.

#Cubs Bryant 2nd in latest All-Star balloting

Cubs rookie Kris Bryant was second among National League third baseman in the latest 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, released Tuesday. The National League Rookie of the Month for May, Bryant had received 2,198,522 votes and trailed the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter, who has more than 4.4 million votes, second most overall in the league behind the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.

Anthony Rizzo was fourth in the balloting for NL first basemen, receiving 1,646,781 votes. The D-Backs’ Paul Goldschmidt leads the field with more than 3.5 million votes, and was followed by the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez and the Cardinals’ Matt Adams. Rizzo was named to the All-Star team last year, winning the fans’ Final Vote.

Three-time All-Star Starlin Castro (1,454,618) was fourth among NL shortstops behind the Cardinals’ Jhonny Peralta, who has received more than 4 million votes. The Giants’ Brandon Crawford was second, followed by the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki.

The 86th All-Star Game will be played July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

* Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites — on their computers, tablets and smartphones — using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until July 2. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.

#Cubs Minor League report: Alcantara hits 2 HRs

Monday’s games

Arismendy Alcantara hit two home runs and Drake Britton gave up two runs on two hits over five innings in Iowa’s 6-3 win over Omaha. Alcantara now is batting .316 in June. Chris Valaika added two RBIs.

Ryan Williams gave up one run over six innings in Tennessee’s 5-1 win over Jacksonville. Jacob Hannemann, Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber each had two hits. Schwarber, who was batting .320, was promoted to the Cubs after the game.

Daury Torrez gave up six runs over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 7-4 loss to Winston-Salem. Chesny Young had two hits and one RBI.

South Bend’s game vs. Peoria was cancelled because of rain. South Bend opens a three-game series against Dayton on Tuesday.

#Cubs kick off summer “Read Around the Bases”

Kyle Hendricks read to second graders at Pablo Casals School of Excellence in Chicago on Monday to kick off the Cubs’ “Read Around the Bases” summer reading program. Hendricks answered questions and handed out summer reading packs of books to the students. The Cubs will follow up with the students in the fall.0614Hendricks

#Cubs to promote Schwarber for 6 games

Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs’ top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, will be promoted to the big league team for six days to be the designated hitter in Interleague games at Cleveland and at Minnesota.

Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, announced the move after Schwarber’s game with Double-A Tennessee Monday night.

“Kyle has had a tremendous developmental year so far behind the plate, with the bat, and as a leader,” Epstein said. “His next stop is to continue his development as a catcher at Triple-A. First, however, he is going to join the Major League team for six days to contribute as a designated hitter, as a bat off the bench, and as a third catcher.”

Epstein said this brief stint in the big leagues should benefit Schwarber, 22.

“He will also use the time in the big leagues to experience first-hand all that goes into being a Major League catcher,” Epstein said. “Regardless of how this week goes, Kyle will head to Triple-A after Sunday’s game.”

The Cubs play two games against the Indians, starting Wednesday, and then have a three-game series against the Twins.

Schwarber went 2-for-5 on MOnday with three RBIs, and was batting .320 at Tennessee. He has hit 13 home runs, 10 doubles and one triple with 39 RBIs. In the Cubs’ two games in Detroit, Miguel Montero and Mike Baxter were the designated hitters.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs vs #Indians ppd because of weather

The Cubs and Indians Interleague game Monday night was postponed because of inclement weather and a make up game will be played on Aug. 24, which was an off day for both teams.

The time for the makeup game has yet to be determined. Fans are encouraged to retain their tickets from Monday’s postponed game to use for the rescheduled contest.

The two teams will play Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in the second of what was scheduled to be a four-game home-and-home series. On Tuesday, Chicago’s Jake Arrieta (6-4, 3.16 ERA) will start against the Indians’ Trevor Bauer (5-3, 3.53 ERA).

Tornado sirens sounded near Wrigley Field around 5 p.m. CT and there was heavy rain. Some fans were allowed onto the concourse for protection.

It’s the fourth game postponed by rain this season for the Cubs, who already have had games rescheduled against the Cardinals, Reds and Royals.

—  Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup vs. Indians

The Cubs open a four-game, home and road Interleague series vs. the Indians at Wrigley Field Monday night. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Castro SS

Coghlan LF

Denorfia RF

Arrieta P

Russell 2B

* The Cubs and Indians boast the two longest World Series droughts in baseball. The Cubs haven’t won since 1908 (107 years ago) and the Indians last title came back in 1948 (67 years ago).

* The Cubs have won six of their last eight games. In that span, the Cubs ‘pen has given up three earned runs over 30 2/3 innings (0.88 ERA).

* The Indians have lost six of their last nine games. The team is averaging 2.7 runs per game in those nine contests while batting .159 (11-69 AB) with RISP.

* Jake Arrieta has won each of his two June starts vs. the Tigers and Nationals, giving up four earned runs over 12 innings (3.00 ERA). He has 16 strikeouts and one walk combined in those two contests. The right-hander is 2-3 despite a 2.88 ERA in six starts at Wrigley Field this season. The Cubs have scored 15 total runs in those six games.

* Kris Bryant is batting .372 (16-for-43) with six extra-base hits and nine runs scored during his current 11-game hitting streak. His slash line at Wrigley: .330/.450/.591 in 25 games.

* This will be the Indians first game in a NL park this season. It may be good timing. Nick Swisher, the Indians’ primary DH, was placed on the disabled list Sunday with inflammation in his left knee.

Notes: #Cubs on pace for 90 wins

The Cubs open a four-game, home and road series vs. the Indians on Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups for the games at Wrigley Field:

Monday: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-4, 3.16) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (5-3, 3.53)
Tuesday: LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1, 4.84) vs. RHP Shaun Marcum (3-1, 4.09)

* The Cubs and Indians meet for the first time since 2009. They’ll play two games at Progressive Field Wednesday and Thursday in Cleveland. These next four games represent the Cubs’ first regularly scheduled home-and-home series of at least four games with a team other than the White Sox since June 29-July 2, 1964, when the Cubs and Reds played two games at Wrigley Field followed immediately by two games at Crosley Field.

* The Cubs are 34-27 following Sunday’s walkoff win, and are seven-games over .500 for the first time since late in the 2009 campaign. The .557 winning percentage is fourth-best in the NL, and they’re on pace for 90 wins this year.

* The bullpen has collectively posted a 1.54 ERA (11 ER/64 1/3 IP) and a .183 batting average against in the last three-plus weeks starting May 23. That 1.54 ERA is second-lowest in all of baseball in this span.

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