The Cubs Tuesday dealt catcher Welington Castillo to the Mariners for right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina, who will report to Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs were carrying three catchers this season with Castillo, Miguel Montero and David Ross. Montero has gotten the majority of playing time, appearing in 30 games, and was batting .313. Ross has been matched up with Jon Lester, and was batting .194 in 20 games so far.
Castillo, 28, was batting .163 in 24 games with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. He was the Cubs’ starting catcher in 2013-14, batting .274 in 2013. But his offense dropped last year when he hit .237. He was expected to back up Mike Zunino, who is batting .179 in 35 games.
The Cubs wanted to keep Castillo as insurance in case Montero, who turns 32 on July 9, or Ross, 38, was injured. A good defensive catcher in terms of throwing out runners and pitch blocking, Castillo came up through the Cubs system.
Medina, 26, posted a 2.82 ERA in 141 appearances out of the Mariners bullpen the last three seasons. He has struck out 140 batters over 137 innings while limiting opponents to a .216 batting average, including a .228 mark against right-handed hitters and a .198 mark against lefties.
He made his Major League debut in 2013 and was 4-6 with one save and a 2.91 ERA in 63 relief appearances and ranked second among American League rookies in holds. This year, he was 1-0 with three holds, one save and a 3.00 ERA, giving up four earned runs over 12 innings in 12 relief outings.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan first reported the deal on Tuesday.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have reportedly traded catcher Welington Castillo to the Mariners.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported the deal Tuesday, but did not specify who the Cubs will get in return. The Chicago Tribune reported the Cubs will receive a prospect in return. Castillo was expected to back up Mike Zunino, who is batting .179 in 35 games.
A Cubs spokesman would not confirm the reports.
The Cubs have been carrying three catchers this season with Castillo, Miguel Montero and David Ross. Montero has gotten the majority of playing time, appearing in 30 games and was batting .313. Ross has been matched up with Jon Lester, and was batting .194 in 20 games so far. Castillo, 28, was batting .163 in 24 games with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. He was the Cubs’ starting catcher in 2013-14, batting .274 in 2013. But his offense dropped last year when he hit .237.
The Cubs wanted to keep Castillo as insurance in case Montero, who turns 32 on July 9, or Ross, 38, was injured.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs will make some roster moves Tuesday, including designated left handed reliever Phil Coke for assignment.
Coke had a 6.30 ERA in 16 games with the Cubs, giving up seven earned runs on 14 hits and three walks over 10 innings. He struck out nine. Left-handers were batting .304 off Coke, while right-handed hitters were batting .389. The Cubs had signed the lefty to a Minor League contract on March 5.
The Cubs moved Coke to make room on the roster for lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, who will start Wednesday, taking Travis Wood’s spot in the rotation. Wood has been shifted to the bullpen.
The Cubs also will send right-hander Brian Schlitter to Triple-A Iowa and call up outfielder Junior Lake. The team was carrying 14 pitchers Saturday and Sunday, which left the bench very thin.
A Major League source confirmed the moves. Expect a formal announcement on Tuesday.
— Carrie Muskat
Jonathan Mota hit a solo home run in a four-run fifth but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 7-5, to Oklahoma City. Dallas Beeler took the loss, giving up five runs over four innings. Taylor Davis had three hits, all doubles, and one RBI.
Frank Batista threw seven shutout innings in Tennessee’s 5-0 win over Jackson in the first game of a doubleheader. Batista struck out four, walked three and gave up three hits. Kyle Schwarber provided the offense, hitting two home runs and totaling three RBIs. Albert Almora had two hits and Ryan Dent was 3-for-3.
In the second game, Tennessee lost, 1-0, to Jackson. Andres Santiago started and gave up two hits over five scoreless innings. Billy McKinney was 2-for-2.
Pin-Chieh Chen hit his first home run, a two-run shot in the eighth, to lead Myrtle Beach to a 6-5 victory over Carolina. Jeimer Candelario had two hits and one RBI.
Gleyber Torres had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three in South Bend’s 7-4 loss to Great Lakes. Cael Brockmeyer notched his 10th multi-hit game.
The Pirates snapped the Cubs’ winning streak at six games on Sunday with a 3-0 win in the series finale at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta posted a quality start, giving up one run on five hits over seven innings while striking out seven, but took the loss. A.J. Burnett, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon combined for the shut out, holding the Cubs to five hits.
* Kris Bryant had to leave the game because he was dehydrated, the team said.
* The Cubs will tweak the rotation heading into their next series. Jason Hammel will start Tuesday against the Padres and be followed by Tsuyoshi Wada on Wednesday with Kyle Hendricks on Thursday. That means Travis Wood will be in the bullpen.
* Tommy La Stella apparently injured his side playing for Double-A Tennessee, and was headed to Chicago to be examined.
* Expect the Cubs to make another roster move prior to the Padres series and add outfielder Junior Lake. On Saturday and Sunday, the Cubs were carrying 14 pitchers and had just three extra position players on the bench.
— Carrie Muskat
Jake Arrieta gets the start Sunday as the Cubs close their homestand against the Pirates. Here’s the lineup:
* A win Sunday would give the Cubs their first unbeaten homestand of at least seven games since going 7-0 May 26-June 1, 2008, vs. the Dodgers (3-0) and Rockies (4-0).
* The Cubs are batting .266 with 33 runs, seven home runs, 32 walks, and a .383 on-base percentage during the current winning streak. Cubs pitchers have posted a 3.32 ERA, giving up 21 earned runs over 57 innings, with 59 Ks.
* The Cubs’ 21-15 record marks their best start since beginning 2009 with a 21-15 record (21-16 through 37)
* Kris Bryant is hitting .319 (15-for-47) with a double, a triple, four homers, 14 RBI and 12 walks in his last 13 games dating to May 4. He’s posted a 1.088 OPS in that stretch, including a .450 OBP and a .638 slugging mark … this 13-game stretch follows a four-contest stretch in which he endured an 0-for-13 slide.
* Cubs batters are averaging 4.00 pitches per plate appearance thus far, the top mark in all of baseball. The Red Sox rank No. 2 at 3.99. Bryant leads MLB, averaging 4.42 pitches per plate appearance.
* Anthony Rizzo leads MLB in on-base percentage at .469. Bryant is 10th at .425.
Austin Barnes hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth to lead Oklahoma City to a 1-0 win over over Iowa. The game was stopped for 2 hours 19 minutes because of rain. Carlos Pimentel started, and gave up five hits and walked two over five innings, striking out four. Javy Baez was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. He’s hit in seven straight games (12-for-25).
Jeffry Antigua gave up one run over 6 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 6-3 win over Jackson. Albert Almora had two hits, including a two-run homer, his first of the year. Tommy La Stella had two hits, including a double. Antigua picked up his second straight win and first quality start.
Paul Blackburn gave up one run over five innings in Myrtle Beach’s 3-2, 12-inning win over Carolina. Jeimer Candelario had three hits, including a double, Mark Zagunis had two hits, including a triple, and Ben Carhart had two hits. James Pugliese picked up the win in relief.
Ryan Williams did not give up an earned run over six innings in South Bend’s 10-4 win over Great Lakes. Gioskar Amaya and Justin Marra each homered and Charcer Burks had two hits and five RBIs. Williams picked up his fourth quality start.
* Jon Lester gets the start on Saturday when the Cubs face the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:
* The Cubs added a fresh arm on Saturday, adding Brian Schlitter from Triple-A Iowa and optioning Matt Szczur to the Minor League team. Szczur had driven in the game-winning run in Friday’s 11-10, 12-inning win over the Pirates.
“Matt was wonderful,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He understood. Of course, he didn’t like it but he understood it. That’s just the way it has to be. We had to thicken up the ‘pen and there were no other options.”
The Cubs may make another move on Sunday. Tsuyoshi Wada is finished with his rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa, and might be an option.
* A key moment on Friday came in the sixth when the Pirates had the bases loaded with two outs. Maddon called on lefty Zac Rosscup to face Andrew McCutchen. That would seem to go against the norm. Rosscup is a lefty, McCutchen is a right-handed hitter.
“I’m not concerned left or right, right or left,” Maddon said. “There’s guys who are neutral and guys who are reverse. There are pitchers who get both sides well and guys who get the opposite side better. It’s been pounded into our mindset for too long that it has to be righty on righty and lefty on lefty. For me, [Rosscup] falls into the category of getting anybody out.”
Rosscup had struggled in Milwaukee, but Maddon had a talk with the lefty after that.
“I said, ‘Listen, man, I’m telling you now, I have confidence in you with anybody at any time. Just know that. Just know that, I’ll put you in against anybody at any time,'” Maddon said. “And he came through. Don’t forget, this guy is a real novice and he’s going to keep getting better. When he understands the moment and can control the moment, he can be really, really good.”
* Maddon doesn’t let himself get caught up in the emotion of the game. One of the ways he handles that is by writing on the top of his notes: “Do not be a fan.”
“I think it becomes stressful when you become a fan,” he said. “If you remain a manager, it doesn’t become stressful.”
— Carrie Muskat
John Andreoli and Rubi Silva each hit home runs to lead Iowa to a 6-5 victory over Nashville. Eric Jokisch gave up one earned run over six innings for the win. Javier Baez had three hits and two RBIs, and is batting 11-for-22 over the last six games.
Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora and Dan Vogelbach combined for seven hits, six runs, four doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBIs in Tennessee’s 9-4 win over Montgomery. Felix Pena picked up the win, giving up eight hits over seven innings. He struck out eight. Tommy La Stella began a rehab assignment with the Smokies and was 0-for-4.
Myrtle Beach beat Carolina, 7-3. Duane Underwood threw five shutout innings, and Mark Zagunis and Pin-Chieh Chen each had three hits and two RBIs.
South Bend lost, 1-0, to Great Lakes. Trevor Clifton posted a quality start in the loss, striking out seven over six innings. He gave up one run on four hits and walked three. South Bend totaled four hits, including two by Charcer Burks.
It was a crazy day at Wrigley Field. It took the Cubs 5 hours 1 minute on Friday to beat the Pirates, 11-10, in 12 innings. The two teams combined for 30 hits, and there were 16 pitchers used who threw a total of 496 pitches.
* ANTHONY RIZZO (3-for-7, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) belted his team-leading eighth homer while tying a season-high in hits (also done, April 24 at Cincinnati & May 5 at St. Louis). He hit his first homer off a lefty this season. He now has hit in eight straight games.
* KRIS BRYANT (1-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB, HR, 4 RBI, SF) hit a three-run homer in the third and finished with a career-high four RBI. He’s hit four home runs in his last seven games after not connecting in his first 20 games of the season. Bryant has driven in 14 runs in the last 11 games.
* DEXTER FOWLER (2-for-6, 2 R, RBI, SF, SB) is batting .385 (10-for-26) with four stolen bases in seven games against the Pirates this season. He posted his 12th multi-hit game of the season.
* MATT SZCZUR’S (2-for-7, 2B, 3 RBI) walk-off RBI-single in the 12th inning gave the Cubs the victory. He drove in a career high three RBI.
* KYLE HENDRICKS started and did not get a decision. He gave up five runs on eight hits and one walk over 5 2/3 innings. He’s now 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA (10 ER/16.0 IP) in three starts against Pittsburgh this season.
* Jorge Soler (1-for-3, 4 BB, RBI) is batting .298 (28-for-94) vs. NL Central teams.
* Starlin Castro (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB, HBP) picked up his 10th multi-hit game. He drew two walks in a game for the first time since July 13 of last year vs. Atlanta.
* The last time the Cubs won a game when giving up four or more runs in more than one inning was Sept. 6, 2008, at Cincinnati (8th and 9th innings).
* The Cubs recorded their first five-game winning streak since June 3-7 of last season vs. the Mets (3-0) and Marlins (2-0).
* James Russell’s (2.0 IP, H, 2 BB) 323 appearances with the Cubs are tied with Willie Hernandez for the most in franchise history for a southpaw.
* Friday’s game marked their longest game of the season in time and innings.