Cubs News and Notes: Fly the W, Nico Hoerner’s epic debut, Cubs injury updates, more


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Orlando Ramirez - USA Today Sports
Orlando Ramirez - USA Today Sports

Next Game: Tuesday: LHP Jose Quintana (13-8, 4.00 ERA) vs RHP Ronald Bolaños (0-1, 3.00) Game Information: 9:10 PM CDT; Televised on NBC Sports Chicago+, MLB Network (out of market only).

Monday’s Game Recap:

One out of four won’t cut it, and that’s exactly what the Cubs managed to accomplish in Milwaukee over the weekend. Now in San Diego, the Cubs and Friars will play a set of four, as the season sees its final 20 games.

The Cubs sent Kyle Hendricks to the hill, while the Cubs’ offense faced righty, Cal Quantrill. Hurting for a shortstop, Chicago activated Nico Hoerner, last year’s #1 draft pick.

The Cubs got after it early with a leadoff single by Ben Zobrist, then two batters later, a moon-shot by Nicholas Castellanos. Cubs up 2-zip after a half-inning. The Professor would breeze through the first on only nine pitches.

Hoerner would get his first ML hit in the second, but the Cubs failed to score.

Hoerner would beat out a double-play ball in the fourth, advanced to third on Jason Heyward’s single, then score on a wild pitch to put the Cubs up 3-0.

The Friars would score a pair of their own in the fourth, as the result of a throwing error by Zo (to Hoerner). The first would score on the errant throw, the second on a sac-fly — 3-2 Cubs after four.

The Cubs broke it open in the fifth, starting with a Schwar-Bomb. (#35 for Kyle Schwarber)

Castellanos would single, Victor Caratini singled, then the new kid (NO, not Castellanos, the other new kid) would jack a two-RBI triple.

The Cubs weren’t done yet, as Heyward singled, scoring Hoerner, David Bote singled, Hendricks laid down a sac-bunt, scoring Heyward. Then the inning would finally end on Zo’s groundout. Cubs tally five runs total and lead the Padres 8-2.

It was the Nico Hoerner show again in the sixth, this time a two-RBI single. Cubs up 10-2. The Cubs would threaten again in the eighth but would fail to score.

Fly the flag, sing the song. This one was all Chicago, and with the Cards off, the Cubs now move to 4.0 games out of first. The D-Backs lost; Milwaukee won.

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Cubs/Padres Probable Pitchers: Wednesday: LHP Cole Hamels (7-6, 3.95 ERA) vs RHP Chris Paddack (8-7, 3.54 ERA). Game information: 9:10 PM CDT; Televised on ESPN, ABC-7, ESPN (out of market only). Thursday: RHP Yu Darvish (5-6, 4.12 ERA) vs RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-4, 3.95 ERA). Game information: 2:40 PM CDT; Televised on NBC Sports Chicago.

Cubs Injury Update: Kris Bryant was out again last night (and maybe out again tomorrow) due to his lingering knee issue. Bryant was given a cortisone shot on Sunday, and KB says it’s helping. KB says that playing at 60-70% is a “disservice to his teammates.”

Addison Russell is in San Diego with the team, but he remains under concussion protocol and was due to see the Padres team doctor sometime yesterday afternoon (no report yet).

Good news, bad news for Baez.

Hoerner Promoted: In the fallout from the injuries to Javier Baez and Addison Russell, the Cubs have promoted their first-round draft pick from 2018- middle-infielder/OF, Nico Hoerner. Hoerner never even saw Des Moines and is being brought up from AA Tennessee. Earlier this year, Theo Epstein stated that in no way, shape or form would Hoerner be brought up this year, but obviously, things have gone from bad to worse.

Hoerner (age 22) hit .284 (117 wRC+) with a .344 OBP and a .399 slugging percentage (.743 OPS) in 70 minor league games this year. He made 40 starts at short, with intermittent starts at both second base and center field.

Hoerner wasn’t on the 40-man by September first, so he’s not eligible for the playoffs. However, the Cubs can petition MLB to be able to add Hoerner by obtaining a waiver under the circumstantial roster issues.

Roster Moves: In addition to promoting Nico Hoerner, the Cubs also recalled RHP James Norwood, while optioning RHP Adbert Alzolay to Single-A South Bend. Much like with Danny Hultzen’s promotion, the Cubs had to DFA someone to make room for Hoerner on the 40-man, and this time, Randy Rosario was let go.

Hoerner’s MLB debut: They say the ball always finds the new guy, and it found Hoerner all night. The kid was flawless, and these weren’t just routine grounders- Hoerner was making backhanded stabs, sliding plays, you name it. As far as the offense was concerned, He went 3 for five at the plate, with a triple, two singles, 4 RBI and two runs scored.

Pay attention gang, I’m telling you, this kid is the future (as in next year) middle infielder.

Posturing for 2020: Some teams around MLB have already started positioning themselves for 2020, already making very authoritative statements about the way things will be, moving forward. Late Sunday, the Red Sox fired Pres. of Ops., Dave Dombrowski, just a year after winning the World Series.

A move like this is bound to create uncertainty for some of the high-priced players in Boston, including Mookie Betts (.291/.389/.525) and JD Martinez (.308/.384/.577). Betts is currently on a one-year/$20M deal, with free agency coming in 2021, while Martinez is signed through 2022 on a $109.95M deal. While I’m not even going to speculate on who the Cubs may pursue this winter (I’ll do that in a few weeks), I will suggest that if the Nick Castellanos thing doesn’t happen to pan out…

Baseball Quotes: You can wake up every day and make today better than the last.” -Tommy Lasorda

Cubs Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday, were ex-Cubs Michael Bowden (33), Edwin Jackson (36), Todd Zeile (54), Jerry Mumphrey (67), Ed Mickelson (93), and posthumously, Earl Averill Jr. (88), Frank Chance (143), and Abner Dalrymple (162).

THIS WEEK’S NL CENTRAL SCHEDULE:

(Wins in green, losses in red)

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Tags: Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Victor Caratini, David Bote, Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Dixon Machado, James Norwood, Adbert Alzolay, Randy Rosario, Theo Epstein
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