Cubs vs. Cardinals – Busch Stadium
First Pitch: 7:15 CST
Cubs Starter: Jon Lester, LHP
Cardinals Starter: Lance Lynn, RHP
TV: CSN Chicago; Radio: WBBM 780 AM
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Chris Coghlan, LF
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Jorge Soler, RF
6. Starlin Castro, SS
7. David Ross, C
8. Jon Lester, P
9. Addison Russell, SS
Justin Grimm returns to the Cubs after a stint on the DL. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs activated right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm off the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Matt Szczur from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday. Outfielder Junior Lake has been optioned to Triple-A and right-handed pitcher Anthony Varvaro has been designated for assignment.
The 26-year-old Grimm returns to the Cubs after landing on the disabled list on April 10 with right forearm inflammation. He made one rehab appearance as part of his return, tossing a scoreless inning with a walk and two strikeouts on Monday for Iowa. Grimm made Chicago’s Opening Day roster for the second season in a row, but has yet to make his 2015 debut.
The right-hander went 5-2 with 11 holds and a 3.78 ERA (29 ER/69.0 IP) in 73 relief appearances last year with the Cubs, his first full season in the majors. Grimm tied for ninth in the National League in appearances while striking out 70 batters and walking only 27 in 69.0 innings. Overall, he stranded 25 of 30 inherited runners last year and posted a 2.60 ERA in 29 games following the All-Star break.
Grimm joined the Cubs as part of the five-player deal that sent pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers on July 22, 2013. He was the American League Rookie of the Month with Texas in April 2013, and posted a 2.00 ERA (2 ER/9.0 IP) in 10 relief appearances with the Cubs following the trade that summer.
Szczur, 25, joins the Cubs for the second time this season. He was a member of Chicago’s Opening Day roster and batted .200 (2-for-10) with one double and one RBI in eight games before being optioned to Iowa on April 19. With Iowa, Szczur has batted .262 (11-for-42) with two homers, a triple and seven RBI in 11 games this season.
The outfielder made his major league debut with the Cubs last August and batted .226 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in 33 games. Szczur has played 14 games in left field, nine games in center field and 13 games in right field during his big league career. Overall, he has batted .222 with three doubles, two home runs and six RBI in 41 career major league games.
Lake, 25, is hitting .286 (4-for-14) with one double and one RBI in four games with the Cubs this season. He is batting .289 (13-for-45) with two doubles and eight RBI in 13 games with Iowa this year.
Varvaro, 30, was claimed off waivers from Boston on Sunday and was added to the 25-man roster yesterday. He did not appear in Tuesday’s game. He was traded to the Red Sox on Dec. 17, 2014, and went 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in nine relief appearances this season before being designated for assignment on April 29.
The Chicago Cubs today recalled outfielder Junior Lake from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter to Triple-A.
Lake will be available for the Cubs tonight in their series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
The 25-year-old Lake has played parts of the last two seasons with the Cubs and is a career .243 (132-for-544) hitter with 26 doubles, 15 home runs and 41 RBI in 172 games. He has played 85 games in left field, 63 games in center field and one game in right field.
Lake is batting .289 with two doubles and eight RBI in 13 games with Iowa this season. He hit .319 with one homer and nine RBI in 22 Cactus League games with the Cubs this spring.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lake broke into the big leagues with the Cubs shortly after the All-Star break in 2013 and batted .284 with 16 doubles, six homers and 16 RBI in 64 games the rest of the way. He was a member of Chicago’s Opening Day roster in 2014 and batted .211 with 10 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 25 RBI in 108 games last year. He also hit .262 in 14 games with Iowa last year.
Schlitter, 29, is 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA (6 ER/5.2 IP) in seven relief appearances for the Cubs this season.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs selected the contract of infielder Addison Russell from Triple-A Iowa and optioned infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara to Triple-A on Tuesday. To make room for Russell on the 40-man roster, infielder Mike Olt was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Russell, who will wear uniform No. 22, will be available for the Cubs tonight in Pittsburgh. The 21-year-old was hitting .318/.326/.477 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with one home run and nine RBI in 46 plate appearances at Triple-A Iowa this season.
He entered 2015 ranked as the third-best prospect in the game by Baseball America and the second-best prospect in the Cubs farm system. He was also named the top prospect in Oakland’s system heading into both the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. A first-round pick in the 2012 Draft (11th overall), Russell was acquired by the Cubs along with outfielder Billy McKinney and right-hander Dan Straily from Oakland for right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel last July 5. Russell also entered 2015 ranked as the second-best prospect by in the game by Baseball Prospectus.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Russell joins the Cubs after batting .301 (289-for-961) with 57 doubles, 20 triples, 38 home runs and 159 RBI in 244 minor league games covering the last four seasons. The right-handed hitter has posted a .377 on-base percentage and a .520 slugging percentage, good for an .897 OPS.
Russell played across three levels in his first pro campaign in 2012, earning All-Star honors for two clubs. He spent most of the 2013 campaign at High-A Stockton as a 19-year-old, recording 29 doubles, 10 triples and 17 homers to become one of only 12 minor leaguers to reach double digits in all three categories. Russell was named to the U.S. Futures team, earned postseason California League All-Star honors and capped 2013 by playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the AFL All-Star team.
Last season, Russell combined to bat .295 (76-for-258) with 14 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs and 45 RBI in 68 games between Stockton, Double-A Midland and Double-A Tennessee. He also played 11 games in a return trip to the Arizona Fall League.
Alcantara, 23, is hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five runs scored and one RBI in 11 games for the Cubs this season.
Olt, 26, continues his recovery from a hairline fracture in his right wrist.
The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of infielder Kris Bryant from Triple-A Iowa and activated outfielder Chris Denorfia off of the 15-day disabled list. Infielder Mike Olt was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 15) with a hairline fracture in his right wrist, and right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 16) with right shoulder inflammation.
Bryant, who will wear uniform number 17, and Denorfia will be available for the Cubs this afternoon when they begin a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field.
Bryant, 23, joins the Cubs after hitting .321 (9-for-28) with three homers and 10 RBI in seven games with Iowa. He was Chicago’s first-round pick in the 2013 Draft (second overall) and entered 2015 ranked as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. He earned 2014 Minor League Player of the Year honors from Baseball America, USA Today and the Cubs after hitting .325 and leading the minors with 43 homers, 78 extra-base hits, 325 total bases, a .661 slugging mark and a 1.098 OPS, while ranking third with 110 RBI between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa.
After being selected by the Cubs out of the University of San Diego, Bryant combined to hit .336 with 14 doubles, two triples and nine homers in 36 games across three minor league levels that summer, culminating with a 2013 Florida State League Championship and 2013 Arizona Fall League Joe Black MVP honors after leading the league with six homers, a .457 slugging percentage and 56 total bases.
Bryant began the 2014 campaign with his first stop at Double-A and batted .355 with 22 homers and 58 RBI in 68 games with Tennessee to earn a spot on the Southern League All-Star team and a promotion to Triple-A on June 19, just a little more than a year after he was drafted. He batted .295 with 21 homers and 52 RBI in 70 games with Iowa. Bryant also started at third base for the U.S. Team at the All-Star Futures game in Minnesota. Overall, he has turned in a .327 batting average with 55 homers and 152 RBI in 181 minor league games.
As a junior at San Diego, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Bryant won the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, was the Baseball America Player of the Year, the 2013 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and the 2013 Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year. Bryant is a native of Las Vegas and a graduate of Bonanza High School.
Denorfia, 34, began the season on the 15-day disabled list due to a mild left hamstring strain. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder split the 2014 campaign between San Diego and Seattle and combined to bat .230 with 12 doubles and three homers in 121 games. He played in two rehab games for Single-A Myrtle Beach, going 1-for-3 with a double.
Overall, Denorfia is a career .272 hitter in 705 games covering all or part of nine seasons with Cincinnati (2005-06), Oakland (2008-09), San Diego (2010-14) and Seattle (2014). He has averaged 21 doubles, four triples, nine homers and 13 stolen bases per 162 games played while turning in a career .331 on-base percentage and a .394 slugging mark. Denorfia has played 352 big league games in right field, 248 games in left field and 164 games in center field.
Olt, 26, is hitting .133 (2-for-15) with one homer and one RBI in six games for the Cubs this season.
The Chicago Cubs today placed infielder Tommy La Stella on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 9) with right rib cage inflammation and recalled left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa. Rosscup will be available for the Cubs tonight when they play the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.
The 26-year-old Rosscup has tossed two scoreless appearances with Iowa this season, last pitching on Sunday in Memphis when he struck out three in an inning of work. The southpaw posted no record and a 2.70 ERA in 10 appearances with the Cubs during Spring Training before being optioned to Iowa on April 1.
Rosscup went 1-0 with a 9.45 ERA in 18 appearances covering seven stints with the Cubs last season, striking out 21 batters in 13.1 innings pitched. He spent most of the 2014 campaign with Iowa, where he went 2-0 with four saves and a 2.10 ERA in 29 relief outings. Rosscup made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2013, posting no record and a 1.35 ERA in 10 relief outings.
La Stella, 26, is batting .167 (1-for-6) in two games with the Cubs this season. He was acquired from Atlanta in a trade for Arodys Vizcaino on Nov. 16, 2014.
Cubs vs. Reds – Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 7:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jake Arrieta, RHP
Reds Starter: Anthony Desclafani, RHP
Broadcast: CSN Chicago, Listen Live at WBBM 780 AM
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Jorge Soler, RF
4. Chris Coghlan, LF
5. Starlin Castro, SS
6. Miguel Montero, C
7. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B
8. Jake Arrieta, P
9. Jonathan Herrera, 3B
The Chicago Cubs today placed right-handed pitcher Justin Grimm on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 2) with right foreman inflammation and recalled right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter from Triple-A Iowa.
Schlitter will be available for the Cubs Friday afternoon when they play the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
The 29-year-old Schlitter went 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA (26 ER/56.1 IP) in 61 appearances for the Cubs last season, his first big league action since the 2010 campaign. He turned in a 2.98 ERA in 43 appearances prior to the All-Star Break before being slowed by right shoulder inflammation that led to a stint on the disabled list in August. Overall, he allowed one earned run or less in 54 of his 61 appearances, including 48 scoreless outings.
Schlitter was originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 16th round of the 2007 Draft and was acquired by the Cubs the next season for left-hander Scott Eyre. Schlitter made his big league debut in 2010 with seven relief appearances. He is a native of Oak Park in suburban Chicago.
Grimm, 26, has yet to appear in a game for the Cubs this season. He went 5-2 with a 3.78 ERA (29 ER/69.0 IP) in 73 relief appearances for the Cubs last season.
The Chicago Cubs have assigned three players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 35 to 32 players.
Three players have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa: right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter, left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup and outfielder Junior Lake.
Chicago’s spring roster of 32 players consists of 16 pitchers, four catchers (one nonroster invitee), six infielders (one nonroster invitee) and six outfielders.
The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Phil Coke. The club’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.
Coke, 32, joined the Cubs on a minor league contract on March 5 after spending the last seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2008-09) and Detroit Tigers (2010-14), going 22-27 with 80 holds, eight saves and a 4.16 ERA (184 ER/398.1 IP) in 383 major league appearances. He has turned in nine scoreless appearances this spring, covering 7.2 innings pitched.
The left-hander went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 62 relief appearances for the Tigers last season. In his career, he has limited left-handed hitters to a .243 batting average, a .297 on-base percentage and a .648 OPS. Coke had 21 holds with the Yankees in 2009 and 20 holds with Detroit in 2012.