Cubs Lineup: 5/4/16 vs. Pirates

Cubs vs. Pirates — PNC Park
First Pitch: 11:35 a.m. CST
Cubs Starter: Jon Lester, LHP (2-1, 1.83 ERA)
Pirates Starter: Juan Nicasio, HP (3-2, 3.33 ERA)
TV: CSN, MLB Network (out-of-market only); Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Tommy La Stella, 2B
3. Kris Bryant, LF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, RF
6. Javy Baez, 3B
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. David Ross, C
9. Jon Lester, P

Cubs bring up OF Kalish as Szczur heads to DL

The Cubs today placed outfielder Matt Szczur on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain and selected the contract of outfielder Ryan Kalish from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Kalish on the 40-man roster, infielder Christian Villanueva was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Kalish, who will wear uniform No. 51, will be available for the Cubs tonight as they continue their three-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 28-year-old Kalish returns to the Cubs after spending part of the 2014 campaign with the club. He batted .248 (30-for-121) with four doubles and four triples in 57 games that year, his most recent big-league action. He did not play during the 2015 season and signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs in March.

Kalish joins the Cubs after batting .368 (21-for-57) with four doubles and two triples in 20 games with Iowa. He posted a .471 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging percentage, good for a .980 OPS.

The left-handed batter and thrower was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the ninth round of the 2006 draft and made his big-league debut in 2010. In 146 big-league games with the Red Sox (2010, 2012) and Cubs (2014), Kalish is a career .245 hitter (93-for-380) with 18 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 34 RBI.

Szczur, 26, is batting .367 (11-for-30) with nine runs scored, one double, two homers and 10 RBI in 21 games with the Cubs this season.

Cubs Third Homestand Events and Promotions: May 5-May 15, 2016


The Chicago Cubs return home and look to build on their NL Central Division lead as they face the Washington Nationals (May 5-8), San Diego Padres (May 9-11) and division rival Pittsburgh Pirates (May 13-15).

On Mother’s Day, May 8, the Cubs and Advocate Health Care will “Pink Out” the Budweiser Bleachers once again to promote breast cancer prevention awareness while celebrating moms and women everywhere who are survivors. Guests in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a pink “Save Second Base” T-shirt, and everyone inside the ballpark will be invited to stand to honor cancer survivors in the fourth inning. Breast cancer survivors will participate in festivities including ceremonial first pitches, singing the national anthem, forming a symbolic pink ribbon around the pitcher’s mound, meeting Cubs players as they take the field at each position and leading the seventh-inning stretch. Honorary Bat Girl Molly Oliver, who won Major League Baseball’s nationwide contest, will deliver the lineup card to the umpires. The Cubs will join other Major League Baseball teams that day in wearing pink Mother’s Day jerseys and caps, which will be authenticated, collected and auctioned by Cubs Authentics at Net proceeds from the auction benefit Cubs Charities.

The following Sunday, May 15, Major League Baseball will host “Play Ball” Weekend at Wrigley Field and other participating ballparks across the league. Major League Baseball and USA Baseball launched “Play Ball” as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and informal baseball activities. Local youth baseball and softball players will participate in a pregame cap exchange, rosin bag delivery and “Play Ball” announcement, and they will take the field before meeting Cubs players at each position. All players, umpires and on-field personnel will wear “Play Ball” patches during the game, while on-air broadcast talent will wear “Play Ball” pins. MLB’s “Play Ball” initiative aligns with Cubs Charities’ ongoing programming to promote youth baseball and softball, including the Diamond Project Signature Program and support of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), Chicago Park District’s Rookie League and Special Recreation Programs, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) Cubs, Inner City Youth Baseball and the development of several baseball fields throughout the city.

Tickets for each game remain available at or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the homestand follow.

On Sunday, May 8, Budweiser Bleacher guests will receive a “Save Second Base” T-shirt during the annual “Pink Out” presented by Advocate Health Care.

On Saturday, May 14, Blue Lizard will provide sunscreen for up to the first 35,000 fans.

After both Sunday games this homestand, May 8 and 15, the first 1,000 kids 13-and-under can run the bases postgame, weather permitting.

Food Specials

The Decade Diner, located in the right-field concourse, features rotating homestand specials. This homestand, fans can order a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with a breaded chicken breast, house-made marinara sauce and provolone cheese served on a toasted garlic hoagie roll with french fries. Also available is the Gilbert’s Aloha Sausage, which is a chicken sausage topped with pineapple salsa, lime aioli, hot sauce and crushed potato chips served on a sausage roll with french fries on the side.

Hot Doug’s will continue serving its selections from the previous homestand at Platform 14, located behind the center-field scoreboard in the Budweiser Bleachers. The Dave Rosello is an Argentinian pork and bacon sausage topped with chimichurri and smoked Swiss cheese. The Steve Trachsel is a tequila and black bean chicken sausage topped with jalapeño mustard and pico de gallo. Finally, the Champ Summers is a Vienna Beef spicy polish sausage with Goose Island beer mustard and crispy fried onions.

“Let’s Give” Cubs Charities Events
On Monday, May 9, the Cubs will team up with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation for the annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon in the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. Cubs Charities and Cubs Care will grant money to more than 30 nonprofit organizations serving those in need in the Chicago area. Last year, the Cubs and Robert R. McCormick Foundation distributed more than $1 million in grants. For more information, visit

Cubs wives and girlfriends will sell mystery baseballs benefiting Cubs Charities Saturday, May 14. Fans will have the opportunity to buy baseballs signed by current and former players on the concourse near Gate F from the time gates open until the fifth inning (or while supplies last) for $45 each.

Manager Joe Maddon is supporting Chicago nonprofit organizations through his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game, Maddon represents a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization’s T-shirt during his postgame press conference. On Friday, May 6, Maddon will represent Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, who connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier. LISC Chicago provides grants, loans, technical assistance and other resources to more than 70 partner organizations in low- and moderate-income communities across Chicago. Cubs Charities partners with LISC Chicago to implement the Diamond Project Signature Program.

Homestand Recap, May 5-15:
Thursday, May 5, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m.

  • National anthem: John Vincent
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score,

Friday, May 6, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 1:20 p.m.

  • First pitch: Percussionist Sunny Ortiz from American rock band Widespread Panic
  • National anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • Broadcast: CSN, MLB Network, 670 The Score,

Saturday, May 7, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 3:05 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Northwestern University Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald
  • National anthem: Nate Klinger
  • Broadcast: CSN, FS1, 670 The Score,

Sunday, May 8 (Mother’s Day), Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: “Save Second Base” T-shirt for up to the first 5,000 Budweiser Bleacher guests as part of the annual “Pink Out” presented by Advocate Health Care
  • First pitches, national anthem and seventh-inning stretch: Breast cancer survivors
  • First pitch: Retired U.S. Army Captain and Medal of Honor recipient Florent “Flo” Groberg
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, MLB Network, 670 The Score,
  • Postgame: Kids Run the Bases, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under

Monday, May 9, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.

  • Pregame: Annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Indianapolis 500 drivers
  • National anthem: Michelle Nash from Broadway in Chicago’s “Disenchanted!” musical
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score,

Tuesday, May 10, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Second City cast members
  • National anthem: Klea Blackhurst from “Hazel – A Musical Maid in America” at Drury Lane Theatre
  • Broadcast: WPWR-TV, 670 The Score,

Wednesday, May 11, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.

  • National anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score,

Friday, May 13, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • National anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, MLB Network, 670 The Score,

Saturday, May 14, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: Blue Lizard Sunscreen, up to the first 35,000 fans
  • Pregame through fifth inning: Cubs Wives selling mystery baseballs benefiting Cubs Charities
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould
  • National anthem: John Vincent
  • Broadcast: ABC 7, 670 The Score,

Sunday, May 15, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • MLB “Play Ball” Weekend
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Actor, director, musician and Chicago native Gary Sinise
  • National anthem: Deena Jakoub
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score,
  • Postgame: Kids Run the Bases, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under

Cubs Lineup: 5/3/16 vs. Pirates

Cubs vs. Pirates —  PNC Park
First Pitch: 6:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jake Arrieta, RHP (5-0, 1.00 ERA)
Pirates Starter: Jon Niese, LHP (3-0, 5.08 ERA)
TV: WPWR, MLB Network (out-of-market only); Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jorge Soler, LF
3. Kris Bryant, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Javy Baez, 3B
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. Tim Federowicz, C
9. Jake Arrieta, P

Cubs Minor League Report: 5/2/16

Myrtle Beach and South Bend both picked up wins, while Tennessee salvaged a split in its doubleheader Monday. Iowa was on the losing end of its game. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action.

Iowa Cubs (9-13)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
T-Third Place (-5.5)

Iowa opened up its four-game series at Nashville with a 5-1 setback.

  • C Willson Contreras (.353) hit a solo homer in the eighth inning, his first of the season.
  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.254) went 2 for 3 with a walk. He’s hit safely in 13 of 19 games this year.
  • RHP Felix Pena (2 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO) struck out four batters in two scoreless innings. It’s the sixth time in seven outings this season in which he has spun two scoreless frames out of the bullpen.

Tennessee Smokies (13-12)
Southern League (Double-A)
Third Place (-3.0)

The Smokies split their doubleheader at Biloxi, falling 3-2 in Game 1 before claiming a 4-1 extra-inning victory (eight innings) in Game 2.

  • RHP Tyler Skulina (4.07 ERA) allowed no earned runs in five innings, striking out two in the first game.
  • RF Billy McKinney (.219) collected a hit in both games, going a combined 2 for 5 a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base (1).
  • LF Mark Zagunis (.250) hit a game-winning homer (1) in the eighth inning of Game 2 and finished the day 2 for 5 with a walk.
  • PH Kelly Dugan (.143) added a pinch-hit two run homer (1) later in the inning.
  • C Victor Caratini (.265) had the only multi-hit game in either contest, going 2 for 3 in Game 2.
  • RHP Corey Black (1 IP, 1 BB) picked up his second save of the season in Game Two.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (12-11)
Carolina League (High-A)
Second Place (-3.0)

Myrtle Beach snapped a two-game losing skid, prevailing 3-2 in 11 innings at Winston-Salem.

  • RHP Jake Stinnett (1.99) fanned three in five innings, giving up no earned runs.
  • DH Charcer Burks (.179) reached base three times, going 1 for 4 with two walks.
  • 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.290) started the scoring, hitting a two-run homer in the first (1) inning. He has three multi-RBI games in his last six contests.
  • 3B Jason Vosler (.321) went 2 for 4 with a double (5) and the game-winning run in the 11th. He has hit safely in four straight games.
  • RHP David Berg (2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 SO) collected his second win, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings.

South Bend Cubs (14-9)
Midwest League (Single-A)
Third Place (-2.0)

South Bend tossed its first shutout of the season, blanking visiting Wisconsin, 3-0.

  • LHP Carson Sands (4.43) tossed a season-high six innings, striking out four and allowing three hits and three walks in the win.
  • LF Eloy Jimenez (.294) collected his second straight multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a double (7), a run scored and a stolen base (3).
  • 3B Jesse Hodges (.438) finished 2 for 3 with an RBI (2). He has hit safely in all five games with South Bend, going 7 for 16.
  • RHP Preston Morrison (3 IP, 1 H, 5 SO) tossed three scoreless innings in his first relief outing of the season to collect the save.

Hot off the Presses: The May issue offers an inside look at the real Kris Bryant


I had one guiding concept in mind when I set out to report the cover feature on Cubs star Kris Bryant for this month: Do not write a hagiography. There are plenty of St. Kristopher stories out there. I figured the world didn’t need another one.

I’d certainly talked to Bryant before—several times, in fact, from his initial signing through the final days of last season. And, cards on the table, I like the guy. But I’d never done anything in-depth with him. My goal as a writer was to stay impartial, impassive and honest. Yes, I work for the Cubs, but I still wanted to let the story tell itself without bias.

Soooo … that was my goal.

But here’s the rub: Kris Bryant is an excellent baseball player. Sure there are a few knocks on his game. He struck out a lot last season and likely will always pile up the K’s. His defense is still evolving, although he finished strong last season. And I suppose he got stuck on 99 RBI for a while. Anything else is nitpicking.

But the reason it’s so difficult to avoid writing a puff piece about him is that he’s also a genuinely nice fellow. I had only a short window to interview him at Spring Training in March, so I checked in with him on my first full day there—a Monday. He was literally dressed and walking out of the clubhouse, but he politely said he couldn’t do anything substantive until that Friday because he was booked solid with photo shoots, commercial shoots, interviews and, well, baseball.

For many players, “Try me tomorrow” is the sporting equivalent of saying, “It was fun; I’ll give you a call sometime,” after a bad date. Still, we checked in with each other throughout the week, and he held firm on Friday. I told him that was fine with me, but in reality I was nearly panicked because Friday was my second-to-last day there. No Bryant, no story.

But once that day arrived, I didn’t have to track him down (or beg, which I was prepared to do). He walked straight over to me, shook my hand, apologized for making me wait and then asked if I wanted to get out of the clubhouse so we could avoid the inevitable media scrum that surrounds him. That kind of behavior is not unheard of, but it definitely stands out enough that you notice. After a very respectful and engaging 20 minutes, I had what I needed and made my peace with what kind of story this was going to be.

What I really wanted to uncover was how Bryant handled the titanic expectations that were heaped upon him last year and what kind of an impact that would have on his sophomore campaign.

One of the first people I talked to for some insight was Cubs assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske, a two-time World Series champion with his own Rookie of the Year trophy, from 2002. I figured if anyone can relate to what Bryant will be going through this season, it’s him. When asked what the 24-year-old is like as a student, Hinske, who pretty much saw it all over his 12-year major-league career, seemed a bit flustered.

“Honestly, he’s far along in the process,” Hinske said. “He really doesn’t have to be a pupil that much. It’s more of just maintaining his swing. He’s so mechanically right. He’s a bright kid, a good character guy. He takes instruction well if he needs it, and he’s just a pleasure to work with every day.”

Our feature paints a picture of a very talented, grounded and decent human being—one who is likely to terrorize opposing pitchers for the next decade-plus. In the May issue, we also talk to hitting coach John Mallee about his expectations for the season and the work he’s doing with an incredibly potent offensive group. Finally, we look back at one of the most memorable games ever pitched at the Friendly Confines, even if there might not be a person alive who actually remembers seeing it—the remarkable dual no-hitter spun by Hippo Vaughn and Fred Toney in 1917.

For more insight into the players and team you love all season long, subscribe to Vine Line at

Let’s go!

—Gary Cohen

Cubs Lineup: 5/2/16 vs. Pirates

Cubs vs. Pirates —  PNC Park
First Pitch: 6:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jason Hammel, RHP (3-0, 0.75 ERA)
Pirates Starter: Gerrit Cole, RHP (2-2, 2.78 ERA)
TV: CSN, ESPN (out-of-market only), MLB Network (out-of-market only); Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Tommy La Stella, 3B
3. Kris Bryant, LF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Addison Russell, SS
7. Matt Szczur, RF
8. David Ross, C
9. Jason Hammel, P

Cubs Minor League Report: 5/1/16

Rain dampened most of the action for Cubs affiliates, with only Iowa getting the opportunity to play. Tennessee’s game will be made up Monday as part of a doubleheader, Myrtle Beach will be rescheduled for a date in June, and no make-up date has been scheduled for South Bend. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Iowa Cubs (9-12)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
T-Third Place (-4.5)

Iowa dropped a seven-inning game against Colorado Springs, 4-3. Game 2 of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed due to inclement weather and unplayable conditions.

  • LF John Andreoli (.216) went 2 for 4 with a run scored, an RBI (11) and a stolen base (7). He has gone 6 for 17 with six runs scored, five RBI and five walks in his last five games.
  • C Willson Contreras (.359) finished 2 for 3 with an RBI (9) and two doubles (6).
  • RHP Armando Rivero (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 SO) tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He has not allowed a run in five of his seven relief outings.

Cubs Minor League Report: 4/28/16

Iowa powered past its opponent Thursday, but Tennessee couldn’t overcome a bad inning and South Bend dropped both games of the doubleheader. Myrtle Beach was rained out. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor league Cubs action:

Iowa Cubs (8-11)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
T-Third Place (-5.0)

Ryan Kalish finished a homer shy of the cycle as the I-Cubs topped Colorado Springs, 10-5.

  • RF Ryan Kalish (.413) went 3 for 4 with a double (4), a triple (2), an RBI (4), a walk and four runs scored. His four runs marked his best output since Aug. 9, 2009.
  • C Willson Contreras (.368) was 0 for 1 with four walks, an RBI (8) and two runs scored.
  • CF Albert Almora (.362) finished 3 for 5 with a three-run homer (3). He has had three-straight multi-hit games.
  • RHP Spencer Patton (IP, BB, 2 SO) has not allowed a run in his eight innings of work this season.

Tennessee Smokies (11-10)
Southern League (Double-A)
Third Place (-2.5)

Tennessee could not recover from Biloxi’s four-run fourth inning and fell 6-5.

  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.247) was 2 for 5 with a solo home run (4) and two runs scored.
  • RF Billy McKinney (.219) went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI (5).
  • 1B Taylor Davis (.339) added a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a double (3) and an RBI (10).
  • 2B Chesny Young (.384) finished 2 for 5 with an RBI (7) and a run scored.

South Bend Cubs (12-8)
Midwest League (Single-A)
Third Place (-1.5)

The SB-Cubs fell in a pair of seven-inning games to Quad Cities. The doubleheader was played to make up for Wednesday’s postponed game (rain). South Bend committed three errors en route to an 11-2 setback in Game One. The SB-Cubs outhit Quad Cities in Game Two, but lost 3-0.

  • DH P.J. Higgins (.310) was 2 for 3 in the first game and had three hits overall on the day.
  • SS Bryant Flete (.296) went 2 for 6 on the day with a double in Game One.
  • Three SB-Cubs hit doubles in Game Two.
  • DH Eloy Jimenez (.288) was 1 for 3 in the second game with his fifth double of the season.
  • 3B Jesse Hodges (.444) and 1B Matt Rose (.140) both went 1 for 3 with their first doubles of the season.
  • South Bend was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in Game Two.

Bricks and Ivy Ball raises $1.65 million for Cubs Charities

RickettsBricksIvy(Photo courtesy Chicago Cubs)

On Thursday night, guests gathered at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom to show their support for Cubs Charities at the sixth annual Bricks and Ivy Ball. The event raised more than $1.65 million, a fundraising record since the inception of the event, to support Cubs Charities’ programs. The sold-out benefit featured 2016 Chicago Cubs players, owners, alumni and executives who mingled with the more than 800 guests in attendance.

Cubs Charities sponsors three Signature Programs to further its mission to increase access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. The Cubs on the Move Fitness Program promotes a fitness plan and healthy eating campaign while encouraging kids to “Play Every Day.” The Cubs Charities Diamond Project expands opportunities for children to play baseball by creating or preserving green space and baseball facilities. Finally, the Cubs Scholars Program has enrolled 20 scholars and committed $400,000 in scholarships to these Chicago-area high school students, coupled with mentorship by Cubs associates and a program that promotes academic achievement and encourages post-secondary educational advancement.

“The generosity of our fans, players and corporate friends at this year’s sold-out Bricks and Ivy Ball is truly amazing,” said Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts. “We are proud of the impact we continue to make in the community by helping to build and improve ballparks, provide academic scholarships and engage children in fitness programs across Chicago. This has been a very productive year, and we look forward to building an even brighter future for Chicago’s next generation of All-Stars.”

Last year, the Cubs, Cubs Charities and Cubs Care combined to support donations of more than $3.4 million and thousands of autographed items, experiences and tickets to deserving nonprofit organizations. For more information, please visit


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