Plus Five MPH is Back

Like a bad penny, the Cubs can't seem to catch a break. Here is the list of the broken catchers:

Steve Clevenger -Oblique rib cage strain. He is scheduled to return to the batting cage this weekend and might be ready to come off the DL by next weekend in Pittsburgh.

Geo Soto - Went on the DL with a knee meniscus tear and had it repaired/ trimmed on Friday. Out at least 3 weeks.

Welington Castillo - Had an MRI of his knee this am and has a mild medial collateral sprain. Out of action about one week if things go well.

So who is left, you ask? Hint: Blake Lalli isn't in the starting lineup tonight...

Blake Lalli?

He was brought up when Soto went on the DL. Hitting only .178 in 20 games in Iowa, he was supposed to be a warm body off the bench but not really expected to start.

Per this Carrie Muskat article (http://t.co./TxaA2klP), ol #55 is back to bring his replanted fingers to the catching corpse (pun intended). Remember that Hill had almost amputated several fingers in his throwing hand on October 16, 2007 in a table saw accident. His surgeon had him hold a baseball to put the fingers and thumb back, so that even if they wound up stiff, he'd be able to hold a ball. Switch hitting Hill is a stiff from either side of the plate. Career line  in 833 AB is .211/.275/.298/.573, but if it was possible to believe,  he is worse vs left handed pitching (.091/.167/.091/.258). 

In honor of the Kerry Wood retirement, the Cubs new braintrust wanted  to splurge but after a quick scouring of the minor leagues they settled for "cash considerations" to purchase the contract of Koyie Hill from the Reds. we all know Koyie can't hit and he continued to prove that with a .195 average in 14 games for AA Pensicola.

He's in the lineup tonight catching ol' pal Ryan Dempster, and to complete the Cubbery, he's hitting against a lefty starter (Danks).

Tonight's lineup: Johnson CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Mather 3B, Hill C, Dempster P vs. lefty John Danks, 2-4, 6.46 ERA

And Randy Wells is reported to be back from Iowa taking Kerry Wood's roster spot. I'm still not quite sure how Hill gets on the roster unless Castillo is going on the DL, but we  haven't gotten confirmation of that yet. It is possible that Casey Coleman will go back to Iowa as Travis Wood is scheduled to start Tuesday vs. Houston (in Volstad's spot) and Muskat tweets that Wells is supposed to be used in long relief this time around.

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Epic post header/headline.

*golf clap*

Sorry I couldn't embed links. Wrote this on my iPad as I'm away this weekend and it's much harder to craft the article this way.

(p.s. thanks Cubnut. Koyie Hill getting two TCR articles in one day would be legendary Cubbery)

Ok. CAstillo gets the lion's share of time behind the plate...Hill spells him twice a week until Clevenger or Soto is healthy.
Great.

Pathetic Cubs. Really..

cast is injured and svememem has already said k.hill will get most starts.

didn't see the Castillo injury until after i'd shot my mouth off..lulz

i imagine that would be the case if welly wasn't injured, but hill wouldn't be here if he wasn't so it's kinda moot.

they needed someone fast, but wow...k.hill? maybe dumpster put in a personal call.

But when Castillo is able to play again next weekend and/or Clevenger is ready to be activated off the DL, Hill will be outrighted to Iowa?.............Right?..............right??????????????

sadly (or not) it'll probably be blake lalalialilaili unless k.hill is totally inept.

They better not be starting Hill over any of these guys whenever they return. I would expect the rotation to be:

6 starts by Castillo vs. 1 start by Hill
6 starts by Clevenger vs. 1 start by Hill

Until then, the other guys need to step up in generating offense to fill the offensive void created by both Hill AND a pitcher both being in the batting order.

i imagine...hope...khill will be on backup duty (if lalialaili isn't the chosen one) once one of the other 3 come back.

barring lasting injury, i expect k.hill to be putting in significant AAA time (at least until Sept, if then).

Un. Fucking. Believable.

After watching all these Wood 20K highlights, I wonder what Sandy Martinez is up to these days. Couldn't possibly be worse than Hill.

Just looked it up for fun. He's only 41 years old, and had a .363 OBP in 1998. Despite being retired for 8 years, I'd still take him over 3-Finger Hill.

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  • I suspect the Cubs asked Chris Coghlan if he would accept an Optional Assignment to the minors and he refused (Coghlan has one minor league option left), so either you keep LaStella on the 25 and release Coghlan, or option LaStella to AAA for about a month and have both LaStella and Coghlan available in September-October. (As an Article XIX-A player, Coghlan must give his permission before he can be optioned to the minors, while LaStella has not accrued enough MLB Service Time to refuse an optional assignment).

    Arizona Phil 13 min 58 sec ago view
  • Given today's lineup -- maybe they just wanted an extra OF to give Dexter a few days off (i.e. day game after a night game).

    billybucks 16 min 8 sec ago view
  • Tommy LaStella has three minor leaue options left so it's no big deal to send him to Iowa, but as of right now he projects to be at 2+124 MLB Service Time by the end of the of the 2016 MLB regular season, which will place him "on the bubble" as far as being eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2016.

    But if he spends at least twenty days on optional assignment this season (anything less than twenty days and he will accrue a full season of MLB Service Time), he will not have enough MLB Service Time to have a chance to be a "Super Two."

    Arizona Phil 27 min 26 sec ago view
  • this will be his 4th time leading off for the cubs this season...WITH A .500 OB%! HAIL MADDON! THE PLAN (c)2016! HE HAS RISEN! #YOLO #SWAG! KONY 2012!

    crunch 35 min 2 sec ago view
  • I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.

    johann 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?

    billybucks 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.

    billybucks 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.

    johann 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.

    johann 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.

    Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.

    Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.

    Tito 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD

    crunch 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.

    Dusty Baylor 4 hours 28 min ago view