Transactional News

Posted by Lionel on July 10, 2009.

The Cubs curse appears to be back, as just when the Cubs seem to be getting healthy, things start falling apart...

It started with Ryan Dempster, who as most of you know by now, caught his back leg hopping over the small "fence" that separates the dugout from the playing field. He thought he'd just bent the nail back and was going to pitch on Tuesday, but a precautionary X-Ray revealed a break in his big toe. He is saying 3 weeks, most people are saying it'll be more like 6.

To take Dempster's spot, the Cubs recalled Kevin Hart, who'd been sent down the day before when the team was healthy for a day. Hart started on Wednesday and pitched well. As a starter, he'd been pitching well at Iowa, with a 3-0 record and 1.41 ERA over 6 starts.

But with the transactions from Monday, the Cubs were playing a man short in the 'pen, so despite Hart's performance, he was sent back to Iowa yesterday. The Cubs called up Jeff Stevens to fill the vacant bullpen spot. With the All Star break upcoming, the Cubs won't need a fifth starter for a while, so there was no real need to keep Hart around. Stevens, of course, was the centerpiece in the Mark DeRosa trade. He had a 2.18 ERA over 30 relief appearances for Iowa and had struck out 43 in 41+ innings.

Additionally, Jason Waddell came off the D.L. and was sent to Iowa. If you remember, Waddell was called up to be another leftie in the 'pen, but was sent to the D.L. after 3 appearances with a non-baseball related injury.

In yet to be determined news, Geo Soto was scratched from Wednesday's game with a strained oblique muscle, which he pulled during BP. Another freak injury for the Cubs. The Cubs were supposed to review the MRI today to see the severity of it, but most people think they'll send him to the D.L. It'll give him a chance to get it back to 100%, instead of trying to play through it and possibly injuring it more. With the All Star break and the retroactivity to Wednesday, Geo would be able to come off the D.L. by the 22nd, which means he would only miss 11 games in total, and they'd probably hold off on activating him until the 24th, because of an off-day the 23rd.

The problem becomes what the Cubs do if Geo goes to the D.L. Koyie Hill slides into the starting spot and the current plan is to have him start and Jake Fox to be the emergency catcher (Fox was drafted as a catcher but moved a few years ago because he didn't have the tools of a major league catcher). But if Geo goes to the D.L., I'm assuming the Cubs will have to add a catcher to their 25 man roster. To do that, they will actually have to add one to their 40 man roster, because they only have Soto and Hill. The Cubs are only at 38 on their 40 man roster, so they have room, but then it becomes whether they add the AAA All Star Chris Robinson or Steve Clevenger. Robinson is the more experienced catcher, having spent the entire year at Iowa, while Clevenger is considered the 11th best prospect in the organization and excelled when he was with Tennessee. My guess is that Robinson would get the call, if the Cubs add a catcher, but I could see Clevenger added if the Cubs expected to protect him this fall by adding him to the 40 man.

And a quick little rumor for you, related to the roster. JH said yesterday that he's already talked to his scouts and spoken to the agent for B.J. Ryan, the former closer who was released by the Blue Jays yesterday. It could mean that JH is doing his due diligence, but it could mean he is considering adding Ryan to the mix. Ryan had a 6.53 ERA for the Jays this season.

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