Team Report - CHICAGO CUBS

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

CHICAGO -- Blocking out distractions is a necessity for players such as Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

But it was hard to ignore the hoopla and history surrounding Wrigley Field's 2014 centennial and the 100th birthday party staged Wednesday as the Cubs hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks in a day game at the landmark park.

"A lot of Hall of Fame players played here; a lot of world champions have played here," Rizzo said before Arizona beat Chicago 7-5. "Standing in the same box that Babe Ruth stood in ... As a kid growing up everyone mimics Babe Ruth; he's the best.

"It really is an honor to play here on a daily basis -- not just today but every day," he said. "And hopefully the rest of my career."

The Cubs donned throwback uniforms representing the Chicago Federals, the first team to play at Wrigley Field as part of the long-gone Federal League.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, wore uniforms of the Kansas City Packers, the Federals' opponent the day they made their debut on April 23, 1914.

Cubs manager Rick Renteria fondly remembers his first time at Wrigley Field.

"It was '86; it was September," he said. "You're in the big leagues. You're in a ballpark with a lot of history. ... I wanted to get out on the field and take it in."

Renteria had a single in his lone at-bat in that debut.

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 7-13

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Diamondbacks (RHP Mike Bolsinger, 0-1, 10.29 ERA) at Cubs (RHP Edwin Jackson, 1-1, 5.40)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Jeff Samardzija had another disappointing result -- a no-decision for the third time this season. And it wasn't his fault as the Cubs gave up a 5-2 lead and eventually the game long after their starter had departed. Samardzija allowed just two earned runs, walked two and struck out seven in his third no-decision. "We weren't able to close it out (for Samardzija)," manager Rick Renteria said. "He keeps pitching the way he's pitching and he'll get victories."

--CF Emilio Bonifacio's best numbers so far seem to come against lefties after sunset. Bonifacio entered Wednesday's game tops in the National League against lefties (.524) and was second at night with a .393 average. He was batting 6-for-15 (.400) in this week's homestand and stood fifth in batting (.351) and ninth in on-base percentage (.407).

--RHP Jake Arrieta is expected to make one more rehab start when he pitches at Double-A Tennessee. After that, the Cubs will evaluate whether to bring him back from the 15-day disabled list, where he's been with a shoulder injury. "It's getting close," manager Rick Renteria said. "We just have to make sure that he finished (his rehab) in a good way. He's progressing well. He's doing well."

--3B Luis Valbuena was out of the starting lineup after going 2-for-4 Tuesday in a victory over the Diamondbacks. He has appeared in 17 of the Cubs' first 19 games, including 10 starts at third base. "His on-base percentage has actually been extremely high, especially against right-handed pitching," Renteria said. "In general, he's got a decent on-base percentage (.423)." Valbuena is batting .364 (4-for-11) with four walks on the homestand. "He grinds out at-bats; he really does," Renteria said.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "A lot of Hall of Fame players played here; a lot of world champions have played here. ... It really is an honor to play here on a daily basis -- not just today but every day. And hopefully the rest of my career." -- 1B Anthony Rizzo, on the centennial celebration of Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--RF Justin Ruggiano (right leg) is scheduled to have an MRI after falling while chasing a ball April 23. Manager Rick Renteria said it could be a hamstring injury.

-- RHP Jake Arrieta will likely get one more rehab start before returning to the Cubs. Arrieta hasn't pitched in the majors this season because of right shoulder tightness, and had his fourth rehab appearance Monday, allowing five runs - three earned - and five hits over 5 2/3 innings. "He came out of it good," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.

--RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (Tommy John surgery in June 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. The Cubs hope he can return to major league action sometime during the summer.

--RHP James McDonald (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. There is no timetable for his return.

ROTATION:

RHP Jeff Samardzija

LHP Travis Wood

RHP Edwin Jackson

RHP Jason Hammel

RHP Carlos Villanueva

BULLPEN:

RHP Jose Veras (closer)

LHP James Russell

LHP Wesley Wright

RHP Justin Grimm

RHP Hector Rondon

RHP Pedro Strop

RHP Blake Parker

CATCHERS:

Welington Castillo

John Baker

INFIELDERS:

1B Anthony Rizzo

2B Darwin Barney

SS Starlin Castro

3B Mike Olt

INF Emilio Bonifacio

INF Luis Valbuena

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Junior Lake

CF Ryan Sweeney

RF Nate Schierholtz

OF Justin Ruggiano

OF Ryan Kalish

=

View Comments