CHICAGO – The Cubs aren’t holding back in moving any tradable players.
Monday’s deal, which sent outfielder Scott Hairston and a player to be named later to the Washington Nationals for minor league right-hander Ivan Pineyro and a player to be named later, marked the Cubs’ second trade in the past week.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa before Monday’s game to add depth in the bullpen. The Cubs don’t have too many quality outfield options on the 40-man roster to fill Hairston’s spot on the bench.
Junior Lake, an infielder who has been playing in the outfield at Iowa for the past month, could be called up within the next month, especially if the Cubs trade right fielder Nate Schierholtz before the July 31 deadline. There are two spots open on the Cubs’ 40-man roster.
“We’ll probably keep Raley up until our bullpen is well rested,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We’ll make a final decision at that point, but we would like to add another right-handed bat.”
Hairston’s departure also forced manager Dale Sveum to adjust his plans for the designated hitter spot against the Sox. Sveum originally wanted Alfonso Soriano to DH to keep his legs fresh, but with two fewer outfielders available – Brian Bogusevic is still day to day (hamstring) – catcher Welington Castillo instead got the opportunity. Castillo, however, was scratched from the lineup because of flu-like symptoms and replaced by Luis Valbuena.
Wood unlikely to pitch in All-Star Game: Barring a rainout this week, left-hander Travis Wood probably will not be able to pitch in the All-Star Game.
Wood is on track to pitch Sunday against the Cardinals in the Cubs’ final game before the All-Star break. According to the collective bargaining agreement, Wood is eligible to pitch up to an inning in the All-Star Game if he wanted to, despite starting Sunday. However, Sveum doesn’t expect that will happen. Because of a taxed bullpen in addition to starter Carlos Villanueva building his pitch count since joining the rotation, Sveum implied it would be too hard to move Wood’s start to another day.
“We didn’t really have the ability to do that,” Sveum said. “Hopefully he gets to pitch in a lot more All-Star games. You try not to adjust things for something like that even though he obviously made the team and it’s going to be a great experience.”
Roster shuffle: Through the Cubs’ 87 games this season, 41 players have already been used including 23 pitchers.
When Raley makes his first appearance of the season, he will set the franchise record for players used (42) before the All-Star break. Last year marked the only other time in franchise history with at least 40 players made an appearance prior to the All-Star break.