Inside Pitch: Cubs

When will the Cubs call up top prospect Anthony Rizzo? What's new on the injury front? The Sports Xchange examines the Cubs' hot topics.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum sounded prepared Wednesday for the changes that seem inevitable with his team.

Some will come through trades. Some will come with minor league call-ups, most notably first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

With the Cubs mired in last place in the National League Central, contending teams will be looking for sellers. The Cubs have two marketable pitchers in Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, who started Wednesday night's 8-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

"It's part of the game," Sveum said. "Hopefully when things like that happen, if you do make trades, you get people back who are going to impact your team in the next few years, if not right away. Those are the things you hope for."

Rizzo was one such player the Cubs got in a trade, obtaining him last winter for pitcher Andrew Cashner. Although he bruised his knee this week, the injury is not believed to be serious. Rizzo has 22 homers, and he has been talked about internally for several weeks.

"We've had them here and there, talked about it," Sveum said of Rizzo conversations. "We haven't come up with any set time yet. Obviously, we've talked about it. We still haven't come up with that set date."

NOTES, QUOTES

--3B Ian Stewart was a late lineup scratch because of recurring soreness in his left wrist, and manager Dale Sveum said he'd be placed on the disabled list Thursday. "He's been battling as much as he can through it," Sveum said. "It got to the point today where it's pretty bad." Stewart has been a disappointment so far, batting .201 with five homers. "There's been plenty of things suggested," Sveum said of working with Stewart. "It's just a matter of him applying it. He's got to be able to apply things in the game and batting practice and (have) willingness to make adjustments. That's the bottom line. We've got to make adjustments. Two hundred more at-bats. So we got to start getting some production out of that." The Cubs likely will call up INF Luis Valbuena from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa.

--RHP Ryan Dempster will start Friday's series opener against Boston on normal rest while RHP Jeff Samardzija will be pushed back one extra day, to Saturday. Samardzija most recently pitched Saturday at Minnesota, giving up nine hits and eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. The Cubs have given Samardzija an extra day whenever they could this year because he is in his first full season as a starting pitcher.

--CF Tony Campana stole three bases Tuesday night, giving him 21, which led the major leagues entering Wednesday. Campana did not join the Cubs from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa until April 21.

"When he gets on base, it just causes a lot of problems for the other manager," said manager Dale Sveum. The defense will have to rush things. Sometimes that stuff happens. Campy, when he gets on base, there's a lot of stuff going on. He just needs to be able to bunt in any situation, whether it's to get to (Starlin) Castro with men in scoring position or stuff like that. He's got to learn to do those kinds of things." Campana was 1-for-5 with no stolen bases Wednesday.

--RHP Matt Garza was cruising until the sixth inning, when he gave up four runs as the Tigers overcame a 4-1 deficit. Garza fell to 2-5 with a 4.04 ERA. His name came up in trade rumors last winter, and it's sure to do so again. "I just want to play, but it's not my choice," he said. "If they want to keep me here, I'm going to keep playing and going out there every five days and do what I'm set to do, and that's get as many outs as possible and keep my team in the ballgame. ... I'll pitch on the freakin' moon."

--LF Alfonso Soriano extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. He scored the 1,000th run of his career in the fifth. Since May 15, Soriano is batting .316 (31-for-98) with seven doubles, 12 homers, 24 RBI and a .755 slugging percentage. He leads the Cubs with 41 RBI.

BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- RHP Matt Garza's string of consecutive home starts allowing three or fewer earned runs is the longest by a Cubs pitcher since Mark Prior had a run of 16 in 2004 and '05.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "My life flashed before my eyes." -- RHP Matt Garza on fielding a hot comebacker off the bat of Ramon Santiago and getting the out.

MEDICAL WATCH:

--3B Ian Stewart (sore left wrist) will be placed on the disabled list June 14, manager Dale Sveum said. He's been bothered by the injury for much of the season.

--C Welington Castillo (sprained medial collateral ligament in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 19. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Tennessee on June 8.

--C Geovany Soto (arthroscopic left knee surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 17. He underwent a procedure May 18 to repair a torn meniscus. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Iowa on June 11.

--RHP Lendy Castillo (left groin strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 12.

--RHP Blake Parker (right elbow stress reaction) went on the 60-day disabled list June 6.

--RHP Marcos Mateo (ulnar neuritis in right arm) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4.


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