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Chicago Cubs Player Notes
For The Last 365 Days
 
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/28/2014 5:57:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has big day in finale.
Insight: He was 3-for-4 with with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored. Rizzo finishes off a monster year with a .286/.386/.527 line, along with 32 homers and 78 RBI.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/27/2014 10:40:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is a stunning 9-for-21 with five home runs and a 1.690 OPS versus Milwaukee right-hander Wily Peralta.
Insight: Rizzo's finally become what we though he could be, a top fantasy first baseman. He's batting .281 with 31 HR and 75 RBI. The RBI total figures to jump in the next few seasons as the talent around his rises.
Nate Schierholtz, RF9/27/2014 10:12:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is 5-for-11 (.455) will three extra-base hits and a 1.545 OPS versus Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi.
Insight: It's been an ugly season for Schierholtz batting .191 with seven homers and 37 RBI. He did have a pair of hits Thursday, but probably can't take advantage of the matchup.
Jake Arrieta, SP9/24/2014 10:48:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta continues stellar season.
Insight: He is now 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA. Arrieta has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season for the Cubs. He will be a high-risk, high-reward pick in 2015.
Kyle Hendricks, SP9/23/2014 10:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks takes no-decision Tuesday against the Cardinals.
Insight: He had a three-run lead, but gave them all back in the sixth inning. The big blow came on a two-run shot from Matt Holliday. Officially, Hendricks went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and struck out four.
Edwin Jackson, SP9/23/2014 5:47:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson has been demoted to Chicago's bullpen for the remainder of 2014.
Insight: With only a week left in the season, it should not be considered a big deal, but the move is a necessary one. Jackson has a 6.38 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 139 2/3 innings this season. He will look to rebound in 2015.
Chris Coghlan, CF9/21/2014 6:53:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan went 2-for-5 with a RBI and three strikeouts against the Dodgers on Sunday.
Insight: Coghlan followed up his 4-for-4 on Saturday with two more hits against Los Angeles. Coghlan is hitting .328/.371/.500 with seven RBI and eight runs in Septemeber.
Felix Doubront, SP9/20/2014 5:31:00 PM
Description: Cubs left-hander Felix Doubront cant get out of third inning against the Dodgers.
Insight: He just didnt have it today, as he was charged for six earned runs on six hits and three walks. Chicago's offense bailed him out however, and were able to pull out a come-from-behind win. Doubront will attempt to rebound during his last few starts of the season.
Chris Coghlan, CF9/20/2014 5:28:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan has monster game against the Dodgers.
Insight: He finsihed the game going 4-for-4 from the leadoff spot, with two homeruns and three RBI. His second homer capped a five-run comeback, as he hit a two-run shot in the 8th inning to give the Cubs the lead for good. Needless to say, this will most likely be Coughlan's best game of 2014.
Jorge Soler, RF9/19/2014 7:27:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler had a RBI-triple in Friday's loss to the Dodgers.
Insight: It was Soler's first career triple. Soler had one of 11 Cubs hits and scored one of the team's five runs. Los Angeles, however, won 14-5.
Jorge Soler, RF9/16/2014 11:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler went 2-for-3 with a home run against the Reds on Tuesday.
Insight: Soler grounded into a fielder's choice in the third to score Jake Arrieta and then hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Cubs' seventh and final run. Soler has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .373 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 51 at-bats.
Jake Arrieta, SP9/16/2014 11:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta threw a complete game one hitter, struck out 13 and walked just one to defeat the Reds, 7-0, on Tuesday.
Insight: It is the first complete game of Arrieta's career and the first complete game thrown by a Cubs starting pitcher this season. Arrieta nearly threw a no-hitter as he did not allow hit until Brandon Phillips doubled in the eighth. Cubs center fielder Matt Szczur made an incredile effort to try and catch Phillips' double, but he came up short. It has been a breakout year for Arrieta, who is 9-5 with a 2.65 ERA.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/16/2014 4:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was in line for a tough matchup against Reds' righty Johnny Cueto, so he'll sit Tuesday.
Insight: Fresh off his return to the Cubs' lineup and his walk-off homerun, Rizzo had poor numbers against Cueto. He has a .111 batting average (2-for-18), with five strikeouts against the Reds' ace.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/16/2014 11:42:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is in line for a tough matchup against Reds' righty Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Fresh off his return to the Cubs' lineup and his walk-off homerun, Rizzo heads into Tuesday's game with poor numbers against Cueto. He has a .111 batting average (2-for-18), with five strikeouts against the Reds' ace.
Jorge Soler, RF9/15/2014 4:03:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler (paternity) is back in the lineup Monday night against the Reds.
Insight: He missed Chicago's weekend series against the Pirates for the birth of his child. The Cubs' prized possesion is slashing .356 with 4 HR and 13 RBI in only 12 games. Insert him into your lineup as you normally would.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/15/2014 3:42:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (back) returns to the lineup Monday night.
Insight: He returns at a great time for Cubs' fans and fantasy owners. Not only is Rizzo having a career-year (.278 BA, 30 HR, 78 RBI), he also has solid numbers against Reds' starter Alredo Simon (4-for-12 with 2 HR). Owners can safely plug him into their lineups for the stretch run.
Javier Baez, 2B9/14/2014 7:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez was 1-for-3 with a stolen base and scored a run against the Pirates on Sunday.
Insight: Baez showed off his speed on Sunday, beating out an infield single and then stealing second. The throw allowed Baez to advance to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly. Baez is an exciting fantasy player in the future with tremendous power, and he is also 4-for-4 stealing bases.
Felix Doubront, SP9/14/2014 9:52:00 AM
Description: Cubs left-hander Felix Doubront threw six scoreless innings against the Pirates on Saturday to win his fourth game of the year.
Insight: Doubront allowed only five base runners, four hits and a walk, to the team with the highest on-base percentage in the league. Doubront has allowed three runs over 18 innings in his last three starts. He is 4-5 with a 5.00 ERA in 77 and 1/3 innings this season.
Javier Baez, 2B9/12/2014 11:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez hit a solo home run against the Pirates on Friday.
Insight: The homer was Baez's eighth of the season, but Baez is hitting just .173. He has 14 RBI and 16 RBI in 150 at-bats this season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/12/2014 6:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Friday that first baseman Anthony Rizzo (back) will likely not return this weekend according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Rizzo hopes to play early next week. He has not played since Aug. 26.
Jorge Soler, RFHot9/12/2014 2:44:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler will miss the weekend series with Pittsburgh for the birth of his child.
Insight: The 22-year-old is expected to return to the team Monday. He's started his career with a bang, batting .356 with four homers and 13 RBI in just 12 games.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/9/2014 2:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (back) took some light ground ball practice and a few swings in the cages, according to the team's site.
Insight: Rizzo (.278, 30 HR, 71 RBI, .889 OPS) hopes to return by the weekend. Chicago and fantasy owners have missed hit bat for too long. The left-handed slugger hasn't played since Aug 26.
Kris Bryant, 3BHot9/9/2014 2:16:00 PM
Description: Cubs minor league third baseman Kris Bryant was named the 2014 Minor league Player of the Year by Baseball America.
Insight: It wasn't much of a contest. The 22-year-old Bryant blasted 43 home runs, 78 extra-base hits, 110 RBI while batting a combined .325 at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He even stole 15 bases. He should be a fixture for the Cubs starting next season and he likely won't come cheap at your fantasy draft.
Mike Olt, 3B9/7/2014 7:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs third baseman Mike Olt had a career-day, hitting 3-for-3 with a RBI on Sunday against the Pirates.
Insight: Even with the three hits on Sunday, Olt is hitting .154 in 195 at-bats this season. At one point, fantasy owners could put up with the bismol batting average because he was on pace to hit 25 home runs. Olt's power numbers, however, have evaporated in the second half as he is sitting with 12 homers on the year. He is Dan Uggla with less power.
Welington Castillo, C9/7/2014 10:04:00 AM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo hit a single and drew a walk in his return to action on Saturday against the Pirates.
Insight: Castillo missed Friday's suspended game with lower back tightness. His back should not be an issue going forward. Castillo is hitting .235 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI.
Felix Doubront, SP9/6/2014 9:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs left-hander Felix Doubront followed up his stellar Cubs debut with two runs allowed in five innings in a loss to the Pirates on Saturday.
Insight: Doubront allowed five hits, struck out one and walked two. He is 1-1 as a Cubs with a 2.25 ERA in two starts. He still is only an emergency starter.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/6/2014 11:59:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is dealing with a strained muscle in his back and under normal conditions would be on the 15-day disabled list, but with expanded rosters that wasn't necessary.
Insight: Rizzo shouldn't be expected back for a while. That's a big bat out of the lineup for Chicago and fantasy owners (.278, 30 HR, 71 RBI, .889 OPS).
Starlin Castro, SS9/6/2014 10:58:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro's MRI showed a high-ankle sprain and he'll likely miss about four weeks ... a.k.a the remainder of the season.
Insight: Castro rebounded from 2013 to post solid numbers in 2014 - .292, 14 HR, 65 RBI and a .777 OPS, but it will be interesting to see if he's still with the team in 2015 because of all the shortstop talent the Cubs have in their minor league system.
Starlin Castro, SS9/2/2014 9:02:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro left Tuesday's game against the Brewers in the first inning with a leg injury.
Insight: Castro's leg looked like it was caught in the dirt when the shortstop slid awkwardly as he scored on a single. He walked off on his own power but with an obvious limp.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/2/2014 4:19:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is still not in the starting lineup with Chris Valaika taking the spot in the field and Luis Valbuena in the cleanup spot.
Insight: Chicago pulled Rizzo from last Tuesday's game with lower back tightness and he's missed the last five games. That's a big bat out of the lineup for Chicago and fantasy owners (.278, 30 HR, 71 RBI, .889 OPS).
Chris Coghlan, CFHot9/2/2014 10:13:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan is a career .667 hitter (6-for-9) versus Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: He's had a hot week, batting .375 over the past seven games. He's now hitting .276 with a .788 OPS in 301 at-bats this year and is a solid play Tuesday.
Jason Hammel, SP 9/1/2014 6:39:00 PM
Description: Athletics starter Jason Hammel allowed one run on three hits in eight innings Monday against the Mariners.
Insight: Hammel has given up six hits and two runs in his last 15 innings, but he still has a 4.98 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, a 32/19 K/BB and a 2.11 HR/9 in 47 innings since he joined Oakland.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/1/2014 12:02:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is not in the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Milwaukee.
Insight: Chicago pulled Rizzo from Tuesday's game with lower back tightness and missed all of the Cardinals series over the weekend. That's a big bat out of the lineup for Chicago and fantasy owners (.278, 30 HR, 71 RBI, .889 OPS).
Travis Wood, SP8/31/2014 7:15:00 PM
Description: Cubs left-hander Travis Wood struggled against the Cardinals on Sunday, allowing four runs on six hits in four and 2/3 innings. He tossed up two home runs, walked three and struck out two.
Insight: The poor start is a bit disappointing because Wood threw three shutout innings against the Reds in his last appearance. Wood received a no-decision. He is 8-11 with a 4.81 ERA in 161 innings this year.
Chris Coghlan, CF8/31/2014 7:06:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan went 3-for-4 with two RBI on Sunday against the Cardinals.
Insight: The 2009 NL Rookie of the Year has been a bit disappointing. He is hitting .273 with a .782 OPS in 297 at-bats this year.
Jeff Samardzija, SP8/31/2014 8:48:00 AM
Description: Athletics starter Jeff Samardzija was good, allowing just four hits and one earned run against the Angels Saturday night, but eight Los Angeles pitchers were better and the A's right-hander took a tough loss.
Insight: Samardzija had gone 4-4 with a 3.57 ERA, a 0.965 WHIP and a 62/10 K/BB over 75 2/3 innings after the trade.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/30/2014 3:26:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is expected to sit out the entire weekend series with the Cardinals according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Chicago pulled Rizzo from Tuesday's game with lower back tightness, and he has not returned. Hopefully, he can play on Monday. Chris Valaika looks to be the Cubs starting first baseman until then.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/30/2014 11:37:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is still not back in the starting lineup on Saturday due to back tightness.
Insight: The Cubs pulled Rizzo from Tuesday's game as a precaution, but it has to worry fantasy owners that he still has not returned. Chris Valaika will once again start at first base.
Jorge Soler, RF8/29/2014 11:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler continues his unbelievable start to his career, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI against the Cardinals on Friday.
Insight: The 22-year-old has seven hits in his first 11 at-bats in the big leagues. He also has six RBI, three runs and three home runs. If he isn't picked up already in your league, gladly take him.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/29/2014 5:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will not be back in the starting lineup on Friday.
Insight: Rizzo was reportedly removed from Tuesday's game as a precaution due to lower back tightness, but this is his third straight game he is missing. Chris Valaika is covering first base Friday.
Jake Arrieta, SP8/28/2014 4:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta wasn't at his best Thursday, yielding six runs to the Reds in four innings.
Insight: Arrieta has pitched very well this season and even after this poor outing still owns a 2.88 ERA. He's yielded four earned runs or more in just three of 21 starts this season, so ignore this start until it becomes a trend.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/28/2014 10:02:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will continue to miss time due to lower back tightness.
Insight: Rizzo hit his 30th home run of the season against the Reds before leaving Tuesday's game, didn't play Wednesday and isn't in Thursday's starting lineup.
Jorge Soler, RF8/27/2014 10:33:00 PM
Description: Cuban right fielder Jorge Soler went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI in his Major League debut Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Insight: The 22-year-old Cuban batted fifth and started in right field. Soler hit .340 with a .432 on-base percentage, 15 home runs and 57 RBI at Double-A and Triple-A this year and is a must-add in all leagues.
Jorge Soler, RF8/27/2014 4:54:00 PM
Description: Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler will make his major league debut on Wednesday, batting fifth in the Cubs lineup.
Insight: Soler batted .340 with a .432 on-base percentage, 15 home runs, and 57 RBI at Double-A and Triple-A this year. The outfielder signed a nine-year, $30 million deal in 2012 after defecting from Cuba.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/27/2014 4:36:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is still out of the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Reds due to lower back tightness.
Insight: Manager Rick Renteria downplayed the injury after Tuesday's game. Chris Valaika replaced Rizzo on Tuesday and will start at first base on Wednesday. Rizzo hit his 30th home run of the season against the Reds before leaving Tuesday's game.
Arismendy Alcantara, CF8/26/2014 10:49:00 PM
Description: Cubs center fielder Arismendy Alcantara has homered in back-to-back games.
Insight: Alcantara has gone 6-for-11 with three RBI and four runs in his last three games. The rookie has five homers, seven steals and 20 runs in 171 at-bats, but he's also hitting .228 with 51 strikeouts.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/26/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday at Cincinnati, but he left with lower back tightness.
Insight: It was a precautionary move, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Rizzo became the sixth player in baseball to reach 30 homers this season.
Travis Wood, SP8/26/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Chicago left-hander Travis Wood fired six scoreless innings of two-hit ball Tuesday at Cincinnati to improve to 8-11.
Insight: It was Wood's first win since June 15. He's recorded a 3.07 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in August but still has a 4.72 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP on the season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/26/2014 10:59:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is having a great season, but his Tuesday matchup with Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto should be avoided.
Insight: Rizzo has a career-high 29 home runs and 70 RBI, but he's 1-for-15 (.067) against Cueto.
Starlin Castro, SS8/25/2014 11:40:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has been activated from the bereavement list and will be available for Tuesday's game against Cincinnati.
Insight: Castro has rebounded with a solid season, batting .284 with 13 HR, 64 RBI and 53 runs. Javier Baez started at shortstop while Castro was out but will now go back to second.
Javier Baez, 2B8/25/2014 10:25:00 AM
Description: Cubs 2B Javier Baez will return to second base after Starlin Castro is activated from bereavement leave.
Insight: Hopefully the six games he played at shortstop will make him eligible in your league. He is still hitting just .207, but with seven home runs and 11 RBI in 82 at-bats he's shown he'll one day be one of the best power-hitting middle infielders in the league.
Starlin Castro, SS8/25/2014 10:22:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is expected to be activated from the bereavement list for Tuesday's game against Cincinnati.
Insight: Castro has rebounded with a solid season, batting .284 with 13 HR, 64 RBI and 53 runs. Javier Baez started at shortstop while Castro was out but will now go back to second.
Hector Rondon, RP8/24/2014 6:29:00 PM
Description: Cubs closer Hector Rondon picked up his 21st save of the season Sunday against the Orioles.
Insight: In his last eight innings, Rondon has allowed three hits, zero runs and zero walks. The 26-year-old has a 2.81 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 54 Ks in 51 1/3 innings this season.
Tsuyoshi Wada, RPHot8/24/2014 6:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada threw another gem Sunday against the Orioles, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing one run on one hit.
Insight: The 33-year-old Japanese rookie took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a solo homer to Steve Pearce. Wada struck out eight and is now 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 41 Ks in 45 2/3 innings. He should be added in most leagues.
Javier Baez, 2B8/23/2014 9:12:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS Javier Baez hit a solo home run, his seventh of the season, to help the Cubs defeat the Orioles, 7-2, on Saturday.
Insight: This is Baez's second home run since he took over the shortstop position in Starlin Castro's absence and his fourth since August 16. He is still hitting just .218 with seven home runs and 11 RBI in 78 at-bats this year.
Javier Baez, 2B8/22/2014 9:27:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS Javier Baez hit his sixth homer of the season Wednesday against the Orioles.
Insight: Baez has performed exactly as advertised. He's hitting .216 with six homers and 31 Ks in 74 at-bats. That's a pace of 40 homers and 209 strikeouts per 500 at-bats.
Jake Arrieta, SPHot8/22/2014 9:24:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta held the Orioles, his former team, to one run on four hits in seven innings Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: The O's likely wish they could have a do-over of the trade that sent Arrieta, a former high-level prospect, to the Cubs for Scott Feldman last season. Feldman is now in Houston and Arrieta is 7-4 with a 2.53 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 127 Ks in 124 1/3 innings.
Javier Baez, 2B8/21/2014 3:12:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez will play shortstop for the Cubs while Starlin Castro is on the bereavement list.
Insight: Baez has been playing mostly second base since his promotion to the Cubs on August 5. Castro lost a cousin and three close friends to a car crash on Wednesday and may be home in the Domincan Republic for an entire week. Baez has scored a run in each of his last three games.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/21/2014 9:31:00 AM
Description: The successful appeal by the San Francisco Giants isn't a bad thing for fantasy owners of players on both squads. It means more at-bats.
Insight: More is better. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo homered in the first five innings and should get two more at-bats. With 29 home runs and 69 RBI, he's on his way to the best season of his career.
Starlin Castro, SSHot8/20/2014 10:20:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro may miss up to a week after the death of a relative and three friends in a car crash in the Dominican Republic, according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago.
Insight: Castro will likely be placed on the bereavement list. Javier Baez started at shortstop Wednesday and may stay there until Castro returns.
Jeff Samardzija, SP 8/20/2014 9:25:00 PM
Description: Athletics starter Jeff Samardzija allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Mets.
Insight: Ironically, Samardzija's worst start with Oakland came against a National League team. The right-hander had gone 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and a 40/7 K/BB over 56 innings in his first eight starts with the A's.
Starlin Castro, SSHot8/20/2014 6:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has been scratched from the lineup Wednesday due to a family emergency, according to Patrick Mooney of csnchicago.com.
Insight: Castro has batted .380 with two homers, eight RBI and eight runs in August. Javier Baez, a shortstop by trade, will start in Castro's place while Chris Valaika handles second base.
Jason Hammel, SPCold8/19/2014 6:13:00 PM
Description: Athletics starter Jason Hammel's next turn through the rotation will be skipped, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Athletics have an important series against the Angels this weekend and cannot afford to run Hammel out there. Sonny Gray, Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir will start.
Insight: Hammel has gone 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP in seven starts since the A's acquired him from the Cubs. He's posted a 21/17 K/BB and given up a whopping nine home runs in that span. He was scheduled to start Friday against Hector Santiago.
Kris Bryant, 3B8/19/2014 4:42:00 PM
Description: Cubs minor league third baseman Kris Bryant doubled and walked in his return to the lineup at Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday.
Insight: Bryant only missed a few days due to a left big toe injury. The 22-year-old is having a monster year in Iowa with 40 home runs and 103 RBI in 126 games at Triple-A. It would be a surprise if he is not making his major league debut early next year.
Javier Baez, 2B8/18/2014 9:16:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez hit a two-run homer off Mets closer Jenrry Mejia in the ninth inning Monday afternoon.
Insight: Baez also struck out twice, giving him 11 in the last five games and 24 in 60 at-bats this season. He's hitting .233 with five homers and nine RBI.
Kyle Hendricks, SPHot8/18/2014 3:45:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks won his fourth straight decision Monday afternoon, holding the Mets to one run on three hits in seven innings. He also struck out three and walked two.
Insight: The only run Hendricks allowed on Monday was Lucas Duda's solo home run in the fourth. The 24-year-old is 5-1 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 48 2/3 innings pitched. Hendricks, however, will face the tough Orioles in his next start.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/18/2014 3:39:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and walk in Chicago's 4-1 victory over the Mets on Monday afternoon. Rizzo scored the tying run in the sixth after hitting a double and his home run in the eighth put the Cubs ahead for good.
Insight: Rizzo struggled in the first three games of the series against the Mets going 0-for-10. This season though the first baseman is second in the National League with 28 home runs and 10th in RBI with 67. The Cubs return home for a series against the Giants starting Tuesday.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/18/2014 3:33:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and walk in Chicago's 4-1 victory over the Mets on Monday afternoon. Rizzo scored the tying run in the sixth after hitting a double and his home run in the eighth put the Cubs ahead for good.
Insight: Rizzo struggled in the first three games of the series against the Mets going 0-for-10. This season though the first baseman is second in the National League with 28 home runs and tenth in RBI with 67. The Cubs return home for a series against the Giants starting Tuesday.
Matt Szczur, CF8/18/2014 10:50:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfield prospect Matt Szczur will get his first major league start Monday versus Bartolo Colon and the Mets.
Insight: Szczur got into Sunday's game as a pinch runner and grounded into a fielder's choice to second in the ninth inning. He's better known for his football acumen, helping Villanova win the 2009 FCS championship with 270 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
Jake Arrieta, SPHot8/17/2014 4:50:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta gave up just two hits over seven innings Sunday, but didn't earn the win when Pedro Strop gave up a run in the eighth inning.
Insight: Arrieta has been impressive this season despite a 6-4 record that belies the rest of the numbers. His ERA is down to 2.61 with a 1.022 WHIP and 122 Ks in 117 1/3 IP.
Jason Hammel, SPCold8/15/2014 10:38:00 PM
Description: Athletics starter Jason Hammel allowed five runs on six hits (3 HR) in three innings Friday night at Atlanta.
Insight: Hammel is now 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP in seven starts since the A's acquired him from the Cubs. He's posted a 21/17 K/BB and given up a whopping nine home runs in that span.
Javier Baez, 2B8/14/2014 7:27:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez may be a star in the making, but he still has a way to go.
Insight: Witness his four strikeous this afternoon. Of course, he's also slammed four home runs in just 10 games. There's a lot of talent there.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/13/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo homered for his second straight game Wednesday against the Brewers.
Insight: Rizzo didn't hit one out of the park from July 23 to Aug. 11, but he's unlocked his power once again. He's second in the NL with 27 bombs.
Tsuyoshi Wada, RPHot8/13/2014 10:42:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada held the Brewers to two runs on five hits and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings Wednesday to win his second game of the season.
Insight: Wada has a 3.15 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 30 Ks in 34 1/3 innings. The 33-year-old lefty has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts this season.
Javier Baez, 2BHot8/13/2014 6:37:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez hit his fourth homer of the season Wednesday against the Brewers.
Insight: He's done that in just 41 at-bats. The free-swinging Baez has struck out 13 times as well, but has avoided the K in each of his last two games.
Starlin Castro, SSHot8/13/2014 12:38:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has batted .400 with three doubles, a homer and five RBI in August, but Brewers Kyle Lohse has held him to a .194 average.
Insight: Castro is 7-for-36 (.194) with no extra-base hits, one RBI and three Ks against Lohse. He's not a good fantasy option Wednesday.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/13/2014 12:36:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run since July 22 Tuesday against the Brewers, and he's batted .450 in 20 career at-bats against Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Rizzo is 9-for-20 with two doubles and two walks against Lohse, Wednesday's starter. That makes Rizzo a good first base choice.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/12/2014 10:46:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run since July 22 Tuesday against the Brewers.
Insight: Rizzo hit eight home runs in a span of 12 games from July 7 to July 22 and at one point was the NL leader in homers, but he was stuck on 25 until Tuesday.
Kyle Hendricks, SP8/12/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks held the Brewers scoreless on six hits in 7 1/3 innings Tuesday to win his third straight start.
Insight: Hendricks had a 3.59 ERA and a 97/23 K/BB over 102 2/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa this season prior to his call-up earlier this month, and he's gone 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and 26 Ks in 41 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old is worth a shot in 12-team mixed leagues.
Starlin Castro, SSHot8/12/2014 10:02:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is a lifetime .476 hitter (10-for-21) versus Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta.
Insight: Castro (.281, 12 HR, 61 RBI) has been hot since the break batting over .300 in the past 23 games. Hot hitter plus favorable matchup equals must start.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/12/2014 9:59:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is a career 8-for-19 (.421) with four home runs and a 1.581 OPS versus Brewers starter Wily Peralta.
Insight: Rizzo is putting together the best season of his career (.278, 25 HR, 62 RBI, .873 OPS) though he's had a tough week, going just 4-for-22 in the past five games. This favorable matchup may reverse the current trend.
Felix Doubront, SP8/11/2014 9:58:00 AM
Description: Cubs left-hander Felix Doubront worked out in the bullpen over the weekend.
Insight: It's unclear if Doubront will get a chance to start with Chicago, as Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada ave pitched well lately, but he needs a rehab assignment before he'll be ready to pitch.
Jason Hammel, SP 8/10/2014 7:13:00 PM
Description: Athletics starter Jason Hammel gave up one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings Sunday against Minnesota.
Insight: Hammel went 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP over 17 innings in his first four starts with Oakland before holding the Rays scoreless his last time out, which he did despite giving up 11 baserunners in 5 2/3 innings. He has a 19/16 K/BB in 29 innings with the A's and will remain a shaky option.
Javier Baez, 2BHot8/10/2014 6:37:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Javier Baez went 2-for-6 with one RBI Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: In his first six MLB games, Baez has hit .276 with three homers and five RBI, but he's also struck out 10 times in 23 at-bats. The 21-year-old is an all-world talent, but he's going to have growing pains and his trade value likely won't be higher than it is right now, at least in 2014. It's a different story in keeper leagues, of course.
Travis Wood, SP 8/10/2014 6:35:00 PM
Description: Chicago left-hander Travis Wood threw his best start since June 15 Sunday against Tampa Bay, allowing one unearned run on four hits in six innings.
Insight: Wood had a 3.11 ERA in 200 innings last season, but he's regressed horribly in 2014. In 139 innings, he's posted a 4.86 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.
Tsuyoshi Wada, RP8/8/2014 7:44:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six over six innings Friday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: The 33-year-old lefty has recorded a 3.25 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 25 Ks in 27 2/3 innings this season. He came over from Japan in 2012 but needed Tommy John surgery and didn't make his debut until this July.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/8/2014 11:59:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is back in Friday's starting lineup after a routine day off Thursday night.
Insight: Rizzo is two home runs behind Giancarlo Stanton for the NL league lead and is putting together the best season of his career (.281, 25 HR, 61 RBI, .890 OPS).
Javier Baez, 2BHot8/7/2014 6:18:00 PM
Description: Welcome to Javier Baez's world, Major League Baseball.
Insight: Baez is three games into his major league career and he's averaging a home run a game after blasting two more Thursday afternoon. His home run total ties him with Prince Fielder, Derek Jeter and Angel Pagan. Saying his future is bright is an understatement, though obviously he won't keep up this pace.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/7/2014 1:32:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: No injury, just a routine day off against a left-hander he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in their last meeting. Rizzo is one home run behind Giancarlo Stanton for the NL league lead and is putting together the best season of his career.
Javier Baez, 2B8/6/2014 1:10:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS prospect Javier Baez went 1-for-6 with a solo homer and three strikeouts in his MLB debut Tuesday at Colorado. His home run put Chicago ahead in the top of the 12th inning.
Insight: Tuesday's game summed up Baez pretty well. He struck out 130 times in 388 at-bats with Triple-A Iowa this season but also had 49 extra-base hits (23 HR), 80 RBI and 16 steals in that span. He'll have some growing pains, but the 21-year-old should be owned in all leagues.
Javier Baez, 2B8/5/2014 4:58:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS prospect Javier Baez will make his major league debut Tuesday in Colorado.
Insight: The natural shortstop and Chicago's top prospect, has been working at second base in Iowa and will play there and bat second. The bat shouldn't be a problem (23 HR, 80 RBI at Triple-A) as long as he can play on the other side of second base.
Javier Baez, 2B8/4/2014 1:58:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS prospect Javier Baez is expected to be called up Tuesday to join the Cubs for the first game of the series in Colorado, according to baseball analyst Bruce Levine.
Insight: The natural shortstop and Chicago's top prospect, has been working at second base in Iowa. The bat shouldn't be a problem (23 HR, 80 RBI at Triple-A) as long as he can play on the other side of second base.
Starlin Castro, SS8/3/2014 1:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is getting the day off Sunday.
Insight: It's a little surprising considering castro has six hits over the past two games, but it will be his first missed game of the season. Castro (.275, 11 HR, 57 RBI) has bounced back from a mediocre last season and is putting together a solid year.
Jake Arrieta, SPHot7/31/2014 7:07:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta gave up three hits and a run over seven innings Thursday against the Rockies.
Insight: Arrieta has been downright dominant this season, throwing 98 innings and posting a 2.11 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a 106/28 K/BB. Since June 8, he's allowed a measly 34 hits, 15 walks and 13 earned runs in 68 innings (1.72 ERA, 0.72 WHIP).
Felix Doubront, SPCold7/30/2014 8:35:00 PM
Description: The Red Sox have traded left-hander Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later.
Insight: Doubront said earlier this week that he wanted to be traded if Boston didn't plan to give him his starting job back, and he then went out and gave up six runs on six hits over 2/3 of an inning in relief on July 28. It's unclear if Doubront will get a chance to start with Chicago, as Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada ave pitched well lately.
Jason Hammel, SPCold7/30/2014 4:56:00 PM
Description: Jeff Samardzija has done pretty well in his transition to the AL, but Jason Hammel has been terrible since the two pitchers joined the Athletics in a trade from the Cubs.
Insight: Hammel allowed eight runs on seven hits (2 HR) over 4 1/3 innings Wednesday at Houston. In four starts with Oakland, he has gone 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP in 17 innings. He was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 108 2/3 innings with Chicago.
Kyle Hendricks, SP7/27/2014 5:07:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was strong again Sunday against the Cardinals (6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB) and is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP after his first three starts in the majors.
Insight: Hendricks had a 3.59 ERA and a 97/23 K/BB over 102 2/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa this season prior to his call-up earlier this month. He'll likely be in the rotation for the rest of the season.
Ryan Sweeney, CF7/27/2014 12:16:00 PM
Description: Chicago outfielder Ryan Sweeney has gone 3-for-7 with two homers and five RBI his last two games and he's mashed against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Wainwright is one of the best in the game, but Sweeney is 5-for-12 (.417) with three doubles and a homer against him. He's only hitting .224 with a .588 OPS, but is a decent fantasy option Sunday.
Neil Ramirez, RP7/26/2014 1:24:00 PM
Description: Cubs young relief pitcher Neil Ramirez was send to Iowa of the PCL.
Insight: A bit confusing since the 25-year-old right-hander was pitching excellent baseball. He has not given up an earned run in his last 12 outings. Ramirez is 1-1 with a 0.96 ERA, 0.929 WHIP and 36 strikeouts in 28 IP.
Ryan Sweeney, CF7/25/2014 9:34:00 PM
Description: Chicago outfielder Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBI Friday against St. Louis.
Insight: Sweeney has hit his only two homers this season in his last 10 games. He's batting .221 with a .566 OPS this year and isn't a fantasy option.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B7/25/2014 10:14:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is just 1-for-16 (.063) against St. Louis right-hander Joe Kelly.
Insight: For his career, Rizzo has hit 41 point higher against right-handers, but in 2014 he's hit lefties better than righties by 39 points. Rizzo leads the NL in home runs with 25 and is batting .367 over the past two weeks so may be able to overcome this poor matchup.
Nate Schierholtz, RFCold7/25/2014 9:32:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is 6-for-13 (.462) against Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly.
Insight: His surprising 21 HR season of a year ago is a thing of the past as he's batting .199 with five homers and 31 RBI. Despite a favorable matchup we recommend avoiding him until we see signs of life.
Edwin Jackson, SP7/24/2014 10:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson left in the sixth inning of Thursday's game with a cramp in his right hand.
Insight: Jackson wasn't pitching that well anyway, having given up seven hits and five earned runs when the trainer made a visit. He has no fantasy value the way he's throwing this season (5-10, 5.61 ERA, 1.56 WHIP entering today's game).
Kyle Hendricks, SP7/22/2014 10:50:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks blanked the Padres over seven innings Tuesday night to pick up his first career win.
Insight: Hendricks had a 3.59 ERA and a 97/23 K/BB over 102 2/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa this season. He has a shot to remain in the Cubs rotation for the rest of the season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot7/22/2014 10:49:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo has hit five home runs in four games since the All-Star break.
Insight: Rizzo has gone off for eight homers in July and leads the NL with 25 on the year. He's rebounded from a .233 average, 23 home runs and a .742 OPS last year to hit .283 with a .924 OPS this season. His 67 runs rank second among first basemen.
Arismendy Alcantara, 2BHot7/22/2014 10:49:00 PM
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara wnt 1-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday against the Padres.
Insight: Darwin Barney was designated for assignment on Tuesday, so Alcantara have a starting spot for the remainder of 2014. He batted .307 with 46 extra-base hits (10 HR) and 21 steals in 335 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa before his call-up and has hit .282 with two home runs, seven RBI and three steals in 39 at-bats so far.
Arismendy Alcantara, 2BHot7/22/2014 5:48:00 PM
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara has hit .286 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, six RBI, three steals and seven runs in eight games since his promotion.
Insight: Darwin Barney was designated for assignment on Tuesday, so Alcantara will be Chicago's starting second baseman for the remainder of 2014. He batted .307 with 46 extra-base hits (10 HR) and 21 steals in 335 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa before his call-up.
Darwin Barney, 2B7/22/2014 10:19:00 AM
Description: Cubs backup second baseman Darwin Barney isn't getting regular playing time these days, but could get a rare start Tuesday in a favorable matchup.
Insight: Arismendy Alcantara has been starting most of the time at second base. Barney is a career 6-for-12 with five extra-base hits versus Padres left-hander Eric Stults.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot7/20/2014 7:40:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo has hit three home runs since the All-Star break and is tied with Giancarlo Stanton for first in the NL with 23 homers.
Insight: Rizzo had just 23 homers in 606 at-bats last season. He's taken 356 at-bats to reach the mark in 2014 and has hit .281 with 53 RBI, 65 runs and a .907 OPS.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B7/19/2014 10:49:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a pair of home runs Friday night, but doesn't have a favorable matchup on Saturday.
Insight: Rizzo is just 1-for-10 against left-hander Wade Miley and a career .219 against southpaws although he's turned that statistic around this season (.308, 7 HR, 17 RBI in 91 ABs).
Starlin Castro, SS7/18/2014 12:18:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is just 1-for-11 (.091) against Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill.
Insight: Castro (.276, 11 HR, 52 RBI) has bounced back from last season and is putting together another solid season. Just don't use him Friday in an unfavorable matchup.
Arismendy Alcantara, 2BHot7/13/2014 5:59:00 PM
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara has batted .391 with three doubles, a triple, a homer and five RBI in his first 23 at-bats.
Insight: Alcantara wasn't expected to stay with the Cubs for long, but the prospect could begin the second half as the team's full-time starter ahead of Darwin Barney.
Chris Coghlan, CFHot7/13/2014 5:56:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan has batted .435 with eight doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI in July.
Insight: The 29-year-old won NL Rookie of the Year in 2009 but he's done nothing of note since then. He's batting .275 with five home runs, 16 RBI and an .832 OPS in 149 at-bats this year.
Justin Ruggiano, RFHot7/12/2014 10:38:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Justin Ruggiano is 7-for-20 (.350) with a pair of home runs versus Braves starter Mike Minor.
Insight: The career .256 hitter is smoking hot batting .395 with a 1.027 OPS over the past two weeks and is a viable fantasy option in this favorable matchup.
Arismendy Alcantara, 2BHot7/10/2014 5:16:00 PM
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara posted four hits on Thursday, scoring twice, knocking in three runs and missing the home run for a cycle.
Insight: Alcantara is a much lower-rated prospect than fellow Cubs middle infielder Javier Baez, but he's still a top-100 overall prospect and could provide fantasy teams with speed (21 steals at Iowa).
Justin Ruggiano, RF7/10/2014 9:30:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Justin Ruggiano is batting .407 this week, but does not have a favorable matchup against Cincinnati right-hander Homer Bailey.
Insight: The career .256 hitter is as hot as he's every been, but Ruggiano is 0-for-7 with four strikeouts in his meetings with Bailey. Look elsewhere.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot7/10/2014 9:27:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is a career .375 hitter against Reds starter Homer Bailey (6-for-16).
Insight: Rizzo is tied for second in the NL with 20 homers after he went deep for the third time in his last four games Wednesday at Cincinnati. Hot hitter plus favorable matchup equals must start.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot7/9/2014 10:05:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo homered for the third time in his last four games Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Insight: Rizzo is tied for second in the NL with 20 homers. He's making a good impression on fans who are participating in the Final Vote for the All-Star game.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B7/8/2014 10:06:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 1-for-12 (.083) against Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Rizzo (.274) is tied for second in the NL with 18 homers. He's one of five players eligible for the Final Vote for the NL All-Star team. This matchup probably won't help.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B7/7/2014 11:05:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-5 with a homer and two RBI Monday at Cincinnati.
Insight: Rizzo (.274) is tied for second in the NL with 18 homers. He's one of five players eligible for the Final Vote for the NL All-Star team.
Justin Ruggiano, RFHot7/7/2014 4:03:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Justin Ruggiano is 16-for-35 (.457) over the past two weeks.
Insight: Ruggiano has been particularly good away from Wrigley Field this season, batting .328 with a .955 OPS on the road. The Cubs are in Cincinnati tonight.
Nate Schierholtz, RF7/7/2014 11:16:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is 9-for-19 (.474) against Cincinnati Reds tight-hander Mike Leake.
Insight: After an impressive 21 homer season a year ago, Schierholtz has struggled, batting just .212 with five homers and 31 RBI in 77 games, but has a favorable matchup Monday.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot7/6/2014 8:42:00 PM
Description: Right-hander Jeff Samardzija made his Oakland debut Sunday against the hard-hitting Toronto Blue Jays and looked like the ace the A's traded for.
Insight: Samardzija went seven innings, giving up just one run on four hits while stiking out five. He's going to like pitching in Oakland's spacious ball park versus the "friendly confines of Wrigley Field." He's going to like the Oakland offense too.
Jeff Samardzija, SP7/6/2014 11:28:00 AM
Description: Right-hander Jeff Samardzija will make his Oakland debut Sunday against the hard-hitting Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Coliseum.
Insight: It's an unfriendly welcome to the American League for Samardzija, who will face the league's top power offense. Still, pitching at Oakland is something the righty (2-7, 2.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) could certainly get used to.
Addison Russell, SS7/5/2014 2:03:00 PM
Description: Minor league shortstop prospect Addison Russell has been traded to the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: Russell is a shortstop by trade, but the Cubs already have Starlin Castro at the major league level and Javier Baez in the minors. It will be interesting to see how the Cubs resolve the log jam.
Jason Hammel, SP7/5/2014 1:59:00 PM
Description: Right-hander Jason Hammel has been traded to Oakland along with Jeff Samardzija.
Insight: Hammel is 8-5 on the year with a smart 2.98 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 104 Ks in 108 2/3 innings. It will be interesting to see who gets dropped from the A's already strong starting rotation.
Jeff Samardzija, SP7/5/2014 1:56:00 PM
Description: Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has been traded along with Jason Hammel to the Oakland A's.
Insight: The pitching-rich A's just got stronger. Samardzija (2-7, 2.83 ERA) could be a great move and should jump right into the strating rotation, possibly for Sunday's game against the Blue Jays.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B7/5/2014 10:42:00 AM
Description: Don't be surprised if Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo gets Saturday's game off.
Insight: Rizzo is hitless in eight tries against left-hander Gio Gonzalez over his career as is a lifetime .214 against southpaws. He has been better in 2014 in limited action against left-handers (.295) and is putting together a solid season batting .276 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI.
Jason Hammel, SPHot7/4/2014 8:53:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel has allowed two runs in each of his last three starts.
Insight: Hammel improved to 8-5 on the year after going six innings and striking out seven batters Friday. The right-hander has been terrific this season, posting a 2.98 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 104 Ks in 108 2/3 innings. Along with teammate Jeff Samardzija, he's one of the top pitchers available on the trade market.
Justin Ruggiano, RFHot7/4/2014 8:50:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Justin Ruggiano has gone 7-for-14 with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI in the first three games of July.
Insight: Ruggiano entered the month with a .240 average and a .718 OPS on the season, but he's up to .271 with an .817 OPS after the last three games.
Jake Arrieta, SPHot6/30/2014 10:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta no-hit the Red Sox for 7 2/3 innings Monday night before allowing a single to Stephen Drew.
Insight: Arrieta had a no-hitter through six innings his last start and has gone on an unbelievable run lately. In June, the 28-year-old right-hander went 4-0 with a 0.92 ERA, a 0.69 WHIP and a 48/6 K/BB in 39 1/3 innings. The former Orioles prospect has finally figured things out and should be owned in all leagues. He has a 1.81 ERA and a 1.96 FIP in 64 2/3 innings this season.
Dallas Beeler, RP6/28/2014 7:29:00 PM
Description: Cubs pitcher Dallas Beeler struck out six and allowed one run (zero earned) on four hits over six innings in his major league debut Saturday against Washington.
Insight: Beeler is a non-prospect who had a 4.03 ERA and 43 Ks in 60 1/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa this season. He doesn't need to be owned outside of deep NL-only leagues.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/28/2014 10:56:00 AM
Description: Don't be surprised if Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo gets the first game of Saturday's doubleheader off. Update: Rizzo is in the lineup for the opener.
Insight: Rizzo is hitless in six tries against left-hander Gio Gonzalez over his career as is a lifetime .216 against southpaws. He has been better in 2014 against left-handers and is putting together a solid season batting .289 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/28/2014 10:12:00 AM
Description: Don't be surprised if Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo gets the first game of Saturday's doubleheader off.
Insight: Rizzo is hitless in six tries against left-hander Gio Gonzalez over his career as is a lifetime .216 against southpaws. He has been better in 2014 against left-handers and is putting together a solid season batting .289 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI.
John Baker, C6/27/2014 10:02:00 PM
Description: Cubs catcher John Baker stroked three hits in Friday night's win over Washington.
Insight: He finished with four RBI, the same number he had in his first 36 games. Despite Friday's performance, Baker (.186, 0 HR, 8 RBI) isn't a strong fantasy option.
Jason Hammel, SPCold6/27/2014 11:02:00 AM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel has a stellar 2.99 ERA this season, but he hasn't pitched particularly well of late.
Insight: Hammel (6-5, 2.99 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) owns an 0-2 record with a 5.00 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in his last three starts. Avoid him against the Nationals on Friday.
Junior Lake, CF6/26/2014 10:03:00 PM
Description: Chicago outfielder Junior Lake exited Thursday's game after running into the center field fence. SOURCE: Mark Zuckerman, Comcast Sportsnet Washington
Insight: Nate Schierholtz (.201, 3 HR, 27 RBI) replaced him before he got to see an at bat. Lake (.239, 9 HR, 25 RBI) appeared to injure his leg but we should know more on his status after the game.
Manny Ramirez, OF6/25/2014 8:02:00 PM
Description: Manny Ramirez will report to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday. SOURCE: Anna Fogel, NESN
Insight: Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Cubs last month and has spent most of June at the team's spring training complex in Arizona. Team president Theo Epstein already said it's unlikely Ramirez will be called up this season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot6/24/2014 9:42:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo homered for the second time in his last three games Monday against the Reds.
Insight: Rizzo is hitting .312 with six bombs, 15 RBI, 17 runs and a 1.028 OPS in June. With a .281 average, 16 home runs, 43 RBI, 50 runs and a .913 OPS, he's been significantly better than he was in 2013.
Jason Hammel, SP6/22/2014 5:39:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings Sunday against the Pirates, but the Cubs scored just one run and Hammel dropped to 6-5.
Insight: Hammel (6-5, 2.99 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) will be out of Chicago soon, that's a given. However, his fantasy value would worsen if he's traded to an AL team, much like Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Scott Feldman in the previous two seasons.
Starlin Castro, SSHot6/20/2014 9:26:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has gone 21-for-49 (.429) with eight doubles, four home runs and 14 RBI in his last 13 games.
Insight: Castro (.290, 11 HR, 43 RBI) didn't have more than three homers or 12 RBI in any month last season, but he already has two months with at least four homers and has produced at least 12 RBI in all three months this season. He's on pace to shatter his career highs of 14 home runs and 78 RBI.
Kris Bryant, 3B6/20/2014 2:40:00 PM
Description: Cubs head man Theo Epstein said he doesn't see Kris Bryant coming to the "big club" this season, according to a Jesse Rogers report.
Insight: Bryant is crushing the ball in the minors, hitting .355 with 22 HR and a 1.160 OPS at Double-A Tennessee. With the Cubs not expecting to contend for a while, there would be no reason to rush him to the majors ... other than for fantasy owners.
Starlin Castro, SSHot6/20/2014 9:35:00 AM
Description: Shortstop Starlin Castro is a career .458 hitter (11-for-24) with a pair of home runs versus Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton.
Insight: He has 40 RBI in 70 games, putting him on pace for 93 RBI, which would shatter his career high of 78. With 10 home runs, he's also on pace to exceed his career high in homers by nine. And in his fifth season, he's still just 24-years-old.
Starlin Castro, SS6/18/2014 6:02:00 PM
Description: Shortstop Starlin Castro has become a strong run producer for the Cubs this season.
Insight: He has 40 RBI in 70 games, putting him on pace for 93 RBI, which would shatter his career high of 78. With 10 home runs, he's also on pace to exceed his career high in homers by nine.
Jake Arrieta, SPHot6/18/2014 6:00:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta struck out a career-high 11 batters and allowed one run on five hits in seven innings Wednesday at Miami.
Insight: Arrieta has posted a 27/2 K/BB and allowed one run on 10 hits in his last 23 innings. The 28-year-old is now 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP and should be added in all leagues due to his pedigree as a former top-75 prospect for the Orioles. In 101 2/3 innings since the O's dealt him to Chicago last season, Arrieta has a 2.83 ERA.
Starlin Castro, SS6/15/2014 4:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro contributed three hits Sunday against the Phillies.
Insight: His third inning single brought home Chicago's second run of the afternoon. The 24-year-old is on pace to set new career-highs in both home runs and RBI.
Travis Wood, SPHot6/15/2014 4:26:00 PM
Description: Chicago left-hander Travis Wood was excellent Sunday in a win against the Phillies.
Insight: Wood (7-5, 4.48 ERA) limited Philadelphia to three hits over eight shutout innings. He's won his last two starts, compiling a 1.84 ERA during that span.
Hector Rondon, RP6/15/2014 12:02:00 PM
Description: Cubs closer Hector Rondon (elbow) could be available Sunday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "He got through an 11-pitch pen," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Saturday. "He threw breaking balls. He didn't have any setbacks. And we'll see how he feels (Sunday morning), how he reacts."
Insight: Rondon has been dealing with elbow soreness and the Cubs have been taking the proper precautions with a pitcher who's had Tommy John surgery in the past.
Starlin Castro, SS 6/15/2014 11:17:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro has gone 10-for-25 (.400) with two doubles against Phillies starter A.J. Burnett.
Insight: Castro has picked up five doubles and two homers while hitting .260 in June. He'll face Burnett Sunday, so he should be one of your shortstop options.
Mike Olt, 3B6/14/2014 6:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs third baseman Mike Olt hit his 10th homer of the season Saturday at Philadelphia.
Insight: Olt is on pace for 25 homers, but he's only hitting .152. Since 1901, the lowest batting average for a player who hit at least 20 homers in that season is .179 by Rob Deer in 1991 and Dan Uggla in 2013.
Jake Arrieta, SPHot6/13/2014 10:38:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta had a good showing Friday against the Phillies.
Insight: Arrieta (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 9 K's, 1 BB) has been sensational over his last two starts, limiting opponents to just five hits over 13 scoreless frames. His strikeout to walk ratio over that stretch is 16 to 1.
Emilio Bonifacio, IF/OF6/13/2014 8:12:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/CF Emilio Bonifacio has been placed on the 15-day DL.
Insight: He suffered a rib cage injury in Thursday's loss to Pittsburgh. Bonifacio's post in center field will be filled by Ryan Sweeney (.193, 0 HR, 6 RBI), who was just activated earlier today.
Ryan Sweeney, CF6/13/2014 3:12:00 PM
Description: Chicago outfielder Ryan Sweeney will bat second and play center field in Friday's series opener against Philadelphia.
Insight: Its a bad matchup to come back to as Sweeney is just 2-for-17 lifetime against Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez.
Emilio Bonifacio, IF/OF6/12/2014 7:51:00 PM
Description: Chicago 2B/CF Emilio Bonifacio injured his rib cage Thursday in a game against Pittsburgh. SOURCE: Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago
Insight: Junior Lake (.246, 8 HR, 23 RBI) replaced Bonifacio in center field though the game is now in a rain delay. Bonifacio (.266, 1 HR, 16 RBI) grounded out in his only at bat of the night.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot6/10/2014 10:32:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo went yard for the third time in his last six games Tuesday at Pittsburgh. He homered off Francisco Liriano, a pitcher he was 2-for-17 against prior to the game.
Insight: Rizzo also had a pair of doubles, three RBI and three runs. The 24-year-old hit .233 with 23 homers and a .742 OPS last season, but he's put that mess in the rearview mirror. In 61 games, Rizzo has batted .284 with 13 homers, 36 RBI, 42 runs and a .920 OPS. The first baseman hit .189 against lefties last season. This year, he's batting .344 against them.
Jose Veras, RP6/10/2014 6:59:00 PM
Description: The Cubs have released right-hander Jose Veras.
Insight: Veras' dreadful 8.10 ERA in 12 appearances is likely to blame for his abbreviated stay in Chi-Town. When he finds a new team, it's doubtful Veras will have an opportunity to close. Clearly, Veras is not a fantasy option.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/10/2014 9:42:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo should be avoided on Tuesday against left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Insight: Rizzo is just 2-for-17 (both singles) with seven strikeouts in their matchups. He's putting up the best numbers of his career, .887 OPS with 12 homers, but avoid him today.
Starlin Castro, SSHot6/9/2014 10:03:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro has gone 6-for-13 with four doubles and a homer in his last three games.
Insight: Castro's career high in home runs in 14; he already has eight this season after going 3-for-4 with a double and a homer Monday against the Pirates. Unfortunately, he's stopped stealing bases altogether.
Starlin Castro, SSHot6/9/2014 10:38:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is a career .429 hitter (9-for-21) with two homers against Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton.
Insight: The shortstop is batting .269 with seven homers, 29 RBI, 26 runs and a .745 OPS, a solid improvement over last season.
Emilio Bonifacio, IF/OF6/8/2014 9:53:00 PM
Description: Cubs utility man Emilio Bonifacio cranked three hits in Sunday's loss to Miami.
Insight: Aside from his 13 steals, it's been a pretty underwhelming season for Bonifacio, who is hitting .274 with just one homer and 16 runs batted in. Bonifacio is eligible at both second base and outfield which is probably why he's still owned in over half of ESPN leagues.
Jake Arrieta, SP6/8/2014 5:49:00 PM
Description: Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta was dominant Sunday against Miami.
Insight: The Marlins managed just three hits in Arrieta's six innings of work. Arrieta (1-1, 2.50 ERA) delivered seven strikeouts without walking a batter. Once again the Cubs' bullpen couldn't hold the lead, leaving Arrieta with his fifth no-decision in seven starts.
Junior Lake, CF 6/7/2014 7:37:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Junior Lake hit two solo home runs Saturday against the Marlins.
Insight: Lake has eight homers and six steals, so he has some fantasy value, but a .244 average, 21 runs, 23 RBI and a .727 OPS mean mixed league owners don't have much use for him.
Starlin Castro, SS6/7/2014 9:42:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is a career .333 hitter (8-for-24) with three extra-base hits against Miami left-hander Randy Wolf.
Insight: The shortstop has bounced back from a weak 2013 campaign, batting .266 with seven homers, 29 RBI, 24 runs and a .735 OPS, but has struggled this week (3-for-20) so could use a favorable matchup.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/6/2014 8:54:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo broke a 3-3 tie in the 13th inning by hitting a walkoff home run Friday against Miami.
Insight: Rizzo had an up and down May (.255, 6 HR, 16 RBI) but he's off to a good start in June with six hits in his first 17 at bats. We'll see if he can keep it going Saturday in the middle game of the series.
Jason Hammel, SP6/6/2014 8:48:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel was in cruise control Friday against the Marlins.
Insight: He held Miami to six hits over seven shutout innings. The eight strikeouts Hammel registered tied a season-high. Unfortunately closer Hector Rondon squandered a three-run lead in the ninth inning, leaving Hammel (6-3, 2.53 ERA) with a no-decision.
John Baker, C6/6/2014 2:03:00 PM
Description: Cubs C John Baker was expected to miss Friday's game against Miami after taking a foul ball off his throat Wednesday, but he's in the starting lineup - catching and batting eighth.
Insight: With Welington Castillo already on the disabled list, the Cubs would be down to just Eli Whiteside and disaster catcher Luis Valbuena. Neither Baker or Whiteside have any fantasy value.
Ryan Sweeney, CF6/6/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Chicago outfielder Ryan Sweeney was supposed to return in mid-May, but a setback has left his return up in the air and we have no timetable to report.
Insight: Sweeney (.200, 0 HR, 6 RBI) has little power or speed and in nine seasons has never provided much fantasy value.
John Baker, C6/6/2014 10:32:00 AM
Description: Cubs C John Baker is expected to miss Friday's game against Miami after taking a foul ball off his throat Wednesday.
Insight: With Welington Castillo already on the disabled list, the Cubs would be down to just Eli Whiteside and disaster catcher Luis Valbuena. Neither Baker or Whiteside have any fantasy value.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/5/2014 10:31:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a solo home run Thursday against the Mets.
Insight: Rizzo posted an OPS above .850 in each of the first two months this season and he has a .403 on-base percentage this season. He's hitting .274 with 11 homers, 29 RBI, 37 runs and an .880 OPS.
Hector Rondon, RP6/3/2014 12:01:00 PM
Description: Cubs closer Hector Rondon is expected to be activated from the paternity list for Tuesday's game against the NY Mets.
Insight: Rondon has a 1.59 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and six saves in seven tries. He should resume his closer's role.
Jeff Samardzija, SP6/2/2014 12:14:00 PM
Description: Chicago right-hander Jeff Samardzija could be traded before the MLB draft which begind Thursday.
Insight: Samardzija (1-5, 2.54 ERA) could be a great move for any contending team.
Jeff Samardzija, SP6/1/2014 9:14:00 PM
Description: Chicago right-hander Jeff Samardzija was lit up Sunday in a loss to Milwaukee (3 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 3 K's, 2 BB).
Insight: This was easily Samardzija's worst outing of the season and maybe one of the worst of his career. He's too good of a pitcher to have this happen twice in a row. Expect Samardzija (1-5, 2.54 ERA) to bounce back in a big way next week against the Marlins.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/1/2014 3:29:00 PM
Description: Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo was tossed from Sunday's game for arguing a called third strike.
Insight: Rizzo hit two homers Saturday and has terrific numbers against Brewers starter Kyle Lohse, he his day is over early.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/1/2014 10:42:00 AM
Description: Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo is coming off a two-homer game Saturday and has a terrific matchup Sunday against Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Rizzo has nearly been a .500 hitter in 19 at-bats against Lohse (9-for-19). The first baseman is batting .269 with 10 homers, 28 RBI, 33 runs and a 39/38 K/BB this season after a down year in 2013.
Jason Hammel, SP5/31/2014 9:22:00 PM
Description: Chicago starter Jason Hammel registered eight punchouts Saturday in a win against Milwaukee.
Insight: He didn't let up a run in seven innings of work. Hammel has pitched like an All-Star this season, winning six of 11 starts with an ERA under three. His next start is Friday against the Marlins.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/31/2014 7:52:00 PM
Description: Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo blasted two homers Saturday in a win over the Brewers.
Insight: He'll finish the month with six homers, his most since last August. Rizzo's .269 average is well above the .233 clip he hit for last season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/31/2014 1:26:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is back in the starting lineup after getting Friday off.
Insight: Rizzo is having a solid season, batting .264 with eight homers and an .830 OPS, but fantasy owners still want more. The 24-year-old has 30-homer potential, but has yet to produce at that level.
Nate Schierholtz, RFCold5/31/2014 10:52:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz should not be in any fantasy lineups today with a career .059 batting average (1-for-17) versus Wily Peralta.
Insight: Schierholtz surprised everyone when he blasted 21 homers a year ago, but he's been ugly this season, batting .213 with just two long balls.
Starlin Castro, SSHot5/31/2014 10:48:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is a career .474 hitter (9-for-19) with two homers against Milwaukee right-hander Wily Peralta.
Insight: The shortstop has bounced back from a weak 2013 campaign, batting .276 with seven homers, 26 RBI, 23 runs and a .761 OPS. We would like to see him return all the way to his .300 hitting ways.
Hector Rondon, RP5/30/2014 4:01:00 PM
Description: Cubs closer Hector Rondon has been placed on the paternity list which means he could miss up to three days.
Insight: The team activated Pedro Strop, but its unknown at this time whether Strop will close. other options could be Justin Grimm or Neil Ramirez.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/30/2014 3:48:00 PM
Description: Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada has no problem against Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo, yielding just one hit, a single, in 21 career at-bats (.048).
Insight: Rizzo is having a solid season, batting .264 with eight homers, but he shouldn't be used Friday against the Brewers. Update: Manager Rick Renteria must have looked at the same statistics as Rizzo is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/30/2014 10:08:00 AM
Description: Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada has no problem against Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo, yielding just one hit, a single in 21 career at-bats (.048).
Insight: Rizzo is having a solid season, batting .264 with eight homers, but he shouldn't be used Friday against the Brewers.
Welington Castillo, C5/30/2014 10:04:00 AM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo only has 19 homers over his four plus seasons, but four of the home runs were against Friday's starter Marco Estrada.
Insight: Castillo has hit five home runs and is batting .252 this season, but he could be a decent option with Estrada pitching today.
Starlin Castro, SS5/28/2014 10:22:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro has racked up seven hits in 19 at-bats (.368) against Giants starter Tim Lincecum.
Insight: Two of those hits were doubles and one was a homer. The shortstop has bounced back quickly with four hits and a homer in his last 12 at-bats after going 0-for-17 from May 21-24.
Nate Schierholtz, RFCold5/26/2014 7:46:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz hit his first home run of the season Monday at San Francisco.
Insight: Schierholtz blasted 21 homers a year ago, but he's had a terrible season. In 154 at-bats, he's hit .214 with 15 RBI and a .561 OPS.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot5/26/2014 7:35:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija finally got his first win of the season Monday at San Francisco.
Insight: Samardzija's 1.46 ERA was the lowest by any pitcher since 1914 who went without a win in his first 10 starts of the season. He struck out 10 batters and didn't walk anyone while giving up four runs (three earned) in seven innings Monday.
Junior Lake, CFHot5/25/2014 9:09:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Junior Lake has hit four homers in May.
Insight: Lake has a pitiful 51/7 K/BB, but he's posted six homers, five steals and a .786 OPS this season and has NL-only value.
Starlin Castro, SS5/25/2014 9:06:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro broke out of a 0-for-17 slump with two hits and a homer Sunday at San Diego.
Insight: Castro's career high in home runs is 14, but he already has seven this year. The slump knocked his average into the .270s, but he's been fluctuating from .280 to .300 for the entire season.
Manny Ramirez, OF5/25/2014 1:20:00 PM
Description: Manny Ramirez has signed on to be a player/coach for Chicago's Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs.
Insight: Cubs president and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says the club would like Manny to be a "mentor" for some of the team's top hitting prospects. He also acknowledged that we won't be seeing Ramirez in the major leagues any time soon so fantasy owners can go on about their business.
Darwin Barney, 2B5/22/2014 10:31:00 AM
Description: Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney is 5-for-10 with all five hits being of the extra base variety against Padres starter Eric Stults.
Insight: Barney is an excellent defensive player but has never been much of a hitter (.243 AVG in 1,733 career at bats), but this could be the rare day when he's a useful asset.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot5/21/2014 8:04:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija dropped his ERA to 1.46 with seven scoreless innings Wednesday against the Yankees, but Hector Rondon allowed two runs in the ninth to cost Samardzija his first win.
Insight: Samardzija has received scant run support this season and is 0-4. The 29-year-old is a candidate to be traded, possibly to the Yankees, by the deadline.
Javier Baez, 2BCold5/18/2014 10:28:00 AM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS prospect Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a homer and a walk Saturday night, but he has batted just .150 with four home runs and 46 strikeouts in 113 at-bats with Triple-A Iowa this season.
Insight: Baez, Chicago's top prospect and MLB.com's No. 7 prospect in all of baseball, hit five home runs in 53 at-bats this spring after belting 37 longballs in 130 games in the minors last season (Single-A Advanced and Double-A). However, his struggles in Triple-A are making it increasingly unlikely we'll see him in the majors this season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/18/2014 10:09:00 AM
Description: Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada has limited Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo to one hit in 18 at-bats (.056).
Insight: Rizzo is having a good bounce-back campaign, batting .284 with seven homers and more walks than strikeouts, but he shouldn't be used Sunday against the Brewers.
Starlin Castro, SSHot5/18/2014 10:07:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro has batted .342 with two homers, eight RBI and a 1.048 OPS in his last nine games.
Insight: He's also hit .381 (8-for-21) with two doubles and a triple against Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada, so there's no reason he shouldn't be in your lineup Sunday.
Welington Castillo, C5/18/2014 10:06:00 AM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo has four hits in 14 at-bats (.286) against Brewers starter Marco Estrada, and three left the park.
Insight: Castillo has hit four home runs and batted .240 this season, but he could be a decent option with Estrada pitching Sunday.
Edwin Jackson, SP5/17/2014 5:37:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson struck out 11 batters and walked one over seven shutout innings Saturday against the Brewers.
Insight: Jackson has good stuff, but he's never been able to put it all together, which is why he's on his eighth team since 2003. He's now 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA. His 3.03 FIP suggests he'll improve, but fantasy owners shouldn't pay too much attention to that. He's a pitcher who has constantly underperformed his fielding-independent numbers.
Chris Coghlan, CF5/17/2014 11:30:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Chris Coghlan is 4-for-5 with three doubles and a triple against Brewers starter Matt Garza.
Insight: He's done nothing all season, batting .150 in just 20 at-bats, but gets a chance to bat second in this favorable matchup.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot5/16/2014 10:48:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija should be a solid option this afternoon against Milwaukee.
Insight: Samardzija has allowed no earned runs over his last two outings (15.0 IP) and faces a Brewers' lineup without Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez and a Ryan braun that hasn't hit an extra-base hit since returning from the disabled list.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/16/2014 9:38:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is a career 8-for-17 (.471) versus Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Rizzo is off to an excellent start, batting .284 with seven homers, 21 RBI and an .873 OPS and a favorable matchup makes him a viable option. However, beware of a 40 percent chance of rain in the Chicago area which could spoil this selection.
Starlin Castro, SS5/15/2014 10:09:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro corked three hits in Thursday's loss to St. Louis.
Insight: He went 6-for-16 in the series with five RBI. Castro's .291 average through 39 contests is a noticeable improvement from last season when he hit just .245 in 161 games.
Tsuyoshi Wada, RP5/15/2014 3:44:00 PM
Description: Cubs minor league left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada is pitching great at Iowa and might get a shot to start for the Cubs before the end of the season.
Insight: Wada came over from Japan in 2012 and signed with the Orioles, but needed Tommy John surgery and hasn't pitch in the majors. He's 4-1 with a 1.22 ERA, 0.835 WHIP and a 46/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Junior Lake, CFHot5/15/2014 9:49:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Junior Lake is a career 5-for-8 (.625) with a 1.792 OPS against Cardinals Michael Wacha.
Insight: Lake has been swinging a hot bat over the past 12 games, batting .314 with a pair of homers, 10 RBI and an .896 OPS. He's worth a flier on Thursday.
Mike Olt, 3B5/13/2014 6:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs third baseman Mike Olt is not in Tuesday's lineup.
Insight: Olt hit his eighth homer of the season and the Cubs scored 17 runs Monday at St. Louis, but manager Rick Renteria won't keep the same lineup Tuesday against Adam Wainwright. Luis Valbuena is starting at third base.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot5/10/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija didn't allow a run in six innings Saturday at Atlanta, but the Cubs didn't score either. The 29-year-old remains winless on the season despite carrying a 1.45 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
Insight: Chicago has gone 1-7 and scored 1.88 runs per game in Samardzija's starts. Fantasy owners have to hope the team trades him to a contender to get something for him before he leaves via free agency in 2016.
Mike Olt, 3B5/9/2014 11:07:00 PM
Description: Cubs third baseman Mike Olt went deep for the third straight game Friday against the Braves.
Insight: Olt now has 15 hits this season; seven left the yard. He's hitting .192 but slugging .474 (.282 ISO).
Jason Hammel, SPHot5/9/2014 11:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel gave up two runs and had a 5/1 K/BB in seven innings Friday at Atlanta.
Insight: Hammel has enjoyed his return to the National League after a couple years in Baltimore. He has thrown at least six innings in all seven starts and is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP.
Mike Olt, 3B5/9/2014 9:34:00 AM
Description: Cubs third baseman Mike Olt launched his first career grand slam Thursday in a win against the White Sox.
Insight: Olt only has 14 hits this season but six of them have left the yard. He needs to get that batting average (.184 in 76 at bats) up before fantasy owners can start taking him seriously.
Tsuyoshi Wada, RP5/8/2014 2:43:00 PM
Description: Cubs minor league left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada leads the hard-hitting Pacific Coast League with a 1.21 ERA in 37 1/3 innings this season. He also has a 38/6 K/BB.
Insight: Wada came over from Japan in 2012 and signed with the Orioles but needed Tommy John surgery and didn't pitch in the majors. He threw 102 2/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk last year and had a 4.03 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP before signing with the Cubs prior to this season. He could get a shot with the Cubs if Jake Arrieta falters in the fifth-starter role.
Arismendy Alcantara, 2B5/8/2014 2:33:00 PM
Description: Cubs infield prospect Arismendy Alcantara has batted .276 with nine doubles, four triples, two homers and eight steals for Triple-A Iowa this season.
Insight: Alcantara is a much lower-rated prospect than fellow Cubs middle infielder Javier Baez, but he's still a top-100 overall prospect and could provide fantasy teams with speed should he get the callup prior to Baez this season.
Travis Wood, SP5/8/2014 9:30:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood didn't have anything Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Wood walked five batters and allowed eight runs on eight hits in four innings. His ERA rose from 3.35 to 4.75. The left-hander has a .341 BABIP this season, which is one of the reasons he's allowed 48 hits in 41 2/3 innings.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot5/6/2014 1:53:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija remained winless despite throwing nine innings and allowing one unearned run Monday against the White Sox.
Insight: Samardzija is 0-3 despite carrying a 1.62 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 50 innings. The Cubs have scored just 1.7 runs per 27 outs when Samardzija has been the pitcher of record this season, fourth-worst in the majors.
Ryan Sweeney, CF5/2/2014 7:28:00 PM
Description: Chicago center fielder Ryan Sweeney left Friday's game with a hamstring injury. SOURCE: Carrie Muskat, MLB.com
Insight: He's headed for an MRI. Don't be surprised if Sweeney (.200, 0 HR, 6 RBI) lands on the disabled list.
Jose Veras, RP5/2/2014 12:24:00 AM
Description: Cubs relief pitcher Jose Veras (left oblique) is expected to rehab soon, according to Carrie Muskat of mlb.com.
Insight: Veras had already lost his job as closer (15.88 ERA) and when he returns should matter much to fantasy owners. Perhaps he'll be able to win the ninth-inning job when he comes back, but fantasy owners shouldn't hold on to him just for that longshot chance.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B 4/30/2014 10:51:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo reached base all five times at the plate Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: Rizzo went 1-for-1 with a homer, four walks and three runs. He's been dealing with back spasms and went 3-for-28 (.107) over his previous eight games, but he's still batting .283 with four home runs, 18 Ks, 18 BBs and an .864 OPS after Wednesday's game.
Starlin Castro, SS4/30/2014 11:59:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro could be in for a rough night Wednesday versus Cincinnati.
Insight: He's only logged one hit in 12 at bats against Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani. Castro (.290, 4 HR, 13 RBI) does have four RBI in his last two games but we're not expecting much from him on Wednesday.
Starlin Castro, SSHot4/30/2014 11:59:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Insight: Castro has hit safely in five straight games and driven in five runs over his last three. The shortstop is back to his aggressive ways and has hit .308 with four homers, 14 RBI, 12 runs and an .811 OPS so far after batting .245 a year ago.
Jake Arrieta, SP4/28/2014 8:47:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (shoulder) will come off the DL to start this weekend, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Arrieta was supposed to start Wednesday but Monday's rainout will push Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson back and Travis Wood will stay in his normal spot on Friday. Arrieta put up a 3.66 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings after Chicago acquired him from Baltimore last season, but he has a career 5.23 ERA in 409 2/3 innings.
Starlin Castro, SS4/27/2014 6:24:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro hit two home runs Sunday at Milwaukee.
Insight: Castro has returned to his aggressive ways at the plate this season and is batting .292 with four home runs and 11 RBI. We'd like to see him take a more aggressive approach on the basepaths as well (0 steals on 1 attempt).
Jason Hammel, SPHot4/27/2014 6:20:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel didn't allow Milwaukee to score Sunday afternoon.
Insight: Hammel (4-1, 2.08 ERA, 0.69 WHIP) tossed seven innings, struck out seven and allowed just three hits. Like Scott Feldman last year, the Cubs brought Hammel in on a low-risk deal and he has worked out. If he keeps it up, they'll trade him prior to the deadline. Fantasy owners should prepare for some regression, however, because batters have hit just .138 on balls in play against Hammel this year.
Emilio Bonifacio, IF/OF4/27/2014 12:03:00 PM
Description: Chicago second baseman Emilio Bonifacio isn't starting Sunday against Milwaukee. SOURCE: Carrie Muskat, MLB.com
Insight: It's his third absence of the season. With Bonifacio sitting this one out, Darwin Barney (.121, 1 HR, 3 RBI) will get the start at second base.
Starlin Castro, SS4/27/2014 11:19:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro owns Brewers starter Wily Peralta.
Insight: He's compiled a .438 average in 16 at bats against the right-hander. Castro has had a pretty uneventful season so far (.272, 2 HR, 9 RBI) but maybe this favorable matchup will change things.
Jose Veras, RP4/26/2014 4:50:00 PM
Description: Cubs relief pitcher Jose Veras has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Veras had already lost his job as closer (15.88 ERA) and this won't help matters. Perhaps he'll be able to win the ninth-inning job when he comes back, but fantasy owners shouldn't hold on to him just for that longshot chance.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold4/26/2014 1:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo is a career .067 hitter (1-for-15) against Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada.
Insight: Rizzo has been dealing with back spasms this week and it shows in his production. He's just 2-for-17 over his last five games and this poor matchup won't reverse the trend.
Javier Baez, 2B4/24/2014 9:42:00 PM
Description: Cubs 2B/SS prospect Javier Baez has hit .184 with two homers and a 16/2 K/BB in his first 11 games with Triple-A Iowa this season. He also missed a week due to an ankle injury before returning to the lineup Sunday.
Insight: Baez, Chicago's top prospect and MLB.com's No. 7 prospect in all of baseball, hit five home runs in 53 at-bats this spring after belting 37 longballs in 130 games in the minors last season (Single-A Advanced and Double-A). He has game-changing power at the shortstop and second base positions and is someone to keep an eye on. However, the Cubs are in no rush to promote him.
Nate Schierholtz, RFCold4/24/2014 8:34:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is hitting .221 with zero home runs and a .490 OPS this season.
Insight: Schierholtz is coming off a season in which he hit .257 with 21 home runs in 462 at-bats. He did most of that damage against right-handers but has hit under .173 against righties this year.
Jeff Samardzija, SP4/23/2014 6:51:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija gave up two runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Diamondbacks but failed to pick up his first win because Chicago's bullpen blew a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning.
Insight: Samardzija is 0-2 despite throwing at least seven innings in all five starts this season and posting a 1.53 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
Justin Ruggiano, RF4/23/2014 6:12:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Justin Ruggiano left Wednesday's game in the ninth inning with a left hamstring injury and is going for an MRI, according to Patrick Mooney of csnchicago.com.
Insight: Ruggiano suffered the injury while attempting to make a sliding catch and had to be helped off the field. He's expected to be placed on the disabled list.
Jason Hammel, SP4/23/2014 9:15:00 AM
Description: Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel was brilliant Tuesday in a win over Arizona.
Insight: Hammel (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 K's, 0 BB) has been practically unhittable this year, limiting opponents to a .151 batting average over 27 2/3 innings. He has, however, been susceptible to giving up the long ball. In fact, five of the eight runs Hammel (3-1, 2.60 ERA) has allowed this season have come on round-trippers. His next start will be Sunday against Milwaukee.
Emilio Bonifacio, IF/OF4/22/2014 6:03:00 PM
Description: Cubs utility man Emilio Bonifacio won't start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. SOURCE: Carrie Muskat, MLB.com
Insight: It's a scheduled off day for the 28-year-old. Luis Valbuena, who usually hits second, will move up to the leadoff spot in Bonifacio's absence.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot4/20/2014 11:53:00 AM
Description: The Cubs lifted Anthony Rizzo from Saturday's game because of back spasms, but he's in the lineup Sunday, according to Jesse Rogers of espnchicago.com.
Insight: Rizzo started every game this season for Chicago and is hitting .333 with two homers, eight RBI and just nine strikeouts in 60 at-bats. He struck out 127 times and hit .233 in 606 at-bats last season.
Starlin Castro, SS 4/20/2014 9:43:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro hasn't performed well against Reds starter Homer Bailey in the past.
Insight: Castro, who is hitting .292 with two homers and nine RBI this season, has gone 5-for-27 (.185) against Bailey.
Nate Schierholtz, RF4/20/2014 9:40:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz has gone 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles and a home run against Reds starter Homer Bailey.
Insight: Schierholtz is struggling right now, batting .231 with zero home runs in 52 at-bats, but so is Bailey (8.16 ERA, 2.02 WHIP).
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot4/19/2014 7:37:00 PM
Description: The Cubs lifted Anthony Rizzo from Saturday's game because of back spasms, but he's expected to play Sunday against the Reds, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Rizzo started every game this season for Chicago and is hitting .333 with two homers, eight RBI and just nine strikeouts in 60 at-bats. He struck out 127 times and hit .233 in 606 at-bats last season.
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B4/19/2014 7:25:00 PM
Description: Cubs IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio went 3-for-5 with a steal and two runs Saturday against the Reds.
Insight: Bonifacio entered play 2-for-24 over his last six games, but he's still batting .358 due to his extremely hot start (19-for-38 first eight games). The 28-year-old has 11 runs and eight steals in 15 games and should be owned in all leagues.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4/13/2014 9:01:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the year Sunday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Rizzo has hit .319 with eight RBI, nine runs and eight Ks in 47 at-bats. He batted .224 with eight home runs in April last season and went on to bat just .233 with 23 longballs and 80 RBI.
Welington Castillo, C4/12/2014 11:10:00 AM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo will get Saturday afternoon off.
Insight: Day game off after a extra-inning night game is the normal practice for catchers. Castillo is batting .212 this season with a couple of homers.
Jake Arrieta, SP4/11/2014 8:47:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (shoulder) will make at least one more rehab start, according to Carrie Muskat of mlb.com.
Insight: Arrieta dealt with shoulder inflammation in spring training. He is expected to occupy Chicago's fifth spot in the rotation once he is healthy. He put up a 3.66 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings after Chicago acquired him from Baltimore last season, but he has a career 5.23 ERA in 409 2/3 innings.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4/11/2014 10:16:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo doesn't have much success against St. Louis right-hander Joe Kelly.
Insight: Rizzo is 1-for-13 in their matchups. Normally Rizzo hits right-handers 55 points better than left-handers (.259 vs. .204), but this matchup is the exception. Although Rizzo is off to a flying start (.371 through nine games) avoid this matchup.
Starlin Castro, SSHot4/10/2014 9:24:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has gone 11-for-21 with two homers and six RBI over his last five games.
Insight: Castro batted .297 over his first three MLB seasons but Cubs brass tried to get him to be more patient last year. His first-pitch swinging percentage was .296 over his first three years but just .211 last season and his new approach resulted in a .245 average. He's back to unloading on the first pitch more often this season.
Travis Wood, SP4/10/2014 9:01:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood already has 17 Ks in 12 1/3 innings this season.
Insight: Wood had a 3.11 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 200 innings last season but only struck out 144 batters. In fact, he had a 6.8 K/9 in 564 2/3 career innings prior to this season. He's gotten a much higher percentage of swings and misses on his four-seamer and cutter in his first two starts this season than he did last year.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BHot4/9/2014 10:22:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo still doesn't have a home run this season but he collected multiple hits for the fourth straight game Wednesday.
Insight: Rizzo went 4-for-5 with two doubles Wednesday and is 10-for-15 over his last four games.
Starlin Castro, SS4/9/2014 9:45:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro launched two homers Tuesday in a loss to Pittsburgh.
Insight: This is the Castro we all know and love. We're not sure what happened to him in 2013 (.245, 10 HR, 9 SB in 161 games) but Castro has looked like an All-Star through his first seven games (.310, 6 RBI, .552 SLUG).
Starlin Castro, SS4/6/2014 9:54:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro has strong numbers against Phillies starter A.J. Burnett.
Insight: Castro has gone 9-for-22 (.409) with a double and two BBs against Burnett. The Cubs shortstop is 4-for-12 over his last three games.
Starlin Castro, SS4/5/2014 6:46:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro came up with three singles in four at-bats Saturday against the Phillies.
Insight: Castro went 0-for-9 in his first two games but he's four for his last 12. He's yet to pick up an extra-base hit or score a run.
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B4/5/2014 9:52:00 AM
Description: Cubs IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio is off to a great start, but he's just 1-for-10 against Phillies ace Cliff Lee.
Insight: Bonifacio is batting a league-leading .579 (11-for-19) with four SB and three runs scored, but the Phillies pitching staff held him hitless on Friday and he has a poor matchup on saturday.
Welington Castillo, C4/3/2014 11:16:00 AM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo will get the afternoon off on Thursday.
Insight: No surprise after the 16-inning game last night in which he went 1-for-8. John Baker will get the start, but has never shown to have much of a bat.
Jake Arrieta, SP4/2/2014 8:37:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday, according to Carrie Muskat of mlb.com.
Insight: Arrieta dealt with shoulder inflammation in spring training. He is expected to occupy Chicago's fifth spot in the rotation once he is healthy. He put up a 3.66 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings after Chicago acquired him from Baltimore last season, but he has a career 5.23 ERA in 409 2/3 innings.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4/2/2014 10:22:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is just 1-for-9 (.111) versus Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton.
Insight: Rizzo normally hits right-handers much better than lefties, but this is an expection to the rule. He is still seeking his first hit of the season after going hitless versus tough left-hander Francisco Liriano on Monday.
Jeff Samardzija, SP3/31/2014 9:45:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija held the Pirates scoreless in seven innings during the season opener. He took a no decision as the Cubbies were blanked.
Insight: Samardzija has a lot of upside after striking out 394 batters in 388 1/3 innings the last two seasons, but he'll need to avoid the implosions that have prevented him from becoming an ace. He had a 3.34 ERA in his first 113 1/3 innings last season but posted a 5.47 ERA in his last 100 1/3.
Starlin Castro, SS3/31/2014 10:52:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is likely to disappoint his fantasy owners on Opening Day.
Insight: He's never done well against Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (2-for-17 with five strikeouts). Castro (.245, 10 HR, 44 RBI, 9 SB in 2013) is a strong bounceback candidate for 2014 but we wouldn't expect him to do much today against Liriano.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3/31/2014 10:50:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo finds himself in a tough spot on Opening Day.
Insight: Pirates ace Francisco Liriano routinely destroys left-handers and Rizzo is no exception (.143 AVG in 14 career at bats). If you have another first base option on your bench, today would be the day to use him.
Darwin Barney, 2B3/31/2014 10:48:00 AM
Description: Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney shouldn't be in your lineup Monday versus the Pirates.
Insight: That's because he owns a .133 lifetime average against Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano. Barney is an excellent defensive player but has never been much of a hitter (.246 AVG in 1,657 career at bats). He's not one of the better fantasy options at second base this season.
Carlos Villanueva, SP3/28/2014 8:20:00 PM
Description: Carlos Villanueva beat out Chris Rusin for the Cubs' fifth rotation spot even though he had a 5.60 ERA in 17 2/3 innings this spring. SOURCE: Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times
Insight: Rusin (7.45 ERA in 19 1/3 innings) was worse than Villanueva. Once Jake Arrieta (shoulder) is ready to go near the end of April, Villanueva will move back to long-relief and spot-start duty.
Junior Lake, CF3/23/2014 8:15:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Junior Lake crushed three homers Sunday in a win against Oakland.
Insight: Before today, Lake had gone 35 spring training at bats without a homer. Overall, he's hitting .250 this spring with nine RBI. We have Lake down for 11 HR, 46 RBI and 19 SB in our latest 2014 fantasy projections.
Javier Baez, 2B3/22/2014 5:34:00 PM
Description: The Cubs assigned middle infielder Javier Baez to the minors on Saturday.
Insight: Baez, Chicago's top prospect and MLB.com's No. 7 prospect in all of baseball, hit .310 with five home runs in 42 at-bats this spring after belting 37 longballs in 130 games in the minors last season (Single-A Advanced and Double-A). He has game-changing power at the shortstop and second base positions and is someone to keep an eye on for a call-up this season.
Starlin Castro, SS3/18/2014 7:36:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro took part in some drills Tuesday and said his right hamstring feels good, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Castro suffered a hamstring injury in early March and hasn't played since. He said he is "getting closer" to returning, however. Castro is attempting to bounce back from a 2013 season in which he hit a career-low .245 with 10 homers, 44 RBI and a .631 OPS.
Carlos Villanueva, SP3/16/2014 11:17:00 AM
Description: Right-hander Carlos Villanueva is likely to begin the season in Chicago's starting rotation. SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times
Insight: That's only because Jake Arrieta is out with a shoulder injury. Villanueva hasn't posted an ERA lower than four since 2007. He won't attract much fantasy interest outside of NL-only leagues.
Starlin Castro, SS3/10/2014 2:03:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is still about a week away from returning from a hamstring injury, according to Patrick Mooney of csnchicago.com
Insight: Castro suffered the injury on a slide during Sunday's game. He's attempting to bounce back from a 2013 season in which he hit a career-low .245 with 10 homers, 44 RBI and a .631 OPS. He's had just two at-bats this preseason - both hits.
Starlin Castro, SS3/3/2014 6:57:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro will miss 7-10 days due to a hamstring injury, according to Jesse Rogers of espn.com.
Insight: Castro suffered the injury on a slide during Sunday's game. He's attempting to bounce back from a 2013 season in which he hit a career-low .245 with 10 homers, 44 RBI and a .631 OPS.
Starlin Castro, SS3/2/2014 4:01:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop suffered an unspecified injury Sunday in a spring training game with Kansas City. SOURCE: Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times
Insight: Castro suffered the injury on a slide but wasn't removed from the game until the next inning. Until we know what he's dealing with, it's hard to speculate how much time Castro will miss. For now, it's best to label him as day-to-day.
Jake Arrieta, SP2/26/2014 9:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been throwing from flat ground, according to Carrie Muskat of mlb.com. He has been slowed by tightness in his shoulder since the start of camp and we won't be able to talk about timetables until he gets back on a mound.
Insight: Arrieta is expected to occupy Chicago's fifth spot in the rotation if he's healthy. He put up a 3.66 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings after Chicago acquired him from Baltimore last season, but he has a career 5.23 ERA in 409 2/3 innings.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP2/25/2014 5:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa threw off a mound Monday for the first time since his Tommy John surgery, according to Jesse Rogers of espnchicago.com.
Insight: The 33-year-old Fujikawa only threw 12 innings last season after coming over from Japan but could eventually close for the Cubs when he returns in June or July. Jose Veras will begin the season as Chicago's ninth-inning man.
Jake Arrieta, SP2/22/2014 7:19:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta played catch Saturday and said his shoulder felt fine afterwards, but a bullpen session isn't imminent. SOURCE: Mark D. Gonzales, Chicago Tribune
Insight: Arrieta said earlier that if his shoulder responded well from the session he thought he could throw off a mound as early as next week. The right-hander is expected to occupy Chicago's fifth spot in the rotation if he's healthy. He put up a 3.66 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings after Chicago acquired him from Baltimore last season, but he has a career 5.23 ERA in 409 2/3 innings.
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B2/15/2014 1:23:00 PM
Description: Emilio Bonifacio has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cubs. SOURCE: Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago
Insight: That didn't take long. Bonifacio was a free agent for all of three days before Chicago gave him the call. Bonifacio's speed (98 SB since 2011) remains his biggest asset.
Jason Hammel, SP1/31/2014 2:37:00 PM
Description: Righthander Jason Hammel has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cubs, according to Fox's Ken Rosenthal.
Insight: Hammel, who was 7-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 26 appearances last year, will need to return to 2012 form if he wants to have any fantasy value. The wins will come tougher without Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Manny Machado around to give him run support.
Jonathan Sanchez, SP12/19/2013 11:08:00 AM
Description: Lefthander Jonathan Sanchez has signed a minor league deal with the Cubs. SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
Insight: He'll try to make the team out of spring training. Sanchez has now played with five teams in the last three years. His last productive season came in 2010 when he logged 13 victories with a 3.07 ERA in 33 starts for San Francisco.
Jose Veras, RP12/17/2013 7:41:00 PM
Description: The Cubs inked closer Jose Veras to a one-year, $4 million deal on Tuesday. SOURCE: Enrique Rojas, ESPN Deportes
Insight: For Veras, it's his eighth team in the last four years. Veras won't have many save opportunities in Chicago but he's probably still worth looking at in the later rounds of most fantasy drafts.
Ryan Roberts, 2B12/13/2013 3:25:00 PM
Description: Infielder Ryan Roberts was signed to a minor league contract by the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: Roberts never got it going in Tampa Bay. His best season came in 2011 when he played full-time in Arizona and batted .249 with 19 HR, 65 RBI, 86 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. Given the talent level in Chicago, he has a chance to make the big club.
Jeff Samardzija, SP11/24/2013 2:28:00 PM
Description: The Blue Jays and Cubs are exploring a trade that would send righthander Jeff Samardzija to Toronto. SOURCE: Bruce Levine, ESPN Chicago
Insight: Samardzija finished 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA last season. Those numbers would probably become even more mediocre if Samardzija were to pitch in the highly competitive AL East next season.


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