There hasn't been any real news from the Cubs today, but their opponents, the San Diego Padres, have made some news they probably wish they hadn't:
San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin has been suspended 25 games after testing positive for amphetamines, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday. The suspension is effective immediately. Agent Brian Goldberg said Maybin will address the media when he returns from his 25-game suspension. Maybin issued a statement Wednesday through the Players Association. "I have been undergoing treatment for several years for a medical condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), for which I previously had a Therapeutic Use Exemption [TUE],'' Maybin said. "Unfortunately, in my attempts to switch back to a medicine that had been previously ok'd, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested positive. "I want to assure everyone that this was a genuine effort to treat my condition and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Padres organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the success of my Club."
Maybin isn't having a good year anyway, batting .247/.286/.368 with one home run and three stolen bases in 62 games and an OPS+ of 88. More interesting is who's going to replace him:
The Padres are expected to add outfielder Jeff Francoeur from their Triple-A El Paso club to replace Maybin on the 25-man roster.
Frenchy's back in the big leagues! He hit decently well, nothing special, at Triple-A El Paso: .294/.325/.465 with almost as many home runs (15) as walks (18) and 82 strikeouts. And, they tried him as a relief pitcher (seven games, 6⅓ innings, three walks, four strikeouts, 4.26 ERA, 1.263 WHIP). Now that would be interesting.
Bonifacio 2B, Alcantara CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Coghlan LF, Valbuena 3B, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Wada P
The Padres lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Padres lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Tsuyoshi Wada's first major-league start, in the second game of the July 8 doubleheader against the Reds, was good enough for the Cubs to give him another shot at the rotation. Wada has made two starts at Iowa since then, and in his last one at Round Rock struck out 10. At the moment he leads the PCL in strikeouts; perhaps that can translate to the big-league level.
Ian Kennedy had a pretty good outing against the Cubs May 25 in San Diego, allowing just two hits, two walks and one run in six innings. One of the runs was a homer by Junior Lake, who, of course, isn't starting tonight.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.