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Chicago Cubs Player Notes
For The Last 365 Days
 
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).
Ian Stewart, 3B4/7/2014 12:14:00 PM
Description: Anaheim infielder Ian Stewart will get his first start of the season on Monday afternoon against Houston, replacing David Freese.
Insight: The former first-round pick hasn't done anything noteworthy since leaving Colorado in 2010. There is no reason to think things will change in Los Angeles.
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.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/29/2013 10:56:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will have a nice matchup in the season finale against the Cardinals.
Insight: Rizzo is 7-for-13 (.538) with two doubles against Jake Westbrook. The young first baseman has really underachieved this season, batting .233 with 23 homers, 80 RBI, 71 runs and a .742 OPS.
Travis Wood, SP9/27/2013 6:41:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood will only throw one inning Friday against St. Louis, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com.
Insight: That will allow Wood to reach 200 innings for the first time in his career. This is disappointing news for fantasy owners counting on one last start from the left-hander, who has gone 9-11 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP this season.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/25/2013 10:56:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 0-for-11 versus Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Insight: Rizzo has not done what was expected of him this season despite 22 homers and 78 RBI. Of course, expectations were very high after a solid half season last year (.285, 15 HR, 48 RBI, .805 OPS in 337 at-bats). Avoid this matchup.
Travis Wood, SP9/21/2013 9:39:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood shut down Atlanta Saturday, allowing one run on five hits over seven frames in a no decision.
Insight: Wood has won just nine games with 11 losses and 11 no decisions this season despite posting a 2.98 ERA over 199 innings.
Kevin Gregg, RP9/21/2013 10:39:00 AM
Description: Chicago righthander Kevin Gregg generated controversy with some of his postgame remarks Friday after losing to Atlanta. He has since apologized to the organization for those comments. SOURCE: Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune
Insight: Gregg lashed out at Cubs president Theo Epstein for the team's decision to use Pedro Strop in the closer's role for the rest of the season. Epstein gave strong consideration to releasing Gregg but decided instead to accept his apology and let the rest of the season play out. We wouldn't expect Gregg to be back with the Cubs next season.
Welington Castillo, C9/20/2013 6:50:00 PM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo has a partial tear of his right meniscus and is done for the season, according to ESPN Chicago. Castillo will have a 4-6 week recovery ahead of him.
Insight: GM Theo Epstein said that the 26-year-old Castillo is part of Chicago's core for the future. After not producing much at the plate for most of the season, Castillo hit .310 with four homers over his last eight games before the injury, but he's not likely to be on the fantasy radar next year.
Welington Castillo, C9/20/2013 9:55:00 AM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo is doubtful for Friday's game against Atlanta with a sore right knee.
Insight: Castillo has but up solid numbers in limited action (.273, 8 HR, 32 RBI, .747 OPS in 377 at-bats), though he still swings and misses too often (96 Ks).
Jake Arrieta, SP9/19/2013 7:14:00 PM
Description: Cubs righthander Jake Arrieta dominated the Brewers for his fourth win Thursday at Miller Park.
Insight: Arrieta has been much better since the Orioles traded him to Chicago. In eight games for his new club, the 27-year-old is 3-2 with a 3.94 ERA. Prior to the trade, he was 1-2 with an ERA over seven.
Pedro Strop, RP9/19/2013 3:36:00 PM
Description: The Cubs will use Pedro Strop at closer for the rest of the season, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Insight: Kevin Gregg has had a surprisingly good season, saving 32 of 37 games and posting a 2.95 ERA in 58 innings. However, Strop is eligible for arbitration and the Cubs want to see what they have in him, and Gregg will be a free agent and probably won't return.
Starlin Castro, SS9/19/2013 10:35:00 AM
Description: In 26 career at-bats against Brewers starter Kyle Lohse, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is hitting .231 with zero extra-base hits.
Insight: Castro is hitting .242 with a .619 OPS in September and .236 with a .599 OPS since the All-Star break. He shouldn't be in any lineups Thursday.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/17/2013 12:08:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 1-for-12 versus Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada.
Insight: Rizzo has not done what was expected of him this season despite 22 homers and 75 RBI. Of course, expectations were very high after a solid half season last year (.285, 15 HR, 48 RBI, .805 OPS in 337 at-bats). Avoid this matchup.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B9/16/2013 12:45:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 4-for-10 with a pair of home runs versus Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta.
Insight: Rizzo has not done what was expected of him this season despite 22 homers and 75 RBI. Of course, expectations were very high after a solid half season last year (.285, 15 HR, 48 RBI, .805 OPS in 337 at-bats). this is a favorable matchup, however.
Nate Schierholtz, RF9/13/2013 10:15:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is a career .455 hitter in 11 at-bats versus Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton.
Insight: As a part-time player for San Francisco and Philadelphia, Schierholz never hit more than nine home runs in any season. He has 20 in 412 at-bats with the Cubs along with a solid .790 OPS.
Jeff Samardzija, SPCold9/11/2013 10:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija served up two homers, eight hits and six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings Wednesday at Cincinnati. He has given up at least five earned runs in three straight starts.
Insight: Samardzija looked like a breakout ace in the first three months of the season when he had a 3.34 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings, but he has imploded since the start of July. In his last 81 1/3 innings, Samardzija has given up 54 earned runs (5.98 ERA) with a 1.57 WHIP.
Nate Schierholtz, RF9/11/2013 10:43:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is a career .500 hitter in 16 at-bats versus Reds right-hander Mike Leake.
Insight: As a part-time player for San Francisco and Philadelphia, Schierholz never hit more than nine home runs in any season. He now has 20 in 408 at-bats with the Cubs.
Travis Wood, SP9/9/2013 10:08:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood limited the Reds to six hits over seven shutout innings Monday at Great American Ball Park.
Insight: Wood fanned seven hitters without allowing a free pass. He's won two of his last three outings (1.71 ERA in those starts).
Scott Baker, SP9/8/2013 7:05:00 PM
Description: In his first start since 2011, Cubs right-hander Scott Baker allowed two hits over five innings Sunday against the Brewers.
Insight: Baker had a long recovery from Tommy John surgery and likely won't be extended too much in September. He threw just 55 pitches Sunday.
Scott Baker, SP9/8/2013 11:14:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Scott Baker has been activated from the 60-day disabled list.
Insight: Sunday will be Baker's first start in almost two years following a long recovery from Tommy John surgery. He's sure to be rusty, which makes him a risky fantasy play Sunday against Milwaukee.
Starlin Castro, SS9/8/2013 11:11:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has produced a .414 average against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: With a .242 average, nine home runs, 39 RBI and a .628 OPS, Castro has had a season to forget. But with strong numbers against Gallardo, fantasy owners can pencil him into the lineup Sunday.
Junior Lake, CF9/6/2013 9:43:00 PM
Description: Chicago outfielder Junior Lake hit a grand slam Friday in a win against the Brewers.
Insight: It was Lake's first homer since August 1st. The rookie is hitting .299 in 184 at bats this season.
Scott Baker, SP9/6/2013 6:30:00 PM
Description: Chicago righthander Scott Baker will make his first major league start since Tommy John surgery Sunday against Milwaukee. SOURCE: Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago
Insight: Baker didn't pitch at all in 2012. He'll be absorbing Jake Arrieta's spot in the rotation.
Starlin Castro, SS8/31/2013 10:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 2-for-5 with a solo homer Saturday against the Phillies.
Insight: Castro's production has fallen off the cliff this season, and it actually got worse in August. He batted .218 with one homer, five RBI and zero steals on three attempts during the month.
Nate Schierholtz, RF8/30/2013 9:53:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz continues to add to his career-high home run total.
Insight: As a part-time player for San Francisco and Philadelphia, Schierholz never hit more than nine home runs in any season. After going deep Friday, he now has 20. His OPS is more than 100 points higher at Wrigley Field than on the road.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/30/2013 9:49:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo blasted his 21st home run of the season Friday against the Phillies.
Insight: Rizzo has picked up his production lately, hitting .297 with three longballs, six RBI and six walks over his last nine games.
Starlin Castro, SS8/30/2013 10:50:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) versus Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay.
Insight: Castro (.239, 7 HR, 33 RBI) has put together a thoroughly ugly season. He's talented, but he'll have to produce as he did in his first three seasons if he wants to be a valuable fantasy asset.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/27/2013 7:21:00 PM
Description: With lefty Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will get the night off Tuesday.
Insight: Rizzo is batting a miserable .169 with three home runs and 18 K over his last 22 games. He owns a .195 average with a .668 OPS against southpaws this season.
Nate Schierholtz, RFHot8/26/2013 6:24:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz will start Monday against Los Angeles.
Insight: Schierholtz had been questionable because of an injured back. He leads all NL outfielders in RBI this month (18 in 78 at bats).
Nate Schierholtz, RF8/26/2013 11:24:00 AM
Description: Chicago right fielder Nate Schierholtz is questionable for Monday's game against the LA Dodgers with a head injury.
Insight: Schierholtz left Sunday's game in the 13th inning. He's had a solid season batting .272 with 19 HR, 61 RBI and an .833 OPS.
Jeff Samardzija, SP8/25/2013 9:27:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija fired eight innings and allowed two runs Saturday at San Diego to earn his second straight win.
Insight: Samardzija gave up nine earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on Aug. 8 and four earned in six innings the following start, but he has limited opponents to three earned runs over his last 17 frames.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/22/2013 9:05:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo continues to be one of the most frustrating players in fantasy. One night after blasting two homers, he went 0-for-6 in a Thursday afternoon loss to Washington.
Insight: Rizzo, who inked a seven-year deal with the Cubbies earlier in 2013, is now hitting .229 for the season. Still, it's tough to sit him because you never know when he's going to homer (20 HR in 125 games). Rizzo has regressed in a big way this season (he hit .285 in 2012) and probably won't warrant as high a pick in next year's draft.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold8/20/2013 11:20:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is questionable for Tuesday's game against Washington due to illness.
Insight: Rizzo has a lot of talent, but has not really shown it this season after an impressive half-yea in 2012. He's got to produce more than a .748 OPS with his swing.
Jeff Samardzija, SP8/19/2013 10:43:00 PM
Description: Chicago righthander Jeff Samardzija won for the first time in a month Monday against Washington.
Insight: Monday was Samardzija's second complete game of the season. He's 2-2 since the All-Star break with a 4.26 ERA in 44 1/3 innings.
Nate Schierholtz, RF8/19/2013 10:39:00 PM
Description: Chicago right fielder Nate Schierholtz cranked two homers Monday in a win against the Nationals.
Insight: The homers came as part of a three-hit, six-RBI night for Schierholtz. It's been a career year for the 29-year-old. He's already more than doubled his career-high in homers with 18 blasts in 105 games.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold8/18/2013 7:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo's struggles continued Sunday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Rizzo went 0-for-4 and is 30-for-160 (.188) since the start of July.
Starlin Castro, SSCold8/17/2013 8:08:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro drew the ire of manager Dale Sveum Saturday after botching an infield popup Saturday against the Cardinals.
Insight: He was taken out of the game the following inning. Castro (.244, 7 HR, 32 RBI) has had a tendency to make mental mistakes in the past (he forgot how many outs there were in a game last year) so this news shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Though talented, the 23-year-old is still very much a work in progress.
Jake Arrieta, SP8/16/2013 7:59:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jake Arrieta fired seven scoreless two-hit innings Friday afternoon in a win over the Cardinals.
Insight: Arrieta has allowed just four hits and one run over 13 innings in two starts with the Cubs. The former highly touted Orioles prospect has a career ERA over 5.00, but he could be a decent NL-only option down the stretch now that he's out of the AL East.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/16/2013 9:50:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 6-for-11 (.545) against Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook with a 1.343 OPS.
Insight: Rizzo's fantasy value has fallen steady over the months after posting an .846 OPS in April we've seen the number fall to .807 in May, .745 in June, .701 in July and an ugly .571 in 13 August games. Even this favorable matchup may not be enough.
Starlin Castro, SS8/14/2013 12:46:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is not in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against Cincinnati.
Insight: Castro's numbers are down across-the-board this season - .247, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 48 runs, 8 SB.
Travis Wood, SP8/12/2013 10:51:00 PM
Description: Chicago lefthander Travis Wood was a tough-luck loser Monday versus Cincinnati.
Insight: Wood (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K's) pitched well but fell to Mat Latos in an epic pitcher's duel at Wrigley Field. Despite having a losing record, Wood's 3.00 ERA is the lowest of his career and good for 15th-best in the National League.
Darwin Barney, 2BCold8/12/2013 10:25:00 AM
Description: Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney is hitless in a dozen at-bats against Cincinnati right-hander Mat Latos.
Insight: After an ugly August (.167 batting average, 449 OPS), fantasy owners are most likely ignoring Barney anyway, but if not he should certainly be benched on Monday.
Jeff Samardzija, SP8/8/2013 9:20:00 PM
Description: The Phillies pounded Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija for 11 hits and nine runs in 3 1/3 innings Thursday.
Insight: Samardzija has allowed nine earned runs twice in his last six starts and has seen his ERA rise from 3.34 to 4.23 since the start of July.
Nate Schierholtz, RF8/8/2013 9:16:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz has followed up a 2-for-24 (.083) slump with six hits in his last 13 at-bats.
Insight: Schierholtz belted his 15th home run of the season Thursday against the Phillies. He only plays against righties so his fantasy value is limited, but he has provided a .273 average, 46 RBI and an .841 OPS in 346 plate appearances this season.
Donnie Murphy, 3BHot8/7/2013 10:24:00 PM
Description: Cubs third baseman Donnie Murphy walloped two homers Wednesday in a 5-2 win against the Phillies.
Insight: Murphy has been red-hot since getting called up earlier in the week. In three games, he's batting .444 with three long balls and seven RBI. His OPS in those games is 2.101. Murphy was hitting .265 with 12 HR and 41 RBI for Triple-A Iowa prior to his callup.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B8/7/2013 6:33:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo won't play Wednesday against the Phillies.
Insight: Rizzo hasn't lived up to his massive contract (seven years, $41 million) but he hasn't been unproductive either (.240, 18 HR, 63 RBI). Cody Ransom will get the start at first tonight against Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels.
Junior Lake, CFHot8/3/2013 3:10:00 PM
Description: Cubs rookie Junior Lake is batting .333 over his last 14 games with four homers and seven RBI.
Insight: The four homers were as many as he hit in 40 minor league games this season. The prospect is a third baseman by trade, but he has played either left or center field in every game so far.He'll bat leadoff for the second time this season.
Darwin Barney, 2B8/1/2013 11:40:00 AM
Description: Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney shouldn't be much of a factor Thursday against the Dodgers.
Insight: He's just 1-for-11 in his career against Dodgers ace Ricky Nolasco. Most fantasy owners have probably already given up on Barney (.211 AVG in 336 at bats).
Junior Lake, CF7/30/2013 9:00:00 PM
Description: Cubs rookie Junior Lake has gone 2-for-21 since starting out 15-for-31 in his first seven major league games.
Insight: The prospect is a third baseman by trade but he has played either left or center field in his 12 games so far. The 23-year-old batted .295 with four home runs, a 33/10 K/BB and 14 steals in 156 at-bats with Triple-A Iowa this season. He shouldn't be owned outside of NL-only formats.
Starlin Castro, SS7/30/2013 10:08:00 AM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is a career .419 hitter versus Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Castro has rebounded nicely from a slow first half, hitting .305 in his last 23 games. Fantasy owners can expect another solid performance from Castro in this favorable matchup.
Travis Wood, SP7/28/2013 9:41:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood allowed one unearned run on four hits over seven innings in a win over the Giants Sunday.
Insight: Wood has had a tremendous season, posting a 2.79 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, but he's just 7-7 due to a lack of run support. Five of those wins came over the first two months of the season.
Starlin Castro, SSHot7/28/2013 1:16:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro holds a .438 lifetime average versus Tim Lincecum.
Insight: Castro has rebounded nicely from a slow first half, hitting .325 in his first 40 post All-Star at bats. Despite a recent no-hitter, Tim Lincecum doesn't scare opponents the way he used to. Fantasy owners can expect another solid performance from Castro in the series finale.
Chris Rusin, SP7/28/2013 9:22:00 AM
Description: Making only his third start of the year, Cubs lefthander Chris Rusin was rock solid in a seven inning effort against San Francisco (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's).
Insight: Rusin was promoted to the rotation earlier this week when the Cubs traded Matt Garza to Texas. Chicago didn't score until the ninth inning so Rusin had to settle for the no-decision. The Giants' offense is really struggling right now. They're hitting just .234 for the month of July.
Starlin Castro, SSHot7/27/2013 9:49:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is a .381 lifetime hitter versus Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.
Insight: Castro is 20-for-52 (.385) with a .996 OPS over his last 12 games and has raised his average from .232 to .251 in that span. He's also 8-for-21 against Bumgarner, Saturday's opposing starter.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold7/26/2013 10:52:00 AM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has been shut down by Giants starter Matt Cain.
Insight: Rizzo is 1-for-14 (.071) with six K against Cain. Fantasy owners can afford to sit him Friday -- he's only batting .187 with two homers and 17 K in July.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold7/25/2013 10:09:00 PM
Description: The Yankees are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Cubs manager Dale Sveum confirmed that the trade is the reason why Soriano was a late scratch from Thursday's lineup. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports that Chicago will eat more than half of the remaining $24 million on Soriano's contract. The trade, which will return Soriano to the team he played for the first five seasons of his career, is expected to be finalized by commissioner Bud Selig Friday.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold7/24/2013 8:15:00 PM
Description: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano would approve a trade to the Yankees. SOURCE: Carrie Muskat, MLB.com
Insight: Soriano spent his first five seasons in New York, batting .284 with 98 HR, 270 RBI and 121 stolen bases in 501 games. This year for Chicago, he's hitting .254 with a .467 slugging percentage in 93 games. For now, no trade appears imminent.
David DeJesus, CF7/24/2013 6:12:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder David DeJesus has been activated from the 15-day DL.
Insight: DeJesus missed a little over a month with a right shoulder strain. Tonight, he's leading off and playing center field.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold7/24/2013 6:09:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is out for Wednesday's game versus Arizona.
Insight: Soriano was almost traded to the Yankees earlier this week and there's a good chance he'll be moved before the deadline. He's only hitting .158 since the All-Star break.
Alfonso Soriano, LF7/24/2013 10:59:00 AM
Description: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano is 6-for-13 (.462) with three homers and seven RBI versus Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Soriano doesn't hit for much of an average, but can provide right-handed power. He's hit 17 homers this season after blasting 32 in 2012. He's been rumored to be headed to the Yankees in a deal.
Alfonso Soriano, LF7/23/2013 1:35:00 PM
Description: With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano is rumored to be headed to the Yankees in a deal.
Insight: Soriano doesn't hit for much of an average, but can provide the right-handed power New York has been missing. He's hit 17 homers this season after blasting 32 in 2012.
Matt Garza, SP7/22/2013 5:01:00 PM
Description: Updating a previous item, Cubs starter Matt Garza will not pitch Monday against the Diamondbacks. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: Chicago is close to trading Garza to the Rangers and the deal should be completed later tonight. The Cubs have not announced who will start in Garza's place.
Matt Garza, SP7/22/2013 11:41:00 AM
Description: Cubs right-hander Matt Garza may be headed out of town before the trade deadline, but Chicago will get at least one more start from him - Monday night versus Arizona.
Insight: For the Cubs' sake, we hope Garza comes out of the game without any injury which would sink their trade plans. He's a solid 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA and 1.141 WHIP in 11 starts. At least five contending teams have shown serious interest.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B7/21/2013 8:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit his 14th homer of the year Sunday against the Rockies.
Insight: Rizzo's HR/FB is down from 18.1 percent to 13 percent since last season, but the bigger problem has been his terrible .180 batting average on groundballs this season.
Starlin Castro, SSHot7/21/2013 8:26:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro is 13-for-30 (.433) over his last seven games.
Insight: Castro went 4-for-5 with a double Sunday to raise his average to .247. He's been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy this season, but given the lack of strong options at shortstop, owners should buy low.
Pedro Strop, RP7/21/2013 10:59:00 AM
Description: Pedro Strop could become the Cubs' closer if Kevin Gregg is dealt at the trade deadline. SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times
Insight: Strop has been automatic since coming over from Baltimore at the start of the month (0.00 ERA in eight appearances). It looks like the Cubs will be sellers at the deadline with Matt Garza also on the trading block.
Carlos Villanueva, SPCold7/21/2013 10:32:00 AM
Description: Chicago manager Dale Sveum hinted that Carlos Villanueva's recent struggles might cost him his spot in the starting rotation. SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
Insight: Of course, if Matt Garza is traded before the deadline (which seems like a very realistic possibility), the Cubs may not have a choice. Villanueva is just 1-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 11 starts this season.
Matt Garza, SP7/20/2013 4:03:00 PM
Description: It appeared Matt Garza was headed to the Rangers but now that deal has hit a snag. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: As of Friday afternoon the deal was "99 percent done" but now it's no longer a certainty. Assuming he hasn't already been traded, the righthander is scheduled to start for the Cubs Monday against Arizona.
Nate Schierholtz, RF7/18/2013 11:28:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is probable for Friday's game against Colorado after missing the final two games of the first half with general body soreness.
Insight: Although his pace has slowed over the past two weeks, Schierholtz is still producing solid fantasy numbers with 11 HR, 34 RBI and an .825 OPS. He's been the subject of trade rumors as we approach the deadline.
Brian Bogusevic, RF7/18/2013 11:24:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Brian Bogusevic is questionable for Friday's game against Colorado with a strained left hamstring.
Insight: Bogusevic has been dealing with the injury for a couple of weeks and can't shake it. He is batting .261, but without much power or speed, so his fantasy value is minimal. He did bat .319 with 10 homers and 15 steals in 78 games at Triple-A Iowa, so has some upside if he can find that same swing.
Matt Garza, SP7/14/2013 4:05:00 PM
Description: According to Bruce Levine from ESPN Dallas, Texas and Toronto have emerged as front runners in the Matt Garza sweepstakes.
Insight: The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that Garza would likely be traded before his next start. If for some reason the Jays or Rangers lose interest, look for the Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Pirates, Red Sox and Tigers to get involved.
Alfonso Soriano, LFHot7/14/2013 9:57:00 AM
Description: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano has belted nine home runs in his last 15 games.
Insight: He's done that after hitting just seven in his first 72 games. Soriano has raised his OPS from .666 to .771 during this surge.
David DeJesus, CF7/13/2013 5:49:00 PM
Description: According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Cubs outfielder David DeJesus (shoulder) will start rehabbing at Chicago's facility in Arizona Monday.
Insight: DeJesus suffered a right shoulder sprain while trying to track down a fly ball in mid-June. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he doesn't think DeJesus will need much time to get ready.
Scott Baker, SP7/11/2013 5:19:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Scott Baker (elbow) will begin his rehab assignment Sunday, according to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com.
Insight: Baker had Tommy John surgery last April when he was with the Twins and experienced elbow soreness after his spring training debut. He could make his Cubs debut in the second week of August if he doesn't have any setbacks.
Alfonso Soriano, LF7/11/2013 12:34:00 PM
Description: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano has had almost no success in the past against Cardinals ace Jake Westbrook.
Insight: Soriano's lifetime average versus Westbrook is under .100. Don't expect the free-swinging 37-year-old to have a big game Thursday at Wrigley.
Alfonso Soriano, LFHot7/9/2013 10:50:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano had his second two-homer effort in his last four games Tuesday against the Angels.
Insight: Soriano was hitting .245 with seven homers and a .666 OPS going into June 28, but he has gone 18-for-45 (.400) with four doubles, eight homers and 17 RBI over his last 11 games.
Scott Baker, SP7/9/2013 8:10:00 PM
Description: Cubs right-hander Scott Baker (elbow) threw his fourth simulated game Tuesday, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Insight: Baker had Tommy John surgery last April when he was with the Twins and experienced elbow soreness after his spring debut. He could make his Cubs debut in one month if he doesn't have any more setbacks.
Nate Schierholtz, RF7/9/2013 9:43:00 AM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is 5-for-7 (.714) with a pair of home runs against veteran right-hander Joe Blanton.
Insight: Sure the sample size is extremely small, but he puts the bat on the ball with authority against Blanton. Although his pace has slowed over the past two weeks (batting .143 in that span), Schierholtz is still producing solid fantasy numbers with 11 HR, 34 RBI and an .834 OPS.
Matt Garza, SP7/8/2013 8:09:00 PM
Description: Once thought to be on the trading block, Matt Garza and the Cubs are now talking about a long-term deal. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: Garza's been on a roll lately with three wins and a 0.90 ERA in his last four starts. If the Cubs change their mind and make Garza available in a trade, several teams will be interested including the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, Orioles, Rangers and Red Sox.
Starlin Castro, SS7/7/2013 12:01:00 PM
Description: Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro has been terrific against Pirates righthander A.J. Burnett.
Insight: Burnett, who is making his return from the DL on Sunday, has allowed eight hits to Castro in 19 at bats. That computes to a .421 average, which is almost 200 points higher than Castro's season average (.234 in 355 at bats).
Alfonso Soriano, LFHot7/6/2013 7:33:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano corked two homers Saturday in a win over Pittsburgh.
Insight: Soriano now has five blasts in his last eight games with a .353 average over that stretch. Before his recent tear, Soriano had just seven bombs in his first 72 contests.
Alfonso Soriano, LF7/6/2013 9:50:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is just 1-for-9 with five strikeouts against Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton.
Insight: After a really hot week, Soriano batted just .238 over his last five games and combined with a poor matchup should convince fantasy owners to sit him on Saturday.
Dave Sappelt, CF7/5/2013 2:47:00 PM
Description: Recently recalled Dave Sappelt will start in center field and leadoff on Friday versus the Pirates.
Insight: With David DeJesus and Brian Bogusevic hurt, the Cubs don't have many options. Sappelt has yet to prove that he can hit big league pitching, batting just .178 in 45 at-bats this season and has little fantasy value.
Brian Bogusevic, RF7/5/2013 9:36:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Brian Bogusevic is questionable for Friday's game against Pittsburgh with a tight left hamstring.
Insight: Bogusevic is batting .310, but without much power or speed, so his fantasy value is minimal. He did bat .319 with 10 homers and 15 steals in 78 games at Triple-A Iowa, so has some upside.
Carlos Villanueva, RP7/4/2013 2:28:00 PM
Description: Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva will rejoin the rotation following the trade of Scott Feldman to the Orioles, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Insight: The Cubs moved Villanueva to the bullpen when Matt Garza came off the DL. He went 1-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 52 2/3 innings over eight starts and has posted a 2.04 ERA in 17 2/3 as a reliever. Owners in deep leagues should consider the righty.
Matt Garza, SPHot7/4/2013 10:16:00 AM
Description: Chicago starter Matt Garza won his third straight start Wednesday at Oakland with eight innings of four-hit, one-run baseball.
Insight: Garza has allowed three earned runs on 19 hits over his last 30 innings. He helped Chicago snap Bartolo Colon's eight-start winning streak.
Jake Arrieta, SP7/2/2013 8:07:00 PM
Description: Righthander Jake Arrieta was traded to the Cubs on Tuesday.
Insight: He came over as part of the Scott Feldman trade. Arrieta (1-2, 7.23 ERA in five starts) hasn't pitched well for the Orioles this year but maybe a change of scenery and lower expectations (the Cubs are 15 and a half games out of first) will help him get back on track.
Carlos Marmol, RP7/1/2013 7:31:00 PM
Description: According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, reliever Carlos Marmol is close to being traded to the Dodgers.
Insight: Marmol, who was designated for assignment about a week ago, shouldn't pose much of a threat to closer Kenley Jansen if the Dodgers acquire him. Even if Jansen gets hurt, Don Mattingly would have to be pretty desperate to use Marmol (2-4, 5.86 ERA) in the ninth inning.
Blake Parker, RP6/30/2013 11:28:00 AM
Description: Cubs manager Dale Sveum mentioned Blake Parker as a potential replacement for closer Kevin Gregg, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Gregg, who has saved 12-of-13, is on the trade block. Parker had a 2.04 ERA and seven saves in 17 2/3 innings with Triple-A Iowa before being recalled at the start of June, and he has posted a 2.19 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP in 12 1/3 innings with the big club.
Starlin Castro, SS6/29/2013 11:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 2-for-5 with a solo homer Saturday at Seattle.
Insight: Castro has gone 6-for-19 with a double and a homer since the team sat him down and snapped his streak of 269 consecutive games. He's too talented to struggle as much as he has been this month, but he'll need to make some major adjustments at the plate.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/29/2013 11:30:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano had a big night Saturday at Seattle, going 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI.
Insight: Soriano hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to break a tie game. The left fielder has homered in two straight games and picked up multiple hits in three of the last four, but he's still hitting just .254 with nine homers and 34 RBI.
Kevin Gregg, RP6/29/2013 11:24:00 PM
Description: Cubs closer Kevin Gregg blew his first save of the season Saturday against Seattle.
Insight: Gregg had saved all 12 of his chances since becoming Chicago's closer, but it was only a matter of time before he blew one. He has a 1.71 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, but fantasy owners should expect him to both drop off from those heights and be traded to a contender looking for middle relief help.
Matt Garza, SPHot6/27/2013 9:46:00 PM
Description: Chicago starter Matt Garza is heating up. Thursday was his second win in a row.
Insight: Thursday against the Brewers, Garza finished with ten strikeouts, his most since April 29th of last season. Over his last three starts, Garza is undefeated with a 0.82 ERA in 22 innings pitched.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold6/27/2013 11:20:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano will get another day off Thursday against the Brewers, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Insight: Soriano is not injured, just slumping. He's hitting .191 with a .521 OPS and 27 strikeouts in June. Cubs skipper Dale Sveum said Soriano likely will DH during the team's upcoming road trip to Seattle and Oakland.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/26/2013 4:57:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is out of the lineup Wednesday versus the Brewers.
Insight: It's a good day for Soriano to get a day off. He's just 4-for-25 with 11 strikeouts against Wednesday's starter Yovani Gallardo.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/26/2013 9:53:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is a career .160 hitter (4-for-25) with 11 strikeouts in his matchups against Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Soriano was surprisingly good last season, but the 37-year-old is nowhere near that production level this season. He's batting .245 with seven homers, 30 RBI and a .666 OPS which is 155 points below last season's numbers. Avoid this matchup.
Darwin Barney, 2B6/26/2013 9:49:00 AM
Description: Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney is just 2-for-20 with six strikeouts against Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Barney started the season on the DL after suffering a deep gash in his knee in spring training. We're still waiting for him to show us fantasy worthy production, but at this point in his career it may never happen.
Nate Schierholtz, RFHot6/25/2013 11:07:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz has two homers in the last three games.
Insight: Schierholtz went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBI Tuesday at Milwaukee and is batting .345 with five homers and 12 RBI in June.
Ian Stewart, 3B6/25/2013 5:02:00 PM
Description: The Cubs have released infielder Ian Stewart two weeks after he complained about the team on Twitter, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: After Stewart tweeted his frustrations about being stuck in the minors, Chicago suspended him for 10 days for violating the "loyalty clause" in his contract. The former first-round pick shouldn't have a problem catching on with another organization, but he hasn't been a fantasy option since 2010.
Starlin Castro, SS6/25/2013 4:32:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is not in the lineup Tuesday for the first time in 270 games.
Insight: The absence will snap a 269-game streak for Castro. The Cubs have no choice but to sit him, as he is just 21-for-137 (.153) with a 32/5 K/BB and four RBI over his last 33 games.
Carlos Marmol, RPCold6/25/2013 2:38:00 PM
Description: Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol has been designated for assignment.
Insight: It was just 2010 when Marmol was one of the kings of the bullpen with 38 saves, a 2.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in just 77 2/3 IP. The wild right-hander can still strike out batters, but posted a 5.86 ERA and 21 walks in just 27 2/3 innings this season.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/25/2013 10:01:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is a career .377 hitter with four homers and 12 RBI against Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Soriano surprisingly hit 32 homers and drove in 108 runs last season, but the 37-year-old is nowhere near that production level this season. He's batting .248 with seven homers, 30 RBI and a .676 OPS which is 145 points below last season's numbers.
Ryan Sweeney, RF6/23/2013 8:27:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney drove in a career-high six runs Sunday against Houston.
Insight: Sweeney went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and two runs. The outfielder had seven RBI in 89 at-bats coming into Sunday's game and isn't likely to become a fantasy option.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/23/2013 8:23:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is starting to heat up.
Insight: Rizzo played a major part in the Cubs' 14-6 demolition of the Astros Sunday by going 3-for-3 with a double, a homer, four RBI and four runs scored. The first baseman hit .181 (19-for-105) with zero homers in 28 games from May 19 to June 20, but he's 5-for-9 with two longballs over his last three.
Nate Schierholtz, RF6/23/2013 8:17:00 PM
Description: Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz racked up three hits, two RBI and two runs Sunday against the Astros.
Insight: Schierholtz is hitting .333 with four doubles, two triples and four homers in June. The outfielder has a superb .296 average and .905 OPS to go with 10 homers.
Scott Feldman, SP6/23/2013 12:52:00 PM
Description: According to ESPN's Buster Olney, many teams are expected to target Chicago starting pitcher Scott Feldman at this year's trade deadline.
Insight: Olney named the Diamondbacks and Orioles as two teams that could be in the market for Feldman's services. The former Texas Ranger has done well in his first and possibly only season with the Cubs, contributing a 3.39 ERA in 14 starts.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold6/22/2013 12:31:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is hitless in seven at-bats against Houston starter Bud Norris.
Insight: Rizzo continues his up and down season with a cold June. He batted .224 in April, .295 in May and .194 in June. Avoid this matchup.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold6/21/2013 9:37:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo's homer Friday against the Astros was his first since May 18.
Insight: Rizzo went 28 straight games without a big fly. The first baseman hit .181 with nine RBI in 105 at-bats in that span.
Matt Garza, SP6/21/2013 9:35:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Matt Garza gave up four hits and one run, walked two and struck out eight in eight innings Friday against the Astros.
Insight: Garza has put together his two best starts of the season over his last two turns, throwing 15 innings and allowing seven hits and one earned run. He has lowered his ERA from 6.26 to 4.25 in the process.
Brian Bogusevic, RF6/21/2013 2:58:00 PM
Description: If the Cubs are looking for outfield help while David DeJesus is on the disabled list, they could try Brian Bogusevic who is having a very good season at Triple-A Iowa.
Insight: Bogusevic is batting .326 with nine homers, 31 RBI, a .940 OPS and 15 stolen bases. He's struggled in previous stints at the major league level, but might finally be ready to produce.
David DeJesus, CF6/19/2013 7:30:00 PM
Description: The Cubs expect David DeJesus to be out a month while he rests his sprained shoulder. SOURCE: Patrick Mooney, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago
Insight: DeJesus suffered the injury while trying to track down a fly ball last Friday against the Mets. Ryan Sweeney is starting in center field Wednesday versus St. Louis.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/19/2013 11:34:00 AM
Description: Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook has faced Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano 30 times and held him to three singles and one RBI.
Insight: Soriano surprisingly hit 32 homers and drove in 108 runs last season, but the 37-year-old hs regressed this season. He's a mediocre fantasy option and shouldn't be started in any leagues Wednesday.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot6/19/2013 9:55:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija outdueled St. Louis' Adam Wainwright by going 8 1/3 innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits with a 6/1 K/BB Tuesday night.
Insight: The Cubs were letting Samardzija go for his third career complete game, but he gave up two singles in the ninth before being removed for Kevin Gregg, who allowed one inherited runner to score before closing it out. Samardzija has emerged as one of the top pitchers in the National League this season, posting a 3.35 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and a 110/34 K/BB in 99 1/3 innings, but he's just 4-7.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold6/18/2013 4:47:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is sitting out his first game of the season Tuesday against the Cardinals, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Insight: Rizzo is hitting .173 with zero homers over his last 26 games and could use a day off.
David DeJesus, CF6/18/2013 11:02:00 AM
Description: Cubs center fielder David DeJesus doesn't have a timetable for his return.
Insight: He was placed on the 15-day disabled list as of June 15 due to a right shoulder sprain.
Matt Garza, SP6/16/2013 7:42:00 PM
Description: Chicago righthander Matt Garza pitched brilliantly Sunday against New York, but his bullpen let him down by coughing up a three-run lead in the ninth inning.
Insight: Garza (1-1, 4.98 ERA) breezed through seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks while collecting five punchouts. Maybe his bullpen will keep it together the next time he pitches Friday against Houston.
Scott Feldman, SP6/15/2013 9:29:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Scott Feldman improved to 6-5 with seven strong innings Saturday against the Mets.
Insight: Feldman allowed just two hits, walked one and gave up one run with six K. The right-hander has a 3.05 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP and has been a nice surprise this season after posting a 5.09 ERA last year.
David DeJesus, CF6/14/2013 9:21:00 PM
Description: Chicago center fielder David DeJesus went for a leaping catch in the outfield Friday against the Mets but ended up running into the wall. He left the game in the third inning. SOURCE: Patrick Mooney, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago
Insight: DeJesus is headed for X-rays on his right shoulder. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI triple before exiting.
Nate Schierholtz, RF6/13/2013 11:06:00 AM
Description: Reds starter Mat Latos has held Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz to four hits in 24 at-bats (.167).
Insight: Schierholtz is hitting .364 with two homers in June, but he hasn't yet solved Latos.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/12/2013 12:06:00 PM
Description: After not taking advantage of a favorable matchup on Tuesday, Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is not a good play on Wednesday against Reds right-hander Mike Leake.
Insight: Soriano is just 4-for-24 (.167) against Leake with a .593 OPS. Latest update - Soriano is not in the starting lineup.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/12/2013 11:20:00 AM
Description: After not taking advantage of a favorable matchup on Tuesday, Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is not a good play on Wednesday against Reds right-hander Mike Leake.
Insight: Soriano is just 4-for-24 (.167) against Leake with a .593 OPS.
Nate Schierholtz, RF6/12/2013 11:17:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz is a career .538 hitter (7-for-13) against Cincinnati starter Mike Leake.
Insight: Schierholtz is batting .293 with seven homers and 23 RBI. He has been Chicago's starting right fielder against right-handers all season and has done nothing to lose the job. He might be worth a nice one-day play.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B6/12/2013 11:14:00 AM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 6-for-11 (.545) against Reds starter Mike Leake.
Insight: Rizzo is struggling at the plate (.194 without a home run over the past two weeks) and even this favorable matchup may not be enough to get him going.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/11/2013 11:59:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is 4-for-6 with a pair of home runs against reds rookie Tony Cingrani.
Insight: Soriano loves to hit fastballs and Cingrani throws a higher percentage of fastballs than almost any pitcher in the league. A recipe for success if you have Soriano in your lineup.
Kevin Gregg, RP6/9/2013 7:31:00 PM
Description: Cubs closer Kevin Gregg allowed two hits Sunday against the Pirates but he finished a clean inning for his seventh save.
Insight: Gregg hasn't blown a save yet, which is shocking. More shocking: his 1.02 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. With Kyuji Fujikawa out for the season, Gregg has no competition for the closer role.
Edwin Jackson, SP6/9/2013 7:28:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson won just his second game of the season Sunday versus Pittsburgh.
Insight: Jackson is 2-8 with a 5.76 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP, even after holding the Pirates to one run on four hits in seven innings Sunday. The right-hander is a buy-low candidate, however, as he has a 3.39 FIP and a 3.58 xFIP.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP6/8/2013 4:18:00 PM
Description: According to Cubs.com, reliever Kyuji Fujikawa will undergo Tommy John surgery on his injured right shoulder this Tuesday.
Insight: It's a serious operation but at least he'll be in good hands with Dr. James Andrews performing the surgery. Fujikawa faces a long road to recovery but he should come back at close to full strength.
Travis Wood, SP6/7/2013 9:36:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood took a tough-luck loss Friday against the Pirates despite allowing one earned run on four hits in six innings.
Insight: Wood is 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA and a 3.50 FIP this season. As usual, he has a high flyball rate, but unlike last season he has kept the ball in the park. His HR/FB is just 5.1 percent.
Starlin Castro, SS6/7/2013 1:55:00 PM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is batting seventh in Friday afternoon's lineup versus Francisco Liriano and the Pirates.
Insight: Castro has done most of his work batting second in the Cubs' lineup, but he's 1-for-14 over the past four games and just seven for his last 41. Third baseman Cody Ransom will bat second on Friday.
David DeJesus, RF6/7/2013 11:15:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder David DeJesus is 2-for-15 (.133) against Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Insight: DeJesus has been a solid leadoff hitter for the Cubs this season. He's never been a strong fantasy option because he doesn't excel in any category, but he does have a .275 average, five homers, 17 RBI, 31 runs and an .794 OPS through 53 games. This matchup isn't a good one.
David DeJesus, RFCold6/5/2013 10:15:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder David DeJesus is hitless in nine at-bats versus Angels starter Jason Vargas.
Insight: DeJesus has been a solid leadoff hitter for the Cubs this season, but has struggled this past week. He's never been a strong fantasy option because he doesn't excel in any category, but he does have a .275 average, five homers, 17 RBI, 31 runs and an .794 OPS through 53 games. This matchup isn't a good one.
Alfonso Soriano, LF6/1/2013 10:32:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is 6-for-11 with three long balls and a 2.121 OPS versus Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Soriano homered in the first inning on Friday, his only hit of the day. He crushed Diamondbacks' pitching last season going 13-for-32 with four home runs. Make sure he's in your lineup for Saturday.
Scott Hairston, LF5/31/2013 12:17:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston doesn't play every day, but if he's in Friday's lineup he's worth a flier as he is 4-for-6 with three extra base hits versus Arizona starter Wade Miley.
Insight: Hairston has has done very little this season though two hits on Wednesday raised his average to .154. Latest update - Hairston is in the starting lineup, playing right field and batting fifth.
Scott Hairston, LF5/31/2013 10:18:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston doesn't play every day, but if he's in Friday's lineup he's worth a flier as he is 4-for-6 with three extra base hits versus Arizona starter Wade Miley.
Insight: Hairston has has done very little this season though two hits on Wednesday raised his average to .154.
Travis Wood, SP5/30/2013 6:39:00 PM
Description: Here's something you don't see everyday. Cubs lefty Travis Wood pitched six innings for the win and also went 2-for-3 with a grand slam Thursday against the White Sox.
Insight: The home run was Wood's second of the season and the fifth of his career. Meanwhile, on the mound he's gone 5-3 with a career-best 2.75 ERA in 11 starts. It's a good day to be Travis Wood.
Alfonso Soriano, LF5/30/2013 11:15:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano has driven in five runs over his last four games and has had success against White Sox starter Jake Peavy, who will throw Thursday against the Cubs.
Insight: Soriano is 9-for-29 (.310) with three doubles, three homers, seven RBI and five walks against Peavy. Overall he has just five homers, but Thursday would be a good day to get him in the lineup.
Scott Feldman, SP5/30/2013 9:29:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Scott Feldman is 5-4 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP after beating the White Sox with six strong innings -- six hits, two runs, zero BB, seven K -- Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Feldman's .254 BABIP and 3.92 FIP suggest he'll regress, but there's no denying he has been very good so far. The right-hander has a 16.5 percent line-drive rate and has struck out 7.57 batters per nine innings.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP5/29/2013 11:55:00 AM
Description: Cubs righthander Kyuji Fujikawa will need season-ending Tommy John surgery, according to Comcast Chicago beat writer Patrick Mooney.
Insight: The hope was that he strained it, but apparently that's not the case. He likely won't be available for the start of next season.
Jeff Samardzija, SPHot5/27/2013 10:16:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija tossed his first career shutout Monday against the White Sox.
Insight: Samardzija's 3-6 record doesn't exactly scream ace, but the rest of his numbers do (2.85 ERA, .196 AVG against, 80 K's, 1.05 WHIP). Samardzija will make his next start Saturday against Arizona.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP5/27/2013 7:32:00 PM
Description: The Cubs have placed righthander Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: He strained his forearm Sunday against Cincinnati. Kevin Gregg will handle the closer duties while Fujikawa is out.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP5/26/2013 6:22:00 PM
Description: Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa (forearm) left Sunday's game and will be examined further on Monday, but expect another trip to the disabled list.
Insight: Fujikawa had the same problem earlier in the season. He's 1-1 this season with a 6.10 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a couple of saves.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/25/2013 8:53:00 PM
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo reached base four times Saturday in a loss at Cincinnati.
Insight: Rizzo ended an 0-for-23 slump by going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. This season, he leads the Cubs in home runs (10), RBI (32) and extra base hits (24).
Scott Feldman, SP5/24/2013 10:22:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Scott Feldman allowed seven hits and five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings Friday against the Reds.
Insight: Feldman allowed two homers in the game. The right-hander has a 2.80 ERA, but his .244 BABIP and 4.25 FIP suggest he'll regress.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold5/24/2013 6:37:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is getting a day off Friday against the Reds.
Insight: His .200 average and .601 OPS in 50 career at-bats against Friday's starter Bronson Arroyo likely has something to do with it. Soriano should be back in left field Saturday.
David DeJesus, RF5/24/2013 10:21:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder David DeJesus is just 3-for-19 (.158) against Reds hurler Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: DeJesus has never been a strong fantasy option because he doesn't excel in any category, but he has a .297 average, five homers, 16 RBI, 24 runs and an .873 OPS through 43 games. This matchup, however, isn't a good one.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold5/24/2013 10:18:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is 10-for-50 against Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo with 15 strikeouts and a meager .601 OPS.
Insight: What damage Soriano has done this season has been primarily produced in Wrigley Field where he is hitting 105 points higher than on the road (.317 vs. .212). Unfortunately this series is in Cincinnati.
Edwin Jackson, SPCold5/23/2013 9:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson allowed four runs on six hits in three innings Thursday afternoon at Pittsburgh.
Insight: Jackson is now 1-7 with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. However, his 3.66 FIP suggests he has outpitched his actual numbers. The right-hander came into his start Thursday having allowed just a 15.1 percent line-drive rate with men on base but stranded 57.8 percent of baserunners. After Thursday's game, his strand rate is down to 56.4 percent.
Jeff Samardzija, SP5/22/2013 10:15:00 PM
Description: Chicago righthander Jeff Samardzija only allowed one run Wednesday in a loss to Pittsburgh.
Insight: As usual, Samardzija (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's) didn't receive any run support. He has an impressive 3.25 ERA this season but only a 2-6 record to show for it.
Matt Garza, SP5/21/2013 10:33:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Matt Garza (lat) allowed just one hit and no runs in five innings Tuesday against the Pirates in his first start since July 21, 2012.
Insight: Garza suffered an elbow injury last July, and while he has been completely healed for awhile, he went down with a lat strain in spring training and missed the first seven weeks of the season. The right-hander should post an ERA under 4.00 with close to a strikeout per inning, but he won't win many games on this team.
Matt Garza, SP5/21/2013 5:12:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Matt Garza (lat) has been activated from the DL and will start Tuesday against the Pirates.
Insight: Garza has spent the entire season on the disabled list after suffering a lat strain during spring training. He also missed the final two months last year with an elbow injury, but that injury is completely healed. Garza should be activated in all leagues Tuesday.
Nate Schierholtz, RF5/21/2013 4:06:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday's against Pittsburgh. A platoon issue, no injury here.
Insight: Schierholtz is batting .285 with five homers and 19 RBI. He has been Chicago's starting right fielder against right-handers all season and has done nothing to lose the job, but Wandy Rodriguez is on the mound for the Pirates.
Alfonso Soriano, LFCold5/21/2013 10:29:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano might get a day off on Tuesday based on his career 6-for-44 record against Pirates lefty Wandy Rodriguez.
Insight: Soriano is batting just .219 over the past two weeks with one home run and this unfavorable matchup should only add to his downward trend. Avoid.
Starlin Castro, SS5/21/2013 10:25:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is a .182 hitter (4-for-22) against Pittsburgh left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.
Insight: Castro's K/BB (30/7) is undesirable, but he's still usually good to bat around .300 with 80 runs and 25 stolen bases. He's a bit under that pace at the moment and this matchup isn't likely to help.
Scott Feldman, SP5/18/2013 8:23:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Scott Feldman scattered seven hits over 6 2/3 scoreless frames Saturday in a win over the Mets.
Insight: Feldman has been tremendous this year, going 4-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 49 1/3 innings. His 3.97 FIP suggests he'll regress once his .236 BABIP does, but he has been deserving of that BABIP due to his 14.5 percent line-drive rate, one of the best in baseball. The right-hander has stranded 76.9 percent of runners this season, up from 67.4 percent for his career.
Nate Schierholtz, RF5/18/2013 8:21:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz hit his fifth homer of the season Saturday against New York.
Insight: Schierholtz went 2-for-4 in the game to raise his average to .286. He has been Chicago's starting right fielder against right-handers all season and has done nothing to lose the job.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/18/2013 8:16:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a solo homer Saturday against the Mets.
Insight: Rizzo is 32-for-82 (.390) with 10 doubles, four homers and 16 RBI over his last 20 games. He has struck out just eight times in that span.
Matt Garza, SP5/18/2013 4:15:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Matt Garza (lat) will make his season debut Tuesday against the Pirates, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.
Insight: Garza has spent the entire season on the disabled list after suffering a lat strain during spring training. He also missed the final two months last year with an elbow injury, but that injury is completely healed. Garza's return will bump Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen.
Carlos Villanueva, RP5/18/2013 4:10:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva will shift to the bullpen when Matt Garza returns to the rotation, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.
Insight: Villanueva had a 1.53 ERA after four starts, but his ERA has risen to 3.93 after throwing three non-quality starts in his last four outings. Meanwhile, Scott Feldman has been excellent, so Villanueva is the odd man out.
Matt Garza, SP5/17/2013 12:15:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Matt Garza (lat) three six scorelss innings in a rehab start and will throw a bullpen session on Saturday. If all goes well he could be activated and starting next week.
Insight: Garza was a 15 game winner back in 2010 (with Tampa Bay), but has just 15 wins in two seasons with the Cubs. His ERA has been under four in six consecutive seasons and he's a decent low end fantasy starter.
David DeJesus, RFHot5/16/2013 9:46:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder David DeJesus has gone 6-for-12 with a homer, three RBI and five runs over his last three games.
Insight: DeJesus doesn't have much power or speed and his career average is .281, so he has never been a strong fantasy option. But he has a .290 average, five homers, 17 extra-base hits and an .878 OPS through 38 games.
Jeff Samardzija, RP5/16/2013 9:43:00 AM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija won his first start since Opening Day Wednesday against Colorado with eight innings of five-hit, two-run ball. He walked two and struck out seven.
Insight: Samardzija has a K/9 of 10.16, he has raised his groundball rate from 44.6 percent to 50 percent and his line-drive rate is way down. He's 2-5 despite recording a 3.49 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
Carlos Villanueva, RP5/14/2013 11:07:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva was battered for 12 hits and seven earned runs in five innings Tuesday against the Rockies.
Insight: That won't help Villanueva (1-3, 3.93 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) keep his spot in the rotation when Matt Garza returns next week. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said that he might go to a six-man rotation in the weeks following Garza's return, but we can't see him sticking with that for long. Either Villanueva or Scott Feldman will move to the bullpen eventually.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B5/13/2013 12:30:00 PM
Description: Anthony Rizzo has signed a seven-year, $41 million deal with the Cubs with club options for 2020-21.
Insight: Rizzo is a talent you can build your team around and the Cubs recognized that. He hit 15 home runs in half a season last year and after a slow start is batting .280 with nine homers and 28 RBI this season. As long as the money doesn't mess up his head, he should be a fantasy stud for many years.
Edwin Jackson, SP5/11/2013 9:19:00 PM
Description: Edwin Jackson's streak of eight starts in a row without a victory ended Saturday against Washington.
Insight: Jackson allowed two runs in 5 1/3 IP. Only three pitchers in the National League have produced a higher ERA than Jackson this season (6.02). He hasn't been a helpful fantasy contributor since 2011 (3.79 ERA in 32 games).
Scott Feldman, SP5/11/2013 8:53:00 PM
Description: With Matt Garza close to returning from a lat injury, either Scott Feldman or Carlos Villanueva will have to move to the bullpen. SOURCE: Patrick Mooney, Comcast SportsNet Chicago
Insight: Feldman (3-3, 2.70 ERA) has certainly pitched well enough to stay in the rotation and he should have a chance to cement his spot with another good outing Sunday against the Nationals.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP5/10/2013 5:44:00 PM
Description: Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa (forearm) has been activated from the disabled list.
Insight: Fujikawa hasn't pitched since early April due to a strained right forearm. He'll return to a setup role, as Kevin Gregg has gone 5-for-5 in save chances recently. However, Gregg is as shaky as they come, so we could see Fujikawa regain the role eventually.
Scott Hairston, LF5/10/2013 10:22:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston doesn't play every day, but if he's in Friday's lineup he's worth a flier as he is 5-for-9 with four extra base hits versus Washington left-hander Ross Detwiler.
Insight: Hairston has has done very little this season with his .132 batting average, but he has shown some power with three homers in 38 at-bats.
Alfonso Soriano, LF5/8/2013 2:20:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is a prime candidate for the afternoon off as he's a career .100 hitter (3-for-30) against Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook. Update - Soriano is not in Wednesday's starting lineup. Update - Soriano is not in Wednesday's starting lineup
Insight: Soriano has rebounded from a slow start and is hitting .333 over the past six games, so you might try to resist this numbers, but don't. Soriano had 32 homers and 108 RBI last season, but other than a two-homer day last Saturday hasn't put on much of a power display this year. Wednesday is an unfavorable matchup to avoid.
Alfonso Soriano, LF5/8/2013 1:30:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is a prime candidate for the afternoon off as he's a career .100 hitter (3-for-30) against Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook. Update - Soriano is not in Wednesday's starting lineup.
Insight: Soriano has rebounded from a slow start and is hitting .333 over the past six games, so you might try to resist this numbers, but don't. Soriano had 32 homers and 108 RBI last season, but other than a two-homer day last Saturday hasn't put on much of a power display this year. Wednesday is an unfavorable matchup to avoid.
Welington Castillo, C5/5/2013 12:37:00 PM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo (ankle) fouled a ball off his ankle Saturday and will miss Sunday's game.
Insight: He's just dealing with a little soreness, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. He should return soon.
Nate Schierholtz, RF5/5/2013 9:46:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz is just 3-for-21 (.143) with three K in his career against Mat Latos of the Reds.
Insight: Schierholtz has done a nice job as the Cubs' everyday right fielder, batting .305 with three homers, four steals and a .908 OPS, but Latos usually shuts him down.
Alfonso Soriano, LF5/4/2013 7:29:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run homers Saturday against the Reds.
Insight: Soriano had 32 homers and 108 RBI last season, but came into Saturday's game with just one home run and three RBI in 28 games this season due to a 4-for-27 performance with RISP.
Matt Garza, SP5/3/2013 10:48:00 AM
Description: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs starter Matt Garza (lat) could rejoin the rotation during the May 17-19 home series against New York.
Insight: Garza will make his second rehab start Monday for Triple-A Iowa. He'll be evaluated after his third rehab start to determine whether he needs a fourth. If he doesn't, he'll be activated during that series against the Mets.
Alfonso Soriano, LF5/3/2013 9:39:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano owns a batting average under .100 against Mike Leake of the Reds.
Insight: After putting up 32 homers and 108 RBI last season, Soriano has been a disaster in 2013, hitting one homer and driving in just two runs. He's 2-for-21 (.095) against Leake, so don't look for any kind of turnaround Friday.
Starlin Castro, SSHot5/3/2013 9:35:00 AM
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro should enjoy seeing Reds starter Mike Leake Friday afternoon. Castro is 12-for-32 (.375) with three doubles, a triple and six RBI against the Cincinnati right-hander.
Insight: Castro's K/BB (20/3) once again is undesirable, but he has produced a .296 career average in 1,903 at-bats while putting up a 2.79 K/BB. He's batting .283 with three homers and two steals this season.
Travis Wood, SPHot5/2/2013 6:40:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Travis Wood has thrown a quality start (6 innings or more, three earned runs or less) in all six turns this season.
Insight: Wood dropped to 2-2 after losing a 3-2 game against the Padres Thursday, but he allowed just four hits and a walk in 7 2/3 innings. Wood has a 2.50 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in 39 2/3 innings after posting a 4.27/1.20 season in 156 innings in 2012.
Scott Hairston, LF5/2/2013 6:38:00 PM
Description: Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer Thursday afternoon against the Padres.
Insight: Hairston has just four hits in 34 at-bats this season, but three were home runs. He was searching for an everyday job as a free agent this past offseason, but he has not found that with the Cubs. The team has used Nate Schierholtz as the everyday right fielder.
Scott Feldman, SP5/2/2013 9:14:00 AM
Description: Chicago righthander Scott Feldman tossed a complete game Wednesday versus the Padres.
Insight: Wednesday was Feldman's first career complete game. In nine innings, Feldman surrendered just three hits and two earned runs. Feldman (2-3, 3.34 ERA) also produced a season-high 12 strikeouts during the victory.
Matt Garza, SP5/1/2013 7:18:00 PM
Description: Chicago righthander Matt Garza's return from a lat injury is not imminent. He'll need at least three rehab starts before he's ready to face major league hitters. SOURCE: Carrie Muskat, MLB.com
Insight: If that timetable is accurate, the earliest we'd see Garza back in a Cubs uniform would be mid-May. Garza hasn't pitched in a game at the big league level since last July.
Kyuji Fujikawa, RP4/29/2013 7:51:00 PM
Description: Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa (forearm) is expected to head to Triple-A Iowa Sunday for a rehab assignment.
Insight: Fujikawa threw 32 pitches in a bullpen session Monday, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. He'll throw one more bullpen before starting his assignment. Cubs manager Dale Sveum indicated that he's still going with a closer-by-committee approach, but Fujikawa is his best option.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4/26/2013 10:15:00 PM
Description: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo crushed two homers Friday in a win over Miami.
Insight: That gives Rizzo eight round-trippers for the season, which ties him with J.P. Arencibia, Chris Davis and Bryce Harper for second in the major leagues. That's pretty impressive. What's not impressive is the fact that nearly 31 percent of Rizzo's at bats have resulted in strikeouts (26 whiffs in 85 at bats).
Matt Garza, SP4/25/2013 9:00:00 PM
Description: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs starter Matt Garza could be ready to make a rehab start by the end of next week.
Insight: That's the second positive review we've heard today about Garza's recovery from a strained lat. He should be back to reclaim his position as Chicago's No. 1 starter sometime early next month.
Matt Garza, SP4/25/2013 5:02:00 PM
Description: Cubs righty Matt Garza's "dead arm" is feeling better and he'll be able to make a rehab start this week, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. He has been out since spring training due to a lat injury.
Insight: Garza was scratched from a rehab start Wednesday after experiencing the condition following a bullpen session Sunday, but he looks to be back on track and will return sometime in May.
Kevin Gregg, RP4/24/2013 7:41:00 PM
Description: Kevin Gregg recorded his first save as a member of the Cubs Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
Insight: Let's not get carried away here. Gregg has been bouncing around the league for the better part of two seasons now and manager Dale Sveum insists that he'll continue to employ a closer-by-matchup approach in the ninth inning. Gregg is certainly in the mix for saves in Chicago but we're not ready to hand him our full endorsement just yet.
Jeff Samardzija, RP4/24/2013 5:36:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija fell to 1-4 with a tough-luck loss to the Reds Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Samardzija struck out eight and held the Reds to one run despite putting 10 men on base in six innings. He has a 3.03 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a 39/10 K/BB in 32 2/3 innings but he won't win more than 10 or 11 games pitching for this team.
Alfonso Soriano, LF4/24/2013 10:47:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is not in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against Cincinnati. No injury, just a day of rest for a 37-year-old body.
Insight: Soriano went 0-for-6 on Monday, but a three-hit Tuesday raised his average to .286. He still has just one homer after hitting 32 last year. Fantasy owners await a power surge, but it won't be on Wednesday.
Nate Schierholtz, RF4/24/2013 10:22:00 AM
Description: Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz is a career .167 hitter (3-for-18) against Cincinnati starter Mat Latos.
Insight: Schierholtz is getting a chance to be the Cubs' everyday right fielder and is hitting .316, however, this is an unfavorable matchup.
Matt Garza, SP4/23/2013 10:51:00 PM
Description: Cubs righty Matt Garza (lat) has been scratched from his scheduled rehab start Wednesday due to a "dead arm." SOURCE: Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times
Insight: Garza has been experiencing the condition since Sunday's bullpen session. He'll throw another bullpen by the end of the week and get his rehab start rescheduled. The best case scenario is that we'll see Garza back in the first week of May.
Carlos Villanueva, RPHot4/23/2013 10:39:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva has thrown four straight quality starts to begin the season.
Insight: Villanueva took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning Tuesday against the Reds but he walked Shin-Soo Choo leading off the inning and was removed after a sacrifice bunt. Carlos Marmol came on and promptly allowed a game-tying single to Joey Votto. Villanueva is still just 1-0 despite allowing just 16 hits and five earned runs in 29 1/3 innings this season.
Alfonso Soriano, LF4/23/2013 10:34:00 PM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-4 with a run and two steals Tuesday against the Reds.
Insight: Soriano went 0-for-6 on Monday but Tuesday's performance raised his average to .286. He still has just one homer after hitting 32 last year. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to suddenly start stealing bases again; he had just 22 total from 2009-12.
Alfonso Soriano, LF4/22/2013 10:34:00 AM
Description: Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano is just 2-for-18 in his career against Cincinnati right-hander Mike Leake.
Insight: Soriano had his modest six-game hitting streak halted on Sunday and Monday's matchup doesn't figure to be the start of another one. After last season's renaissance (32 HR, 108 RBI), much is expected of Soriano, but to date, we have just one home run and a couple of RBI to show for it. Sit Soriano on Monday.
Edwin Jackson, SP4/20/2013 10:31:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Edwin Jackson allowed five runs on four hits in six innings Saturday against the Brewers, but just one of the runs was earned and Jackson walked only one batter.
Insight: The Cubs' defense made two errors in the bottom of the fifth, leading to three unearned runs, and Jackson made an error in the bottom of the sixth that led to another unearned run. Otherwise, it was the right-handers best outing of the season. He walked 10 batters in 16 1/3 innings over his first three starts, but he has 24 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings this year and is a solid buy-low candidate.
Julio Borbon, CF4/19/2013 8:19:00 PM
Description: Former Texas outfielder Julio Borbon will join the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: The Cubs claimed him off waivers. Borbon has a decent set of wheels (40 steals in 216 career games) but he probably won't play enough to warrant fantasy consideration.
Matt Garza, SP4/19/2013 7:39:00 PM
Description: Cubs righthander Matt Garza had his rehab start Friday cancelled because of bad weather conditions. Instead, he'll get the ball for Double-A Tennessee next Wednesday. SOURCE: Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago
Insight: He's been working his way back from a lat injury and it looks like he could be back in the major leagues by the end of the month. He's Chicago's best pitcher when he's healthy.
Anthony Rizzo, 1BCold4/19/2013 11:08:00 AM
Description: Chicago's talented first baseman Anthony Rizzo is just 1-for-9 against Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada.
Insight: Rizzo is only 9-for-50 (.180) this season, but does have four homers, including a monster blast to right center Thursday night. He hit 15 long balls last year in just 337 at-bats.
Carlos Villanueva, RPHot4/18/2013 9:11:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings Thursday against Texas to pick up his first win of the season.
Insight: Villanueva only allowed nine hits and one run over his first two starts but he had two no decisions. The right-hander had some success after joining Toronto's rotation last season and should be owned in most leagues.
Welington Castillo, C4/18/2013 9:05:00 PM
Description: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo is batting .425 this season after going 4-for-4 Thursday against the Rangers.
Insight: Castillo has struck out eight times without a walk this year, and he profiles as someone who will hit for power but not a high average.
Jeff Samardzija, RP4/17/2013 10:27:00 PM
Description: Due to Wednesday's rainout between the Cubs and Rangers, Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija will avoid Texas and face the Milwaukee Brewers in his next start.
Insight: The Cubs will just push back their rotation a day, giving Carlos Villanueva the start on Thursday. Samardzija is 1-2 but owns a 2.75 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and a 27/6 K/BB in 19 2/3 innings this season. The injury-riddled Brewers are undoubtedly a better matchup than the Rangers.
Matt Garza, SP4/16/2013 9:18:00 PM
Description: Cubs starter Matt Garza (lat) will begin his rehab assignment for Chicago's Low-A team Friday. SOURCE: Gordon Wittenmeyer, Chicago Sun-Times
Insight: The Cubs are treating the game as if it is his first spring training start, so we could still be a month away from rejoining the big league team.
Darwin Barney, 2B4/16/2013 4:22:00 PM
Description: Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney (knee) will return to action Tuesday.
Insight: Barney started the season on the DL after suffering a deep gash in his knee in spring training. Barney has batted .263 with nine homers, 89 RBIs and 15 steals in 329 games in the big leagues, so he has no fantasy value.

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