Cubs

Cubs announce one-year deal with Brett Anderson

Cubs announce one-year deal with Brett Anderson

The Cubs announced Thursday a one-year deal with free-agent pitcher Brett Anderson, an announcement that was anticipated after reporting earlier this week.

The team made things official Thursday, adding the left-hander to its 40-man roster.

Anderson spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, though his 2016 campaign was derailed by injury, as has so often been the case throughout the 29-year-old's major league career. Last season, Anderson pitched in just four games.

The year prior was only the second time in his eight big league seasons Anderson made 30 starts in a single season. During the 2015 season, he was 10-9 for the Dodgers with a 3.69 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 31 starts.

Anderson started 30 games for the Oakland A's as a rookie during the 2009 season and struck out 150 batters, finishing sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting. But as the years went on, his durability went down. He started 19 games in 2010, 13 in 2011 and six in 2012. He made 22 total appearances with the A's and Colorado Rockies during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Given those health concerns, the Cubs reportedly structured the contract in a very interesting fashion, as chronicled by MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

The Cubs add Anderson to a group of starting pitchers that includes Cy Young contenders Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks at the top of the rotation and veteran John Lackey in the No. 4 spot. While Mike Montgomery is the odds-on favorite for the final spot in the rotation entering spring training, Anderson is now in the mix.

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans. 

 

 

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with.