Cubs

Cubs could try to add another hitter for playoffs with Tommy La Stella's future uncertain

Cubs could try to add another hitter for playoffs with Tommy La Stella's future uncertain

The Cubs tried to add a left-handed hitter before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, but the Oakland A’s wanted young pitching in return for Josh Reddick and the Cincinnati Reds wouldn’t seriously consider trading Jay Bruce to a division rival.

The Cubs now might attempt to get a different deal done during the waiver period, given all the uncertainty about Tommy La Stella’s future and an Aug. 31 deadline where new players can still be eligible for a postseason roster.

“We have to think through things from the organization’s standpoint, and having really good left-handed bats potentially off the bench is really important for us,” general manager Jed Hoyer said before Tuesday’s 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field.

“As we look at things, we love our depth right now, and I think that may not necessitate a move. But certainly we would have to look for left-handed bats to make sure that we are prepared for a good right-handed reliever late in the season.”

The Cubs acquired Austin Jackson from the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 31 last year, adding a right-handed hitter, experienced playoff performer and defensively gifted outfielder to their bench.

The Cubs could make a similar move now that La Stella — a .295 hitter with a .388 on-base percentage in 122 plate appearances this season — refused to report to Triple-A Iowa, moved onto the temporarily inactive list after getting optioned on July 29 and told ESPN he’s contemplating retirement.

“We want him back, and we want him playing,” Hoyer said. “There’s no question he makes us a better team and a better organization. But we’re trying to think of him right now — and allow him the time to process what he needs to process to get back on the field.”

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers 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 is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: If Cubs somehow miss the playoffs will Joe Maddon's seat start heating up?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: If Cubs somehow miss the playoffs will Joe Maddon's seat start heating up?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Friedell (ESPN.com) and Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times) join David Kaplan on the panel.

The guys discuss Welington Castillo’s 80-game PED suspension, the Cubs struggles and if Joe Maddon could be on the hot seat if the Cubs somehow miss the playoffs in 2018.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: