Cubs

Cubs in a holding pattern with Miguel Montero

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Cubs in a holding pattern with Miguel Montero

CINCINNATI — The Cubs will get a longer look at Kyle Schwarber while Miguel Montero is sidelined with a sprained left thumb.

Montero recently visited hand specialists in Chicago and Arizona, and the Cubs had more information on the injury by Tuesday, saying the plan is to let the two-time All-Star catcher rest for two weeks and then evaluate it again at that point.

Whenever Montero’s cleared, he would obviously need a rehab assignment and time to ramp things up again. He got injured on July 11 against the White Sox, in the second-to-last game before the All-Star break. He was hitting .230 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs through 73 games.

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That created an opening for Schwarber, who can’t have the same advanced feel for game-calling and pitch-framing, or comfort level with the speed of the game in the big leagues.

But the Cubs love Schwarber’s offensive potential, drafting him No. 4 overall out of Indiana University last year and watching him put up 34 homers and 102 RBIs through 147 games in the minors.

Schwarber grew up about 40 miles from here, rooting for his hometown Cincinnati Reds and winning the MVP honors in last week’s All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ball Park.

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: