The Cubs made a series of roster moves before the Christmas holiday.
The Cubs claimed pitcher Edgar Olmos off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday, released infielder Brendan Ryan and had pitcher Yoervis Medina claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Olmos, a 25-year-old left-hander, came to the Cubs initially as a waiver claim on Dec. 4 from the Seattle Mariners, before the club put him right back on waivers and the Orioles scooped him up Dec. 10.
Olmos is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA and 1.789 WHIP in 11 career MLB games (19 innings). He posted a 4.44 ERA in the minors, making 73 starts and 126 relief appearances.
Ryan came over as the player to be named later in the Starlin Castro-Adam Warren trade with the New York Yankees earlier this month. Ryan turns 34 in March and is known more for his defense than his bat (.610 career OPS). He was officially added to the Cubs' roster just last week.
[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
Medina was designated for assignment by the Cubs Dec. 17. The 27-year-old right-hander appeared in five games (nine innings) for the Cubs in 2015, putting up a 7.00 ERA and 1.778 WHIP.
The Cubs acquired Medina from the Mariners in May as compensation for the trade that sent catcher Welington Castillo to Seattle.
The Cubs' 40-man roster now sits at 40.
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 hit the 30-homer threshold on June 21, 1998 in only his 71st game of the season. For perspective, the 2018 Cubs leader in homers on June 21 is Javy Baez with 14 and Mike Trout leads all of baseball with only 23.
At this point, Mark McGwire was ahead of Sosa, but the Cubs slugger was pulling closer. McGwire had 33 dingers on June 21 while Ken Griffey Jr. had 28 and Greg Vaughn had 25.
Sosa' June 21 homer came off Tyler Green and was his 5th blast of the series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field that year. But the Cubs lost that series, despite Sosa's efforts.
Fun fact: Sosa drove in 10 runs in the three-game series with the Phillies that summer while the rest of his teammates combined for only 9 RBI.
The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, a team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.
Check out the entire podcast here: