Cubs will turn to Trevor Cahill in ‘awful’ day-night doubleheader against Brewers

Cubs will turn to Trevor Cahill in ‘awful’ day-night doubleheader against Brewers

The Cubs will start right-hander Trevor Cahill in Game 1 of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers, manager Joe Maddon said Sunday. 

Cahill will come off the disabled list to make his first start since April 26, 2015, when he was with the Atlanta Braves. The 28-year-old Cahill, who has a 3.07 ERA in 41 innings out of the Cubs’ bullpen, landed on the disabled list July 15 (retroactive to July 9) with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.

Over six minor league rehab games — all starts — with Triple-A Iowa, Cahill posted a 4.58 ERA with 12 walks, 25 strikeouts and three home runs allowed over 19 2/3 innings. His longest minor league outing lasted four innings, so Maddon said he’ll ride Cahill for as long as he can and figure out the rest after. Left-hander Mike Montgomery could be an option to pick up some innings if Cahill has an abbreviated outing Tuesday. 

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Right-hander Hector Rondon is available Sunday after dealing with a triceps injury, so his return will help lengthen the Cubs’ bullpen for Tuesday’s doubleheader as well.

Maddon isn’t a fan of Tuesday’s setup, though, with Game 1 starting at 12:20 p.m. and Game 2 at 7:05 p.m. With the second-year Cubs manager focusing on rest for his team during August and September, a 13- or 14-hour day at Wrigley Field isn’t ideal. 

Maddon acknowledged the "economics" of the day-night doubleheader but explained his displeasure when asked if he'd be in favor of Major League Baseball building in doubleheaders into the regular season schedule. 

“The day-night doubleheader is awful,” Maddon said. “I’m not going to lie, I’m not going to try to pander to anybody. It’s awful. It’s awful to be here all day, I’m always concerned about injury, it’s just a bad day. It’s too long. If you’re going to have a doubleheader, have a real doubleheader — one game, the next game starts a half-hour after the first game — and the players won’t mind that nearly as much.”


Anthony Rizzo joins Cubs All-Decade Team behind efforts on and off field

Anthony Rizzo joins Cubs All-Decade Team behind efforts on and off field

With the 2010s coming to a close, NBC Sports Chicago is unveiling its Cubs All-Decade Team, highlighting the players who made the biggest impacts on the organization from 2010-19.

You saw this one coming, right?

As the Cubs’ longest tenure player, Anthony Rizzo was a shoo-in for this group. He hasn’t relinquished his starting first baseman job since making his Cubs debut in June 2012. The guy’s longevity alone is impressive.

But besides that, Rizzo has been a model of consistency during his time on the North Side. Since 2012, he’s hit 217 home runs (averaging 27 per season) and hit 32 three times from 2014-17. The lone exception? 2015, when he hit 31. So close…

As a Cub, Rizzo is a .277/.376/.496 hitter with a 132 OPS+. He produces at a high clip each season, whether he’s hitting third, cleanup or leadoff, all while simultaneously playing stellar defense. The 30-year-old is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2016, 2018-19).

Rizzo is the guy who comes up huge in key moments but will be there to address the media after tough losses. He’s the de facto captain of the Cubs, the guy who suffered a nasty ankle sprain in September that could have ended his regular season. Instead, he returned four days later for a key series against the rival Cardinals, as the Cubs were fighting to keep their October dreams alive.

When he’s not leading his team on the field, Rizzo is giving back to the community off of it. He’s one of the most charitable athletes in the world and recently raised $1.3 million for children’s cancer research at his “8th annual Walk-off for Cancer” in his home state of Florida.

Rizzo was the first building block of the Cubs core which snapped their infamous 108-year championship drought, but he’ll be remembered for more than that. He’s a leader on and off the field, the clear choice for starting first baseman on our Cubs All-Decade Team.

Also considered: Derrek Lee, Bryan LaHair

Nationals 'love' Kris Bryant but price tag could stymie trade talks

Nationals 'love' Kris Bryant but price tag could stymie trade talks

With Anthony Rendon officially joining the Angels, the Nationals have a vacancy at third base.

Washington has options to replace Rendon; Josh Donaldson is still available in free agency, and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant could potentially be had via trade.

The Nationals have reportedly inquired with the Cubs about Bryant, and while they “love” the 27-year-old, their focus is on Donaldson, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Cubs would likely seek center fielder Victor Robles in a deal, a holdup on Washington's end, Heyman said.

From the Cubs perspective, it would make all the sense in the world to ask for Robles. He’s 22 years old, plays excellent defense (22 DRS in 2019, No. 1 in MLB by center fielders) and is only scratching the surface as a big-leaguer. Robles is projected to be a star, but Bryant already is one. If the Nationals want Bryant badly enough, they’ll have to sacrifice talent in a deal.

On the other hand, it’s easy to understand why Washington would be unwilling to trade Robles, who's under team control through 2024. Bryant will hit free agency after 2021, but if he wins his ongoing grievance case, he'll hit the open market after next season.

Nonetheless, if the Nationals do engage in Bryant trade talks, you can bet the Cubs will at least ask for Robles in return. A trade could be worked out without him, but for a Cubs team searching for better center field production, you've got to wonder who could be more enticing than Robles.

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