Cubs

Cubs reportedly add veteran depth in the form of Carlos Gonzalez

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USA TODAY

Cubs reportedly add veteran depth in the form of Carlos Gonzalez

The Cubs are reportedly adding a veteran hitter to their depth chart.

According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers, the Cubs are signing 33-year-old outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a minor-league deal:

Gonzalez is a 12-year MLB veteran, having spent almost all of that time with the Colorado Rockies, where he hit 227 homers and posted an .865 OPS in more than 1,200 games.

He hit free agency this winter and didn't sign with a team until he inked a deal with the Indians on March 19. He was released by Cleveland last week after hitting .210 with a .558 OPS in 30 games, but is only a couple seasons removed from hitting 25 homers with 100 RBI with the Rockies.

The Cubs don't know when — or if — Ben Zobrist will return and they've been trying to find a fit for the 25th man on the roster for a while, with outfielders Mark Zagunis and Jim Adduci filling that role. Zagunis made the big-league club out of spring training, but he was sent down to the minor leagues last weekend and had not started a game since April 26. Adduci started Monday's game in Houston in right field and went 0-for-4.

The Cubs could certainly use another veteran bat, especially one who hits left-handed like Gonzalez. They've been without Zobrist for more than three weeks and they've definitely missed his professional approach in the lineup. On top of that, fellow veteran Daniel Descalso has endured a really tough month of May (.094 AVG, .302 OPS with 18 strikeouts in 53 at-bats).

Ian Happ is still working on his swing and continuing his development down in Triple-A Iowa and his promotion to the big leagues does not appear imminent, so it wouldn't be shocking to see Gonzalez find his way to Chicago sometime in the near future.

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Brandon Morrow sidelined with upper chest strain, no timetable for return

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USA TODAY

Brandon Morrow sidelined with upper chest strain, no timetable for return

Brandon Morrow’s comeback attempt has hit a bump in the road.

Morrow, the Cubs reliever and former closer, has what the club is calling a “mild right upper chest strain,” according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. Bastian added Morrow felt the strain in his last bullpen session and there is no clear timeline for his return.

The strain is the latest ailment to sideline the oft-injured Morrow, who hasn't pitched since July 2018 due to a series of arm troubles. The 35-year-old has undergone two elbow surgeries since then (November 2018, September 2019) before becoming a free agent this winter. He rejoined the Cubs on a minor-league deal.

Morrow entered camp optimistic the latest procedure did the trick to get his elbow healthy. The Cubs have been easing him into action — the right-hander is throwing one bullpen every four days. Morrow said earlier this month he’s experienced some aches and pains but attributed those to being part of the rehab process.

Morrow is listed as day-to-day, according to Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune. But considering his injury history — and the fact he was already unlikely to crack the Opening Day roster —  the Cubs will proceed with extreme caution. There's no need to expedite his return, mild strain or not.

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David Ross has flu, won't manage Saturday's spring training opener

David Ross has flu, won't manage Saturday's spring training opener

David Ross' spring training managerial debut will have to wait until Sunday, at least.

The Cubs' first-year skipper has the flu and will miss Saturday's game against the Oakland A's. Bench coach Andy Green will be the acting manager in his place.

Saturday isn't going as planned for the North Siders. Besides Ross' absence, inclement weather in Arizona forced the club to push back first pitch from 2:10 p.m. CT to 7:10 p.m.

Weather permitting, here's the lineup the Cubs are rolling out tonight against Oakland:

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