Cubs

Cubs receive more good news on injury front with Darvish, Edwards

Cubs receive more good news on injury front with Darvish, Edwards

ST. LOUIS — It was a day of good news and bad news for the Cubs on the health status of their injured pitchers.

First, the bad news: Top prospect Adbert Alzolay has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a lat injury.

Now, the good news: Both Carl Edwards Jr. and Yu Darvish threw again Friday with good results and could be back with the club before the All-Star Break.

Darvish threw another bullpen Friday in St. Louis after tossing a bullpen in front of Cubs personnel Tuesday in Milwaukee

"It went well," Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Friday. "You don't want to put too much import on every single bullpen session. But I think he continues to feel good and we continue to move in the right direction."

Darvish (triceps) last pitched May 20 when he allowed only 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings in Cincinnati to pick up his first win in a Cubs uniform.

He also missed nearly two weeks earlier in May with the flu.

The Cubs will continue to let Darvish ramp it up in bullpens for now, increasing the number of pitches. He will eventually go on a rehab assignment and could join the rotation sometime in the next month if all goes well.

Edwards (shoulder) — who last pitched May 26 — threw off flat ground Friday, the third time he's done so. He has yet to throw off a mound and he admitted he'll need some time to get back up to full strength.

He is pain-free and feels fine right now, but is OK with the Cubs' plan to be cautious so the shoulder injury doesn't get "bigger than what it is."

Edwards is also shooting for a return to Chicago before the All-Star Break.

"The important thing with both these guys is that we get 'em healthy and we get 'em right because we're hoping to play for seven months and we want to make sure there are no setbacks," Hoyer said. "In both cases, we're trying to be as cautious as possible and use the time to make sure we get these guys really to 100 percent."

The Cubs are taking the long view with both pitchers, hoping they'll be rested and healthy without much mileage on their arms for the stretch run in September and what they hope is another deep run into October.

For right now, there's not a major need for either guy as the Cubs bullpen has been fantastic even without their top setup man (Edwards) while Mike Montgomery has emerged as the Cubs' best starter over the last three weeks.

Looking back on Rick Monday's flag-saving incident in 1976

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USA TODAY

Looking back on Rick Monday's flag-saving incident in 1976

"I would rather be remembered as someone who stood up and did something about something I felt strongly about, than as someone who just stood there and watched the parade go by."

When you least expect it, life can come at you pretty quickly. The way Rick Monday reacted 43 years ago in a Cubs uniform is still worth remembering.

The Cubs were playing at Dodger Stadium on April 25, 1976. Monday was in his fifth season with the Cubs and playing in center field. Steve Stone was the starting pitcher and in the bottom of the fourth inning, Monday heard something going on around him. Two fans ran onto the field and then past Cubs left fielder Jose Cardinal.

"Is it because they have a bet with somebody?" Monday said. "Is it because they've had too much to drink? Is it because they don't like you?”

The fans turned out to be protesters and one of them was carrying the American flag under his arm. As they laid down the flag and doused it with a can of lighter fluid, Rick Monday darted at them from center field.

"It angered me for a lot of reasons," he said. "First of all, you're interrupting the game. Secondly, now you're bringing out a flag and I was only about three or four years removed from being in the Marine Reserves."

Monday considered bowling them over if he got there on time, but the first match blew out as they tried to ignite the flag. Monday improvised. He scooped up the soaking wet flag and kept running with it. By the time he'd handed it to a teammate near the dugout, Tommy Lasorda let the protesters have a few choice words. At the time, Lasorda was the third baseman for the Dodgers.

"He [Lasorda] came running past me yelling about every expletive that a longshoreman would utter on a bad, bad day!" Monday said.

The fans were arrested, and when Monday came to the plate for his at-bat in the top of the fifth inning, the scoreboard in center field paid tribute with - "Rick Monday...you made a great play" and the California crowd gave the Cubs outfielder a standing ovation. One year later, they'd be cheering for him again. The Cubs traded Rick Monday in a five-player deal that brought Bill Buckner and Ivan DeJesus to the North side. Rick Monday went on to play a total of 19 seasons in the Majors. He was part of the Dodgers World Series championship team in 1981.

43 years after the flag incident, Rick Monday works in the Dodgers radio broadcast booth and that American flag is still a part of his life. He and his wife take the flag around the country while raising money for military charities. Monday says he reacted quickly that day because that's the way he was raised. Six years in the United States Marine Corps Forces Reserves only reinforced those instincts.

"It's a good thing I did get it, because I did not want any of my former drill instructors from the Marine Corps to come and say, 'Hey Marine! Why did you stand there and watch when they ignited the American flag?" Monday said.

An All-American play by a two-time All-Star outfielder

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Addison Russell goes 1-for-4 in rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs

Addison Russell goes 1-for-4 in rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs

Addison Russell is nearing the end of his 40-game suspension for violating the MLB's domestic abuse policy. He made his first rehab start with the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday night, performing quite well in the stint.

He was 1-for-4 with an RBI, one walk and a stolen base to boot in Iowa’s 6-4 win over the Nashville Sounds. Unless there any changes in the expected gameplan, Russell will be able to rejoin the big league club on May 3 at the earliest, when they begin a series against the division-rival St. Louis Cardinals.

Russell was a key piece of the 2016 World Series team but it will be interesting to see how he fits into the mix with Javier Báez in the midst of an excellent season at shortstop.

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