CHICAGO – The Cubs can’t wait for newly acquired reliever Jesse Chavez to show up.
Chavez is scheduled to be in uniform for Saturday’s day-night doubleheader at Wrigley Field against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cubs obtained him Thursday night in a trade with the Texas Rangers. With Cubs starting pitchers consistently failing to go deep into games, the bullpen needs a shot in the arm. They had to use infielder Tommy La Stella, catcher-infielder Victor Caratini and infielder-outfielder Ian Happ as pitchers in Friday’s 18-5 loss to the Cardinals. Manager Joe Maddon said he would talk to Chavez early Saturday.
“Just pop him in the bullpen, try to give him some definition once he gets here,” Maddon said. “The versatility is so attractive. If you have a problem early in the game, you could easily fill that spot game. If it’s the latter part of the game and some guys have been utilized a lot, then you can just throw him in back there. It’s kind of interesting. It’s kind of this super-u (utility) guy in the bullpen.
“I’ll talk to him. I want to talk to him first, see what he’s comfortable with and then try to figure it out after that because he’s very good. He’s been good for a long period of time, and I think he’s the kind of guy who has a variety of different uses potentially for us.”
For the Rangers, Chavez was 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA this season.
He’s not the GM: Maddon gave an interesting answer when asked how much input he has in trade talks.
“Zero,” he said. “Should be (zero). I don’t get to go out and watch them. The input would be if our guys are interested in somebody, they would ask me about him. Then I would tell them what I think. But I should have no impact on trades. Coaches and managers should never.
“We don’t get to see these guys perform against somebody else other than us. You fall in love with guys, you start hating guys just based on competition against you. And that’s a bad method. So for me, that’s what front offices are there for. That’s what scouts are there for. Managers should not have a part of that.”
Carpenter’s a beast: Matt Carpenter became the first Cardinals players since at least 1908 with at least five extra-base hits in a game. He matched the franchise record with 16 total bases with three homers and two doubles. His six leadoff homers this season represent a Cardinals record. He has 21 leadoff homers for his career, tying Hall of Famer Lou Brock for the franchise record.
Carpenter was pulled from Friday’s game after hitting a three-run homer in the sixth.
This and that: According to research historian Ed Hartig, the Cubs used multiple position players as pitchers in a game for the first time since June 16, 1884, a 20-9 loss at Buffalo. ... Jon Lester had his eight-game winning streak snapped and picked up his first loss since May 23.