Cubs poised to seal some deals
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org July 25, 2012 10:24PM
Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, left, rounds third to greetings from coach Pat Listach (4) after hitting a solo-home run off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kevin Correia during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, July 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Updated: August 27, 2012 11:17AM
PITTSBURGH — Against great odds, the Cubs returned home from Pittsburgh on Wednesday night with the same roster they left Chicago with six nights earlier.
But amid a trade market that has buzzed with activity over the last 48 hours, the Cubs might not get to game time Friday without moves. A dozen Cubs are on the block, and the Ryan Dempster field is narrowing significantly.
‘‘Anything can happen in any hour or any minute,’’ said manager Dale Sveum, who has potential trade targets Paul Maholm, Matt Garza and Dempster on his pitching docket for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
But there’s no reason to expect that Dempster will be around for a start that would come several hours after the non-waiver trade deadline.
‘‘Yeah, we’ll get something done,’’ assistant general manager Randy Bush said of the volume-selling Cubs consummating some deals before the deadline. ‘‘We’re having a lot of positive talks with a lot of teams about a number of our players.
‘‘We all feel confident that we’re going to be able to make a deal that helps us in the future.’’
Rizzo strike force
Struggling rookie Anthony Rizzo broke out against right-hander Kevin Correia with two hits, including his first home run since July 6 (on an 0-2 pitch), and drove in both runs against the Pirates. He was 4-for-19 without an RBI the first five games of the trip.
‘‘For the most part, he’s had a good two-strike approach,’’ Sveum said of Rizzo’s ability to have good at-bats Wednesday.
Sveum stopped short of pointing out that Rizzo hits with two strikes in nearly half his plate appearances (46 of 97), falling behind 0-2 and 1-2 in most of those counts.
Even though Alfonso Soriano had a home run and four RBI in the first two games of the series, Sveum stuck to a plan laid out weeks ago of getting him more rest the second half of the season.
Soriano was out of the lineup for the afternoon game, giving him two days off ahead of the series opener Friday against the Cardinals at home.
‘‘You don’t like to, but you have to do it just for the long run and for his legs,’’ Sveum said of the player tied for the most home runs (19) in the National League since May 15.
‘‘He got a lot of those after he had a little break, too.’’
One conflicting factor in the Cubs dealing Dempster to his preferred team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, is the Dodgers’ interest — according to a source — in Garza, even with Garza’s triceps strain putting a possible start Monday in doubt. But the Cubs’ asking price is the potential sticking point in a Garza deal, the source said.
† Randy Wells underwent an arthroscopic ‘‘clean-out’’ procedure on his pitching elbow and is out for the season. He finished 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA in 282/3 innings for the Cubs (four games started) and 3-3 with a 7.89 ERA in nine starts for Class AAA Iowa.
† Outfield prospect Jorge Soler hit his second home run in four games for rookie-level Mesa on Tuesday night.
He has four hits and four strikeouts.