Emilio Bonifacio injured, likely headed to DL
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Sports Reporter June 12, 2014 7:04PM
Updated: June 12, 2014 11:03PM
PITTSBURGH — Leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio is likely headed to the disabled list after suffering a right rib cage injury swinging the bat in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Bonifacio grounded to shortstop Jordy Mercer and almost immediately crumpled to the ground in pain, holding his side. He eventually was helped up by trainers and walked gingerly off the field.
He’s expected to be evaluated by team doctors Friday.
Chris Coghlan replaced him in the lineup and moved to left field, with Junior Lake switched from left into Bonifacio’s spot in center.
Outfielder Ryan Sweeney (hamstring), who has fared well this week in a minor-league rehab assignment with Class A Kane County, was pulled from the Cougars’ lineup after Bonifacio’s injury, suggesting a return from the DL on Friday when the team opens a series in Philadelphia.
Not Shark month
Ace Jeff Samardzija owned the best ERA in the majors entering June, but in three starts this month, he has been inconsistent — just in time for the trade season to start heating up.
Samardzija pitched well in a victory against Miami at home Saturday, but he’s been roughed up in two road starts this month, though reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen was responsible for much of the damage Thursday. He left the game in the seventh after allowing a leadoff double. Six of Samardzija’s season-high nine hits allowed went for extra bases.
He opened the month with the worst start of his career, giving up eight runs in three innings in Milwaukee.
McCutchen feasted on Cubs pitchers this week, making a four-game case for keeping him in mind for another MVP.
Through Thursday’s second rain delay, he was 8-for-13 with seven extra-base hits — including three home runs — and three walks. He had driven in nine of the Pirates’ 17 runs.
The Cubs signed Yorvit Torrealba, 35, to a minor-league deal. The 13-year veteran played for Colorado in 2013 (61 games, .240, no homers). He was in the Angels’ camp this spring.
◆ The Cubs’ eight-week run with an extra pitcher in the bullpen looks to continue. Even with roster moves pending, the Cubs like the added flexibility in protecting young arms and first-time relievers, and manager Rick Renteria said there are no immediate plans to go back to a full-strength bench.