Jul 10, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs Announce Partial Pitching Rotation To Start Second Half

When the Chicago Cubs begin the second half of the season on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks, they will send out Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta.  

When they come home, who will be on the mound and who will be on the field will be a mystery.

“Those are still pending,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We still have to have conversations.”

There are some choices to be made as to who will pitch the back end of the rotation. Kyle Hendricks, Dallas Beeler and Tsuyoshi Wada have already pitched this season, and at some point each will pitch again. Who will be the first ones to be called up is the key question.

Hendricks is probably one who will get a long look. He is a more refined pitcher than the other two. He is a pitcher rather than a thrower, so having him learn the league would do him good.

Add Dan Straily to the list. He came to the organization in the Jeff Samardzija trade with Oakland on July 10.

Straily has aomw major league experience, but has struggled this season. He already has two starts in Triple-A Iowa, and has a record of 0-1, with a 4.00 ERA. He has given up 11 hits and 5 walks in just nine innings pitched. Most still expect him to get some chances in Chicago.

The Cubs may still make a deal or two before the deadline, thereby opening up a few spots not only in the rotation but also in the every day lineup.

One player who is likely to stay on the major league club and get a long look is Arismendy Alcantara. He has been great since coming up from Iowa. In 23 at bats so far since being called up, he is hitting .391/.400/.739. He has a home run and five RBI. Of his nine hits in the majors, five of them are extra base hits. He will stay.

Then there is the Kris Bryant/Javier Baez situation.

The fans have been clamoring for one or both of them to get a callup. Both participated in the Futures Game played on Sunday. Bryant went hitless while Baez homered. These two have generated a lot of excitement for Cubs fans.

I would not expect either one to get a long look at the major league level. Baez could possibly be a September callup, but Bryant may not see any time in Chicago just yet. Theo Epstein has already said that he doesn’t plan on bringing Byrant up this season. Of course, as ridiculous as he is hitting, Epstein may change his mind.

The Chicago Cubs certainly have some options to change the roster. “There are more opportunities before us,” Renteria said.

As bad as the record is, getting a peek at what the future of the team looks like can hold off the fans for another season.

Tags: Chicago Cubs Javier Baez Kris Bryant Kyle Hendricks

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