Chicago Cubs: Andrew Cashner
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs surged ahead early in a 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres in the third of a four-game set at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
How it happened: Former Cub and No. 1 draft pick Andrew Cashner started for the first time against Chicago. Cashner was traded to San Diego for first baseman Anthony Rizzo in 2011. Manager Dale Sveum started seven left-handed hitters in his lineup. Starlin Castro started the scoring with an RBI single that plated Julio Borbon in the first inning. Cubs starting pitcher Scott Feldman doubled in the second run, scoring Darwin Barney in the second inning. Cashner's pitch count (76 through three innings) skyrocketed in the third, thanks in large part to a two-run double by catcher Dioner Navarro. Cashner’s 89th pitch was an RBI groundout off the bat of Luis Valbuena. Nate Schierholtz doubled home the sixth run in the seventh inning. San Diego second baseman Jedd Gyorko hits his first major league home run to break up Feldman's shutout in the eighth. Chase Headley homered with one out in the ninth.
What it means: The Cubs have won six of their past nine games. With a win on Thursday, they can wrap up their second straight series victory. Feldman pitched his first career complete game as he records his second consecutive win while striking out 12. That matches his career high. After a rough beginning to the season, the veteran pitcher has been outstanding as of late.
Outside the box: Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said infielder Ian Stewart is not ready to return to the major leagues; he's rehabbing a leg injury in the minors. Teams can send a player out for only 20 days on a rehab assignment. “You can always get recertified if you are not healthy yet," Epstein said. "He has had some bumps and bruises along the way. We will just monitor it daily and see how he is doing.” Another rehab began for the Cubs as RHP Matt Garza threw 42 pitches in 2⅔ innings at Double-A on Wednesday. Garza is rehabbing from a strained side muscle he injured on Feb. 17. Sveum said Garza will return to the team in between minor league starts. He also stated his pitcher would be re-evaluated after the third outing.
Up next: Chicago LHP Travis Wood (2-1, 2.25 ERA) faces Padres LHP Eric Stults (2-2, 5.67 ERA) in Thursday's series finale.
Traded for Anthony Rizzo in 2011, Cashner will start against his former team on Wednesday. Cashner had been a bullpen pitcher until recently being converted back to a rotation pitcher.
“This is a very special place,” Cashner said of Wrigley Field. “Babe Ruth sat in that same locker room I just left. You can’t deny the history of this place and the Cubs. I made my debut here so it will always be special in that aspect.”
Apparently it’s off limits to go there with Cashner, now of the San Diego Padres, who responded in a huff and essentially took a happy-go-lucky welcome-back interview into awkward depths. The discussion ended there and the right-hander walked off, seemingly proud of himself.
Maybe all things Chicago bug Cashner, he of the powerful right arm who was traded out of the organization not long after Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer arrived.
Sorry, but the health of that right arm is sort of relevant. Hoyer just spent some time Sunday saying that live pitching arms are the club’s goal in next week’s draft. Maybe because Cashner went through a rotator cuff strain last season, new management didn’t think his powerful right arm was a safe bet for the long term. Who knows?
With Friday’s trade for first baseman Anthony Rizzo, they appear to have gone back to the future on a player that both of them have admired for five years.
The Rizzo connection runs deep for all of the Cubs’ top execs. Vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod drafted Rizzo in the sixth round of the 2007 draft when he, Epstein and Hoyer were all working for the Boston Red Sox.
If you’re not confused yet, now you will be. Hoyer and McLeod each signed Rizzo once. They now have traded for him twice in two years. Epstein signed Rizzo once, traded him once and now has traded for him.
I guess all of that goes to say that they are intrigued by the 22-year-old Rizzo. They believe he will be an impact player and should be a starting first baseman in the major leagues no later than 2013.
“He has fantastic makeup,” Hoyer said. “After beating cancer when he was 19 years old, he’s a very strong individual. In San Diego I got to know him better than I did in Boston. He makes a big impression on his teammates and he’s an incredibly hard worker. He’s a leader that can put our organization, our team on the right path as far as our culture. He’s a very impressive individual.”
The trading of Andrew Cashner for Rizzo brings some finality to the Prince Fielder rumors and puts the superstar free agent in the Cubs’ rear view mirror.
Hoyer stated that Rizzo will start the 2012 campaign in Triple-A Iowa. But the Cubs GM left a tiny opening for Rizzo to possibly break camp with the team if he has a great spring training.
“I’m never going to say never,” Hoyer said. “But that’s not the plan we are going into spring training with. In general, I think winning jobs in spring training is a very dangerous thing. That’s especially true with hitters in Arizona. The ball really flies there. A lot of hitters look good. A lot of things can deceive you in Arizona. The plan is that Bryan LaHair will be our first baseman and that Anthony will be in Iowa.”
Rizzo struggled at the major league level last year after dominating Triple-A pitching. Hoyer assumed responsibility for Rizzo’s initial failure.
“We called him up because we weren’t getting any first base production in San Diego,” Hoyer said. “It was too early and a mistake on my part. So I didn’t do Anthony any favors there.”
As for Cashner, it appears he’ll most likely be the primary set-up man for Padres closer Huston Street. Cashner’s shoulder injury after his first major league start on April 5, 2011 was basically the end of his season last year. During a rehab session on May 16, he re-injured his strained rotator cuff and didn’t pitch again until September, when he came out of the bullpen in the last month of the season.
Cashner, a No. 1 pick by the Cubs out of Texas Christian in 2008, pitched in the Arizona Fall League in October and November strictly out of the bullpen.
Hoyer also said that the team still hopes to re-sign free agent Kerry Wood and it appears that right-hander Jeff Samardzija may have to stay in the bullpen rather than get an opportunity to switch to the rotation.
Hoyer said on Friday that he expects more moves in relation to the pitching staff.
“When I see what happened in the rotation in 2011, the injuries to Cashner and [Randy] Wells set the season on the wrong path because there wasn’t enough depth in the minor leagues. We have worked hard and will continue to work hard on adding even more pitching acquisitions so we can go seven, eight and nine deep and that we feel we can replenish the bullpen as well.”
The Cubs are still trying to figure out if they are going to trade starter Matt Garza. The team also has had continuous conversations with the agent for free-agent left-hander Paul Maholm over the past five weeks.
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The team acquired Anthony Rizzo from the Padres in a deal that sends right-hander Andrew Cashner to San Diego.
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As the Chicago Cubs’ newly installed front office, led by president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, head to this year's winter meetings, here’s a look at some of the team’s most pressing questions.
1. How will the Cubs go about rebuilding the starting rotation?
The Cubs’ rotation is in need of a major upgrade and new direction under soon-to-be-introduced pitching coach Chris Bosio. During the 2011 season, starting pitchers Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells both went down with arm injuries the first week of April. The organization had no viable options to replace them. Epstein is on record as saying he’ll want to know not only who his first five pitchers are but also six through nine. In other words, he wants depth.
Addressing the organization’s lack of pitching depth may come at a high cost, so the team may take a step backward before moving forward. A large number of team’s are likely to enquire about the availability of 28-year-old righty Matt Garza.
Although Ryan Dempster may be the leader of the staff, Garza is the ace of the team’s group because of his stuff. Please ignore his 10 wins in 2011, Garza left seven other starts with a lead but ended up a no-decision. Garza’s 3.32 ERA in 31 starts was significantly better than the staff’s overall ERA 4.43. Garza still managed to throw 197 innings, striking out 197 hitters despite missing three starts with an elbow contusion.
Tampa Rays president Andrew Friedman found out last year that established pitching can get you back a ton of prospects. Garza’s value to teams like the Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox is obvious. He is under contract control for two more seasons. He’ll make between $8.5 and 9 million in 2012 through arbitration.
Ironically for the Cubs, Garza is the one pitcher on the roster who could be a building block. Still, the team can take a giant step toward rebuilding its future by dealing him to the highest bidder. A major league source has already indicated that the Rangers have asked about Garza’s availability.
Looking at the top free agent pitchers, it’s doubtful the Cubs would pay the $120 million free agent lefty C.J. Wilson is seeking. The asking price for 33-year-old Mark Buehrle also appears to be rising. Industry sources believe Buehrle will get at least three years and $40 million on the open market. It appears more likely the Cubs will go after free agents like Aaron Harang, who might come at a more reasonable price.
Will the Cubs shuffle around their bullpen?
The Cubs’ bullpen was a strength last season, as lefty Sean Marshall continued to lead the way. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija and lefty James Russell continued to grow into their bullpen roles. Samardzja has let team officials know that he’d like to get a chance at the rotation this spring. He grew as a pitcher by leaps and bounds in 2011.
It’s possible Samardzija ends up as the team’s closer if the Cubs move Carlos Marmol. Numerous scouts told ESPNChicago.com that Marmol should bounce back in 2012, after blowing 10 of 44 save opportunities this past season. The baseball talent evaluators point to Marmol’s 313 relief appearances since 2008 – a major league high during that span -- as the determining factor for his down 2011 season. If the Cubs look to trade Marmol, Cashner, Samardzija and prospect Chris Carpenter could all be groomed for the closer role.
What type of players will the Cubs add to fill out the roster?
The signing of David DeJesus last week shows that the Cubs will put a premium on versatile, athletic players this offseason. The Cubs will be looking for more left-handed hitting, and Carlos Pena’s return at first base in 2012 is a possibility. Pena was offered salary arbitration by the club and has until Dec. 7 to accept. If he does, he will have a one-year guaranteed deal with the team. Second and third base will also be assessed as the team moves forward. Darwin Barney and D.J. LeMahieu are possibilities at both spots.
That said, the team’s top free agent need may be a versatile third baseman. Sources say that Colorado’s Ian Stewart and San Diego’s Chase Headley could be trade targets for the Cubs over the next week. The Cubs like both players, and Headley played for Jed Hoyer over the past two seasons in San Diego.
Is Soto still in the plans?
Numerous teams may approach the Cubs about the availability of Geovany Soto. He is coming off a disappointing 2011 season in which he struck out 124 times and led all catchers in errors (13), but the Cubs may hesitate to move him with a dearth of suitable replacements available. Soto will make at least $4 million through arbitration. The Pirates and Giants inquired about Soto at last year’s trade deadline, and the Pirates still may have interest. The Cubs have up-and-comers Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger in their system. Neither, however, appears ready for full-time duty.
Outside of a wild shot at Prince Fielder, whose agent (Scott Boras) is seeking a seven-year deal, and Buehrle or Wilson, the Cubs may decide to spend their time in Dallas looking for trades and adding more players like DeJesus who are versatile and less costly.
Theo and Co., roll up your sleeves and make the same magic happen as in Boston. If you can pull it off, Mayor Emanuel will be naming the streets after you.
ST. LOUIS – Repairing the starting rotation in 2012 will be a top priority for the Chicago Cubs. The team’s yet-to-be-named general manager likely will begin his or her tenure looking for answers inside the organization.
Two young pitchers are in the mix as possibilities to fill rotation roles next season.
Andrew Cashner strained his rotator cuff in his first major league start on April 5, and never made it back to the team’s rotation. Cashner has pitched out of the bullpen since returning from the injury in early September. The question for Cashner is whether his role of the future will be in the rotation or in the bullpen.
The free agent market for starting pitchers is thin, Texas Rangers starter C.J. Wilson is the top available pitcher. After Wilson, options are limited. So unless the Cubs can make some astute trades in the offseason, Cashner and Jeff Samardzija could be the team’s best options to round out what has been a problem area for the team in 2011.
As it stands now, Matt Garza is under contract and Ryan Dempster has a $14-million option to return in 2012. That leaves three rotation spots open with the presumed departure of Carlos Zambrano via trade or outright release.
Cashner was originally told he would head to the Arizona Fall League as a starting pitcher. Now the conversation has changed.
“I have no idea on my schedule in Arizona,” Cashner said. “From what I’ve been told now, I’ll go to the Fall League as a reliever and pitch one or two innings every time out. But we’ll see how it goes when I get there.
“They haven’t told me what my future is going to be yet. I’d like to start. I hope to get a chance to start. I feel I can help this team as a starter. But I have to stay healthy first.”
Samardzija, coming off a solid season in the bullpen, is eager to start as well. He has proven to baseball talent evaluators this season that he can pitch in the big leagues.
“He’s really improved since I saw him in May,” Philadelphia Phillies scout Charlie Kerfeld said. “He’s not the same pitcher. This guy’s fastball command and presence have really come along.”
The Cubs will have to decide if Samardzija is going to continue as a late reliever or move to the rotation. The Notre Dame grad has filled both roles since signing a four-year, $10 million contract before the 2008 season.
“I really feel I have evolved as a pitcher,” Samardzija said. “Everything has kind of kicked in for me this year. With the help of [Mike Quade] he’s allowed me to extend out and bounce back when I’ve done poorly.”
For that reason alone, the Cubs have decided to keep Samardzija in the bullpen this season rather than experiment with him in the rotation.
“They wanted me to stay in the bullpen because I had success there,” he said. “Didn’t want to bounce me around anymore. But I’m going into the offseason preparing like I’m a starter. I’ll be doing a whole lot of sets of nine. Everything on my mind will be gearing toward nine innings pitched. I’m going to get my mind and body ready to be a rotation pitcher. That’s what I’m being told and that’s what I’m going for.”
The Cubs bullpen currently features nine arms, seven of which were brought up through the Cubs system. Only veterans John Grabow and Ramon Ortiz didn’t spend the majority of their careers with the organization.
Neither Grabow nor Ortiz is expected to return next season and it’s possible the Cubs will replace them with internal candidates like the recently recalled John Gaub or the soon-to-be-called-up Rafael Dolis.
After being acquired in a trade for Mark DeRosa, Gaub had an outstanding 2009 season, recording a combined 80 strikeouts in 60 innings for Double-A Tennesee and Triple-A Iowa . One scout who watched him that season called him the best lefty relief prospect in the game. Gaub struggled mightily in Iowa in 2010 (his BB/9 jumped from 5.0 to 8.3), but bounced back with a strong 2011 campaign and looks to once again have a bright future in the big leagues as more than just a one-out lefty.
Dolis is a power pitcher and while hopes are high for him, he’s going to have to improve upon his 4.3 BB/9 if he’s going to be a relied on arm out of the bullpen.
The good news for both pitchers is that with the likes of Marshall and Jeff Samardzija around, Dolis and Gaub hopefully won’t be pressed into high pressure situations too soon.
Samardzija and Marshall, both of whom struggled when originally used as starters at the major league level, have thrived in their current roles. Marshall, who picked up the save on Saturday, has struck out 75 and walked only 17 in his 72 innings of work this season, becoming one of the best lefty set-up men in all of baseball. Samardzija is finally starting to live up to the high expectations that were heaped upon him when he was first drafted in 2006. He’s struck out 86 in 85 1/3 innings and while his 48 walks on the season are a tad high, it’s an area that he’s improved as the season has gone on.
Other arms that could help bolster the bullpen in the coming years include Jeff Beliveau (who, along with hot prospect Brett Jackson, will play for Team USA in the Pan-Am Games this spring), Chris Carpenter, and even further down the pipeline, Aaron Kurcz and Kevin Rhoderick.
It’s possible that Kerry Wood may not be re-upped for next season and Samardzija may fill a rotation spot. If that happens, at least young reliever will have to step up. Unless acquiring a dominant closer, it’s unwise to give high-paying long-term deals to a reliever; they rarely seem to work out. The Cubs have been bitten numerous times in the recent past by this strategy, with Bob Howry, Scott Eyre and, most recently, John Grabow, none of whom lived up to the multi-year deals they signed.
Of course, the main objective for a minor league system is to provide high-end starting pitching talent. Unfortunately, the Cubs have been unable to accomplish that recently, and once-highly-thought-of starters Jay Jackson and Trey McNutt are both having disappointing seasons. Jackson seems to have lost the velocity that scouts once raved about, but finished his season strong, compiling a 2.95 ERA with 32 strikeouts and only 11 walks in his last 7 starts.
Injuries have also played a big part in the Cubs’ attempt to develop starting pitchers. McNutt was hampered by blister issues and bruised ribs for much of the year and likely deserves a pass on his subpar 2011.
Andrew Cashner looked brilliant in his one start with the Cubs this season (one earned run in 5 1/3 innings) before exiting with shoulder pain. After a long rehab, Cashner is finally back and pitching out of the bullpen, but there is hope he’ll be a big part of next season’s starting rotation.
Even breakout prospect Robert Whitenack, who had a 1.73 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 14 walks in 11 starts at two levels in the minors, had his season cut short by Tommy John surgery.
While the starting pitching situation is hardly ideal, the Cubs have been able to effectively build a bullpen. With more promising arms on the horizon, the Cubs should only have to spend lightly on undervalued veteran bullpen arms. That way they’ll be able put their resources where they’re most needed, -- acquiring starting pitching, quality defenders and offensive players with the ability to get on base.
Cashner, who was activated off the 60-day DL on Monday, initially injured his right rotator cuff on April 5 and reinjured it on May 16 in a final bullpen session before getting a minor league assignment.
After another six weeks of rehabilitation, Cashner finally pitched in a professional game in Double-A Tennessee in late July.
The process of returning to the majors has been a long one for the Cubs' No. 1 draft pick in 2008. He compiled eight rehab outings, including five with three starts at Tennessee, and three starts at Triple-A Iowa. None was more than one inning.
The Cubs will use Cashner out of the bullpen the rest of the season.
Cashner told ESPNChicago.com on Wednesday that he'll go to the Arizona Fall League and make 5-6 starts before shutting it down until 2012. The Arizona Fall League starts on Oct. 4.
Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins said Cashner will initially just throw an inning out of the bullpen. The plan is that if he does warm up, he'll go into a game or sit down for the night. There will be no second warmup.
The Cubs hope Cashner can get stretched out a bit in the fall league and compete for a rotation spot in 2012.
Cashner said on Wednesday he'll go to spring training early a few days after the Cubs Convention.
CHICAGO – Here are a few roster-related notes I gleaned at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.
• The Cubs called up three players Tuesday (D.J. Lemahieu, Luis Montanez and John Gaub). Catcher Wellington Castillo was not among them due to a strained hamstring. Castillo was invited to come to Chicago and be a part of the team, however.
• Manager Mike Quade will use those call-ups on occasion, but he said the veterans who have been with the team throughout the season deserve to be in the lineup every day.
“Oh yeah! I think there is some happy medium,” Quade said. “These [veterans] absolutely deserve it. I’ve given some of them some down time. I rested [Alfonso] Soriano and I rested [Carlos] Pena. We will continue to look for spots to get the kids in, but, oh yeah, by the way, you’re trying to compete and win some games.”
Quade’s problem is that many of the veterans put the team in a better position to win, but the fan base would prefer to see more areas of player development this month. If you look at second base and shortstop, the team has young players developing every day at those positions in Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. The team could consider putting Lemahieu at third base on occasion, but that takes at-bats away from Aramis Ramirez, Chicago’s most impactful hitter.
Montanez is a nice extra man, but at 29 he is hardly a prospect. The same can be said of Bryan LaHair, who at the age of 28, led the minor leagues in home runs with 38 this season.
• Gaub should get some time in the bullpen. The lefty is considered a bona fide prospect and a threat to make the Cubs’ roster in 2012. Gaub will be joined in the bullpen by Andrew Cashner, who began the season in the rotation before suffering a rotator cuff injury in April.
Quade said Tuesday that he will not use Cashner in back-to-back games. Quade also said he’d like to give Cashner “clean” bullpen innings to work – meaning that he would not pitch with men already on base. In those instances, Cashner can get proper warm-up time.
• Look for the Cubs to add two or three players from Double-A when the Tennessee Smokies conclude their playoff run. Pitcher Rafael Dolis and catcher Steve Clevenger, have already been identified as two likely call-ups.
• One note on the major league team: Utility man Blake DeWitt is nursing a strained hamstring, but he might be used off the bench.
The first thing any team needs is a standout pitcher to anchors its rotation. Manager Mike Quade believes that Matt Garza can be that ace.
“We’re gonna need that guy,” Quade said. “We want that guy to give us eight (innings) once in a while, maybe nine. I think he’s a horse, I really do. I think he’s capable of better, I think we’ll see better.”
The Cubs defense, an area they’ll surely have to shore up in 2012 if they hope to improve, didn’t do Garza any favors. Two errors led to two unearned runs, but Garza wasn’t about to throw his teammates under the bus.
“I’m not going to worry about anybody else, I gotta control me,” Garza said. “Yeah it can (tick) me off; if it (ticks) me off and I don’t control (my emotions) then I’m just going to let it get out of hand. That’s not what I need to do. Physical errors are going to happen. (Shoot), I have some of my own. I just got to keep going, keep controlling myself and the situation.”
While Garza and Ryan Dempster are likely to be a big part of next season’s rotation, there are plenty of question marks behind them. Andrew Cashner's development over the coming month will be crucial in trying to fill one of those holes.
Cashner (shoulder) returned from the 60-day disabled list prior to Monday’s game after making a short rehab stint in the Cubs’ minor league system. In his five appearances, Cashner pitched a combined 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking none.
“Velocity was there. I was really pleased with the way everything’s gone,” Cashner said Monday. “No pain. I feel like I’m 100 percent and ready to roll.”
Cashner (who pitched Sunday in Triple-A) said he’d be available to pitch in relief tomorrow, but it’s believed that the Cubs don’t want to use him on less than two days rest, meaning he won’t pitch until Wednesday at the earliest.
An exact plan has yet to be laid out for Cashner’s future, though he did say he expects to return to starting when he pitches in the Arizona Fall League this October. One would assume that the Cubs will build up his pitch count slowly and hope that he’s ready to contribute at full strength as a starter by next April.
One role the Cubs thought they had locked in for the next few years was at closer. However, Carlos Marmol has blown a league-leading nine saves this season and has struggled through easily his most rocky season. On Saturday, Marmol turned a 5-3 lead into a 7-5 deficit when he gave up a ninth-inning grand slam to Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman Derrek Lee; an outing that only added to the mounting questions as to if Marmol would remain the closer for this season and beyond. With a 1-2-3 ninth on Monday to preserve the Cubs’ victory, Marmol was able to at least temporarily quiet some of those rumblings.
“Figuring out how to get back to where he was, figuring out how to deal with the frustration of not saving some games that he’s accustomed to saving, it’s all still a learning process,” Quade said. “He’s still very young, I wish he hadn’t had this adversity, for sure, but I do believe he’ll be better for it. The response today was exactly what you’re looking for.”
Though it’s uncertain what direction the next GM will want to go, Marmol said he wants to remain the closer for as long as he’s with the Cubs. He has at least one ardent supporter in Garza.
“You don’t want a closer who’s afraid to grab the ball, and he’s not,” Garza said. “He wants the ball every chance he gets. It’s a rough year, what are you going to do? Next year he’ll learn from what he did. (The) last three or four seasons he’s been unbelievable. It’s just a rough patch.”
Rough patch or not, the fact is, a once rock-solid option to close a game has now turned into a major question mark. While Garza gives the Cubs a little bit of clarity for next year, both Cashner and Marmol just add to what’s already a very murky future.
Cashner is expected to be in uniform Tuesday, but he is unlikely to pitch until Wednesday at the earliest. He has been throwing every third day as part of his rehab.
Cashner was placed on the DL on April 8 (retroactive to April 6) with a right rotator cuff strain. He re-aggravated the injury while rehabbing in mid-May. He is expected to stay in the bullpen for the remainder of this season.
Cashner’s activation could be one of many roster moves the team makes in the coming days.
Infielder D.J. Lemahieu and relief pitcher John Gaub are expected to be called up Tuesday from Triple-A Iowa. After that, the team likely will wait until the end of the Double-A playoffs before promoting two players on the Tennessee Smokies. Right-handed pitcher Rafael Dolis and catcher Steve Clevenger are on track to get promoted after the conclusion of those playoffs. Clevenger must be added to the roster before he is eligible to play in the major leagues.
Cashner’s coming off the DL and Celvenger’s eventual addition will max out the Cubs’ 40-man roster. With that, the team may consider designating players currently on the 40-man roster for assignment.
One player who will not be ascending to the 40-man roster is outfielder Brett Jackson. Rated as the organization’s top prospect, the Cubs have decided to keep Jackson in the minors for the remainder of this season. The team also canceled Jackson’s Arizona Fall League slot. The young outfielder will instead play with Team USA in the Pan Am Games this fall.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, a roster spot will have to be opened for Carlos Zambrano’s return to the active roster. Zambrano will be coming off the disqualified list after 30 days. He will not re-join the team, however.