Hey, better late than never, right? Paul Sullivan:
- In a shakeup of their roster, the Cubs made three moves today to help their lineup and their pen.
Jake Fox, who is hitting .423 with 17 home runs and 50 runs batted in for Triple-A Iowa over 40 games, was called up. Joining the infielder from Iowa is shortstop Andres Blanco and left-handed reliever Jason Waddell. Blanco is hitting .314 with 4 home runs and 25 RBI. Waddell has made 18 appearances for Iowa and has a 5.40 earned-run average.
To make room for Fox, Blanco and Waddell, the Cubs put Aaron Miles on the 15-day disabled list and sent down fan-favorite Bobby Scales and lefty reliever Neal Cotts, who has struggled to get out left-handed batters this season.
It's a shame about Scales, who's actually done quite well since getting called up a few weeks ago. Considering that he plays second base and third base -- two positions at which the Cubs have gotten almost no production this spring -- Scales must be wondering what else he could have done. And with Miles hitting the DL, who's going to play second base? Blanco, with the .290 career on-base percentage? OK, so all that came with the Royals when Blanco was still soaking behind the ears. Now he's 25, and doing well enough in Triple-A this season.
Obviously, Fox is the interesting guy here. Unfortunately, he's not in today's lineup and it's not at all obvious where he'll fit, since he can't really play third base and the Cubs are committed to Derrek Lee for the interminable future, even though Lee hasn't hit much since more than a year ago.
All these moves, then, are just fooling around at the edges. The Cubs need Geovany Soto and Milton Bradley to hit, and Aramis Ramirez to come back strong. Otherwise all the Jake Foxes and Andres Blancos in the world aren't going to make any difference.
Update: Well, the Jake Fox Era is off to a good start, as Fox drove an RBI double into the gap as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth.