ST. LOUIS – After confirming that Tsuyoshi Wada will miss at least one start because of the shoulder “cramp” that won’t go away, Cubs manager Joe Maddon acknowledged a sense of “urgency” in his desire to see a starting pitcher acquired by the front office.
“Yeah, probably, meaning you always want to make your pitching better,” he said, adding he still has faith in his current rotation. “Of course, Wada being hurt, that’s the rub.”
The Cubs have been aggressively looking for potential trades for starters, but the market is anything but firm, and it might take weeks to land the quality rotation guy they seek.
That leaves at least a three-part plan for surviving until help arrives:
— Put right-hander Donn Roach (one career big-league start; 7-1, 2.29 ERA for AAA Iowa this year) on the mound in Wada’s place Saturday in St. Louis (The plan? “They just said you’re throwing Saturday. Good luck,” Roach said);
–Cross fingers, knock wood and count on $155 million ace Jon Lester to start pitching well enough next time to win for the first time since May 16. And then to keep doing it.
“I’m not worried about Jon Lester at all,” Maddon said. “Jonny’s going to be fine.”
–Pray for rain and/or duck.
NOTES: Outfielder Jorge Soler (ankle) fared well Friday running the bases pregame in what might be his final test before starting a minor-league rehab assignment. Depending how the ankle responds Saturday morning, he could be sent out by the end of the weekend. He was hurt June 1 when he hit the bag awkwardly running to first. …Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the major-league-leading 15th time in Friday’s third inning, matching his career high and leaving him just two short of the franchise record.