BALTIMORE — About two hours after the scheduled start time of a game Wednesday between the Cubs and Orioles, it was still raining with intermittent flashes of lightning, and the Orioles announced the game was postponed.
The teams are set to make up the game at 2:05 p.m. on Aug. 18. The Cubs had an off day scheduled after a three-game series at Washington that week. Instead, they’ll make the short trip from Washington to Baltimore before traveling home to face the Brewers.
For the Cubs’ series this weekend against the host Yankees, Chicago plans to activate left-hander Wade Miley (left shoulder strain) from the 15-day injured list to start Friday. Rookie Matt Swarmer is set to make his third major-league start Saturday. The Cubs’ probable starter for Sunday has yet to be determined.
Cubs manager David Ross has options. Right-hander Marcus Stroman was originally scheduled to start Wednesday. When the game was postponed, he headed to the bullpen through the rain to throw. If lefty Justin Steele starts Sunday, that would give him six days in between starts.
Veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks’ last start was June 1, when he allowed three runs in five innings against the Brewers. But he said Wednesday that nothing specific was bothering him physically.
“We sat down and had a discussion about it,’’ Hendricks said of the extra rest between starts. “But obviously Rossy makes the decisions around here. And so I’m all on board with it. But it’s just rest, just give me a blow here real quick. And then it’s going to pay off in the long term, I think for sure.”
The two off days on the schedule this week means the Cubs didn’t need a fifth starter for this turn in the rotation.
“Anytime you do take a little time off, you can use it to just step away for a minute and mentally and physically recharge the body, but also let the mind go and just reset,” Hendricks said. “Reset and refocus on the things that I need to do well.”
Suzuki back soon?
Ross described the status of outfielder Seiya Suzuki as “status quo” Wednesday afternoon. Suzuki, who is on the 10-day IL with a left ring finger sprain, has been going through a full range of baseball activities in Baltimore this week.
“I don’t think it’s any better, I don’t think it’s any worse [than Tuesday,]” Ross said Wednesday. “But we’ll see how he comes away from batting practice today and judge after that.”
Ross added that Suzuki could return for the Yankees’ series this weekend.
All-Star voting begins
Major League Baseball launched All-Star voting Wednesday. The nine Cubs on the ballot are catcher Willson Contreras, first baseman Frank Schwindel, second baseman Nick Madrigal, third baseman Patrick Wisdom, shortstop Nico Hoerner, designated hitter Rafael Ortega, and outfielders Suzuki, Ian Happ and Jason Heyward. Two phases of fan voting determine the starters. In a twist this year, the top vote-getter in each league will win an automatic starting spot. The All-Star Game is set for July 19 at Dodger Stadium.