Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Roster tinkering continues: Fox, Pignatiello up

The shuttle between Des Moines and Chicago continues. Trib beat reporter Paul Sullivan over at the Chicago Tribunes baseball blog--HardBall is reporting the latest roster moves by Jim Hendry and the Cubs:

The tinkering continues Tuesday at Wrigley Field when the Cubs call up left-hander Carmen Pignatiello and outfielder Jake Fox from Triple-A Iowa in time for tonight's game against Cincinnati.

Pignatiello, from Providence High in New Lenox, is 1-0 with a 2.72 earned-run average, with 41 strikeouts and 13 walks in 46 1/3 innings.

Fox, who is making his second stint with the Cubs, hit three home runs in a game last week. He's hitting .328 at Iowa with five homers and 13 RBIs and has 23 homers overall with Iowa and Double-A Tennessee.

AZ Phil over at The Cub Reporter speculates that the move that will be made with Pignatiello coming up is right hander Sean Gallagher will make his way back to Iowa. That makes sense to me. Although, that move would once again leave lou Piniella without a long man. Hopefully the Cubs can make it another few weeks to September 1 without a long man then they can expand their rosters. The corresponding move with Jake Fox is a little less clear. Sullivan speculates that Eric Patterson who has seen little time since his callup last week will be sent down.

Thus begins a very important week and stretch for the Cubs. This week the Cubs will welcome division rivals Cincinnati and St. Louis to the Friendly Confines. The Cubs are also beginning a period where they will play 17 of their next 21 ballgames at Wrigley Field, 13 of those 17 home games are against NL Central foes. With only a month and a half to go every game is now imprortant for this club. Here ae the current divisional and wildcard standings:

Central W L PCT GB
Milwaukee 62 56 .525 -
Chicago 60 57 .513 1.5
St. Louis 55 60 .478 5.5
Houston 53 65 .449 9.0
Cincinnati 50 67 .427
Pittsburgh 49 67 .422

The Cubs elimination number in the division is 44.

San Diego 63 54 .538 -
Philadelphia 62 55 .530 1.0
Atlanta 62 56 .525 1.5
Colorado 61 56 .521 2.0
Chicago 60 57 .513 3.0
Los Angeles 60 58 .508 3.5
St. Louis 55 60 .478 7.0

The Cubs elimination number in the Wildcard is 43.

I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to see the Cubs easiest route to October baseball is going to be catching Milwaukee and taking the NL Central. Yeah the Cubs are only 3.0 out in the wildcard but they have to pass 4 teams to get to the top of those standings. Take care of the Brewers and hold off the Cardinals and the Cubs should find there way to the tournament.

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