SAN DIEGO -- With the loss of Matt Garza and the trades of Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm, the Cubs have been forced to tap into their Minor League system. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday's start for left-hander Brooks Raley was not a one-time thing."He's a guy who can do things with a baseball with command and a four-pitch guy who you have to give a look at for the last seven weeks of the season," Sveum said.
As expected, the Cubs placed Garza on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, retroactive to July 28, with a right elbow stress reaction and selected the contract of Raley from Triple-A Iowa. Raley made his Major League debut Tuesday against the Padres.Garza, 28, was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts, and most likely is done for the season. Raley, who will wear No. 43, was a sixth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas A&M, where he was a unanimous All Big 12 first-team selection in 2009. He was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July after posting a 2.12 ERA in five starts.
Soriano scratched with sore right hand
SAN DIEGO -- Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano was scratched from Tuesday's lineup because of swelling in his right hand. His status was day to day.Soriano, who is one home run shy of 20, injured his hand sliding into second base in the sixth inning on Monday. He said his hand was accidentally spiked by Padres second baseman Logan Forsythe. "I don't feel comfortable holding the bat," Soriano said. He was to undergo X-rays as a precautionary measure. "He tried swinging a bat and couldn't do it," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "I can't be Superman," Soriano said.
Vizcaino meets Cubs staff, plans for spring return
SAN DIEGO -- Alfonso Soriano remembers facing Arodys Vizcaino last year when the right-hander pitched for the Braves. Soriano didn't do too well."He struck me out," Soriano said of Vizcaino, then a member of Atlanta's bullpen, who struck out the Cubs outfielder twice in three at-bats. "He has good stuff. I didn't know him, and the report said [he .threw] a lot of fastballs, and he got me out with the breaking ball. He surprised me." Now, Vizcaino and Soriano are teammates. The pitcher was acquired from the Braves July 30 in the trade which sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta. On Tuesday, Vizcaino was at Petco Park to work out for pitching coach Chris Bosio and meet the staff. He won't make his Cubs debut this season, having undergone Tommy John surgery in March. Vizcaino will continue his rehab in Mesa, Ariz., at the Cubs complex. "I'm going to be ready next year in Spring Training," Vizcaino said. He's able to throw every other day, and threw on flat ground Tuesday. "I'm happy he's on my side," Soriano said. "The pitcher he is, he'll help the team. I hope he comes back next year stronger."
Josh Vitters made his first Major League start at third base on Monday and impressed Sveum with his defensive work, snaring Cameron Maybin's ball down the line and getting up in time to throw the Padres' speedster out in the sixth inning.
That also was the first ball hit to Vitters in the game. On Tuesday, Vitters got some early infield work with Sveum and coach Pat Listach.
"Watching him defensively taking ground balls, he's gotten better than he was in Spring Training," Sveum said. "Hopefully that continues. The one thing about third base that you have to get these guys to understand is that you have to use your athleticism. It's not that everything is cut and dried. You don't do it mechanically like you do at shortstop and second base. You can go a whole week at third base and not get a routine ground ball."
The Cubs and Cubs wives will host the 10th annual Food Drive at Wrigley Field on Saturday prior to the game against the Reds. Proceeds from the event benefit the Lakeview Pantry in Chicago. Since its inception in 2003, the event has gathered more than 121,000 pounds of food.
Fans making a donation of $20 will receive a 5-by-7 autographed photo of a Cubs player, limited to two photos per person while they last. Donations will be accepted outside Gate D at the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street. A $20 donation allows Lakeview Pantry to purchase 200 pounds of food.
Who's got the best name in Minor League Baseball? It's Class A Boise first baseman Rock Shoulders, who won the 2012 MiLB.com Moniker Madness contest. Shoulders, 20, easily triumped over Rougned Odor in the final, getting 60 percent of the vote.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.