Wrap-Up: Chicago Cubs Vs. New York Mets (6/26/2012)


June 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Joe Mather (16) celebrates with catcher Geovany Soto (18) after a two run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Cubs waited until Tuesday to show off their highly touted prospect in first baseman Anthony Rizzo, because on Monday the team was against Johan Santana of the New York Mets.

Before we dive into the game details, lets talk about Rizzo once more. Though this time we will look at what the corresponding roster move will be. We have already gone to great lengths talking about the type of player Rizzo will be for the Cubs, but we have yet to look at the corresponding roster move to be made in order to create an opening for Rizzo on the 25 man roster.

The way I see it, there are two options to be removed from the 25 man roster. Those two options are infielders Adrian Cardenas and Jeff Baker. However, the Cubs have reportedly already notified Cardenas that he would be optioned to Iowa on Tuesday once the Rizzo move becomes official.

Cardenas is hitting .189/.231/.324 with the Cubs this season in 37 at bats. Cardenas has always been recognized for his offensive ability, but the lack of playing time that Cardenas has received may have contributed to his struggles with the Major League team. Nonetheless, it would appear that Cardenas is headed back to Iowa.

The reason I mentioned Jeff Baker is because the utility infielder is hitting .250/.301/.357 on the season in 84 at bats. At 31 years of age, Baker’s journey-man career will likely continue on with a new team after the season, if not after the July 31 trade deadline. Even though he has struggled, it would be more beneficial for the Cubs to have Cardenas receive the at bats that Baker is getting. Nonetheless, Baker will have a new teammate in Rizzo while Cardenas takes the newly opened spot on the Iowa Cubs roster.

Baker contributed to the Cubs 6 to 1 victory over the New York Mets as the veteran went 2 for 4 on the day with a double and a run driven in. Here are some other things to take away from Monday’s victory against the Mets.

What Went Right: Joe Mather switched his number to 21 in honor of Roberto Clemente, which showed on Monday, as the center fielder hit a two run home run to get the Cubs’ offense going in the fourth inning. Baker, shortstop Starlin Castro, and catcher Geovany Soto each had a RBI on the night. Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood outpitched Johan Santana on Monday. Wood pitched seven shutout innings while allowing 5 hits, walking one batter, and striking out 6.

What Went Wrong: Not too much went wrong for the Cubs on Monday, though, the top three hiters in the Cubs’ lineup were a combined 1 for 13. The Cubs benefited from poor play by the Mets fielders as the Cubs offense still left 8 runners on base and went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

What Was Interesting: Even though some have called it luck, Travis Wood has been pitching well for the Cubs this season. After another impressive outing against the Mets on Monday, Wood now has an ERA of 3.54 to go along with a WHIP of 1.20 in his 8 starts for the Cubs this season. When the Cubs acquired Wood from the Cincinatti Reds in a trade that included Cubs’ reliever Sean Marshall, many fans were up in arms at the fact that the team would trade Marshall for pitcher in Wood that stuggled in the 2011 season. Wood, so far, has proven that the trade was not as one-sided as most Cubs fans believe it was.