Cubs Notes: Castro Done for Season, Jackson to Bullpen

Well Cubs fans, it looks like we won’t get a chance to see a Baez-Rizzo-Soler-Castro lineup this season.

It was probably a long shot, but I was holding out hope to see Starlin Castro get a couple games in at some point over the final week. Before Tuesday’s game, manager Rick Renteria put those dreams to bed when he said the shortstop would not return from the ankle injury suffered Sept. 2.

We’ll just have to wait until next year (eh, we’re used to it) to see that lineup. Throw in some Kris Bryant and that’s when things get really fun.

This all assumes, of course, that Castro will be back next year. I, for one, don’t think the Cubs would be willing to part with Castro until they have a better idea of what Addison Russell can do at the big-league level.

Castro batted .292/.339/.438 this season, with 15 home runs in 134 games. It’s the fewest amount of games he has played since his rookie year.

Jackson to bullpen, Wada returns to rotation

Not shocking news, but Rick Renteria said before Tuesday’s game that Edwin Jackson would head to the bullpen for the remainder of the year.

We speculated this might happen after Jackson’s disastrous previous start (0.2 innings, five runs), but now it’s official. The starters for the final series of the season will be Eric Jokish, Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks.

The return of Wada to the rotation is interesting, as the Cubs made it seem as though his previous start would be his last. I would have thought they’d rather get another look at either Felix Doubront or Jacob Turner.

It’s also nice to see the Cubs let Hendricks get one last start; he deserves it. Hendricks gave up three runs in 5.1 innings against the Cardinals on Tuesday.

Breaking good

The Cubs — finally! — are expected to break ground on the Wrigley Field renovations this weekend. Carrie Muskat says the first phase will include bleacher expansion and the addition of the video scoreboard and Budweiser sign in right field. The video board should be ready for Opening Day next year.

The Cubs clubhouse, bullpen and batting cages are scheduled to be completed by 2016.

It felt like this would never begin, but here we are. You have to wonder how much the delay caused by the rooftop contract situation affected the Cubs’ rebuild.

Other notes

* Welington Castillo had another good game in Tuesday night’s win against the Cardinals. He hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th…and then for some reason was pelted with the rosin bag during the Cubs’ celebration. In total, Castillo had three RBI and added his 13th home run on the season.

* The Cubs bullpen shut down the Cardinals after Kyle Hendricks departed in the sixth. Five relievers combined to pitch 4.2 scoreless innings and giving up only three hits. The ‘pen has been a strength for the majority of the season. I would like to think it continues next year, but bullpens can be very unpredictable from year to year.

* The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs could announce their TV broadcast plans for 2015 sometime this week. The Cubs opted out of their agreement with WGN last year, and are exploring options ranging from a new regional sports network to a short-term solution. This will be a huge story to monitor in the future as a mega TV deal could provide a great deal of financial resources for the team.

* Jesse Rogers spoke with Theo Epstein in a podcast on Tuesday, focusing a lot on strikeouts versus on-base percentage. Epstein admitted the lineup the Cubs are building will strike out quite a bit, but that they have some solid OBP pieces such as Soler, Bryant and Rizzo (and hopefully Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell in the future). He also mentioned Arismendy Alcantara could be a 20-homer guy and that his walk totals will go up as he becomes more comfortable.

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