Cubs continue their roster rotation
Donnie Murphy, celebrating his 3-run homer with third-base coach David Bell in the third inning Tuesday, is just one of the latest players to get in a game for the Cubs this season.
If nothing else, the Cubs are going through the players this season.
Historically, that's not such a good thing.
The Cubs activated outfielder Thomas Neal before Tuesday night's 9-8 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Neal became the 49th player to appear in a game for the Cubs this season when he pinch hit in the ninth inning and flied out to end the game with two men on base.
Donnie Murphy and Logan Watkins became Nos. 47 and 48 in Sunday's game against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Murphy started at third base and hit a 3-run home run in Tuesday's second inning, but it wasn't nearly enough for the Cubs, who lost their fifth straight to fall to 49-63.
Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson was cuffed around for 10 hits and 7 runs in 5 innings as he fell to 7-12 with a 4.96 ERA.
The Cubs have been in a rebuilding process for the last two seasons, and with that comes a lot of turnover, not to mention a lot of losses. They've almost completely revamped their bullpen. Injuries and trades have forced the Cubs to go with different combinations in the field, too.
The Cubs claimed Neal off waivers Monday from the Yankees. His addition allowed the Cubs to get down from 13 pitchers to a more manageable 12.
During their 101-loss season last year, the Cubs used a club-record 53 players. Included were such names as pitchers Jason Berken, Justin Germano and Miguel Socolovich.
In 2000, when the Cubs finished 65-97, they used a then-club-record 51 players, including the likes of Daniel Garibay, Tarrik Brock and Danny Young.
With Tuesday's loss, the Cubs are on pace to finish at 71-91.
"Anytime you come to a new situation, you definitely put your best foot forward," Neal told mlb.com. "I just want to get back on the field and play baseball.
"Having to sit four days and waiting to find out what's going to happen can be torture. I'm just excited to be back."
Cougars' Almora sidelined:
The Kane County Cougars, the Cubs' Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, have placed center fielder Albert Almora on the seven-day disabled list with what the Cubs term a slight groin strain.
The Cubs say they hope Almora will miss only about a week.
The 19-year-old Almora was the Cubs' first-round draft pick last year. He has a hitting line of .329/.376/.466 for the Cougars.
Left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch, who played his college ball at Northwestern, tossed a 9-inning no-hitter Tuesday night for the Cubs' Class AA Tennessee affiliate. The 24-year-old Jokisch walked four and struck out eight.
He also went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI at the plate.
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