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updated: 7/30/2014 1:54 AM

'Moving day' could be here at Wrigley Field

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  • Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson made it through just 4 innings Tuesday night against the Rockies.

      Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson made it through just 4 innings Tuesday night against the Rockies.
    Associated Press

  • Starlin Castro hits a sacrifice fly to score John Baker in the 16th inning and give the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Rockies early Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

      Starlin Castro hits a sacrifice fly to score John Baker in the 16th inning and give the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Rockies early Wednesday at Wrigley Field.
    Associated Press

 
 

We could talk again about another non-quality start by the Cubs' Edwin Jackson.

But we've been over that ground -- again and again and again.

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For the record, Jackson lasted only 4 innings Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs and taking 105 pitches to do it. The Cubs fell behind 3-0 in the first inning but rallied to tie it in the fourth.

Just after 1:30 a.m., the Cubs won 4-3 on a 16th-inning sacrifice fly by Starlin Castro. It was the longest game in the Cubs' history.

Instead of talking about Jackson, let's talk about moving day. In golf tournaments, "moving day" occurs on Saturday, when the contenders move into contention to win on Sunday and the pretenders move on out.

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer termed Wednesday "moving day" for making trades. Although Thursday is the deadline for making trades without having to put players through waivers, it wouldn't be surprising to see deals made one day early.

"I think we'll be active," Hoyer said. "It wouldn't surprise me if we made no moves. But I guess I would say I expect to be active. We're having a lot of conversations. It's still early.

"Tomorrow is sort of moving day. I expect that things will get a lot more serious as we move into tomorrow. You get too close to the deadline and you can kind of cut short your natural process.

"Tomorrow is the day. Toward tomorrow evening is when people start to hone in on the deals they want to make. I expect that will be the same thing this year."

The Cubs set off their big fireworks on the Fourth of July, trading pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for prospects.

However, they do have several tradable commodities, including infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Chris Coghlan and left-handed relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright.

The Cubs already have laid the groundwork for deals, so if anything is done by Thursday, it'll be the culmination of a lot of talks more so than something that just pops up.

"It's sort of hard to find a dance partner on the 30th and 31st," Hoyer said. "I think people cast a wide net early and then they sort of hone in on what they think is realistic. As you get toward (Wednesday) evening, people want to make deals, and they're a little bit more willing to pair off, and I would expect it to be the same thing (Wednesday)."

Bonifacio showcased himself nicely Tuesday, with a double, single and homer, respectively, in his first 3 at-bats.

It would be miraculous if the Cubs could move Jackson, who is in the second season of a four-year, $52 million deal agreed to by Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein. Jackson has made 22 starts this season, and only 5 have been quality starts. The Cubs need much better if their already beat-up bullpen is going to avoid death by exhaustion.

"We need our starters to get deep," Hoyer said. "I think that Jake (Arrieta) and Kyle (Hendricks) and (Tsuyoshi) Wada have done a good job the last three days. It makes a huge difference for us. When you're covering 12 outs a night, that's really hard on those (bullpen) guys. They end up getting tired.

"You've seen that different performance on those guys over the last week or 10 days. We had a pretty good run for a month, month-and-a-half, where we had a great bullpen. Some of it's naturally those guys wearing down, and some of it is having to cover too many innings.

"We need to get some length out of all the guys and get these guys rested."

bmiles@dailyherald.com

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