The Cubs will come out of the All-Star break with a three-game series next weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Manager Joe Maddon said Saturday that he will go with a starting rotation of Yu Darvish, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana against the Pirates.
It’s not certain when or if the Cubs will recall rookie right-hander Adbert Alzolay from Class AAA Iowa. Alzolay started Saturday night for Iowa.
Alzolay got into three games for the Cubs, starting two, after being recalled June 20 and winning in his debut as a reliever that night.
“We haven’t popped him in yet at this particular time,” Maddon said. “We’re still considering some other items other than that first three starting the second half. He always has a chance, I can’t deny that. There are certain things we saw that we want him to get better at.”
Hoping for Zobrist: Cubs president Theo Epstein said he does expect veteran infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist to return at some point this season.
Zobrist has been on the restricted list since May 8 as he deals with family issues.
“We expect him back later in the year,” Epstein said. “We have a sort of soft understanding of when that might be, but I don’t want to put a timetable on it or overly rely on it, either. We’re all looking forward to having him back if that’s able to happen.”
Epstein said the Cubs do miss Zobrist’s veteran leadership, but he did not want to put the team’s recent struggles on that.
“We do miss him in the clubhouse,” Epstein said. “He’s such a pro, a veteran and a guy people would turn to when things were going fast. He had sort of seen it all, done it all.
“There have been plenty of days when you look at the lineup and you miss that, but I don’t want to make that connection on one guy.”
White Sox promote Robert to Class AAA Charlotte: Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal have been teammates at Class AA Birmingham since early June, and both top prospects are going to be representing the White Sox on Sunday at the Futures Game in Cleveland.
After that, the dynamic duo are going to be split up for a bit.
Before Saturday night’s game against the Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field, Sox general manager Rick Hahn announced that Robert is being promoted to AAA Charlotte.
There is only one more hurdle to clear before the dynamic center fielder lands in the major leagues.
Could Robert be on the Sox’s roster later this season?
“Quite frankly, it’s premature to really speculate along those lines,” Hahn said. “As you’ve heard me say going back to spring training when asked about Luis and this season, the two primary goals for him were really to get him through the season healthy and, ideally at age 21, acclimate himself well in the Double-A Southern League and perform well at that level.
“Knock on wood, the first part has held true so far, and for the second we feel like he has done a great job so far this year. He’s ready for that next challenge.”