CHICAGO – The Cubs’ bullpen has taken a decidedly right turn.
The Cubs activated right-handed reliever Carl Edward Jr. off the injured list Friday and optioned lefty Randy Rosario to Triple-A Iowa.
With that and this week’s trade of Mike Montgomery to Kansas City, the Cubs have only one lefty in the bullpen: Kyle Ryan.
“Rosie was just here, and he did OK,” said manager Joe Maddon. “Kyle has been outstanding. It’s always nice to have more than one. When Carl’s right, he’s able to mitigate all that because he gets the pinch-hitter then, too. When you bring in the righty on righty when he’s that guy and then they want to go get the left-hander, you feel really good about it. If we can get him back to normal, it makes that a little bit easier to deal with.”
Edwards had been on the IL since June 13 with a left thoracic strain. He made four rehab outings with Iowa as part of his return, combining to toss 31/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
Rotation stays the same: The Cubs will not skip right-handed starter Alec Mills next time through the rotation.
Mills, who made his season debut with six solid innings against the Reds on Wednesday, will start Monday night’s series opener at San Francisco. He’ll be followed in the rotation by Yu Darvish and Jon Lester.
There had been speculation that with off-days Thursday and next Thursday that Maddon might go with a four-man rotation for a short time, but that seemed unlikely.
Dempster’s doings: Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster hosts his “Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster for Special Olympics Illinois” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Park West, 322 W. Armitage in Chicago. Doors open at 6:30.
Dempster will host a talk-show format with guests Anthony Rizzo, Jeff Garlin, Moises Alou, Jeremy Roenick and Special Olympics Illinois athletes Patrick McCarthy, Tim Hanlon and Daniel Smrokows.
Proceeds will benefit the 23,000 athletes that compete in Special Olympics Illinois statewide. Tickets are on sale at www.offthemound.com.
For a great cause: A young man has gone the distance and is going the distance for kids with cancer and cancer survivors.
Matteo Lambert, 9, of Vienna, Virginia, came to Wrigley Field on Friday and met Rizzo, himself a cancer survivor. Matteo was scheduled to run in Saturday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K, but the event was cancelled because of heat concerns.
Matteo is running 32 5K races (100 miles) in 12 states to raise money.
“My dad, [Brandon], met the charity founder, and I realized what these kids are going through, so I decided to help,” Matteo said. “It’s fun. I’m running for Hopecam, which is a charity that helps kids with cancer connect with their classmates by using a webcam.”
Matteo also is running for Sammi Gaspar, a Des Plaines resident who also survived cancer.
Rizzo hit a grand slam during the Cubs’ 6-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday.
“That was for him,” Rizzo said of Matteo. “He’s running a 5K for kids with cancer, so that’s really special of him to come and hang out here. He wrote me a note before game saying, ‘Let’s help kids be kids.’ It’s a 9-year-old going out of his way to run for kids with cancer, and he’s completely healthy. It’s amazing to see little kids giving back like that to kids. What a heart he has.”
So far, Matteo has raised $20,000. For information, visit the Facebook page “MatteoRuns.”