Cubs talking about former Providence pitcher
If former Providence Catholic High School standout Carmen Pignatiello doesn’t get his first promotion to the majors today, he at least can take solace in the fact the Cubs brass is talking about him.
The Cubs likely will recall a pitcher from the minors today, and Pignatiello, a left-hander at Triple-A Iowa, is under consideration.
“Pignatiello is pitching great,” assistant general manager Randy Bush said. “He’s a guy who, if we were going to add a guy to the (40-man) roster, he’s a guy we would consider. Good breaking ball. His fastball has had good sink, and he’s commanding his fastball a lot better than he has in the past, so he would certainly be a candidate.”
Pignatiello (2.49 ERA in 24 games) isn’t on the 40-man roster, but if the Cubs feel he’s the right man, he could get the call.
“We feel like we have some flexibility with the 40-man,” Bush said.
But the Cubs also might want a reliever who can work longer stints. Neal Cotts (0-1, 7.33 ERA in six starts for Iowa) fits that criteria, but he is struggling.
Pignatiello’s name also came up a few weeks ago, but the Cubs promoted Clay Rapada.
“About two weeks ago, we talked to (Iowa manager Buddy Bailey and pitching coach Mike Harkey), and they tell us who is doing well, and we basically follow their suggestions,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “And two weeks ago, if we needed somebody else, it would have been Pignatiello. He was a young man they suggested.”
Dempster shelved, DeRosa back
Closer Ryan Dempster (strained left oblique) was not available to pitch Sunday, and Piniella said he doubts Dempster will be available tonight, when the Cubs host Colorado.
“I hope this is just for a couple of days, but you don't know,” Piniella said. “I hope it's not a situation where we have to put him on the disabled list.”
Bob Howry recorded his second save of the weekend in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over the White Sox.
Meanwhile, Mark DeRosa started at third base Sunday after being scratched Saturday because of symptoms that left him feeling like he was “in a fog.”
Surprise, surprise, surprise
Aramis Ramirez, who came off the DL on Friday and served as the designated hitter for all three games against the Sox, is to return to third base tonight.
Where does that leave DeRosa - who usually plays second base - and hot-hitting second baseman Mike Fontenot (.345)?
“I’ve got some ideas about that, and they just might surprise you,” Piniella said. “I’ll let you know (today).”
The last time Piniella said he had a “surprise” up his sleeve, he was talking about moving Dempster into the rotation and making either Angel Guzman or Carlos Marmol the closer. That did not materialize.
Sean Marshall pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball against the Sox but was pulled after 81 pitches in favor of Marmol.
“He was starting to get a little tired,” Piniella said. “It was the right time. We’ve been trying to shorten up our starters, too, to keep them fresh in this hot weather in the summer.”
Marshall said he felt fine and added: “I guess it was a better match-up for Carlos to come in and pitch.”
The other Sean shines
Sean Gallagher, demoted to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday to get back on track as a starting pitcher, threw five scoreless innings against Albuquerque on Sunday. He allowed one hit in a 4-3 win, striking out four and walking two.
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