NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Donn Roach will get his second start of the season on Saturday when the Cubs host the Miami Marlins, manager Joe Maddon announced. Roach had been available in the bullpen since starting a game last Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, but hasn’t been used.
"It’s played out pretty well, so now we’ll hold him back for Saturday," Maddon said before the Cubs played the New York Mets on Thursday.
The Cardinals hit the ball hard up the middle against Roach, finding the holes and chasing him after just 3.1 innings in the Cubs' 8-1 loss. His sinker induced ground balls, but not at people. He was 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA at Triple-A Iowa before being called up last weekend.
"We have to be in the right spots for him," Maddon said. "He’s not going to get a bunch of punch-outs. We know that."
For the moment the Cubs might be going with a fifth starter by committee as left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada recovers from shoulder soreness. Maddon says they will make a decision from start-to-start. Triple-A hurler Dallas Beeler could also be in the mix going forward. The Cubs are also looking for starting pitching as the trade deadline approaches at the end of the month.
Roach will have an easier landing spot for his Saturday start. He’ll be at home facing the Marlins without Giancarlo Stanton.
"It was not easy what he had to do," Maddon said of facing the Cardinals on the road.
Soler's return: The Cubs are hoping to have Jorge Soler back from an ankle sprain sometime this weekend. He’s been rehabbing at Triple-A Iowa where he’s 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games. He’ll play again on Thursday and the Cubs will reassess when they get back to Chicago.
"It depends on what he looks like," Maddon said. "I haven’t really heard anything pro or con. He’s just getting his feet on the ground again."
Cubs sign five of top 30: According to MLB.com the Cubs signed five of the top 30 international free agents as the signing period began on Thursday. The top player is shortstop Yonathan Perlaza, ranked 13th on MLB.com’s top 30 international prospect list.