CINCINNATI (AP) The Cubs lost a game to the weather but got a step closer to having their rotation back in form.
The opening game of their series with the Cincinnati Reds was postponed on Monday following a 57-minute delay to the first pitch. It was the eighth postponement in 12 years at Great American Ball Park.
The game wasn’t immediately rescheduled. Reds manager Bryan Price said the game won’t be made up during this series. The Cubs visit for a four-game series from July 7-10.
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”There’s no way we’ll make it up in this series,” Price said. ”The way it works out, we’ll probably be able to make it up during that series in July before the All-Star break.”
Rain has been a problem in Cincinnati this season. The Reds have had one game postponed and another suspended overnight because of rain. They’ve had rain delays for four of the 10 games totaling 8 hours, 57 minutes.
The teams will stay on schedule with their starters. Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija will face the Reds’ Alfredo Simon on Tuesday night.
Samardzija is trying to break a streak of 11 straight starts without a win since last Aug. 30. Samardzija has pitched well – quality starts his last eight games – but the Cubs have scored only 21 runs while he was on the mound in the last 10 games.
Last Wednesday, Samardzija left with a 5-2 lead before Arizona rallied for a 7-5 win.
Manager Rick Renteria said that right-hander Jake Arrieta will be activated off the disabled list later this week. Arrieta threw on Monday without problem. He’s been sidelined since March 21 with tightness in his pitching shoulder. Right-hander Carlos Villanueva will move into the bullpen.
”Jake was slated to start with us,” Renteria said. ”It’s nice to have him back. He’s still working his way back in terms of trying to get his feet back under him.”
Renteria planned to give struggling outfielder Nate Schierholtz a day off on Monday, with Ryan Kalish starting in right field. Schierholtz is in a 2-for-11 slump.
”He hates to come out of the lineup,” Renteria said. ”It’s not really physical. It’s more mental when you’re pushing yourself on a daily basis.”
It will be Simon’s first scheduled start since an unidentified woman filed a civil lawsuit against him in a Washington, D.C. court last Thursday, claiming he sexually assaulted her in a hotel one year ago.
”I take him at his word that nothing happened and he’s assured me that he’s ready to pitch and his focus is on pitching,” Price said.
Simon has been one of Cincinnati’s best starters while filling in for the injured Mat Latos, who had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee on Feb. 14. Simon is 3-1 with a 1.30 earned run average in four starts.
Latos had a setback in his recovery from the knee problem when he developed soreness in his pitching forearm near the elbow. He has resumed playing catch and could get back to throwing off the bullpen mound later this week.
”Once we get him on the mound a couple of times, then we go out there and do a simulated game and then get him into rehab games,” Price said. ”He’s not like starting from square one, even though he’s just playing catch now.
”If we don’t have any setbacks, we should be able to progress pretty quickly through this rehab.”
Closer Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to throw to Reds batters again on Tuesday before the game. If that goes well, he could start a rehab stint in the minors.
Chapman was hit on the forehead by a line drive on March 19 and had a metal plate inserted in his forehead to help fractures heal.
”If everything goes well with that (on Tuesday), then we anticipate getting him out on a short rehab and then having him back with us pretty quickly,” Price said.
NOTES: The Cubs haven’t fared well against the Reds overall. They dropped two of three at Wrigley Field this month and haven’t won the season series against Cincinnati since 2009. They’re 6-16 against Cincinnati over the last two seasons and 10-28 over the last three. … The Reds’ Skip Schumaker started a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Monday. He’s recovering from a separated left shoulder suffered during spring training.