Good morning, frents!
It's hard to believe the final day of June is already here, though July can't arrive soon enough for the Cubs.
Sox 7, Twins 6
Brewers 2, Cubs 1
Cubs at Brewers (1:10, Marquee)
Twins at Sox (7:10, NBSCH)
Sky at Wings (7, The U)
The White Sox are healing
We've been discussing Sox contingency plans for so long it's easy to forget some of the problems are closer to fixing themselves.
The rehab programs for Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Michael Kopech still have to be completed but all three have the potential to get the Sox closer to whole as the postseason approaches.
- Robert was cleared to "increase his level of baseball activities" on Tuesday after tearing his hip flexor on May 2. The outfielder will start a four-week rehab program in Glendale and go on a minor-league assignment after that if all goes well. That would put Robert on track to return to the Sox outfield in late August or early September.
- Jimenez started his rehab at the Sox complex two weeks ago and said on Instagram Tuesday that he feels close to 100 percent after injuring his pec in spring training. A minor-league assignment could come soon and, if that holds, Jimenez could presumably return soon after the All-Star Break.
- Kopech is close to returning to the big league club after throwing a couple of simulated games over the past week. He's missed the last month with ... what else? ... a strained hamstring.
Returning a fully functional Robert and Jimenez would give the Sox some of the power they've been missing. The club has hit only 72 homers this season, the fewest in the American League.
Kopech, meanwhile, gives the Sox an answer to some of the questions that have arisen between the departure of the starters and Liam Hendriks' appearance in the ninth.
Getting all three back won't solve every problem, of course.
Second baseman Nick Madrigal is definitely out for the season and it'd be good if the Sox can close the deal for D-Backs second baseman Eduardo Escobar.
A left-handed power bat would also be a nice addition and, like DB said on Tuesday, we know a guy in Washington who can't stop hitting homers.
Finally, given the team's proclivity for frequent injuries, they can't accumulate enough depth. It'd be a shame to get three All-Star caliber players back only to see holes open elsewhere.
News and results
Sox 7, Twins 6: Giolito gets the last laugh
Sox outfielders used in 2021 is going to make one hell of a Sporcle quiz one day. Rookie Gavin Sheets got his first start in right field on Tuesday night and made the most of it, knocking out two hits and two RBI in the victory.
- The win moved the team's record to 46-32 and the division lead over rained-out Cleveland stands at 2.5 games.
- The Sox didn't hit any homers again, but there was a little drama after Josh Donaldson yelled "not sticky any more" at Lucas Giolito after hitting a homer.
- Giolito's response was classic, calling Donaldson a "f----g pest."
- More Giolito: "The W is next to my name. They're in last place."
Next: Dylan Cease (6-3, 3.81) goes today against rookie right-hander Bailey Ober (0-0, 4.68), who has yet to record a decision in five starts.
Brewers 2, Cubs 1: The swoon continues
Yeah, this just isn't the Cubs month. Milwaukee only had two hits, but both produced a RBI while the Cubs went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The team's fifth straight loss dropped the Cubs to five games behind the Brewers.
- Kris Bryant missed the game with a sore side after diving for a ball in the series opener on Monday. Anthony Rizzo was also out again but is said to be improving.
Next: Jake Arrieta (5-8, 5.32) gets the matinee start against a TBD Brewers pitcher. Arrieta has a 7.65 ERA in five June starts and hasn't had a six-inning start since May 14.
- J.B. Pritzker put up an initial stiffarm on state funding for an Arlington Heights stadium, saying a potential move is a "private issue." Patch
- Noted QB whisperer Mike Ditka wants to see Justin FIelds starting for the Bears in Week 1. BearsWire
- Brian Hamilton on how Porter Moser is settling into his new digs at Oklahoma. The Athletic
- Nebraska celebrates its 10th anniversary in the Big Ten on Thursday. Here's an interesting roundtable on what Huskers think of the arrangement a decade in. Corn Nation
- Edward McClelland on Cubs pitcher Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, who still owns the best ERA. in NL history (1.04). Chicago Mag
Thank you for reading today's issue of Midway Minute!
Did someone forward you this email? Sign up here
Support Midway Minute: Become a member or leave a tip
Want a free coffee mug?: Recommend this newsletter to some friends
Have a link, story idea or want to advertise? Email Kevin