Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -

NA­TION­ALS Pair to miss starts

CHICAGO — Two-time Cy Young Award win­ner Max Scherzer and Gio Gon­za­lez will miss their sched­uled starts for the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als against the Chicago Cubs this week­end.

Man­ager Dusty Baker de­cided to give Scherzer at least an ex­tra day rather than have him pitch Sun­day af­ter the right-han­der ex­ited Tues­day’s game against Mi­ami be­cause of neck spasms.

Gon­za­lez won’t pitch to­day with his wife ex­pected to give birth to their sec­ond child within the next few days. Baker said Ed­win Jack­son will re­place him.

The Na­tion­als also placed left-han­der Enny Romero on the 10-day dis­abled list on Fri­day be­cause of fore­arm tight­ness. He left Wed­nes­day’s game against Mi­ami.


SS Rus­sell on DL

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs short­stop Ad­di­son Rus­sell was placed on the 10-day dis­abled list Fri­day be­cause of a strained right foot.

An All-Star last sea­son, Rus­sell is bat­ting .241 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI. He has 11 er­rors af­ter com­mit­ting 14 a year ago. Man­ager Joe Mad­don said the foot has been “both­er­ing him no­tice­ably” in re­cent days.

“We just thought it was wise to get it set­tled down right now,” Mad­don said. “And that’s what we’re do­ing.”

Rus­sell also has been both­ered at times by shoul­der pain. Mad­don said the foot prob­lem is un­re­lated.

“That’s not been part of the is­sue,” he said. Chicago also called up left-handed pitcher Rob Zas­tryzny from Class AAA Iowa be­fore Fri­day’s game against the NL East-lead­ing Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als. Zas­tryzny made one ap­pear­ance for the Cubs in May and pitched in eight games for them last sea­son.

Mad­don: More night games

Cubs Man­ager Joe Mad­don said Fri­day he’d “love” to see day games in Chicago on Satur­day and Sun­days only, plus an oc­ca­sional get­away day or hol­i­day, leav­ing Fri­day for night games at Wrigley Field.

“This con­stantly hav­ing to get up and rush to the ball­park and not hav­ing a nor­mal method dur­ing the course of the day, it does mat­ter, be­cause when you’re on the road it’s en­tirely dif­fer­ent,” he said.

Cubs Pres­i­dent Crane Ken­ney com­plained re­cently about city reg­u­la­tions that limit the num­ber of night games at Wrigley, claim­ing it was a dis­ad­van­tage to the team.

Mad­don said it’s no ad­van­tage for the Cubs when a vis­it­ing team that plays pri­mar­ily night games has to come in for day games at Wrigley.

“They’re only here for a cou­ple days,” he said. “They get through it and af­ter a few days they move back to a nor­mal sched­ule. I think 107 years in­di­cates it wasn’t such a good idea.”

Mad­don was re­fer­ring to the num­ber of years be­tween Cubs cham­pi­onships in 1908 and 2016, though the Cubs ac­tu­ally got lights in 1988 and went 29 years with­out a cham­pi­onship since the start of the lights era.

The Cubs are al­lowed 43 night games, and want to get up to the league av­er­age of 54. They are also al­lowed only two Satur­day night games. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said re­cently the Cubs chose to sched­ule nine con­certs “so they can make more money” and “now they want to change the con­se­quences of the choices they made.”

Neigh­bor­hood park­ing is cited as the rea­son to ban most night games on Fri­days and Satur­days. Mad­don wants the Fri­day rule re­laxed.


Till­man headed to bullpen?

Although no de­ci­sion has been an­nounced on the sta­tus of Ori­oles right-han­der Chris Till­man, it seems highly likely that he will be moved out of the club’s start­ing ro­ta­tion and into the bullpen.

Man­ager Buck Showal­ter would not defini­tively say that dur­ing his pregame me­dia brief­ing on Fri­day af­ter­noon, but ev­ery­thing he did say seemed to point in that di­rec­tion.

The Ori­oles can­not put Till­man on the dis­abled list be­cause he said his shoul­der is sound. They are not go­ing to des­ig­nate him for as­sign­ment and let him go be­cause he has done too much for the or­ga­ni­za­tion to be thrown aside that way.

That leaves the team with two op­tions: Send him back out for an­other start next week in Ana­heim or send him to the bullpen to con­tinue work­ing to im­prove the com­mand of his pitches.

“I talked to Chris some to­day to try to get some feed­back from him — what he’s feel­ing … what he’s think­ing,” Showal­ter said.

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