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Cubs struggles continue as roster moves ramp up

Josh Vitters broke a finger on Wednesday, likely ending his season.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Iowa Cubs continued to stumble along in August, dropping an 11-4 decision to the Reno Aces on Wednesday night at Aces Ballpark. The Cubs are 7-12 in August and matched a season-high with its’ sixth-straight loss. While the roster remained relatively stable for the majority of the season, trades and injuries have caused a recent flurry of activity and if Iowa is to make the playoffs (currently three games behind first place Omaha), some unfamiliar faces will need to play a role.

Wednesday in Reno saw the Cubs lose Josh Vitters and potentially two pitchers. Vitters broke the ring finger on his right hand when he attempted to avoid the tag on a slide into second base in the sixth inning. Starting pitcher Eric Jokisch and reliever Marcos Mateo both left Wednesday’s game with blister issues and both are listed as day-to-day.

On Thursday, Chicago recalled Zac Rosscup, Blake Parker, and Logan Watkins. The loss of Watkins will be particularly difficult to overcome due to his versatility, speed, and the recent losses of fellow infielders Mike Olt and Vitters, who occasionally played first base. On Thursday, catcher Eli Whiteside was in the lineup at first base for Iowa.

Olt was lost to the team on Tuesday after he came up lame after charging in from first base to field a popped up bunt attempt. Olt strained his left hamstring on the play and is currently on the 7-day disabled list.

Other recent departures from the roster include former first-round pick Brett Jackson who was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization (and homered against Iowa on Wednesday) and Matt Szczur who is with Chicago.

Jeff Antigua re-joins Iowa from double-A Tennessee with the departure of Zac Rosscup. Andrew Ely was also added to the roster on Thursday. Ely was Chicago’s 32nd round pick in this year’s draft. Ely was playing with Mesa of the rookie-league where he was hitting .326 with four home runs and 7 RBI in 25 games. Catcher Lance Rymel was added to the roster on Wednesday. Rymel played in a handful of games between single-A Daytona and Tennessee this season.