Joshua Gets Right to Work

Von Joshua (STAFF PHOTO)

New Cubs hitting coach Von Joshua got right to work Tuesday, getting to know his new charges during sessions in the outfield batting cage before the game against the White Sox was rained out.

The Cubs promoted Joshua from their Class AAA Iowa affiliate after firing Gerald Perry on Sunday.

The one thing the Cubs like about Joshua is that he has seen and had success with several of the Cubs' young hitters, such as Ryan Theriot, Geovany Soto and Micah Hoffpauir.

"We've got quite a few of them here," manager Lou Piniella said. "Maybe a different approach. He's going to look at a lot of film. He's got some work to do. Hopefully he'll get these guys going in the right direction."

Joshua will have his work cut out more with veterans such as left fielder Alfonso Soriano and outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, both of whom are mired in terrible slumps.

The Cubs entered Tuesday 13th in the NL in batting average, 15th in hits, 15th in runs, 11th in on-base percentage and 10th in walks.

WHITE SOX AT CUBS (RAINED OUT): Tuesday's scheduled game at Wrigley Field was postponed. No makeup date was announced.

NEWS, NOTES

--Piniella on the perception that he doesn't have the "fire" he once had as a manager: "What do I need to show fire for? I'm not a dragon," he said. "Look, if I was out there arguing all the time, what they'd be saying is, ‘Well, this guy's lost his cool.' Look, I still want to win. I still have it in my belly. I think the players, obviously, know that."

--1B Derrek Lee is sporting an OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) of 1.018 since May 16. He's also riding a 13-game hitting streak, the 12th time in his career he's had a streak of 10 or more games with a hit.

--INF/OF Jake Fox was recalled from Class AAA Iowa, and LHP Jason Waddell was put on the 15-day DL for what the Cubs described as a "non-baseball-related medical issue." This is Fox's second go-around with the Cubs this year. He was 5-for-12 from late May to early June. At Iowa, he batted .409 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs. He'll likely pinch-hit and perhaps play some outfield this time up.

--RHP Ryan Dempster will start Wednesday against the White Sox. RHP Carlos Zambrano was Tuesday's scheduled starter. The rainout pushes Zambrano to Thursday, when RHP Randy Wells was supposed to start. Wells is likely to start over the weekend against the Indians.

--OF Reed Johnson likely will start in center field Wednesday, with the White Sox scheduled to throw LHP John Danks against the Cubs. Johnson was in Tuesday's scheduled lineup against Danks. Piniella has used Johnson extensively against left-handed pitching.

--RF Milton Bradley is riding a five-game hitting streak, during which he's gone 6-for-16. His batting average is still low, at .227, to go with five homers and 16 RBIs. "I just want to do better," he said. "What I've been doing ain't cutting it. I'm working hard every day."

--The Sports XChange

MINOR LEAGUES

IOWA 6, OKLAHOMA CITY 2 (CLASS AAA)

At Oklahoma City, the Cubs (34-32) collected 11 hits and scored five unanswered runs in the victory Tuesday. LF Matt Camp (3-for-4, RBI) led the offense with three hits, and 1B Steve Clevenger (2-for-4, double) and CF Sam Fuld (2-for-5) each added two hits. Camp is batting .319 in 25 games since being promoted to Triple-A. RHP Kevin Hart (3-3) started and picked up his third straight win, allowing one earned run and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven batters and walked three. In six starts, he has a 1.41 ERA, .157 average against and 32 strikeouts in 32 innings.

DAYTONA 6, ST. LUCIE 0 (CLASS HIGH-A)

At Daytona Beach, the Cubs (31-29) collected 11 hits in the victory Tuesday. 3B Jake Opitz (3-for-4) led the team with three hits and is batting .342 (13-for-38) in 12 games in June and .283 overall in 32 games. RF Brandon Guyer (2-for-4, RBI) hit his 10th double of the season. RHP Andrew Cashner made his 10th start and tossed four scoreless innings, allowing three hits. He lowered his ERA to 1.85 through 34 innings. RHP Henry Williamson (5-2) picked up the win in relief, tossing three scoreless innings. He struck out four batters and did not allow a walk.

PEORIA 10, QUAD CITIES 0 (CLASS-A)

At Peoria, the Chiefs (34-30) out-hit the River Bandits, 13-2, en route to their largest margin of victory this season Tuesday.

"A lot of guys had a good day and the good thing is they were patient (at the plate) and they are starting to turn the corner on getting good pitches to hit," Chiefs manager Marty Pevey said. "I tip my hat to our hitters (Tuesday). They got into the count and made him (River Bandits starter Gary Daley) throw a lot of pitches. When they did get a good pitch to hit, they hit it hard."

Peoria had five players with two hits or more, including 3B Josh Harrison, who was 3-for-4 with a triple and a walk, and LF Kyler Burke -- 3-for-3 with a walk, four runs scored, three RBI and his fifth home run.

RHP Aaron Shafer (5-3) started and tossed five shutout innings for the win. He allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out five batters. LHP Jeff Beliveau closed things out in relief with four scoreless innings, striking out eight batters and allowing one walk and one hit.

InsideTheIvy.com correspondent Adam Franey in Peoria contributed to this report.

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