Chicago Cubs - PlayerWatch

RHP Jake Arrieta had a poor start Tuesday night for the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa affiliate, giving up seven runs (three earned) in just 3 2/3 innings in a 9-0 loss at New Orleans. Arrieta also allowed 10 hits and walked one, striking out three. It was his second start since being traded from the Baltimore Orioles in a deal that sent RHP Scott Feldman to Baltimore. His first start ended prematurely because of a rainout. "He wasn't sharp and he was up with his fastball," Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer said. "The reports were pretty good the day he got rained out."

3B/OF-Junior Lake will probably remain with the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa team in the International League without a call-up in the near future, according to general manager Jed Hoyer. Lake, who missed the first two months of the season with a stress fracture in a rib near the bottom of his right shoulder, is playing well for Iowa since beginning his first stint at Triple-A in early June. The 23-year old, who used to play shortstop, has played third base and outfield. He's also hitting .308 through 134 at-bats. "He's missed some time with the injury and is getting some really good development time right now," Hoyer said. "We love how he's performing. Part of his value is he can play infield and outfield because he's such a great athlete."

3B Kris Bryant came to terms with the Chicago Cubs on a contract Wednesday, which the team is likely to make official on Thursday or Friday after the No.2 overall pick in this summer's entry draft passes his physical. Bryant, who led all of college baseball with 31 home runs this past season for the University of San Diego, signed for a reported $6.7 million -- which is the highest amount for this year's class to date. Bryant and the Cubs were facing a Friday deadline to reach a deal. "I think once we get a feel for his conditioning, we'll figure out what the right path is," Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer said. "Certainly he'll start out at the very low levels (of the minor leagues) and we're hopeful that he will move quickly through those."

RHP Edwin Jackson will get the start Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field and face RHP Jake Westbrook in the first of a four-game series between the National League Central rivals. Jackson is 1-4 with a 4.85 ERA in eight games (seven starts) against the Cardinals, striking out 34 and walking 20 in those outings. Jackson is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in one starts against St. Louis this season.

RHP Henry Rodriguez got roughed up Wednesday night at Wrigley Field in a 13-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Rodriguez came in to relieve Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija with one out in the fifth and Chicago already trailing 8-1 and proceeded to let the Angels extend their lead to 11-1 before he left, after walking in a run in his final batter faced. Rodriguez had struck out one in a scoreless inning of relief in his previous outing July 5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

RHP Scott Baker is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday for the Cubs, prior to a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Baker is still trying to come back from a spring setback in his recovery from Tommy John Surgery. The Cubs hope to get him back into the starting rotation at some point in the season's second half and general manager Jed Hoyer said it's possible Baker will be part of the team's starting rotation next season. As for this year, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he's hoping to see the speed of Baker's fastball continue to climb as his rehab progresses. "It's just the velocity and how it comes out of his hand and the shape of the breaking ball" Sveum said, referring to what they'll be looking for out of Thursday's bullpen. "It's the reports on that velocity and if he keeps getting it to where it should be. He's always had pretty good command, so that'll always be there."

RHP Jeff Samardzija had a rough outing Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, taking the loss in the Cubs' 13-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Samardzija gave up nine runs (all earned) on nine hits, including four home runs and four doubles in his 4 2/3 innings. He was scorched for five runs in the first and four more in the fifth. It was his worst performance since taking a loss on May 10 at Washington in a 7-3 defeat against the Nationals. "There's no sugar-coating it," Samardzija said. "They kicked my (butt) tonight and that's how it goes."