Quick Hits: Cubs, Bell, Garcia

Before looking ahead, let's take a quick look back at former Braves shortstop Johnny Logan, who passed away yesterday. The four-time all-star racked up over thirty wins above replacement in his thirteen year career, most of which were accumulated during his 1953-61 run with the Braves in Milwaukee. Remaining in Milwaukee and becoming an avid supporter of the Brewers, Logan was also one of many golden era ballplayers to respond generously to letters from fans. Read Tom Haudricourt's obituary and this excellent biography from Bob Buege for more on Logan. Here are some notes from around the league:

  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer does not sound optimistic about the chances of pulling off any August deals, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. While the team might be interested in bringing back youth in exchange for players like Kevin Gregg, Dioner Navarro, David DeJesus, and Nate Schierholtz, Hoyer says that such players "are not likely to clear [waivers]."
  • Meanwhile, Hoyer says he is pleased with the development of the club's pitching corps. "I certainly feel much better about our pitching than I did a year ago," he said. "You read the game reports and we have better arms down there than we did a year ago. We just have to keep doing that year after year after year after year." The club seems primed to get an extended look at one of the young hurlers it added in its flurry of July trades. Wittenmyer reports that Jake Arrieta –who was acquired in the Scott Feldman deal — is expected to take a spot in the team's rotation for the rest of the season. Arrieta, who has made one successful spot start for the Cubs, owns a 3.56 ERA with 39 strikeouts (against 16 walks) over 30 1/3 innings with Triple-A Iowa.
  • With the Nationals' future managerial needs becoming an increasing priority, the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore writes that Pirates coach Jay Bell could be another name to watch. Much like previously mentioned possibility Matt Williams, Bell was a hard-nosed ballplayer who has a history with GM Mike Rizzo. Given his less developed track record on the bench, however, Kilgore says he may profile more as a coaching option at this stage.
  • The White Sox are not hesitating to challenge recently-acquired youngster Avisail Garcia. After the club cleared a lineup spot by dealing outfielder Alex Rios, Garcia will make his first start for Chicago today. According to MLB.com's Joey Nowak, via Twitter, the Sox seems committed to playing Garcia in center field. His former club, the Tigers, had viewed Garcia as a corner outfielder, fellow MLB.com writer Jason Beck tweets. While opinions vary, Baseball America's Matt Eddy opines that Garcia can handle center, at least while he's young. 

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