9/10/2013 7:44 P.M. ET
Cubs go to six-man rotation to give Baker a look
By Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- The Cubs plan to get two more looks at right-hander Scott Baker this season, as manager Dale Sveum said on Tuesday that he will go with a six-man rotation for the next two turns. That cycle began on Monday with Travis Wood's win over the Reds, setting up Baker's next start for Saturday in Pittsburgh.
"Nothing changes, really," Sveum said. "Everybody will get their same amount of starts, everybody will just get a little bit extra rest."
Baker made a successful return to the Majors on Sunday, more than two years removed from his last big league start. He underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2012 and is under contract with the Cubs through the end of this season. With that, the next two starts will help give the club a better idea of what they want to do with the soon-to-be-32-year-old in the offseason.
After Baker makes his third and final scheduled start this season on Sept. 20 against the Braves, the Cubs will go back to their regular five-man rotation. As it currently stands, Wood, Edwin Jackson and Jeff Samardzija will start the last three games of the season in St. Louis.
"It actually works out pretty well, really," Sveum said of having two of his top three starters slated for the season's final series.
Starters dominate in Daytona Cubs' title run
CINCINNATI -- On the same Monday night Travis Wood blanked the Reds for seven innings in Cincinnati, right-hander C.J. Edwards and Class A Daytona beat Charlotte, 4-0, for the Florida State League Championship.
Wilson -- the Cubs' No. 11 prospect, according to MLB.com -- and Ryan Searle combined for a one-hitter, marking the second time in the postseason they worked a shutout together. The win also capped a playoff run in which Daytona's starting pitchers did not allow a run in 33 innings.
After watching the 26-year-old Wood show why he's been the Cubs' best pitcher all season, manager Dale Sveum said he's encouraged by what he's seen from the organization's young hurlers.
"I'm looking forward to [future pitching] a lot more than I was a year ago at this time, not to be too brash about it," Sveum said. "But I mean, the trades we've made and the guys we've got in return and a few of the guys we got in the Draft the last few years, they're obviously pitching well."
Edwards joined the Cubs as part of the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Rangers. In 24 starts -- six for Daytona following the trade -- the 22-year-old went 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA this season. Pierce Johnson also had a strong showing for Daytona this season, going 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA in eight starts and two extended relief appearances.
For Daytona, Monday marked the second FSL title in the last two years and third in the last six. Although Minor League championships don't guarantee future Major League success, Sveum said he was pleased to hear about what Daytona was able to accomplish.
"It matters a lot to have a lot of winning teams down there in the Minor Leagues and be in the playoffs. There just tends to be an attitude where guys expect to win and they've been a part of winning and they don't like the taste of losing."
• The Cubs matched their win total from last season (61) with Monday's 2-0 victory over the Reds.
• Although the Cubs didn't see Reds speedster Billy Hamilton on Monday, manager Dale Sveum is prepared for him, and he hopes his team is, too.
"We know what he's going to do," Sveum said. "He's going to steal a base or try to steal a base, and if you get too caught up in that sometimes, you're going to make bad pitches. You don't want that to happen. The bottom line is, if he's on first base, the main priority is still get the hitter out."
Jeremy Warnemuende is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.