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The Ex-Cub Factor

One in an occasional series tracking the movements of those who have worn Cubbie blue

1. Rafael Palmeiro.

"Long removed from the national spotlight after seeing a 20-year major league career end unceremoniously shortly after a 10-game suspension due to steroids, the 53-year-old Palmeiro is attempting a comeback with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association," the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

2. John Lackey.

"The Diamondbacks made a minor league offer to right-hander John Lackey this offseason, writes USA Today's Bob Nightengale, but the veteran righty passed on the opportunity," MLB Trade Rumors noted on June 13th.

"Coincidentally, Lackey's friend and former teammate, Clay Buchholz, ultimately wound up in the D-backs organization on a similar deal and is now thriving in a rotation that has been hit hard by injuries. 'I don't bring that up to him now,' joked Buchholz, who still keeps in touch with Lackey, 'because he's a lot bigger than me. I don't want to make him mad. But Lackey is a bulldog. I fully expect him to be with some club at some point this year. I know for a fact that he still works out and keeps his body ready.'"

3. Jorge Soler.

"Two weeks ago Saturday, Royals outfielder Jorge Soler traipsed off the Kauffman Stadium field, drenched in water that Salvador Perez had dumped over his head in celebration," Maria Torres writes for the Kansas City Star.

Soler had launched a game-winning home run that afternoon, a two-run blast that he almost didn't believe had left the ballpark until he saw A's outfielders stop tracking the ball.

Soler rounded the bases for the ninth homer of his resurgent season - he hasn't experienced such a steady campaign since his first full season with the Cubs in 2015, when injury limited to 101 games - and experienced relief . . .

The script has flipped in the 14 days since.

The Royals will be without Soler, who now owns crutches and can't skip off the field in victory, for at least the next six weeks because of a fractured left first metatarsal. A CT scan on Saturday confirmed the injury, which happened as he tripped running out of the batter's box in Friday's loss at Kauffman Stadium.

Although it's not severe enough to require immediate surgery, the Royals will re-evaluate the break in a week.

There's a chance the bone might heal on its own, a process that would require more time than inserting a pin or screws to repair the break. But if next week's CT scan reveals further separation of the bones, they would opt for surgery.

At any rate, the Royals will place Soler on the disabled list on Sunday. He won't see game action until August at the earliest.

4. Pierce Johnson.

Former Cubs hurler Pierce Johnson surprisingly won a roster spot on the Giants after a strong spring training, but was recently sent out to Triple-A Sacramento after compiling a 5.46 ERA in 31 1/3 innings this season.

Now he's back with the big club to fill in for Hunter Strickland, who just landed on the 10-day DL with a broken right hand.

5. Chris Coghlan.

Coghlan isn't so much an ex-Cub these days as a returning Cub, albeit for Triple-A Iowa Cubbies. But he was an ex-Cub in the interim so we'll include him here.

Via the Des Moines Register on June 11th:

"Veteran outfielder Chris Coghlan still hasn't made his 2018 debut after signing a minor league with the Chicago Cubs back in March. The reason? Coghlan is recovering from a shoulder injury that has slowed his return, Jaron Madison, Chicago's director of player development, said."

6. Clayton Richard.

"Richard (6-6) gave up two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six over six frames to pick up his sixth win [for the Padres]," CBS Sports reported on Saturday.

"The southpaw has been in a groove of late, producing four consecutive quality starts. Richard's career-high 7.4 K/9 is a big reason why he has seen improved results, but his 4.31 ERA is a reminder of why he is tough to trust on a regular basis."

Six days earlier, Richard took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

7. Jon Jay.

On June 6th, the Royals traded Jon Jay to the Diambondbacks for two minor league pitchers.

"Since joining the Royals, Jay ha[d] made himself known at the top of the batting order. In 46 games as the Royals' leadoff hitter, he batted .304 and scored 26 runs. In all, he was batting .307 with nine doubles, two triples, a homer and 28 runs scored."

8. Edwin Jackson.

Jackson signed with the A's on June 6th - the 12th organization he's played for over 15 years, one shy of the record held by Octavio Dotel.

9. Tim Federowicz.

The journeyman catcher was called up by the Astros briefly but sent back down to Triple-A on June 10th to await someone getting hurt somewhere.

10. Dan Vogelbach.

Vogey's up-and-down season with the Mariners is down again as he was sent out on June 14th.

11. Chris Volstad.

"Volstad has a 3.96 ERA, functioning mostly as a multi-inning reliever" for the White Sox, Southside Showdown notes.

12. Jacob Turner.

"[B]ack With Mud Hens After Interesting Journey."

13. Zac Rosscup.

Placed on the 60-day DL by the Rockies with a left middle-finger blister.

14. Wade Davis.

"Wade Davis allowed one hit in an otherwise clean ninth inning to convert his 21st save of the season [for the Rockies] in Wednesday's 10-8 win over the New York Mets," Fantasy Pros notes.

"Davis had allowed a combined five earned runs over his previous two outings, including a four-run implosion against the Rangers over the weekend, so Wednesday was a needed step in the right direction.

"His ERA is now at 4.55 on the season but was at 3.29 before his last two appearances, and his 21 saves are tied for the third most in all of baseball."

15. Dan Haren.

Haren is now a "pitching strategist" for the Diamondbacks.

16. Kosuke Fukudome.

KF is slashing .249/.351/.389 for the Hanshin Tigers.

17. Koji Uehara.

KU is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants.

18. Matt Stairs.

Stairsy is in his first season as the hitting coach for the Padres.

19. Tommy Hunter.

"In 25 appearances this season, Hunter has a 4.79 ERA, hardly what the Phillies expected when they signed him to a two-year, $18 million contract. But [Phillies management] believe a deeper dive is required for an accurate picture. Let's take that plunge."

20. Ryan Kalish.

Retired.

21. James Farris.

Retired.

(The Cubs traded Farris to the Rockies before spring training in 2017 for Eddie Butler. The Rockies also acquired international bonus money slot No. 28 for international bonus money slot No. 94 in the deal.)

22. Jeff Samardzija.

The Shark has a second rehab start scheduled tonight for Triple-A Sacramento; he's been laid up with shoulder tightness.

He's 1-4 with a 6.56 ERA in eight starts for the Giants so far this season.

23. Starlin Castro.

Castro is slashing .262/.319/.376 for the Marlins, and is a potential mid-summer trade candidate.

24. Matt Szczur.

Matty Caesar is the Padres' fifth outfielder, used mostly as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.

His slash line is just .191/.267/.279 in 68 at-bats.

25. Jeimer Candelario.

"Candelario went 2-for-3 with two walks, one RBI, and a run scored [for the Tigers] during Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. He hit a solo home run to left in the first inning and it was his 11th of the year," Fantasy Pros notes.

"Candelario might have taken another step forward to playing like he did at the beginning of the season. He finds himself hitting .252/.358/.483 through the month of June."

26. Leonys Martin

"Martin went 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBI, a double and a run scored in Tuesday's loss to the Reds," CBS Sports notes.

"Martin filled up the stat sheet with a pair of singles and a pair of walks along with a two-run double in the ninth inning to cut Cincinnati's lead to 9-3. The 30-year-old outfielder is now hitting .292 this month and .266 for the season, as he's been a solid contributor atop the lineup for the Tigers all year."

27. Hector Rondon.

"Rondon has taken over as the closer in Houston, converting three straight save chances. He's having an excellent year, pitching to a 1.44 ERA, 1.81 FIP and 1.04 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 25 innings," Sports Illustrated says.

28. Trevor Cahill.

"Cahill is on DL because of an Achilles' injury, but don't let that dampen your enthusiasm for the veteran [A's] righty just yet. He has been great this year, totaling a 2.77 ERA, 3.03 FIP and 0.99 WHIP with 47 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings," Sports Illustrated also says.

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Comments welcome.

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