The Rundown: Dan Haren’s Struggles Continue; Fowler Misses More Time with Sore Shin; Cubs Acquire Fernando Rodney, Send Down Rosscup, DFA Schlitter

Not many positives to draw from yesterday’s 9-1 loss to the Giants.

The offense was pretty brutal, mustering only three hits and striking out 16 times on the day. This kind of thing is going to happen when up against a great pitcher like Madison Bumgarner.

Perhaps more disconcerting was Dan Haren’s performance. Once again he was ineffective, and once again he was plagued by the long ball. The one upside is he lasted 6.1 innings, but he gave up five runs, including a three-run home run by Marlon Byrd.

Some guy named Kelby Tomlinson added a grand slam in the 8th inning to really put things out of reach.

To make matters worse, the Cardinals and Pirates both won yet again. The Cubs have the pleasure of facing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw tonight. Should be a tough test, but they were able to take him down once already this year when the teams met at Wrigley earlier.

Haren’s struggles

After the game yesterday, Dan Haren owned up to the rough start of his Cubs career.

“I really haven’t held up my end of the bargain. I feel worse about it than anybody,” Haren told Patrick Mooney.

Haren has a 6.31 ERA in five starts with the Cubs. The veteran leads the league in home runs allowed this season, but I don’t think the Cubs will be desperate enough to replace him in the rotation yet. Mostly because they don’t have a ton of options.

Lefties Travis Wood and Clayton Richard have been pretty good out of the bullpen, so the Cubs probably don’t want to mess with that success. Tsuyoshi Wada hasn’t been great in Triple-A. Same goes for Dallas Beeler.

Where’s Donn Roach when you need him?

Hopefully Haren can get his act together. Unfortunately I feel like I’ve been saying this after every one of his Cubs starts.

Lineup questions

The Cubs went with an unconventional lineup yesterday, their second day in a row doing so.

Dexter Fowler was out once again due to a sore shin. It sounds like he’ll be day-to-day.

The Cubs need Fowler back in the lineup. I don’t think it’s a coincidence how much the Cubs struggled offensively without Fowler leading off.

Kris Bryant made his first start in right field yesterday, with Jonathan Hererra playing third base. Bryant has now played all three outfield positions this season.

Cubs acquire Fernando Rodney

In case you missed it, the Cubs have acquired veteran righty reliever Fernando Rodney from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

I’m not ecstatic about the move, but it’s another low-risk/high-reward shot that could pay big dividends. I anticipate the Cubs not having to give up much for Rodney, but we’ll see.

Rodney was added straight to the 25-man roster and should be available out of the bullpen tonight against the Dodgers. To make room on the roster, LHP Zac Rosscup was sent to Triple-A and RHP Brian Schlitter was designated for assignment.

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