WASHINGTON – The Cubs are open for business, planning to trade away 40 percent of their rotation and willing to listen to just about any idea.
What about Justin Ruggiano? This guy could be getting hot at the right time, feeling good after a hamstring strain sidelined him for a month.
Ruggiano jumpstarted the Cubs in a 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on the Fourth of July. He went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI in front of 41,274 at Nationals Park. A contending team looking for outfield help might take notice.
The rumors are flying at a time when the Cubs (38-46) are actually playing pretty good. It won’t change the equation for the front office, but this team has gone 25-20 since the middle of May.
“It’s just something that’s hearsay, really, right now,” Ruggiano said. “Obviously, we all kind of know it’s more than likely going to happen. But I think we’re all enjoying the company of each other right now. We’re having a good time playing baseball together, and that’s really all that matters for right now.
“This is a business, things happen and you can’t really control it. Right now, for the time being, we’re just enjoying each other as teammates and controlling what we can control.”
Ruggiano can play all over the outfield and hit left-handed pitching. He hammered one ball off a billboard atop the Green Monster, putting up a career-high five RBI in Wednesday’s 16-9 win over the Boston Red Sox. He’s hitting .271 with four homers and 17 RBI in 44 games.
“I have no idea what could happen,” Ruggiano said. “I’m here right now, and I’m enjoying it.
“All the rumors – we’ll let you guys (in the media) handle that and we’ll take care of what we have to do.”