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Maddon intrigued by CarGo's Minor League deal

@MLBastian
May 31, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Veteran outfielder Carlos González, who reached an agreement on a Minor League contract with the Cubs on Thursday, will be reporting to Triple-A Iowa soon. The expectation is that Gonzalez will have a place in Chicago's outfield rotation in the Majors in the near future. "I'm eager

ST. LOUIS -- Veteran outfielder Carlos González, who reached an agreement on a Minor League contract with the Cubs on Thursday, will be reporting to Triple-A Iowa soon. The expectation is that Gonzalez will have a place in Chicago's outfield rotation in the Majors in the near future.

"I'm eager to hear how he's doing as he reports," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "His entire career's pretty good. Obviously, [he'll fit] in a corner in the outfield, another left-hander. It gives us another left-hander to utilize against a good right-handed pitcher. And that's it. I haven't really thought about it much more deeply than that."

Maddon said one benefit to adding Gonzalez is that it allows the Cubs to continue to monitor Ian Happ's progress at Triple-A without worrying about needing to promote him before he's deemed ready.

"The situation with Ian, you really want to make sure that you feel good about that," Maddon said. "You don't want to just [call him back up] because you think you have to do something like that. It's about a young player still learning his craft and getting better at what he's doing, so you don't want to pull the plug on -- it's not an experiment -- it's a developmental situation. So, make sure that that is in place before you actually do bring him back."

Worth noting

• Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (10-day injured list, left hamstring) threw seven pitches (six strikes) in one clean inning of work for Triple-A Iowa in a rehab appearance on Thursday. Through two Minor League outings, Strop has worked two shutout innings with one strikeout, one hit allowed and 13 pitches (12 strikes). Maddon said the front office is still discussing the next step for Strop, who could be activated soon.

"He's doing really well," Maddon said. "He's ready to go, obviously. I'm just waiting to hear from the guys exactly how they want to work this. So, I don't have anything to report yet except that I know he's doing really well. ... He's looking good. He's feeling good. So, as you get closer to the finish line, don't mess it up."

• Former big leaguer Josh Zeid now makes his living in the Cubs’ player development department as a pitching analyst. But two years ago, he was still on the mound, starring for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. He was lights out, made the all-tournament team and was a big reason why Israel was the Cinderella story of the Classic. Another reason was former Cubs outfielder Sam Fuld, who now works in the Phillies' front office.

Fans in Chicago can relive Team Israel’s run in the documentary "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel." The film chronicles the players' visit to Israel and their improbable success, and is being held over for a fifth week at Landmark’s Renaissance Place Cinema in Highland Park.

• Right-hander Tony Barnette (60-day injured list, right shoulder) is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Iowa on Saturday. Righty Brandon Morrow (60-day injured list, right elbow) is still playing flat-ground catch. Righty Allen Webster (10-day injured list, radial nerve inflammation) and lefty Xavier Cedeno (10-day injured list, left wrist) have moved their respective rehabs to the team's Arizona complex.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.