CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena suffered a right oblique strain during Friday's game and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning. Infielder Logan Watkins was recalled from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move.
"Valbuena is not available and is going on the DL," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He was unavailable, so we only had three guys on the bench [on Saturday]."
Valbuena is hitting .225 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs.
Cubs designate Borbon, promote infielder Murphy
CHICAGO -- The Cubs designated outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment on Friday and selected the contract of infielder Donnie Murphy from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday as the corresponding roster move. Murphy was available to play in Saturday's game against the Dodgers.
The 30-year-old Murphy -- who spent two seasons with the Royals, two with the A's, and three with the Marlins -- was signed by the Cubs to a Minor League deal in April and had a .265/.338/.457 line with Iowa in 89 games, with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs.
The infielder has played in 244 Major League games, mostly at second base, shortstop and third base, but played the majority of his games in Iowa at short.
"Just talking to the guys that had him in Milwaukee, [he's] just kind of a gamer-type baseball player, a hard-nosed guy, can play a little bit of everything, has got some power," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Obviously [in] his career he's had some strikeout problems, but [he's] just a baseball player that's going to battle and do all the little things that you want done."
In his final at-bat before being designated, Borbon doubled to lead off the ninth with the Cubs trailing the Dodgers 6-2 on Friday and was thrown out trying to advance to third on a ball in the dirt.
"That obviously was an unfortunate thing that happened," Sveum said. "But it is a point that, we just can't keep having those things go on and [Borbon] has had a few of those things himself. So it was just time to make an adjustment to the roster and see if somebody else can do the job."
Sveum added that the designation of Borbon was to send a message about careless play.
"One of the biggest things you try and do is, obviously you have talent, but you have to have a combination of talent and smart players that are always playing the game and thinking ahead and what's the score, and just the most common things you just cannot have happen in the course of a baseball season," Sveum said. "Because it's 162 [games], and if you look back and you do things like that in 162 games constantly, whether you lose one of them, that's too many because of things like that."
When asked whether in the aftermath of the Borbon play he was the most angry he's been all season, Sveum replied, "Probably."
"That was a frustrating play for sure," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "I felt like we had a situation where if nothing else we could've gotten a closer in the game, had a chance to have multiple baserunners. That also affects [Saturday's] game if their closer has to pitch a couple days in a row. We have to make better decisions, and hopefully that isn't us.
"We've had periods of our season, of the last year and a half, where we've played some solid baseball, and we've had some periods of sloppiness, and we've got to get away from those periods of sloppiness," Hoyer added. "You don't see really good teams do that stuff very often."
GM Hoyer says luck involved with waiver deals
CHICAGO -- Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Saturday that while he expects the waiver trade period to be more active than the non-waiver period that expired with Wednesday's Trade Deadline, it's more a matter of luck than negotiation.
"I think it will be [more active]," Hoyer said. "But there's a lot of luck involved with the waiver part. If the wrong team claims a guy and won't give up any talent, you're kind of stuck, so waiver deals can work out, but you can also get stuck and not be able to make a deal. So you never know, and that's why you want deals in July."
As far as players being sensitive to having their names in trade talk, Hoyer said that it's more difficult with social media today, but players have to block trade talk out.
"I feel like with all the rumors and Twitter and everything, I think players have got to anticipate their names are going to be out there a little bit," he said. "And it's just kind of part of playing in a bigger market, and I don't think you can worry about it too much.
" … Unless you have a really long-term deal or unless you have a no-trade clause or something, I think in today's day and age, if you are a seller, then people almost talk about every guy on your team. When you're a winning team, no one brings up the players' names. So, I guess it's a good incentive to win, right? Your players don't have to worry about those rumors."
Sveum impressed with play of Dodgers' Puig
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Saturday that while he is impressed with the play of rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, he's not surprised at his abilities after seeing them on display in person.
Puig has a .371/.423/.599 line with 11 homers in his first 52 Major League games, and has gone 4-for-7 with a double and a home run in the first two games of the series with the Cubs. He's also made some nice defensive plays in the outfield.
"I mean, I think we've all seen enough of him on TV over the last month to know his skill-set," Sveum said. "We've seen so much of him, there's been so many highlights and so many games on and all that, that you've seen the diving plays [and] you've seen the speed. You've seen obviously the power and the ability with the bat. When somebody makes a mistake he crushes it. I'm not really surprised, because the last month we've seen a lot of highlights."
• Sveum said that the reason he thinks baseball games are going longer these days is because pitchers nibble more, resulting in more walks than in the past.
"The difference in the games is one, pitchers nibble so much now," Sveum said. "The pitch counts are so much higher than they used to be, and catchers [are] setting up off the plate sometimes. ... In the days the games were quicker, catchers set up on thirds of the plate, so there were going to be more strikes thrown. There's just so many more walks now than there ever was back when you used to play [two-hour-and-thirty-minute] games constantly."
• Junior Lake's 24 hits since July 19 are the second most in the Majors, behind only Atlanta's Chris Johnson, who has 26 since then.
• The Cubs have had at least one extra-base hit in each of the last 26 games, dating back to July 5. The team's 352 extra-base knocks are the most for any National League team, and the third most in the Majors.