Cubs acquire top prospects Russell and McKinney

CINCINNATI -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria was one of many watching Jeff Samardzija's first start with the Athletics on Sunday, and sent the right-hander a congratulatory message after he picked up his first win.

Samardzija and Jason Hammel were in Renteria's rotation until Saturday when both were dealt to the Athletics in exchange for four players, including highly touted prospect, Addison Russell.

On Sunday, Samardzija posted his 13th quality start of the season, giving up one run on four hits over seven innings in the A's 4-2 win over Toronto.

"It was good to see him throw, and he threw very well," Renteria said Monday. "I'm glad to see he did what he did. I texted him to congratulate him. He did good, he did a nice job."

It's still a little strange in the Cubs' clubhouse without Samardzija and Hammel.

"As much as you try not to be affected by it, as a group of guys in the clubhouse, it does [affect you]," pitcher Carlos Villanueva said. "Samardzija has been here for so long, and there were a couple younger guys who followed him around. Even though he didn't want to be a leader, he had that effect on guys.

"There are some guys who might be a little lost the first couple days," Villanueva said, "but we had a little meeting and I spoke to the guys, and said, 'Look, it happens. You have to understand they are going to do what's best for the organization. If you understand that and don't take it personally, you'll be fine.'"

On Sunday, Samardzija was named to the National League All-Star team by the players' vote, and although he can't pitch for the NL team, he is expected to go and be honored at the July 15 game in Minneapolis.

The last player selected to the All-Star team who switched leagues prior to the game was Carlos Beltran, who was traded in late June 2004 from the Royals to the Astros.

Beeler, Hendricks to round out Cubs' rotation

WSH@CHC: Beeler allows no earned runs in MLB debut

CINCINNATI -- The Cubs will fill Jeff Samardzija's and Jason Hammel's spots in the rotation with Dallas Beeler and Kyle Hendricks, who are scheduled to start Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the Reds.

The Cubs delayed announcing their rotation for the final two games of the four-day, five-game series against the Reds because they were uncertain about the weather. Rain delayed Monday's game by 21 minutes, but they were able to finish.

Samardzija and Hammel were traded Saturday to the Athletics, and the options included lefty Chris Rusin, who joined the team Saturday and pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief.

Tsuyoshi Wada will be added as the 26th man for Tuesday's doubleheader, and start the night game. Travis Wood will start the first game.

Beeler made his Major League debut at Wrigley Field on June 28 against the Nationals, and gave up one unearned run on four hits over six innings. Hendricks, acquired from the Rangers in the 2012 Ryan Dempster trade, was 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts at Iowa. Thursday will be his Major League debut.

Prospect McKinney makes debut at Daytona

Cubs acquire top prospects Russell and McKinney

Outfielder Billy McKinney, the Cubs' No. 9 prospect, made his organizational debut Monday, hitting sixth and playing right field for Class A Advanced Daytona. He singled and helped the Cubs defeat Lakeland, 4-3, in the first game of a doubleheader.

McKinney was part of the package the Cubs acquired in their holiday weekend trade that sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A's. The Cubs also received shortstop Addison Russell, who debuted Sunday with Double-A Tennessee, and right-hander Dan Straily.

After grounding out in his first plate appearance Monday, McKinney pulled a single to right field in the fourth inning. He finished the game 1-for-3. Center fielder Albert Almora, the Cubs' No. 3 prospect, hit a home run, his fourth of the season.

The A's selected McKinney with the 24th overall pick of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He began the season at Class A Advanced Stockton, where the 19-year-old was the third-youngest player in the California League on Opening Day. He hit .241/.330/.400 with 10 home runs in 75 games before the trade.