Rondon ready to pitch both games in doubleheader

Rondon ready to pitch both games in doubleheader

CHICAGO -- Hector Rondon was ready to play two on Wednesday. The Cubs' closer said he'd be available to pitch in both games of the split doubleheader against the Padres.

"I'm ready," Rondon said. "We have an off-day [Thursday]. We'll see."

Rondon is 7-for-7 in save situations, picking up his seventh on Tuesday night in an 8-5 win over the Padres. Manager Joe Maddon was impressed with how the right-hander handled the Padres, striking out Wil Myers and Matt Kemp and getting Derek Norris to ground out.

"I know the guys I faced [Tuesday] are good hitters," Rondon said Wednesday. "I put [it] in my mind to be aggressive, to not give in, don't give them any chance to do some damage. I tried to be the same, be aggressive with my breaking ball and fastball."

Rondon has gotten some good advice from reliever Pedro Strop. After the pitchers have their pregame meeting, the two talk between themselves, sharing information. Maddon has said repeatedly that he frets about the bullpen on a daily basis, trying not to overwork the relievers.

"I think early in the season, I didn't pitch too much," Rondon said. "Now I'm starting to get more action. Who knows? [Maddon] knows."

• The Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. from Triple-A Iowa as the 26th man for Wednesday's doubleheader. Edwards made his Major League debut last season, appearing in five games in relief. In 11 appearances at Iowa this season, Edwards had a 2.38 ERA, giving up three earned runs over 11 1/3 innings.

Miguel Montero went 0-for-3 and caught for six innings Tuesday night in Triple-A in his first rehab outing. If all goes well, Montero could be activated from the disabled list this weekend in time for the Cubs' series against the Pirates.

Kris Bryant and Addison Russell don't seem to be undergoing any kind of sophomore slump.

"I really thought they went through their sophomore slump in their freshman year," Maddon said of the pair. "Last year, I thought both of them fought through some difficult moments their first year. That's what it's really all about -- the sophomore slump is where the league adjusts to you and you adjust back to the league. I think that's the definition of a sophomore slump. Guys who don't adjust back quickly enough have an extended period of negative moments. I think they learned a lot last year."

Maddon said he was impressed by the pair because both also made adjustments to their swings last season. which is one of the reasons they're having success this year.

"Addison, right now, his propensity to get big hits is unbelievable," Maddon said. "He's using the whole field, he's not chasing balls out of the strike zone."

So the two are juniors now?

"I think so," Maddon said, then he smiled. "That was my favorite year in high school. You're totally free your junior year. Got my license. It was really a good time."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.