Rondon throws simulated game

Rondon throws simulated game

CHICAGO -- Hector Rondon threw a 22-pitch simulated game on Saturday before the Cubs' 3-2 loss to the Giants, and if all goes well, the Cubs' reliever could be activated from the disabled list on Monday. Rondon has been sidelined since Aug. 17 with a right triceps strain, and the Cubs said on Friday that the right-hander would go to Triple-A Iowa for two rehab outings. Instead, Rondon threw at Wrigley Field.

"If I go [to Iowa] or throw here, it's almost the same," said Rondon, who talked to Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. "Today, I felt really good."

Rondon said he threw all of his pitches during the session.

"I feel really good, and I'm back to normal now and my command is really good," he said. "Everything was good today."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said they'll know more on Sunday.

"He was bouncing around in the food room," Maddon said. "The [athletic] trainers reported back that it was well done."

• Outfielder Jorge Soler was slated to start on Saturday, but was scratched because of an ingrown toenail. He did come on as a pinch-hitter in the fifth and stayed in the game in left field, before being lifted from the game in the seventh inning.

Kris Bryant made his fifth start at first base on Saturday, subbing for Anthony Rizzo, who was given some rest with Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Bryant has played the majority of the season at third base, but also has 31 starts in left and 11 in right. Maddon thinks Bryant could even play shortstop.

Bryant snags a liner

"For a guy like [Bryant] to embrace that role makes all the difference in the world," Maddon said. "As other players come up through the system, [they'll say], 'K.B. did it, so why can't I do that?'"

Maybe Bryant will play other positions.

"His hands are good, his arm is fine, his feet have gotten better -- there's all sorts of things this guy can do," Maddon said.

• Maddon remembers his first conversation with veteran David Ross was a phone call, after the Cubs had signed him. Maddon pulled his 1967 Galaxy over to a parking lot in Tampa, Fla., to make the call.

"Everything was made apparent in that one conversation," Maddon said of Ross, who is retiring after this season. "He's fun, passionate, wanted to win, great teammate -- all that came through in the phone conversation. When you get to meet him and match that up, it's true. That's why I keep saying this guy will be very good post-career in whatever he wants to do."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for 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.