Cubs to honor Ron Santo with statue at Wrigley Field

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The Cubs just kicked off day two of their annual Cubs Convention by announcing plans to unveil a statue in the likeness of Ron Santo, who passed away in December at the age of 70. The statue will be unveiled as part of “Ron Santo Day” on August 10.

The official release from the team reads in part:

“Ron Santo will always be remembered as an extraordinary player, as the ultimate Cub fan and for his tireless commitment towards juvenile diabetes research,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “On behalf of the Cubs organization, we are proud to honor Ron Santo with a statue of his likeness at Wrigley Field so that future generations can remember his remarkable legacy on-and-off the field.”

Santo will join fellow franchise icons Harry Caray, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks with a statue at Wrigley Field.

The club also plans to honor Santo with a special uniform patch that will be worn throughout the 2011 season.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.