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Back end of rotation pending going into break

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CHICAGO -- The Cubs head into the All-Star break still unclear about the short- and long-term composition of their rotation.

Following the July 4 trade that sent ace Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland, the Cubs called on three rookies -- Dallas Beeler, Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks -- in consecutive games against the Reds earlier this week.

The Cubs went 1-2 with the rookie trio, who combined to allow eight earned runs, 16 hits, eight walks and post 10 strikeouts over 16 innings.

All three have since been sent back to Triple-A Iowa, which has allowed the Cubs to keep callup Arismendy Alcantara on the roster. He's been an offensive spark and flashed a balanced repertoire hitting at the top of the lineup and playing both second base and center field.

Manager Rick Renteria said before Sunday's game that any roster changes over the All-Star break are "still pending."

"We still have to have conversations. Once we settle in and talk about what it is that we'll do, all you guys will know," he said.

Renteria did announce that the only three starters currently on the big league roster -- Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.64 ERA), Travis Wood (7-7, 4.64 ERA) and Jake Arrieta (5-1, 1.95 ERA) -- will take the mound for next weekend's three-game series at Arizona.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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