3/30 Bako, Stanton released; Hill named backup catcher

The Cubs released Paul Bako and Mike Stanton on Monday, naming Koyie Hill the backup catcher.

Bako, 36, had signed a free agent contract with the Cubs on Jan. 30, and was batting .364 this spring. That was helped by a 4-for-4 game on March 23 at Oakland. He was hitting .231 prior to that game.

This was Bako’s second turn with the Cubs, having played for them in 2003-04. He was behind the plate when Greg Maddux won his 300th game in August 2004. Last year, Bako batted .217 in 99 games with the Cincinnati Reds. An 11-year veteran, he has a career .231 average.

Stanton, 41, was out of baseball in 2008 after being released by the Reds on April 10, 2008. The left-hander has a career 68-63 record, 3.92 ERA in 1,178 games.

Hill, 30, was batting .381 this spring. He spent the majority of last season at Triple-A Iowa, coming back from a horrific hand injury suffered after the 2007 season in which he severed three of his fingers with a chain saw. The fingers were reattached, and he hit .275 at Iowa with 17 homers and 64 RBIs.

The move trims the Cubs’ spring roster to 28,and also means the position players are set and Micah Hoffpauir has made the Opening Day roster. The team now has 15 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders in camp.

— Carrie Muskat


Glad to see Hoffpauir made the opening day lineup. I’ve got a good feeling about him and believe he’ll have a great season!! It’s the bullpen that I’m a little worried about but I guess we’ll see.

H O L Y C O W.
I must say I am suprised that Hendry chose Hill over Bako.
My Cub cap is off to you Mr. Hendry.
(I wonder if Lou held a gun to his head??)
Now please note: Micah Haspower needs to get plenty of ab’s at the expense of D. Lee NOT M. Bradley.

Correction: It was a table saw, not a chain saw that severed Hill’s fingers.

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