July 2010

7/29 Lilly rumors

A New York Mets official told the New York Post on Thursday it’s “very doubtful” they’ll get Ted Lilly by the trading deadline because they do not want to take on most of the $4.37 million still owed the lefty and give up prospects. The Dodgers and Twins are still believed to be talking to the Cubs about Lilly.

– Carrie Muskat

7/29 Minor matters

Micah Hoffpauir hit his 17th homer but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost 8-4 to Albuquerque on Wednesday. J.R. Mathes gave up six runs on nine hits over five innings and took the loss. Marquez Smith had three hits.

Chris Carpenter gave up six runs, five earned, on nine hits over six innings in Tennessee’s 8-5 loss to West Tenn. Tony Thomas, Brandon Guyer and Blake Lalli each had two hits.

Junior Lake and Rebel Ridling each hit home runs to lift Daytona to a 4-3 win over Palm Beach for its 10th straight win. Michael Brenly had two hits and now has reached base safely in 26 straight games. Ridling’s homer was a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth to give Daytona a 4-3 lead.

Ryan Searle gave up no earned runs in six innings as Peoria beat Wisconsin, 8-3. Searle struck out four and snapped a personal four-game losing streak with the win.

Alvaro Ramirez had three hits in Boise’s 5-3 loss to Vancouver. Wes Darvill had two hits and two RBIs in Mesa’s 7-3 loss to the Indians.

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Lee puts family first

Derrek Lee said he “agonized” over the decision about whether to accept a trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim but decided his family came first. Lee invoked his 10-and-5 rights and rejected a proposed deal to southern California, GM Jim Hendry confirmed Wednesday.

“When the trade was presented to me, I felt for me and my family the best thing to do was to stay here,” Lee said. “That was a decision we made. Jim and I had a great conversation about it. That was the decision.”

Lee is building a home in southern California but that wasn’t a factor. The house, he said, isn’t ready yet.

“It’s not as simple as you have a home there,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into it outside of just a home.”

Lee has been traded twice before but never in-season.

“I thought about it for a good 24 hours and really kind of agonized over it,” the first baseman said. “I think the bottom line is family. I like Chicago, I enjoy my teammates. It was the decision we made.”

Cubs manager Lou Piniella found out mid-game.

“I did talk to Derrek in the seventh inning today and asked him about it,” Piniella said. “He said he wanted to stay here. As a manager, I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The Angels were looking for another bat after Kendry Morales was injured. Lee does have a full no-trade clause and is owed about $4.95 million for the rest of the season. But he also has been in the league for 10 years and five with the same team, which gives him the right to veto any deal.

Lee, who will be a free agent after this season, is batting .248 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs, well off his usual pace. In 17 games since July 6, he is hitting .333 with 17 runs, seven doubles, one homer and eight RBIs. Someone asked if Lee had considered retiring after this season.

“That hasn’t crossed my mind,” he said.

But what about next year? Lee said he touched on that briefly with Hendry but the focus was more on the possible trade.

“There’s no secret I enjoy Chicago,” Lee said. “But also understand that’s out of my control. That didn’t go into my decision. There are other things that went into the thought process.

“You guys know I’m having a terrible season,” he said. “We’ll worry about other stuff later.”

The Rangers also were looking at adding a right-handed bat who could play first but Lee, 34, was not a good fit.

“It was very tempting,” Lee said of going to the Angels. “I didn’t say ‘no’ right away to Jim. There was a lot of thought that went into it.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Minor matters

Welington Castillo hit a grand slam, Brad Snyder had four RBIs and Micah Hoffpauir drove in three runs in Iowa’s 14-12 win over Albuquerque Tuesday. Sam Fuld scored four runs and Darwin Barney scored three in the slugfest. Jay Jackson picked up the win, giving up seven runs on eight hits over five innings.

Tennessee had the day off and opens a five-game homestand against West Tenn Wednesday.

Brooks Raley gave up three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings in Daytona’s 7-5 win over Palm Beach. Michael Brenly had a hit, and has reached base safely in 25 straight games. He’s gotten a hit in 24 of those games. DJ LeMahieu, Ryan Flaherty, Junior Lake and Rebel Ridling each had two hits.

Peoria had the day off and opens a three-game series against Wisconsin Wednesday. Boise faces Vancouver Wednesday. Vismeldy Bieneme had two hits in Mesa’s 3-0 win over the Padres.

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Lee says no to deal

Derrek Lee has invoked his 10-and-5 rights and rejected a proposed trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Lee did not want to comment prior to Wednesday’s game, saying he had talked to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry about his options but was keeping those discussions private. Hendry confirmed Wednesday that Lee was invoking his rights and wanted to finish the season with the Cubs.

The Angels were looking for another bat after Kendry Morales was injured. Lee does have a full no-trade clause and is owed about $4.95 million for the rest of the season. But he also has been in the league for 10 years and five with the same team, which gives him the right to veto any deal.

Lee, who will be a free agent after this season, is batting .248 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs, well off his usual pace. In 17 games since July 6, he is hitting .333 with 17 runs, seven doubles, one homer and eight RBIs.

The Rangers also were looking at adding a right-handed bat who could play first but Lee, 34, was not a good fit.

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Z to meet with teammates

Lou Piniella says Carlos Zambrano will join the Cubs Friday in time for the start of a three-game series against the Rockies and will meet with his teammates prior to batting practice to clear the air. Zambrano has not talked to the majority of his teammates since his tantrum June 25 at U.S. Cellular Field.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Lou Piniella said Wednesday of Zambrano, who has undergone treatment for anger issues. “I think the sessions that he’s had will help him. I look forward to having him back and helping us win some baseball games down the stretch.”

Zambrano made his final Minor League tuneup Tuesday for Triple-A Iowa, giving up three runs on three hits and one walk while striking out one in one inning of work.

“The reports were that he threw the ball better than the results,” Piniella said. “He hit a batter, walked a batter, should’ve turned a double play ball and a couple bloop singles. The reports were that he threw the ball better than the outcome and that’s really what we’re concerned about more than anything else.”

Zambrano retired the first batter he faced on a ground out but Albuquerque’s Jamie Hoffman singled and the right-hander then hit A.J. Ellis with a pitch. Pinch-hitter Michael Restovich singled to load the bases and Zambrano walked Elian Herrera to force in a run. Trent Oeltjen struck out and Ivan DeJesus Jr., son of Cubs first base coach Ivan DeJesus, followed with a two-run single. Zambrano then got Russ Mitchell to ground out and end the inning. He threw 32 pitches, 20 for strikes.

“All he’s doing is getting some work in here, getting some work in and throwing some pitches,” Piniella said. “I’m not concerned at all about him being ready. He’ll come in and do the absolute best he can. The first thing is to talk to the team and clear that hurdle and we’ll go from there.”

Zambrano, who was the Cubs’ Opening Day starter, was suspended for three days after his tirade and then placed on the restricted list to undergo evaluation and treatment. When he returns, he will be assigned to the bullpen.

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Lineup & Soto update

Lou Piniella is giving a few of the regulars a day off so Wednesday’s lineup is a little different. No Geovany Soto — he’s on the bench as a precautionary move to give his left foot another day to heal. He fouled a ball off his foot Monday night. Here goes:

2B Theriot

SS Castro

CF Colvin

3B Ramirez

LF Nady

RF Fukudome

1B Baker

C Hill

P Wells

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Cubs Cookbook on sale

Looking for that perfect gift for a Cubs fan? Know someone who likes to cook? Or are you curious about what Ryan Theriot likes to eat? Check out the Cubs Cookbook, now on sale on Cubs.com http://bit.ly/9vTw9y

 

Proceeds benefit the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Foundation. Ted Lilly and bullpen catcher Corey Miller came up with the idea, and players contributed their favorite recipes. Plus, some of Chicago’s top restaurants provided secrets to some of their popular dishes, such as Harry Caray’s crab cakes (a favorite of Aramis Ramirez) and the parmesan crusted filet from Wildfire (Derrek Lee’s personal pick). You will also find a history of food at Wrigley Field and a few surprises plus some great photos.

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Zambrano update

Carlos Zambrano gave up three runs on three hits in the seventh inning in the Iowa Cubs’ 14-12 win over Albuquerque Tuesday night. Zambrano, making his third appearance for Iowa, got the first batter to ground out but Jamie Hoffman singled and Big Z then hit A.J. Ellis with a pitch. Pinch-hitter Michael Restovich singled to load the bases and Zambrano walked Elian Herrera to force in a run. Trent Oeltjen struck out and Ivan DeJesus Jr. followed with a two-run single to close to 13-11. Russ Mitchell grounded out and end the inning. Zambrano threw 32 pitches, 20 for strikes.

Jay Jackson gave up seven runs on eight hits over five innings for the win. The Iowa Cubs scored six runs in the fifth. Welington Castillo hit a grand slam, Brad Snyder had four RBIs and Micah Hoffpauir drove in three runs, hitting one on his 16th homer.

Zambrano, on the restricted list, was expected to join the Cubs Friday in Denver.

– Carrie Muskat

 

7/27 Colvin connects

Lost in the Cubs’ 6-1 loss Tuesday to the Astros was Tyler Colvin’s 16th home run, the most by a rookie this season. He has four in his last eight games and is the fourth left-handed hitting Cubs rookie to reach at least 15. He now has 31 extra-base hits this season.

– Carrie Muskat

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