Author Archive

#Cubs lineup for Wed 5/20

Tsuyoshi Wada makes his first start of the 2015 season on Wednesday when the Cubs face the Padres in the second  game of their three-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Castro SS

Montero C

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Wada P

Russell 2B

* With Tuesday’s one-run win, the Padres have won 12 of 18 games decided by one or two runs.

* Tyson Ross will make his second start against the Cubs. He did not get a decision April 18 in a game at Wrigley Field, giving up three earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Padres’ 7-6 loss. Kris Bryant, by the way, had two walks and a single in three PA vs. Ross. The hit was Bryant’s first ever Major League hit (in his second career game).

* Bryant is batting .423 (11-26 AB) in his eight-game hit streak. He has four home runs in his last 10 games after not hitting a homer in his first 20.

* Wada takes the spot of Travis Wood in the Cubs rotation. He faced the Padres in his second big league start last July 23 at Wrigley Field, and gave up five runs over four innings. He had been sidelined this season with a mild left groin strain.

* Starlin Castro is hitting just .179 over his last 17 games. His 22 RBI are 2nd most among all MLB SS (Brandon Crawford)

* Dexter Fowler has a .363 OBP in 35 games batting leadoff this season and is third among MLB leadoff men with 27 runs scored. Cubs leadoff hitters last year: 27th in MLB with .303 OBP.

Wada, Lake, Baxter join #Cubs

Tsuyoshi Wada, Junior Lake and Mike Baxter joined the Cubs on Tuesday, part of a series of roster moves.

Wada was activated from the disabled list and will make his first start Wednesday against the Padres, taking Travis Wood’s spot in the rotation. Wada replaces Phil Coke on the roster after Coke was designated for assignment. The left-handed reliever posted a 6.30 ERA in 16 games with the Cubs, giving up seven earned runs on 14 hits and three walks over 10 innings. The Cubs had signed the lefty to a Minor League contract on March 5.

Lake and Baxter join the Cubs from the Triple-A Iowa team, and take the roster spots of reliever Brian Schlitter, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, and catcher Welington castillo, who was traded earlier in the day to the Mariners for right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina, who will report to Triple-A Iowa.

Lake was recalled for his second stint with the Cubs. He appeared in four games, going 4-for-14, with the big league team. The outfielder was batting .250 at Iowa.

The Cubs selected the contract of Baxter, 30, who was batting .290 in 34 games at Iowa, and can play outfield and first base.

Schlitter, who has gone 0-2 with a 8.10 ERA in nine games overall with the Cubs, was sent to Triple-A Iowa.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup and pre-game notes

Jason Hammel starts on Tuesday night as the Cubs open a six-game road trip in San Diego against the Padres. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Castro SS

Montero C

Soler RF

Coghlan LF

Hammel P

Russell 2B

* Padres pitcher James Shields and Jason Hammel were teammates with the Rays from 2006-08. Shields defeated the Cubs on April 17, allowing four runs – three earned – in six innings. He struck out Kris Bryant three times in his big league debut in that game.

* Bryant, the second overall pick back in 2013, returns to San Diego where he played his college ball at the University of San Diego. Bryant is batting .455 (10-22 AB) with three homers and eight RBI during his current seven-game hit streak.

* After posting a 5.19 ERA (10 ER, 17.1 IP) in his first three starts to start the season, Hammel has been superb in his last four starts, going 2-0, 1.86 ERA (6 ER, 29 IP). Hammel got a no-decision vs. Shields and the Padres on April 17, allowing four earned runs in 6.1 innings.

#Cubs to play day/night DH vs Reds July 22

The Cubs and Reds will play a day-night doubleheader on July 22 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati to make up a game that was postponed because of rain. The original game was April 25. The July 22 games will begin at 12:35 p.m. ET and 6:10 p.m. ET at GABP.

#Cubs fans: Tickets on sale Friday for Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert

Theo Epstein and Len Kasper will combine music and baseball at Wrigleyville’s Metro on July 9 for the fourth annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert. Epstein, Kasper and Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons will be joined by musicians and personalities for the event which celebrates music, baseball and giving back. The show is presented by Chicago Trading Company.

The fundraiser, which benefits Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL), will feature ensemble performances by a special guest “headliner to be named later” (at the headliner’s request) and noted rockers from Chicago and Boston. The lineup includes Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), John Stirratt (Wilco), Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Jennifer Hall, Matt Spiegel and Curt Morrison (Tributosaurus), Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Mysteries of Life), Jake Smith (Mysteries of Life), Gerald Dowd, Jason Narducy (Split Single, Bob Mould) and more. Epstein, Gammons and Kasper also will perform with the bands. WXRT’s Lin Brehmer, actor Joel Murray and actor/comedian Mike O’Malley will serve as the evening’s emcees.

“The foundation is grateful for the incredible generosity of the musicians, sponsors and fans who dedicate their time, effort, energy and most importantly, their passion to help us provide opportunities for Chicago youth by supporting the organizations that work tirelessly as their advocates,” Epstein said in a statement. “We’ve collectively raised more than $6 million and look forward to increasing that total this year through another great night of music, baseball and giving back.”

Tickets go on sale Friday at noon CT. General admission tickets are $75, and there will be no service fees for cash purchases. Fans can purchase tickets online at http://www.metrochicago.com or in person at the Metro Box Office located at 3730 N. Clark Street in Chicago. VIP tickets also will be available at http://www.ftbnl.org.

In addition to the all-star music lineup, the event will include several special guests as well as live and silent auctions featuring signed sports memorabilia and priceless entertainment experiences.

FTBNL was founded in 2005 by Epstein and his brother, Paul Epstein, as a means to create positive opportunities for disadvantaged youth and families.

Nonprofit beneficiaries include Chicago Children’s Choir, Chicago Wapiti RFC, City Year Chicago, Family Reach Foundation, Garfield Park Little League, Girls in the Game, Jackie Robinson West, Marwen, Special Olympics and South Chicago Arts Center.

M’s wanted #Cubs Castillo for depth

The Mariners wanted Welington Castillo to add depth at the catching position, GM Jack Zduriencik said. The Cubs dealt Castillo to the M’s Tuesday for right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina.

“It’s very challenging in this day and age to have catching depth,” Zduriencik said. “To add a catcher that has a reasonable amount of Major League experience is important to the entire organization.”

Castillo, 28, has hit .163 in 24 games with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs for the Cubs this season. He was the Cubs starting catcher in 2013-14, batting .274 in 2013. But his offense dropped last year when he hit .237 and he was working as the team’s third catcher this year behind Miguel Montero and David Ross.

Medina, 26, was a key member of the Mariners bullpen the past two years, but was sent to Triple-A Tacoma two weeks ago. Seattle has some strength in its right-handed power arms, but Zduriencik said it was still a tough decision.

“I don’t think anybody is comfortable with having enough pitching,” Zduriencik said. “But catching at the Major League level is a very challenging position. It’s difficult to get through the season with one or two catchers. We’ve been fortunate to have a healthy Mike Zunino, but a couple years ago he was out six weeks with a broken hamate. It’s a position on the field where if you can add depth, it’s in your best interest to do it.”

Castillo carries a career .252 average with 29 home runs and 110 RBIs. From 2013-14, he hit .255 with 42 doubles, 21 home runs, 78 RBIs and a .716 OPS in 223 games. The Dominican product has thrown out 58 of 220 attempted base stealers in his career (26.4 percent).

“He has the ability to hit and he’s got power,” Zduriencik said. “He has a very good throwing arm and is a good [pitch] blocker. He has a nice skillset. There are those that debate whether he could have been a starting catcher at this level. I think we’re getting someone with ability and we’ll see how he fits in with our club.”

— Greg Johns, MLB.com

#Cubs Minor League report

Monday’s games

Matt Szczur went 4-for-4 to back Donn Roach and help Iowa beat Oklahoma City, 3-2. Roach gave up one earned run over six innings, striking out two. It was his seventh straight quality start. Since he returned to Iowa, Szczur is 5-for-7 with a double, two walks, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Taylor Davis had three hits, including two doubles.

Tennessee totaled three hits in an 11-0 loss to Jackson. Tyler Ihrig took the loss, giving up three runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Myrtle Beach had Monday off, and opens a seven-game homestand on Tuesday against Frederick.

South Bend lost, 7-5, to Lansing. Cael Brockmeyer went 3-for-3, Gioskar Amaya had three RBIs and Charcer Burks had two hits. Jeremy Null took the loss, giving up five runs over five innings.

Update: #Cubs deal Castillo to M’s for pitcher

The Cubs Tuesday dealt catcher Welington Castillo to the Mariners for right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina, who will report to Triple-A Iowa.

The Cubs were carrying three catchers this season with Castillo, Miguel Montero and David Ross. Montero has gotten the majority of playing time, appearing in 30 games, and was batting .313. Ross has been matched up with Jon Lester, and was batting .194 in 20 games so far.

Castillo, 28, was batting .163 in 24 games with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. He was the Cubs’ starting catcher in 2013-14, batting .274 in 2013. But his offense dropped last year when he hit .237. He was expected to back up Mike Zunino, who is batting .179 in 35 games.

The Cubs wanted to keep Castillo as insurance in case Montero, who turns 32 on July 9, or Ross, 38, was injured. A good defensive catcher in terms of throwing out runners and pitch blocking, Castillo came up through the Cubs system.

Medina, 26, posted a 2.82 ERA in 141 appearances out of the Mariners bullpen the last three seasons. He has struck out 140 batters over 137 innings while limiting opponents to a .216 batting average, including a .228 mark against right-handed hitters and a .198 mark against lefties.

He made his Major League debut in 2013 and was 4-6 with one save and a 2.91 ERA in 63 relief appearances and ranked second among American League rookies in holds. This year, he was 1-0 with three holds, one save and a 3.00 ERA, giving up four earned runs over 12 innings in 12 relief outings.

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan first reported the deal on Tuesday.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs reportedly trade Castillo to M’s for prospect

The Cubs have reportedly traded catcher Welington Castillo to the Mariners.

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported the deal Tuesday, but did not specify who the Cubs will get in return. The Chicago Tribune reported the Cubs will receive a prospect in return. Castillo was expected to back up Mike Zunino, who is batting .179 in 35 games.

A Cubs spokesman would not confirm the reports.

The Cubs have been carrying three catchers this season with Castillo, Miguel Montero and David Ross. Montero has gotten the majority of playing time, appearing in 30 games and was batting .313. Ross has been matched up with Jon Lester, and was batting .194 in 20 games so far. Castillo, 28, was batting .163 in 24 games with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. He was the Cubs’ starting catcher in 2013-14, batting .274 in 2013. But his offense dropped last year when he hit .237.

The Cubs wanted to keep Castillo as insurance in case Montero, who turns 32 on July 9, or Ross, 38, was injured.

— Carrie Muskat

#Cubs roster moves: Coke DFA; Wada and Lake to join team

The Cubs will make some roster moves Tuesday, including designated left handed reliever Phil Coke for assignment.

Coke had a 6.30 ERA in 16 games with the Cubs, giving up seven earned runs on 14 hits and three walks over 10 innings. He struck out nine. Left-handers were batting .304 off Coke, while right-handed hitters were batting .389. The Cubs had signed the lefty to a Minor League contract on March 5.

The Cubs moved Coke to make room on the roster for lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, who will start Wednesday, taking Travis Wood’s spot in the rotation. Wood has been shifted to the bullpen.

The Cubs also will send right-hander Brian Schlitter to Triple-A Iowa and call up outfielder Junior Lake. The team was carrying 14 pitchers Saturday and Sunday, which left the bench very thin.

A Major League source confirmed the moves. Expect a formal announcement on Tuesday.

— Carrie Muskat

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50,129 other followers