Results tagged ‘ Alfonso Soriano ’
Since Alfonso Soriano was traded July 26, he is batting .251 (46-for-183) with the Yankees with 15 homers, five doubles, 47 RBIs, eight stolen bases. When Soriano was on the Cubs, they posted a 45-55 record, and were batting .243 as a team with a .304 on-base percentage and .409 slugging percentage, plus they averaged 4.1 runs per game.
Since he left, the Cubs are 18-29, and as a team, batting .228 with a .300 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage. The team has hit 51 home runs, 67 doubles, three triples, and totaled 154 RBIs since Soriano was dealt. They’re averaging 3.4 runs per game.
With all the attention on Alex Rodriguez, what might have been missed is that Alfonso Soriano returned to Chicago on Monday for the first time since being traded by the Cubs to the Yankees.
“I love this city,” Soriano said. “It’s not a surprise for anybody. [But] now with the new [Yankees uniform], I’m happy.”
Soriano said he spoke with some of his former Cubs teammates when he got to town.
“On my way to the ballpark, I just spoke to [Cubs catcher Welington] Castillo — they had a day off in Philadelphia — and I just talked a little bit with him. They’re OK.”
He said he knows his former teammates miss him, but he’s happy to be in Yankees pinstripes.
“It’s part of the game,” Soriano said. “You know, sometimes you’ve got to move, do the best for me and for my family. I tried to do the best for the team in Chicago and the city, but it [didn't] work, so now I’m with a new team.”
Soriano was asked for his take on the PED scandal.
“I’m very upset with the people who tried to do something wrong in baseball,” Soriano told reporters, including Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald. “I know myself I don’t like to talk too much about those problems because I’ve never been, and I don’t know about anything else.”
Was he surprised at the names of the players suspended?
“Not surprised at the names,” he siad. “It surprised me that people keep trying. That makes me surprised because they know that Major League [Baseball] put in those rules and they cannot keep trying. If you try to do something wrong, sooner or later, they’re going to get you.”
Players are competitive, but should compete on an even playing field.
“We like to compete, but compete clean,” Soriano said. “Just compete clean and see what happens. A lot of guys have too much talent, and they don’t know. They don’t need [PEDs] and they don’t have to try to do something wrong because God gave them the talent. Don’t try to be like a super hero or something like that. Just play with the talent God gave you.”
How should his time in Chicago be remembered?
“My answer is all the work that I put in myself to make the team better and try to win a championship,” he siad. “When I signed with the Cubs, that’s waht I had in my mind. I didn’t sign just because of the money. I signed to try to give a championship to the city, and that’s what I remember.”
When Soriano was traded to the Yankees, he met with Theo Epstein.
“He told me it was an honor to have me,” Soriano said of his conversation with Epstein. “He had a lot of respect for me, so I have a lot of respect for him, too.”
When Junior Lake arrived at Wrigley Field for his first home game on Monday, his gear was stowed in a prime space. Lake was given Alfonso Soriano’s locker in the Cubs’ clubhouse. Lake has been in Chicago before but never played at Wrigley until Monday. The young outfielder opened the season on fire, with 15 hits in his first 30 at-bats, but is 0-for-13 since an infield single in the sixth last Thursday. Manager Dale Sveum said they aren’t worried.
“No, we’re not going to panic over an 0-for-13 [stretch],” Sveum said. “He had to face [Tim] Lincecum, [Madison] Bumgarner and [Matt] Cain, so you’re facing Cy Young’s and guys that have done a lot of good things in their careers.
“Those are the things that, for a kid like him with the ability that he has, is the experience we talked about,” Sveum said. “That’s why you want some guys to be here a little bit earlier sometimes to get that taste and see Major League pitching on an everyday basis sometimes and have to make those adjustments.”
With the departure of Soriano via trade, Lake has taken over in left field, and will start in center against left-handed pitchers. Outfielder Brian Bogusevic is rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., from a strained left hamstring. Will Lake stay the remainder of the season? Sveum said there’s been no discussion about sending Lake back to Triple-A Iowa.
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s going to be in there pretty much every day unless I feel he needs a day off,” Sveum said.
– Carrie Muskat
Travis Wood picked up another quality start and a quality at-bat. Wood notched his 18th quality start and belted his third home run to lift the Cubs to a 2-1 victory Sunday over the Giants and complete a sweep of the defending World Series champs. Welington Castillo smacked a tiebreaking home run with two outs in the seventh, his third of the year, to give Chicago its first series sweep in San Francisco since Sept. 13-15, 1993.
The Cubs concluded a 10-game West Coast swing through Denver, Phoenix and San Francisco 6-4, and picked up their 26th road win, three more than their total last season. Last year, the Cubs went 1-18 on the road against the NL West.
“I can’t remember ever as a player or anything having this kind of trip on the West Coast,” Dale Sveum said. “To win six out of 10 on the West Coast, no matter how good a team you are, it’s one of the harder things to do in baseball.”
They did it without Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano, both traded during the trip. On Sunday, Soriano had four hits, including a two-run homer and walk-off RBI single for the Yankees, which prompted loud cheers in the Cubs clubhouse. The high socks on Starlin Castro, Junior Lake and Luis Valbuena on Sunday? That’s Soriano style.
“We said we wanted to do it for Sori,” Castillo said of the socks switch.
Wood was in the trainer’s room and heard all the ruckus. The lefty was on the Cubs last year when they also overhauled the roster, dealing Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto and others. This time, it’s different.
“It’s always a little different, especially when you lose a guy like Soriano,” Wood said. “He was one of our hottest bats, probably the hottest bat at the time. He’s the leader on the team and he’s been here the longest. It was sad to see him go, but I think he had a pretty solid day today. We just have to pull together and string some wins.”
The pitchers ruled. Wood singled to lead off the third and then homered off Tim Lincecum with two outs in the fifth, his third of the year, and the most by a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano hit four in 2009. It’s the first time Lincecum has ever served up a home run to a pitcher.
“I’m always surprised,” Wood said of his power. “I’m not up there trying to hit homers. I’m just trying to put good swings on it. I was able to get two hits today and fortunately one of them went over the fence. Unfortunately, I gave it up the next inning.”
Lincecum got a little payback with two hits off Wood, both singles.
The Giants loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, and Buster Posey hit into a bizarre double play, forcing the runners at third and at home. But Pablo Sandoval delivered an RBI double to tie the game. Castillo’s home run was all Wood needed, and ticked Lincecum off.
All three games were decided by one run. Winning those close games in front of sellout crowds can only help, Sveum said.
“A lot of these young guys have to get a feeling for that in the big leagues, and the feeling of the last three games here, how close every out was and how every pitch here meant everything, and the situations [Saturday night],” Sveum said. “These guys, some of them anyway, that multiplies by 10 when you’re in a pennant race, those kind of games. It’s always a learning process.”
– Carrie Muskat
Theo Epstein said Alfonso Soriano helped make the trade go smoothly.
“As far as these things go, this was relatively seamless to where we were able to monitor the market, give him an idea of what teams might be interested,” Epstein said. “When we explained why we thought it was the right time, and why it would be good for him, and good for the Cubs, he listened and took it to his family and made a decision that I think in the end was the right one.”
The Cubs dealt Soriano to the Yankees on Friday for Class A right-hander Corey Black.
Now, the Cubs do not have a player with a no-trade clause in their contract.
“I don’t look at this as a watershed moment, or a transformative moment at all,” Epstein said. “It was simply the right time for Sori to move on and open up some at-bats for Junior Lake and when [Ryan] Sweeney and [Brian] Bogusevic come back from injury, now that [David] DeJesus is back from injury, we have a chance to find out about left-handed bats and some on-base skills and see who might be in the mix for next year. It was just the right time for this particular move.”
Soriano’s eight-year, $136 million contract was the largest ever given to a Cubs player. Could they do another one? It depends on the player
“I’m of the belief that you’re never one player away,” Epstein said. “The single biggest factor in whether or not you have a chance to legitimately contend is the overall health of the organization.”
“We’re focused on building a healthy, productive, effective organization with a robust farm system, getting those players through the farm system to the big league level and gaining competitiveness that way rather than chasing one player who might make a difference.”
That doesn’t mean the Cubs won’t acquire impact players through free agency; they just won’t build their plans around that.
“We’ll know when the timing is right,” Epstein said.
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano could be in the Yankees lineup Friday night. Soriano was pulled from the Cubs’ starting lineup on Thursday after Theo Epstein called manager Dale Sveum, saying a deal was “99 percent” complete. The 37-year-old outfielder took a red-eye flight to New York after the Cubs’ game Thursday. There were reports Friday that the Cubs will receive right-handed pitcher Corey Black, 21, a fourth-round pick in 2012, in exchange, and that the Yankees will pay a portion of the $24.7 remaining on Soriano’s contract. Major League Baseball had to review the financial terms of the deal.
Note: I will be traveling from Phoenix to San Francisco Friday. Check Cubs.com and MLB.com for updates
The deal between the Cubs and Yankees has not been finalized, but Alfonso Soriano took a red eye flight from Phoenix to New York after Thursday’s game so he would be there in case it was done. The Yankees are home Friday against the Rays.
“I’m happy, and I think they’re happy, too,” Soriano said of the Cubs. “I’m happy to go back to New York where I started my career. I think both sides are happy.”
Is he glad the rumors are over?
“Thank God, it happened, so now I have to just concentrate and finish strong, and try to help my new team now to win,” he said. “That’s what I like to do, and everybody knows I like to play this game and I love it.”
Soriano talked to his agent a few hours before the Cubs’ game against the Diamondbacks ended. He then addressed his teammates to say goodbye.
“I just talked to my family and they said they support me and they’re happy I’m back where I started my career,” Soriano said. “I’m happy to go back to New York. … It’s a little uncomfortable, but this is baseball. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for the team, best for me and best for the other organization, too. I’ve been traded before. Now I have to keep moving and do my job in New York.”
What will he remember most about being a Cub?
“The fans,” he said. “They always want to win, they love to win. More important, being with the Cubs, they appreciate when the team wins and the team plays good.”
The fans could be harsh when Soriano made a bad play in the field.
“I respect the fans, I always play hard for the fans,” he said. “They love the team and they like to see the team do well. I always tried to do the best when I play for the Cubs and tried to be a champion here. It didn’t happen, so I hope it happens in the future. Now, I have to think about my new team.”
– Carrie Muskat
How do the Cubs fill the opening in the lineup with the pending departure of Alfonso Soriano?
“You say you’re prepared for it, but I don’t think you’re really prepared to lose somebody of that nature,” Dale Sveum said Thursday. “All the things he brings to a team, the fourth hole, the character, the clubhouse, the leadership and everything. You just don’t replace that.”
Soriano was pulled from Thursday’s Cubs lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the request of president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, and appears to be headed to the Yankees.
Physically, Sveum said he’ll mix and match in the outfield, using rookie Junior Lake as well as Cole Gillespie in left field. Brian Bogusevic, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, could return in early August.
The Cubs may decide to add a pitcher when they make a roster move rather than an outfielder because the bullpen has been overworked, and they have a doubleheader coming up on Tuesday.
Soriano, 37, was one of the few veterans in the clubhouse.
“You have [Kevin] Gregg, DeJesus, and other than that, it’s a lot of young guys,” Sveum said. “With the addition of Lake, now we’re getting pretty young.”
The Cubs were busy at the Trade Deadline last year, and this season, have made six deals before July 31. The only players who were on the Chicago roster when Jim Hendry was the general manager are Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Welington Castillo and Jeff Samardzija.
The Cubs may find another left fielder, but can’t replace Soriano’s professionalism.
“You don’t replace that,” Sveum said. “Hopefully, down the road you do. You don’t have a Band-aid right now to replace that kind of guy in your clubhouse.”
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano appears to be headed to the Yankees. Theo Epstein asked Dale Sveum to pull Soriano from Thursday’s lineup because a deal was nearly completed between the Cubs and Yankees that would send the 37-year-old outfielder back to the team where he began his pro career. Sveum said the deal was “99 percent” done.
The Yankees were 6 1/2 games back in the American League East. Can Soriano help the Yankees?
“He’s going to a place that is obviously one of the better stadiums, and he’s been there before and has performed in that atmosphere before,” Sveum said. “Obviously, they’ve had a lot of injuries, and he’s the guy who can fill that void as [designated hitter] and in left field.”
Soriano has hit 10 home runs in his last 21 games, and was batting .286 in that stretch with six doubles, 21 RBIs and a 1.044 OPS, dating to June 28. He has homered in five of his last 14 games, and ranks seventh among active players in career home runs with 389.
“He’s put together a pretty good run,” Sveum said. “Last year at 36 years old, he hit 32 [home runs] and drove in 108 [runs]. That’s a legacy in itself. he’s a guy who when he’s on the field, he’s lived up to his media guide, so to speak, besides the stolen bases he’s had in his career early.”
This was Sveum’s second season with Soriano, and he was impressed with his professionalism.
“He’s 100 percent completely different than I thought,” Sveum said. “There hasn’t been a day of disappointment in his attitude, his work ethic, what he brings to younger players and his professionalism has been off the charts.”
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano was scratched from Thursday’s lineup, and apparently is headed to the Yankees. Here’s the new lineup vs. lefty Wade Miley:
* The Cubs have hit 39 home runs off left-handed pitchers, the most by any team in the Majors. The Cubs hit 29 homers off southpaws all of last season. Anthony Rizzo has hit six home runs off lefties this year, fourth-most among NL left-handed hitters, trailing only the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez (eight), and the Reds’ Jay Bruce and Joey Votto (seven). Dioner Navarro was hitting .515 (17-for-33) with a .610 on-base percentage, a .998 slugging percentage and a 1.519 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.