Results tagged ‘ Alfonso Soriano ’
The Florida State League suspended Cubs prospect Jorge Soler five games for leaving the dugout and wielding a bat Wednesday night. Soler, who is playing for Class A Daytona, was ejected in the seventh inning. Clearwater second baseman Carlos Alonso came down on Soler after he slid into second trying to break up a double play. Soler and Alonso exchanged words and were then separated. But Soler re-emerged from the Cubs dugout with a bat and made his way toward the visitor’s dugout. He was restrained by teammates, then ejected.
The news of Soler’s outburst surprised the Cubs players, who were with the 21-year-old outfielder in Spring Training.
“He came here to work hard, to be in the big leagues and [I told him to] not pay attention to the negative in the Minor Leagues because sometimes there are some people who are negative,” veteran Alfonso Soriano said. “I said, ‘Don’t think about that, just think about how you came here to play hard and sooner or later, you’ll be in the big leagues if you do the right thing.’”
Soler’s father lives in Miami, but otherwise, his mother and sister are still in Cuba. He doesn’t have many family members in the U.S. Soriano tried to give the young outfielder advice in Spring Training, and planned on calling Soler.
“I’d tell him to focus and play baseball and not listen to anybody — just play baseball,” Soriano said.
– Carrie Muskat
* Monday’s crowd of 40,083 was the smallest at Wrigley Field for a home opener since the team drew 40,077 on April 13, 2009.
* With the 7-4 loss to the Brewers Monday, the Cubs now are 52-45-1 in 98 home openers at Wrigley Field. Overall, the home team has gone 54-45-1 in 100 openers at the ballpark, which was the home field for the Federals/Whales for two seasons before the Cubs.
* The Cubs now have lost their last three home openers, and are 2-5 in the last seven dating to 2007.
* Alfonso Soriano recorded his first multi-hit game on Monday, but still does not have an RBI. He has hit safely in his last four games. Welington Castillo has hit safely in his last three games.
* Edwin Jackson took the loss, and is the first Cubs pitcher to start the home opener not named Ryan Dempster since 2009. Jackson also is the first pitcher to make his first Cubs start at Wrigley in the home opener since Ted Lilly did so, April 9, 2007.
– Carrie Muskat
* Alfonso Soriano talked to Carlos Marmol after the right-hander struggled on Opening Day.
“I told him, ‘Don’t lose your confidence,’” Soriano said. “It’s a long season and he has to keep working and that’s the only way you can get better is to keep working and
not lose your confidence because when you lose your confidence, everything goes negative. I tried to give him some motivation because he’s part of the team. We need him. He’ll be all right, he’ll be OK.”
* On Sunday, Dale Sveum said Kyuji Fujikawa will be the Cubs closer. The Japanese right-hander says he’s ready for whenever the Cubs need him.
“My job is to pitch whenever I’m asked,” Fujikawa said through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa. “I didn’t have a good outing [Saturday]. I’m going to try to go back out there, and it’s a long season, I’m trying to make it as positive as possible.”
He was a closer for Hanshin for 12 years. Did he ever lose his job the way Marmol has?
“No,” Fujikawa said.
* Second baseman Darwin Barney hopes to have the stitches removed from his left knee on Monday. Barney suffered a knee laceration in the final exhibition game March 30 in Houston and is on the disabled list. He has been able to take batting practice and was going to ride a stationary bike on Sunday.
“He’s able to bend his knee all the way now,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s been hitting and taking ground balls straight at him. He’ll be ready to go, just guessing five days from now, and be back with us after the off day [April 15].”
Barney was expected to get some at-bats at Class A Kane County this week.
* Ian Stewart, on the disabled list with a strained left quad, went 1-for-4 on Saturday in Mesa during an extended Spring Training game. He was the designated hitter, and had no setbacks, Sveum said. After an off day Sunday, Stewart was expected to get another four to six at-bats on Monday in Mesa. He could begin a rehab assignment in one week.
* Matt Garza, sidelined with a strained left lat, threw his second bullpen on Sunday. He was not expected to return until May.
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run home run, Darwin Barney added a solo shot and Welington Castillo scored the tie-breaking run on a passed ball in the sixth to lift the Cubs to a 5-4 victory Tuesday over the Rangers. Chris Rusin started the game and gave up four runs over five innings. He’s expected to open the season at Triple-A Iowa but with injuries to Scott Baker and Matt Garza, Rusin could be next in line if any of the other Chicago starters are sidelined.
“I don’t ask questions,” Rusin said. “I feel if I look too much into it, I won’t be able to put the ball where I want it.”
The left-hander did get off to a rough start, but settled down and retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced. This spring, he had given up one run on eight hits over his previous 13 innings.
“I had a rough first two innings and you never want that but it happens, it’s baseball, and you just have to figure out your mistakes in the game,” Rusin said. “I was able to figure out my release point and calm down and find my location and find my fastball and keep my offspeed in and out and keep them off balance. That’s what Spring Training is for. You go out there and try to figure it out and what you need to do to get back on track.”
Rusin has definitely been tested. He held the Indians and Dodgers scoreless over eight innings in his two previous outings.
“There’s some tough lineups,” Rusin said. “I know that. I just trust my catcher and hit the mitt.”
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run double and scored on Dioner Navarro’s home run in the sixth inning to lift the Cubs to a 9-3 victory Sunday over the Padres. Jorge Soler hit a solo home run and Christian Villanueva added a two-run shot, both coming in a five-run eighth.
The Cubs trailed 2-0 in the sixth against Tim Stauffer when Travis Wood and David DeJesus both singled. Two outs later, Soriano lined a double to left and Navarro then connected on his second spring home run. Wood followed Scott Feldman, and gave up one hit and walked three over four scoreless innings, striking out six.
With one out in the Chicago eighth, Soler launched his first spring home run. J.C. Boscan added a RBI single, Steve Clevenger hit a sacrifice fly, and Villanueva hit his home run. Villanueva, who has been getting more playing time because of injuries to third basemen Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters, now has three hits this spring, and all three have been home runs.
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano and Johermyn Chavez each hit solo home runs but it was not nearly enough as the Indians pounded 20 hits in a 13-5 victory over the Cubs on Monday. Lonnie Chisenhall was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Nick Swisher was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, and Drew Stubbs had two hits and three RBIs. Mark Reynolds also homered for the Tribe. In his first start, Alberto Cabrera gave up five runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings, striking out one.
There was some concern in the Cubs’ first when Darnell McDonald hit a line drive that deflected off Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.
“I was going to check on him but figured since he threw two, three more innings, he was good,” McDonald said.
Carrasco struck out Luis Valbuena to open the Cubs first, then was hit on the side of his head by McDonald’s liner. The ball apparently deflected off his glove. Carrasco fell to his knees on the mound, and was tended to by the Indians athletic trainer, but he did stay in the game and lasted three innings.
“I definitely thought I had a knock right there,” McDonald said of the liner off the pitcher. “Most important, you don’t want to see anyone get hurt at this time of year. For him to stay in the game and do what he did, I knew he was OK. I’ll just keep trying to hit the ball hard and hopefully, it’ll fall in there. Right now, it’s about feeling good and getting in a groove.”
* Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game against the Rockies, the Cubs will not use a DH for the first time this spring and Scott Feldman will hit for himself. Here’s the early lineup:
– Carrie Muskat
Jeff Samardzija was able to avoid getting hit by a comebacker on Sunday. Matt Cain wasn’t as lucky. Cain took a shot off his right leg and was limited to one inning in the Giants’ 4-3 loss to the Cubs.
Alfonso Soriano lined a single off Cain’s leg in the first. Soriano’s hit loaded the bases with one out, and Nate Schierholtz then grounded out to first, driving in a run. Dioner Navarro followed with a three-run homer to open a 4-0 lead. Cain was pulled after the one inning.
“It’s part of the game. You hope you get out of the way,” said Cain, who was not expected to miss his next outing.
Francisco Peguero doubled with two outs in the Giants first and scored on Guillermo Quiroz’s single off Samardzija. Pablo Sandoval hit a RBI double in the third and Quiroz added a sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it 4-3.
Samardzija was able to work his fastball and split but called his slider “garbage.” He’ll try to get a feel for that in his next start.
“The slider last year was key for me,” said the right-hander, who is entering his second full season as a starter. “To be pulling it in and leaving it up high was unfortunate but it’s first time out. It’s a big pitch for me.”
He also showed his quick reflexes, dodging a shot from Quiroz in the second. Teammate Darwin Barney hit a comebacker at Samardzija during a live batting practice session at Fitch Park before games began.
“Both of them were about as close as they get,” Samardzija said. “I got out of there in proper time. Apparently, the coaches in Spring Training said, ‘Stay up the middle’ with these hitters. Cain took a couple up the middle and I did, too. It’s part of the fun. You have to be on your toes and ready to go.”
Samardzija did field a hard hit comebacker by Kensuke Tanaka in the first. Navarro went out to talk to his pitcher after Quiroz’s single nearly clipped Samardzija.
“After the second time, I went out there and asked him where the magnet was,” Navarro said.
Soriano, Brian Bogusevic and Johermyn Chavez were each 2-for-2. Kyuji Fujikawa made his Cactus League debut, and gave up one hit, striking out two.
– Carrie Muskat
Start the trade rumors again. Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson suffered a fractured arm Sunday when he was hit by a pitch. Rumors started to fly almost immediately that the Yankees would call the Cubs about Alfonso Soriano.
“I hope they don’t look that way because I feel comfortable here and I believe in this team,” Soriano said Sunday. “We have a better chance this year and I hope everybody stays healthy and we have a good April and we’ll see what happens.
“I feel comfortable here with this group of guys — they make me feel young,” he said.
It is the Yankees, though, which was the first Major League team Soriano played for.
“That’s the team that opened the door for me in the big leagues,” Soriano said. “That was a long time ago.”
Soriano does have final say and a no trade clause. Would he consider going to New York?
“I don’t know,” he said. “[Granderson's injury] happened today, and I don’t know if they want to call or not. If they call for me, I have to think about it. I don’t want to make a quick reaction and say ‘Yeah’ or say ‘No.’ I want to think about it. I’m 37 years old so I have to think first what’s good for me and for the team and for my family, too.”
Last year at the Trade Deadline, Soriano drew some interest, and there were six or seven teams that he would have considered.
“That was last year,” he said. “At the Trade Deadline last year, there were six, seven teams that were contenders. Now, it’s 2013, and no contenders because the season hasn’t started yet. I have to see how we play first, the Cubs, and after that, maybe a couple months, if we’re not playing good, they can decide what they want to do with me.”
Does that mean he would reject any deal right now?
“I don’t want to say ‘No,’ I want to think about it first,” he said. “It’s not a contender yet. There’s a lot of good teams that have an 80, 90 percent chance to make the playoffs. We’ll see. Today is the second game of Spring Training, and there’s a lot of games and a lot of days to go and I believe we have a better chance than last year. The first thing for me is to see the Cubs in the playoffs this year. I’m not thinking about another team, I’m not thinking I want to get traded. I just want to stay here and make the playoffs and go to the World Series with this team.”
Soriano signed an eight-year deal with the Cubs, and has two years remaining on that deal.
“I want to give it one more chance — I want to win here,” he said. “It’s been a long time not winning. I signed here to win and I prepared my mind from the first day I signed the contract to win a World Series here. If I go somewhere else, I want to feel good, but my dream is winning here.”
– Carrie Muskat
In case you missed it, Carlos Villanueva finally signed with the Cubs. The team made an official announcement late Saturday. The right-handed pitcher agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal that will pay him $5 million each year. He could contend for a spot in the rotation.
Right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo, who was acquired in the Rule 5 Draft in 2011, was designated for assignment to make room for Villanueva on the 40-man roster. If he isn’t claimed, Castillo could rejoin the Cubs.
The team has yet to finalize its agreement with outfielder Scott Hairston. That also will require the front office to create an opening on the 40-man.
* There were reports Sunday that the Orioles and Rangers were interested in adding a right-handed bat, and that they have inquired about Alfonso Soriano. The Boston Globe reported the interest by the two teams in the veteran, who turned 37 earlier this month, and who would be a good fit for an American League team, which could use him as a designated hitter. Soriano does have a full no trade clause, so he would have to approve a move. He has two years remaining on his contract.
– Carrie Muskat
GM Jed Hoyer’s search for an extra outfielder may be over. According to FOXSports.com, the Cubs have reached agreement with Scott Hairston on a two-year contract. A right-handed hitter, Hairston, 32, was expected to platoon in right with Nate Schierholtz.
Hairston has to pass a physical before the deal can be finalized. The Cubs’ 40-man roster is full, and they must make a move to open a spot for Hairston as well as pitcher Carlos Villanueva, who has yet to be officially added to the team.
Hairston’s older brother, Jerry, played for the Cubs from 2005-06.
Hoyer has said the team wanted to add some outfield depth. Alfonso Soriano, 37, will start in left with David DeJesus, 33, in center. Schierholtz, who turns 29 on Feb. 15, is a career .270 hitter covering all or part of the last six seasons with the Giants and Phillies. Hairston batted .263 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs last season with the Mets. He has an .825 OPS against left-handed pitchers. The Cubs’ other backup outfielders heading into Spring Training include Dave Sappelt and Tony Campana.
– Carrie Muskat