Results tagged ‘ Andres Blanco ’

3/27 Bench players down to five

The battle for the Cubs’ last two bench spots has come down to Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir, Kevin Millar, Sam Fuld and Tyler Colvin.

“You can’t figure it out from the player’s part,” Millar said. “You have to just do your thing.”

Millar started in left field on Saturday and has been taking grounders at third and first.

“I came in here to be as versatile as I could and take my groundballs at third, play some left field, play some first base and do whatever they ask me to do,” he said. “My body feels good and we’ll see what happens here in the next few days.”

With the trade of Andres Blanco to Texas, there aren’t many decisions to be made. Colvin had four hits on Saturday and now was batting .475. It’ll be tough to leave him behind. GM Jim Hendry said they’ll make a final decision by Tuesday or Wednesday.

“I feel confident,” Millar said. “It’s a great group of guys here and you just have to get these guys believing. This is a good team. I feel confident. You just keep going to the finish line and ultimately they’ll make a decision.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/27 Blanco to Rangers

The Cubs have traded infielder Andres Blanco to the Rangers for a player to be named later or cash considerations on Saturday. Blanco was batting .667 in seven games. He had been slowed this spring because of a sprained right knee. The move means the Cubs feel confident Mike Fontenot can handle shortstop and could help in terms of deciding the final bench spots.

— Carrie Muskat

3/20 Injury updates

Aramis Ramirez, rehabbing from a sore right tricep, will be the designated hitter in the Minor League camp on Saturday to get some at-bats. Ramirez was able to take grounders at third base but still cannot throw. His status is day to day.

Ted Lilly, coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, was to throw a side on Saturday and then his second live BP session on Monday. If all goes well, he could pitch in a simulated game later in the week.

Infielder Andres Blanco, out with a sprained right knee, still can’t run at full speed. He has been able to hit and do limited fielding.

— Carrie Muskat


3/19 Andres Blanco update

Infielder Andres Blanco has been able to take some grounders when hit straight at him as he rehabs from a strained right knee. Blanco still wears a light brace when he works out. He’s been playing catch and on Friday, began hitting. He suffered the injury on March 6 when his shoe became locked in the dirt trying to make a play at second base.

— Carrie Muskat

3/11 Cubs notebook

Ted Lilly may face hitters in a live BP session on Sunday, which will be his next day to throw. Lilly is coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. He threw 35 pitches on Wednesday.

“No problems,” Lilly said. “I’ve thrown a few changeups, no curveballs. In the past, I haven’t thrown a whole lot of breaking stuff in Spring Training. That’s not something you want to overdo at this point.”

* Alan Trammell will manage the Cubs in Las Vegas. Lou Piniella is staying back with the other half of the team in Arizona for games Friday against Milwaukee and Saturday against Cincinnati. Jeff Samardzija will face the Brewers while Tom Gorzelanny will start Friday in Vegas against the White Sox. Ryan Dempster makes his second start Saturday in Vegas while Sean Marshall faces the Reds. Piniella said he hopes the team can make some definite plans with the pitching by March 21-22.

* If Starlin Castro is going to open in the Minors, will he stay long in the big league camp? Piniella said that decision is up to Jim Hendry.

* Andres Blanco (sprained knee) is another week or so away from resuming baseball activities.

“Depending on what happens with Blanco will have a bearing on what we do with our bench,” Piniella said. “We have choices with our bench. Do we focus on defense? Do we focus on more offense? With the [Xavier] Nady situation, do we carry a couple extra outfielders because he can’t play outfield?”

Nady will be able to play outfield on Opening Day but is not expected to be able to throw at full speed until June 1. There’s been no talk about having Nady open the year on the disabled list.

“My understanding from talking to the trainer and our medical people is he can play a couple days a week early in the season and hopefully by the first of June, if need be, we can put him out there on a more consistent basis than that,” Piniella said. “We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t see the DL scenario at all. We haven’t even discussed that.”

* The Cubs do need five starters when they open the season. Sometimes with off days, a team can get by with four. The way it’s projected, the Cubs’ fifth starter would make four starts in April.

“I asked [Larry Rothchild] if we could get by with 11 pitchers in the month of April,” Piniella said. “I haven’t heard a positive response on that one yet.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/11 Injury updates

Xavier Nady had no unusual soreness in his right elbow after playing in Wednesday’s game, his first Cactus League action. Nady is coming off his second Tommy John procedure, which he had in July. He’s not expected to be allowed to “start firing away” from the outfield without restrictions until June but says that won’t keep him from playing.

“Hopefully, you drive in more than you throw out,” Nady said.

* Andres Blanco has a new, lighter brace on his right knee and is making progress. He sprained his knee in a play at second and was to be sidelined 10 to 14 days.

* Angel Guzman may see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday. Guzman has a torn ligament in his right shoulder, near the arm pit, and is considering surgery. He’s already had elbow and shoulder procedures done, both by Andrews.

— Carrie Muskat

3/7 Blanco out 10-14 days

Infielder Andres Blanco will be sidelined 10 to 14 days because of a mild to moderate sprain of his right knee, suffered Saturday. Blanco showed up at HoHoKam on Sunday wearing a large brace on his right knee.

“It’s nothing real serious,” Blanco said. “The doctors said I’ll be fine, 100 percent in a week or two.”

His foot got locked in the infield dirt at second as he tried to make a tag in the sixth inning against the White Sox.

“As soon as I got locked, my knee popped,” he said.

Now, Blanco has to wait for the inflammation to subside, and then he’ll begin treatment.

“The doctors said it won’t take me too long,” Blanco said.

The loss of Blanco doesn’t mean shortstop sensation Starlin Castro moves up on the depth chart. The Cubs organization plans on having Castro open the season at Triple-A Iowa.

“This will give me a chance to play [Mike] Fontneot at short, which I said I needed to do,” Lou Piniella said. “We have [Darwin] Barney in camp.”

— Carrie Muskat


3/6 Blanco out with knee injury

Andres Blanco underwent an MRI on his right knee after suffering a Grade 2 sprain in the sixth inning Saturday. He’s expected to be out seven to 10 days. He apparently got his spikes locked in the infield dirt at HoHoKam Park when he made a play at second base on the White Sox’s Jason Botts. Blanco tried to turn and his cleats locked. Expect more playing time for Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro at shortstop.

— Carrie Muskat

2/16 Options posted a list of players out of options who have less than five years of Major League service. The Cubs have six: Jeff Baker, Andres Blanco, Tom Gorzelanny, Angel Guzman, Koyie Hill and Geovany Soto. Those players would have to clear waivers before they could be sent to the Minors.

— Carrie Muskat

12/14 Winter ball update

Brad Snyder went 2-for-4, including a triple, and drove in two runs for Mexicali on Sunday. The outfielder was batting .380 with eight homers and 47 RBIs in 52 games in the Mexican League. Snyder batted .278 at Triple-A Iowa this season.

Matt Camp went 1-for-5 and was batting .336 in 53 games. Jeff Stevens walked two and gave up two runs in one-third of an inning for Mexicali. In 12 games, the right-hander has a 4.61 ERA. He has walked eight and given up nine hits over 13 2/3 innings. Jim Adduci was playing for Hermosillo, and batting .224 in 20 games.

In Venezuela, catcher Robinson Chirinos went 2-for-4 Sunday for Magallanes. He was batting .338 in 43 games with eight homers and 26 RBIs. The Cubs were worried they would lose Chirinos in the Rule 5 Draft.

Andres Blanco has apparently finished his Winter Ball stint, batting .294 in 35 games for Magallanes. His last game was Dec. 4.

— Carrie Muskat