Results tagged ‘ Andres Blanco ’

8/31 Quick hits: Call-ups, Soto, & Soriano

The Cubs begin play Monday 5 1/2 games behind the Rockies and Giants in the National League Wild Card race.

“There’s still time,” Lou Piniella said. “We’ll see what happens.”

* The Cubs will add three players on Tuesday, Sept. 1, when rosters expand. Expect to see Micah Hoffpauir, Andres Blanco and Justin Berg. On Wednesday, David Patton was expected to join the Cubs. They’ll add seven to eight players.

* Geovany Soto said he understands why Piniella has decided to lean more on Koyie Hill. Soto was batting .212 for the season, and Piniella said it’s a “mystery” as to why the young catcher is struggling in his sophomore season.

“I would’ve thought that coming into this season he’d have a solid season,” Piniella said of Soto, the 2008 Rookie of the Year. “Maybe not .280 like he hit last year, but certainly a solid Major League season.”

“It’s been surprising to me to see him struggle,” Piniella said.

* Alfonso Soriano may be ready to play Tuesday, but is more likely expected back in the lineup on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

8/4 Lineup & roster move

Infielder Andres Blanco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf to make room on the 25-man roster for lefty Tom Gorzelanny, who will start Tuesday, weather permitting. It’s clearing up at Great American Ball Park, and they may even start on time.

Blanco tweaked his calf Saturday in Florida. The Cubs could be getting reinforcements for the bench with the addition of infielder Aaron Miles, who could join the team as early as Wednesday. He’s been playing for Triple-A Iowa, rehabbing from a hyperextended right elbow.

As for Geovany Soto, he won’t join the big league team until Friday in Colorado. The Cubs want him to play three games for Double-A Tennessee. He went 1-for-2 Monday.

Milton Bradley was getting a breather Tuesday, so Jake Fox was in right.

CF Fukudome

SS Theriot

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

RF Fox

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Hill

P Gorzelanny

— Carrie Muskat

8/1 Lineup

Lou Piniella wants to give shortstop Ryan Theriot Saturday and Sunday off if possible, so Andres Blanco is starting at short and batting second. Here’s the lineup:

CF Fukudome

SS Blanco

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

RF Bradley

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Hill

P Zambrano

— Carrie Muskat

5/30 Lineup & quick hits

Saturday’s lineup vs. the Dodgers will be LF Soriano, SS Theriot, RF Bradley, 1B Lee, CF Johnson, C Soto, 2B Scales, 3B Fontenot and P Dempster.

* Expect Mike Fontenot to handle most of the playing time at third base until Aramis Ramirez returns. On Friday, Bobby Scales started at third, but Lou Piniella said Saturday that he’ll lean toward using Fontenot primarily at third. Ramirez is not expected back until the first week in July. Andres Blanco can start at second against right-handers and backup Ryan Theriot at shortstop as well.

* Rich Harden, on the DL with a mid back sprain, will throw long toss on Sunday and try to air it out a little, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. Harden has played catch two days in a row, and had no problems. If he passes Sunday’s test, he could do a bullpen session. There’s no timetable, but Piniella said there was a chance Harden could be activated during the next road trip, most likely late in the upcoming three-city junket to Atlanta, Cincinnati and Houston.

* Carlos Zambrano, who is serving a six-game suspension, did throw in the bullpen on Saturday to stay on track for his next start which will be Thursday in Atlanta.

— Carrie Muskat

5/27 Postgame notes

Carlos Zambrano has been suspended twice in his career, and will wait for a ruling by Major League Baseball as to whether he’ll have to take another time out. Zambrano appeared to bump home plate umpire Mark Carlson briefly Wednesday as the two argued a close call at home plate in the eighth. Then he hurled the baseball to left center field, threw his glove and took a bat to the Gatorade dispenser in the dugout.

“That was pretty impressive,” Milton Bradley said of Big Z’s antics.

* Ryan Freel appears headed for the disabled list, one day after infielder Aaron Miles was placed on the 15-day DL. Freel strained his left hamstring running the bases in the fourth. If he does have to go on the DL, expect Bobby Scales to return. Scales was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday to make room for Andres Blanco.

* Speaking of Blanco, he apparently has quit switch-hitting. In his first at-bat, Blanco hit right-handed against Pittsburgh’s Zach Duke and grounded out. In his next at-bat, Blanco batted from the left side against the lefty. “It sort of surprised me,” Lou Piniella said. Blanco, now strictly a left-handed hitter, did deliver a RBI double in the eighth, followed by Jake Fox’s RBI double in the 5-2 win.

* Speaking of Fox, Piniella isn’t ready to start him at third even though the Cubs are desperately seeking some offensive help from that spot. Fox will workout with bench coach Alan Trammell at third so he’s not a defensive liability. “We’d love to have his bat in the lineup,” Piniella said of Fox. “Let’s see him over there for a few more days working with Alan and I’ll let Alan make that determination.”

* Besides hitting a tie-breaking homer in the eighth, Reed Johnson also made a great catch of Adam LaRoche’s fly ball to center to end the Pirates seventh. Johnson slammed into the center field wall.

“I knew it was coming up on me pretty quick,” he said, knowing there’s bricks behind the ivy. “I was at a point running back for that ball where I wasn’t running full out. I knew if I was going to hit it, it was going to hurt. I wasn’t running fast enough where I’d do permanent damage to myself. It worked, too. The fans appreciated it as well.”

* Bradley’s triple was his first since Sept. 26, and 15th of his career. Bradley has hit safely in four of his last five games.

* Pitching notes: Angel Guzman now has a 5 1/3 scoreless inning streak. … Kevin Gregg’s save Wednesday marked the first time he was in a save situation since May 10, a span of four outings. … Carlos Zambrano needs five strikeouts to pass Bill Hutchinson for sixth on the team’s all-time strikeout list.

— Carrie Muskat

5/27 Roster moves update & lineup

Jake Fox, Jason Waddell and Andres Blanco joined the Cubs on Wednesday, and Bobby Scales and Neal Cotts were sent to Triple-A Iowa, while Aaron Miles was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of his sore shoulder. Miles received a cortisone shot and will not do anything for four or five days, then go to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa, Ariz., to rehab.

Blanco, who can backup at shortstop and second, was in the lineup Wednesday for the series finale against the Pirates. It’ll be LF Soriano, SS Theriot, RF Bradley, 1B Lee, CF Johnson, C Soto, 3B Freel, 2B Blanco and P Zambrano.

Also, Carlos Marmol rejoined the Cubs after his wife gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, Caroline. Everyone is doing well.

— Carrie Muskat

5/27 Roster moves

Expect some roster moves by the Cubs Wednesday. Aaron Miles has been bothered by a sore shoulder since Spring Training, and may be placed on the DL. That would open one spot. The Cubs have been trying to get another bat in the lineup and Jake Fox, who is leading the Pacific Coast League in average, home runs and RBIs, was spotted at Wrigley Field. Also, lefty Jason Waddell was seen at the ballpark as was infielder Andres Blanco. Lou Piniella has not been happy with lefty Neal Cotts, who still has options left, and could be sent to the Minors. Stay tuned.

— Carrie Muskat


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