Results tagged ‘ Angel Guzman ’

10/7 Roster info

MLB Trade Rumors has sorted out the projected Type A and B Free Agents. The Cubs have two in each category:

Type A Free Agent

John Grabow
Kevin Gregg

Type B Free Agent

Rich Harden
Reed Johnson

The Cubs would like to keep Grabow, and already have had talks with his agent. Harden and Johnson could stay, but it depends on their contract demands.

* Also, players with three to six years of big league service are arbitration eligible. The Cubs will have until Dec. 12 to tender the following players contracts:

IF Jeff Baker

LHP Neal Cotts

IF Mike Fontenot

LHP Tom Gorzelanny

RHP Angel Guzman

RHP Aaron Heilman

C Koyie Hill

RHP Carlos Marmol

LHP Sean Marshall

SS Ryan Theriot

Players with between two and three years of big league service time are eligible as “Super Twos” if they both collected at least 86 days the prior year and rank in the top 17 percent in total service time of this group. Fontenot and Gorzelanny qualify as Super Twos.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/25 Lee clears Guzman of bad 'love tap'

Derrek Lee says it wasn’t Angel Guzman’s fault that his neck spasms flared up and forced him to miss Friday’s game against the Giants.

The Cubs first baseman was not available because of the spasms, which he said were probably the result of a combination of his slide into second base on Thursday and possibly some exuberant congratulations in the duguout.

Guzman had been named as the guilty party but didn’t recall doing anything.

“I don’t know why people are saying that — that’s not true,” Lee said about blaming Guzman. “I don’t know what it was. It could’ve been the slide. When I sat down, it locked up.”

Lee stole second in the ninth to set up Jeff Baker’s game-winning two-run homer. When he got back to the dugout, he was slapped on the head by his teammates, and the double whammy may have aggravated his neck spasms. Lou Piniella called it a “love tap.”

“I don’t know what it was,” Lee said after the Cubs’ 3-0 win Friday over the Giants. “It just flares up some times and starts spasming. The slide probably started it. They should take [Guzman’s] name out of it. I never said that.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/25 Lineup, Lee & Ramirez

Derrek Lee was not available Friday because of neck spasms, aggravated by his slide and an overzealous celebratory slap from a teammate. Lee slid hard into second in the ninth inning Thursday, and apparently one of the Cubs hit him hard on the head when he got back into the dugout. Pitcher Angel Guzman has been named the guilty party, but the pitcher said he doesn’t remember doing anything to Lee.

“[Lee’s] neck is sore,” Lou Piniella said. “He couldn’t play tonight if we wanted to, and we won’t use him to pinch-hit.”

Lee will get treatment during the game and was expected to be back on Saturday.

“The slide had something to do with it and the love tap on the top of his head,” Piniella said. “All Guzman was trying to do was congratulate him for the stolen base and getting on base and scoring a run. It’s something that just happened. I’m not faulting anybody.”

Piniella said he didn’t see Guzman do it.

“I don’t know that — I was told,” Piniella said. “I shook [Lee’s] hand. I think we went to the videotape.”

* Aramis Ramirez was scratched from the lineup because of a sore left shoulder. He also was expected back on Saturday. Kevin Gregg is sidelined with soreness on his left side.

* Friday’s lineup:

RF Fukudome

SS Theriot

1B Hoffpauir

3B Baker

2B Fontenot

LF Scales

C Hill

CF Fuld

P Zambrano

— Carrie Muskat


9/18 Cubs Inbox

Am trying to revive the Inbox, and fans are encouraged to email questions to, and please include your full name and hometown. Here are some questions to get started.

Q: In the Sept. 13 game, the box score read “25 LOB” for the Cubs. Aside from the fact that it would break the MLB record by five, how is it possible if the Cubs only had eight offensive frames? Is there an error in the score keeping? — Jonathan M., 512 area code

A: No, you’re looking at “individual LOB.” For example, if you look at Kosuke Fukudome’s line, it says “6 LOB” and that means he stranded six baserunners. If you look further down in the box score under “BATTING,” you’ll see the “Team LOB,” which was nine. It’s confusing, I don’t like it, no one uses it, but it’s there.

Q: Randy Wells has pitched a total of 147 innings between Iowa and the Cubs. Last year, he pitched a total of 123. Many think a pitcher should not increase his innings count from one year to the next by more than 20 percent in order to prevent injury. In Wells’ case, this means he should be shutdown after 147 innings. With 139 under his belt, it looks like he should be shut down now or after, at most, one more start. Any idea whether the Cubs will follow this precept? — Candace S.

A: After Thursday’s game, in which Wells lasted four innings, Lou Piniella said the rookie was being considered for a breather. The trouble is, at this point in the season, the Cubs don’t have that many subs. Piniella wanted to give Esmailin Caridad a start but With Angel Guzman (triceps) out, they are a little short-handed as far as starters go.

— Carrie Muskat

9/8 Free agents & more

After Monday’s game, Derrek Lee was asked what if the Cubs brought back most of the same players, could the results be totally different?

“It could be totally different [in 2010],” Lee said. “There are so many variables in baseball. I don’t think it’s like other sports when you can kind of talk things up. Guys have down years. You see it all the time. This year, it just happened we had a few guys who were either hurt or had down years. But you fully expect those guys to be back and rebound.”

For those of you looking ahead, the free agents to be on the Cubs’ roster include:

Rich Harden

Kevin Gregg

John Grabow

Reed Johnson

I’ll let you discuss who to keep. I’m sure joeydafish has some ideas.

For the roster geeks, the players who are arbitration eligible include: Jeff Baker, Tom Gorzelanny, Aaron Heilman, Neal Cotts, Carlos Marmol, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Mike Fontenot, Angel Guzman and Ryan Theriot.

The Cubs already are committed to about $122 million to players for 2010. That list includes Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Lee, Ted Lilly, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Dempster, Milton Bradley, Aaron Miles and Jeff Samardzija.

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Closure

Remember 2007 when Ryan Dempster was the Cubs closer? Dempster blew a four-run lead against the Mets in mid-May in New York, and when the team returned home, Lou Piniella said the right-hander was switching to the rotation. Thirty minutes later, Dempster was back as the closer.

Piniella seemed more determined to make a change after Monday’s game against San DIego, which Kevin Gregg lost, giving up four runs in the ninth as the Padres rallied for a 4-1 win.

In the first half, Gregg was 3-2 with 16 saves and three blown saves in 42 games, compiling a 3.32 ERA. In 16 games in the second half, the right-hander is 1-3 with seven saves and three blown saves, and has a 7.47 ERA. He’s given up 15 runs and walked seven in 15 2/3 innings in the second half.

In eight games this month, Gregg has a 1-3 ERA with two saves, three blown saves, and an 11.25 ERA. He’s given up 10 hits and walked two in eight innings. That’s not going to get the job done.

The candidates for the job? How about John Grabow, who has been consistent since the Cubs acquired him from the Pirates July 30. In his last 18 games, he’s given up three runs on 10 hits and 12 walks while striking out 13. He has not given up a run in his last eight games, all with the Cubs, and opponents are batting .095 against him. In his career, the left-hander has six saves and 16 blown saves, scattered from 2004-09.

Carlos Marmol’s problems have been walks. In 15 games since the All-Star break, he’s walked 10 and struck out 21, giving up five runs in 14 1/3 innings. The right-hander walked 41 in 87 1/3 innings over 82 games last year, and issued 42 free passes in 46 games in the first half alone.

He did battle Gregg for the closer’s job this spring, but it was determined at that time that the Cubs would be better off keeping Marmol in his role as No. 1 set-up man. He may have the best stuff of the bullpen corps.

Angel Guzman has one save, June 7 against Cincinnati. In six games this month, the right-hander has given up two runs on six hits over nine innings, and has not walked a batter. Opponents are batting .188 off him. But he’s young, and this is his first full season in the big leagues.

We’ll find out soon enough.

— Carrie Muskat

8/17 Closer by committee?

Expect a new closer on Tuesday. After Monday’s game, which the Cubs lost 4-1, Lou Piniella hinted that Kevin Gregg could be out.

“I think we’re going to make some changes as far as what we’re going to do in late innings,” Piniella said. “We’ll have some word [Tuesday].”

Gregg served up all four Padres’ runs in the ninth, including three on Kyle Banks’ walkoff homer.

“It [stunk],” Gregg said. “I wasn’t pitching. I went away from what I wanted to do and didn’t execute my pitches and it cost us the game.”

Possible candidates to take over the job include Carlos Marmol, Angel Guzman and John Grabow. It’s been a tough stretch for Gregg, who saved 61 games the last two seasons combined for the Marlins. There were the back to back blown saves in Florida, with Gregg serving up home runs in both games. On Aug. 11, he gave up a game-winning homer to the Phillies’ Ben Francisco in the 12th inning and the Cubs took the loss.

“They all end the same way with a home run ball,” Piniella said.

— Carrie Muskat

8/4 Closing time

Kevin Gregg will get Tuesday off as well from closing duties for the Cubs to rest a tired arm. Gregg said the problem was similar to what’s called a “dead arm” that most pitchers go through in Spring Training

“We all play with aches and pains and things like that,” Gregg said. “I’m giving it some good, heavy treatment for a couple days and see where that takes us.”

So, who’s the closer? On Monday, it was Carlos Marmol, but he threw 30 plus pitches. Angel Guzman would most likely get the call if the Cubs find themselves in a save situation.

As for B.J. Ryan, don’t expect to see him too soon. The left-hander walked two on Monday in a game with Triple-A Iowa and has not shown any improvement in velocity or command. He now has pitched in four games, walking five and striking out four.

— Carrie Muskat

7/22 Lost in translation

It was a strange sight. Ryan Dempster had invited about 10 friends of his wife to Citizens Bank Park, and they had a chance to watch his workout Wednesday. It was a group of Amish boys from Lancaster, Pa. Imagine, if you will, the kids trying to explain Amish culture to Venezuelans Carlos Zambrano and Angel Guzman. When told that they didn’t have electricity, Guzman decided he couldn’t be Amish because he would miss being able to watch TV.

— Carrie Muskat 

7/7 Dempster's big toe

Ryan Dempster suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right big toe after he climbed over the fence in front of the Cubs’ dugout at Wrigley FIeld after Sunday’s game, and will miss his scheduled start on Tuesday vs. the Braves.

Lou Piniella said the Cubs feel the best case scenario is that Dempster will be sidelined three weeks, but most likely will be out one month. What happened?

“Sunday after the game, I was coming out of the dugout and I was stepping over the top of the railing and I caught my left foot on the rail as I was coming over,” Dempster said. “It spun me around and slammed me into the ground. When I did it, I thought I ripped my nail back on my foot. Unfortunately, the result wasn’t funny.”

Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee was laughing when he saw Dempster’s awkward fall.

“I’m sure it looked hysterical from his angle,” Dempster said. “The unfortunate part is my foot, because of the way it hit, came down straight into the ground. My toenail was ripped back and bleeding.”

The plan was to get a shot to ease the pain. But X-rays on Tuesday revealed the fracture.

“I’ll just drink some Incredible Hulk juice,” Dempster said. “It’s a weird thing.”

In his last start, Dempster took a ball off his shin and kick-saved one to himself. He also took a ball off his face in batting practice recently and was fine.

“I’d like to have some nice gratifying story, like I broke up a double play or something and saved the game, but I don’t,” he said. “I wasn’t going to make up a story because somebody would find a video. … That’s what I get for making fun of guys who go on the DL for burning their faces in a suntan booth.”

He’ll get X-rays again before the Cubs go to Washington for the first series after the All-Star break. In the meantime, he’ll get treatment and keep his foot elevated. Dempster, who could barely walk into the interview room to talk about the accident, planned on pitching Tuesday, but said the risk wasn’t worth the reward.

This is not a Cubby occurrence.

“It’s a coincidence,” Dempster said.

Did Lee apologize for laughing?

“No, I think he’s still laughing at me,” Dempster said.

Piniella found out when he got a phone call at lunch.

“Well, we were healthy for a day,” said Piniella, who got Aramis Ramirez, Reed Johnson and Angel Guzman back on Monday. “We had a pretty good idea this was more than a stub or a bruise or strain.”

Kevin Hart, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Guzman, was called back and will start on Wednesday in the series finale vs. the Braves. Zambrano is pitching on short rest, and will start Sunday night against the Cardinals in the last game before the break.

— Carrie Muskat