Results tagged ‘ Aramis Ramirez ’

8/9 Extra bases

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was scratched Tuesday because of back spasms and is day to day. Blake DeWitt started at third base and batted third, his fifth start at third this year.

* If you had tickets to Monday’s Cubs-Nationals game and can’t attend Thursday’s makeup game, don’t be mad at the Cubs. The game was postponed because of rain and Koyie Hill, the Cubs player representative, said they lobbied to play a split doubleheader on Wednesday. The Nationals were already scheduled to stay in Chicago on Wednesday night and wanted to play Thursday, which was an off day for both teams.

“If our players and their players can’t agree on when to play, then it goes to the union and if they can keep from scheduling split doubleheaders and there’s another option, they’ll take the other option no matter what,” Hill said Tuesday. “The only way we could’ve gotten to play Wednesday was if Washington agreed.”

The two sides presented their preference, disagreed, discussed their options with their respective teams again, and still disagreed.

“At that point, it goes to the [players’] union,” Hill said. “[The Nationals] were flying out Thursday at 3 [p.m.], so for them it made sense. They were going to stay one more night and enjoy our wonderful city and then go to Philadelphia in the middle of our off day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much of a say.”

This was Chicago’s fourth rainout this season, the most since 2009 when five home games were washed out because of the weather. The other rainouts this year were April 19 against the Padres; April 27 against the Rockies; and May 15 against the Giants.

Tickets for Monday’s game will be good for admission to Thursday’s game, which will start at 1:20 p.m. CT.

* Darwin Barney, Andrew Cashner and Blake DeWitt took part Tuesday in a “Play Campaign” clinic for more than 60 kids at Wrigley Field, emphasizing good nutrition and activity. The campaign is sponsored by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in conjunction with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and Athletico Physical Therapy, and was led by Cubs athletic trainer Mark O’Neal and assistant trainer Ed Halbur. Besides sessions on the dangers of steroids and performance enhancing drugs, the kids were treated to mini baseball clinics. Barney talked to them about fielding, DeWitt discussed hitting and Cashner gave some pointers on pitching. O’Neal and Halbur emphasized the importance of staying active.

All 30 Major League teams conduct “Play Campaign” clinics during the season in an effort to fight childhood obesity, which, according to the Center for Disease Control, has tripled in the last 30 years. The kids at the Cubs event were sponsored by Athletico, the official provider of physical therapy to the team, and also by Sheil Park in Chicago.

* Rodrigo Lopez will make his eighth start on Wednesday for the Cubs. He’s 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA so far compared to a 3.72 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

“I’m committed to him right now,” Mike Quade said of the right-hander. “As I look at this thing, we take it four days at a time. We’re going to play Washington, which is in the hunt still. We’ve got contenders the  rest of the month and that’s part of the reason I want to keep the pitching in line, at least a couple of the big three in each series to face these better clubs.”

The big three, in case you didn’t know, are Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

* The unexpected off day on Monday gave the Cubs bullpen an extra day of rest and they are fully loaded. Said Quade: “That’s always a good thing.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/6 About last night …

Some notes from Friday’s 4-3 win over the Reds:

* Starlin Castro has scored a run in a career-high seven straight games. It’s the longest streak by a Cubs player since Ryan Theriot also scored in seven straight Aug. 9-16, 2010. The last to score in eight or more consecutive games was Derrek Lee, who did so in nine straight Sept. 7-16, 2009.

* Castro now has 42 multi-hit games, the most by a Cubs shortstop since Theriot had 51 in 2009. The single-season high for a Cubs shortstop is 58, set by Theriot in 2008.

* Tyler Colvin ended an 0-for-19 skid at Wrigley Field with his home run on Friday. Eleven of his 24 career homers have come at Wrigley. All four of his career hits against the Reds’ Mike Leake have been home runs.

* Aramis Ramirez recorded his 248th double as a Cub, and is seven shy of passing Wildfire Schulte for 14th on the franchise all-time list. Ramirez is hitting .373 with 15 runs, seven doubles, nine homers and 19 RBIs in his last 20 games.

* The Cubs have hit 12 homers in their last four games, the most since also hitting a dozen Sept. 19-23, 2007.

* The Cubs have opened August 5-0 for the first time since they went 6-0 in August 1969.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Extra bases

Some Cubs notes to pass the time as we wait for the Trade Deadline to pass:

* The Cubs now are 33-23 when they score at least four runs, good for a .589 winning percentage. When they score three runs or less, they’re 9-42. Saturday’s game was the fifth time since the start of June that they’ve scored more than four runs and lost the game.

* Ryan Dempster will make his 347th appearance as a Cub on Sunday night. That moves him past Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown” into 10th for appearances in franchise history.

* Aramis Ramirez heads into the final game of July with nine home runs and 23 RBIs. He has nearly matched the rest of the team combined for home runs in July. The rest of the Cubs have hit 10.

* James Russell’s scoreless streak ended on Saturday at 14 1/3 innings. That’s the fifth longest streak by a Cubs lefty reliever since 2000. Russell has a 1.69 ERA in 33 relief outings in which he’s thrown 1 1/3 or fewer innings per appearance.

* Geovany Soto posted his first RBI since July 23 on Saturday, and first multiple RBI game since June 30.

* Pitching probables for Cubs’ next series vs. the Pirates:

Monday: Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.59 ERA) vs. Paul Maholm (6-10, 3.16 ERA)

Tuesday: Randy Wells (2-4, 6.16 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (12-8, 4.24 ERA)

Wednesday: Matt Garza (4-8, 3.99 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (8-6, 4.04 ERA)

Thusday: Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40 ERA) vs. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17 ERA)

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 You make the call

Did you miss the controversial slide by the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday that upended Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro in the fifth inning Saturday? Here’s the video.

The Cubs didn’t question Holliday’s aggressiveness but did contend he made an illegal slide because he couldn’t touch the base. The Cubs led 5-2 when the Cardinals had two runners on and one out in the fifth. Albert Pujols, who had homered earlier in the game, was intentionally walked to load the bases and starter Rodrigo Lopez then walked Holliday to force in a run.

Lopez was pulled, and Jeff Samardzija took over and got David Freese to hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who threw to Castro for the force. Holliday slid hard into the shortstop, and upended him. Holliday didn’t appear to touch the bag.

Both Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena and third baseman Aramis Ramirez went to Cousins to argue, and Quade then came onto the field to join in the discussion, which ended with the Cubs manager getting ejected for the fourth time this season.

“I applaud somebody for going in hard and trying to break up a double play to end an inning,” Quade said. “My thing is, it’s not a legal slide to me and that’s it.”

When Pena and Ramirez challenged Cousins’ call, Quade knew something wasn’t right.

“They don’t do that unless they feel that it was blatant and was out of the realm of what’s legal and what’s not legal,” Quade said of the two veteran infielders. “The rule is there for a reason.”

Castro was lucky Holliday wasn’t wearing metal spikes. His left shin was cut and raw from Holliday coming in high on the shortstop.

“It’s OK, because he didn’t have cleats,” Castro said. “If he had cleats, he would’ve cut me because he slid hard and way out of the base. It’s not good. It’s baseball. He tried to break a double play.”

Two runs scored on the play as Castro was down on the dirt, trying to regroup.

“I assumed he was hurt and waited to see what was going on with that,” Quade said. “At that point, somehow [throwing the ball home] was not on my mind. The fact that it could’ve been a double play and we could’ve been out of the inning was on my mind.”

But they weren’t, and the Cardinals scored eight runs in the fifth en route to a 13-5 win.

Quade had said he would do his best to not get ejected in the second half.

“I was pretty upset,” he said. “It was a combination of the play itself and the importance of it at that time had me really upset.”

Said Castro: “He’s out. He didn’t have a chance to touch the base.”

Said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa: “I watched it on tape. He’s sliding into the bag. He’s in the vicinity of the base.”

Guess it depends on your point of view.

“I disagree with Derryl’s assessment that it was a clean play,” Quade said. “I think that’s why they have the rule in place. I don’t think there was an attempt at the bag. He got a pretty good piece of Castro as well. That’s a huge play, obviously, in the game, too, and would’ve gotten us out with a 5-3 lead. I disagree a bunch, obviously, and fortunately Starlin is OK.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/29 Ramirez not going anywhere

Aramis Ramirez isn’t going anywhere this year. On Thursday, the third baseman said he was willing to consider a trade but on Friday, he repeated his earlier stance, which is that he will not waive his no-trade protection.

“I think I was misunderstood yesterday,” Ramirez said about his comments after Thursday’s Cubs’ game in Milwaukee that seemed to leave a window open. “I haven’t read the paper … but the way it came out was that I wanted to leave and I was ready to go somewhere else and that’s not the case.

“What I tried to say yesterday was I talked to Jim [Hendry, general manager] a couple weeks ago and we’re on the same page,” Ramirez said. “He wants me here and I want to stay here.”

Ramirez has 10-and-5 rights, which are 10 years in the Major Leagues and five with the same team. That gives him the right to veto any deal. Back on July 18, Ramirez said he would do just that if Hendry came to him with a possible trade. At that time, there were reports that the Angels were interested.

“We knew there would be some teams interested in my services and [Hendry] asked me [earlier this month] what I wanted to do and I said I want to stay here and he said, ‘Good, I want you here,'” Ramirez said on Friday.

— Carrie Muskat

7/29 Will Ramy go or won’t he? Who knows?

The agent for Aramis Ramirez told that the Cubs third baseman does not intend to waive his no-trade protection before Sunday’s Trade Deadline. Ramirez told reporters after Thursday’s game against the Brewers that no one from the Cubs front office has approached him about any possible deals. He has 10-and-5 rights, and would have to approve any deal. Would he change his mind? “We’ll see,” Ramirez said.

Agent Paul Kinzer, however, gave a different version.

“He doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Kinzer told after talking to Ramirez. “It didn’t come out the way he meant it to.”

As a player with 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team, the third baseman can block any trade. He maintained two weeks ago that he didn’t want to leave Chicago because of his family. His conversation with reporters after Thursday’s game had a different tone — but his agent said “nothing has changed.”

“He said if they go young, he would do it,” Kinzer told “But he doesn’t want to leave Chicago. He isn’t going anywhere. ‘Ramy’ has never wavered as far as wanting to stay in Chicago. If he had his way, he would sign an extension and stay right there.”

Ramirez’s contract with the Cubs ends this year, and the team has a $16 million option for 2012. That option would become guaranteed if he is traded. Kinzer said Ramirez would want the option dropped as a condition of any trade, enabling him to become a free agent at the end of the season.

— Carrie Muskat

7/28 Ramirez on trade talk: “We’ll see”

Aramis Ramirez has maintained that he doesn’t want to leave the Cubs but on Thursday, the third baseman said no one from the front office has asked him if he’d be willing to accept a trade. And instead of saying he didn’t want to leave Chicago, Ramirez said: “We’ll see.”

“When you’re 20 games under .500, there are going to be changes,” Ramirez said Thursday. “Something’s not right. You can’t point to anything — you can’t point to the pitching, offense, defense. I guess that’s the [general manager’s] and the front office’s job. Of course there will be changes because we haven’t played the way we’d like to. We’re 21 games under .500 so there are going to be changes.”

The Cubs took the first step before Thursday’s game when they dealt Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians and called up Tyler Colvin. Ramirez is a 10-and-5 player, and can veto any deal. Now that he agrees with the concept of change, has he changed his mind?

“Nobody has come forward to me from the team to say, ‘We want to trade you,’ or this or that,” Ramirez said. “It’s only [discussed] in the media.

“Nobody has talked to me about if I’m wiling to waive my no-trade clause,” he said. “It’s only in the media speculation that ‘This team wants Ramirez’ or the other team. Coming from the guys upstairs, the people who make the decision, I haven’t heard from anybody.”

So, would he be willing to be traded?

“Nobody wants me, man,” Ramirez said. “They want good players. Nobody wants me. They come to me with a trade, we’ll see, but nobody has talked to me about it.”

There probably are a few teams who would be interested in a third baseman who is batting .293 for the season, and nine homers and 22 RBIs this month. But Ramirez recently said he wanted to stay in Chicago because of his family.

“That’s not a secret,” Ramirez said. “Everybody knows that. But I also understand this is a business. I don’t know which way they want to go. If they’re looking to rebuild, I can’t fit in. We’ll see.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/23 Extra bases

Alfonso Soriano just needed a day to clear his head. He hit his first home run since June 19 on Friday, and said part of the problem was that he was thinking too much about the team’s struggles.

“The way we lose, the way we play, sometimes I think about the team instead of thinking about me first,” Soriano said. “Sometimes those things affect me mentally. The day off [Thursday], I said, ‘I have to control my situation. I cannot control the whole situation.’

“Sometimes you try to control the whole situation and mentally I get tired,” he said. “Now, I just think about me and see the team and how it plays but I have to think about what I can do to help the team win.”

His homer snapped an 0-for-18 skid. Soriano hit .265 in June but was batting .186 (11-for-59) so far in July.

“Sometimes it’s very hard, the way we play, to keep your mind strong,” he said. “That’s the difficult part of this game, the mental part.”

* Aramis Ramirez has held the cleanup spot in the Cubs’ lineup most of his career but was bumped up to the No. 3 spot and is producing. In 19 games batting third, he was hitting .324 with eight homers and 19 RBIs. In 65 games batting fourth, he hit .291 with eight homers and 32 RBIs.

“Knock on wood, day in, day out, it’s not like he takes three games off,” Mike Quade said of his third baseman. “He’s been not just good but consistently good and hitting in big situations. He’s what you need in the three-, four-hole and especially if you’re not producing a lot of runs, whatever he can give you is good.”

Ramirez has been hot, batting .358 this month with eight homers and 20 RBIs. The Cubs have been a litte sluggish in eight games since the All-Star break, batting .242 with seven homers and 23 RBIs.

* Carlos Marmol struck out two batters in the eighth inning, which was a good sign.

“That was the guy I know,” Quade said Saturday.

Expect Marmol to be used in a save situation next time.

* The Cubs want to see if they need Rodrigo Lopez this weekend before announcing the starting rotation for the upcoming series against the Brewers, which starts Tuesday. Because of off days on Thursday and Monday, the Cubs didn’t need a fifth starter and Lopez was assigned to the bullpen. One pitcher who will face the Brewers will be Ryan Dempster, who has a 15-3 career record against them.

— Carrie Muskat

7/22 Extra bases

With Friday’s win over the Astros, Carlos Zambrano now is 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA in his last eight starts against Houston at Wrigley. He has 16 wins against the Astros.

* Aramis Ramirez is batting .378 with 25 runs, eight doubles, 13 homers and 27 RBIs in his last 26 games since June 24. He has 247 doubles, seven shy of tying Wildfire Schulte for 14th on the team’s all-time list. He also hit his 231st homer, and now is tied for sixth on the team’s all-time list with Gabby Hartnett.

* Alfonso Soriano’s homer was his 15th and ended a 0-for-18 skid. It was his first since June 19. Has he been pressing?

“Not really,” Soriano said. “I’ve been thinking too much about the situation. We expected to play better and I think I was playing with a little frustration. It’s good we had a day off yesterday and I tried to not think about the situation and tried to do my job.”

* The Cubs should top 2 million fans on Saturday. They have drawn 1,993,067 so far to Wrigley Field in 54 home dates.

— Carrie Muskat

7/18 Cubs quote of the day

Aramis Ramirez on the way things have been going for the Cubs:

“It seems like we find a way to lose ballgames,” Ramirez said. “Sometimes I feel like the other team doesn’t beat us, we beat ourselves. You’ve got to stop that. If you want to win ballgames, you’ve got to get it down and be professional. This is the Major Leagues, it’s not a learning experience. You have to get the job done.”

— Carrie Muskat