Results tagged ‘ B.J. Ryan ’

8/5 Roster move & lineup

The Cubs activated infielder Aaron Miles from the disabled list, and he was starting at shortstop Wednesday night vs. the Reds. To make room on the roster, pitcher Jeff Stevens was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

In addition, the Cubs also released left-handed reliever B.J. Ryan and lefty Jason Waddell. Both were at Iowa. The 40-man roster is now at 37.

Wednesday’s lineup is:

CF Fukudome

SS Miles

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

RF Bradley

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Hill

P Harden

— 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

8/3 Lou to Soto: Hurry back

Geovany Soto begins a rehab assignment Monday night for Double-A Tennessee, and if all goes well, Lou Piniella wouldn’t mind having the catcher back with the big league team sooner rather than later. Soto has been sidelined since July 7 with a mild left oblique strain, and the plan was to have him play three days for the Minor League team before joining the Cubs in Colorado this weekend. Piniella wants to speed things up to give Koyie Hill a well-deserved breather. GM Jim Hendry was in Tennessee to watch Soto and check on his progress.

“Wednesday wouldn’t be soon enough for me,” Piniella said.

Hill has caught 207 innings since Soto was hurt. That’s nearly three games more — 27 innings — than any other catcher in baseball. The Dodgers’ Russell Martin is next at 181 2/3 innings.

“I would think if [Soto] catches well tonight, and doesn’t feel any after effects tomorrow and can DH tomorrow, whether he catches in Tennessee on Wednesday or catches here, I don’t see any difference,” Piniella said. “It gives us a chance to rest Hill on Thursday and he’ll have from Tuesday to Friday [off], and then maybe we can alternate them so both can catch.”

Ask Hill and he’ll tell you he can catch every inning from now until the end of the season.

“I believe it,” Piniella said. “He’s done a nice job. Give him credit.”

* B.J. Ryan has made three appearances for Triple-A Iowa but Piniella hasn’t gotten much info as far as how the left-hander is doing. Assistant GM Randy Bush was to watch the Iowa club in New Orleans. Infielder Aaron Miles, who also is playing for Iowa, is swinging the bat better and could re-join the Cubs soon.

— Carrie Muskat

8/2 Minor update

David Patton, pitching for Double-A Tennessee, had to leave his outing Saturday after three innings when he aggravated a groin injury. Patton, on the DL since July 6, had given up one run on two hits and struck out four over three innings. He apparently re-injured himself warming up for the fourth inning, and was pulled. Tennessee won, 4-1, over Carolina.

* Left-handed reliever B.J. Ryan, whom the Cubs signed to a Minor League deal, struck out two in one inning for Triple-A Iowa in a 14-0 win over New Orleans.

— Carrie Muskat

7/29 Gregg, Ironman Hill & quick hits

The one Cubs reliever who did not pitch Monday and Tuesday was Kevin Gregg. The right-hander is fine; he had pitched in seven of the team’s first 10 games since the All-Star break.

“I think [Lou Piniella] was trying to give me a day off,” Gregg said. “It was kind of weird having a day off, actually.”

Gregg has saved three of the last six games, and picked up save No. 21 on Sunday against the Reds. This is his third consecutive 20-save season and he’s the first Cubs closer to total 20 saves in his first season with the Cubs since LaTroy Hawkins had 25 in 2004.

There are no histrionics with Gregg. He’s very even keel.

“You never want to get too high, you never want to get too low,” he said. “Our job is to get people out. You get people out, and you walk off the field. That’s how I’ve always looked at it. That’s why I go up there, to get people out. I’m not going to celebrate that. I’m also not going to beat myself up for giving up a run because it happens. I’ve never seen anybody go through a season without giving up a run.”

And what does he think of pitchers who do a lot of fist-pumping and gyrations after a save?

“I don’t like it,” he said. “To each his own. It kind of looks like garbage out there, personally. Everybody does their own thing.”

You might see a little fist pump, though, from Gregg.

“Maybe after a big play I might give it one of these [fist pump] if it was a good play,” he said. “You won’t see me strike out a guy and do a little dance out there.”

* Koyie Hill started his 19th straight game behind the plate on Wednesday, the longest stretch since Damon Berryhill caught 25 in a row from May 13-June 9, 1989. The ironman duties are no big deal to Hill, who began the year as backup to Geovany Soto.

“Randy Hundley started 161,” Hill said.

Actually, Hundley started 156 games for the Cubs in 1968, played in 160, and totaled 1,385 innings behind the plate. The backups that year were Randy Bobb, who started two games, and Bill Plummer, who did not start a game. Hill, by the way, entered Wednesday’s game with 909 2/3 innings at catcher in his career.

* Carlos Zambrano was wearing a neck wrap on Wednesday. The problem? “Bad sleep,” he said.

* Ron Santo was scheduled to go with the team to Florida and Cincinnati but will miss the third city on the trip, and not be in Denver for the series vs. Colorado.

* B.J. Ryan made his first appearance in relief on Tuesday and pitched one inning for Triple-A Iowa. He threw about 11 pitches, and his fastball registered about 86-87 mph.

— Carrie Muskat



7/25 Quick hits

Left-handed reliever B.J. Ryan was to report to Triple-A Iowa on Monday. The Cubs signed Ryan to a Minor League contract. Minor League pitching coordinator Mark Riggins has been working with the lefty in Mesa, Ariz.

“The reports from Riggins are that he’s throwing the ball well and he thinks he can come up here and help us at least as a second lefty out of the bullpen,” Lou Piniella said of Ryan, who saved more than 30 games three seasons.

* Aaron Miles, on the DL for the second time this season because of a hyperextended elbow, was playing at Iowa.

* Catcher Geovany Soto was to begin taking batting practice on Saturday. Soto has been on the DL since July 7 because of a left oblique strain.

“It’s my understanding that he should be ready the first four, five days of August,” Piniella said.

The Cubs are considering giving Koyie Hill a breather, and having Jake Fox catch one of the games. Piniella projected Fox could be behind the plate for either Randy Wells or Rich Harden. They wanted Hill behind the plate against the Phillies and Reds, because both teams run well.

— Carrie Muskat

7/17 Soriano scratched; Lilly questionable

Alfonso Soriano was scratched from Friday’s lineup because of swelling in the little finger on his right hand, which he dislocated in the fourth inning the day before diving into second base. There was significant swelling and Soriano couldn’t grip a bat with his hand.

“I think it’ll probably be a few days,” Lou Piniella said.

Ted Lilly is questionable for Saturday’s game because he has some discomfort in his left knee. Piniella said if Lilly can’t go, Randy Wells, slated to go Monday, could be moved up to Saturday and Kevin Hart could start on Sunday.

Lilly’s knee problems had nothing to do with him not pitching in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. It’s been bothering him in his last couple starts.

“That’s what we talk about here — getting healthy and staying healthy,” Piniella said. “It’s been a problem. Maybe signing this [B.J. Ryan] might be a good timing thing for us.”

The Cubs signed Ryan to a Minor League contract on Thursday.

— Carrie Muskat


7/16 Cubs sign B.J. Ryan to Minor League deal

The Cubs signed left-handed pitcher B.J. Ryan to a Minor League deal on Thursday, and he will report to the team’s facility in Mesa, Ariz. Ryan was 1-1 with a 6.53 ERA in 25 games with the Toronto Blue Jays before he was released on July 8. The Blue Jays owe Ryan $15 million, but the Cubs only have to pay a prorated share of the Major League minimum.

Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush said Ryan will report to Mesa on Sunday, and when he’s ready, he’ll go to Triple-A Iowa. There’s no timetable.

“What’s great is that he wants to do it the right way — he wants to go to Mesa, he wants to work on his delivery,” Bush said. “He wants to get back to where he feels good about where he’s at. When he’s ready to go, that’s when he’ll go to Iowa.”

The Cubs have one left-hander in the bullpen in Sean Marshall, and if Ryan could regain his form, it would help the team down the road. In 2004, Ryan struck out 122 in 87 innings for the Orioles.

— Carrie Muskat

Report: Cubs interested in Ryan

The Cubs are expected to make a run at former Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan when he clears waivers on Monday, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. If the Cubs did add Ryan, they could put Sean Marshall back in the rotation. Ryan was placed on waivers with $15 million remaining on his five-year, $47 million deal. Toronto will be paying the bulk of Ryan’s salary. He’d be a good addition if Ryan can regain the velocity that made him a dominant reliever. Marshall is the only left-hander in the bullpen, and the Cubs don’t have an option in the Minor Leagues. Neal Cotts, who was on the Opening Day roster, is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

— Carrie Muskat