Results tagged ‘ Bobby Scales ’

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 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

5/26 Quick hits

Rich Harden, who is on the DL with low back problems, has yet to start a throwing program, so he may not be ready to return when his 15-day stint is up. If Harden was healthy, Lou Piniella said he’d probably move Sean Marshall to the bullpen to give him another left-hander. Right now, Neal Cotts is the only option.

* Derrek Lee is feeling better, but still weak because of the flu. Bobby Scales, also bothered by the flu, was worse.

* Piniella didn’t think Ted Lilly would be penalized for jumping onto the field to argue with umpire Bob Davidson in the fifth inning Monday night. Lilly was ejected.

* How’s the Cubby swagger? “It’s not swaggering very much,” Piniella said. “But look, which team does swagger when they’re in an eight-game losing streak? One thing you can’t do is give in to this thing. You’ve got to keep fighting. You’ve got to believe you can get through it. Invariably, teams that do get through this thing, they’re tough and they’re capable of playing good baseball. We’re finding out some things now. I think we’ll get through it. I think this will turn out to be a fine baseball season, but right now, it’s a struggle. Is it totally unexpected? You really can’t have parts of your team not working well and think you can continue to win. … Right now, it’s not easy for us. We’ve just got to battle through it and can’t give in to it.”

There’s no easy way to get out of this funk.

“How do you eat a ‘*******?’ You eat it one bite at a time,” Piniella said. “You don’t swallow the [darn] thing. That’s how you come out of this thing baseball-wise. It’s one at-bat at a time, one pitch at a time, one inning at a time, one game at a time. There’s no magic formula, no cure all. You’ve got to battle. I’m positive we will.”

— Carrie Muskat

5/25 Lineup & quick hits

Derrek Lee was scratched from Monday’s lineup because he’s sick with the flu. Lee was sent home. Bobby Scales also was in the original lineup, but was benched because he’s feeling ill, too. Scales was available.

Here’s the lineup: LF Soriano, SS Theriot, RF Bradley, CF Johnson, C Soto, 1B Hoffpauir, 3B Freel, 2B Miles and P Dempster.

* Carlos Marmol was in New York to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child. Marmol was expected back in Chicago on Wednesday.

* The Cubs batted .160 on the six-game road trip, scoring five runs. They did face some pretty good pitchers but Lou Piniella is the first to admit they struggled. “Until our batting average gets close to the .250 mark collectively and a few others higher, you’re going to continue to struggle offensively,” Piniella said.

“If we can get through this thing here, it’ll make us better as a team down the road — that’s the positive spin to it,” he said. “It’s been challenging for us all year. We’ve had stretches where we’ve hit well. But basically, the first 40 games or so, the first quarter of this year, it’s been a challenge for us offensively.”

* During his team meeting on Sunday, Piniella told the players to look at video replays of good swings, not bad ones. “I want to see a good picture when I use visualization,” Piniella said.

Maybe the players shouldn’t use the video room. Piniella said they’ve talked about that. “If we have to, we’ll close it down for the players, at least during the game,” he said. “Visualization is a great tool, but at the same time, visualize good things. Don’t keep putting bad pictures in your mind.”

Piniella said what players should do is watch the guy on the mound and see what his approach is to the hitters. “See what he’s getting people out with,” Piniella said. “There are a lot of things you can focus on during the ballgame watching the opposing pitcher that give you clues on how you’ll be approached as a hitter. If you’re watching tape, you miss a lot of things that can help you.”

* The Cubs will be wearing red caps in honor of Memorial Day.

— Carrie Muskat


5/20 Lineup & quick hits

Bobby Scales is starting at second base Wednesday in Game 2 of the Cubs’ three-game series vs. the Cardinals. It’ll be LF Soriano, SS Theriot, CF Fukudome, 1B Lee, RF Bradley, 3B Fontenot, C Soto, 2B Scales and P Dempster.

* Several of the Cubs took early hitting at Busch Stadium. They’re averaging seven runs in their 21 wins, and 2.3 runs a game in their 16 losses this year.

“Look, until we get some of these batting averages up, forget how many runs we’re averaging,” Lou Piniella said. “You don’t score runs with smoke and mirrors. Basically, you’ve got to get these averages up and on-base percentages up, and then you can start looking at how many runs you score and don’t score.”

The Cubs were a good hitting team last year.

“You always have a few people struggling but not four or five in a lineup,” Piniella said. “When that improves, then you’ll see our offense pick up and do things with a lot more consistency.”

Milton Bradley is one of those who are struggling. He’s batting .188. Piniella did talk to hitting coach Gerald Perry about Bradley.

“These guys are working,” Piniella said. “Extra work is not a problem. It’s just a question of taking it on the field and doing it there. Like me, I hit the ball on the practice range pretty well. I can’t wait to play a round of golf and I always shoot 90. You’ve got to take it on the course.”

* Aaron Miles is trying to change his luck. He was clean shaven on Wednesday, the first time in two years he does not have a mustache or goatee. “That’s what we’re looking for — a superstitious change,” Miles said.

* Iowa outfielder Brad Snyder will be out four to six weeks with a fractured left wrist.

— Carrie Muskat


5/16 Lineup & Quick hits

It’s sunny but cool at Wrigley Field. The lineup is: LF Soriano, SS Theriot, CF Fukudome, 1B Lee, RF Hoffpauir, C Soto, 3B Fontenot, 2B Scales and P Wells.

* Bobby Scales is starting at second rather than third because bench coach Alan Trammell recommended the move, saying Fontenot is more comfortable at third. Lou Piniella will go with the hot bat. “If a guy’s hot and swinging the bat, we’ll play him,” Piniella said.

* This will be Randy Wells’ second start. “The secret for Wells is to throw strikes,” Piniella said.

* Sean Marshall is in the bullpen for the weekend, and will return to the rotation Thursday against the Cardinals. Plus, the Astros are batting .309 against lefties and .256 against right-handed pitchers.

— Carrie Muskat

5/15 Lineup & rain

The forecast isn’t good for Friday’s game, and we’ll let you know if it is postponed as soon as possible. In the meantime, Bobby Scales was to get his second start, only this time at second base. Here’s the lineup vs. the Astros: LF Soriano, SS Theriot, CF Fukudome, 1B Lee, RF Hoffpauir, C Soto, 3B Fontenot, 2B Scales and P Wells.

— Carrie Muskat

5/14 Extra bases

Ryan Dempster has pitched six or more innings in each of his starts this year, and recorded four quality starts, including Thursday’s game vs. the Padres. It also was his second multi-hit game of his career.

* Ryan Theriot hit a double in the third inning, and of his last 12 hits, eight have gone for extra bases. He’s hitting .292 at Wrigley Field.

* Bobby Scales set a career high with four RBIs, hitting a pair of two-run doubles.

“In the era I played, a lot of players got 3,000 or 4,000 at-bats at the Minor League level before they got to the big league level,” Lou Piniella said of Scales, who 3,227 Minor League at-bats before this season. “Look, you have to persevere and he has. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do so for us.”

Scales is taking it one day at a time.

“The ‘awe’ part — I wasn’t in awe,” he said. “I think I’m just a level-headed person. Those guys [in the big leagues] are just like me. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. It was quick, those first few games. I had to take deep breaths and slow the game down. I said, ‘Remember, this is the same game you’ve been playing for awhile.’ That’s the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make. I’m still running through it. Today, I had a nice day and we were able to win, but there will still points today where it was like, man, this thing is going too fast so let’s relax and try to bring it back a little bit.”

When asked if anyone had contacted him about doing a movie on his life story, Scales laughed.

“You’re going to have to talk to my marketing people, which constitutes my wife,” he said.

* Piniella was happy with Jose Ascanio’s outing, even though he gave up a solo homer to Drew Macias in the eighth. Ascanio finished up for Dempster, pitching two innings.

* Thursday’s game was the third time the Cubs have scored 11 this year. They also did so April 8 at Houston and April 28 at Arizona.

— Carrie Muskat

Rain, rain, go away

Baseball historian Ed Hartig could not find any reference to another four-minute rain delay such as the brief interruption before the Cubs sixth on Wednesday. However, some fans may remember the rain-less rain delay of 1999. On Aug. 23, 1999, the Cubs and Giants sat through nearly two hours of a rain-less delay. Before the game, the Cubs had gotten reports that inclement weather was about to hit Wrigley Field. Instead of starting the game only to have it be quickly stopped, the Cubs decided to delay the start, let the rain come in, and then play. But the storm front stalled and the rain didn’t show up for nearly two hours.

The game was eventually rained out, but the teams could have played an official game in the time spent waiting for the rain to arrive.

One other note from Hartig: Prior to Bobby Scales, the last Cub to hit a pinch-hit home run for his first MLB home run was Freddie Bynum on May 17, 2006 versus the Nationals at Wrigley.

— Carrie Muskat

Welcome to the show

Bobby Scales is the third player, 31 or older, since the end of World War II to make his Major League debut as a Cubs player and the first since 1960.

The three…

John Andre: born 1/3/1923, debut 4/16/1955

Freddy Rodriguez: born 4/29/1924, debut 4/18/1958

Al Heist: born 10/5/1927, debut 7/17/1960

According to research by Ed Hartig, six 31-plus year olds made their Major League debuts with the Cubs during the World War II years, including the oldest — Joe Berry, who was 37 when he made his debut in 1942.

Scales started at second base on Tuesday, his first big league game after spending 10 years in the Minor Leagues. It seemed fitting that Scales handled the first play — a ground ball out by the Giants’ Fred Lewis.

— Carrie Muskat