Results tagged ‘ Carlos Marmol ’
Carlos Marmol doesn’t pay attention to the trade rumors that seem to include the Cubs closer every other day.
Marmol was mentioned recently as possibly drawing interest from the Tigers, who are looking for a closer. He has given Cubs management a list of five teams he would approve a deal to, but said he has not been approached about it.
“I don’t worry about that,” Marmol said Friday. “I just keep working here.”
The rumors may continue all spring.
“I can’t make that decision. The boss guy makes the decision. I can’t worry about that. The only thing I have to worry about is being ready every time they give me the ball.”
Does Marmol think he’ll be traded this year?
“I don’t believe anything,” the right-hander said. “I come here, work out, and whatever decision they make here, I don’t have anything to do with it.”
— Carrie Muskat
Paul Konerko hit a pair of solo home runs and Adam Dunn hit a monster two-run shot to power the White Sox to an 8-1 victory Thursday over the Cubs. White Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up one run on two hits and one walk over 3 2/3 innings, striking out four in front of 10,647, the largest crowd of the spring at HoHoKam Stadium.
David DeJesus doubled to lead off the Cubs first and scored one out later on Nate Schierholtz’s triple off Quintana. The White Sox tied the game in the third when Jared Mitchell hit a bunt single and scored one out later on Gordon Beckham’s double.
Konerko connected off Carlos Villanueva, who was making his third Cactus League start. The right-hander, who will open the season in the Cubs rotation because of injuries to Matt Garza and Scott Baker, gave up two runs on six hits over four innings.
“Konerko, what can I say?” Villanueva said. “I thought that first hit he got [a single in the second] was a very good pitch down and away and the homer he hit, I was very surprised it went out but I threw the ball exactly where I wanted to throw it, it was up and in on his hands.
“That’s Konerko. That’s him,” Villanueva said. “Hopefully, [the wind] is blowing in at Wrigley and he’ll pop up to left.”
Jeff Keppinger doubled to open the White Sox sixth against Barret Loux and Dunn launched the next pitch to right for his second spring home run. Konerko, who has 20 career regular season homers against the Cubs, followed with his second blast of the game to go ahead, 5-1.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol was unable to finish an inning, and pulled after giving up one hit, walking two and throwing a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning.
“He was just kind of missing with his slider, his fastball was just missing,” Dale Sveum said of Marmol. “It wasn’t like he was awful by no means. He just got the pitch count up. The last guy [Bryan Anderson] laid off some pretty good sliders down and in. He put together a pretty good at-bat there.”
In four spring games, Marmol has given up four hits and walked four over 3 2/3 innings. But Sveum says the right-hander has good command of his pitches.
“It’s been way better than last year at this time,” Sveum said.
— Carrie Muskat
Dontrelle Willis was in the Cubs clubhouse before Sunday’s game. He’s in the Minor League camp, hoping to make a comeback with the team that originally selected him in the eighth round of the 2000 Draft.
“My arm feels good, the work’s been good,” Willis said. “I’ve been busting my butt to get back in baseball shape. I’m feeling good. The organization has welcomed me back with open arms. It feels good to come full circle and be on the same field I got drafted on 13 years ago.”
There aren’t many people left from then. Carlos Marmol is still with the Cubs, and he was Willis’ catcher in Rookie ball in Arizona.
“He could throw down to second — it was his hitting,” Willis said of Marmol. “I tell my wife, I remember the stories and being on the field over there. It was all about getting ready for the big leagues. I know people are still a little mad at me about [being with the Marlins and] beating the Cubs but hopefully we can bring a ring to the North Side.”
He last pitched in the big leagues in 2011 with the Reds, and spent last season with the Orioles’ Triple-A team. Willis knows he’s a long shot.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time, and I know that sounds so cliche and a lot of people say that but I really count my blessings, one day at a time,” he said. “I know the talent level around here and I know I can help. It’s about the opportunity. Whenever you get an opportunity, you have to make the best of it. This team is going to be good. I expect a lot, and I expect a lot out of myself.”
— Carrie Muskat
Carlos Marmol said he didn’t do anything wrong and that the woman accusing him of abuse in the Dominican is simply trying to get money from the Cubs pitcher. Marmol gave the woman a ride home from a party on Oct. 28, and said he didn’t hear about the accusations until it was broadcast on a local radio station in the Dominican. Marmol then contacted his lawyers.
“They tried to hurt me,” Marmol said of the woman. “I didn’t do anything. The stuff she said is not true. … It’s about money.”
Marmol appeared in court on Friday in the Dominican, and arrived in Phoenix Sunday night. He may still have to return for more legal proceedings.
— Carrie Muskat
Looking ahead to the first week in Cubs camp:
* Carlos Marmol was at Fitch Park on Monday to undergo his physical and meet with manager Dale Sveum and staff. Marmol, who was charged with domestic abuse by a woman in the Dominican Republic, will give the media an update later in the day. The Cubs have investigated the matter and believe Marmol may be the victim.
“We don’t have all the information — obviously, we weren’t there — but every piece of information we were able to gather backs up Carlos’ story that he’s guilty of no wrong doing whatsoever and may in fact be the victim here if this case continues to be pursued like this,” Theo Epstein said. “All we can do is evaluate it on the merits. We do expect this matter will be behind him shortly based on the way it’s proceeding in the Dominican courts.”
* Tony Campana was designated for assignment on Sunday, but he could rejoin the team if he is not claimed by another team. Campana overcame cancer, made his debut near his hometown in Ohio, and is very popular among Cubs fans. He does have speed and the ability to create havoc on the bases. But he didn’t get on base enough — he has a .306 on-base percentage and .264 batting average.
“I think the biggest area where Tony needs to continue to work is finding a way to get on base where he can continue to use his speed,” Epstein said. “Regardless of what happens, we value his contributions, value his character and wish him the best.”
* Monday, pitchers and catchers will undergo physicals at Fitch Park with the first workout scheduled for Tuesday. Pitchers to watch include Matt Garza, coming back from an elbow injury, and Scott Baker, who had Tommy John surgery last year.
* What will be interesting to watch is who is the backup first baseman during drills once position players arrive. We’ll keep you posted.
— Carrie Muskat
Kyuji Fujikawa is new to the Cubs but after just a few days, he realizes he’s in the right spot in the Fitch Park clubhouse, lockered between second baseman Darwin Barney and outfielder David DeJesus.
“Nice guys,” the Japanese pitcher said in English.
On Sunday, Fujikawa will have his fourth bullpen session since arriving in Arizona one week ago. More than half of the 62 players expected in the Cubs Spring Training camp have already been working out at Fitch, including Fujikawa, the former Hanshin Tigers closer who signed a two-year contract with Chicago in December.
“I’m ready,” he said, again in English.
He’s the Cubs’ second Japanese player, following outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who was with the team from 2008-11. The two didn’t talk about making the transition to the U.S. Major Leagues nor about Wrigley Field. Fujikawa did ask some other Japanese players for advice.
“They all pointed out that it’s important to be your own self and not change too much,” he said, through interpreter Ryo Shinkawa.
Could he take over as closer? Carlos Marmol was expected in Arizona on Sunday. He was in court on Friday to deal with domestic abuse charges filed by a woman in the Dominican Republic. Fujikawa said he wasn’t aware of Marmol’s legal issues and said he wasn’t thinking about taking over as the Cubs closer at some point.
“The decision is not up to me but the coaches,” Fujikawa said. “My job is to get outs and as I do that, I’ll try to make it a tougher decision for the coaches to make.”
— Carrie Muskat
A lawyer for Carlos Marmol told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that Cubs pitcher is innocent of accuations made by a 24-year-old woman in the Dominican Republic. According to ListinDiario.com, a woman filed a criminal complaint against Marmol. No police charges have been filed. Marmol’s attorney, Nelson Pimentel, told the Tribune he has filed a counter complaint, accusing the woman of trying to extort and blackmail the pitcher.
“Carlos Marmol is totally innocent of the things he is accused of,” Pimentel told the Tribune. “They never occurred. She is only trying to get money out of Carlos Marmol. It is very important for us to say the legal case against him is not true.”
Dale Sveum says he feels more comfortable heading into his second season as the Cubs manager. Coming off a 101 loss season, he’s got high expectations.
“The one thing you hate doing is saying, ‘[finishin] .500 will be good,’ because it’s not good,” Sveum said Wednesday. “It’s not 101 losses, but .500 isn’t getting you to the playoffs. Just getting in the playoffs is satisfactory. … In a perfect world, if [Matt] Garza and [Scott] Baker are ready to go Opening Day, its not a bad staff to have [Jeff] Samardzija, Garza and [Edwin] Jackson at the top and the other guys in the four, five spots. Fujikawa would come in the eight inning, Marmol in the ninth, there’s so many things that are so much better going into this season than last year. [Finishing] .500 is, like I said, still not acceptable.”
Garza and Baker will both be ready to go in Spring Training but Sveum said the team may take a cautious approach with them to ease them into the regular season. Garza is coming off an elbow injury and Baker is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
The Cubs in the playoffs in 2013? That might be hard for some fans to consider but Sveum thinks they have enough firepower if Ian Stewart is healthy, and Nate Schierholtz produces.
“You can’t fall victim to, ‘Yeah, we are obviously in a transition in the organization, and we’re trying to get healthy and do all this,’ but don’t fall into the category that we can’t win right now,” Sveum said. “Baseball is a funny thing. Just last year, we close out some games in April and the start of the season is a lot different and you never know what happens after that. You might not have the exact same bullets as the guy actross the street, but all you need are guys to play up to their capabilities and have a starting staff and close out games, and you win a lot of games.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs officially introduced new reliever Kyuji Fujikawa on Friday at Wrigley Field. The Japanese right-hander, who played for the Hanshin Tigers, agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract. The deal includes a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million in salaries in 2013 and ’14. There also is a vesting option valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, to be determined by games finished.
He visited Chicago and Wrigley Field a few weeks ago, and was sold on the city and the ballpark then.
“From that day on, in my head, it was ‘Cubs, Cubs, Cubs,’ and that’s how everything came through,” Fujikawa said.
The right-hander, who totaled 220 saves in 12 seasons with Hanshin, will be used to set-up closer Carlos Marmol, not take his place.
“Our goal is to have the best bullpen possible,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “Kyuji certainly adds to that. He’s had a great career. If you look at his career, he was a dominant set-up guy first and a dominant closer. We know he can do both roles. We look at it as adding a great arm and we don’t worry about the role.”
Fujikawa wasn’t too concerned when he would be pitching.
“[He wanted] a chance to have a meaningful role and do his job,” Theo Epstein said of Fujikawa. “That’s all he said. He said, ‘My job is not closer or set-up guy, my job is to help the team win and do what the manager asks of me’ and that’s the only time it came up in the discussion.”
There’s a reason he picked No. 11.
“I was No. 22 with the Hanshin Tigers,” Fujikawa said, “but to have a better career than No. 22, I went younger with No. 11. I asked for 11 and it was luckily open.”
He may want to feel young but the Cubs are hoping Fujikawa can stabilize the young bullpen. They also really like his stuff.
“The biggest thing was his ability to pitch with his fastball,” Hoyer said. “He’s not a guy who tricks you, he comes right after guys. … Guys who rely too much on trickery can be guys who the league figures out quickly. Our hope is that because he pitches with his fastball, he can pitch to a game plan and establish himself and have a nice run.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have reportedly signed Japanese free agent pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Saturday. The Cubs would not confirm or comment on the report except to say nothing is imminent.
Fujikawa, 32, played 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers, totaling 220 saves, and a 1.77 ERA. Last season, he appeared in 47 2/3 innings and compiled a 1.32 ERA. He was sidelined with an adductor strain and has not thrown 70 innings in a single season since 2007.
According to Rosenthal, the right-hander will receive a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million in salaries in 2013 and ’14. There is a vesting option valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, to be determined by games finished.
On Friday, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer did confirm that he met with Fujikawa about 10 days ago and that the Japanese pitcher toured Wrigley Field. Hoyer said they were “very impressed” by the right-hander but would not comment on a time-table or the negotiations.
The Cubs did re-sign set-up pitcher Shawn Camp but otherwise have not made any additions to the bullpen.
“If we bring in someone who has closing experience, or a number of guys who have closing experience, that’s no knock on Carlos [Marmol],” Hoyer said of the Cubs current closer. “I think every team in baseball wants to have an assortment of guys back there who, if the need arises, can pitch in the ninth inning. Hopefully we can do that.”
The Angels, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Orioles also were believed to be interested in Fujikawa.
Last month, the Cubs were close to completing a deal with the Angels which would’ve sent Marmol to Anaheim for starter Dan Haren. The Cubs pulled that trade off the table because of concerns over Haren’s medical reports.
— Carrie Muskat