Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

Final: Padres 6, #Cubs 1

Jason Hammel struck out nine over five scoreless innings and Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run, but that was all the Cubs could muster against the Padres in a 6-1 loss Sunday. Tommy Medica hit a two-run homer and Brett Wallace added a two-run single for San Diego in front of a sellout crowd of 15,206 at Sloan Park in Mesa. Hammel gave up three hits and did not walk a batter. The right-hander complimented catcher Miguel Montero, saying he didn’t shake him off once. Hammel has gotten on track since a side session when he threw 42 fastballs, and only fastballs.

During the regular season, Hammel’s strikeout high was eight, which he did in back to back starts May 31 and June 6.

“It’s Spring Training,” Hammel said of all his K’s. “Don’t start calling me a punch-out guy yet. I still want to use the sinker.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant to play outfield

The next test for Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant is to play outfield.

Bryant, who posted his third two-homer game this spring on Saturday, raising his spring total to eight home runs, did not start Sunday but will play on Tuesday. Where is to be determined. He did not play third base for more than one week because of fatigue in his right shoulder, and will likely start drills in the outfield on Tuesday. The Cubs have an off day Monday.

“Speaking to him, he was all for it,” manager Joe Maddon said of having Bryant play some outfield. “I think he understands the ability to play more than one position, how that benefits you in the future as a Major League baseball player. His tools play in both spots. He’s very confident with the glove, runs well, has a fine arm.”

Bryant did test his shoulder on Saturday with five throws to first base, and passed.

“He was not pushing the ball, the arm strength was where it was supposed to be,” Maddon said.

Bryant has had no problems at the plate. He leads the Major Leagues in home runs and RBIs this spring.

“It’s been impressive, it’s been very impressive,” Maddon said. “I give him a lot of credit because he’s coming in here with a lot of expectations, wanting to win a job, and he hasn’t blinked, man. He hasn’t blinked at all.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Hammel bats 8th

Joe Maddon has quizzed the Cubs “brainiac” department regarding the pros and cons of having the pitcher bat eighth, and on Sunday, he tested it with Jason Hammel. It won’t be the last time.

“Our lineup should be relatively thick up and down,” Maddon said of the potential for offensive output. “Whoever is hitting in front of the pitcher will be at a disadvantage. If there’s one of those last two guys in the lineup who you like a lot in regards to maybe getting on base and being a pretty good hitter, it would be advantageous to us and to him to hit him ninth.”

If the pitcher is expected to go deep in a game, like Jon Lester, he will likely bat ninth. Maddon asked the Cubs baseball operations people to analyze the options and present the percentages.

“I really try to take in all the information possible,” Maddon said. “I do believe we have some guys who make it make sense.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup Sunday vs. Padres

Jason Hammel gets the start Sunday as the Cubs play host to the Padres at Sloan Park in Mesa. Hammel also will be batting eighth. This is something manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to experiment with during the season with different pitchers. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Coghlan LF

Soler RF

Rizzo 1B

Montero C

Baez SS

Olt 3B

Hammel P

Alcantara 2B

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Castro feels 100 percent; will play on B-Day

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, scratched from Saturday’s lineup with a tight right groin, said he feels 100 percent and expected to play Tuesday, his 25th birthday.

Castro said he felt the tightness in his groin on Thursday during an at-bat.

“It’s just a little bit tight in the groin,” Castro said. “I felt it three days ago when we played the night game, and just a little bit. I don’t want to take a chance — we have two weeks left. I don’t want to take a chance and rush myself and get hurt.”

The Cubs have Monday off and return to Cactus League play on Tuesday against the Athletics.

The groin soreness is not as serious as the hamstring issues Castro experienced which kept him out of Spring Training last year.

“Not even close — I can play right now,” Castro said. “I can play 100 percent right now. I feel a little tightness, and came in here and got a little massage and that’s it. The tightness is gone. It’s still early, and doesn’t mean anything here. I don’t want to push myself and get hurt here with two weeks left before the start of the season.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs host Respect Bald event today

Need a haircut? Today’s the day. To raise funds for pediatric cancer research, Cubs manager Joe Maddon and others will have their heads shaved at 11:30 a.m. Arizona time on Field 1 at the Cubs complex.

You can participate in the event by donating $100 to get your head shaved alongside the players. Besides the trim, fans will receive a t-shirt.

The “Respect Bald” event will continue during today’s game at Sloan Park. Fans can participate from 12:30-2 p.m. MT inside the right field gate near the Cubs Store and outside the gates near the Cubs store for anyone who wants to participate but does not have a game ticket. For $50, fans will receive a head shave, a t-shirt, and know they helped support children with cancer.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant: I’m playing with a chip on my shoulder

Kris Bryant is making a statement this spring, and that’s exactly what he wants to do.

The Cubs top prospect belted his seventh and eighth spring home runs, most in the Major Leagues, including a two-run shot off Mariners ace Felix Hernandez Saturday. It’s his third two-homer game this spring.

One of the 15,323 fans at Sloan Park sarcastically shouted: “Theo, I don’t think he’s ready yet,” in reference to the debate over Bryant and service time. He was referring to Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, who will make the final decision as to when Bryant will be promoted to the big leagues.

Said Bryant: “I’ve said all along, I’m playing with a chip on my shoulder and at the same time, having fun. You can’t beat baseball right now — the sun shining. Hopefully, we get the win today.”

Which they did. Saturday was Bryant’s 10th Cactus League game. Last year, he appeared in 11 games and went 2-for-18, with two homers. He’s now 12-for-25 with eight home runs and 14 RBIs.

“Last year, I was struggling to get going,” said Bryant, who went on to club 43 homers at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2014. “I got my first spring out of the way last year, and knew what I needed to do this year, and I did that in the offseason. I did what the front office told me and what I needed to work on, and I did that. I couldn’t be more happy with where I am right now.”

The Cubs have maintained that players have to earn the spots on the roster. That’s Bryant’s goal.

“Absolutely — I’m still here, I’m still standing,” he said. “I come out here every day to try to get better at third base. I’m really confident over there and at the box right now. I’m seeing the ball pretty good. I don’t know what else I can say.”

– Carrie Muskat

Final: #Cubs 12, Mariners 10

Kris Bryant hit two home runs for Nos. 7 and 8 this spring, most in the Majors, and Addison Russell and Welington Castillo also homered to lead the Cubs to a 12-10 victory Saturday over the Mariners.

Bryant connected in the first off Mariners ace Felix Hernandez with a runner at second and one out, launching a 2-2 pitch far back onto the left field berm. It was the first home run off Hernandez this spring. Bryant launched No. 8 with two on and one out in the fourth off Kevin Correia.

After the Mariners tied the game in the third, Anthony Rizzo hit a go-ahead RBI double with two outs in the Cubs third and then tallied on Russell’s homer, his first this spring, which chased Hernandez. Castillo, who hit a RBI double in the second, added a solo shot leading off the fourth.

The Cubs rank among the Major League leaders with 28 homers this spring.

Cubs up next: Jason Hammel will make his fourth spring start on Sunday as the Cubs play host to the Padres at Sloan Park in Mesa. Expect to see plenty of clean shaven Cubs, including manager Joe Maddon as they take part in “Respect Bald” event to raise money in the battle against pediatric cancer. Maddon and others will have their heads shaved at 1:30 p.m. CT on Field 1 at the Cubs complex. Fans can participate by donating $100 to get their heads shaved alongside the players. Besides the trim, fans will receive a t-shirt. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and WBBM Radio, starting at 3:05 p.m. CT.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Bryant belts 7th spring HR

The Cubs may still be deciding whether Kris Bryant is ready for the Major Leagues but the fans know what they want. The Cubs top prospect belted his seventh spring home run, most in the Major Leagues, off the Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in the first inning on Saturday.

A fan at Sloan Park sarcastically shouted: “Theo, I don’t think he’s ready yet,” in reference to the debate over service time. Theo, as Cubs fans know, is Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, who will make the final decision as to when Bryant will be promoted to the big leagues.

With a runner at second and one out in the Chicago first, Bryant, starting at third base for the first time since March 12, launched a 2-2 pitch far back onto the left field berm.

Bryant had been sidelined with fatigue in his right shoulder, but that hasn’t stopped him from hitting. One week ago, he belted two home runs in Las Vegas against the Athletics. He also hit another in a “B” game on Thursday, but that one doesn’t count in the spring statistics.

Manager Joe Maddon said they would keep track of how many throws Bryant makes Saturday to avoid over-working the shoulder, Through three innings, he had made three throws to first and another to second, and was very deliberate.

– Carrie Muskat

Castro scratched from #Cubs lineup

Starlin Castro was scratched from the Cubs’ lineup Saturday because of a tight right groin. His status is day to day. Castro was batting .231 this spring. He was to be replaced in the lineup by Addison Russell.

— Carrie Muskat


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