Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’
Starlin Castro got a long-term deal last August and Anthony Rizzo received a new contract on Monday. What about Jeff Samardzija?
“It’s not really important to me, to tell you the truth,” Samardzija said. “I’m the type of guy who the play speaks for itself and if you’re healthy and do everything you’re supposed to do like those guys do and most importantly, do what it takes to win ballgames, that’s what it’s all about. I’m a little older than they are — I wouldn’t mind being 22 or 23 again — but baseball wise, I’m still pretty young. That stuff comes as the game goes.”
In Spring Training, Samardzija said he wanted to pitch first, and then talk contract. That’s still the way he’s looking at it.
“We’re still in only the second month of the season,” Samardzija said. “Coming in and starting Opening Day and pitching every fifth game from there, I’ve felt great. I’m excited to get into the summer and get into August and get toward that high innings count and see where I’m at as a starter. Nothing has changed. The games that happen out here are the most important for me personally.”
He didn’t ask to table negotiations.
“I know they have a lot of things on their minds right now,” Samardzija said of the Cubs front office. “We have an understanding that we both want to be here, and both want me here, and that’s a great place to be. It’s up to me to do my job on the field.”
The right-hander recognizes that players are paid based on what they do on the field.
“I want my play to determine how everything goes down,” he said. “I have high expectations for myself and this team. That comes first. I feel everything after that will fall into line for me personally.”
– Carrie Muskat
Brad Nelson hit his sixth home run but Reno scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Iowa, 9-8, on Sunday. Chris Rusin started, and did not get a decision, giving up five runs on nine hits over five innings. Brett Jackson had his first three-hit game of the season and scored two runs. Dave Sappelt drove in three runs. Ian Stewart was 1-for-1 with a triple and two RBIs.
Kyle Hendricks threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in Tennessee’s 5-0 victory over Jackson. Matt Szczur had three hits and two RBIs. Arismendy Alcantara had two hits.
Daytona had Sunday off, and returns to action Monday against Charlotte.
Dillon Maples gave up three runs on six hits over five innings in Kane County’s 7-4, 10-inning loss to Clinton. Rock Shoulders hit a grand slam in the sixth and Jeimer Candelario had two hits, including his fourth home run. Dan Vogelbach drove in a run, and now has hit safely in six of his last seven games.
Luis Valbuena is still sidelined with a sprained right pinky finger, so Cody Ransom gets the start on Monday in the Cubs’ series opener against the Rockies. Travis Wood takes the mound. He has posted a quality start in each of his seven games this year. Here’s the lineup:
T. Wood P
* Kevin Gregg notched his 150th career save, making him the 75th pitcher in Major League history to collect at least 150 career saves. He is 6-for-6 in save situations this season.
The Cubs locked up another one of their core players on Sunday. Sources confirmed the Cubs have signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a seven-year, $41 million contract extension with two club options worth $14.5 million each. The deal includes escalators which could increase the total value of the contract to $73 million.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the deal, which does not include a no-trade clause. Rosenthal reports the contract will override Rizzo’s existing 2013 deal, and is essentially a six-year extension. As a “Super Two” player, Rizzo, 23, would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2014 season. The deal will effectively buy out one year prior to qualifying for arbitration plus four arbitration years and two years of free agency eligibility.
Last August, the Cubs gave shortstop Starlin Castro a seven-year, $60 million contract. Rizzo and Castro are key pieces which Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer hope to build around. The Rizzo extension ensures the Cubs can keep him under control through 2021.
Rizzo was batting .280 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs. He was tied for second in the NL and fifth in the Majors with 19 extra-base hits. In his last 16 games, Rizzo was batting .452 with eight doubles, three home runs, and 14 RBIs; he opened the season hitting .173 in his first 21 games.
Promoted from the big leagues last June 26, Rizzo was inserted into the No. 3 spot in the Cubs lineup, and showed he was worthy, batting .330 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in July to win NL Player of the Month honors. He does not have a full season yet with the Cubs, and has played 172 games total in the Majors.
– Carrie Muskat
Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s the Cubs lineup:
* Last year at the Trade Deadline, the Cubs were sellers. That may be the case again this year if they don’t rally. GM Jed Hoyer said he feels there’s still time for the Cubs to get on track. Sveum agrees.
“We’ve lost so many games we’ve had control over,” Sveum said Sunday. “We know this record could be flip-flopped with a little better play because the pitching has kept us in so many games.”
The Cubs have 21 quality starts, yet have won eight of those games. Thirty-three of their 36 games have been decided by four runs or less, and 28 have been decided by three runs or less.
However, the Cubs are in rebuilding mode, and Sveum knows what that means.
“You know things like that are possible and you weigh all the options and what’s best for the organization,” Sveum said. “Those are things you have to do sometimes. It’s not that easy to see Dempster and Maholm go somewhere else but it is part of the game. We’re trying to ge this thing completely healthy.”
* Luis Valbuena was able to play catch and hit in the batting cage on Sunday, one day after spraining the little finger on his right hand sliding into third base. Valbuena was not in the lineup against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez, but was available to pinch-hit, manager Dale Sveum said. Valbuena was not expected to go on the disabled list. With one out in the fifth Saturday, Valbuena doubled to right but was tagged sliding into third trying to stretch his hit and jammed his hand on the bag. X-rays showed no fracture, and Valbuena received treatment. He was batting .272 with five home runs and 13 RBIs this season.
* Matt Garza will make at least one more Minor League rehab start, and possibly two, after his abbreviated outing on Saturday. Garza gave up three hits and walked two over 3 1/3 innings Saturday for Double-A Tennessee in his third Minor League rehab start, throwing 66 pitches, 40 for strikes. He struck out two.
“He felt great and everything, but not real efficient,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “Right now, we have to get him built up to get to the fourth, fifth and hopefully sixth inning.”
Garza will be in Chicago this week when the Cubs return for a three-game homestand against the Rockies, and make his next start for Triple-A Iowa.
It will be tough to eliminate one of the starters from the mix. Edwin Jackson is the only pitcher who has struggled, and he’s not a candidate to move to the bullpen.
“It ain’t going to be easy,” Sveum said about moving one of the starters. “Part of it sometimes, when you have these decisions … it’s a good problem to have, but for the individual, nobody deserves it. They’re pitching perfectly fine. It isn’t going to be the easiest thing to do.”
* With an off day scheduled for Thursday, the Cubs will not tweak their rotation but keep everyone on schedule, Sveum said. Travis Wood, Carlos Villanueva and Jeff Samardzija will face the Rockies in a three-game series at Wrigley Field that starts Monday.
– Carrie Muskat
Scott Feldman takes the mound on Sunday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Nationals. Feldman is the only Cubs starter to record a decision in every start this season. He began with three losses and has followed up with three wins. The right-hander is one of 10 pitchers in baseball to make at least six starts and record a decision in every outing.
In his first three starts, Feldman was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA (7 ER/14 IP), and in his last three, he is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA (4 ER/22 2/3 IP). The last three include his first complete game May 1 against the Padres.
* The Cubs return to Wrigley Field on Monday to begin a three-game series against the Rockies. All three games will start at 7:05 p.m. CT. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday: LHP Travis Wood (3-2, 2.33) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.72)
Tuesday: RHP Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 3.02) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (1-3, 6.90)
Wednesday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 3.70) vs. RHP Jon Garland (3-3, 4.83)
– Carrie Muskat
Guillermo Moscoso gave up one run on six hits and struck out seven over seven innings in Iowa’s 4-1 victory over Reno. Dave Sappelt hit a two-run homer and Brett Jackson had two hits and two RBIs. Ian Stewart was 0-for-3 with a walk. Blake Parker picked up his fifth save.
Matt Garza gave up three hits and walked two over 3 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 5-4 win over Birmingham. Matt Szczur had two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases, and Christian Villanueva had three hits, including two doubles, and one RBIs. This was Garza’s third rehab start, second with the Smokies, and he threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Daytona’s doubleheader against Dunedin was canceled because of unplayable field conditions.
Wilson Contreras had three hits, including his fourth home run, to help Kane County beat Clinton, 7-4. Michael Heesch picked up the win, giving up four runs on 12 hits over six innings. Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits.
Edwin Jackson pitched the way the Cubs had hoped, but it was his two-run double that provided the spark the team needed Saturday. Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, and David DeJesus each drove in two runs to lift the Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the Nationals and even the series.
The Cubs weren’t sure if Jackson’s struggles in his first seven starts were because he was feeling some pressure after signing his first long-term contract. The right-hander, who received a four-year, $52 million contract this offseason, has played for eight different teams, including the Nationals last season, and likes to joke about how easy it is for him to make friends. But going 0-5 to open the season was a concern.
“It is a natural emotion when you get a contract to try to do much more than you’re capable of doing instead of just being yourself,” Dale Sveum said. “Hopefully, those kind of things are going away. He just needs to be Edwin Jackson and not worry about how much money he’s making.”
Jackson did exactly what he needed to do, and joked after the game he was going to give himself a celebratory beer shower.
“It was definitely nice to get the monkey off my back to come out and help contribute to a team win,” Jackson said.
It was a big monkey.
“It felt like the same size as me, that I was carrying double,” Jackson said. “When things are going bad, you can either fold and collapse or you can continue to work hard and climb your way out of a hole.”
Said Rizzo: “You couldn’t tell he was 0-5, and that’s the ultimate pro. He comes in and does his work and he’s a great teammate, and great clubhouse guy.”
With two outs in the Cubs fifth, Welington Castillo reached on a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman. Darwin Barney then walked, and both he and Castillo scored on Jackson’s double, his first hit in 12 at-bats this year.
“That was probably the difference in the whole ballgame,” Sveum said of Jackson’s hit. “If Strasburg punches him out there, it’s a whole different ballgame. Those kind of guys settle in and it’s a shutout and you’re battling the rest of the game.”
Jackson had joked with some of his former Nats teammates on Friday that he was looking forward to facing Strasburg. How did he approach the at-bat?
“It was 3-2 [in the count], I was looking for something I could hit hard,” Jackson said. “He’s throwing 96, 97, 98 [mph], and I’d been missing the whole game, and I told myself to relax and find something I could make contact with.
“You saw how he made me look the first [at-bat],” Jackson said of a strikeout in the third. “Fastball, fastball, than, whoo, slider and kind of froze me. I felt when it was 3-2, he was going to try to come at me — he doesn’t want to walk a pitcher — and I got a pitch I could drive.”
Strasburg then walked DeJesus, and Starlin Castro was safe on an infield hit to load the bases for Rizzo, who hit a two-run single. Rizzo ended the inning when he was caught trying to steal second.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza gave up three hits and walked two over 3 1/3 innings Saturday for Double-A Tennessee in his third Minor League rehab start. Garza threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes, and struck out two. Dale Sveum said the right-hander will make at least one more rehab start for Triple-A Iowa in five days, and then be re-evaluated. Garza is coming back from a strained left lat suffered in mid February during live batting practice. The plan Saturday was to have Garza throw 65-75 pitches. He needed 30 pitches to get through the first inning.
– Carrie Muskat