Results tagged ‘ Dale Sveum ’
James Rowson, who took over as the Cubs’ hitting coach in June 2012, has returned to the Yankees to be the Minor League hitting coordinator. Rowson was in the Yankees organization for six seasons, including four as the Minor League hitting coordinator from 2008-11. He left the Yankees to take over as the Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator, and was named interim Major League hitting coach in June 2012, replacing Rudy Jaramillo. Rowson, 37, got the Cubs job full time in 2013.
He’s the second member of Dale Sveum’s 2013 Cubs staff to find a job with another team, joining Dave McKay, who has joined the Diamondbacks as a first base coach. Sveum joined Royals manager Ned Yost’s staff as a coach just a few days after he was dismissed by the Cubs.
The Chicago Tribune first reported Rowson’s return to New York on Saturday, and he confirmed it to MLB.com on Sunday.
– Carrie Muskat
Infielder Mat Gamel, who missed the 2013 season because of a torn right anterior cruciate ligament, was claimed off waivers by the Cubs. Gamel, 28, ended the season on the Brewers’ 60-day disabled list, and was transferred to the Cubs’ 60-day DL. A left-handed hitter, he played parts of the previous five seasons with the Brewers (2008-12), posting a .229 batting average with 11 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 29 RBIs in 106 games. He’s played first base, third base, and three games in left.
In his most recent full pro season in 2011, Gamel spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville where he batted .310 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs and 96 RBIs in 128 games. He made the Brewers’ Opening Day roser in 2012 but suffered a torn right ACL 21 games into the season on May 1 in San Diego. This year, he was expected to fulfill the void created by Corey Hart but reinjured the ligament in Spring Training.
Originally selected by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2005 Draft, Gamel earned Topps Minor League Player of the Year honors in 2008 after hitting .329 with 35 doubles, seven triples, 19 homers and 96 RBIs in 127 games with Double-A Huntsville. Gamel made his big league debut with Milwaukee near the end of the 2008 season. The Cubs are set at first with Anthony Rizzo but Gamel could see action at third base.
* Dale Sveum wasn’t out of work long. Sveum, who was dismissed as the Cubs manager on Monday, was hired by the Royals to be part of manager Ned Yost’s coaching staff. Sveum will work with the infielders and in-game responsibilities will be announced later. Sveum was a coach on Yost’s staff for three seasons with the Brewers, and replaced him in 2008 for the final 12 games of the season. Milwaukee reached the National League Division Series that year. In two seasons with the Cubs, Sveum compiled a 127-197 record, finishing 66-96 this year and last in the National League Central. The Royals announced the contracts of third base coach Eddie Rodriguez and bench coach Chino Cadahia will not be renewed, and Sveum could fill one of those openings.
* Third baseman Luis Valbuena was recovering this week from a stomach ailment that forced him to miss the Cubs’ last series of the regular season. Valbuena did not travel with the team to St. Louis because of the problem, and was receiving treatment in Chicago.
* The Arizona Fall League gets underway next Tuesday. Among the Cubs prospects playing for the Mesa Solar Sox are outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler, infielders Kris Bryant and Wes Darvill, and right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Lendy Castillo and Armando Rivero.
– Carrie Muskat
Yankees GM Brian Cashman met with the New York media on Tuesday and said they’ve started negotiations with manager Joe Girardi on a new contract.
“We’re going to give him a real good reason to stay,” Cashman said.
If Girardi returns, Cashman said they would like to bring the entire coaching staff back as well.
The former Cubs catcher has been mentioned as a possible successor to Dale Sveum, who was dismissed on Monday after two seasons as Cubs manager.
– Carrie Muskat
Dale Sveum made out the Cubs’ lineup card for Sunday’s game as he has for the previous 161 games this season, not knowing if it’s his last one.
“Like I said the other day, you’d be lying if you didn’t have anxiety about what’s going to happen in 24 hours,” Sveum said Sunday. “That’s human nature.”
Theo Epstein will meet Monday in Chicago with Sveum and some of the coaching staff to discuss their status. It’s part of the evaluation process Epstein is doing. If Sveum is anxious, he hasn’t shown it.
“You try [not to],” Sveum said of keeping a low profile. “There’s obviously frustrations [with the season], but my personality — I can get as [ticked] as anybody, but the focus should be on the players anyway. There’s something wrong if I’m seen too much. That’s my personality. I am what I am.”
It isn’t just Sveum who will find out Monday, either.
“Theo’s still evaluating [the coaches], too,” Sveum said. “He didn’t specifically say he was evaluating me but evaluating the whole staff situation.”
The Cubs will finish with at least 90 losses for the third straight season, the second in a row under Epstein and with Sveum at the helm. The Cubs have used a franchise record 56 different players this year, and only 12 remained on the roster for Game No. 162 who were present for the first game.
Sveum’s fiery side was revealed during the Cubs last series in Milwaukee Sept. 16-18 when he was caught on camera in the dugout arguing with pitcher Edwin Jackson. The next day, Jeff Samardzija was seen arguing with coach David Bell in the dugout. Epstein called those incidents “brushfires” and complimented Sveum because they were the only such incidents during his two years at the helm.
“It happens,” Jackson said Sunday about the argument. “In families, there’s nobody who has brothers or sisters who hasn’t been in an altercation with a brother or sister. It happens in other sports. But when it happens in baseball, it’s the less aggressive sport than other sports, and sometimes it’s made to be a big deal.
“You see a first place team, a playoff team [like the Braves], and it happens,” Jackson said of Atlanta’s dugout tussle Saturday between coach Terry Pendleton and Chris Johnson. “I’m sure they talked it over the next day. I’m sure it’s happened with plenty of players and managers and they make up the next day.”
As to whether Jackson wants Sveum back, the pitcher deferred to Epstein and the front office.
“It’s my first year with the organization,” Jackson said. “That’s a decision for those guys on top to make. My job is to go out and take the ball every fifth day to give the team a chance to win.”
Sveum has met with each of the players, either with Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer present, or just Hoyer, to review the season and talk about next year. Sveum said his relationship with the front office has been good.
“Theo was honest with everybody that there’s an evaluation going on with all of us, myself included with the coaches,” Sveum said. “That doesn’t change your relationship with anybody. It’s my job to do what I do, and Theo’s job to do what he does. Just because there’s an evaluation going on doesn’t change anything.”
It’s impossible to predict the Cubs lineup for 2014. Sveum will find out Monday whether he’ll be part of the continued rebuilding process.
What was on his mind as he prepped for Sunday’s season finale?
“The same thing that was on my mind yesterday,” Sveum said. “Obviously, it’s the last day so it’s a little different than any other day with the players. You know it’s the last day of the season and you’re going to play it out and hopefully win a ballgame.”
– Carrie Muskat
Edwin Jackson’s final start of the season ended sooner than expected. Jackson was pulled after 2 2/3 innings in the Cubs’ 6-2 loss Saturday to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium because of discomfort in his right side. The only good news is that he’ll have a few months to heal.
“It’s just a crazy year, man,” said Jackson, who will likely finish as the Major League leader in losses with 18. “If I had the answer, I would’ve changed a long time ago. It’s one of those years where you forget it but still learn from it. It was a [bad] year to sum it up. There’s a lot of things to take from it.”
The Cardinals continued to tune up for the postseason. Matt Holliday hit a two-run home run and Yadier Molina drove in two runs off Jackson to back Adam Wainwright in front of 42,520 fans. St. Louis clinched the National League Central title with a 7-0 win on Friday night, and now is battling Atlanta to determine the top seed in the NL playoffs.
The Cubs lost for the 13th time in their last 17 games, and are simply trying to wrap up a disappointing season in which they will finish last in the division.
“We only have nine innings left this year,” said Anthony Rizzo, who hit his 23rd home run leading off the ninth. “Hopefully, those nine innings get us going and we can go into the offseason on a high note.”
With one out in the St. Louis third, Jackson walked two batters, and both scored on Molina’s double. One out later, Pete Kozma hit a ground-rule double that bounced into the Cubs’ bullpen, and Jackson intentionally walked Adron Chambers to face Wainwright, who hit a RBI single. Cubs manager Dale Sveum and athletic trainer PJ Mainville then went to the mound, and Jackson was pulled after 65 pitches. The right-hander said the problem began when he was warming up and continued as the game progressed.
“He hasn’t had the year he wanted or anything like that but [Travis Wood] has pitched really good and [his record is] under .500,” Sveum said. “[Jackson] has kept us in some games. He’s been a .500 pitcher his whole career. Obviously, you don’t want losses, but at the same time, the games we’ve been in, we don’t seem to win or get a lead.”
Since Jackson reported to Mesa, Ariz., for Spring Training, he’s been asked about the four-year, $52 million contract he signed with the Cubs, his first long-term deal. Maybe his struggles were related to putting too much pressure on himself with a new team?
“He handles everything really well and he’s ready to come back next year and prove himself,” Sveum said. “I think a lot of things go into it pressure-wise — you get a contract like that, you’re with a new team. I think next year he’ll be a lot more comfortable and settle in and have a good year.”
That’s the goal, Jackson said.
“I don’t feel like I pressed as far as playing,” Jackson said. “There were times when I was over analyzing things and thinking too much and not allowing myself to go out and do what I’m capable of doing athletically. As far as pressure with the new contract and new team and all that, I didn’t feel like there was a lot of pressure.
“When you’re not pitching well, it’s easy to make excuses and point out things that could be happening,” he said. “It’s the craziest year I’ve had in baseball for a long time. You just look forward the working in the offseason and coming back and turning it around.”
The Cubs avoided being shutout for a second straight game when they tallied in the ninth against Edward Mujica. Rizzo led off with his first home run since Sept. 13 and second of the month. J.C. Boscan doubled and scored one out later on Donnie Murphy’s double.
On Sunday, the Cubs close the 2013 season. The players will head home, and Sveum will find out if he’s coming back next year on Monday.
“At the end of the day, the manager can’t play for us,” Jackson said. “The 25 guys who go on the field, we have to produce and play baseball like we know we can. I think we’re capable of doing that. It takes everyone to believe we can win games and go out and play like that.”
– Carrie Muskat
Travis Wood reached a milestone in his final start but couldn’t stop the Cardinals from celebrating. For the third time in five games, the Cubs watched another team spray champagne. Yadier Molina drove in three runs and David Freese and Matt Holliday each hit solo home runs to power the Cardinals to a 7-0 victory on Friday night at Busch Stadium and their first National League Central title since 2009. Last Sunday, the Braves partied at Wrigley Field after their win over the Cubs secured the NL East, and the next day, the Pirates earned a playoff berth with a victory in Chicago.
“You can get something out of it, the guys who have never seen a celebration,” Dale Sveum said. “I’ve already seen it and I don’t like watching celebrations if I’m not involved.”
Lance Lynn struck out eight of the first 11 batters he faced, and finished with nine strikeouts over six innings for the win, which was the Cardinals’ 95th of the season and their most since 100 victories in 2005.
Wood entered the game with 199 innings, and Sveum said the plan was to have the left-hander pitch one inning and that would be enough. The team felt Wood had thrown enough pitches this season, and totaled enough innings. What they didn’t predict was the Cardinals batting around in the first. Wood retired the first two batters, helping himself by catching Carlos Beltran’s popup near the Cardinals dugout for the second out. He then gave up three straight hits, including a line drive to left that Brian Bogusevic just missed. Molina smacked a two-run double, then Freese walked, and Jon Jay followed with a RBI single. Wood intentionally walked Pete Kozma and then struck out Lynn.
“Plays are going to happen, plays aren’t going to happen,” Wood said. “I had plenty of opportunities after that play to get out of it. I had two lefties to get out and several other batters. When you get two outs of the first two hitters, and then face the nine, that’s on me.”
Wood has been the most consistent pitcher on the Cubs, leading the team with 24 quality starts.
“That was a shame,” Sveum said of the first inning. “It kind of makes you want to throw up. Two outs, nobody on and all that happens. It’s too bad. I thought he had one [heck] of a year and was as good as the top 10 guys in the league if not better than that. For what he’s done for our team, it’s a shame how that all turned out.”
The Cubs told Wood they were going to limit him a few days ago.
“They could’ve shut me down,” Wood said. “For them to give me the opportunity to at least start the game and get that 200th inning was huge, and I thank them for it.”
Despite the loss, Wood still finished with career highs in wins, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts.
“You can always do more,” the lefty said. “The record wasn’t what I wanted it to be and the team’s record wasn’t what I wanted it to be. There’s always stuff to improve on.”
– Carrie Muskat
Dale Sveum will find out Monday whether or not he’ll be back at the helm for a third season. That’s when Theo Epstein will complete his evaluation of the manager and the coaching staff.
“It’s pretty standard at this time of year to take your time to look back at the season and make decisions on what can put the organization in the best position going forward,” Epstein said. “This is part of the process. At the same time, we owe it to everyone involved to get it done quickly and move forward. We’ll finish up the process on Monday.”
Epstein was in St. Louis to conduct end of the season meetings with most of the players along with general manager Jed Hoyer and Sveum.
Epstein first revealed the evaluation process regarding Sveum and his staff last week in Milwaukee. The lack of a definitive vote of confidence from Epstein prompted speculation regarding Sveum’s status.
“It is what it is,” Sveum said of the uncertainty. “It’s not like I have to deal with anything except the norm that comes along with this position and the situation the organization is in, the evaluation process of any team at the end of the year, especially a team that lost 90-plus games. It doesn’t affect me and doesn’t bother me like people might think it does. It’s just part of the process.”
The Cubs lost 101 games in Sveum’s first season in 2012, and will finish in last place in the National League Central this year.
“If you go into something not expecting this [evaluation] then it might be different,” Sveum said. “But when you go into any kind of job like this, you understand these things can happen at any given time. I’ve been around too long and have seen it on both ends. There’s nothing you can do but keep doing the same things you do. It’s not going to change you as a person or a baseball person.”
During the Milwaukee series, Sveum was caught on camera arguing with pitcher Edwin Jackson in the dugout, and the next day, Jeff Samardzija yelled at third base coach David Bell. Kevin Gregg also was upset at being told he would no longer close, but the problem was miscommunication.
“I look at those three little minor brushfires as things that naturally occur at the end of a difficult season and frankly, I think it’s been impressive that under Dale’s leadership we got through 11 months of the regular season without something like that happening,” Epstein said. “Those things are to be expected. If you don’t want those things to happen, then don’t trade 40 percent of your rotation every year. Those things are going to crop up.
“Frankly, the things behind the scenes are more important than some of the brushfires that sometimes become public,” Epstein said. “I don’t think those are a pattern at all.”
Epstein and Hoyer have said repeatedly they are not judging Sveum on the Cubs’ record.
– Carrie Muskat
Dale Sveum is signed for next season but the Cubs manager and his coaching staff were expected to find out their status for 2014 on Monday in meetings with Theo Epstein.
“I’m not going to sit here and lie and say you’re not wondering what’s going to happen four, five days from now,” Sveum said Wednesday. “That’s just human nature. There’s nothing you can do about it, or control those decisions. You just keep plugging away.”
Last week, Epstein would not say whether Sveum would return, but said the manager and staff were being evaluated. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have said Sveum will not be judged on the Cubs’ record, knowing that the team is in rebuilding mode. Sveum knew that when he took the job.
“Nothing’s really changed,” Sveum said. “The bottom line is we haven’t won as many games as we’d like to. I knew getting this job there was going to be a good chance of people getting traded for prospects and that we needed to get the Minor League system much healthier and hit the jackpot on some free agents that we signed. Nothing’s really changed from what I was told. You’re never promised anything.”
Sveum, in his second full season as manager, said he understood that Epstein and Hoyer had a check list.
“That’s their job to evaluate the organization on a daily basis,” Sveum said. “Wins and losses, they’ve told everybody they’re not evaluating on wins and losses.”
The Cubs finish the season in St. Louis with a three-game series, starting Friday. Sveum and his coaching staff were expected to meet Monday in Chicago with Epstein and Hoyer.
“That’s part of the gig is knowing the day after the season,” Sveum said.
The Cubs have used a franchise record 56 players this season, with a few of those arriving via trades or waiver claims. Sveum is hoping fans can see the progress in the system, including players such as first-round Draft pick Kris Bryant.
“If anybody pays attention, they know we’re much much healthier than we were a couple years ago,” Sveum said. “Our Minor League pitcher of the year [Kyle Hendricks] came from a trade, plus the [addition of] C.J. Edwards and the international signings we’ve had. In two years, it’s come a long way. I think the fans know, but patience can go so far.”
Sveum wasn’t going to alter his style in the final four games.
“I don’t try to do anything other than who I am,” he said. “That’s how I live my life, and that’s my personality. I don’t let a lot of things bother me or dwell on things. There are frustrations that go with everything but I don’t really take it home with me.”
– Carrie Muskat
First it was Edwin Jackson vs. Dale Sveum, then Jeff Samardzija vs. David Bell. On Friday, it was Kevin Gregg against Theo Epstein. The Cubs have eight games remaining, and now they’re arguing over who is the closer.
The Braves beat the Cubs, 9-5, on Friday and moved closer to clinching the NL East. Gregg gave up four runs in the ninth and took the loss. After the game, the right-hander said he was upset at being told this week that he was no longer the closer.
“For an organization to just come out and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go in a different direction …’ You know, professional courtesy would’ve been nice,” Gregg said after the game in the clubhouse.
Sveum gave Gregg the news, but the pitcher said he felt the decision came from Epstein.
“[Friday's game] didn’t unfold like I wanted, but I probably tried a little too hard,” Gregg said. “What they told me over the last couple of days makes it difficult to play this game anyway … let alone knowing what they think. That shows they are not that interested in me coming back here. I will worry about next year next year. But it gives me a good indication of their thoughts going forward.”
Epstein was angry when he heard Gregg’s comments, and went up to the press box to meet with the media.
“Apparently, Kevin misunderstood Dale and thought he was having his job permanently taken away, despite getting the ball in the closer’s role the last couple of days,” Epstein said. “He apparently had some choice words. … Upon hearing that, I called him up to Dale’s office to tell him how disappointed I was with him, given the way we’ve treated him this year. You know, briging him back … and showing faith in him and the great job he has done for us this year. It took him a couple minutes to understand he misunderstood Dale and he apologized to me and to Dale. I told him I would sleep on it and decide whether we would have any disciplinary action … let him know if he was released [Saturday] morning.”
Gregg then came up to the press box to talk.
“In the conversation I was having with Dale [in Milwaukee], I didn’t understand exactly what he was saying,” Gregg said. “Unfortunately for myself, it kind of got under my skin.
“Now that I have sat down with Theo and Dale again, they clarified things and I was able to cool off a little bit. It helped to be able to talk to them and see what they actually are thinking. They want to get a look at Pedro, but they are not going to take anything from me, either. They wanted to work together to see what the future holds for the organization with him and myself. I am OK with that. I like that idea.”
– Carrie Muskat
Theo Epstein said Friday he understands the speculation about Dale Sveum’s status after the Cubs president of baseball operations said the manager was being evaluated. But Epstein added the review is a normal process. Sveum is finishing his second season as the Cubs manager, and has one year remaining on his contract with an option for 2015. On Tuesday in Milwaukee, Epstein would not confirm whether the manager was returning next year.
“I gave an answer that could be interpreted a number of different ways,” Epstein said Friday at Wrigley Field. “The bottom line is we have a process at the end of the year, unless it’s been a perfect season and everyone gets pats on the back. Until we get to where we want to be as an organization, everyone, including myself, gets evaluated and we look to find places where we can do things better next year.”
Speculation has begun in the Chicago media on who would possibly succeed Sveum. Epstein dismissed talk about any names.
“We wouldn’t be doing our job if there wasn’t an evaluation process,” Epstein said. “I totally understand that [for the media] it became a story. We answer questions honestly. Is anyone definitely coming back? At this point, Well, no, because we’re in the midst of an evaluation process.
“That’s really standard for this time of year,” he said, “and it’ll be resolved quickly after the season and we’ll move forward. I’m proud of a lot of what Dale and the staff have accomplished with the big league team this year in certain areas.”
A decision could come as early as Sept. 30 when Epstein, Sveum and the coaching staff were expected to meet in Chicago.
– Carrie Muskat