Results tagged ‘ Darnell McDonald ’

12/17 Minor League staff named

The Cubs announced their Minor League coordinators for 2015 and named former outfielder Darnell McDonald as the organization’s mental skills program coordinator and Dave Keller as the Latin America coordinator.

McDonald, 36, who retired in April after seven big league seasons, including 2013 with the Cubs, will work with players in all levels of the farm system. Last season, he served as a baseball operations assistant.

The 2015 season will be Keller’s 30th as a Minor League coach or manager, his 12th year in the Cubs organization and his first as Latin America field coordinator. He managed Class A Daytona in 2013-14 and led the club to the 2013 Florida State League title.

Tim Cossins returns for his third season as the Cubs Minor League field/catching coordinator and Derek Johnson and Anthony Iapoce are both back as the Minor League pitching and hitting coordinators, respectively.

Jose Flores also returns for his third season as Minor League infield coordinator, and Mike Mason will begin his second season as assistant pitching coordinator.

Tom Beyers is back for his 16th season with the Cubs organization, and first as the Minor League assistant hitting coordinator. Beyers joined the Cubs in 2000 and was a Minor League manager or coach for 11 seasons.

Rey Fuentes stays with the team as the Latin Coordinator, Mental Skills Program, following two years as cultural programs coordinator. Fuentes will oversee all educational classes and mental skills programs for the Cubs Latin American players.

In 2015, Doug Jarrow will begin his eighth season as the Cubs Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator,
and Nick Frangella will start his 12th season with the team and second as head Minor League athletic training and performance coordinator. This also will be Chuck Baughman’s 15th year with the Cubs and second as assistant athletic training coordinator. Rick Tronerud returns for his 20th year with the Cubs and second as Minor League rehab pitching coordinator.

— Carrie Muskat

3/24 Roster moves

Outfielder Darnell McDonald was assigned to the Cubs’ Minor League camp on Monday, and pitcher Chang-Yong Lim sold to a South Korean team for cash considerations.

12/6 Winter ball update

* Luis Valbuena 2-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs in Lara’s 10-5 win over Margarita in Venezuela. Valbuena, who has been playing second base, was batting .284.

* Darnell McDonald, who recently signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs, is playing for Yaquis de Obregon in Mexico, and was 1-for-4 on Thursday in a 6-3 win over Guasave. In three games, he’s 2-for-10 with one RBI.

12/2 Extra bases

* The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players before Monday’s 10:59 p.m. CT deadline. Players not tendered before that deadline will become free agents. The Cubs have nine players who are arbitration eligible, including infielders Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy; outfielder Nate Schierholtz; and pitchers Pedro Strop, Travis Wood, Daniel Bard, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.

The main reason teams might non-tender a player is because he is arbitration eligible and due for a raise higher than the team is willing to pay.

This is the third year Schierholtz is arbitration eligible, the second year for Samardzija, Russell, Valbuena, and Murphy, and the first year for Bard, Barney, Strop and Wood. According to salaries projected by, if the Cubs tender contracts to all nine players, they’ll be adding $21.5 million to the payroll. The Cubs have committed $49 million to six players for 2014 and will be paying $14 million to the Yankees to cover the last year of Alfonso Soriano’s contract.

*The Cubs have reportedly re-signed outfielder Darnell McDonald to a Minor League deal. He has a career .285/.353/.453 slash line against left-handed pitchers (12-for-28 this season with Cubs). McDonald played in 25 games with the Cubs this season, and was outrighted to the Minor Leagues on Oct. 8. He became a free agent Oct. 15.

* According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have reached an agreement with catcher Dioner Navarro on a two-year, $8 million deal. Navarro, 29, batted .300 in 89 games last season with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs, including three in one game, and driving in 34. Navarro was paid $1.75 million last year. The Cubs have signed George Kottaras to be their backup catcher in 2014.

* Steve Wilson, who was the Pacific Rim and Mexico scouting coordinator for the Cubs, has joined the Yankees as the Pacific Rim scouting coordinator/international crosschecker. Wilson pitched for the Cubs from 1989-91.

— Carrie Muskat

10/9 Roster moves

Outfielder Darnell McDonald, catcher J.C. Boscan and right-handed pitcher Trey McNutt cleared waivers and were outrighted off the Cubs’ 40-man roster on Wednesday. The Cubs also announced that outfielder Thomas Neal and right-handed pitchers Rafael Dolis and Zach Putnam were activated from the 60-day disabled list, cleared waivers and were outrighted off the team’s 40-man roster. With the moves, the Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 37 players.

McDonald, 34, spent most of the season at Triple-A Iowa. He batted .302 in 25 games with the Cubs. Boscan, 33, also spent the majority of the season at Iowa, batting .232 in 74 games, and appeared in six games with the Cubs in September.

McNutt, 24, a 32nd round pick in 2009, pitched in 27 games in relief at Double-A Tennessee, compiling a 4.60 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. The right-hander showed great promise after going 10-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts in 2010, but was slowed by injuries. He never reached Triple-A level.

Putnam, 26, appeared in 17 games at Triple-A Iowa and five games with the Cubs, all in relief, before he was shut down with a bone spur in his right elbow. Dolis, 25, made five appearances with the Cubs before he was placed on the disabled list June 1 with a strained right forearm.

Neal’s stay with the Cubs was brief. The 26-year-old outfielder was selected off waivers from the Yankees on Aug. 5, appeared in two games with the Cubs Aug. 6-7, but had to leave the second game in the seventh in Philadelphia when he dislocated his right shoulder making a throw.

— Carrie Muskat

9/25 Cubs 4, Pirates 2

The Pirates may be headed to the postseason but the Cubs were able to celebrate one more win at home Wednesday. Darnell McDonald hit a pair of doubles and a tiebreaking three-run homer to lift the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Pirates and close the home portion of their schedule on a positive note in front of 26,171 at Wrigley Field.

After the final out, the Cubs players and coaches tipped their caps and waved to the fans from in front of the dugout to say goodbye.

“It was a nice gesture,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It hasn’t been a good season, but it’s nice to see the fans come out and to win the last game was nice.”

The Cubs had not beaten Pirates starter Francisco Liriano in four previous meetings, but with the game tied at 1 in the sixth, Donnie Murphy singled and Junior Lake walked to set up McDonald’s first home run since April 30, 2012. Despite their struggles this season, the Cubs lead the National League in home runs on their home turf with 102. McDonald had doubled to lead off the fourth but was easily thrown out on a bad baserunning move as he tried to advance to third on Ryan Sweeney’s fielder’s choice.

“I definitely wanted to atone for that,” McDonald said.

The Cubs would like to make up for this season. They finished 31-50 at Wrigley Field, setting a franchise record for most losses at home in a season. There were some gaffes Wednesday as Pedro Alvarez reached third on shortstop Starlin Castro’s error in the Pirates fourth, but also some highs as Murphy ended the inning with a leaping catch of Clint Barmes’ liner, then stepped on third for the double play.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, acquired in July from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal, is vying for a spot in the 2014 rotation. The right-hander gave up one run on four hits over six innings, and was able to escape the messes.

“There are going to be jams in the course of the game,” Sveum said. “The difference between guys who have a good season and sustain innings is guys who get out of those jams.”

In nine starts with the Cubs, Arrieta held opponents to a .185 batting average, striking out 37 over 51 2/3 innings. He credited the change of scenery as well as the Cubs coaching staff, beginning at Triple-A Iowa with pitching coach Mike Mason, for the improvement.

“I just feel more confident and more prepared to put together quality starts and quality outings than I was in the past,” Arrieta said. “I think that will show dividends.”

Liriano had given up four runs over 29 innings in his four previous outings against the Cubs, and on Wednesday, was charged with four runs over five-plus innings.

“We just got some balls to fall,” McDonald said of the difference against the Pirates lefty. “Liriano’s tough. He almost no-hit us the last time out. Guys got some hits early, and when you get hits, it breeds confidence in the lineup. You can’t make many mistakes against good teams and good pitchers like that. Fortunately, we were able to overcome mistakes and get the win.”

The Pirates have secured a postseason berth, but they are still jockeying for position with the Cardinals and Reds, who were eliminated from winning the NL Central with a loss Wednesday to the Nationals. The Cubs find themselves still playing a minor role as they head to St. Louis for the final three games of the season.

“We still have three games left and obviously it’s not looking good for Cincinnati and Pittsburgh right now [to win the division], but hopefully we can help them out and win Friday and see what happens the next two days,” Sveum said.

They can definitely learn from watching the Pirates.

“We’re trying to get to where these teams are at that we’re playing down the stretch,” McDonald said. “We’re watching how they go about their business, how they play the game. It’s important for us as a young team. I think every one of us in here wants to finish the season strong.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/12 Pirates 3, Cubs 1

Chris Rusin knew he would have a tough time with the Pirates, who rank second in the National League against left-handed pitchers with a .266 team batting average. Andrew McCutchen and Marlon Byrd lead the attack, hitting .391 and .336, respectively, against southpaws. Rusin held the Pirates to four hits over seven innings, but it wasn’t good enough.

Byrd and Pedro Alvarez each hit RBI singles off Rusin in the fourth to spark the Pirates to their fourth straight win, a 3-1 decision Thursday over the Cubs. Pittsburgh began the night one game behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

“He did a great job against a lineup that kills left-handers,” Dale Sveum said of Rusin. “That was, to me, his most impressive outing.”

All of the Pirates hits and two runs off Rusin came in the fourth inning, and he did not walk a batter. His ERA dropped to 2.85, the lowest of any rookie left-handed starter in baseball this season. Next closest are Cincinnati’s Tony Cingrani (2.92 ERA) and Los Angeles’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.07 ERA).

Darnell McDonald led off the Chicago third against Jeff Locke with a ground-rule double that bounced over the center-field fence. Two outs later, he scored on Starlin Castro’s single. That was it.

The Pirates answered in the fourth. With one out, Jordy Mercer singled for the first hit off Rusin, and reached third on McCutchen’s double that bounced off the third-base bag.

“The baseball Gods got me that time,” Rusin said of McCutchen’s lucky hit.

Rusin got Justin Morneau to hit a comebacker and he threw home to snag Mercer for the second out. But McCutchen scored on Byrd’s single to center to tie the game, and Alvarez followed with a RBI single.

The way the Pirates have been playing, you can only hope to contain them.

“For the most part, you’re keeping their slugging percentage down,” Sveum said. “You don’t walk anybody and you’ve got a chance to get out of innings, you can keep the game close, and that’s what we did.”

The runs off Rusin were the first he’s given up after 22 1/3 scoreless innings on the road, the longest streak by a Cubs rookie lefty away from home in franchise history. Rusin’s streak was also the longest in baseball since Neal Heaton’s 23-inning scoreless stretch on the road for the Indians from Aug. 9-29, 1983, his rookie season.

While the Pirates are trying to figure out who they’ll play in the postseason, the Cubs are looking ahead to next year. Will Rusin be in the 2014 rotation?

“We’ll cross those bridges when we get to it,” Sveum said. “He’s definitely put himself in a position to have every opportunity to make the rotation.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/10 Roster moves

The Cubs selected the contract of outfielder Darnell McDonald from Triple-A Iowa and optioned catcher J.C. Boscan to Triple-A. To make room for McDonald on the 40-man roster, outfielder Thomas Neal was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. McDonald, who will wear uniform No. 16, arrived in time for Saturday’s game.

McDonald, 34, owns a .246 batting average (175-for-711) with 38 doubles, five triples, 19 home runs and 78 RBI in 306 big league games with Baltimore (2004), Minnesota (2007), Cincinnati (2009) and Boston (2010-12) and the New York Yankees (2012). He saw his most extensive major league action with the Red Sox in 2010, when he batted .270 (86-for-319) with 18 doubles, nine homers and 34 RBI in 117 games. He followed that up with 79 games with Boston in 2011 before combining to play 42 major league games for the Red Sox and Yankees last year.

Boscan, 33, was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Thursday and did not appear in a game with the Cubs. He is batting .253 (49-for-194) with nine doubles and 18 RBI in 62 games with Iowa this season.

Neal, 25, was claimed off waivers from the Yankees on Monday and added to the active roster on Tuesday. He went hitless in four at-bats with the Cubs before suffering a dislocated right shoulder on Wednesday.

5/10 Minor matters

Darnell McDonald hit a solo home run but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost 5-1 to Colorado Springs on Thursday. Drew Carpenter gave up three runs on six hits over five innings, striking out six. Brett Jackson, activated from the DL Thursday after missing time because of a turf toe, went 2-for-4. Brad Nelson also had two hits.

Rafael Lopez and Jonathan Mota both homered in Tennessee’s 9-7 loss to Birmingham. Alberto Cabrera gave up six runs on 13 hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out five.

Javier Baez had two hits, including a double and a triple, and stole a base in Daytona’s 4-3 win over Dunedin. Baez was batting .244 overall. P.J. Francescon gave up three runs on eight hits over five innings and did not get a decision. Dustin Geiger had two hits and raised his team-leading RBIs total to 29.

Kane County’s game against Burlington was postponed because of rain. It’s the Cougars’ 10th postponement this year.

3/4 Indians 13, Cubs 5

Alfonso Soriano and Johermyn Chavez each hit solo home runs but it was not nearly enough as the Indians pounded 20 hits in a 13-5 victory over the Cubs on Monday. Lonnie Chisenhall was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Nick Swisher was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, and Drew Stubbs had two hits and three RBIs. Mark Reynolds also homered for the Tribe. In his first start, Alberto Cabrera gave up five runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings, striking out one.

There was some concern in the Cubs’ first when Darnell McDonald hit a line drive that deflected off Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.

“I was going to check on him but figured since he threw two, three more innings, he was good,” McDonald said.

Carrasco struck out Luis Valbuena to open the Cubs first, then was hit on the side of his head by McDonald’s liner. The ball apparently deflected off his glove. Carrasco fell to his knees on the mound, and was tended to by the Indians athletic trainer, but he did stay in the game and lasted three innings.

“I definitely thought I had a knock right there,” McDonald said of the liner off the pitcher. “Most important, you don’t want to see anyone get hurt at this time of year. For him to stay in the game and do what he did, I knew he was OK. I’ll just keep trying to hit the ball hard and hopefully, it’ll fall in there. Right now, it’s about feeling good and getting in a groove.”

* Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game against the Rockies, the Cubs will not use a DH for the first time this spring and Scott Feldman will hit for himself. Here’s the early lineup:

Sappelt CF
Barney 2B
Castillo C
Hairston RF
Lake 3B
Bogusevic 1B
Maysonet SS
Szczur LF
Feldman P

— Carrie Muskat