Results tagged ‘ Dave Keller ’

4/29 Learning the Cubs Way

Jorge Soler was expected back in the lineup Monday night for Class A Daytona after being benched Sunday for not running out two balls. Daytona manager Dave Keller made the decision.

“[Soler] sat because within the philosophy and the work ethic that we are trying to create in this organization — and that we are trying to get our players to understand — work ethic, energy, determination, playing hard and running hard is part of the whole program,” Keller told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “When you don’t do that, then you don’t get to play. That’s something that has really been emphasized over the last two years.”

In 15 games, Soler was batting .276 with two home runs, three doubles and seven RBIs. He already has served a five-game suspension for charging the opponent’s dugout, carrying a bat. On Saturday, he was 0-for-4.

“As a coaching staff, we’re required to stay on top of it,” Keller said. “And we’re doing it because work habits create the player, period. When you work, you get better.”

4/17 Soler to return Thursday – UPDATE

Jorge Soler’s five-game suspension is over, and he was expected back in Daytona’s lineup on Thursday. Cubs farm director Brandon Hyde told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that’s when Soler would return.

“It’s time for him to get back to playing,” Hyde said.

Soler had been at the Cubs’ extended spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz., after being suspended last week by the Florida State League for “charging” the Clearwater Threshers’ dugout — with bat in hand — last Wednesday night during a game in Daytona. Soler played in games in Mesa on Saturday and Monday, going 1-for-8 with three strikeouts.

Soler, 21, who signed a nine-year $30 million contract with the Cubs last June, was batting .435 with two home runs and four RBIs before the incident.

Daytona manager Dave Keller told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that he talked to Soler Sunday.

“I called him to say ‘hi’ and let him know that I was thinking of him,” Keller told the News-Journal. “He told me he was doing good, and he must have thanked me four or five times for calling him. Other guys on the team have called him to let him know they were thinking of him, too.”

Keller said he looked forward to Soler rejoining the Daytona Cubs.

“I like Jorge, and from a baseball standpoint and a development standpoint, I’d love to have him back, because he was doing some really good things on the field,” Keller said. “There’s a lot of good things that are potentially going to happen with this guy.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/11 Minor League staffs

Marty Pevey will return to managing as skipper of the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa team, Buddy Bailey stays at Double-A Tennessee, Dave Keller will skipper Class A Daytona, and Mark Johnson will manage the new Class A Kane County affiliate. The Cubs announced the Minor League staffs on Tuesday.

Pevey, 51, just completed his third season as the Minor League catching coordinator. He last managed in 2009 with Class A Peoria, when he was named Midwest League manager of the year, leading the team to an 81-57 record. Mike Mason will return as Iowa pitching coach and Brian Harper, who was Daytona’s manager last season, will join the Triple-A team as hitting coach. Harper was the Mesa Solar Sox hitting coach in the Arizona Fall League this year.

This will be Bailey’s second straight season with Tennessee, and 24th as a Minor League manager. Bailey, 55, guided the Smokies to a 72-68 record in 2012, and picked up his 1,600th win on July 6. He ranks fourth among active managers in wins. Jeff Fassero will return as Tennessee pitching coach and Desi Wilson will move up from Daytona to be the Smokies hitting coach.

Keller, 53, was Iowa’s hitting coach last season and a special assistant to the Major League team in 2011. This will be his 10th season in the Cubs organization. He has managed in the Minor Leagues for the Reds, indians and White Sox. Mariano Duncan will join Keller as Daytona’s hitting coach and Storm Davis will join the Cubs’ organization as the team’s pitching coach.

The 2013 season will be the Cubs’ first in Kane County after eight years in Peoria, and Johnson, 37, will be at the helm. The former big league catcher has managed Class A Boise for two years, and the Hawks won the second-half East division with a 24-14 record. Boise won the Northwest League East Division Series, but lost to Vancouver in the best-of-three league championship series, 2-1.
Johnson will be joined at Kane County by pitching coach Ron Villone and hitting coach Tom Beyers.

Gary Van Tol, who has 20 years of coaching experience, will take over as Class A Boise manager. David Rosario returns as the Hawks pitching coach, and Bill Buckner will return as hitting coach for his second season. Buckner enjoyed a 22-year Major League playing career, playing for the Cubs from 1977-84. Jonathan Fierro, son of former Cubs athletic trainer John Fierro, will begin his first season as Boise’s athletic trainer.

Bobby Mitchell will stay as manager for the Mesa Rookie League team, which will have two hitting coaches in Ricardo Medina and Jimmy Gonzalez. Medina has been a coach, manager or scout in the Cubs organization since 1999. Gonzalez is a former catcher who played 14 Minor League seasons after he was selected in the first round by the Astros in 1991.

Yudith Ozorio will manage the Dominican squad, the same position he has held for the past three seasons. Leo Hernandez will serve as the pitching coach in his 18th year with the club while Oscar Bernard makes his organization debut as the club’s hitting coach. Osmin Melendez will serve as the Venezuelan Cubs manager, a newly created team. He will be joined by hitting coach Franklin Blanco, who begins his seventh year with the organization.

* The Cubs also announced their Minor League coordinators for the 2013 season, including four newcomers to the organization. Tim Cossins takes over as field coordinator after 10 seasons in the Marlins farm system, including the last six as the catching coordinator. Cossins takes over for Brandon Hyde, who was promoted to director of player development in August.

Derek Johnson is the new Minor League pitching coordinator after 11 seasons at Vanderbilt University as the team’s pitching coach, including the last three as the school’s associate head coach/pitching coach. Johnson earned National Pitching Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and National Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2010.

Anthony Iapoce, the special assistant to the general manager and player development, will oversee the Minor League hitting program while contributing to additional projects within the organization. He has spent the last three seasons as roving hitting coordinator for the Blue Jays.

Carmelo Martinez enters his 16th season in the Cubs organization, and his first as hitting coordinator for the Cubs Single-A, Rookie League and Dominican League teams. He was the Latin American field coordinator for the previous five years (2008-12). Jose Flores joins the Cubs as Minor League infield coordinator, and will begin his 13th year as a coach or manager. Lee Tinsley enters his third year as the outfield/base running coordinator.

— Carrie Muskat

11/3 Cubs finalize coaching staff

Mike Quade’s coaching staff was finalized Wednesday. Five members from last year’s staff will return in 2011, including pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bullpen coach Lester Strode, third base coach Ivan DeJesus and first base coach Bob Dernier.  The Cubs have added Pat Listach as bench coach and Dave Keller as Major League staff assistant.  

Listach, 43, enters his 12th season as a professional coach or manager and returns to the Cubs organization after two years as third base coach for the Nationals. Prior to his coaching stint in the Majors, he served nine seasons as a Minor League coach and manager in the Cubs organization, most recently as the manager at Triple-A Iowa in 2008. That year he led the I-Cubs to an 83-59 record and first-place finish.

Keller, 51, joins the staff after seven years as the organization’s Minor League hitting instructor (2004-10). Prior to his stint with the Cubs, he was a Major League staff assistant for the Indians from 2001-03, also serving as an assistant to hitting coach Eddie Murray. The 2010 campaign marks Keller’s 26th season as a professional manager or coach. He has served as a Minor League manager in the Cincinnati (1987-89), Cleveland (1990-94) and White Sox (1996) organizations and was Cleveland’s Minor League hitting coordinator from 1999-2000 before his promotion to the Major League staff in 2001.

— Carrie Muskat

7/2 Jackson doing well at Tennessee

Here’s a news flash: Brett Jackson didn’t get a hit Thursday. The Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick in 2009, Jackson batted .316 in 67 games at Class A Daytona and was promoted to Double-A Tennessee on Sunday. He had nine hits in his first four games since his promotion, including home runs in each of his first two games, but he went 0-for-4 Thursday against West Tenn.

“He’s been on fire,” player development director Oneri Fleita said of the outfielder. “He’s probably hitting at a .600 or .700 clip. I’m sure the baseball looks like a watermelon to him.”

Officially, Jackson is batting .391 at Double-A with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs in five games. He is batting .600 off left-handers.

“He’ll be challenged big time at the level he’s at,” said Dave Keller, the Cubs’ roving Minor League hitting instructor.

One of the reasons is that Southern League teams play five-game series, which saves on travel costs but also gives teams plenty of time to scout.

“If you hit well in the first or second game of the series, that third, fourth, fifth and sometimes sixth game you have to learn how to adjust,” Keller said. “From our standpoint offensively, it’s great because our guys learn how to adjust and it helps them with their plan. That’s what this level is all about.”

— Carrie Muskat

4/29 Lineup, Caridad & Keller

No changes in Thursday’s lineup. It’ll be:

SS Theriot

RF Fukudome

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

CF Byrd

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Soto

P Lilly

* Also, Esmailin Caridad, rehabbing from a strained right forearm, was to throw one inning on Saturday in Mesa. The rookie is about 10 days away from returning.

* Cubs roving Minor League hitting instructor Dave Keller is with the team for the series to help Rudy Jaramillo.

— Carrie Muskat

12/17 Minor matters

The Cubs named their Minor League coaching staffs on Thursday. Ryne Sandberg was promoted to Triple-A Iowa, Bill Dancy takes over at Double-A Tennessee, and former big league catcher Jody Davis returns to managing in Boise where he’ll be joined by Jeff Fassero.

Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman who led Tennessee to the Southern League championship in 2009, was moved up when Iowa manager Bobby Dickerson left to join the Baltimore Orioles’ organization. Sandberg will be joined at Iowa by pitching coach Mike Mason and hitting coach Von Joshua.

Dancy joins the Cubs after spending the past 30 years within the Philadelphia Phillies (1978-2009) and Kansas City Royals (2009) organizations. In 2005-06, he was the Phillies’ third base coach. Dennis Lewallyn will join Dancy as the Smokies pitching coach and Tom Beyers as the hitting coach.

Davis, who managed Peoria and Daytona, spent the 2009 season as the Cubs’ Minor League catching instructor and returns to the dugout for Class A Boise. Ricardo Medina, who previously coached with the Dominican Summer League, will serve as Boise’s hitting coach.

Davis, who was the Cubs catcher from 1981-1988, will be joined by former big league pitcher Fassero, who helped with the Cubs this summer in Mesa. Being retired was nice but the left-hander wanted to do more.

“I played golf,” Fassero told me in October, “but you can only do that for so long.”

Dave Bialas and Mark Riggins both return to the Cubs in 2010 as the Minor League field coordinator and pitching coordinator, respectively. So does ex-Cub Bobby Dernier, back as the outfield and baserunning coordinator. Infield coordinator Franklin Font and hitting coordinator Dave Keller also return. Carmelo Martinez enters his 13th season with the Cubs, and third as Latin American field coordinator, and Marty Pevey takes over as catching coordinator.

Buddy Bailey, who has been with the Cubs since 2006, will return to Class A Daytona and be joined by pitching coach Tom Pratt and former big league outfielder Richie Zisk. Casey Kopitzke, who managed at Class A Boise in 2009, will move up to Peoria in 2010. David Rosario and Barbaro Garbey will join Kopitzke as the pitching and hitting coaches, respectively.

Juan Cabreja will be the Rookie League Mesa manager for the second straight year and Rick Tronerud returns to handle pitching coach duties for the 10th consecutive season. Desi Wilson joins the staff as the hitting coach after handling those duties for Peoria last year.

— Carrie Muskat

10/20 Hitting coach update

It’s been interesting to read some of the speculation regarding the Cubs and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. On Monday, one scribe said the team had offered him $800,000 a year. Fact is, Jaramillo had yet to interview. He was waiting for a phone call Monday from GM Jim Hendry to set up a meeting. Also, Cubs Minor League roving hitting instructor Dave Keller has not talked to Hendry about the vacancy, as some have speculated. Keller and Hendry were in Arizona last week, but did not chat about the job.

There could be news this week once Hendry has a chance to meet with Jaramillo, 59, who opted to leave the Texas Rangers when that team refused to offer a multi-year deal. Another coach available is Carney Lansford, who was recently relieved of his duties by the Giants. His son, Josh, is a pitcher in the Cubs’ Minor League system.

— Carrie Muskat

10/14 AFL update & notes

John Gaub, the left-handed pitcher whom the Cubs acquired in the Mark DeRosa deal with Cleveland, made his Arizona Fall League debut Wednesday. Gaub gave up one run on three hits over one inning and struck out two. He hit 96 mph on one fastball, and was consistently in the 92-93 mph range.

James Russell took the loss in relief in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 4-2 loss to Phoenix at HoHoKam Park. Russell, another Cubs prospect, gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits over two innings. Blake Parker, who had 22 saves at Triple-A Iowa, also pitched one inning in relief, and struck out two.

Josh Vitters had three hits, including a double, and Starlin Castro had a double in the game.

* The Cubs have yet to begin interviews for the hitting coach vacancy on the big league team. One name that will likely be considered is Rudy Jaramillo, whom the Texas Rangers said will not return. Jaramillo is still under contract through Oct. 31.

* Cubs pitcher Angel Guzman has started rehabbing at the team’s Mesa facility. He was shutdown before the regular season ended because of soreness in his right side and tricep.

* Thomas Diamond, whom the Cubs claimed on waivers from Texas, will start the final Instructional League game Saturday in Mesa, then join the Mexicali team and get more innings in there. Diamond hopes to be starting again in 2010.

* The Cubs will send eight players to their academy in the Dominican Republic for four weeks. The group includes Rebel Ridling, Ryan Flaherty, DJ LeMahieu, Logan Watkins, Brett Jackson, Matt Cerda, Sergio Burruel, and Kyler Burke.

“It’s a reward and a ‘keep going’ kind of thing,” Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator Dave Keller said of the trip. “We want them to work on stuff but also enjoy themselves.”

* Jeff Samardzija will make four to five starts for Mexicali in the Mexican Winter League. He made his first last Friday, going four innings. Samardzija is working on developing a curve ball to go along with his changeup.

— Carrie Muskat