Results tagged ‘ Dioner Navarro ’

8/9 Navarro update

Dioner Navarro got some good news on Friday. The Cubs catcher was examined in Chicago and team orthopedic expert Dr. Stephen Gryzlo determined Navarro has a mild/grade one right ankle sprain, and will not need to go on the disabled list. Navarro was injured Wednesday in the seventh inning in Philadelphia after a collision at home plate with Chase Utley. The Cubs played shorthanded on Friday, and Navarro could rejoin the team on Saturday in St. Louis.

— Carrie Muskat

8/8 Cubs survive rough 7th; Guerrier out

It was a rough seventh inning for the Cubs in Wednesday’s win over the Phillies. Both outfielder Thomas Neal and catcher Dioner Navarro had to leave the game with injuries; Navarro getting carted off the field after a hard collision at the plate with Chase Utley. X-rays came back negative on Navarro’s right ankle — no fracture — and it was being evaluated as a contusion. After the game, Dale Sveum said it was “looking a little better than we thought.”

Neal, however, is headed to the DL with a dislocated right shoulder. He was injured while making a throw from left field.

“As soon as I released it, I knew something was wrong,” Neal told reporters in Philadelphia. “It kind of felt like a dead arm almost.”

The Cubs are short-handed at catcher. Welington Castillo and Navarro are the only catchers on the 40-man roster. On Monday, infielder Edwin Maysonet subbed at catcher because Luis Flores had to come out of the game. J.C. Boscan, the Iowa Cubs other catcher, was ill. Cael Brockmeyer was promoted from Boise to Iowa, and was behind the plate Tuesday. Iowa had Wednesday off. Catchers at Double-A Tennessee include Rafael Lopez, who caught Eric Jokisch’s no-hitter on Tuesday, and Chad Noble.

On Thursday, reliever Matt Guerrier was headed to Chicago with soreness in his right elbow. He did pitch Wednesday, and struggled, giving up two hits and walking two in one-third of an inning. Guerrier allowed an inherited runner to score in the seventh, which tied the game at 2. He appears headed to the DL; Eduardo Sanchez was to join the Cubs’ pen.

Donnie Murphy hit a solo home run in the third and a three-run, tie-breaking homer in the ninth in the 5-2 Chicago win.

— Carrie Muskat

7/27 Extra bases

* Dioner Navarro seemed a good candidate to fill the fourth spot in the Cubs’ lineup Saturday against southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Navarro was 17-for-33 (.515) against left-handed pitching. Manager Dale Sveum is mixing and matching in that spot in the lineup following Alfonso Soriano’s departure via trade.

“[Navarro’s] numbers against left-handed pitching are as good as anybody,” Sveum said.

* Shawon Dunston Jr. was batting .328 at Class A Boise, and had more walks (18) than strikeouts (15) in 33 games. That’s the opposite of what his father, former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston, would do. In his 18 year career, Shawon senior struck out 1,000 times and drew 203 walks. Dunston now is a coach on the Giants staff. What gives?

“First, he hits left-handed,” said Dunston of his son. “The patience is from my wife.”

* Carlos Villanueva will start the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Brewers and Jake Arrieta will be called up to pitch in the night cap. Arrieta was currently on Triple-A Iowa’s staff. Teams can add a 26th player for a doubleheader.

— Carrie Muskat

7/13 Cubs lineup

Matt Garza takes the mound Saturday night when the Cubs face the Cardinals in the third game of their four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Navarro C
Bogusevic CF
Sappelt RF
Barney 2B
Garza P

7/6 Extra bases

* Last season, the Cubs were careful with Jeff Samardzija, and limited him to 119 innings in his first season as a full-time starter. This year, the right-hander has reached 100 innings before the All-Star break. Any thought to giving him a breather?

“He’s a strong guy,” manager Dale Sveum said Saturday. “Last year, that was the plan we had going in. This year, the kid gloves are off, so to speak. He’ll pitch according to how he feels. He’s a big strong guy and keeps himself in phenomenal condition. He’s a horse. The only thing that gets him in trouble is some frustrations out on the field as well as mechanics. Yesterday his mechanics were all out of whack, and he was missing away, away, away.”

* Sveum says he’s happy with his catching combo of Dioner Navarro and Welington Castillo. Navarro has done better at the plate, batting .291 with eight home runs, 18 RBIs in 42 games, while Castillo was hitting .268 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 64 games.

“It’s a nice tandem to have,” Sveum said. “It’s not easy to have your backup catcher swinging the bat better than anybody on your team at this point right now.”

Navarro had no lingering problems from Friday’s game when he hit Andrew McCutchen’s bat with his right elbow. Navarro was hit right on the funny bone, which, as everybody knows, isn’t funny, but it hurts. Navarro’s arm went numb.

* Speaking of Navarro, he was excited about the opportunity to meet international soccer star, Lionel Messi, on Saturday. Messi was playing at Soldier Field in an exhibition. Navarro, James Russell, Anthony Rizzo and Hector Rondon were all going to the match. Navarro had at least four shirts and a hat for Messi to autograph.

“My wife said, ‘This is the biggest day of your life,'” said Navarro, who wears a Messi shirt every day before games. “She says, ‘You’re going to see the love of your life.'”

* Looking ahead to the Cubs’ makeup game Monday against the White Sox, Matt Garza (4-1, 3.45 ERA) will start against Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.50 ERA) at U.S. Cellular Field.

— Carrie Muskat

7/5 Cubs lineup & road trip

Here’s the Cubs’ lineup for Friday’s game vs. the first-place Pirates. Dioner Navarro moves into the No. 3 spot in the lineup after a successful road trip. Here’s the lineup:

Sappelt CF
Castro SS
Navarro C
Soriano LF
Ransom 3B
Rizzo 1B
Hairston RF
Barney 2B
Samardzija P

* The Cubs had a successful road trip, but some of the players did not. Here are the batting averages from the nine-game trip to Milwaukee, Seattle and Oakland:

Darwin Barney .182 (6-for-33)

Welington Castillo .208 (5-for-24)

Starlin Castro .306 (11-for-36), HR, double, two RBIs

Scott Hairston .000 (DNP)

Dioner Navarro .364 (8-for-22)

Cody Ransom .000 (0-for-4)

Anthony Rizzo .182 (6-for-33), four doubles, four RBIs (last homer, June 23)

Nate Schierholtz .179 (7-for-39)

Alfonso Soriano .333 (10-for-30), 3 HRs

Luis Valbuena .237 (9-for-38)

* Jake Arrieta joined Triple-A Iowa and will start Friday against Albuquerque in his Cubs debut. The right-hander was acquired from the Orioles on Tuesday along with Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.

— Carrie Muskat

6/28 Mariners 5, Cubs 4 (10 innings)

Once again, the Cubs wasted a quality outing by Travis Wood. Alfonso Soriano and Dioner Navarro each hit solo home runs but the Mariners rallied for two runs in the eighth and Mike Zunino hit a walkoff RBI single with one out in the 10th to post a 5-4 Interleague win over the Cubs Friday night.

“It’s a tough one today,” said Soriano, who connected in the seventh. “You just try to forget this game today and come back and win tomorrow.”

Carlos Marmol is gone but the Cubs bullpen continues to struggle. Chicago led 4-2 when Jason Bay walked to open the Seattle seventh and one out later, Wood was pulled for Carlos Villanueva. Zunino singled, and was forced at second on Brad Miller’s grounder, allowing Bay to score.

Nick Franklin doubled in the Mariners’ eighth against James Russell, and one out later, scored on Kendrys Morales’ double to close to 4-3. Raul Ibanez tripled to left past a diving Brian Bogusevic and Morales scored the tying run. Russell now is 0-for-5 in save opportunities.

“It was all set up for him against the lefties, turning the guys around, and he obviously, couldn’t get the ball down tonight,” Dale Sveum said.

With the game tied at 4 in the 10th, Blake Parker walked both Michael Saunders and Ibanez, and then exited. Shawn Camp entered, and the runners moved up on Bay’s sacrifice. Justin Smoak was intentionally walked to load the bases and Zunino lined a 3-2 pitch to center for the game-winning hit.

“I was just looking for something I could get up and elevate to the middle of the field,” Zunino said. “[Camp] usually throws a bunch of sliders so I was looking for one of those early. But he kept coming with the fastball, so with a 3-2 count I knew I had to stay aggressive. … With the infield playing in, I knew I got enough of it to get it through.”

Wood struck out six and walked two over 6 1/3 innings but did not get a decision. He is winless in his last five starts despite posting a quality start in each.

“Travis pitched a heck of a ballgame,” Sveum said. “It’s about as snakebit as you can get, getting him wins.”

The lefty ranks among the Major League leaders in quality starts, and has topped his 2012 season total, when he collected 14 of 26 outings.

“Things are going good in that aspect,” Wood said. “I feel I’m more advanced as a pitcher. I’m not just up there throwing. I have a game plan and how I want to attack hitters and the offspeed stuff is better and command is better. The arm side wasn’t there, and it made me battle.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/28 Extra bases

* Since his one-day “breather,” Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is 4-for-10, which is encouraging. Has manager Dale Sveum seen changes since Tuesday’s day off, Castro’s first of the year?

“Maybe a little attitude change,” Sveum said Friday. “I think the mechanics of his swing are probably the same. He’s mixed in some hits which are nice. That’s usually what gets you going sometimes.

“He’s still struggling a little bit with the fastball,” Sveum said of Castro, who was batting .234 overall. “The mechanics are the same. Hopefully, he keeps gradually understanding what he has to do.”

* Alfonso Soriano was the designated hitter for Friday’s Interleague game, and will likely handle that role in the Cubs’ six-game West Coast swing against the Mariners and Athletics. That means Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic will be getting the action in the outfield for the Cubs. The Cubs will have to figure out how to get everyone at-bats when David DeJesus returns from a sprained right shoulder. DeJesus was in Chicago, continuing his rehab.

“A couple of them might be part of our future, left-hand hitters who are better athletes, two-way players,” manager Dale Sveum said of Sweeney and Bogusevic. “We’ll work it out to figure out the playing time.”

Sveum will talk to Soriano about playing time if there’s a significant change for the 37-year-old outfielder.

“You’re not going to just do something like that to a guy who’s had that kind of career,” Sveum said. “I’ll have to figure out how to get these guys their at-bats with matchups, or whoever’s the hottest. A lot of times those things work themselves out.”

* Dioner Navarro has caught Matt Garza’s last three starts, and the right-hander has given up two earned runs in those games, but Navarro isn’t the pitcher’s personal catcher.

“It’s just how it all works out sometimes,” Sveum said Friday. “[Welington Castillo] has caught them all and everybody has had really good games. If you have that kind of fastball command — [on Thursday], Garza had his slider and his command. When you have that kind of outing, it doesn’t matter what’s going on behind the plate.”

Castillo is the Cubs’ regular catcher, and has started 57 games compared to Navarro’s 21.

* Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery one year ago, will throw his second simulated game on Saturday in Mesa, Ariz. His first outing was 20 pitches, and went well.

“Everything went good and the velocity was up there,” Sveum said of Baker. “We hope he keeps going in the right direction.”

The right-hander could be pitching for the Cubs by late August.

“He’s basically starting his Spring Training right now,” Sveum said. “The first day pitchers throw live, it’s basically like that [for Baker].”

* Steve Clevenger, sidelined since April 14 with a left oblique strain, was activated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Iowa. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Zach Putnam (bone spur) was transferred to the 60-day DL.

— Carrie Muskat

6/27 Cubs 7, Brewers 2

Dioner Navarro belted a three-run homer to back Matt Garza and power the Cubs to a 7-2 victory Thursday over the Brewers to win their first series at Miller Park since Sept. 10-12, 2010.

Garza gave the many scouts in attendance something to think about. The right-hander, who seems to be the subject of trade rumors every season, now has given up two earned runs over 22 innings in his last three outings. Garza appeared to be in total command as he struck out 10, and did not give up a hit until Aramis Ramirez blooped a single to center with one out in the fourth. For the game, the right-hander scattered eight hits over seven innings.

It helps to get some offense. Ryan Sweeney singled to open the second against Wily Peralta, stole second, and moved up on a wild pitch before scoring on Brian Bogusevic’s perfectly placed double down the left field line. One out later, Darwin Barney dribbled a single to right to score Bogusevic.

Sloppy play by the Brewers in the third led to four more Cubs runs. Starlin Castro led off with a single, stole second and scored on a fielding error by left fielder Caleb Gindl, who muffed Sweeney’s fly ball. One out later, Bogusevic reached on an error by first baseman Juan Francisco, who couldn’t handle third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s throw, and Navarro followed with his seventh home run to open a 6-0 lead. All four runs in the inning were unearned.

Garza helped himself in the fourth, hitting his second single of the game before eventually scoring on Nate Schierholtz’s sacrifice fly.

6/27 Cubs lineup

The Cubs and Brewers square off in the rubber game of their three-game series on Thursday at Miller Park. Matt Garza gets the start, and yes, he’s matched up with catcher Dioner Navarro. Brian Bogusevic will make his second straight start in left field for the Cubs. He was 2-for-4 on Wednesday, but on base four times, reaching on an error, walk and two singles. He also stole a base. Dale Sveum has said Alfonso Soriano will be the DH in the Cubs’ upcoming games at AL West ballparks.

Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Schierholtz RF
Sweeney CF
Rizzo 1B
Bogusevic LF
Navarro C
Barney 2B
Garza P

* The Cubs will try to win their first series at Miller Park since taking two of three from the Brewers, Sept. 10-12, 2010.