Results tagged ‘ Dioner Navarro ’

4/24 Soccer anyone?

Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro is a huge fan of soccer star Lionel Messi, the four-time FIFA player of the year, who will be playing and hosting a charity match July 6 at Soldier Field titled “Messi and Friends.” Navarro, who is always wearing Messi’s jersey in the clubhouse, is hoping to arrange a meeting with the Barcelona and Argentine superstar. The Cubs are in town that day, playing host to the Pirates. The match is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

4/14 Cubs lineup

Edwin Jackson starts Sunday in the series finale against the Giants. With a win, the Cubs could split the series against the defending world champs. Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Schierholtz RF
Navarro C
Valbuena 3B
Gonzalez 2B
E. Jackson P

* Here’s a discouraging stat: After Nate Schierholtz’ eighth-inning single with a runner in scoring position Thursday against the Giants, the Cubs have gone 0-for-18 with RISP since, including 0-for-6 with RISP on Saturday. The Cubs are batting .150 (12-for-80) with RISP this season, third-lowest average in the Majors.

4/14 Extra bases

The Cubs will have more news on Steve Clevenger’s status today. Clevenger injured his left oblique on a swing which ended Saturday’s game against the Giants. The team may not call anyone up because Darwin Barney is scheduled to come off the disabled list Tuesday, which means they would be short-handed for one day. Monday is an off day.

“I’ve seen it many times, but not that severe,” Dale Sveum said of Clevenger. “I’ve never seen somebody in that much pain.”

Some notes from Saturday’s game:

* Dioner Navarro hit a two-run pinch-homer off Madison Bumgarner in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was Navarro’s second-career pinch-homer and his second in as many days. On Friday, he connected from the left side of the plate, on Saturday, it was from the right side. Navarro is the third Cub to hit a pinch-home run in back-to-back team games and the first since Darin Jackson did so Aug. 14, 1988, vs. the Cardinals and Aug. 16, 1988, vs the Reds.

“It’s called pinch hitting and not pinch walking or pinch taking,” Sveum said. “That’s nice to see. That’s why we went with the three catchers, to have the ability to do those kinds of things with those two guys.”

* Alfonso Soriano posted his first three-hit game of the season.

* Jeff Samardzija dropped his second straight game. He is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven-career games (two starts) vs. the Giants. Cubs starting pitchers have compiled a 3.00 ERA (22 ER/66.0 IP) with six quality starts in the first 11 games of the season.

“I think he’ll probably tell you that he wasn’t as sharp as his first two outings,” Sveum said of Samardzija. “Fastball command and the split was ‘scuds’ so to speak. The life on the fastball wasn’t quite what it has been.”

* The Cubs have served up five home runs, tied for fewest in the Majors.

* Each game of the Cubs-Giants series has been a one-run decision. The Cubs are 1-2 this series and 2-3 this season in games decided by one run.

— Carrie Muskat

3/26 Numbers game

When the season starts, some of the Cubs players will have new uniform numbers, including manager Dale Sveum. Dioner Navarro wanted No. 30, which Travis Wood has worn since joining the team, but Wood will wear No. 37. Sveum is giving up No. 33 to pitcher Carlos Villanueva, and the Cubs manager will wear No. 4. Sveum had noticed that Villanueva had “33” on his cleats, and found out that was the pitcher’s preferred number.

No. 30 is very special to Navarro.

“It’s because my wife had a brain aneurysm on Sept. 27, and she had her surgery on Sept. 30, and they gave her a four percent chance of being alive,” Navarro said. “Ever since then, I’ve been wearing No. 30.”

When Navarro explained why No. 30 was special to Wood, the pitcher gave it up.

“He understood,” Navarro said.

By the way, Navarro’s wife is doing well and has no problems.

— Carrie Muskat

3/10 Cubs 9, Padres 3

Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run double and scored on Dioner Navarro’s home run in the sixth inning to lift the Cubs to a 9-3 victory Sunday over the Padres. Jorge Soler hit a solo home run and Christian Villanueva added a two-run shot, both coming in a five-run eighth.

The Cubs trailed 2-0 in the sixth against Tim Stauffer when Travis Wood and David DeJesus both singled. Two outs later, Soriano lined a double to left and Navarro then connected on his second spring home run. Wood followed Scott Feldman, and gave up one hit and walked three over four scoreless innings, striking out six.

With one out in the Chicago eighth, Soler launched his first spring home run. J.C. Boscan added a RBI single, Steve Clevenger hit a sacrifice fly, and Villanueva hit his home run. Villanueva, who has been getting more playing time because of injuries to third basemen Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters, now has three hits this spring, and all three have been home runs.

— Carrie Muskat

2/24 Cubs 4, Giants 3

Jeff Samardzija was able to avoid getting hit by a comebacker on Sunday. Matt Cain wasn’t as lucky. Cain took a shot off his right leg and was limited to one inning in the Giants’ 4-3 loss to the Cubs.

Alfonso Soriano lined a single off Cain’s leg in the first. Soriano’s hit loaded the bases with one out, and Nate Schierholtz then grounded out to first, driving in a run. Dioner Navarro followed with a three-run homer to open a 4-0 lead. Cain was pulled after the one inning.

“It’s part of the game. You hope you get out of the way,” said Cain, who was not expected to miss his next outing.

Francisco Peguero doubled with two outs in the Giants first and scored on Guillermo Quiroz’s single off Samardzija. Pablo Sandoval hit a RBI double in the third and Quiroz added a sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it 4-3.

Samardzija was able to work his fastball and split but called his slider “garbage.” He’ll try to get a feel for that in his next start.

“The slider last year was key for me,” said the right-hander, who is entering his second full season as a starter. “To be pulling it in and leaving it up high was unfortunate but it’s first time out. It’s a big pitch for me.”

He also showed his quick reflexes, dodging a shot from Quiroz in the second. Teammate Darwin Barney hit a comebacker at Samardzija during a live batting practice session at Fitch Park before games began.

“Both of them were about as close as they get,” Samardzija said. “I got out of there in proper time. Apparently, the coaches in Spring Training said, ‘Stay up the middle’ with these hitters. Cain took a couple up the middle and I did, too. It’s part of the fun. You have to be on your toes and ready to go.”

Samardzija did field a hard hit comebacker by Kensuke Tanaka in the first. Navarro went out to talk to his pitcher after Quiroz’s single nearly clipped Samardzija.

“After the second time, I went out there and asked him where the magnet was,” Navarro said.

Soriano, Brian Bogusevic and Johermyn Chavez were each 2-for-2. Kyuji Fujikawa made his Cactus League debut, and gave up one hit, striking out two.

— Carrie Muskat

2/18 Monday first take

* Matt Garza took part in photo day Monday without incident. As soon as we get an update on his status, we’ll let you know.

* There will be more live BP Monday. Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, James Russell and Hector Rondon are among the pitchers slated to pitch.

* Dioner Navarro is trying to get No. 30, which Travis Wood wears. It may take a little negotiating.

— Carrie Muskat

11/16 Cubs officially add Navarro

The Cubs officially announced the signing of free agent catcher Dioner Navarro on Friday. He agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract that could pay him an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses. Navarro, 28, has played for the Yankees, Dodgers, Rays and Reds, batting .290 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 24 games last season with Cincinnati. He split the year between the Reds and their Triple-A Louisville team. The addition of Navarro gives the Cubs some experience at catcher behind Welington Castillo, who got his most extensive playing time last season, batting .265 in 52 games. Castillo is projected as the Cubs regular catcher next season.

A switch-hitter, Navarro batted .327 against right-handed pitching last season, and has averaged one extra-base hit per 11.3 at-bats against left-handed pitchers. He was a 2008 American League All-Star with the Rays — and also a teammate of Cubs pitcher Matt Garza in Tampa Bay. In ’08, he batted .295 and was the youngest starting catcher on an American League pennant winner since the Orioles’ Andy Etchebarren (23) in 1966. Navarro has thrown out 25.7 percent of baserunners looking to steal in his career (112-for-435), the 11th-best percentage of any catcher in the big leagues starting in 2004.

— Carrie Muskat

11/15 Cubs sign Navarro

The Cubs have apparently found a veteran backup catcher, signing Dioner Navarro to a contract on Thursday. Terms were not immediately known. Navarro has played for the Yankees, Dodgers, Rays and Reds, batting .290 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 24 games last season with Cincinnati. He has a career .245 average. A switch hitter, Navarro has a career .256 average against left-handed pitchers and .241 average against right-handers. The addition of Navarro, 28, would give the Cubs more depth at catcher behind Welington Castillo, who got his most extensive playing time last season, batting .265 in 52 games. Castillo is projected as the Cubs regular catcher next season. MDR Sports Management announced the signing. The Cubs were expected to issue a release with details later Thursday.

— Carrie Muskat