Results tagged ‘ Geovany Soto ’

2/25 Cubs notebook

Geovany Soto was held out of practice as a precautionary measure because of a sore groin. His status is day to day.

* During drills, the players who can handle more than one position, like Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt, are being asked to stay at one position that day. On Friday, for example, Baker was at first, and on Saturday, he was at third.

“It’s just for the drills because we’ll be doing the same thing for seven days in a row and they’ll get a lot of work at each position,” Sveum said. “When we break over to HoHoKam, it’ll be a more normal style baseball day. For drill purposes, having people wandering all over the places in the drill, I don’t want them to be messed up.”

* When Sveum met with the media on Friday, he listed five starters: Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Randy Wells, and Travis Wood. Does that mean the rotation is set? No, Sveum said.

“Wells, Travis Wood, Volstad, Rodrigo Lopez, they’re all in the running for jobs,” Sveum said. “It’s just a matter of what happens in Spring Training.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/24 Sveum: “We’re here to try to win the World Series”

In his first address to the full squad, manager Dale Sveum repeated his message that this is not a rebuilding year for the Cubs but the goal is to win it all.

Sveum was one of the speakers before Friday’s first full squad workout at Fitch Park. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, plus Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer also talked to the players.

“I just let them know that, look, you’ve got a veteran catcher behind the plate, a guy who won the MVP in Triple-A playing first, a guy who did a nice job — [Darwin] Barney — at second base,” Sveum said. “[We’ve got] a guy who had over 300 hits in his first two years in the big leagues [at short], a guy who hit 20 something plus home runs a couple years ago in Colorado at third, an All-Star in center field, a guy with 340 home runs in left field and a really nice leadoff-type professional player playing right field.

“[Plus] obviously the pitching staff with [Ryan Dempster], [Matt] Garza, [Paul] Maholm, [Randy] Wells, [Travis] Wood and you go on and on with the bullpen and [Carlos] Marmol and [Kerry] Wood and [Jeff] Samardzija,” Sveum said. “I just let them know that’s a team that can compete and do really well. We’re not here to rebuild, we’re here to try to win the World Series this year.”

If you aren’t familiar with the Cubs’ roster yet, the catcher is Geovany Soto, the first baseman is Bryan LaHair, the shortstop is Starlin Castro, the third baseman is Ian Stewart, the center fielder is Marlon Byrd, the left fielder is Alfonso Soriano, and David DeJesus is in right.

— Carrie Muskat

1/17 Arbitration numbers – UPDATED

Matt Garza and the Cubs exchanged figures on Tuesday. The right-hander is seeking $12.5 million while the Cubs countered at $7.95 million. Usually, the team and player reach agreement on a halfway point, which, in this case, would be $10.225 million. Garza was 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in 31 starts in his first season with the Cubs. He will be a free agent after the 2013 season.

The Cubs avoided arbitration with six other players. That list includes Geovany Soto, who signed for $4.3 million. Tuesday was the day when teams and players exchanged arbitration figures. The players on the list have between three to six years of big league service time.

RHP Matt Garza: Asked for $12.5 million; Cubs offered $7.95 million

Here are the new deals:

IF Jeff Baker: $1.375 million

IF Blake DeWitt: $1.1 million

C Geovany Soto: $4.3 million

3B Ian Stewart: $2.237 million

RHP Chris Volstad: $2.655 million

RHP Randy Wells: $2.705 million

If the Cubs and Garza do not reach an agreement, they will present their cases at hearings scheduled for Feb. 1-21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Cubs last went to arbitration with infielder Ryan Theriot in February 2010, which was the team’s first hearing since 1993. Theriot was seeking $3.4 million and the Cubs offered $2.6 million. Theriot lost the case but still received a raise from his $500,000 salary in 2009. Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry had settled 36 straight arbitration cases before Theriot’s hearing.

— Carrie Muskat

12/12 Hill now free agent

The Cubs have non-tendered catcher Koyie Hill but did tender contracts to the other arbitration eligible players, Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, and Randy Wells. The deadline for tendering contracts to any arbitration eligible players was 11 p.m. CT Monday. Because Hill was non-tendered, he is now a free agent. The 32-year-old catcher batted .194 in 46 games, including 38 starts. The Cubs were 22-16 in games in which he started. The team could look internally for a backup with both Welington Castillo and up and coming Steve Clevenger as options.

— Carrie Muskat

12/12 Arbitration deadline

The deadline for tendering contracts to any arbitration eligible players is 11 p.m. CT Monday. For the Cubs, this will mean decisions on seven players: Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Koyie Hill, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart and Randy Wells. If a team decides to non-tender a player, he would become a free agent.

* Baker, 30, batted .269 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 81 games (42 starts), including a .314 average against left-handed pitchers. He was 4-for-30 as a pinch-hitter. He made $1.175 million in 2011.

* DeWitt, 26, hit .265 in 121 games with five homers and 26 RBIs in 121 games in his first full season with the Cubs. Acquired from the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, in the Ted Lilly deal, DeWitt batted .406 against lefties. He made $460,000 this year.

* Garza, 28, went 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in 31 starts in his first season with the Cubs. Acquired on Jan. 8 from the Rays in an eight-player deal, he was the hard-luck pitcher. He left a game with the lead but did not factor in the decision seven times. Garza made $5.95 million in 2011.

* Hill, 32, batted .194 in 46 games, including 38 starts. The Cubs were 22-16 in games in which he started. Hill made $850,000 this year. He may be the only one non-tendered, and the Cubs could look at Welington Castillo as a backup catcher.

* In his fourth full season, Soto, who turns 29 on Jan. 20, batted .228 with 17 homers, 26 doubles and 54 RBIs in 125 games. If Soto stays on the same pace, he should have a stellar season in 2012. In ’08, he won National League Rookie of the Year, batting .285, and followed that with a disappointing .218 season in ’09. In 2010, he hit .280, and his average dropped this past season. He received $3 million in 2011.

* Wells, 29, missed nearly two months with a strained right forearm, which he felt after his first start April 4. The right-hander did not return until May 28, and went 7-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 23 starts, giving up a career-high 23 home runs. His best month was August when Wells was 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA in six starts. He received $475,000 in 2011.

* Stewart, 26, is the newest Cub. Acquired on Thursday from the Rockies for Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu, the third baseman made $2,228,750 this season.

— Carrie Muskat

9/14 Want Vedder’s ukulele? How about Pujols’ shoes?

Do you want an ultimate man cave home theater system? How about a jersey autographed by Albert Pujols? Or his game-used cleats? Or, maybe you and eight friends would like to have dinner with Kerry Wood at his home? Would you like to own Geovany Soto’s catcher’s mask that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen booted this summer? How about an autographed ukulele and CD of Eddie Vedder’s “Ukulele Songs?” You also can bid on a day with the Wrigley Field grounds crew in 2012 or two tickets to a 2012 taping of “Saturday Night Live” in New York.

You can bid now on those items, part of the Kerry Wood Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament, to be held Sunday at 10pin Bowling Lounge in Chicago. The online auction is underway and proceeds will benefit the Wood Family Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million for children in and around the Chicago area already.

The online auction closes at 10 p.m. CT Saturday. The auction will continue at the bowling tournament. Online bidders will be represented by proxy and be notified of their winning bids the next week. Go to the for more information.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/7 Wood online auction now underway

Do you want Geovany Soto’s catcher’s mask that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gave the boot? How about sharing a six-course dinner for 10 at Kerry Wood’s home? Or an autographed ukulele and CD of Eddie Vedder’s “Ukulele Songs?” You can bid now on those items, part of the Kerry Wood Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament, to be held Sept. 18 at 10pin Bowling Lounge in Chicago.

The online auction is now underway and proceeds from the event will benefit the Wood Family Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million for children in and around the Chicago area already.

Both Soto and Guillen autographed the catcher’s mask that the White Sox manager kicked during an Interleague game between the intracity rivals this year. Other items available is a chance to work with the Wrigley Field grounds crew in 2012 or two tickets to a 2012 taping of “Saturday Night Live” in New York. There’s something for everyone, including autographed jerseys by the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, and a bat autographed by Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. If you’re a South Side baseball fan, there are items autographed by the White Sox’s Juan Pierre, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski. Troy Tulowitzki, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jim Thome and Robinson Cano donated autographed items, and if you’re a Phillies fan, there’s a package that includes jerseys signed by their starters Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay.

The online auction will close at 10 p.m. CT on Sept. 17. The auction will continue at the bowling tournament on Sept. 18. Go to the for more information. More items are being added daily so it’s wise to check back often.

— Carrie Muskat

9/1 LaHair named MVP of PCL

Triple-A Iowa first baseman Bryan LaHair, who has a franchise record 38 homers, was named Most Valuable Player of the Pacific Coast League on Thursday. In his ninth season of professional baseball, LaHair leads the league in home runs, RBI (109), extra-base hits (76), total bases (303), and intentional walks (9). He’s also second in the league in slugging (.664) and OPS (1.070), fourth in doubles (38), fifth in runs scored (91), and seventh in batting (.331). His 38 homers lead all of Minor League baseball. Ian Gac of Winston-Salem and Tim Wheeler of Tulsa were tied for second with 33.

In addition to surpassing the former franchise home run record of 37 set by Joe Hicks in 1984, LaHair ranks second on the Iowa single-season list in total bases, is tied for third in doubles, and fourth in RBI. He joins Mel Hall (1982) as the only Iowa players to have 30 doubles and 30 home runs in the season.

LaHair is the second Iowa Cubs player to be named PCL MVP. Geovany Soto received the award in 2007. The Cubs were expected to call up LaHair. Mike Quade, player development director Oneri Fleita and interim GM Randy Bush were to meet Friday to go over the roster and determine who to call up.

— Carrie Muskat

8/29 Wells gets 1st CG, shutout

The Cubs had scuffled offensively in their last series, were facing two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum on a cool night, and the Giants were fighting to stay in the playoff race. Who would’ve figured Randy Wells would end up with a shaving cream pie to celebrate his first complete game shutout or that Lincecum would serve up three homers?

Blake DeWitt belted a three-run homer and Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Carlos Pena each hit solo shots to help Wells finish August unbeaten as the Cubs roughed the Giants, 7-0, on Monday night in San Francisco. Lincecum had given up three home runs in his 14 previous outings combined, so when Soriano connected to lead off the fifth, that appeared to be it.

“At 1-0, you figure that’s the way it’s going to end,” Mike Quade said.

Wells (6-4) delivered a strong counter. He gave up two hits — a double by Andres Torres with two outs in the third and a single by pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot with one out in the eighth — and struck out seven. It’s a good finish for the right-hander, 29, who had to go on the disabled list after his first start April 4 because of a strained right forearm. Being healthy makes a difference.

He received a celebratory shaving cream pie, his first since his first win.

“It’s pretty fun,” Wells said.

Some other highlights:

* They hit three homers in one inning for the first time since June 9, 2010, when they did so in the fifth against the Brewers.

* Starlin Castro tied a career high with two doubles while Carlos Pena tied a personal best with three walks.

* This was the first time Blake DeWitt tripled and homered in the same game. Soto’s homer ended an 0-for-25 skid.

* Besides being his first shutout ever, it was Wells’ longest career start. His previous high was 8 1/3 innings on May 22, 2010, at Texas.

— Carrie Muskat


8/24 Meet Wood, Soto at Harry’s

Kerry Wood and Geovany Soto will meet fans next month. On Sept. 1, Wood will get together with folks from 7-9 p.m. CT at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Kinzie Street, part of a Wood Family Foundation night. For a $50 donation to the foundation, fans will receive a Wood autographed baseball, have him autograph one personal item, and get a drink ticket. Wood jerseys, photos and baseballs will be available for purchase at Harry Caray’s during the event. Other activities will include a Cubs autographed ball raffle ($40 each). There will be Kerry Wood drink specials and the opportunity to order a drink from the pitcher when he gets behind the bar to work for tips (as schedule permits). All proceeds to benefit the Wood Family Foundation.
On Sept. 5 at Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier, fans can meet Soto, the Cubs catcher, from 7-8 p.m. CT. Soto will sign autographs and pose for pictures. Sports fans also can check out the Chicago Sports Museum inside the restaurant which features a rotating collection of sports memorabilia and other unique artifacts. There is no charge for this event.

— Carrie Muskat