Results tagged ‘ Jed Hoyer ’

7/21 Garza leaves game with cramps – UPDATED

Matt Garza had to leave Saturday’s game after three innings because of cramping in his right triceps. His status was day to day. Garza had thrown three shutout innings against the Cardinals, giving up two hits and walking two. He fell on the ground during a wild double play in the Cardinals third, but apparently experienced the cramping during his brief outing. He underwent X-rays as a precaution, and they were negative. The right-hander was making his 18th start.

“It started getting a little tight in warmups for the third inning,” Garza said. “I figured it would loosen up. I went through that [third] inning and felt all right. The first fastball to [Rafael] Furcal didn’t feel normal, but I just kept going and got out of the inning.

“I came down and went straight to the cage and tried to make a couple throws and it just started cramping,” he said. “I went straight to [pitching coach Chris Bosio] and said, ‘Have you ever had this before? Have you ever dealt with this?’ He made the call and said it was not worth the risk.”

Told that most people following the game thought Garza was pulled because he had been traded, he shook his head.

“If that’s what [people] thought, it’s going to take a lot more to pull me out of a game than a trade,” Garza said. “They’re going to have to wait until I’m done.”

There were scouts from the Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, Royals, Pirates at Busch Stadium to watch Garza. He could be dealt by the July 31 Trade Deadline but he also could be a key part of what the Cubs are trying to do, GM Jed Hoyer said.

“We’ve said that all along,” Hoyer said before Saturday’s game. “He’s a really good pitcher. We need more guys like him in the organization, not fewer. We’ve been very consistent with that all along. He’s a guy who can certainly help the team win, not just this year but next year and for a long time.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/16 Cubs Inbox

Send your questions to CubsInbox@gmail.com.

Q: With the Cubs showing they can win games and doing it well, what kind of record would the team have to put together over the second half to get a Wild Card? Not that I think by any means this will happen but I am curious. — Jeremy B., Denver, CO

A: You can dream. The Cubs are 36-52 as of today, and would have to go 45-29 just to get to .500 (81-81). They are on a good pace, with a 12-4 record since June 25. If the season ended today, the Braves and Pirates would be Wild Card winners. The Cubs are currently 13 games back.

Q: What are the team batting/OBP numbers/slugging percentage before and after Rudy Jaramillo was dismissed? — James B., Fredonia, NY

A: From April 5-June 10, the numbers were .247 batting average/.304 on-base percentage/.385 slugging percentage. From June 12-July 15, the numbers are almost the same, .249/.293/.388. What’s different are the pitching numbers. In the first 60 games, the Cubs were 20-40, the pitchers had a 4.39 ERA and converted seven of 18 save opportunities. In the last 28 games, the pitchers have a 3.93 ERA and have converted 10 of 11 save opportunities.

Q: Is Tony Campana in the Cubs’ plans after the All-Star break or is he on the trading block? In the 15 days prior to the break, he only got into 10 games, during which he came to the plate in five of them. — Pete V., Xenia, OH

A: In 21 games in June, Campana hit .237 (14-for-59) and had an on-base percentage of .250. That’s why he’s not getting more starts. He can’t steal bases if he can’t get on base. He’s the perfect 25th man, used as a pinch-runner, defensive sub.

Q: Can Bryan LaHair win Rookie of the Year? — Jeffrey B., Zion, IL

A: No. A player is considered a rookie unless during the previous season he has, No. 1, exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the big leagues, or, No. 2, accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League team during the 25-man limit in effect from Opening Day until Aug. 31. LaHair started this year with 195 Major League at-bats and 100 days service time.

Q: With Ian Stewart looking like he could miss the rest of the season, is there any chance that Theo and Co. will call up surging slugging, Josh Vitters? He hasn’t played 162 games in Triple-A but he has a lot of Minor League experience and with Javier Baez hot on his trail, this may be his only opportunity. — Dean S., Northbrook, IL

A: Baez is a shortstop, so he’s not a threat to Vitters. The Cubs are watching Vitters and Brett Jackson just as closely as they monitored Anthony Rizzo. On Saturday, GM Jed Hoyer said Vitters and Jackson need to show they deserve a promotion.

“Those guys need to force the issue, I would say,” Hoyer said. “Like we talked about with Rizzo, when they sort of prove to us that they’re ready and make it clear, then I think that’s something we’ll see.”

Through Sunday, Vitters was batting .301 with 13 home runs, 28 doubles and 51 RBIs, and had a great June, when he hit .324. His defense is a little suspect. Jackson was batting .256 through Sunday, and coming off a .282 June, but he struck out 50 times in 29 games that month. As for Stewart, he is done for the season.

Q: The extraordinary number of strikeouts by Brett Jackson makes me wonder the obvious. Have they tested his vision? — Eric H., Brandon, FL

A. Yes.

Q: When is Jorge Soler expected to join the Major League team? — Christopher T., Chicago

A: Soler is 20 years old, and has yet to play in a game in the Mesa Rookie League. Sorry, my crystal ball is a little fuzzy and won’t give me an exact date.

Q: Sitting here watching the final three innings of Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game. This game is seldom mentioned as one of the all-time greatest games ever pitched. A 20-year-old ties a MLB record and the only hit was an infield single. A 1-0 game to boot. Any thoughts? — Jim R., Indio, CA

A: Wood’s 20 K game is my favorite of all time.

Q: Other than Wayne Terwilliger and Eddie Miksis, who else wore No. 21? — Sheldon D., Key West, FL

A: Jason Marquis, Tyler Colvin, Sammy Sosa, and now, Joe Mather.

Q: Please evaluate the Colvin and Marshall trades. The new front office shows they are not what they’re cracked up to be. They both stink. I’m holding my breath as we get down to the trading deadline. — Dwight A., Findlay, OH

A: The Cubs knew Stewart had a questionable wrist when they acquired him for Tyler Colvin (yes, Stewart did take a physical), but the team was ready to move on regarding Colvin. You have to admit his .150 average last season wasn’t very impressive. The Rockies did well in that deal as Stewart is done for the year. But I’d say the Reds and Cubs both got what they wanted in their deal which sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Roni Torreyes. James Russell has taken over the left-handed set-up role for the Cubs, Wood has won his last four starts, and Torreyes got off to a rough start but batted .330 in June and was hitting .304 in 12 games this month.

A perfect trade benefits both teams. How would you grade the deal for Rizzo? How about the pickup of Luis Valbuena? What about moving Marlon Byrd?

– Carrie Muskat 

6/30 Cubs to finalize Soler deal

The Cubs have finalized their deal with Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who reportedly agreed to a nine-year, $30 million contract with the team earlier this month. GM Jed Hoyer was to meet with the media later today to announce the deal. Soler, 20, a right-handed hitter with power, is considered the next big Cuban prospect on the scene after outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who signed with the Athletics for $36 million over four years. Soler had to sign with a Major League club before Tuesday’s deadline or be subjected to new Basic Agreement guidelines, which will limit spending on international prospects to $2.9 million per team without penalty. Cubs manager Dale Sveum has watched Soler on video, and likes what he has seen. “He’s pretty strong,” Sveum said. “On video, he looks pretty impressive.” Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and Hoyer did watch Soler work out in the Dominican Republic in the offseason. Soler defected from Cuba last year.

“The body type and everything like that is like Glenn Braggs,” Sveum said of his former Brewers teammate. “You see [Soler's] body and the size and strength, that kind of strength at a young age is pretty impressive. Hopefully it all translates into a huge productive player at this level.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/12 Trade deadline approaching

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer now shift their focus from the Draft to the upcoming July 31 Trade Deadline.

“It’s true that once the Draft is over with, there seems to be more of a focus on the trade market,” Epstein said Tuesday. “There are more phone calls being made now than 10 days ago. Certainly, that’s something we’ll evaluate. We’re in a position where any opportunity to get better, any opportunity to improve our future is something we have to take seriously, even if it means making difficult decisions about the product that we’re putting on the field right now. We’ll evaluate those things. That said, there are 25 guys in there working really hard and preparing hard to win each night.”

There are reports that the Dodgers are interested in Ryan Dempster, and other teams have been scouting Matt Garza, who will start Wednesday against the Tigers. Epstein said they will explore all options, with the goal being to build a solid foundation.

– Carrie Muskat 

6/6 Draft day

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said they were pleased with their selections in the First-Year Player Draft, which wrapped up Wednesday.

“We feel really good about it,” Hoyer said. “It went according to plan. We talked about adding pitching depth to the system and we really pounded at pitching after we took [outfielder Albert] Almora with the first pick. I thought we’d take a hitter at the top and take a lot of pitching, and that’s exactly what we did. I think every team feels good about their Draft today, everyone had a good Draft and we’ll find out in five years if we were right.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/6 Lesson learned for Castro

When Dale Sveum was interviewed for the Cubs manager’s job, he was asked how he would have handled Starlin Castro after the shortstop was revealed to not be paying attention during a nationally televised game, and criticized on air by Bobby Valentine. Obviously, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer liked Sveum’s response, because he was hired. Hoyer said neither he nor Theo Epstein influenced how Sveum handled Castro when the shortstop made a defensive gaffe in San Francisco.  It was all Sveum.

“That was something we talked about in the interview process,” Hoyer said Wednesday. “[Castro] had already had that Bobby Valentine moment and missed that pitch. We were hoping he’d never have another incident and he did. That’s why you hire a manager — that’s the manager’s job. Dale did that on his own, and I think it was a perfect tone.”

Sveum told Castro that the lapses in concentration would not be tolerated, and on Tuesday, the shortstop played what Hoyer thought was his best game of the season.

“As far as how he fits in our plans, he’s a huge part of our plans,” Hoyer said of Castro. “He’s a shortstop who can hit, who can run and he’s getting better defensively. Those are hard to find. You look around baseball and almost every time we play another team, we have the better shortstop on the field and that’s a great feeling to have. We do have to address those [lapses] and I think Dale has struck the perfect tone with Starlin – ‘Hey, I like you, I get it, but it’s got to stop.’ That’s a big part of why we hired Dale, he can strike that balance. I don’t think Starlin resents him for it, I think Starlin understands. Maybe that was a good thing to happen in the long run. I hoping that’s the case. Maybe that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back from Dale’s perspective, maybe that ends up being a big positive.”

– Carrie Muskat 

4/4 It’s almost Opening Day

Dale Sveum’s first Opening Day as a player was April 6, 1987, and 25 years later, he’ll experience the same butterflies and excitement he did on that day when he takes the field as the Cubs manager for the start of the regular season.

“There’s nothing like Opening Day as a player,” Sveum said. “It’ll be special.”

He got to Wrigley Field on Wednesday’s workout day around 8 a.m. for the afternoon session. The sun was out but it was much chillier than it had been in Mesa, Ariz., all spring. Sveum is hoping the Cubs can continue to play as they did in Cactus League games.

“We probably could say we were one of the few teams, if the only team, that went through all Spring Training and ran out 99 percent of the balls,” Sveum said. “As spring kept going on, the preparation of the defensive work was exceptional and the buying into some of the positioning stuff we’re going to do [was well received]. Just the constant effort and preparation is what you want to see on an every day basis. That’s all you can ask for. They’re Major League players, they’ve had success in the big leagues. Some of them are stil trying to prove themselves, some of the guys are trying to rebound from sub-par seasons. We’re trying to make sure everybody’s on the same page as far as effort, that’s all you’re looking for.”

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer saw the same positive atmosphere in camp. This will be Hoyer’s first Opening Day with the Cubs as well after being lured to the team by Theo Epstein after he was named president of baseball operations.

“Just looking around, it looks so much different here in the spring than it does in the winter,” Hoyer said of Wrigley Field. “The whole place is fantastic. It’s such a magical place, a place I loved coming here as a visitor. It’s the first time it feels real and I’m sure it’ll be more so tomorrow. I get to watch 81 games here and that’ll be pretty special.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/29 Cubs complete Theo comp

The Red Sox sent 19-year-old first baseman Jair Bogaerts to the Cubs to complete the compensation deal for Theo Epstein. Bogaerts has played the last two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He’s a right-handed hitter.

The Cubs sent pitcher Chris Carpenter to Boston earlier, but Carpenter is headed for surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs.

“It’s certainly something we had no knowledge of,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Thursday. “I don’t think he had any elbow issues for the last two years. It’s unexpected and unfortunate.

“It’s obviously something you never want to happen,” Hoyer said. “With any trade, you want both sides to feel good. It’s not a great thing to have happen both for Chris or the Red Sox.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/11 Hoyer likes energy in camp

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says he likes the way Spring Training camp has gone so far.

“I think Dale [Sveum] has a lot of energy in camp,” Hoyer said Sunday. “Guys have played really hard so far. As far as results go, I don’t think anyone is all that concerned about it. You want to stay healthy and you want guys to play hard. Later in the spring as we get close, you want them dialing in their focus and start making pitches to get outs. Right now, the pitchers need to stretch themselves out, and the hitters need to get their timing.”

Sveum has been a stickler for detail in camp.

“One of the things he focused on in the interview is that Spring Training is a tone setter,” Hoyer said. “That’s how you build up the makeup of your team by having that attention to detail and creating some camaraderie, too. It’s not only about being a drill sergeant but you also want to make sure guys are enjoying themselves and get to know each other. That was a big focus of the interview process is that this is the time you establish those things.”

Sveum has watched how other teams handle spring camps. Now, it’s time for him to do it his way.

“What I’ve seen so far, he’s done an excellent job with it,” Hoyer said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/2 Hoyer: New format could change dynamics

Major League Baseball is considering expanding the playoff format in 2012. The proposal is to add two additional Wild Card teams and create a one-game first-round playoff in each league.

“I think it’s great for the game,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I don’t think we know all the ramifications yet, such as will there be fewer players available at the [trade] deadline. I think how it plays out will be interesting.”

There could be more teams interested as buyers than sellers at the Trading Deadline.

“I think the new [playoff] system will change a lot of the dynamics, and how that evolves will be fascinating to watch,” Hoyer said. “I like the fact that there will be a lot of teams involved. October baseball is a great thing and I do think they did a good job in that now winning the division means that much more and there’s a clear advantage in that. It gives a lot of teams a lot of hope, and when you have a 162-game schedule, hope is a good thing.”

– Carrie Muskat

 

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