Results tagged ‘ Joe Mather ’

4/7 Cubs lineup

With the Nationals starting lefty Gio Gonzalez, Dale Sveum made a few changes in the Cubs lineup.

“Coming into the series, I wanted to get everybody involved,” Sveum said. “With Gio on the mound, a left hander, big power curveball, you want your right-handers in there as much as possible. It’s a perfect time to get them in there and get more at-bats.”

So, here’s the lineup:

RF Johnson

3B Mather

SS Castro

LF Soriano

1B Baker

C Soto

CF Byrd

2B Barney

P Garza

— Carrie Muskat

3/31 Cubs lineup vs Angels, Pujols

Darwin Barney is back at shortstop and Joe Mather in right field on Saturday when the Cubs face the Angels at HoHoKam Park. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports Net. Barney is the only backup shortstop on the team, which is why they want him to get some playing time there. Obviously, Starlin Castro will get the most starts. Maybe today is the day Bryan LaHair hits that first spring homer. Paul Maholm will start and he’ll be facing Albert Pujols, who is batting third. Game time temp expected to be close to 90 degrees. Bring your sunscreen:

RF DeJesus

SS Barney

3B Stewart

2B Baker

1B LaHair

LF Johnson

C Clevenger

RF Mather

P Maholm

— Carrie Muskat

3/30 Dodgers 6, Cubs 3

What went right:

Ryan Dempster tuned up for Opening Day with 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits and three walks. His next start will be April 5 at Wrigley Field against the Nationals. Ian Stewart hit his second spring homer with two outs in the fourth. Alfonso Soriano added a RBI double.

All the grounders bench coach Jamie Quirk has been hitting to Darwin Barney paid off in the second when the second baseman made a nifty move to his right to rob Juan Uribe of a potential hit.

What went wrong:

With the game tied at 1 in the seventh, the Dodgers had two on and one out against Manuel Corpas. Dee Gordon lined the ball to right and one out later, Corpas departed. James Loney then smacked a single off Lendy Castillo, a Rule 5 pickup whom the Cubs are trying to decide whether to keep this season, to go ahead, 4-1.

The Cubs may want to keep Joe Mather at first, third or in the outfield. He subbed at second base for the first time and booted a ball for an error in the ninth. On the next play, though, he did turn a double play.


“If someone would’ve told me I would have this well of a camp, I’d be jumping up and down. It’s been awesome. They gave me quite a bit of an opportunity and it feels good to take advantage of that.” — Joe Mather, who was told Thursday he’d made the Opening Day roster.

Injury report:

Marcos Mateo continues to rehab from right elbow soreness. He will not be ready for Opening Day.

This and that:

* There are technically 11 relievers still on the spring roster, and the Cubs will head north with seven. Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and James Russell are set. Casey Coleman is on the list of 11 but has been told he’s going to Triple-A Iowa. Frankie De La Cruz also was in the Minor League camp and not expected to make the Opening Day roster. That leaves Manuel Corpas, Alberto Cabrera, Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo, Rodrigo Lopez, and Rafael Dolis. Dale Sveum said the final decision may not be made until Wednesday, the workout day at Wrigley Field.

* Sveum did reveal his Opening Day lineup against the Dodgers. When they open the season against the Nationals at Wrigley Field next Thursday, it’ll most likely be: RF David DeJesus, 2B Darwin Barney, SS Starlin Castro, 1B Bryan LaHair, LF Alfonso Soriano, 3B Ian Stewart, CF Marlon Byrd, C Geovany Soto and P Ryan Dempster.

Up next:

Paul Maholm will make his fourth Cactus League start on Saturday when the Cubs play host to the Angels at HoHoKam Park. Maholm, who will be the fifth starter in the rotation, has struck out 10 over 10 innings this spring. He’s given up one earned run on eight hits. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net and also WGN Radio.

— Carrie Muskat

3/30 Campy: “I’ll get back up there”

Tony Campana became a fan favorite last season because of his speed but that wasn’t enough to get him on the final 25 man roster. Campana got the news on Thursday that he is opening at Triple-A Iowa. The outfielder was bumped by Joe Mather, who can play first, third and the outfield.

“You’re disappointed but the way Joe played this spring, you can’t ignore that,” Campana said Friday. “He had an unbelievable spring.”

Campana was bothered by a sore right wrist he injured making a diving catch.

“[The wrist] connects to the bat,” Campana said, who batted .222 in 17 Cactus League games. “You’ve got to have those tools.”

He wasn’t discouraged.

“They said I’d be up [to the big leagues],” Campana said of his meeting with manager Dale Sveum and GM Jed Hoyer. “They said I’m a weapon that a manager likes to have. I’ll get back up there.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/29 Cubs position players

Here’s the breakdown of the 13 Cubs position players who will be on the 25-man roster Opening Day:


Geovany Soto

Steve Clevenger


Bryan LaHair

Darwin Barney

Starlin Castro

Ian Stewart

Jeff Baker

Blake DeWitt


David DeJesus

Marlon Byrd

Alfonso Soriano

Reed Johnson

Joe Mather

— Carrie Muskat

3/29 Cubs roster moves

The Cubs announced their rotation for the start of the 2012 season and it’ll be Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm. Steve Clevenger named backup catcher, and Welington Castillo among five players optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Also going to Iowa are Randy Wells, Scott Maine, Travis Wood, and Dave Sappelt. Blake Parker, Blake Lalli, Matt Tolbert and Edgar Gonzalez were assigned to the Minor League camp.

Also, Joe Mather and Blake Dewitt have been told they’ve made the Opening Day roster. Casey Coleman also was told he will be going to Iowa to start. The Cubs bullpen is still in flux and still to be determined in the final Cactus League games.

— Carrie Muskat

3/22 Cubs 11, Rangers 4

What went right:

The Cubs belted four homers, including Alfonso Soriano’s fifth, most in the Cactus League. Joe Mather, battling for a spot on the bench, had three hits, including a two-run homer in the second. Ian Stewart smacked his first spring homer leading off the sixth and also played solid defensively. Brett Jackson added a two-run shot in a four-run seventh. Matt Garza gave up three runs, none earned, on two hits and three walks over five innings. He threw 81 pitches, 48 for strikes.

What went wrong:

Darwin Barney, starting at shortstop, made two throwing errors in the fourth, which helped the Rangers rally to tie the game.


“The expectations are not real high but there is a lot of optimism there because we have a lot of good young players. We have good pitching, good defense and some guys are swinging it real well. If we can take that into the season and continue to play the way we have been the last week or so in Spring Training, you never know. The extra Wild Card — all it takes is just getting in, like in 2007 for the Rockies when we made that run. If we can stay in it by August, early September, we’ll be right there and it’ll be an exciting time and I look forward to it.” — Ian Stewart on the Cubs chances this year

Injury report:

Carlos Marmol, who had to leave his last start because of cramps in his right hand, threw on the side Thursday and had no problems. He was expected to get back into a game Monday. However, Marcos Mateo had to leave Thursday’s game after walking the first batter he faced in the sixth. The Cubs medical staff was looking at his right elbow but there was no official word. Reed Johnson is day to day after he was hit by a pitch on his left leg.


Andy Sonnanstine was assigned outright to the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa roster on Thursday and taken off the 40-man roster.

Up next:

Jeff Samardzija, a leading candidate for one of the two openings in the rotation, will make his third start and fourth spring appearance on Friday when the Cubs face the Rockies in Scottsdale. Samardzija has not walked a batter over 10 innings so far. The game will be broadcast on

— Carrie Muskat

3/18 Cubs 3, Rangers 2

What went right:

Chris Volstad gave up one run on four hits over four innings against the Rangers in another strong spring outing. The right-hander is staying in the race for a spot in the rotation. Bobby Scales hit a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth and Joe Mather hit a tie-breaking homer in the ninth in Las Vegas for the win. Rafael Dolis, a top candidate to be one of the set-up pitchers in the ‘pen, picked up the save. In Mesa, Starlin Castro, Tony Campana and Josh Vitters each had two hits against the White Sox.

What went wrong:

Maybe it was the chilly 51-degree weather in Las Vegas, but the Cubs mustered two hits over the first eight innings. In Mesa against the White Sox, Andy Sonnanstine served up five runs on six hits in one inning.


“I try not to think about too many things and keep it simple. I feel like this is what I should be able to do time and time again. Surprised? No. Happy with the way things are going? Definitely.” — pitcher Chris Volstad after his outing vs. the Rangers in Las Vegas

Injury report:

Blake DeWitt started his second straight game on Sunday in Las Vegas, playing left field. He was hit by a pitch on his right hand Thursday. Ian Stewart and Darwin Barney both expected back on Monday. Stewart has been sidelined with tightness in his right quad while Barney had tightness in his left side.


Dale Sveum could name his Opening Day starter this week. Sveum said he wanted to see Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza pitch one more time before announcing the decision.

Up next:

Travis Wood will try to slow things down on Monday when the lefty makes his second start and third spring appearance, facing the Mariners in Peoria. Wood has struggled so far, and served up six runs on three hits and two walks over one-third of an inning in his last outing. The lefty is a candidate for one of the two openings in the rotation as is Randy Wells, who will pitch in a “B” game in Goodyear against the Indians. The game against the Mariners will be broadcast on

— Carrie Muskat


3/12 Cubs 8, Reds 6

What went right:

Alfonso Soriano belted his fourth spring homer, Joe Mather added a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh, and Blake Lalli hit a solo homer in the eighth to power the Cubs. Paul Maholm made his first spring start and gave up one run on two hits over two innings. Lendy Castillo struck out two of the three batters he faced.

What went wrong:

Carlos Marmol had another tough outing. The Cubs closer walked the first batter he faced, gave up a double, and one out later, hit a batter to load the bases. Donald Lutz hit a two-run single and Marmol walked the next batter before Didi Gregorius’ sac fly, which gave the Reds a 6-4 lead.


“I was happy to get out there. After going through [pitcher fielding practice] and throwing bullpens, you really don’t feel a part of it and then you get out there and it went well. I wish I would’ve gotten ahead of a couple more guys. My main thing was no walks and I was aggressive and went after the guys.” — Paul Maholm

Up next:

Chris Volstad will make his second spring appearance when he starts Tuesday for the Cubs against the Giants in Scottsdale. Volstad, one of the candidates for a spot in the rotation, gave up one hit over three innings in his first outing. The game will be broadcast on

— Carrie Muskat

3/3 Jacksons shine in intrasquad game

Jay Jackson faced the minimum over three innings in Saturday’s Cubs’ intrasquad game at HoHoKam Park, which ended in a 3-3 tie between the Blue and White teams. Joe Mather smacked a three-run homer in the fourth for the Blue team and Brett Jackson connected for the second straight day, hitting a leadoff homer in the third off lefty Chris Rusin, for the White.

Jay Jackson, who was 8-14 with a 5.34 ERA at Triple-A Iowa last year, struck out one in his efficient outing.

For Brett Jackson, it was the second straight day he led off an inning with a home run off a lefty. Should the Cubs expect another homer on Sunday?

“I don’t know about that,” he said.

Brett Jackson is projected to start the season at Iowa.

“Things I can control are what I do every day,” he said. “I’m not going to make the team right now, today, but every day is a piece to that puzzle. I’m going to keep working every day until that day comes [when he’s re-assigned] and when that day comes, I’ll keep working there. That’s my goal — I believe in big things for the Cubs and it’s something I want to be a part of and I’m going to work to be a part of it.”

— Carrie Muskat