Results tagged ‘ Kevin Hart ’

7/30 Marshall law & more

Sean Marshall pitched another perfect inning on Thursday in the Cubs’ 12-3 win over the Astros, and extended his scoreless innings streak at home to 13 innings over 15 games. But he’s probably the happiest player on the flight to Florida because he’s getting some relief. With the addition of John Grabow, the Cubs added a veteran lefty who can handle late inning duties.

“It gives us options as a lefty, and a pretty good one,” Kevin Gregg said of Grabow. “He’s been around, he knows how to pitch late in games with the game on the line. It’ll be good for Sean to be able to take a breather every now and then. It seems like he’s been pitching every day. It’ll be nice to use each other to get some rest.”

Gregg has helped Marshall learn how to warm up in the bullpen. Relievers don’t need as many pitches as starters do.

“It’s a common mistake,” Gregg said of warm up routines. “I think when you first start in the bullpen, you don’t realize what it takes to get ready, especially for him. It’s a new aspect for him. A starter throws 30 or 40 pitches warming up. Some of us can throw 10 pitches before they get in a game.

“He’s taken to it well, and he gets ready real quick, if you watch him,” Gregg said.

Hart did the Cubs’ bullpen a favor by going six innings on Thursday.

“What he did today for us was that it put us all fresh,” Gregg said. “We’re all ready, we’re all 100 percent. We’re 100 percent in the bullpen now and to go on a road trip, that’s nice.”

* B.J. Ryan was to make his second Minor League outing on Thursday night for Triple-A Iowa. Ryan threw 11 pitches in one inning on Tuesday, and the radar guns registered 86-87 mph on his fastball.

“It’s way too early to tell when or if he’ll be ready to help us in the near future,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry said.

* No word yet on who will replace Hart in the rotation. The Cubs will need a starter on Tuesday in Cincinnati. Tom Gorzelanny, acquired in the five-player deal, could get the call. He last pitched on Monday for Triple-A Indianapolis, and gave up two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.

* Mitch Atkins was optioned to Iowa after Thursday’s game. No corresponding move was made, but outfielder Sam Fuld was on the team charter to Florida and was expected to be activated before Friday’s game against the Marlins.

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 Lineup & roster move

Reed Johnson was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a non-displaced fracture in his left foot, and pitcher Jeff Stevens was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs are going to stick with 13 pitchers for Thursday, and were expected to add an outfielder Friday, most likely Sam Fuld. Stevens was optioned to Iowa on Wednesday to make room for Mitch Atkins. Players are required to stay in the Minors 10 days, but because of the injury to Johnson, the Cubs could recall Stevens right away. Good thing he didn’t leave town.

Jake Fox was starting at third Thursday. The lineup is:

CF Fukudome

SS Theriot

1B Lee

3B Fox

RF Bradley

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Hill

P Hart

— Carrie Muskat

7/25 Lilly on DL

The Cubs placed lefty Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, and recalled right-hander Justin Berg from Triple-A Iowa. Lilly has inflammation in his left shoulder, and was expected to miss about four starts, returning sometime in the middle of August. As long as Lilly is sidelined, he will have an arthroscopic procedure done on his left knee on Monday.

“There’s never a positive when a player goes on the DL, but in this case, if we can get his knee and shoulder taken care of at once [it’ll be good],” Lou Piniella said. “What we need to do is keep hanging in there.”

Berg, a sinkerball pitcher, goes into the bullpen. The Cubs now have two rookies in the rotation in Kevin Hart and Randy Wells. Piniella said they discussed moving Jeff Samardzija into the rotation and talked about switching Sean Marshall from the bullpen to the rotation. If Marshall switched, that would leave the Cubs without a lefty in the ‘pen.

“We’ll just go with what we have, and hang in there and get healthy and make a run,” Piniella said. “We’re in good position. These kids are capable of pitching the same way the veterans are.”

— Carrie Muskat


7/24 Lilly update

Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly was scratched from Saturday’s start because of soreness in his left shoulder. He will undergo an arthrogram Friday, and the Cubs expect to release more information after the game.

Lilly, the Cubs’ only All-Star, was 9-7 with a 3.59 ERA in 19 starts. His last start was pushed back because of inflammation in his left knee.

The Cubs now will have Kevin Hart pitch Saturday, and Rich Harden on Sunday.

— Carrie Muskat

7/21 Dempster close to returning

Ryan Dempster will have an X-ray taken Thursday of his right foot, and if he is still making progress, he could return to the Cubs rotation next week.

Dempster, who broke a bone in his right big toe on July 5, could start as early as July 30 in the makeup game vs. Houston.

“Larry [Rothschild, pitching coach] seems to think that if Dempster’s X-ray is good on Thursday, he can throw a simulated game over the weekend of 50, 60 pitches,” Piniella said, “and he could be in the rotation any time from Thursday on. That’s how he feels. If the X-rays show the bone hasn’t fused, then we have to wait a little longer. We’ll know Thursday.”

For the Cubs’ upcoming series vs. the Reds, it’ll be Randy Wells on Friday, Ted Lilly on Saturday and Kevin Hart on Sunday.

— Carrie Muskat

7/20 Quick hits

Ryan Dempster had a good bullpen session on Monday, throwing 60 pitches in his second side session since breaking his right big toe. The next step is to have his foot X-rayed on Thursday to see how he’s progressed.

“If [the X-ray] shows the fusion we’re looking for, he can play a simulated game and then we can schedule him into the rotation,” Lou Piniella said. 

* The rotation for the upcoming series vs. the Reds will feature Randy Wells on Friday, Ted Lilly and Kevin Hart on Saturday or Sunday (the order will be determined later), and Rich Harden on July 27.

* Geovany Soto is still making progress in his rehab in Arizona, but has yet to swing a bat.

* Kosuke Fukudome’s Japanese hitting coach was in uniform and watching BP Monday.

* Monday, for some reason, was “combover” day for some of the players with hair to comb. Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano got in the act — as did Jeff Samardzija, although he required the most gel. Reed Johnson wasn’t able to participate.

— Carrie Muskat

7/19 Lineups & roster move

Outfielder Sam Fuld was optioned to Triple-A Iowa Sunday to make room on the roster for Kevin Hart, who was to start the series finale against the Nationals. One thing to watch with this lineup is that both Koyie Hill and the backup catcher, Jake Fox, are starting.

The Cubs lineup:

CF Fukudome

SS Theriot

1B Lee

RF Hoffpauir

3B Fox

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Hill

P Hart

— Carrie Muskat

7/17 Lilly scratched for Saturday

Ted Lilly will not pitch Saturday, and Randy Wells will start in his place against the Nationals. Lilly has been bothered by inflammation in his left knee. The plan is to have Wells go Saturday, Kevin Hart on Sunday, and Lilly Monday in the first game vs. the Phillies.

— Carrie Muskat

7/17 Soriano scratched; Lilly questionable

Alfonso Soriano was scratched from Friday’s lineup because of swelling in the little finger on his right hand, which he dislocated in the fourth inning the day before diving into second base. There was significant swelling and Soriano couldn’t grip a bat with his hand.

“I think it’ll probably be a few days,” Lou Piniella said.

Ted Lilly is questionable for Saturday’s game because he has some discomfort in his left knee. Piniella said if Lilly can’t go, Randy Wells, slated to go Monday, could be moved up to Saturday and Kevin Hart could start on Sunday.

Lilly’s knee problems had nothing to do with him not pitching in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. It’s been bothering him in his last couple starts.

“That’s what we talk about here — getting healthy and staying healthy,” Piniella said. “It’s been a problem. Maybe signing this [B.J. Ryan] might be a good timing thing for us.”

The Cubs signed Ryan to a Minor League contract on Thursday.

— Carrie Muskat


7/16 Second half

The Cubs are holding a team workout at Nationals Park Thursday, starting five hours before the first pitch of their series against Washington and former Chicago manager Jim Riggleman. Looking ahead, rookie Randy Wells will likely start Sunday in the series finale and Kevin Hart was expected to be recalled for Monday’s game in Philadelphia.

The Cubs are 43-43 at the .500 mark for the 20th time this year. Heading into this season, the team had been at .500 just 10 times between 2007 and ’08 combined. This is the third time in franchise history the Cubs have been at .500 at the All-Star break and first since 2003.

Here are some numbers to digest:

Player: 2008 1st half average, HR, RBI vs. 2009 1st half average, HRs, RBIs

Bradley: .316, 19 HR, 57 RBI vs. .243, 6 HR, 21 RBI

Fontenot: .266, 7 HR, 21 RBI vs. .230, 6 HR, 28 RBI

Fukudome: .279, 7 HR, 36 RBI vs. .251, 7 HR, 27 RBI

Johnson: .268, 3 HR, 32 RBI vs. .254, 4 HR, 16 RBI

Lee:  .306, 15 HR, 56 RBI vs. .280, 17 HR, 57 RBI

Miles: .317, 2 HR, 18 RBI vs. .203, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Ramirez: .285, 17 HR, 66 RBI vs. .333, 4 HR, 17 RBI

Soriano: .283, 15 HR, 40 RBI vs. .233, 14 HR, 33 RBI

Soto: .288, 16 HR, 56 RBI vs. .230, 8 HR, 27 RBI

Theriot: .320, 1 HR, 25 RBI vs. .299, 7 HR, 30 RBI

— Carrie Muskat