Results tagged ‘ Koyie Hill ’

6/4 Lou: "I'm talked out"

Expect to see Tyler Colvin and Koyie Hill in the lineup Saturday vs. the Astros. With Friday’s 3-1 loss to Houston, the Cubs now have been limited to one or two runs in six of their last seven games, including each of the last four. They’re 3-23 when scoring three runs or less.

“I don’t think I want to talk about our offense any more — I’m talked out,” Lou Piniella said after the game. “We’ll let them go out there and see what they can do.”

Colvin is hitless in his last four games, but he did bat .333 in May with two homers and six RBIs.

“I’ve been patient enough watching,” Piniella said. “I’m going to let the kid [Colvin] play and see what he can do. We’ll have him in the lineup.”

Friday’s tweaks included inserting Marlon Byrd into the leadoff spot for the second time this season and he had two hits, including a RBI double in the fifth.

“I can hit anywhere,” Byrd said. “I go out there and try to play my game. I try to get hits, get on base, create havoc any way I can.”

Hill may be batting .224 but he’s a better arm behind the plate. The Cubs aren’t scoring and have to figure out a way to stop the other team on the bases. The Astros stole two on Friday.

“I know these guys are trying,” Piniella said of his team, which dropped its fourth in a row for the third time. “I know they’re trying. We see the same thing every day, day in and day out.”

— Carrie Muskat

5/29 Lineup change – no Soto

Geovany Soto was scratched from the Cubs lineup Saturday because he’s feeling under the weather. Koyie Hill will start at catcher and Starlin Castro will move up to the 7th spot. So, here’s new lineup:

RF Fukudome

2B Theriot

1B Lee

LF Soriano

CF Byrd

3B Fontenot

SS Castro

C Hill

P Silva

— Carrie Muskat

5/9 Demp: "I didn't get the job done"

Lou Piniella had Sean Marshall warming up in the ‘pen to face the Reds’ Joey Votto in the seventh. The Cubs had a 3-2 lead, but Cincinnati had two on and two outs in the seventh. Ryan Dempster had thrown 111 pitches at that point. Piniella went to the mound to check on him.

“He said he was fine,” Piniella said. “Two runs, five hits over seven innings and our bullpen is beat up. The guy hit it out of the ballpark. What are you going to do?”

Votto launched the first pitch from Dempster about 433 feet into the right field seats for his seventh homer and the game-winner.

“‘Demp’ wanted to stay in the game, I wanted him to stay in the game,” Koyie Hill said. “We’re going into the seventh inning, and he’d given up three hits, couple runs and that’s a pretty good job. I think he earned the right to stay out there and face that guy.

“On the other side, it was a left-handed hitter, we had a left-hander [Marshall] ready,” Hill said. “That’s baseball. You go with your gut and our best guy was out there. On the other side of that, it was their best guy. I’d never doubt any decision when you have a guy like that, like Dempster, out there.”

Votto connected on a backdoor slider that ended up more toward his back foot, Dempster said. The Reds held on for a 5-3 win.

“That one just kind of stayed in his loading zone a little bit,” the right-hander said of the pitch to Votto. “I got beat by the guy you really don’t want to let beat you.”

Piniella will take some heat for the decision to stick with his starter. Dempster took responsibility.

“I was honest with him,” Dempster said. “I felt good. I just put the pitch in the wrong spot. I know everybody says there’s no guarantees that Marshall would come in and get him out. I like my chances right there against him as good as anybody. That’s what I told him. I felt strong and I felt good. I didn’t get the job done.”

Said Piniella: “If he told me he was tired, I would’ve taken him out. It wasn’t like he had thrown 125 or 130 pitches, it wasn’t like they had gotten five or six or seven runs off him. Left him in the ballgame. The kid’s a pretty good hitter.”

The Cubs finished this road trip 1-5. Ouch.

“I guarantee you, there’s nobody more frustrated than I am right now,” Dempster said. “We’ll find a way to bounce back. I know things aren’t very pretty right now and we haven’t played our best baseball. One thing we won’t do is quit or give in.”

— Carrie Muskat

4/9 Hill vs. Soto

Koyie Hill was back behind the plate for the second straight game for the Cubs. Part of the rationale is that the Cubs want Geovany Soto to catch Carlos Zambrano on Saturday, and didn’t want Soto to play Friday night and have a short turnaround. Soto is 1-for-6 in two games.

“I like the way [Hill] calls a ballgame,” Lou Piniella said Friday. “He’s a really good defensive catcher. When a team isn’t scoring many runs, the more defense you have on the field, the better. Is he going to catch more? We need Soto to hit, I’ve said that before. That’s the key to this whole thing is how well Soto swings the bat, and we’ll leave it at that.”

Soto, who batted .285 in 2008 but just .218 last year, has been working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Piniella’s message isn’t that he’ll use Hill more than Soto. But the Cubs have scored nine runs in three games, and haven’t really manufactured any runs.

“Let’s just leave it that we need Soto to swing the bat,” Piniella said.

— Carrie Muskat

4/9 Lineup vs. Reds

Tyler Colvin was back in the Cubs’ lineup Friday vs. the Reds, starting in center field, and Xavier Nady was starting in right. Colvin, who made his first start of the year on Thursday in Atlanta and hit a home run, was batting second while Nady was fifth. The lineup is:

SS Theriot

CF Colvin

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

RF Nady

LF Soriano

2B Fontenot

C Hill

P Silva

Lou Piniella said rotating the outfielders in and out isn’t easy. And it’s only the fourth game.

“Once we get a few of these guys at-bats, we’ll probably just play Nady against left-hand pitchers, as soon as we start playing left-handers, and then we can get Colvin in there from time to time,” Piniella said. “Look, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. We’re doing the best we can.

“Invariably what will happen is the guys who are doing the best are the guys who will get the bulk of the playing time,” Piniella said. “That’s the way it was when I played and that’s the way it is still. We’ll get everybody in there and get them some at-bats and go from there.”

This was Hill’s second straight start as well. Piniella said he planned on matching Geovany Soto with Carlos Zambrano on Saturday for the day game, and didn’t want Soto catching Friday night and then Saturday day.

— Carrie Muskat

4/8 Lineup vs Braves

Tyler Colvin started in left field, Jeff Baker at second base and Koyie Hill at catcher Thursday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Braves. Lou Piniella also said Xavier Nady will make his first start Friday in Cincinnati, and most likely start in right field. Piniella had said he wanted Nady in left because the throws are shorter but Great American Ball Park isn’t as big as Turner Field.

So, Thursday’s lineup is:

SS Theriot

RF Fukudome

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

CF Byrd

LF Colvin

2B Baker

C Hill

P Wells

— Carrie Muskat


3/26 Location is everything for Russell

If James Russell makes it to the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, give Micah Hoffpauir an assist. When the Cubs moved from Fitch Park to HoHoKam Park, Hoffpauir told the young reliever to pay attention to where his locker was located.

“He said, ‘Look at who you’re between — you have to try extra hard,'” Russell said.

Usually, young players are inserted between the veterans. Russell’s locker is between Derrek Lee and Koyie Hill. Bobby Scales beat the odds when he was in Boston. He was stationed between Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkillis. Chris Robinson knew he wasn’t going to stay long in the big league camp with the Tigers. His whole row was sent down at one time. Lee and Hill haven’t said anything to Russell.

“I’d be more than happy to share half of my locker,” Russell said.

He watched on Friday as coaches told seven players they were being assigned to the Minor League camp. Among them was Russell’s buddy, John Gaub. The two pitchers like to talk hockey. Gaub is from Minnesota and Russell follows the Dallas Stars, who used to be the Minnesota North Stars.

Hoffpauir also helped Russell another way. The lefty pitcher is wearing No. 76 this spring, which was Hoffpauir’s number in his first camp.

— Carrie Muskat

2/27 Saturday sked & the bench

Rain is in Saturday’s forecast but there should be enough time for the Cubs pitchers to get their work in. Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, Carlos Silva, Randy Wells and Carlos Marmol all are scheduled to throw live BP at Fitch Park.

Expect Zambrano to stick to pitching this year and not be used as a pinch-hitter.

“We’re deeper here in camp than we were last year with more position players,” Lou Piniella said. “I don’t foresee the need for Zambrano to pinch-hit. This is why we want to move people around early to see what we’re going to leave with.

“There are two jobs open on our bench,” Piniella said. “Our regular team will take care of itself, assuming we stay healthy. On the bench, we’ve got decisions on two positions. [Koyie] Hill will be our backup catcher. We’ve got [Xavier] Nady, and whoever doesn’t play second base [between Jeff Baker and Mike Fontenot]. There’s two spots to play around with a little.”

Fontenot took grounders at shortstop on Friday with Ryan Theriot. The Cubs want to see if he can handle that position as well as second.

Last season, Piniella used Big Z out of necessity at the plate.

“[The fans] enjoy watching him [hit] and I understand that,” Piniella said. “Using Carlos is only in an emergency or a pinch.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/16 Options posted a list of players out of options who have less than five years of Major League service. The Cubs have six: Jeff Baker, Andres Blanco, Tom Gorzelanny, Angel Guzman, Koyie Hill and Geovany Soto. Those players would have to clear waivers before they could be sent to the Minors.

— Carrie Muskat

1/19/10 Cubs sign five arb-eligible

The Cubs Tuesday signed five of their arbitration-eligible players: Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Angel Guzman and Tom Gorzelanny. The three other arb eligible players are Ryan Theriot, Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall. Tuesday was the deadline for players and teams to exchange figures. The Cubs have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 1993.

Baker signed for $975,000; Fontenot signed for $1 million; Hill $700,000; Guzman $825,000; and Gorzelanny $800,000.

The Cubs and Theriot, Marmol and Marshall can all continue to negotiate before the hearings, which are scheduled for Feb. 1-21.

— Carrie Muskat