Results tagged ‘ Kyuji Fujikawa ’

10/7 Extra bases from Mesa, AZ

* Monday was a big day for Kyuji Fujikawa. The right-hander, who was limited to 12 games with the Cubs because of arm problems that eventually resulted in Tommy John surgery on his elbow, threw a baseball for about five minutes Monday at Fitch Park in Mesa. It may not sound like much, but it was another step in his rehab. He had been able to play catch with a tennis ball, but Monday was the first time he was allowed to throw a baseball. Fujikawa has spent the summer in Mesa rehabbing three to four hours a day. Even though most pitchers need two years to recover from the surgery, Fujikawa said his goal is to be ready for 2014.

* Right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard, claimed off waivers from the Red Sox, is working out at Fitch Park as well as infielder Mat Gamel, whom the Cubs claimed from the Brewers. Bard was expected to throw off the mound Tuesday.

Gamel did not play this season after re-tearing his ACL early in Spring Training. Was he surprised the Brewers put him on waivers?

“As far as a business standpoint, I completely understand where they’re coming from,” Gamel said. “It’s unfortunate. In the same breath, I’m happy for the new opportunity and looking forward to it and am excited about it. It’s new life.”

He can play third and first, and originally came up as a third baseman. He’s been with the Brewers for eight years.

“I don’t know any other organization,” he said. “Maybe this will be a good fresh start for me.”

Gamel planned to train in Mesa this week. He wants to show the Cubs he’s healthy. He re-injured his leg at the eight-month mark of his rehab, which was supposed to take six to nine months.

“I think it worked well this time,” he said. “It feels good, it feels strong and that’s the important thing.”

* The Arizona Fall League gets underway Tuesday with the Mesa Solar Sox playing at Glendale against the Desert Dogs. Expect to see Jorge Soler in right field for most of the AFL games. Cubs prospects Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Wes Darvill, Lendy Castillo, Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, and Armando Rivero also are on the Mesa roster. Beeler and Loosen will start.

* On Tuesday night, the Cubs’ instructional league team will play at 5:30 p.m. Arizona time at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are expected to be in town for the game.

* Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss will spend three weeks in November with Starlin Castro in the Dominican Republic to get the shortstop ready for the 2014 season.

* Cubs coach Franklin Font was headed to Venezuela soon to be a coach on Buddy Bailey’s Winter League team.

– Carrie Muskat

6/11 Extra bases

* Theo Epstein wasn’t worried about shortstop Starlin Castro, who was 4-for-42 (.095) and batting .243 overall.

“I just think he’s in a slump and he’s going to turn it around pretty soon,” Epstein said Tuesday. “It’s tough, and I feel bad for him that he’s going through this and obviously, we’d love better production, and hopefully we will get better production going forward. In a way, it shouldn’t be unexpected. Baseball is a game of failure and adjustments. You’d like your players to fail in the Minor Leagues so they see what it’s like and come to terms with that and make their adjustments. Starlin is so talented that he has never really failed before, so this is the first extended stretch of failure that he’s had.”

Castro never played at the Triple-A level, and has 995 Minor League at-bats. He is one of the core players the Cubs are relying on, Epstein said.

“In the long run, I think this will be good for him,” Epstein said. “He’ll find his way out of it, and be a better player for it, and the
next time he falls into a slump he’ll know how to get out of it quicker. I think Starlin’s approach will evolve over the
years as it does for most players when they get a few thousand at-bats under their belt.”

* Cubs officials enjoyed watching video of Javier Baez’s four home run night on Monday.

“It was quite a show,” Epstein said. “He sprayed it around, covered different parts of the strike zone, different pitches. His swing is really under control and that’s the great thing about Javy and his bat speed. He doesn’t have to swing for the fences. He can take a nice, normal under control swing, the type that would normally produce a line drive or a ball in the gap, and in his case there’s plenty of carry over the fences.”

Dale Sveum watched video of Baez’s blasts.

“I wish I could’ve seen where they landed,” Sveum said Tuesday. “The swings were pretty good. I’ve been watching the video anyway, but one good thing about it is he’s calmed down. He’s cut down his movement [on his swing] about 40 percent, 50 percent. It’s a lot more calm and controled.”

Baez, 20, the Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick in 2011, was batting .291 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs in 57 games. He’s also been charged with 26 errors.

“A lot of his errors have been extreme plays at the end of his range or weird things on rundowns or trying to do too much,” Epstein said. “He needs to polish that up. We actually feel better at this moment about his ability to play shortstop every day in the big leagues than we did on Opening Day because of the way he’s playing shortstop. He needs to clean it up but I have no doubt he can play shortstop at the big league level.”

* Kyuji Fujikawa underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Tuesday his right elbow. Orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure in Pensacola, Fla. An MRI in May revealed ligament damage to the reliever’s elbow. In 12 games this season, Fujikawa had a 5.25 ERA, giving up seven runs over 12 innings. This is his first season in the U.S. Major Leagues.

* Reliever Shawn Camp was scheduled to pitch one inning for Class A Kane County on Tuesday, his first Minor League rehab assignment since going on the disabled list with a sprained big toe May 22.

* Epstein is a little divided this week. He grew up a Boston Bruins fan but they are playing the Blackhawks in the NHL Stanley Cup final, which starts Wednesday in Chicago.

“Original six hockey is fantastic,” Epstein said. “The passion for the Hawks in town here reminds me a lot of the way it is for the ‘B’s in Boston. It’s going to be a heck of a series.”

And his pick?

“I’m hoping for a great series, good health all around,” he said diplomatically.

– Carrie Muskat

6/8 Fujikawa to have surgery

Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa was expected to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday. Fujikawa will be examined by orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews on Monday. An MRI in May revealed ligament damage to the reliever’s elbow.

The right-hander felt some discomfort on the first pitch to the Reds’ Joey Votto in the ninth inning May 26. That was his second inning of work, and Votto was the seventh batter he faced in the game. He compiled a 12.46 ERA in five games in April before going on the disabled list April 13-May 10 because of a strained right forearm. When he returned, Fujikawa looked much sharper, and had given up one earned run over 7 2/3 innings in seven games for a 1.17 ERA.

In 12 games this season, Fujikawa had a 5.25 ERA, giving up seven runs over 12 innings. This is his first season in the U.S. Major Leagues.

6/7 Extra bases

* In the second round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Cubs selected Missouri left-hander Rob Zastryzny, who compiled a 3.38 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 82 over 90 2/3 innings.

“Talking to the scouts and [scouting and player development director] Jason [McLeod], [Zastryzny] finished well and can get to 94 [mph], has four pitches, and is a real good competitor,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Obviously, the record he had didn’t show because of the team he was on. I think the more impressive thing is how he got better each year and finished his season real strong. He’s a guy who gets on the mound and competes with his fastball.”

Zastryzny, 21, was 2-9 but the Tigers averaged 2.5 runs per start. The lefty ranks eighth all-time in Missouri history with 228 strikeouts.

* Starlin Castro batted seventh for the third straight game Friday. The shortstop, who was batting .256 overall, was 1-for-8 in the first two games there after hitting second most of the season. How long will Sveum keep Castro lower in the order?

“I have no idea,” Sveum said. “There’s no timetable on it. Hopefully, we get him back swinging the bat and having quality at-bats and hitting the ball hard. It’s not even seeing thatt he gets hits but more the at-bats and hitting the ball hard.”

* The Cubs pitchers set a National League record with 19 RBIs in the month of May but success does have a price.

“Hopefully, they have as good a month in June as they did in May,” Sveum said. “They out-produced some of the other spots in the lineup. Not putting a downer on it, but now they get pitched a little tougher.”

* No date has been set for Kyuji Fujikawa’s surgery on his right elbow. Fujikawa needs Tommy John surgery, and the team has been waiting for the swelling to subside before setting a date. Reliever Shawn Camp threw his second bullpen Friday since going on the disabled list with a sprained right big toe. He’s making progress, Sveum said, as is reliever Rafael Dolis, on the DL with a strained forearm.

– Carrie Muskat

5/29 Fujikawa done for the season

Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is done for the season. An MRI revealed ligament damage on his right elbow, and he will have Tommy John surgery.

“It’s the first big injury of my career,” Fujikawa said Wednesday. “I’m trying to look forward and trying to come back strong.”

The right-hander, who was placed on the 15-day DL Monday for the second time this season, felt some discomfort on the first pitch to the Reds’ Joey Votto in the ninth inning Sunday. That was his second inning of work, and Votto was the seventh batter he faced in the game.

“I was definitely disappointed,” Fujikawa said about getting the MRI results. “I gave it my all, and I don’t have any regrets.”

He compiled a 12.46 ERA in five games in April before going on the disabled list April 13-May 10 because of a strained right forearm. When he returned, he looked much sharper, and had given up one earned run over 7 2/3 innings in seven games for a 1.17 ERA. Sunday’s game was his seventh appearance since coming off the disabled list.

GM Jed Hoyer got the news Tuesday night and said the MRI revealed a rupture of the UCL in the right elbow.

“We’re disappointed, obviously,” Hoyer said. “Whenever we start talking about forearms, it concerns you. We were cautiously optimistic because the physical exam was positive. The thing about him saying he felt a ‘pop,’ to be candid, we were hoping
it might be something that was lost in translation. Obviously, he was right.”

The Cubs had MRIs of Fujikawa’s arm before they signed him last Dec. 7, and he was healthy.

“This was something that happened the other day,” Hoyer said. “It’s the nature of pitching.”

The Cubs and Fujikawa have not set a date for the surgery, nor have they picked a doctor. He was expected to have the procedure done in the U.S. The right-hander said he is confident he can come back and contribute to the Cubs.

– Carrie Muskat

5/27 Fujikawa to DL

The Cubs played Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained right forearm, which had sidelined him for one month earlier this season.

“We felt he was getting comfortable in his role here,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “We’re all frustrated that it’s happened twice.”

Fujikawa will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury.

– Carrie Muskat

5/27 Cubs claim Burnett

The Cubs claimed right-handed reliever Alex Burnett from the Orioles on Monday and he was expected to join the team to replace Kyuji Fujikawa, who was likely to be placed on the disabled list. Fujikawa had to leave Sunday’s game because of soreness in his right forearm.

Burnett, 25, had appeared in two games with the Orioles this season, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings. The right-hander made a career-high 67 relief appearances for the Twins last season, going 4-4 with 10 holds and a 3.52 ERA. He led the club in relief innings and his 2.49 ERA prior to the All-Star break ranked fourth among American League relievers.

This season, Burnett was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in nine Minor League relief appearances between Triple-A Buffalo and Triple-A Norfolk. He made two relief appearances for Baltimore this month, totaling 1.1 innings, before he was designated for assignment on May 23.

– Carrie Muskat

5/26 Fujikawa hurt – UPDATED

Kyuji Fujikawa had to leave Sunday’s game, and may be headed to the DL again. He had some problems with his right forearm and had to come out of the game in the ninth. He’ll be re-examined on Monday in Chicago. Expect a roster move Monday. The Cubs are already short-handed with Shawn Camp on the DL. Blake Parker has been pitching well at Triple-A Iowa, but he’s not on the Cubs’ 40-man roster. Eduardo Sanchez, recently claimed off waivers from the Cardinals, is. There were reports Monday that Sanchez was not with the Iowa team, and could be headed to Chicago.

– Carrie Muskat

5/13 Post-game notes

* Alfonso Soriano extended his hitting streak to three games with his home run on Monday. It was his 376th career blast, tying him with Carlton Fisk for 69th on MLB’s all-time list.

* Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to four games. Welington Castillo is batting .382 in 15 home games.

* With Monday’s win over the Rockies, the Cubs have won three in a row, matching their season high. They are 11-9 since April 23.

* The Cubs totaled eight extra-base hits and lead the NL with 131. They also lead the NL in doubles.

* Kyuji Fujikawa pitched Sunday and Monday, his first back to back games since coming off the disabled list. That was by design, manager Dale Sveum said. Fujikawa will get Tuesday off, and likely pitch Wednesday. He had been sidelined with a strained right forearm.

– Carrie Muskat

5/10 Extra bases

* Starlin Castro was the Cubs’ leadoff man Friday by default.

“It’s just kind of process of elimination, really,” manager Dale Sveum said of his lineup against Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler. “The two choices were him and [Cody] Ransom, and having Ransom in the lineup, hopefully, he’ll hit a home run and I’d like him to do it with somebody on base.”

David DeJesus is the Cubs’ leadoff man against right-handed pitchers and Sveum was using outfielder Dave Sappelt there against left-handers but Sappelt was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Monday after batting .178 in 20 games with the Cubs. The other possibility against southpaw starters is Julio Borbon, Sveum said.

“He’s one of those hitters where he’s going to be the same hitter no matter where you put him in the lineup,” Sveum said of Castro.

Castro was looking forward to the switch.

“I like it,” Castro said. “Wherever he puts me, I’ll do my job.”

* When Kyuji Fujikawa last pitched for the Cubs in mid April, he was the closer. On Friday, the Japanese right-hander was activated from the 15-day disabled list and won’t be used in the late innings, Sveum said.

“We’ll ease him in right now to make sure everything is good — velocity, command, life,” Sveum said. “We’ll ease him into whatever situation, sixth, seventh inning, depending on the score of the game, obviously.”

Said Fujikawa: “Who knows what role I’ll play in? Whatever the manager says, I’ll pitch in that role.”

Fujikawa, 32, has been sidelined since April 13 with a strained right forearm. In five relief appearances with the Cubs before he was injured, Fujikawa was 1-0 with two saves and a 12.46 ERA. He did not like being sidelined.

“I let the team down, so I would like to contribute more,” he said.

* Edwin Jackson caught up with his former teammates on the Nationals prior to Friday’s game. On Saturday, it’ll be all business when the Cubs right-hander faces Washington and Stephen Strasburg.

“It’s going to be fun,” Jackson said. “I get to face 98 [mph] tomorrow. I talked to ‘Stras’ and told him I’ll be ready to swing it. Once the game starts, it’ll be no friends and they’ll be trying to get me and I’ll be trying to get them.”

Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason and enters Saturday’s game 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA.

“It’s been a slow start, to say the least,” he said. “It’s not exactly how I had it envisioned. I feel good mentally, physically. I’m ready to go. I’ll continue to work hard and continue to grind out the season and finish strong.”

* The Cubs traded infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the Yankees for future considerations. Gonzalez made the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, primarily to help in the infield while Darwin Barney was on the disabled list. In 11 games with the Cubs, he was 5-for-23 (.217).

– Carrie Muskat

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