Results tagged ‘ Mark DeRosa ’

9/27 Lou salutes new Central champs

The Cardinals celebrated as the National League Central champs with a win Saturday over the Rockies.

“They clinched — congratulations to them,” Lou Piniella said. “They had a good year.”

The Cardinals’ surged in August, getting contributions from the new guys added during the season.

“You add a [Mark] DeRosa, you add a [Matt] Holliday, you add a [Julio] Lugo, you add a [John] Smoltz — those are nice pieces to add to an already respectable baseball team,” Piniella said. “All of a sudden, you have to pitch to [Albert] Pujols a little more, you have another power bat at the corner in DeRosa. Lugo can get on base and add experience in big games, and then Smoltz, he’s been a big game pitcher. You saw what they did.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/19 No excuses

Bobby Scales is a good second baseman. But he won’t use his limited playing time this year in the outfield as an excuse for what happened Saturday vs. the Cardinals.

“That’s not an excuse,” Scales said. “This is my first time in the big leagues, everybody knows the story. I played enough outfield, particularly left field, in my career to not make the mistakes I’ve made the last two days. It’s unacceptable, there’s no excuse for it and I just have to play better.”

Lou Piniella said he felt Scales may be trying too hard.

“The one last night [on Mark DeRosa’s triple], I didn’t break down soon enough,” Scales said. “Today, I guess my attempt to break down soon enough wasn’t soon enough [on Chris Carpenter’s ball]. That ball checked and with a right-handed hitter, he’s out in front of it. You figure that ball is going to hit and spin toward the wall. I guess I gauged my speed to play the ball in that manner. The ball just checked and got past me.

“Fortunately, it didn’t end up hurting us but it didn’t look good,” Scales said. “It’s poor outfield defense. regardless of where we’re playing — whetether it’s Triple-A or here. I’ve had both of those balls enough times to know better. I’m better than that and I expect more than that. If they didn’t feel I could play those balls and play left field properly, I wouldn’t have been called up after the season.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/18 Lilly & DeRosa

On March 29 in a Cactus League game in Mesa, Ariz., Mark DeRosa went 3-for-4 for the Indians and all three hits came off his former Cubs teammate, Ted Lilly. DeRosa hit two homers, both on the first pitch of each at-bat.

“I wish it counted,” DeRosa said at the time.

“The thing that’s important from here on out is that he definitely had fun today,” Lilly said, “and I need to make sure when we play them, that he has a miserable time in Chicago.”

At the time, DeRosa and Lilly were looking ahead to an Interleague rematch, but it didn’t happen. DeRosa ran into the right field wall at Wrigley, and missed Lilly’s start.

Now, he’s with the Cardinals and in the starting lineup Friday vs. Lilly.

“I’d like to repeat the performance,” DeRosa said before Friday’s game. “We’ll see what happens. We talked yesterday. I told the guys yesterday that although I care about them as friends, we’ll have to keep fraternizing to the minimum.”

DeRosa has been bothered by a sore left wrist, and was batting .233 with eight homers and 20 RBIs for St. Louis. However, he’s headed to the postseason.

“This game’s funny,” he said. “It’s a business. [The Cubs] felt they needed to make some changes. Although disappointed, I ended up in a great position.”

And Lilly?

“I’m excited,” DeRosa said. “I played behind Teddy for two years. I have the utmost respect for what he brings to the table. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had the chance to share a clubhouse with and he knows that. It’s friendly competition.”

But it still hurts that he no longer is with the Cubs.

“Yeah, I don’t understand why they did it,” DeRosa said.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Wheeling and dealing

Lou Piniella says he wasn’t disappointed the Cubs didn’t add another player by Friday’s trade deadline. GM Jim Hendry apparently talked to a few clubs about acquiring someone who could play three, four positions, a Mark DeRosa-type player. But the Cubs wanted that someone to hit left-handed.

“Jim tried,” Piniella said. “Our ownership group would’ve okayed a deal. I’m not talking about a big salary player, but a nice productive, usable, versatile player — that’s what we were looking for more than anything else.”

Instead, the Cubs found help from the left side for the pitching staff with the deal Thursday for John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny.

“Am I disappointed? No,” Piniella said about no further transactions. “We need to continue to play and swing the bats and stay healthy. Talk about healthy, we’ve still got three key people on the disabled list. We have a starting pitcher who made the All-Star team [Ted Lilly], we have our No. 1 catcher [Geovany Soto], and our fourth outfielder [Reed Johnson]. We’re not healthy.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/24 Central issues

The Cubs will play National League Central foes for 10 of the next 13 games, starting Friday with the Reds. Just before Friday’s game, they got news that the division leading Cardinals added Matt Holliday from the Athletics.

“He’s a good player,” Cubs GM Jim Hendry told reporters Friday. “Obviously, a good move for them for their stretch run. He’s a real good player, a real good kid, too.”

The Cardinals also acquired Mark DeRosa, and seem to be in a win-now mode. Will the Cubs counter?

“We’re going to try to do what we have to do,” Hendry said. “Obviously, we’ve been in that spot before where we’ve made big moves at the deadline or right before. Sometimes they work. sometimes they don’t.”

The Cubs do expect to get Geovany Soto back the first week of August, however, the rotation may have taken a hit with the news that Ted Lilly has soreness in his left shoulder.

— Carrie Muskat

Welcome back — again

Mark DeRosa thought he’d made his lone Wrigley Field appearance back in June during an Interleague series between the Cubs and Indians, but he was back Friday, only this time, he was wearing Cardinal red.

“It kind of comes full circle today,” DeRosa said.

DeRosa is on the disabled list, so he won’t be playing in the series. He’s hoping to be back in action right after the All-Star break. Obviously, any player would be happy to go from a last place team (Indians) to a first-place team, although DeRosa did admit it was weird playing in the St. Louis-Chicago series on the visitor’s side.

“When you’re on the other side, it’s ingrained in your being to not like these guys,” DeRosa said, “but now, being on the same team and picking their brains, it’s a bunch of good guys who actually think the same way I do. I hate the fact I can’t be on the field, but I love the fact of being in the dugout and helping a young team out. Obviously there’s the best hitter in the game on this team [in Albert Pujols], which makes things a lot easier, so I’m asking him questions. But I think there’s some knowledge I can help these guys with.”

He plans on having dinner with some of his former Cubs teammates after the game. What about the fans? How will they react?

“I know it’s got to be a little odd, but I didn’t leave the Cubs to go to the Cardinals on my doing, so hopefully they give me a break,” he said.

Once again, he will miss a rematch against Ted Lilly. In Spring Training, DeRosa got the best of the left-hander.

“I think he should be ducking me,” DeRosa said. “I’d love to be out there competing, but [my wrist] just doesn’t feel right yet.”

— Carrie Muskat

No De-Ro

Mark DeRosa fans will be crushed. DeRosa was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to July 1, with a strained left wrist and won’t be playing for the Cardinals in the upcoming weekend series vs. the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat

The rest of the story

Mark DeRosa is back in the National League Central, but with the Cardinals, who acquired the versatile player from the Indians Saturday night for reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later. The Cubs did talk to the Indians about re-acquiring DeRosa, whom they dealt to Cleveland for three Minor League pitchers on New Year’s Eve. But the Cubs felt the Indians’ asking price was too high. Cubs GM Jim Hendry won’t be in Chicago Sunday to address the matter; he had planned a trip to meet with one of the team’s Draft picks. Good news for DeRosa fans is he’ll be in Chicago July 10-12 with the Cardinals.

— Carrie Muskat 

6/20 DeRosa scratched

Indians outfielder Mark DeRosa was scratched from Saturday’s lineup because of a bruised left hip suffered when he crashed into a metal phone box along the left field wall in Friday’s game. DeRosa was chasing a foul pop up by Cubs pitcher Rich Harden in the third inning when he collided with the wall.

DeRosa did take batting practice on Saturday, and was in the original lineup. He was scratched after BP.

— Carrie Muskat

Welcome back

It was a little weird driving to Wrigley Field Friday morning for Kerry Wood and wife Sarah. They’ve made the trip for 10 years, but now he’s a member of the Cleveland Indians, not the Cubs.

“I was fortunate enough to play in this city for 10 years,” Wood said. “It’s a big part of my career, it’s a majority of my career, but I don’t think my career is over.”

Now, he’s the closer for the Indians and former Cub Mark DeRosa is starting in left field for the Tribe. Both met with the Chicago media near the visitor’s clubhouse. What does DeRosa miss most about being with the Cubs?

“It’s a special place to play, the fans are special,” DeRosa said. “I haven’t been anywhere else that even comes close. To me, it was a huge let down to be moved. I cherished the time I was there and have moved on and I’m fine and comfortable being a Cleveland Indian.”

Wood did stop by the home clubhouse to say hello to his former teammates and the staff. He filed for free agency after the 2008 season and signed with the Indians. Was it disappointing the Cubs didn’t try to keep him?

“I didn’t expect it,” Wood said. “I understood where the team was at and the moves they needed to make to get some left-handed bats. I saw this coming before the All-Star break.”

What does he miss most?

“The atmosphere,” Wood said. “My [Cleveland] teammates now are going to come in and get to play in the best atmosphere you can find which is a weekend series at Wrigley.”

DeRosa had three hits off Ted Lilly in a Spring Training game. On Saturday, they’ll face off again.

“I hope it’s like Spring Training,” DeRosa said. “I’m excited about it, but at the same time, I don’t want it to take place. You never want to face your buddy because deep down you’re going to have to go to dinner with him after it. We’ll compete, we’ll go at it. He’s a fiery guy when he steps across the white lines, too. I’m here to help my team win.”

— Carrie Muskat