Results tagged ‘ Marlon Byrd ’

11/12 Getting back on track

After being hit with a 50-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug program, Marlon Byrd is now playing for los Tomateros de Culiacan in the Mexican Winter League. Byrd was batting .333 in 26 games with nine home runs, four doubles and 21 RBIs. He’s played right field in all but one game and was batting third. Byrd began the 2012 season with the Cubs but was dealt to the Red Sox after going 3-for-43 in 13 games. He batted .270 in 34 games with Boston, but was designated for assignment and then released in June. On June 25, Byrd was hit with the suspension.

Michael Bowden, whom the Cubs got from the Red Sox for Byrd, recently joined Aguilas in the Dominican Republic, and had a tough outing in his second start Nov. 7 when he gave up five earned runs and five hits over 1 1/3 innings. He gave up four hits over four innings in his first start Nov. 2.

– Carrie Muskat

5/15 Transactions & Iowa update

The Cubs signed pitcher Mike MacDougal to a Minor League deal, he was assigned to Triple-A Iowa and had a shaky debut. MacDougal, 35, was released by the Dodgers after compiling a 7.94 ERA in seven appearances. He has 71 saves in his 12-year career. The Iowa Cubs also placed infielder Jonathan Mota on the disabled list with a sore right elbow. Mota had to leave Saturday’s game in the middle of an at-bat after aggravating the injury. He was batting .235 in seven games.

MacDougal walked in two runs in his two-thirds of an inning of work in Iowa’s 9-4 loss to Sacramento on Tuesday.  Randy Wells struck out six but also gave up seven runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings to take the loss. Anthony Rizzo led the offense, going 3-for-4 and finishing a double shy of the cycle. He hit his 13th homer of the season in the first, and now has 37 RBIs, tops in the Pacific Coast League.

* The Cubs also acquired Minor League left-handed pitcher Hunter Cervenka from Boston as the player to be named to complete the Marlon Byrd-Michael Bowden trade. Cervenka, 22, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 27th round of the 2008 Draft out of Sterling High School in Baytown, Texas.  Cervenka is 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA (14 ER/15 2/3 IP) in nine relief appearances for Class A Greenville this season. He has 24 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings, an average of 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, and has limited left-handed hitters to a .188 batting average. Cervanka has a 1.59 ERA (1 ER/5 2/3 IP) in three relief appearances this month after an 11.70 ERA in April. He will report to Class A Peoria.

– Carrie Muskat

4/22 Jackson close but not ready yet

With the Cubs trade of Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox, there naturally is speculation that Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in 2009, would get called up. Not yet, Dale Sveum said.

“It’s just the plan we want to stick with and develop him,” Sveum said Sunday. “He still needs to develop. He’s still striking out a little too much. He needs to be more conscious and a little bit better in that situation. If you’re striking out that much in Triple-A, it’ll be that much more against big league pitching. Until you get those 500 at-bats at Triple-A, it’s something the organization and Theo [Epstein] want to impress on our young guys is you’ll stay and play and develop.”

Epstein has made it clear he wants young players to get their work in the Minor Leagues. Jackson began this season with 1,133 total Minor League at-bats, including 185 at Triple-A Iowa.

“I think sometimes we rush kids too quick and it’s not for anybody’s benefit,” Sveum said. “We’ve all been part of when kids have been rushed and they’ve done really well but it doesn’t happen very often.”

In 16 games this year with Iowa, Jackson, 23, was batting .254 with a team-leading 21 strikeouts.

– Carrie Muskat

4/22 Cubs lineup

Tony Campana was starting in center field on Sunday as the Cubs begin life after Marlon Byrd. Dale Sveum says he’ll rotate Campana, Reed Johnson and Joe Mather in center for now. Randy Wells starts in place of injured Ryan Dempster. Wells was 1-0 with a 9.42 ERA at Triple-A Iowa in three starts. Here’s the lineup:

RF DeJesus

CF Campana

SS Castro

1B LaHair

LF Soriano

3B Stewart

C Soto

2B DeWitt

P Wells

– Carrie Muskat

4/21 Hoyer: No Jackson yet

Trading Marlon Byrd will naturally create expectations that Brett Jackson is coming to Wrigley Field. Not yet, GM Jed Hoyer said. Jackson will stay at Triple-A Iowa for now. In 15 games, Jackson was  batting .242 with two homers, five doubles, two triples, two stolen bases and eight RBIs.

“Brett’s playing hard and all the reports on what he’s doing in Iowa are good,” Hoyer said. “He’s still early in his Triple-A career. He hasn’t had that many plate appearances down there. He still has work to do. We feel he’s a big part of our future but I wouldn’t read into anything as far as timing.”

The Cubs did add outfielder Tony Campana to the roster on Saturday when they placed pitcher Ryan Dempster on the disabled list and will use him in center as well as Reed Johnson and Joe Mather.

Byrd, 34, was hitting just .070 over his first 43 at-bats. He did not play Saturday in the Cubs’ win over the Reds.

“The slow start didn’t play any part at all,” Hoyer said. “We had talked about a deal [with the Red Sox] at the end of Spring Training. Our feeling was we’ve been trying to acquire relief pitching since the end of the winter. We felt like an area we have some surplus with young players we want to play is in the outfield, so that was a big part of it.”

The Red Sox were in need after injury to Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Cubs, who are already paying a large part of Carlos Zambrano’s contract since he was traded to the Marlins, will cover a significant portion of Byrd’s $6.5 million salary for 2012. It’s the final year of a three-year, $15 million contract.

The Cubs receive reliever Michael Bowden plus a player to be named later, which will be selected from a designated list. It will most likely be a pitcher, Hoyer said.

– Carrie Muskat

4/21 Byrd to Red Sox official

The Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named from the Red Sox for Marlon Byrd and a cash consideration. Bowden, 25, began the 2012 season on Boston’s Opening Day roster, posting no record and a 3.00 ERA in two relief appearances before being designated for assignment on April 15. He has a 3.91 ERA (10 ER/23.0 IP) in 16 Major League appearances since the start of the 2011 campaign.  Bowden is a 2005 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Ill. In 2011, he reached Major League highs in several categories, including 14 appearances (tied with 2010), 17 strikeouts, 20.0 innings pitched and nine games finished.

Byrd, 34, is batting .075 (3-for-43) with two RBI in 13 games with the Cubs this season, his third campaign since signing a three-year contract with the club prior to the 2010 campaign.  Byrd was named a National League All-Star in his first season with the Cubs, batting .293 (170-for-580) in 152 games for the club in 2010, while hitting .276 (123-for-446) in 119 games with the Cubs last year.

– Carrie Muskat

4/21 Byrd to Red Sox

Marlon Byrd appears to be headed to the Red Sox. The Boston Globe first reported the deal Saturday. The Red Sox have been looking for help after Jacoby Ellsbury injured his shoulder. Byrd, 34, is off to a slow start with three singles and a walk in 47 plate appearances. He hit .276 last season. This is the last year of a three-year, $15 million contract that will pay him $6.5 million this year. He was not in the Cubs lineup Saturday.

– Carrie Muskat 

4/13 Opening Day – again

It’s Opening Day in St. Louis as the Cardinals play their first game at Busch Stadium in 2012. The weather may not cooperate — forecast calls for highs in low 60s and there’s a chance of rain. There will be a parade, American Idol contestant Shannon Magrane (daughter of ex Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane) will sing the anthem, and the Clydesdales will parade. Marlon Byrd is back in the Cubs lineup:

RF DeJesus

2B Barney

SS Castro

LF Soriano

3B Stewart

1B LaHair

C Soto

CF Byrd

P Samardzija

– Carrie Muskat

4/7 Byrd: “I have something to finish in Chicago”

Marlon Byrd has heard the rumors about the Nationals having interest in his services. He told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson on Saturday he wouldn’t mind going back to the nation’s capital but not right now.
“Why not? The Nationals have a good team, but I have something to finish in Chicago,” Byrd said. “I love Chicago. If the Cubs can get a piece that can make them better, that’s all I want.  I heard from our reporters. The Nationals are looking for a center fielder and my name was in the mix. Like I said, it’s always something. Rumors are out there. It will be interesting.”
Byrd played for the Nationals in 2005 and ’06 and hit a combined .245 with seven home runs and 44 RBIs. Since then, however, Byrd was able to find his swing with the Rangers and Cubs and credits hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo for his success.
If Byrd is not traded, he can become a free agent after the season. He said he would be interested in returning to the Nationals.
“I had a great time in Washington,” Byrd said. “I still have friends over there. My boy ‘Zim’ [Ryan Zimmerman] is still handling things. Jayson Werth is there. I’m good friends with Michael Morse. They have some great people over there.”
– Carrie Muskat

3/3 Outfield play

Not to take anything away from Matt Szczur, but one of the reasons he was able to score from second Friday on a sacrifice fly to right was because right fielder David DeJesus’ hand got stuck in the wire mesh fence. DeJesus left middle finger got caught in the fence as he went back for the ball. Cubs third base coach Pat Listach saw that DeJesus was having trouble and waved Szczur home. DeJesus was fine on Saturday, wearing a bandage on his finger.

Just wait until DeJesus gets to Wrigley Field and has to deal with the brick and ivy.

“I can’t wait,” DeJesus said Saturday.

“When you hit those vines, all you feel is brick,” Marlon Byrd said.

– Carrie Muskat

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