Results tagged ‘ Marlon Byrd ’

6/21 Extra bases

Jeff Baker was the DH on Tuesday and Aramis Ramirez will do so on Wednesday, which will give him a two-day break with the off day Thursday. Baker is batting .460 against left-handed pitching so it makes sense to get him in the lineup. What’s the key?

“I just close my eyes and swing real hard,” Baker said.

* Geovany Soto has seen the replay of Ozzie Guillen kicking his mask about 80 times and it still makes him laugh.

“He was just angry,” Soto said. “I know it wasn’t anything personal toward me.”

Said Reed Johnson: “Ozzie kicking the mask is one thing. To see Geo’s reaction was great.”

* Darwin Barney took batting practice on the field Tuesday. Once he gets a brace for his left knee, he’ll be able to do more activities.

* Marlon Byrd is expected to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Iowa.

– Carrie Muskat

6/13 Lineup, Pena, schedule & more

Monday’s Cubs lineup was very right-handed against Brewers lefty Randy Wolf, and rookie DJ LeMahieu made his first start at first.

“Carlos [Pena] needs a day off worse than me,” Mike Quade said of the first baseman who has taken more than his share of foul balls off his leg. “It was a long trip for him. Left-handers have been hard on him. He’s black and blue from his knee to his ankle on one leg.”

* After dealing with the Cardinals, Reds and Phillies, the Cubs now face the Central Division leading Brewers and Yankees.

“This club is playing great baseball and you’d love to cool them off,” Quade said of the Brewers, who have won eight of their last 10.

It’s a tough schedule.

“I get paid to manage this club and do the best I can for this organization every day, whoever is healthy and whoever is not,” Quade said. “If I stay with that, then I come to the park ready to go every day. You leave the park after tough losses and it’s no fun. And it’s the same for those guys. They’ve come in and stayed loose in the clubhouse and human nature makes things tough but you have to find a way to fight through it. In some way, with some of the kids who are here, it’s been easier.”

* Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-3 on Sunday and the plan is for him to get 10 to 12 at-bats in the Minors. More important, Quade wants Soriano to be 100 percent healthy. He’s been on the DL with a strained left quad.

* Reed Johnson has a black eye after being hit in the head by a pitch. His batting helmet also is cracked. He could be activated Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on results from tests taken Monday.

* Marlon Byrd took batting practice on the field for the first time since he was hit in the face with a pitch May 21. It’s been three weeks, and he has about three more weeks to go in his rehab.

– Carrie Muskat

6/7 Extra bases

Tyler Colvin is 0-for-31 in his last 14 games and has not had a hit in the big leagues since he singled in the seventh inning on April 28 in Arizona.  He’s not panicked. He isn’t changing his stance or grip. The problem isn’t physical.

“It’s one of those things where I don’t have to hit the ball 800 feet and that’s what was in my head early in the year,” Colvin said Tuesday. “I had 20 homers [last year] and I was thinking I’m going to get them all in the first month and you’re not.

“Last year, I hit line drives and sometimes they went out,” he said. “It took me awhile to see that and now I’m hitting balls hard and I can’t find a hole. They’ll start falling. I’m not worried about it.”

* Kosuke Fukudome’s .417 on-base percentage is keeping him in the leadoff spot although Mike Quade said he considered inserting Tony Campana on Tuesday to try and get the offense going. The catch is that if Fukudome is dropped, he’ll be expected to drive in runs and that, Quade says, has not been his forte.

* Marlon Byrd hopes to be taking batting practice on the field Sunday or Monday. Byrd is recovering from multiple facial fractures suffered when he was hit by a pitch on May 21 in Boston.

– Carrie Muskat

5/30 LeMahieu to join Cubs

Add another Cubs player to the DL list. Jeff Baker was to be placed on the disabled list Monday because of a strained groin and infielder DJ LeMahieu to be called up from Double-A Tennessee. LeMahieu was the Cubs’ second-round pick in 2009. He was batting .358 with 15 doubles, two triples, two homers and 27 RBIs with the Smokies. Baker pinch-hit on Saturday but it was obvious he still had trouble running. He was batting .368 overall, .512 against left-handers.

Baker joins Reed Johnson (back), Marlon Byrd (face), Andrew Cashner (shoulder), and Matt Garza (elbow) on the DL. The Cubs did get Randy Wells back on Saturday and Geovany Soto on Sunday.

More info on DJ: He played second and third with the Smokies, and was hitting .459 against left-handers, .310 vs. right-handers. He’s been red-hot this month, batting .419 in 27 games. He hit second and third in the lineup. What should help the Cubs is he was batting .357 with runners in scoring position.

So far, the Cubs have added Tony Campana, Brad Snyder, Lou Montanez, Welington Castillo, Casey Coleman, Scott Maine, Jeff Stevens, Marcos Mateo and Justin Berg from their Minor League system this year plus acquired pitchers Doug Davis and Rodrigo Lopez. And it’s not yet June.

– Carrie Muskat

5/17 Runners in scoring position

As team, the Cubs are batting .278 overall, but they’re hitting .232 with runners in scoring position. It’s the veterans who are struggling the most. Here are the numbers:

* Marlon Byrd: .227 (10-for-44) with RISP, 7 RBIs

Note: Byrd has eight RBIs for the year, all coming when he hits third. Three of those came on May 4, and are his only RBIs for the month of May.

* Aramis Ramirez: .231 (9-for-39) with RISP, 11 RBIs.

Note: He’s 0-for-15 with RISP and two outs.

* Alfonso Soriano: .179 (7-for-39) with RISP, 11 RBIs.

Here are some positive numbers:

* Jeff Baker:  .438 (7-for-16) with RISP, 11 RBIs

* Starlin Castro: .300 (12-for-40) with RISP, 16 RBIs

* Darwin Barney: .333 (14-for-34) with RISP, 15 RBIs

 — Carrie Muskat

5/12 Round 1 to the Cards

The Cubs now are 6-9 vs. NL Central foes after losing the series to the Cardinals on Thursday. They did total 39 hits, but the euphoria from Wednesday’s 11-4 win was quickly dashed with Thursday’s 9-1 loss.

“We have to be more consistent,” Marlon Byrd said. “We’re not finding that yet. One out of three, especially against the Central is not going to cut it. Our consistency has to be there — hitting, pitching, defense, all around. … Once we put it all together, we’ll get a winning streak going.”

Jeff Baker, who had three hits, and now is batting .516 against lefties, agrees that the Cubs simply need to play better no matter who they’re facing.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re playing the quote, defending champs, the Giants, who we’ve got coming in now or you’re playing a team that might have set the record for most losses in baseball,” Baker said. “The bottom line is if you don’t come ready to play, you’ll get your butt whupped. A win’s a win, it doesn’t matter if it’s against a, quote, good team or a bad team. We just have to try to get more wins.”

Manager Mike Quade agrees. He’s not losing sleep over the team’s 8-12 record at Wrigley, or Casey Coleman’s inexperience.

“The frustration for me is that we’re inconsistent,” Quade said.

The Cardinals leave in first place in the Central.

“I’m real glad we’re four, five back 35, 40 games in and not 10 back,” Quade said. “Yeah, we have some things to work out but I’d like to think in the next week or two, we’ll get some of those things worked out and get people healthy and be a better ballclub.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/4 Wood, Garza on family feud

Who knows? Maybe the Cubs’ recent dugout skirmish can result in a World Series championship season. Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena called a players only meeting on Thursday in the wake of sloppy play and the scuffle between Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva. Players kept the topic of the meeting private.

“It happens every year,” Kerry Wood said. “I’ve been involved in [fights] before and [the media] didn’t know about it. It happens. You never like to see it happen where everybody can see it but it is what it is.

“We’re all grown men,” he said. “We leave here in three, four weeks and we’re going to work together for 162 games. It better bring us closer.”

Not that he would recommend daily fisticuffs, but Matt Garza has seen positives come from negatives. In June 2008, he and Rays catcher Dioner Navarro scuffled in the dugout after a home run and an argument on the mound in Texas. The Rays reached the World Series that year.

“You guys all have families,” Garza said. “We see these guys eight, nine months out of the year. You can’t tell me you never get in an argument with your brother or sister. It happens.

“I think we care enough that it shows,” Garza said. “That’s why I have a good feeling about us. We care enough to say something. If we didn’t care and just swept it under the rug and players didn’t say anything, that’s a bad sign. At least we know here, ‘I’m going to hold you accountable just like you’re going to hold me accountable.’ When push comes to shove, I know he’ll have my back, and he’ll know I have his back.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/1 Eating right

Every morning at camp, Marlon Byrd brings Darwin Barney breakfast.The Cubs veteran stops by a favorite spot and picks up a meal for both himself and the young infielder.

“He has a good work ethic,” Byrd said of Barney, who also has an appetite and does not waste any of the omelette or potatoes and cleans his plate. “I asked if he wanted breakfast and he said, ‘Yes.'”

As we know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and Byrd made the offer to a couple other players but they said no.

“I’ll take care of the boys,” Byrd said.

– Carrie Muskat

2/12 Cubs notebook: Marmol takes physical

Carlos Marmol underwent his physical Saturday at Fitch Park and the Cubs were expected to announce a long-term deal with their closer this week. Marmol, 28, who is the team’s only arbitration eligible player still unsigned, wouldn’t comment on Saturday. Asked if a deal was done, he said: “Not yet.”

The two sides have exchanged arbitration figures, with the Cubs submitting an offer of $4.1 million, while Marmol is seeking $5.65 million. However, all signs indicate the two sides could settle on a multi-year contract. If Marmol and the Cubs agreed to a three-year deal, he would be giving up his first year of free agency. He has one more arbitration year, then becomes a free agent in 2013.

Marmol converted 38 of 43 save opportunities last season, and averaged a Major League record 15.99 strikeouts per nine innings.

Cubs pitchers and catchers report on Sunday to Fitch Park, although many have already been working out in camp, including Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano and John Grabow. The first workout will be Monday.

* Angel Guzman, coming back from surgery on his right shoulder, threw off a mound Friday for the second time since having the procedure. He is not throwing at full speed but is making progress.

* The Cubs players have kept busy during the little down time they’ve had in early workouts by playing Ping Pong. Tyler Colvin is the offseason leader in head-to-head play so far.

* Among the players working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on Saturday were Colvin, Marlon Byrd, Darwin Barney, Jim Adduci, Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson, and Micah Gibbs.

* The Fitch Park facility has been improved with the addition of four covered batting cages, so that six are now available instead of two. Plus, the screens can be moved and up to eight pitchers can throw in just in case there is inclement weather.

– Carrie Muskat

1/4 Cubs Convention update

Still trying to decide whether to go to the Cubs Convention? There are
still rooms available at the Hilton Chicago for the event, Jan. 14-16.
Staying at the host hotel is much easier than staying somewhere else in
Chicago — you might even bump into Sean Marshall or Kerry Wood in the
elevator. Plus, you get a weekend pass to the Convention for $20 each.
There is a limit of four passes per room. In addition, the Cubs are
offering a special autographed item to everyone who books a room under
the Cubs Convention rate. There will be one item per room while supplies
last.  Hotel reservations can be made by calling the Hilton Chicago at
(312) 922-4400.

Among the other players scheduled to attend are new first baseman Carlos
Pena, Carlos Zambrano Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Marmol, Tyler
Colvin, Starlin Castro, Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter and
DJ LeMahieu. Also, Cubs manager Mike Quade and his staff will be there
to answer questions.

– Carrie Muskat

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