Results tagged ‘ Matt Szczur ’

2/28 Maholm’s back; bunting tourney continues

Paul Maholm was back in the Cubs clubhouse, feeling much better after a nasty bout with the flu. The pitcher couldn’t eat for two days but said the problem was “nothing major.” He did throw a 40-pitch bullpen on Monday and then went home so he didn’t infect the rest of the team. On Tuesday, Maholm will face Rodrigo Lopez in his first round bunting tourney match.

“I guess we’ll be the marquee matchup,” Maholm said.

Second bunting round action on Tuesday includes:

Matt Szczur vs. Adrian Cardenas

Jeff Beliveau vs. Lendy Castillo

Jonathan Mota vs. Blake Lalli

Trey McNutt vs. Rafael Dolis

– Carrie Muskat

1/4 Cubs Caravan stop in Peoria Jan. 12

The Cubs Caravan will stop Jan. 12 in Peoria, Ill., and Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Matt Sczcur, Tony Campana, Chris Carpenter and Casey Coleman were expected to take part. New Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, bench coach Jamie Quirk, first base coach Dave McKay, scouting director Joe Bohringer and assistant GM Shiraz Rehman also were scheduled to attend. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m., and an autograph and photo session will run from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Peoria RiverPlex. Tickets are $15 and include the autograph/photo session, beer, soda, hot dogs, chips and cookies. Tickets will not be sold at the door. You can purchase them at the Peoria Chiefs’ offices at O’Brien Field.

– Carrie Muskat

11/18 Vitters, Lake, Beliveau, Szczur added to 40-man

The Cubs selected the contracts of left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau, infielders Junior Lake and Josh Vitters, and outfielder Matt Szczur, and added them to the 40-man roster on Friday. In addition, the Cubs outrighted outfielder Lou Montanez and right-handed pitchers Esmailin Caridad and Kyle Smit off the 40-man roster.

Friday was the deadline for teams to set the 40-man rosters in anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft, which is conducted at next month’s Winter Meetings. With the changes, the Cubs’ 40-man roster is now 34 players.

Beliveau, 24, was named the Cubs’ 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year after combining to go 6-2 with five saves and a 1.57 ERA in 53 relief appearances between Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The lefty combined to strike out 89 and walked 19 over 74 1/3 innings. He also pitched for Team USA and briefly in the Arizona Fall League. In four Minor League seasons, Beliveau is 17-9 with 10 saves and a 2.69 ERA.

Lake, 21, combined to hit .279 with 21 doubles, six triples, 12 home runs, 38 stolen bases, 80 runs scored and 51 RBIs in 116 games between Daytona and Tennessee. The shortstop was named a 2011 Arizona Fall League Rising Star, batting .296 with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs and 18 stolen bases in 28 games. He is a career .267 hitter in 476 Minor League games over five seasons.

Szczur, 22, batted .293 with 22 doubles, three triples, 10 homers, 46 RBIs, 75 runs and 24 stolen bases in 109 games for Class A Peoria and Daytona this season. A fifth round pick out of Villanova in 2010, he participated in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game and was a mid-season Midwest League All-Star.

Vitters, 22, batted .283 with 28 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs and 81 RBIs in 129 games with Tennessee, his first full season at Double-A. He followed that with a strong season in the Arizona Fall League, batting .360 with six doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs in 24 games. The Cubs’ first round pick in 2007, Vitters is a career .277 hitter with 95 doubles, 47 home runs and 229 RBIs in 419 games covering five seasons.

– Carrie Muskat

10/14 Waiting for Theo, Day 3

The Red Sox apparently want a prospect or two from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein. The two teams continued negotiations Friday over a package to free Epstein from the final year of his contract in Boston and allow him to take over baseball operations in Chicago.

Is Epstein worth Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ highly touted outfield prospect who was the No. 1 pick in 2009? Or do the Red Sox want Matt Szczur, another top Minor Leaguer?

The Cubs and Epstein have reportedly agreed in principle on a five-year deal, believed to be worth $15 million to $18.5 million. But because Epstein has one year remaining on his contract, the Cubs must compensate the Red Sox, and the value was expected to depend on the number of staffers Epstein would take with him to Chicago.

In recent years, when two of Epstein’s co-workers left, they were each allowed to take two Red Sox staffers with them. Josh Byrnes went to the Diamondbacks in 2005, and took two people, including Peter Woodfork, then director of baseball operations. In 2009, Jed Hoyer was able to take scouting director Jason McLeod and Sam Ray, now assistant to the scouting director, when Hoyer went to the Padres.

In 2002, the Red Sox offered Billy Beane the GM job and were prepared to deal Double-A third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the Athletics as compensation. But Beane opted to stay in Oakland. Last month, the White Sox received two of the Marlins’ top five prospects in exchange for letting Ozzie Guillen out of his contract to manage the Florida team.

The Cubs would not comment on the GM search, and the Red Sox declined to comment on Epstein’s status.

The Cubs have been looking for a new GM since Aug. 19 when chairman Tom Ricketts dismissed Jim Hendry. An announcement could come early next week. Major League Baseball discourages teams from making announcements during the World Series, which begins Wednesday.

Ricketts was handling the negotiations with Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and discussing the targeted players with Cubs interim GM Randy Bush, player development director Oneri Fleita, and scouting director Tim Wilken.

The Cubs farm system was depleted earlier this year when the team acquired Matt Garza from the Rays in exchange for five players, including Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer and Hak-Ju Lee. Jackson, 23, was playing for Team USA now after batting .297 at Triple-A Iowa; Szczur, 22, batted .260 at Class A Daytona. The top pitching prospects include Trey McNutt, 22, who is pitching in the Arizona Fall League now, and Jeff Beliveau, 24, who posted a 1.89 ERA in 41 games at Double-A Tennessee.

– Carrie Muskat

7/30 Minor matters

The Iowa Cubs scored four runs in the eighth to beat Albuquerque, 4-2, on Thursday. Bryan LaHair had two RBIs and Mitch Atkins earned the win in relief, throwing three innings of one-run, three hit ball. Jeff Stevens picked up the save.

Craig Muschko gave up two runs on four hits over six innings in Tennessee’s 9-3 win over West Tenn. The Smokies scored five runs in the fifth. Russ Canzler had two home runs and drove in three. Tony Thomas had two RBIs.

Dae-Eun Rhee gave up three runs on eight hits over five innings in Daytona’s 8-3 win over Palm Beach, its 11th straight win. Michael Brenly reached base safely in his 27th straight game with a single.

Matt Szczur drove in runs in the first and ninth innings, including a game-winning walkoff RBI single with the bases loaded, to help Peoria beat Wisconsin, 3-2. Szczur, who hit a RBI triple in the first and added a double in the game, now has hit safely in 21 straight games. However, he’s scheduled to report to Villanova for football practice next week.

Alvaro Ramirez had two hits in Boise’s 3-1 loss to Vancouver. Mesa’s game against the Reds was postponed because of rain.

– Carrie Muskat

7/27 Szczur to Class A Peoria

Matt Szczur, the Cubs’ fifth-round pick out of Villanova, will be promoted from Boise to Class A Peoria. Szczur has hit safely in all 18 games with Boise, batting .397 (29-for-73) with nine doubles, 16 runs scored, eight RBIs, a .439 on-base percentage and .521 slugging percentage. With Villanova, he batted .443 (77-for-174) and was named to the All-Big East first team after leading the team in eight offensive categories.

Szczur also starred on the Villanova football team, whom he helped lead to its first National Championship (Football Championship Subdivision) as a junior in 2009.  He was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year. In the national championship, he rushed for a career-high 159 yards, 270 all-purpose yards and was named Most Outstanding Player. His deal with the Cubs allows him to return to Villanova to play football in the fall, after which he is expected to decide between declaring for the NFL Draft or continuing his baseball career next spring.

Szczur also earned recognition and praise for donating his bone marrow to a young girl with leukemia earlier this spring. He missed 10 baseball games in order to help her.

– Carrie Muskat

7/27 Minor matters

Jeff Samardzija gave up three runs, one earned, on two hits and give walks over six innings in Iowa’s 6-5 loss to Round Rock. Samardzija also hit his first homer, going 2-for-3, and struck out seven. Bryan LaHair also homered.

Rafael Dolis gave up one run on two hits over three innings in Tennessee’s 10-5 win over Mississippi. Tony Thomas drove in four runs and hit his eighth home run. Brandon Guyer had three hits.

Nicholas Struck gave up two runs on three hits in five innings in Peoria’s 6-5 win over Lake County. The Chiefs turned four double plays in the win. Nelson Perez hit a solo homer.

Matt Szczur extended his hitting streak to 18 games in Boise’s 4-3 loss to Yakima. He also had two RBIs.

– Carrie Muskat

7/15 Minor matters

Thomas Diamond was named PCL’s Top Star in the Triple-A All-Star Game Wednesday. However, the Pacific Coast League team lost, 2-1, to the International League. Diamond started and threw two scoreless innings, striking out two and walking two. Darwin Barney hit a RBI single in the second for the PCL’s only run.

Chris Archer continued his scoreless streak in Tennessee’s 5-0 win over Chattanooga. Archer has yet to give up an earned run in 17 innings over three starts since he was promoted to Double-A. The right-hander struck out four over five innings in Wednesday’s win. Russ Canzler had two hits and one RBI and Tony Thomas had two RBIs.

Michael Brenly extended his hitting streak to 13 games in Daytona’s 10-2 loss to Fort Myers. Brenly is hitting .449 in his streak. Alberto Cabrera took the loss, giving up seven runs, four earned, on six hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Nelson Perez hit a walkoff homer with two outs in the ninth to lift Peoria to a 10-9 win over Dayton. Hak-Ju Lee had four hits, including a double.

Richard Jones had three hits in Boise’s 4-2 loss to Salem-Keizer. Alvaro Ramirez and Matt Szczur each had two hits. Szczur now has a six-game hitting streak, and is batting .375 in that stretch.

Mesa scored four runs in the top of th eninth but lost to the Rangers, 7-6. Anthony Giansanti and Dustin Harrington each had two hits and one RBIs.

– Carrie Muskat

6/8 Fifth round: Matt Szczur

In the fifth round, the Cubs selected outfielder Matt Szczur, a two-sport star at Villanova. He was the first .400 hitter for Villanova this season since 1997, batting .443 (77-for-174) to earn first team All-Big East honors. His batting average was fourth highest in school history and his .392 career average ranks fifth all-time for the Wildcats.

He led the team in eight different offensive categories and posted a .487 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage. His 13 doubles, seven triples and four home runs were all team highs for the year as were his 38 RBIs. Coming out of high school, he was a 38th-round pick by the Dodgers but opted to go to school.

Baseball America ranked Szczur as the second-fastest runner among all college position players in the Draft and the 19th best center fielder among all Draft-eligible players.

The junior from Erma, NJ, throws and hits from the right. In 2009, he led the team in hitting, runs scored, hits, walks and on-base percentage and tied for the lead in stolen bases. Szczur did not play baseball in ’08 because of a football-related injury. He was the only Division I college football player in the country in 2009 to register touchdowns as a rusher, receiver, passer and kick returner.

Yet here is something that makes Szczur even more special. In March, he donated bone marrow to an infant girl battling juvenile leukemia.

“I’ll miss a couple of baseball games but it’s a no brainer to do it,” Szczur told the Delaware County Daily Times in March. “One of my best friends back home is fighting cancer. If I could do anything for her, I would. So I figure I should do anything to help this little girl out.”

Szczur also is considered a possible NFL Draft pick.

“In my heart, I really want to come back,” he said in March about playing at Villanova his senior season. “I would say the chances of me coming back are pretty good. But it depends on how my year goes with baseball, what [Draft] round I get picked up in and how much money I would make. If I’m a first rounder, I’ve go to go. And anybody would agree with me, too.”

– Carrie Muskat

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