Results tagged ‘ Randy Wells ’

3/17 Samardzija fave for rotation

Jeff Samardzija appears to be the favorite among the candidates for the Cubs rotation. The right-hander had his third strong start on Saturday against the Rangers, giving up one run on three hits and striking out three over four innings. He faced the minimum in the first three innings. Samardzija is vying for one of two spots along with Chris Volstad, Rodrigo Lopez, Travis Wood and Randy Wells.

“Obviously, they’ll make their decisions based on what they feel is best for the team,” Samardzija said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to show in camp and obviously we still have a ways to go. I had to come in and show I wasn’t going to give any free bases and attack the zone and I feel I’ve been doing that. When you do that, you see what happens today, and you get quick outs. Then when you do get in trouble, you still have the pitches to work with and your pitch count isn’t up and you know you can battle and get on to the next inning. I’m happy and it’ll be interesting to go through the lineup a couple times. I’m right where I want to be.”

The Rangers scored their one run off him in the fourth as Elvis Andrus singled, reached third on Julio Borbon’s single and scored on Josh Hancock’s single.

Samardzija was used strictly in relief last season but has made it clear he wants to start. The Cubs have to be encouraged that the right-hander has not walked a batter in 10 innings this spring. What if Samardzija was told he was going to the bullpen?

“I like to think of myself as a team guy and I’m going to do what’s best for the team,” he said. “If they tell me it’s not best for the team to be in the lineup, I’d like to hear the rest of the argument and the reasons why. I feel you build from the front to the back and not the back to the front. I hope I’ve shown them enough and I hope I continue to show them not only do we want this guy, but we need this guy in the rotation. That’s what my job is here in camp and I feel we’re making strides in that direction.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/14 Brewers 10, Cubs 2

What went right:

Cubs starter Randy Wells cruised through three innings, giving up two hits. Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo walked two and struck out one over two scoreless innings in relief.

What went wrong:

Travis Wood was roughed up. He served up six runs, five earned, on three hits, two walks and hit a batter in one-third of an inning.


“It’s typical to say it’s early and working out all the kinks but it’s time to go. We’ve got to get going.” — Travis Wood after Wednesday’s outing.

Up next:

Rodrigo Lopez will face the Rockies in Scottsdale on Thursday, while Ryan Dempster starts against the Diamondbacks at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. Dempster was scheduled to be followed by Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol. Reed Johnson, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano are in the lineup to face the Rockies, while David DeJesus, Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair will be in Mesa. This is the start of a stretch in which the Cubs will play four split squad games in six days. The game in Mesa will be broadcast on

— Carrie Muskat 


3/14 Cubs vs Brewers

Anthony Rizzo, who belted a monster two-run homer on Tuesday against the Giants, will start at first base for the Cubs Wednesday when they meet the Brewers at HoHoKam Park. Here’s the lineup:

RF DeJesus

CF Byrd

SS Castro

3B Stewart

2B Baker

C Soto

LF Johnson

1B Rizzo

P Wells

— Carrie Muskat

3/14 Cubs on deck

Randy Wells gets the start on Wednesday when the Cubs face the Brewers for the second time this spring. First pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Arizona time and the game will be broadcast on Travis Wood, Lendy Castillo, Casey Coleman, and Trever Miller also are slated to pitch in the game at HoHoKam Park.

* Alfonso Soriano has hit safely in all six games he’s played in. He has four homer, tied for the Major League lead with the Tigers’ Ryan Rayburn. Darwin Barney has hit safely in all seven games he’s played in.

* Junior Lake must be feeling better. He was taking grounders at shortstop early Wednesday. He was sidelined Tuesday after fouling a ball off his left ankle.

* On Thursday, Rodrigo Lopez will face the Rockies in Scottsdale, while Ryan Dempster starts against the Diamondbacks in Mesa. This is the start of a stretch in which the Cubs will play four split squad games in six days, including two in Las Vegas against the Rangers Saturday and Sunday.

— Carrie Muskat

3/9 Cubs 5, White Sox 1

What went right:

Travis Wood, Randy Wells and Rodrigo Lopez all pitched well. Wood gave up one run on three hits and two walks over 2 1/3 innings; Wood gave up one hit over 2 2/3 innings, and Lopez threw two hitless innings. Wells was called upon with one out and the bases loaded in the third and got Paul Konerko to hit into a double play. Edgar Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and Marlon Byrd and Steve Clevenger added solo shots for the win.

What went wrong:

Wood made a throwing error in the first inning that led to the White Sox only run.


“It’s quieter.” — Randy Wells on the Cubs-White Sox series without Ozzie Guillen

Up next:

Ryan Dempster will make his second spring start on Saturday when the Cubs travel to Maryvale to play the Brewers. The game will be broadcast on WGN TV with Len Kasper and Bob Brenly in the booth. It’ll be Cubs manager Dale Sveum’s first showdown with his former team.

“It’ll be fun facing them,” Sveum said. “I’m looking forward to it, to see the guys and say hello. we’ll try to beat their butts, but it’ll be good to see everybody.”

Injury update:

Geovany Soto was expected back in the lineup Saturday. He’s been slowed by a sore groin and has been taking part in pre-game batting practice. Jason Jaramillo started hitting on Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with soreness in both legs.

— Carrie Muskat

3/8 Cubs lineup vs White Sox

Travis Wood is slated to start Friday when the Cubs face the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz. Randy Wells and Rodrigo Lopez also are scheduled to pitch. Here’s the early lineup:

DH Soriano

2B Barney

RF Baker

1B LaHair

CF Byrd

LF Mather

C Clevenger

SS Lake

3B Gonzalez

— Carrie Muskat 

3/6 Cubs bunting tourney update

Paul Maholm beat manager Dale Sveum to advance to the final eight in the Cubs bunting tournament on Tuesday. Others to advance include David DeJesus, Starlin Castro and Randy Wells. Think these guys don’t take it seriously? Samardzija broke his bat over his knee after losing to Wells. The matchups for the next round are Jeff Beliveau vs. Casey Coleman, Wells vs. Maholm, Adrian Cardenas vs. Welington Castillo, and Castro vs. DeJesus. The finals are expected to be held March 16.

— Carrie Muskat

2/29 Cubs Wednesday notebook

Travis Wood and Randy Wells will start Friday in the Cubs’ intrasquad game at HoHoKam Park, and be followed by Andy Sonnanstine and Casey Coleman. On Saturday, Jay Jackson and Chris Rusin will start, and Trey McNutt and Alberto Cabrera will also pitch in a second intrasquad game. The Cubs shift from Fitch Park to the stadium after Thursday’s workout. The intrasquad games will begin at 1 p.m. MT, be open to the public and are expected to last five to six innings.

* The Cubs continue to sort out the backup catcher situation this spring. Does Cubs manager Dale Sveum have a preference for a left-handed hitter or a switch hitter?

“It matters, but it’s not the final piece of the puzzle,” Sveum said. “The guy who will work and be able to handle pitchers is the biggest thing when it comes down to it.”

* The Cubs have a team psychologist, Dr. Marc Strickland, in camp. Did Sveum have one when he played?

“We had one, probably one of the first, back in ’87,” he said of his days with the Brewers. “We used Jack Curtis and I thought it really helped our team at the time. When we saw him, we were two games under .500 and after we saw him for a couple hours, we finished the season winning 91 games so we were about 25 games over .500. I think it helped a lot. We were a very young team at the time and he helped a lot of us out.”

What was the message? Think positive.

* On Opening Day of the Cactus League season, all of the teams will take part in a tribute to Robert Brinton, who died in October. Brinton was a driving force in the Cactus League and in keeping the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz. A past Cactus League Association president, he also was executive director of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau and past president of the Mesa HoHoKams.  Commemorative baseballs with a gold Cactus League logo will be used for the ceremonial first pitch at each of the home parks. The balls also are marked with Brinton’s name. A tribute will be read at each of the ballparks and there will be a moment of silence.

* Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Casey Coleman and Blake Parker were among the pitchers to throw live batting practice on Wednesday. For Maholm, it was his first session since coming back from the flu.

* Rusin, Coleman and catchers Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger advanced to the sweet 16 of the Cubs bunting tournament on Wednesday. Castillo and Clevenger join another catcher, Blake Lalli, who also advanced. It was a tough day for Bryan LaHair, who faced Clevenger. LaHair was hit by a pitch by bullpen catcher Andy Lane, who was throwing to the two hitters. Brett Jackson lost his match with Castillo but did score the first 100 of the tournament. There are two red dots on either side of the pitcher’s mound, and players must call the “100” before aiming for it.

— Carrie Muskat

2/25 Cubs notebook

Geovany Soto was held out of practice as a precautionary measure because of a sore groin. His status is day to day.

* During drills, the players who can handle more than one position, like Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt, are being asked to stay at one position that day. On Friday, for example, Baker was at first, and on Saturday, he was at third.

“It’s just for the drills because we’ll be doing the same thing for seven days in a row and they’ll get a lot of work at each position,” Sveum said. “When we break over to HoHoKam, it’ll be a more normal style baseball day. For drill purposes, having people wandering all over the places in the drill, I don’t want them to be messed up.”

* When Sveum met with the media on Friday, he listed five starters: Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Randy Wells, and Travis Wood. Does that mean the rotation is set? No, Sveum said.

“Wells, Travis Wood, Volstad, Rodrigo Lopez, they’re all in the running for jobs,” Sveum said. “It’s just a matter of what happens in Spring Training.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/20 Samardzija: “It’s about the team first”

It’s a different feeling in Cubs camp this spring for Jeff Samardzija, who would like a chance to fill a spot in the rotation.

“It’s a lot different but not because the day to day activities are different,” Samardzija said Monday. “It’s a different regime, it’s new people. This team has been turned over it seems like three times. You’re still getting to know everyone in the locker room, still getting to know the staff. They’ve done a great job, an exceptional job of getting everybody together, having meetings with the front office, getting to know the guys personally and getting this team together so we make that turn a little quicker than normal.”

Asked what he thought if he didn’t make the rotation and ended up in the bullpen, Samardzija said that was the “worst question” he’s heard.

“It’s about the team first,” Samardzija said. “When it comes down to breaking for the season, you’re going to do what’s best for the team. Personally, I have my own goals and where I feel like I want to be but as a team, when it comes down to game one, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what your role is that they gave you that day and you go from there.”

Samardzija will get stretched out, and could be in the mix along with Chris Volstad, Randy Wells, Travis Wood, and Andy Sonnanstine for a spot in the rotation.

“It’s fun to almost not be throwing that day so you can sit by the cages and watch these guys throw,” Samardzija said. “We’ve got a lot of strong, young arms mixed in with some very good [veteran] arms, too.”

— Carrie Muskat