Results tagged ‘ Reed Johnson ’

7/5 Extra bases

The Cubs placed right-hander Marcos Mateo on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness and recalled Chris Carpenter from Triple-A Iowa. The team also selected the contract of Ramon Ortiz from Iowa, and optioned Casey Coleman to the Minor League team. Ortiz, 38, was to make his first start Tuesday against the Nationals. He’s the 10th starting pitcher the Cubs have used this season.

Mateo had an MRI on his right elbow in Chicago and results were expected on Thursday.

* Aramis Ramirez was named NL Player of the Week.

* Kerry Wood walked three of the seven batters he faced on Monday. It was his third outing since coming off the disabled list, and the Cubs right-hander wasn’t as sharp as his first on July 1 when he threw a 1-2-3 eighth against the White Sox.

“He feels fine, the finger is fine, but that doesn’t mean the feel of the thing is fine,”  Mike Quade said of Wood, who was sidelined because of blister on his index finger. “Part of that is pitching until you get that feel. Hopefully, he figures something out.”

* Reed Johnson, Blake DeWitt and pitching coach Mark Riggins took time Tuesday to visit veterans at Walter Reed Hospital.

“To me, it’s the right thing to do,” Johnson said. “Those guys are in there thanking us for coming in there and I’m almost embarrassed. What we do doesn’t mean hardly anything compared to what those guys are doing over there. They were thankful we’re taking the time.”

* Matt Garza and his family were among the Cubs contingent who watched the fireworks on the 4th of July from the Capitol steps at the invitation of Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin. They also got a tour of the rotunda at the Capitol.

“There’s a lot of history there,” said Garza, whose 9-year-old son was dazzled by the age of some of the items such as desks from the 1800s.

“My son was amazed at that,” Garza said. “He’s like, ‘No way.'”

— Carrie Muskat

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

6/18 Crash course

How about Carlos Pena’s collision at home in the sixth inning Saturday with Yankees catcher Russell Martin? Trailing 3-2 with one out, Pena was hit by a pitch and Reed Johnson was safe on a fielding error by Eduardo Nunez. A.J. Burnett exited, and Cory Wade entered. Alfonso Soriano hit a grounder to Alex Rodriguez, who threw to Robinson Cano at second. But he muffed it for an error and the bases were loaded. Geovany Soto then flew out to left and Pena tried to score but Brett Gardner fired a perfect strike to Martin, who survived a collision at the plate.

“We had to try it,” Pena said. “I thought it was the right thing to do. He was blocking the plate, and there was only one way to get to home plate and that was through him. He took a hit like a champ and held onto the ball and it was a great play by him so hats off.”

Said Martin: “Gardy’s the one who threw it. All I have to do is hold on to the baseball. That’s what you’re hoping for when you see that play develop — a long hop. The tough ones are the short hops.”

Pena and Martin exchanged a few words at first when Martin singled in the eighth.

“I know he’s a hard-nosed player,” Pena said. “He said, ‘That was a great drive, you hit me good.’ I said, ‘I don’t know how you held on.’ Among colleagues at the end of the day, we’re all friends and competing. I was impressed he held onto that ball. I took my best hit and he did a great job holding onto it.”

Martin apparently was talking to Nick Swisher on Friday, saying he was getting a little “bored” behind the plate.

“I got what I asked for,” Martin said.

“With two outs, you take a shot,” Mike Quade said. “He [Gardner] was in a position to make the best throw he could make given his momentum, and he did.”

Added Pena: “Anything in the air, I was going to go back and tag. I knew it would be a tough play for Gardner. He made a perfect throw. That’s a chance I want to take every single day. Right there, I’m going to go. They made the play. I’d rather err on the side of aggressiveness and that’s what we did today.”

— 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

6/11 Minor League report

Jeff Baker hit a RBI triple in the seventh inning for Iowa in Friday’s 7-6, 10-inning loss to Round Rock in front of 8,047 in Des Moines. Reed Johnson (back spasms) was 0-for-3, while Baker (groin) was 1-for-4. The two are on rehab assignments and both plan on being activated Monday when the Cubs open a homestand against the Brewers. Ramon Ortiz gave up four runs on eight hits over six innings. Jonathon Mota had three hits and one RBIs.

Thursday’s suspended game will be made up Saturday. That game was stopped in the bottom of the fourth with Round Rock leading, 8-1.

* Angel Guzman threw 21 pitches, 14 for strikes, and struck out two over two innings for Class A Peoria Friday. It was his first game action since Sept. 8, 2009. He has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery, which he had in March 2010.

“It’s been a long time,” Guzman said. “It was good to be back and get some innings and be competing.”

The Chiefs scored five runs in the first. Greg Rohan and Anthony Giansanti each had two RBIs.

* Nick Struck threw five shutout innings in Tennessee’s 2-0, five-inning rain-shortened win over Carolina. Struck struckout six. He also drove in the game-winning RBI with a run-scoring single in the third. In two starts with Tennessee, he’s 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 Ks over 11 innings.

* Dae-Eun Rhee gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in Daytona’s 12-1 loss to Lakeland, which scored seven runs in the eighth inning. Jake Optiz had three hits, his fifth multi-double game of the year.

— Carrie Muskat

6/10 Johnson, Baker on Big Z

Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker began their rehab assignments at Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, and both went 0-for-2 before rain suspended play. If all goes well, they could be activated Monday when the Cubs begin a homestand against the Brewers. Alfonso Soriano, sidelined with a strained left quad, was to begin his rehab assignment at Iowa on Sunday.

Johnson and Baker were asked about Carlos Zambrano’s recent comments regarding the Cubs’ play, saying the team was “embarrassing.”

“We do need to play better,” Johnson told the Des Moines Register. ““We have to play better fundamental baseball, whether that’s taking extra quality ground balls, or early batting practice to work on situational things. Teams smell blood, especially teams in our division when they’re playing us. They’re drooling. They know we’re not playing very well, and they want to jump on top of us and make sure we don’t get up.”
As for Baker, he said Zambrano was entitled to his opinion.

“He’s frustrated, and the bottom line is that he wants us to play well,” Baker said. “The whole team wants to play well.”
— Carrie Muskat

5/30 LeMahieu, Baker, Garza & more

Infielder DJ LeMahieu joined the Cubs from Double-A Tennessee on Monday, taking Jeff Baker’s spot on the roster. Baker was placed on the 15-day DL, retro to Saturday, because of a strained groin.

“The first thing we have to do is figure out how to spell his name,” Mike Quade said.

Quade said they couldn’t play short-handed without Baker and Reed Johnson, who was placed on the DL Sunday.

“I wanted to see ‘Bake’ hit the other day and I didn’t think he looked as comfortable as he needed to be,” Quade said. “He’d still suck it up for us and still pinch-hit but that leaves us in a pretty tough situation defensively.”

LeMahieu may be asked to fill in at first base if the Cubs need to give Carlos Pena a day off. That was Baker’s job. The other option is Blake DeWitt.

LeMahieu had been told Sunday he was going to be promoted to Triple-A Iowa, and then went fishing with friends. He got a phone call from player development director Oneri Fleita that there had been a change in plans and he was going to Chicago.

“I was like, ‘Did I get traded?'” LeMahieu said. “[Fleita] said, ‘Have you ever heard of Wrigley Field?'”

His father was in Milwaukee and drove down and his mother flew across the country from California to be at Wrigley on Monday.

“I dreamed about this as a kid, like everyone says,” LeMahieu said. “When you’re playing in Double-A, youknow a call might be coming but I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for the actual call.”

* Matt Garza, on the DL with a right elbow contusion, threw on flat ground Monday and was expected to throw a side on Wednesday. Could he still be ready in St. Louis? “Not out of the question,” Quade said. “I’d like him back as quick as I can get him back.”

* Geovany Soto said he was able to test his leg in his two Minor League games. He was activated from the DL Sunday after being sidelined with a strained left groin.

“I ran for a little bit and whenever I hit the ball,” Soto said Monday. “It felt good. In my head, I was a little concerned. I didn’t want to [re-injur] it or feel it at all and I never did.”

* Players were wearing special Memorial Day caps.

* It was suddenly summer at Wrigley Field on Monday.

“I just like it hot and comfortable,” Quade said. “The hotter the better for me. I believe when the weather warms up, our offense will be better. It’s just a more comfortable situation. It’s good to see the sun.”

— 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

4/26 Cubs lineup

Jeff Baker is starting at first and Reed Johnson in right field Tuesday night for the Cubs in Game 2 of their three-game series against the Rockies, who are starting lefty Jorge De La Rosa. Baker is batting .400 overall and .455 against lefties. And Starlin Castro is back in the leadoff spot. He’s 2-for-17 in the No. 3 hole, and 23-for-46 (.500) in the leadoff spot. Here’s the lineup:

SS Castro

2B Barney

CF Byrd

3B Ramirez

1B Baker

C Soto

LF Soriano

RF Johnson

P Russell

— Carrie Muskat

3/24 Quade on roster moves

Darwin Barney has had an impressive spring camp and appears to have passed Blake DeWitt on the Cubs’ depth chart at second base. This will be Barney’s first Opening Day on a big league roster; he batted .299 last season at Iowa and was hitting .359 this spring.

“He’s played himself into significant time and, it’s Spring Training,” manager Mike Quade said. “[Barney] is making progress. He does a lot of things outside of the batter’s box that you really like. He’s given himself every chance to be an important part of this infield. Now we’ll go north and see what happens in April.”

DeWitt has struggled. He’s been playing only second base this spring but will now play some third because the Cubs may need to use him as a backup there.

“We’ll be patient with him,” Quade said of DeWitt. “He’s 25 years old. He’s a .260 lifetime big league hitter and we’ll expect him to get a lot better.

“We want to give him a chance to develop as much as he could at second base,” Quade said. “That’s still a work in progress, there’s no question. He did a good job for us last year and his numbers at the big league level were good. … He needs to get better and he will.”

Reed Johnson, a non-roster invitee on the Cubs for the second time, also made the Opening Day roster. He was hitting .231. Fernando Perez, acquired from the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, hit .143 in 16 games and was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

“I believe Fernando needs to go play,” Quade said. “The guy’s blessed with unbelievable speed.”

— Carrie Muskat