Results tagged ‘ Rodrigo Lopez ’

4/23 Bowden joins Cubs

Michael Bowden grew up a Cubs fan, watching Ryne Sandberg, and when the Red Sox designated him for assignment, he started to imagine playing for his favorite team. Little did he know, Wrigley Field would become his new home. Bowden was acquired Saturday night from the Red Sox for Marlon Byrd. The Cubs, who will pay a significant amount of Byrd’s salary, also will receive a player to be named later. Bowden was in uniform at Wrigley Monday. Rodrigo Lopez was designated for assignment to make room for Bowden on the 25-man roster. The Cubs are hoping Lopez will stay with the organization if he clears waivers.

“This past week has felt like forever,” Bowden said. “Every single day since the day I was taken off [the roster], I was waiting for a phone call. Just the anticipation of that and then further in the week, I saw some articles and speculation of Marlon Byrd going to the Red Sox and I got my hopes up, and talking to my wife, I was just pretending. When we got the call, it was an awesome feeling.”

Bowden grew up in suburban Aurora and now lives in Oswego, which is a one-hour commute. It’s a lot shorter than the drive he made from Boston to Chicago after the Red Sox designated him on April 15. He appeared in three games with Boston. Did he feel he had a fair shot?

“That’s a tough question to answer,” Bowden said. “I never really got a level of comfort over there. I’d go up there and I didn’t know really what they wanted out of me and they threw me in a lot of different roles. I’m very grateful for it. It made me a very versatile pitcher. Now, throw anything at me, and I feel I’m prepared to tackle that. I’m grateful for the oppotunity they gave me over there. I’m excited to start my career over here.”

He’s been working out, throwing against a wall, and recently threw a bullpen to a friend. When Bowden got the call from the Cubs, it was tough to hide his enthusiasm.

“I think it was the most exciting time in my career, right up there with my debut and getting drafted,” he said. “This is a dream come true and I’m very blessed and extremely excited.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/7 Lopez added, Valbuena to Iowa

The Cubs now have a dozen pitchers, selecting the contract of reliever Rodrigo Lopez on Saturday. Infielder Luis Valbuena cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the 25-man roster. Lopez, who signed a Minor League deal in January, appeared in six Spring Training games, including four starts. He will be used as the long man but in other ways as well, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

“Whenever you have a guy with a slider, the way he used it this spring, I think he’s feeling it,” Sveum said Saturday. “The  flexibility [he provides] is great. He can go long, and you can stack three right-handers up in an inning and bring him in. He’s a veteran guy who knows how to pitch and I think with his slider being back where he wants it to be, he becomes more versatile through a whole lineup and through a game when you can use him.”

With the switch, the Cubs now have a 12-man pitching staff.

The Cubs claimed Valbuena off waivers from the Blue Jays and he was on the Opening Day roster as the team went with 14 position players and 11 pitchers for one day. Valbuena, 26, has a career .226 average in the big leagues with the Mariners and Indians over parts of the last four seasons. He was traded from Cleveland to Toronto last November and was in the Blue Jays camp this spring, where he batted .163 in 24 games.

– Carrie Muskat

4/1 Bullpen decisions

The Cubs have eight relievers in camp for seven spots, and may not make a final decision until Wednesday when the 25-man roster has to be set. The list includes Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, and James Russell, who are set. Also competing for spots are Rafael Dolis, Shawn Camp, Rodrigo Lopez, Lendy Castillo and Manuel Corpas. Dolis has not given up a run in nine innings over eight games, striking out five and walking four. Corpas, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2010, has served up six runs on eight hits over 9 2/3 innings in eight games. He’s struck out 11. Castillo, the Rule 5 pick, has appeared in 10 games, giving up five earned runs on 10 hits and 10 walks over 12 innings. He has 11 strikeouts. Dale Sveum has said he’s impressed by Castillo’s poise, considering he’s 22, relatively new to pitching (he was a shortstop), and was at Class A last year. Camp was claimed off waivers from the Mariners. So far this spring, he has given up five earned runs on 14 hits over 11 2/3 innings. Lopez will likely take over as the long man in the ‘pen.

– Carrie Muskat

3/25 Cubs 6, Indians 2

What went right:

Alfonso Soriano belted his sixth spring homer, a two-run shot in the seventh, which is tops in the Cactus League. Joe Mather had two hits, both doubles, and made a great leaping catch of Asdrubal Cabrera’s fly ball to center, and appears close to locking up a spot on the bench. Bryan LaHair had two hits, and now is 5-for-6 in his last two games.

What went wrong:

The first three batters Rodrigo Lopez faced reached base and two scored. Otherwise, he settled down, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings.

Quotable:

“I’ve probably lost more sleep over our batting order than anything as far as camp’s gone. The last week might have something to do with that lineup. It’s who’s swinging good, what’s going on, who steps up power-wise. It’s just kind of a funny lineup where we don’t have that guy, this guy, that second hitter, that leadoff guy, that third hitter. It’s one of those things where it’s going to be four days from now where we sit down and say, this is what it’s going to be Opening Day.” — Cubs manager Dale Sveum

Injury report:

* Carlos Marmol, who has not pitched since he came out of Tuesday’s game with cramps in his right hand, was expected to appear in a game on Monday.

* Kerry Wood has not pitched since last Sunday but Dale Sveum said Sunday, “There’s no reason for any extra workload.”

Noteworthy:

* Andy Sonnanstine, outrighted to the Cubs’ Triple-A roster last Thursday, has rejected the assignment and is a free agent. Sonnanstine, 29, appeared in four Cactus League games, giving up eight runs on 13 hits and three walks over five innings. Last season, the right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA in 15 games (four starts) with the Rays.

* Opening Day starter Ryan Dempster gave up six runs on eight hits and one walk over five innings in a Minor League game Sunday at Fitch Park. Dempster threw 88 pitches and struck out four. He’ll open the season for the Cubs April 5 against the Nationals.

Up next:

The Cubs play their last split-squad games on Monday. Paul Maholm will face the Padres in Mesa at HoHoKam Park while Jay Jackson will start the road game against the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale. Maholm has been tabbed as the fifth starter. He was slowed this spring by the flu. David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd and Dave Sappelt will make up the outfield against the Diamondbacks, while Bryan LaHair, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney will be in Mesa. The game in Mesa will be broadcast on Cubs.com

– Carrie Muskat

3/25 Cubs lineup vs Indians

Starlin Castro, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday, is back at shortstop and Alfonso Soriano is the DH in the Cubs game Sunday against the Indians in Goodyear. Rodrigo Lopez, hoping to secure a spot in either the rotation or bullpen, will make the start. Opening Day starter Ryan Dempster will get his work in at Fitch Park on Sunday, pitching in a Minor League game. Here’s the lineup against the Indians:

RF Johnson

LF DeWitt

SS Castro

DH Soriano

1B LaHair

C Soto

3B Stewart

2B Baker

CF Mather

– Carrie Muskat

3/23 Cubs pitching probables

Looking ahead to Cubs pitching matchups, Travis Wood will start Saturday against the Padres in Mesa and be followed by Randy Wells. Chris Volstad will pitch in a game in the Minor League camp on Saturday as well. On Sunday, Rodrigo Lopez will start against the Indians in Goodyear and Ryan Dempster will start in a Minor League game at Fitch Park. The Cubs have their last split-squad games on Monday, and Paul Maholm will face the Padres in Mesa while Jay Jackson will start the road game against the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale.

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Rangers 6, Cubs 2; Cubs 5, Athletics 5 (10 innings)

What went right:

Against the Rangers in Mesa, Ryan Dempster gave up two runs on four hits over six innings, the longest outing by a Cubs pitcher this spring. Starlin Castro and Blake DeWitt each had two hits, including a triple apiece, and Anthony Rizzo had two hits. In Phoenix, Tony Campana was 4-for-5 and Alfredo Amezaga 2-for-3 against the Athletics, in a game that ended in a 5-5 tie. Rodrigo Lopez gave up one earned run on three hits over five innings and struck out four.

What went wrong:

Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo served up the tie-breaking runs in the eighth against the Rangers, who won, 6-2. Blake Parker gave up a leadoff homer to Oakland’s Jonny Gomes to spark a three-run ninth in Phoenix, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Quotable:

“You get traded for a guy like [Sean] Marshall, who’s an outstading pitcher, and you want to come over here and show what you can do and I haven’t been. It’s all going to work out. I’m going to get it together and get after it.” — Cubs pitcher Travis Wood, who gave up seven runs on seven hits and two walks in two innings against the Mariners on Monday.

Injury report:

Carlos Marmol was pulled from Tuesday’s game in Mesa because of a cramp in his right hand and was to undergo an MRI as a precautionary measure. He started the seventh against the Rangers and got the first two batters out, then hit Chris Robinson. Marmol threw two pitches to Mike Olt and manager Dale Sveum noticed the pitcher flexing his right hand. Sveum and athletic trainer Ed Halbur went to the mound and the right-hander was lifted, although Marmol argued to stay in the game.

Ian Stewart, sidelined with soreness in his right quad, returned to the lineup in Phoenix and was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Newsworthy:

Paul Maholm will start at Fitch Park on Wednesday in a Minor League game.

Up next:

After an off day Wednesday, Matt Garza will take the mound Thursday when the Cubs play the Rangers for the fourth time in six days. This will be Garza’s fourth start. He’s coming off a solid performance against the Giants in which he gave up three hits and walked one over four innings. Alfonso Soriano will be back in the lineup, batting third. He has four homers this spring, which ranks among the ML leaders. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports Net and Cubs.com.

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Cubs lineups vs Rangers, A’s

The Cubs have split squad games on Tuesday against the Rangers at HoHoKam and the Athletics in Phoenix. Ryan Dempster will start in Mesa, and Rodrigo Lopez in Phoenix. Here are the lineups:

Vs. Rangers in Mesa

RF DeJesus

CF Byrd

SS Castro

2B Baker

C Soto

3B DeWitt

LF Johnson

1B Rizzo

P Dempster

Vs. Athletics in Phoenix

LF Campana

2B Barney

3B Stewart

DH Mather

1B LaHair

C Clevenger

RF Sappelt

CF Jackson

SS Amezaga

– Carrie Muskat

3/15 Split-squad Thursday lineups

Let’s play two. The Cubs will play split squad games on Thursday, sending half the team to Scottsdale to face the Rockies while the other half stays in Mesa to face the Diamondbacks. Rodrigo Lopez is scheduled to pitch against Colorado and Ryan Dempster gets the start against Arizona. Here are the lineups:

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks in Mesa

RF Johnson

CF Byrd

SS Castro

LF Soriano

1B Baker

C Soto

2B Barney

3B Vitters

P Dempster

Cubs vs. Rockies in Scottsdale

RF DeJesus

2B DeWitt

3B Stewart

1B LaHair

CF Mather

LF Jackson

C Castillo

SS Lake

P Lopez

– 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 Cubs.com. 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

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