Results tagged ‘ Rodrigo Lopez ’

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 

3/4 Cubs Sunday wrapup

Rodrigo Lopez may not be one of the first names you think of for one of the spots in the Cubs rotation but the right-hander is definitely one the front office is considering. Lopez, who has been working with Rick Sutcliffe on his slider, retired the six batters he faced in two innings on Sunday in the Cactus League opener and did so efficiently. Sveum likes Lopez’s experience.

“He’s definitely in the mix,” Sveum said of Lopez. “I think everybody is in the mix for those last couple spots. We don’t know what’s going to happen with [Jeff] Samardzija. It’s going to be an interesting month.”

Samardzija will start Wednesday when the Cubs travel to Surprise to face the Royals. The others competing for a spot in the rotation include Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, and Randy Wells. Anyone who doesn’t make the rotation does not automatically go into the bullpen, Sveum said. That’s also to be finalized in the next month of games.

* Lopez was 6-6 with a 4.42 ERA last season with the Cubs. He signed a Minor League contract on Jan. 9.

“I don’t want to think about what’s going to happen or who I’m battling against,” Lopez said. “I just felt like, go out there and do my thing.”

He was hoping to get a chance to return to the Cubs.

“I love the team and love the city,” Lopez said. “I’ve played for a few teams already but the experience I had last year playing for the Cubs at Wrigley, it doesn’t have any match in baseball. They were interested early, since November they were calling. I felt they really wanted me to go back. I know there’s a lot of competition here but I’m just going to do my thing and they know what I’m capable of doing.”

* The Cubs were able to steal two bases in the second inning on Sunday but in the fourth, David DeJesus and Darwin Barney were both picked off first base by A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki.

“[First base coach Dave McKay] was like, ‘Focus on balls in the dirt,'” DeJesus said. “[He said] ‘Once the ball is in the dirt, get in the shuffle and go.’ We both had good jumps on it but [Suzuki] picked them both. We were working on something there. Kurt is a quality catcher. It was a great job by him.”

Despite the outs, Sveum liked what he saw because it’s part of his plan to get the players to be more aggressive.

“The first instinct was right and the second instinct got you thrown out at first base instead of second base,” Sveum said. “If we had won that game today, we would’ve won it because of baserunning.”

Guys were advancing on fly balls and making the Athletics hurry their throws, for example. Sveum wants the players to be aggressive and trust their first instincts

“I’ve told these guys your second instinct will always be wrong,” Sveum said.

* Carlos Marmol pitched one inning in Sunday’s Cactus League opener and retired the side in order. The right-hander will be used in save situations later this spring. Said Sveum: “You want guys to face other teams good lineups and those kind of guys, the Kerry Woods and those guys, at the beginning they’ll pitch earlier in the game just to get them out. You don’t want them sitting around, standing around.”

* In Sunday’s 12-10 loss to the A’s, Darwin Barney and Jae-Hoon Ha had two hits and two RBIs each.

* Three finalists remain in WGN Radio’s contest for the next Cubs song. Fans can listen to the songs on and vote on which will become the official WGN Radio Cubs song of 2012. The finalists are “Cubs Win” by 17 Candle; “Let’s Go Cubbies” by The Fold; and “Rockin’ Right at Wrigley” by Derrick Procell. Voting will end at 8:30 a.m. CT on March 16.

* At least 10 players took part in extra hitting with coach Rudy Jaramillo after Sunday’s game, including Anthony Rizzo, Josh Vitters, Matt Szczur, and Steve Clevenger.

* The Cubs bunting tourney resumes on Monday with sweet 16 matches.

— Carrie Muskat

3/4 Cubs Cactus League opener

The Cubs kick off the Cactus League season on Sunday facing the Athletics at HoHoKam Park. There is no TV broadcast but fans can listen to Len Kasper do the radio broadcast on, starting at 2 p.m. CT.

“To be able to face somebody in another uniform, this is what it’s all about and it’s time,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “We know there’s one more step left and it’s Opening Day. Now we have Opening Day of Spring Training and we have something to look foward to 30 days from now. Guys have put in a great effort preparing for this. Now it’s time to sit back and let them play and watch them do what they can do.

“It’s nice for me now to where I get to see a lot of in-game situations,” Sveum said. “You can only watch so much batting practice and ground balls and bullpens. Now it’s time to see what they can do against another team.”

The Cubs begin the season with 15 new players on the 40-man roster since the end of last season. Of the 39 players on the Cubs’ 40-man, 24 have three or fewer years of service time in the Majors. Rodrigo Lopez, fighting for a spot in the rotation, will start on Sunday. Ryan Dempster will pitch Monday against the A’s at HoHoKam, Matt Garza on Tuesday against the Rockies, Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday in Surprise against the Royals, and Chris Volstad on Thursday against the Mariners in Mesa.

— Carrie Muskat

2/29 Lopez, the Cubs’ baby-faced assasin

Rodrigo Lopez is happy to be reunited with Rick Sutcliffe. The two were together with the Padres when Lopez was pitching in rookie ball and Sutcliffe was the pitching coach.

“He’s been like a son to me,” Sutcliffe said Wednesday. “I call him a baby-faced assasin. I heard it said a long time ago, Walter Alston said, ‘I can win with that guy,’ and ‘Lopey’ is that guy. Whatever you need — he’ll start, he’ll relieve, he’ll close. He’s not afraid of anything.”

Sutcliffe did make some minor changes with Lopez’s grip.

“I put him back where he was when I saw him there [with the Padres],” Sutcliffe said.

Lopez is 36 but looks young. He looked even younger in rookie ball.

“I said, ‘People look at you and they’re not sure if you’re tough or not,'” Sutcliffe said, “so I told him I wanted him to hit somebody, and he hit three people in a row. He got two outs and he hit three of them, and I said, ‘Whoa, I got it.'”

— Carrie Muskat

2/28 Lopez eager to start

Rodrigo Lopez was “flattered” to be told he’ll be starting the Cubs first Cactus League game Sunday against the Athletics.

“It’s nice knowing they have plans for me and want me to start a few games,” Lopez said Tuesday. “Everybody’s excited to go out there and play and everybody wants to play in the first one. I was lucky, probably to start, the first one. It makes me feel good and I’ll go out there and do my best.”

Last season, Lopez was 6-6 in 26 games with a 4.42 ERA, including a 6-5 mark and 4.50 ERA in 16 starts. He’s gotten a huge assist this spring from former Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe who was Lopez’s coach in rookie ball. Sutcliffe, who is in Cubs camp until March 10, suggested some changes in Lopez’s grip and thinking more about finishing his pitches.

“I feel good about it and can’t wait to use it in the game,” Lopez said of the changes.

The Cubs are still sorting out the rotation. So far, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Paul Maholm are set with Lopez, Randy Wells, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, and Jeff Samardzija competing for the other spots. Lopez, 36, a non-roster invitee, could’ve easily been inserted into a game in the sixth inning but instead will start Sunday.

“I’m flattered,” Lopez said. “I’m here for a reason. They put me in the first game. That tells me they want to see me and they want to give me a good look.”

— Carrie Muskat

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

2/27 Cubs bunt tourney: 2nd round matchups

There is still one first round match to be played between Rodrigo Lopez and Paul Maholm, who was ill, but here are the second round pairings for the Cubs bunt tourney so you can update your bracket at home:

Second round pairings:

Pitchers bracket

Beliveau vs. L. Castillo

McNutt vs. Dolis

Rhee vs. Rusin

Maine vs. Coleman

T. Wood vs. Samardzija

Wells vs. Sonnanstine

Marmol vs. TBD

Dempster vs. Sveum

Position players bracket:

Szczur vs. Cardenas

Mota vs. Lalli

B. Jackson vs. W. Castillo

Clevenger vs. LaHair

Mather vs. Barney

Castro vs. Stewart

Soto vs. Baker

Byrd vs. DeJesus

— Carrie Muskat

2/27 Cubs Monday notebook

Paul Maholm was able to throw a side session on Monday but was sent home after that as he is still recovering from the flu.

“I think he got a little light headed and is still a little dehydrated from being sick,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Maholm was to participate in the team bunting tournament on Monday but his match with Rodrigo Lopez was postponed. The lefty won’t have to forfeit.

“That’s a legitimate excuse,” Sveum said. “I didn’t want to keep him around and get anybody else sick. We’ll make that match up probably [Tuesday] or the next day when he’s better.”

* Lopez will start the Cubs’ Cactus League opener on Sunday against the Athletics and be followed in the rotation by Ryan Dempster on March 5 against the A’s, and and Matt Garza the next day against the Rockies. Sveum said not to read too much into the order. Dempster was the Cubs’ Opening Day starter in 2011.

“We’ll make that decision in the middle [of spring],” Sveum said. “It’s set up to where we’re good with whatever we decide.”

* How different is Spring Training for Sveum, who was the Brewers hitting coach for six years before taking over the Cubs job as manager?

“I’d say [it’s different],” Sveum said. “You’re running the whole thing now. You’re accountable for everything, you’re staff’s accountable. You have to hold them accountable for what’s going on during the course of the day to make sure everything is running properly and everybody’s doing things the way you want them done. A lot of times you have two fields working fundamentals so you can’t be on the same field all the time.

“Yeah, it’s completely different, especially the last few years after being the hitting coach and all I had to do was be in the cage and watch people hit all the time.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/19 Cubs sign Rodrigo Lopez

The Cubs have signed Rodrigo Lopez to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. A Mexican baseball magazine first reported the signing. Last January, Lopez, 36, signed with the Braves but did not make the roster out of Spring Training. He was traded to the Cubs in May, and pitched in long relief and made 16 starts. He was 6-6 with a 4.42 ERA in 26 games. In a four-game stretch June 28-July 18, Lopez was 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA, posting three quality starts.

The Cubs are expected to announce all the non-roster invitees next week.

— Carrie Muskat