Results tagged ‘ Ryan Sweeney ’
* Besides looking for bullpen help and another starting pitcher, the Cubs are searching for players who will be good role models for the current youngsters on the roster.
“I think people forget how young guys like [Anthony] Rizzo and [Starlin] Castro are,” GM Jed Hoyer said Monday at the Winter Meetings. “They need some positive examples.”
The Cubs are hoping new first base coach Eric Hinske can fill that role as well.
“He did a great job as a bench player and being a team leader,” Hoyer said of Hinske, who played last season for the Diamondbacks. “It was always about having different influences on the coaching staff for our players. You want to have different avenues. [Players] might gravitate toward the guy who has been teaching for a long time, or they might gravitate toward the guy who just came off the field.”
* Luis Valbuena, who led the Cubs with 94 starts at third base last season, has been playing strictly second base in the Venezuelan Winter League. That’s by design.
“We want him to be versatile and he is versatile,” Hoyer said. “[Darwin] Barney can play shortstop, Valbuena can play some shortstop, Donnie Murphy can play some shortstop. We have a really versatile infield and that’s a great thing. We may not have to carry a standard utility guy and can mix and match in different ways.”
Speaking of Barney, Hoyer said he expects the second baseman to have a much better season than he did in 2013.
“It’s a big year for him, no matter what,” Hoyer said of Barney, who batted .208 this season. “He had a down year offensively and he’d be the first person to say that. I don’t think it has anything to do with competition among young players. He wants to bounce back and get back to where he was.
“With him, mechanically and approach-wise, he got caught with some things last year,” Hoyer said. “A lot of things with him isn’t the hard work or the swing, it’s the approach.”
The team does have a promising second baseman in Arismendy Alcantara, ranked No. 8 among MLB.com’s top 20 Cubs prospects, but he will open the season at Triple-A Iowa, Hoyer said.
* Andy MacPhail, who was the Cubs’ president and CEO from 1994-2006, including a two-year stint as the general manager (2000-01), is keeping an eye on how the current Chicago front office is trying to rebuild the organization.
“They have to do it the way they’re comfortable with and the way they think most guarantees their success, and I know that’s what that group is doing,” MacPhail said Monday at the Winter Meetings.
“I have a lot of confidence in that group that they’re going to do it the way they think will most assuredly get them the end goal because that’s the prize, winning the whole thing,” MacPhail said. “We got close [in 2003]. You ultimately aren’t successful until you at least get to the World Series.”
* Outfielder Ryan Sweeney hoped to begin work this week with Hall of Famer Rod Carew. The two worked together last season, and Sweeney said he benefitted from the sessions. Sweeney batted .266 in 70 games with the Cubs, and signed a two-year contract extension on Oct. 8.
* New manager Rick Renteria will get together with his coaches in Mesa, Ariz., this weekend to get a tour of the new facility and start preparations for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13.
* Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, recently completed his studies at Dartmouth and graduated with a major in economics. Hendricks was a combined 13-4 with 2.00 ERA in 27 starts between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
* Junior Lake is done playing in the Dominican Republic winter league, and those who saw him raved about his outfield play.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. Sweeney, 28, will get $1.5 million in 2014 and 2015, and the Cubs hold a $2.5 million option for 2016 that includes a $500,000 buyout.
The left-handed hitting outfielder batted .266 in 70 games with the Cubs, hitting six home runs, 13 doubles and two triples. He was sidelined from June 30-Sept. 1 with a fractured left rib suffered when he crashed into the outfield wall in Seattle on June 29. Sweeney was batting .295 before the injury.
Sweeney was one of five potential free agents on the Cubs, along with Scott Baker, Matt Guerrier, Dioner Navarro, and Kevin Gregg.
– Carrie Muskat
* Scott Baker will make his first Major League start since Aug. 8, 2011, on Sunday when he takes the mound in the Cubs’ series finale against the Brewers.
“He’s built up pretty good,” Dale Sveum said of the right-hander, who has been sidelined since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in April 2012. “I’m not going to put a limit on [Sunday's game]. He’s obviously not going to go over 100 pitches. We’ll see how things go. We have plenty of guys in the bullpen. It’s not a necessity to do anything but evaluate and let him pitch.”
* Ryan Sweeney will get a good look in September so the Cubs can gauge what to do next season with the outfielder.
“He’s pretty savvy, he knows what’s going on,” Sveum said. “He’s a quality left-handed bat, has the ability to hit home runs. You give him 500, 700 plate appearances that he’s never gotten before, I think you could project that to be a pretty good year.”
Sweeney missed time after injuring his ribs when he crashed into the outfield wall in Seattle.
“He’s got an ability in center field to make things look easy,” Sveum said. “You don’t want to put anybody in a Jim Edmonds category but he makes it look easy like Jim Edmonds did without a great deal of speed.”
* Junior Lake leads all Major League rookies in hits since the All-Star break, but on Saturday, the Cubs outfielder got a day off. Lake, who hit his first grand slam on Friday, was not in the Cubs’ starting lineup against the Brewers on Saturday. It’s part of Sveum’s effort to give the outfielders on the roster enough playing time.
In 45 games with the Cubs, Lake has 55 hits, including five home runs. Sveum said he could project the outfielder finishing with at least 15 home runs in a full season.
“He’s got tremendous raw ability,” Sveum said. “We’ve witnessed that since the All-Star break. The power is there. You’re talking about doing things, and people still have to get the 700 plate appearances to project anything. He has the power and ability to obviously hit 15 home runs [in a single season].”
* Sveum was asked how he would judge Anthony Rizzo’s season.
“In his second year, many people in this game would take 85 to 90 [RBIs] and 25 home runs,” Sveum said. “We’re down on the average and all that, but the bottom line is, it’s been a good learning year for him and understanding about playing every day and the pitching and all that. It’s still a pretty good year for a kid who had to play every single day for the first time in his career.”
Rizzo entered Saturday’s game batting .232 with 21 home runs and 73 RBIs.
– Carrie Muskat
Ryan Sweeney is activated from the DL and in the lineup Sunday for the Cubs in the series finale against the Phillies. Here’s the lineup:
Dave Sappelt had two hits and a stolen base and Jae-Hoon Ha had two hits, including a double, and two stolen bases in Iowa’s 7-2 loss to Nashville. Yoanner Negrin gave up two runs over 1 2/3 innings.
Nick Struck gave up three runs over five innings in Tennessee’s 4-3 win over Chattanooga. Javier Baez posted his 14th multi-hit game in August, hitting a two-run homer in the first. Baez finished the month batting .357 with 11 doubles, eight homers and 30 RBIs. Christian Villanueva also hit a first inning home run, a solo shot.
Daytona dropped a 5-1 loss to Brevard County. Wes Darvill had three hits, including a double, and one RBIs.
James Pugliese gave up five runs over three innings in Kane County’s 9-0 loss to Peoria. Ryan Sweeney was 1 for 4 and Luis Valbuena 1 for 3 with a walk in their rehab outings.
Hillsboro’s Kyle Schepel threw a nine inning no-hitter to beat Boise, 5-0. Dillon Maples took the loss, giving up two earned runs over five innings. Yasiel Balaguert was the only Boise player to draw a walk.
Scott Baker will make his final Minor League rehab start Monday for Class A Kane County. The right-hander, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, hopes his next outing will be with the Cubs. Baker’s rehab was interrupted by rain as weather in Florida while he was scheduled to pitch for Class A Daytona kept forcing games to be cancelled.
In his last outing for Kane County, he gave up one hit over five scoreless — and dry — innings.
“For me, it’s just about making pitches, and I feel like I’m making pitches,” Baker said Saturday. “Some of the arm speed is starting to come back. I know that takes time. Just being a realist, it’s a long time since I’ve pitched competitively. There’s only one way to gain the arm speed and that’s to pitch.”
His goal is still to pitch for the Cubs in the final month of regular season play.
“As long as I can make pitches, I think I can be competitive,” Baker said.
He knows how many pitches and innings he needs to convince the Cubs front office.
“I’m cutting it close for sure,” he said of the timing. “I feel if I can get to that six-inning, 90-pitch mark, then that puts me right in line to start a game at the Major League level. Of course, that decision is totally up to them. I really can’t complain one bit because things have been great, and they’ve taken good care of me and allowed me to take my time and made sure I’m just not healthy for the short term but for the long term.”
* Ryan Sweeney stopped by Wrigley Field to pick up his gear. He hopes to be back on Sunday for the rest of the season. Sweeney and Luis Valbuena were scheduled to make rehab outings Saturday night for Class A Kane County. If all goes well, Sweeney, who has been sidelined since June 30 because of a left rib fracture, could be added on Sunday when rosters expand.
“He’ll be back [Sunday],” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Saturday of Sweeney. “It’ll be good to have him back.”
Valbuena, who has been out since Aug. 3, may need a little more time. Kane County’s season ends Monday. Sweeney was batting .295 when injured while Valbuena was hitting .225, but had hit nine home runs and driven in 31 runs.
The Cubs also may add a left-handed pitcher to the bullpen. James Russell has handled those duties by himself for the majority of the season.
* September will be a key month to evaluate the Cubs players.
“I think the last month is priceless for some guys, especially some guys who had a tough struggle or whatever,” Sveum said. “Other guys are being evaluated for next year. The adage of it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, it helps the winter a lot. You don’t want a bad September and then sit on that for the winter.”
– Carrie Muskat
Third baseman Luis Valbuena, outfielder Ryan Sweeney and pitcher Rafael Dolis will join Class A Kane County to continue their rehab assignments, with Valbuena and Sweeney to be added to the Cubs’ when rosters expand on Sunday. Valbuena has been sidelined since Aug. 3 with a right oblique strain. He played in two games for the Cubs’ Rookie League team in Mesa, and was 5-for-7 with two doubles and a stolen base. Sweeney has been out since crashing into the outfield wall in Seattle June 29 and suffering a fractured left rib. In four games with the Rookie League team, he was 4-for-14 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Dale Sveum said Friday that Valbuena and Sweeney will likely be added once rosters expand on Sunday. The Cubs also were expected to add catcher J.C. Boscan and some pitchers from the Triple-A Iowa roster.
Sveum didn’t expect Valbuena to play every day once he returns.
“It’s nice to have left-handed bats when you can for matchups,” Sveum said. “As for playing every day, I don’t know. This last month will be evaluation for a lot of things.”
* Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, was at Wrigley Field for a bullpen session, and will make one more rehab start for Class A Kane County on Monday. So far, Baker has made two starts for Class A Daytona, and five for Kane County. In his last outing on Wednesday, he retired the first 13 batters he faced, and gave up one hit over five innings.
“We’ll evaluate and see what we want to do the rest of the month,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Baker, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the team last November.
Kane County’s season ends on Monday.
* Five members of the Cubs’ Double-A Tennessee team were named to the Southern League All-Star team on Friday. They include second baseman Arismendy Alcantara, third baseman Christian Villanueva, shortstop Javier Baez, outfielder Matt Szczur and pitcher Kyle Hendricks.
– Carrie Muskat
Mike Olt went 4-for-4, hitting a double, a home run, and driving in two runs in Iowa’s 8-5 win over Memphis. Dave Sappelt, Brad Nelson and Tim Torres each had two hits. Alberto Cabrera picked up the win in relief of Casey Coleman, who gave up three runs over five innings.
Dae-Eun Rhee gave up two runs, none earned, over 6 1/3 innings in Tennessee’s 4-3 loss to Mobile. Justin Bour and Rubi Silva each hit home runs.
Corey Black gave up three runs, two earned, over five innings in Daytona’s 7-3 win over Tampa. Kris Bryant had two hits and two RBIs.
Tayler Scott gave up three runs over six innings in Kane County’s 5-3 win over Wisconsin. Oliver Zapata had two hits, including a double and a triple. Trevor Gretzky had two hits, including a triple.
Duane Underwood gave up one run over five innings in Boise’s 2-1 win over Hillsboro, which moved the Hawks into a first-place tie. Jacob Rogers had three hits and one RBIs.
Ryan Sweeney was 0-for-2 in a rehab outing in Mesa’s 4-2 win over the Angels. Rafael Dolis, sidelined all season with a strained right forearm, walked one and struck out one in one inning. Jesse Hodges had two hits, as did Alex Sanchez.
Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney has a fractured left rib, suffered when he crashed into the outfield wall at Safeco Field on Saturday, and will not be able to do any baseball activities for four to six weeks. Sweeney was injured after catching Kendrys Morales’ fly ball for the second out in the third inning.
“It’s unfortunate because we started to get things going with the offense and now we lose a big piece of that,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Sunday. “It’s unfortunate for him, too, because he’s trying to get his career going and play everyday. It stinks when those things happen to guys like that who are good players and getting a chance and all of a sudden it’s taken away for a couple of months.”
Sweeney was batting .295, and had taken over in center field after David DeJesus sprained his right shoulder crashing into the outfield wall at Citi Field on June 14.
“The wall is harder now because they put in a new wall,” Sweeney said of Safeco Field. “It felt like a brick wall when I hit it. I grabbed my side because I felt it jolt a little. I feel like I’ve hit that way before and it wasn’t that hard. It must have just hit me in the right spot. I came out of the game and was hoping I maybe bruised it and tried to swing and couldn’t swing.”
X-rays were negative but a CT scan showed the fracture.
“I knew I didn’t feel great, but obviously, you don’t know if a bone is broken,” Sweeney said.
For now, the Cubs will use Brian Bogusevic in center. Sweeney is headed to the disabled list, but no move was made Sunday. After an off day Monday, they will make a roster move prior to Tuesday’s game against the Athletics. The team could add a pitcher, depending on how overworked the bullpen is.
Sweeney was obviously disappointed.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “Last year, I got a concussion when I was hitting .350. It seems like it comes at the worse time for me. I play hard so it’s not like I was out of control when I hit the wall. It was just a fluke thing.”
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney had to leave Saturday’s game after the third inning because he injured his ribs crashing into the center field wall. Sweeney was hurt when he hit the wall to catch Kendrys Morales’ fly ball for the second out in the third inning, and suffered left rib soreness. The Cubs expected to know more about the severity of the injury after Sweeney was examined.
Julio Borbon took over in center in the fourth for Sweeney, who has gotten the majority of playing time since David DeJesus sprained his right shoulder colliding with the center field wall at Citi Field June 14. DeJesus is on the 15-day disabled list.
– Carrie Muskat