Results tagged ‘ Ryan Sweeney ’

9/1 Minor matters

Saturday’s games

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.

8/31 Extra bases

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

8/30 Extra bases

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

8/25 Minor matters

Saturday’s games

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.

6/30 Sweeney has fractured rib

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

6/29 Sweeney injured

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

6/29 Cubs lineup

Alfonso Soriano is the DH Saturday in Game 2 of the Cubs’ three-game Interleague series against the Mariners. On Saturday, the teams will wear uniforms from the turn of the century. The Cubs are 5-1 all-time when wearing throwback uniforms, and previously wore throwbacks June 2 of last year at San Francisco, in a 2-1 setback.

* Ryan Sweeney is batting .429 in 10 Interleague games, third highest mark among NL players. Anthony Rizzo is batting .391, and his 17 RBIs in Interleague play lead the Majors.

* Cubs DH’s are batting .400 (6-for-15) with one double, one home run and three RBIs in four games. Soriano hit his fifth home run as a DH on Friday, extending his franchise record. He’s batting .372 (29-for-78) with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 24 career games as the DH.

* Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Schierholtz RF
Soriano DH
Rizzo 1B
Sweeney CF
Bogusevic LF
Barney 2B
Castillo C

Samardzija P

6/26 Cubs 5, Brewers 4

Anthony Rizzo celebrated the one-year anniversary of his call-up to the Cubs by hitting a two-run single, Ryan Sweeney added a solo home run and Kevin Gregg registered his 12th save in 12 tries to post a 5-4 victory against the Brewers, ending a nine-game losing streak at Miller Park.

Milwaukee made it interesting in the ninth. Chicago led 5-3 but Juan Francisco homered for the second time in as many nights, going deep off Gregg. Rickie Weeks doubled and moved up on a sacrifice but was forced at home, despite charging into catcher Welington Castillo like a linebacker. The Cubs were happy to take that out. Gennett then launched a ball to right, and Nate Schierholtz caught it in front of the warning track.

“What an ending,” Cubs starter Scott Feldman said. “It was nice to put that one away and keep everyone on their toes.”

“I’ll have to start shaving my head and face completely so you don’t see the gray [hair],” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “When that ball left [Gennett's] bat, I ain’t lying, I thought it was a homer, especially in this ballpark. I like that kid. He’s going to be a good Major League player. … I’ve seen him hit some bombs. That little guy can hit the ball a long way.”

Not this time.

“In this park, you never know,” Gregg said. “I knew it wasn’t hit well and that it wasn’t a no doubter. It plays pretty short over there [in right] at times. Luckily, it stayed in.”

Gregg, who the Cubs pitchers say is the calmest person on the planet, didn’t get rattled by Francisco’s homer.

“If we win by one every time, great, we win,” he said. “As a closer, you don’t want to give up any runs, but you want to win, first and foremost.”

Gregg has been a vast improvement over Carlos Marmol, who began the season as the Cubs closer but was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

“You have a calm [with Gregg] because you know he’s not going to implode with walks and stuff like that,” Sveum said. “They’re going to have to get their hits to beat him. The times that he’s given up a run, they’ve hit the ball. He doesn’t walk guys. He knows how to pitch. He knows, ‘If I throw stirkes, they have to get hits to beat me.’ We’ve seen many many closers over the years do a nice job just because they don’t walk anybody.”

Released by the Dodgers after a solid Spring Training, Gregg has filled the vacancy created by Marmol’s ineffectiveness and a season-ending injury to Kyuji Fujikawa.

“We’re pretty fortunate to have him,” Feldman said. “He brings a lot of stability to the back end of the bullpen and also just having a veteran like that who’s been through so much adversity and overcome it and is having one of the better seasons in his career right now. You can learn a lot from guys like that.”

The Cubs are lucky to have Feldman, who is drawing interest from playoff-bound teams.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Feldman said of the trade rumors. “I’d love to stay on this team. I love the guys here. I think we’re headed in the right direction. You never know what’s going to happen but it’s kind of out of my control at htis point. I hope I’m pitching well and I hope I stay here but it’s really out of my control.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/19 About last night …

Some notes from Tuesday’s win:

* Jeff Samardzija is the first Cubs pitcher to throw 8 1/3 innings or more against the Cardinals since Carlos Zambrano went nine innings on Sept. 18, 2005.

* Nate Schierholtz extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games with a double in the first.

* Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back to back home runs in the first, the third time the Cubs have hit consecutive homers this season, and first since Scott Hairston and Ransom did so in April against the Padres.

* Ransom’s homer was his first off a right-handed pitcher this season. He also collected his 100th career RBIs.

* Kevin Gregg is 10-for-10 in save situations.

6/18 Cubs 4, Cardinals 2

Jeff Samardzija had studied film of the Cardinals for days, and couldn’t find any weaknesses, so he focused on what he could do best, and it worked. Samardzija picked up his first win since May 27 as the Cubs beat the Cardinals, 4-2, on Tuesday night to even the series.

“It’s a rivalry game, and with that aside, you have a respect for [the Cardinals] and how they play the game and how they set their lineup up, one through nine,” Samardzija said. “You know you’ve got to come at it. I’m watching film five days before, and trying to find some weaknesses, and you can look as hard as you want and you’re not going to find it. You just know your margin of error against this team is real small and you’ve just got to deal with it.”

Besides having to face the best offense in the NL and the team with the best record in the Majors, he also was up against 10-game winner Adam Wainwright, who entered with a 2.18 ERA. But Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ransom hit back-to-back home runs in the first off the right-hander to back Samardzija.

Samardzija was efficient and effective, giving up seven hits, including a solo home run to Carlos Beltran in the sixth, and striking out six over 8 1/3 innings. He exited after serving up two singles in the ninth. Kevin Gregg took over, and gave up a RBI single to unstoppable Yadier Molina. David Freese then hit a grounder to second baseman Darwin Barney, who flipped to shortstop Starlin Castro for the force at second. Pinch-runner Shane Robinson, who was on first, slid hard into Castro and well off the bag, and second base umpire Fieldin Culbreth called interference on the play. The game was over.

“[Robinson] wasn’t even close to the base and he had his cleats up,” Castro said. “I understand that you can try to break up the double play in that kind of situation but not like that. … I couldn’t throw the ball because he tried to kill me.”

Samardzija kept the Cubs infielders busy. There was only one flyout in the game, and that was when Matt Carpenter ended the eighth with a fly ball to right fielder Nate Schierholtz. The Cubs right-hander credited a tweak in his mechanics, which helped his fastball be more effective.

“I really wanted to kick this June bugaboo,” he said. “I’ve been working real hard and I just like where I’m at right now.”

In his career, he’s 2-8 with a 7.14 ERA in June, which includes an 0-4 record and 10.41 ERA in five starts last year in the month.

“The movement he had on his ball tonight and keeping hitters off balance and still throwing 96, 97 [mph] in the ninth inning, that’s huge, especially with how hot it is,” Sweeney said. “He kept the ball down and had his sinker going. Whenever you keep the ball down, that’s a plus for the defense.”

No Rizzo? No problem. The Cubs’ lineup was without Anthony Rizzo, who was given his first game off this season. Sveum didn’t say how long the first baseman would sit, just that he needed a “breather” after batting .157 this month. Rizzo is 3-for-6 against Jake Westbrook, who starts Wednesday.

– Carrie Muskat

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