Results tagged ‘ Sam Fuld ’

3/30 Millar waits for word

The Cubs were expected to make their final roster move on Tuesday and Kevin Millar can only wait. He, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld were still in camp, waiting to see who got the last spot on the bench.

Millar knows he has the reputation of being popular in the clubhouse and blended in well with the team.

“That’s the thing — you get labeled, ‘Oh, he’s a great clubhouse guy,'” Millar said Tuesday. “I’m going to give you a tough at-bat late in the game. You’re a threat. Anybody who can hit a home run is considered a threat off the bench. I’m a threat off the bench. I wanted to give Lou some flexibility. ‘Hey, he can go to left.’ If Soriano blew out, am I going to play 60 games in left? No, that’s not my job. You’d call a left fielder up. But if there’s a doubleheader, you go out to left, or a double switch, you go to third base. Those are the things you want to bring. We know I can play first.

“There’s things that I can do to help the club other than being the dancing bear and trying to get everybody to eat together. We forget about that side of it. I’ve had a lot of at-bats in the big league.”

He admits he’s been pressing at the plate a little. This is the second straight season in which he hasn’t found out if he’s made a team until the last week.

“It’s a miserable feeling from the players’ side,” Millar said. “You hear, ‘Well, relax, don’t worry about it, don’t press.’ You’re human. I’m 38 years old and have almost 5,000 at-bats in the big leagues. You’re still going to try to press to do well. That’s the human factor. It’s your career.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/29 The roster, walks & runs

The Cubs are expected to trim the roster to 25 on Tuesday.

“Then we’ll be set to go,” Lou Piniella said.

There are four players — Chad Tracy, Kevin Millar, Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld — battling for one spot. Millar is the only right-handed hitter in the group and he was hitting .242. He pinch-hit on Monday and popped up to the shortstop. Tracy was hitting .243 and can play third base if the Cubs want a backup there. He also has a career .302 average as a pinch-hitter. Hoffpauir was hitting .239 this spring and can play first and some outfield. Fuld, who can play all three outfield spots, was hitting .147.

“We’ve talked about it over and over again,” Piniella said. “Everybody brings a little something different to the equation. I think we have a pretty good idea but we’ll wait until tomorrow.”

* Tyler Colvin now is batting .455 after going 1-for-4 on Monday and driving in two runs. But he hasn’t drawn a single walk this spring.

“He hasn’t swung and missed that much,” Piniella said.

It will be interesting to see who makes the adjustments first — other teams or Colvin.

“If he continues to hit and the scouts start going over the fact that ‘Hey, this young man is swinging the bat so let’s be a little careful,’ then the walks will start coming,” Piniella said. “Right now, they’re just pitching to him.”

* Lefty James Russell, who will be one of three rookies in the bullpen, hasn’t given up a run this spring in 11 innings over nine games.

* Expect Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez back in the lineup on Tuesday.

— Carrie Muskat

3/28 Colvin is in

Tyler Colvin is in. Lou Piniella said Sunday the young outfielder, who was batting .475 this spring, has made the final 25-man roster.

There’s now four players — Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld — battling for one spot. When first asked about the bench, Piniella talked in generalities.

“Everybody who is here has special merits,” Piniella said before Sunday’s game. “It’s just a question of which way we decide to go. We’ll probably sit down and talk about it at length. Everybody brings something to the table. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. We only have one spot. That’s the problem and there are four people left and we can only keep one.”

OK, if there are four left, then Colvin is in?

“If we can’t keep Colvin after the spring he’s had, something’s wrong,” Piniella said.

Colvin said he won’t believe he’s made the big league roster until he’s traveling to Atlanta for the season opener. Has Piniella told him?

“I’ll help him today get on the plane,” Piniella said. “He’s had a heck of a spring. My gosh, you should be rewarded for coming to Spring Training [like that]. Look at [reliever James] Russell — he hasn’t given up a run this spring and he’ll be with us. You reward the performance in spring. If not, there’s no sense in keeping statistics.”

It will come down to Piniella giving Colvin enough playing time to stay sharp.

“I have to do that,” Piniella said. “I’ve talked to Jim [Hendry] about that. I’ve got to find some playing time for him. We don’t want him just making the club and being a defensive replacement. We want him to do a little playing.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/24 Colvin could be on team

Tyler Colvin could make the Cubs’ Opening Day roster but only if they feel they can give him enough at-bats.

“First of all, Colvin has had an outstanding spring,” Piniella said Wednesday. “Colvin has played well enough to make this team. The concern is we don’t want this young man to make this team and just sit. So, if he’s on our Opening Day roster, he’s going to get some playing time. He’s just not going to sit.”

Could Piniella give him a couple starts a week?

“I’m going to have to,” Piniella said. “We just don’t want a young player like Colvin to make the team and sit down and not play. If Colvin is with us, he’s going to get some playing time. To his credit, he can play all three outfield positions. We just don’t want him sitting. We’ll see how it works out.”

Colvin entered play on Wednesday ranked fourth in the Cactus League with a .438 average. His 21 hits lead the Majors while his 30 total bases tops the Cactus League and are tied for fifth most overall.

“He has played really well this spring,” Piniella said. “If I didn’t have Fukudome, Byrd or Soriano, he would be a regular at one of those positions this spring.”

There are two other outfield options still in camp in Jim Adduci and Sam Fuld. Fuld is a different type of player and looked at as more of a defensive sub.

“I know if Colvin is here, my job is to get him some playing time,” Piniella said.

— Carrie Muskat

3/14 Building the bench

Who’s on the Cubs bench most likely won’t be determined until the final week. They cannot keep both Keith Millar and Chad Tracy, and have to make sure they have enough backup outfield help. Xavier Nady can’t play the outfield full time when the season starts so the Cubs will need an extra outfielder.

The bench players who are set include Nady, Koyie Hill, and either Mike Fontenot or Jeff Baker (whoever isn’t starting). In a “perfect scenario,” Lou Piniella said Sunday, the Cubs would carry 11 pitchers. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild is insisting on 12.

“I keep talking to Larry and he keeps shaking his head,” Piniella said.

Expect Nady to play in the outfield in the last 10 days of Spring Training. He’s rehabbing his right elbow after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career. Among the extra outfielders being considered are Sam Fuld, Tyler Colvin, Jim Adduci and Brad Snyder.

“All four of those kids can play all three positions,” Piniella said. “We’ll see what happens.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/11 Silva excited to pitch

Carlos Silva was excited to pitch on Thursday, a feeling he hasn’t had in a couple years. The right-hander made his second spring start for the Cubs and threw three scoreless innings against the Padres. He gave up four hits and one walk in what was an improvement over his first start March 6. Silva was all smiles.

“I’m very happy with the way I threw,” he said. “I told [Larry Rothschild] and I was telling my wife, too, that I haven’t seen that sinker for a long time, the one I was throwing in the bullpen. I saw the action and location and I was very excited to pitch today.”

He’s changed the angle, finishing more towards third base than first. It’s helped him finish his pitches. He got some solid defensive help from center fielder Sam Fuld, who made a leaping catch at the center field wall in the third inning to rob Scott Hairston of an extra base hit. Starlin Castro also smacked his first spring homer, leading off the fifth with his second hit of the game. Castro went 2-for-2, walked and scored three runs.

How long has it been since Silva was looking forward to pitching?

“To be honest, it’s been a long time,” Silva said. “The last two years have been hard for me to even show up at the stadium. I’m the kind of guy who is very competitive and I take a lot of pride — when I do bad, it’s hard for me to see my teammates’ faces. I feel embarrassed, I feel like I haven’t helped them. I am very hard on myself.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/5 Souvenir for Charlie

Sam Fuld’s wife Sarah was walking on the outfield berm on Thursday with the couple’s 3-month-old son Charlie during the seventh inning of the Cubs’ game against the Athletics at HoHoKam Park. Sam then launched a home run, a two-run shot, and it landed close to where Sarah and Charlie were. A woman grabbed the ball, and Sarah tried to bargain for the souvenir. After all, it was Charlie’s first game to see his Daddy and Sam had delivered. Sarah offered an autographed ball in return, a photo with Sam, anything.

“The mom wanted no part of that,” Sam said Friday.

So, the Fulds saved the ticket stub instead as a souvenir.

Think about this: Fuld went 101 at-bats before he got his first RBI on Oct. 4 in the Cubs’ season finale — which also came on a home run.

“I’m just a home run machine,” Fuld joked.

He was one of five Cubs to homer in Thursday’s game.

“I was trying to keep up the pace,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat



1/17/10 Cubs Convention highlights

Some of the highlights of the weekend at the 25th annual fan fest:

* Watching the Ricketts family patiently and honestly answer questions on a variety of topics. They defended GM Jim Hendry, listened to someone offer his services as a mascot, and outlined plans to preserve Wrigley Field. They emphasized that they’re committed to the Cubs for the next 95 years, not five. Players who met the Ricketts for the first time came away impressed as well. “I hope next year everyone is as happy as they are today,” Laura Ricketts said.

* Seeing the rousing ovation new Hall of Famer Andre Dawson received at the opening ceremonies. No matter what cap Dawson wears into Cooperstown, he’ll always be linked to the Cubs.

* A fan asked Lou if the relievers needed something other than metal folding chairs to sit on in the bullpen. “We’ll get ’em some lounge chairs and some pina coladas,” Piniella quipped.

* Good to know no plans for selling naming rights to Wrigley.

* Marlon Byrd was asked if he’ll do better than Milton Bradley did. “That’s the plan,” Byrd said. “My goal is to stay here longer than he did.”

* Seeing a slim and trim Geovany Soto, now 40 pounds lighter and looking more like a “jockey,” according to Lou.

* Watching fans stop by the Mesa, Ariz., booth to show their support. Byrd and Ted Lilly, who have trained in both Arizona and Florida, picked Arizona as their preferred Spring Training site.

* Brett Jackson, the 2009 No. 1 Draft pick, was attending his first Convention and commented on how “insance” Cubs fans are. He said the weekend had him so pumped, he wanted to start Spring Training this week, not one month from now.

* During the “Kids Only” session, someone asked Sam Fuld what goes through his head when he dives into a wall while trying to make a catch. “Absolutely nothing,” Fuld said. His goal is to one day be able to dunk a basketball.

* Mark your calendar: The 26th annual convention will be Jan. 14-16, 2011.

— Carrie Muskat

1/15/10 Good guys

Carlos Zambrano spent part of his offseason in Guatemala with a church group to help people there. He has created the Big Z Foundation, and hopes to raise money for people in Guatemala and Haiti as well as those in the Chicago area in need.

* Folks attending the Cubs Convention at the Chicago Hilton can make a donation for earthquake-stricken Haiti. Both Cubs Care and the Ricketts family will match each donation with $1, so every $1 donation will become $3.

* Speaking of Haiti, Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss was in the Dominican Republic to see Alfonso Soriano when the earthquake struck and said he felt tremors.

* Cubs pitcher Randy Wells was named the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s “Rookie of the Year” for his fundraising efforts this offseason in which he raised nearly $100,000. Teammate Sam Fuld, who is diabetic, was a guest speaker at an event in St. Louis. Wells said he hopes to do another fundraiser for JDRF this year.

— Carrie Muskat

12/22 Winter ball update

Cubs prospect Robinson Chirinos has been on fire in Venezuela. On Friday, he went 4-for-4, hitting a home run and driving in two runs, to help Magallanes beat Caribes, 7-4, in the Venezuelan Winter League. The catcher followed that with a 1-for-3 game on Sunday. He’s batting .359 in 46 games with 10 doubles, nine homers and 32 RBIs.

Andres Blanco played 37 games with Magallanes, and hit .291 with 11 doubles, two triples, two homers and 27 RBIs. He played primarily at second base and hit second in the order.

Sam Fuld played in six games for Aragua in Venezuela, and batted .241 with two doubles, two triples and five RBIs.

In the Mexican League, Jeff Stevens struck out one in one inning of relief Sunday for Mexicali. Stevens has appeared in 16 games for the Mexican League team, and has a 0-4 record, two saves and a 4.15 ERA. He’s walked nine over 17 1/3 innings and struck out 12. The right-hander is holding batters to a .212 average.

Infielder Junior Lake, who batted .248 for Class A Peoria this season, was 7-for-16 in four games with Estrellas in the Dominican League.

Outfielder Jim Adduci appears to have finished his Winter League assignment. He played in 20 games for Hermosillo and batted .224 with two homers and seven RBIs. Infielder Matt Camp batted .333 in 56 games for Mexicali. He hit 18 doubles, two triples, and two homers.

— Carrie Muskat