Results tagged ‘ Scott Feldman ’

7/29 Welcome to the Cubs

Jake Arrieta will make his Cubs debut on Tuesday in the second game of a doubleheader against the Brewers. The right-hander was acquired from the Orioles on July 2 in the Scott Feldman deal along with right-hander Pedro Strop.

“I think it’s a very good change for me,” Arrieta said Monday.

He had three stints with the Orioles this season, going 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts. The right-hander was Baltimore’s Opening Day starter in 2012, and has had a lot of expectations.

“It was almost like a weight off my shoulders, really,” he said of the deal. “I felt like I was able to do a lot of good things over there but there were some things that kept me from being able to do it on a consistent basis. My time there was great, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. There came the point where they felt a move needed to be made to better their team and better this team as well.

“I’ve got a lot to offer,” he said. “I feel I’m a guy who can go out there and be a bulldog and pitch deep in games and I know I can do it on a consistent basis, so it’s just a matter of finally going out there and doing it.”

The problem this season has been not being on a consistent schedule. He’s shuttled between the big league team and the Minors, and been in the bullpen. As he said, his routine was thrown out of whack.

“I need to get out there every five days and continue to battle,” he said. “I think my career is as a starter, and I’m going to show I can keep it that way.”

Arrieta has been pitching for Triple-A Iowa. As of now, he’s scheduled to make Tuesday’s start, and that’s it.

“I think the performance will do the speaking, that will determine whether I stay here or go back to Iowa,” he said. “I don’t plan on going back. I plan on making it tough for them to decide and just go from there. I just think first and foremost, it’s great to be here. First time in Wrigley, and as soon as I walked up those [dugout] steps, I got some chills. It’s a park that I’ve heard about and knew a lot about as a kid. It’s just special. I’m thankful for this opportunity.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/28 Welcome home

The Cubs return home Monday without Matt Garza (traded to Rangers on 7/22) and without Alfonso Soriano (traded to NYY 7/26). They’ve also dealt Scott Feldman, Scott Hairston and Carlos Marmol this month. Is it more challenging now for Dale Sveum with all the turnover?

“It’s not as much of a challenge for me as always making sure you have the depth to fill the voids that happen someitmes,” Sveum said. “[Chris] Rusin has filled in with two great starts and we have [Carlos] Villanueva. We have a lot more depth than we did last year. Losing Soriano is a big blow on a lot of different scales than losing your four hitter.”

On Tuesday in the makeup doubleheader, Jake Arrieta will make his Cubs debut. It’ll be Sveum’s first look at him. He was acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal.

“You’re curious to get your eyes on him yourself,” Sveum said. “It’s stuff, it’s 95 to 97 [mph], and a guy who can throw a 91 mph slider or cutter, whatever you want to call it, as well as a changeup and curveball. You’ve got plus arm and plus stuff who can strike people out and do things that way.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/10 Cubs better prepared for roster makeover

A year ago at the Trade Deadline, the Cubs dealt two of their starters, lost another to injury, and then shut down another in early September. They had to scramble to fill in the gaps. This year, the Cubs have already traded one starter — Scott Feldman — and Matt Garza could also change uniforms by the July 31 deadline. But this year, the Cubs feel they’re better prepared to handle the moves.

“There’s no question the pitching staff we ran out there in September [2012] was short,” GM Jed Hoyer said Wednesday. “I think we feel a lot better about that. We have more depth in the Minor Leagues, more depth on the Major League roster. It was hard to watch [last year]. … Shutting down [Jeff] Samardzija was incredibly hard because we didn’t have anyone to fill in for him.”

The Cubs expect Scott Baker, who has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, to be ready in about a month. Jake Arrieta, acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal, also could start. Plus, they already have Carlos Villanueva, who has gone from the rotation to the ‘pen and back to the rotation.

Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley, who both made their Major League debuts last season, also have another year of experience.

“There’s obviously no question we’re much more equipped than last year,” manager Dale Sveum said.

Garza is the prime pitcher on the trade market, and Hoyer acknowledged that he has received a lot of interest.

“There’s obviously a lot of incoming phone calls,” Hoyer said. “There’s a lot about Matt, obviously, but a lot about other players on the team, too. I think in general in the game, phone traffic has picked up. I feel there’s a lot of interest in our players. The team is playing well, and a lot of our individual players are playing well. I think that’s a big part of it.”

Scouts also are keeping an eye on closer Kevin Gregg and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

– Carrie Muskat

7/8 More on Hairston deal to Nats

It wasn’t that Scott Hairston wasn’t doing enough for the Cubs. The Nationals need him more. The Cubs dealt Hairston to the Nationals for a Minor League pitcher, Ivan Pineyro, who was pitching at High A Potomac. Hairston, 33, had been part of a platoon in right field but has gotten limited playing time. GM Jed Hoyer said Monday that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo called, seeking to solidify their bench with another right-handed bat.

“[Hairston] is a real pro, and as far as bench guys who can hit lefties, he can hit a homer against a lefty as good as any bench bat in baseball,” Hoyer said. “Given the makeup of who we’ve been playing and the pitching makeup in our division, he hasn’t been playing as much as we’d hoped, and I think this is a good opprotunity for Scott and the Nationals to get more playing time. It was a good opportunity for us to get a young pitcher we liked.”

Hairston was batting .172 overall, and .179 against left-handers, and eight of his 14 hits off lefties have been home runs.

Pineyro, in his third Minor League season, began the year with Class A Hagerstown, going 5-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 13 starts. The 21-year-old right-hander was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team before he was promoted to Hagerstown. He will join the Cubs’ Class A Daytona team.

The Cubs have been busy in the last week, dealing Scott Feldman, Carlos Marmol, Steve Clevenger and now Hairston. More deals are expected leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. Matt Garza, who has been rumored to be dealt since Spring Training, was scheduled to start Monday against the White Sox.

Last year, the Cubs traded Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Jeff Baker. Could free agents be hesitant to sign with the Cubs? Hoyer said no.

“Looking at Scott Feldman’s situation, we gave him a great opportunity,” Hoyer said. “A lot of places weren’t willing to guarantee him a rotation spot coming off a so-so year in Texas. We were wiling to do that, and I think he appreciated that. With Scott [Hairston], he looks at this as an opportunity to get more playing time. I think everything is taken on an individual basis.

“I would hope that we cease being sellers on an annual basis,” Hoyer said. “We want to be buyers. We need to acquire a lot of talent and build that wave that can come up here and give us that sustained success, and with that we hope we can move in the other direction and be buyers and not sellers.”

What about Garza? The right-hander has given up two earned runs over 30 innings in his last four starts.

“He’s been a popular name and a guy we’ve gotten a lot of phone calls on,” Hoyer said. “I think he’s opened a lot of eyes the way he’s thrown the last four, five times out.”

Because the Cubs bullpen has been overworked the last few games, they will promote left-hander Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa, and not add another outfielder.

“Our bullpen is pretty taxed right now with [Carlos] Villanueva still getting stretched back out,” Hoyer said. “We don’t want to push those guys too hard. We would like to add another right-handed bat. We’ll explore and discuss those options over the next couple days until our bullpen is rested.”

Raley was 6-6 in 16 starts at Iowa, posting a 5.08 ERA as a starter. He did make one relief appearance on May 16, and gave up two hits and one walk over three innings.

* Who else could the Cubs call up? Brett Jackson would be among the candidates at Iowa if he was healthy but he was on the disabled list with a right calf strain.

“I think we all have high expectations for Brett,” Hoyer said. “We’d love nothing more than to be able to give him playing time later in the year. He’s got to get out there and play and earn it, but he’s still a guy we’re very high on.”

Both Junior Lake and Logan Watkins have played well at Iowa, but Hoyer said they both need more at-bats in the Minors.

“They’ve both played well and both got our attention with how they’ve played and been part of the discussions,” Hoyer said. “I think both of those guys have development left. It’s nice to see them performing well at Triple-A. That bodes well for our future.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/2 Extra bases

* With Scott Feldman gone via trade, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Carlos Villanueva will be stretched out to get back in the rotation. Feldman was scheduled to start on Tuesday but lefty Chris Rusin was called up from Triple-A Iowa to take his spot. Villanueva began the season in the rotation and made eight starts before he was moved to the bullpen to make room for Matt Garza. Villanueva was 1-3 with a 3.93 ERA in eight starts, and has a 2.40 ERA in 15 relief appearances. Villanueva will need time to get stretched out, and most likely won’t be ready to start until mid July, Sveum said. Feldman, by the way, will make his first start for the Orioles on Wednesday against the White Sox.

* GM Jed Hoyer was asked about whether the trades on Tuesday tell the players the season is over.

“Unfortunately, we’re 10 games under .500 at this stage in the season,” Hoyer said. “We have three teams in our division with the three best records in the National League, or close to it. I think realistically, our chances of playing in October are small. We need to add a lot of talent to get better for the future. Players should be trying to win every single game, that’s the nature of their job. I would expect the players to look at it that way.”

Is Sveum worried about a change in attitude?

“I’m not concerned about that,” Sveum said. “We’re still viable and able to fill those roles now. If you start getting more thinner, then things change. I’m not worried — they’re professional players and they have to go out and perform.”

* Starlin Castro batted .167 in June, the worst month of his young career. The shortstop has gotten into some bad habits, Sveum said.

“He’s just got to slow things down and get in a better position to hit like he did when he first got here,” Sveum said.

* Rusin was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team on Tuesday. The game will be played July 17 in Reno. The lefty compiled a 7-7 record and 3.27 ERA in 17 games (16 starts), and leads the PCL in innings pitched.

– Carrie Muskat

7/2 Cubs deal Feldman, Clevenger

The Cubs kicked off the trading season on Tuesday, dealing pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for right-handed pitchers Jake Arrietta and Pedro Strop plus two international signing bonus slots. The Cubs also have acquired the Astros’ No. 2 and 3 international signing bonus slots for Minor League infielder Ronald Torreyes.

Feldman (7-6, 3.46 ERA), who has been one of the Cubs most consistent starters, was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Athletics, but instead, lefty Chris Rusin will get the assignment.

Feldman most likely won’t be the only starter to be dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline. There also has been interest in right-hander Matt Garza, scheduled to start Wednesday.

Clevenger made the Cubs’ Opening Day roster but has struggled with a strained left oblique, and was with Triple-A Iowa. A Baltimore native, the catcher was thrilled at the news, according to his agent, Joshua Kusnick, who tweeted: “Clevenger is an oriole done deal home coming!”

The Cubs will get $388,100 from the Orioles in international slot money, which may help them sign top prospect Eloy Jimenez.

Arrieta will be assigned to Iowa while Strop was expected to report to the Cubs later this week. Arrieta, 27, was 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 Major League appearances, all but six as a starting pitcher, in all or part of the last four seasons with the Orioles. He was a member of Baltimore’s 2013 Opening Day roster and has had three stints with the big league club this season, going 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts.

Strop, 28, last season served as one of Baltimore’s primary set-up men, going 5-2 with three saves, 24 holds and a 2.44 ERA in 70 relief appearances, all single-season career bests. A native of the Dominican Republic, Strop made his major league debut with the Rangers in 2009 and split three seasons between the Majors and Minors before being traded to Baltimore near the end of the 2011 campaign.

– Carrie Muskat

6/30 Chance of trade: 50-50

Asked if he expected the Cubs to make a deal before the All-Star break, Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations said Sunday the chances are “50-50.”

“Judging by the amount of calls that are going on, I would say the number of pieces we potentially have available and the opportunities that might present themselves for us to get better, yeah, I’d say 50-50,” Epstein said.

Matt Garza and Scott Feldman are drawing interest for teams looking for another starter, while teams also have inquired about closer Kevin Gregg, who blew his first save opportunity in 13 opportunities on Saturday. The interest — and rumors — will continue up until the July 31 Trade Deadline.

There also have been reports that teams are inquiring about Nate Schierholtz but Epstein may be hard pressed to part with the outfielder, who has moved into the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

“He’s exceeded our expectations with the overall quality at-bats,” Epstein said of Schierholtz. “To hit him in the three-hole, he does a nice job. He can handle different kinds of pitching, give you a tough at-bat. He’s a threat to go deep if they make a mistake, runs the bases well, he’s been really reliable defensively. He’s done a nice job.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/30 Looking ahead …

After an off day Monday, the Cubs play their first games ever in Oakland, beginning a three-game series on Tuesday. Here are the pitching matchups:

Tuesday: RHP Scott Feldman (7-6, 3.46) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (6-6, 3.56)
Wednesday: RHP Matt Garza (3-1, 3.83) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (11-2, 2.79)
Thursday: LHP Travis Wood (5-6, 2.85)vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (6-6, 4.27)

6/26 Post-game notes

* The Cubs have 247 extra-base hits, second most in the NL behind the Rockies.

* Cubs pitchers have 46 quality starts, fourth-most in the NL.

* Scott Feldman picked up his 500th career strikeout when he fanned Jonathan Lucroy in the third. Nine of his 12 starts have been quality starts.

* Kevin Gregg is now 12-for-12 in save opportunities.

* Anthony Rizzo had a double, a single, a walk and two RBIs. This year, 36 of his 72 hits have gone for extra bases, and his 22 doubles rank among the NL leaders.

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

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