Results tagged ‘ Scott Hairston ’
Scott Hairston hit a solo home run and Brian Bogusevic added a RBI double but that was it for the Cubs as they lost 3-2 to the Rangers on Wednesday. Hisanori Takahashi took the loss, giving up three runs on five hits over three innings in his first Cactus League start. The Cubs are considered Takahashi for a spot in the bullpen as a long relief man. Right now, James Russell is the only lefty set for the ‘pen. Hector Rondon, the Rule 5 Draft pick, had another good outing. In four games, he has given up two hits and struck out two over four innings.
— Carrie Muskat
Jerry Hairston Jr. drove in three runs, including a pair on a double in the second, and Brian Barden hit a two-run single in the fifth inning to lift the Dodgers to an 11-7 win over the Cubs Wednesday.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs in the first and a run scored on a wild pitch by starter Brooks Raley. Chicago then batted around in the first against Aaron Harang. Luis Valbuena doubled to lead off and scored one batter later on Anthony Rizzo’s single. Rizzo was forced at second on Alfonso Soriano’s fielder’s choice, and Nate Schierholtz hit a RBI single to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. One out later, Welington Castillo walked to load the bases and Darwin Barney followed with a two-run single.
The Dodgers loaded the bases again in the second against Raley, who was then pulled. Hairston greeted Trey McNutt with a two-run double and Alfredo Amezaga hit a RBI single to tie the game at 4. Hairston then scored on Hanley Ramirez’s sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers loaded the bases again in the third, taking advantage of a fielding error by Scott Hairston, Jerry’s brother, who muffed Yasiel Puig’s fly ball, and Elian Herrera hit a RBI single, Jerry Hairston added a sacrifice fly, and Amezaga hit a RBI single, his third hit of the game.
A Cubs run scored on a throwing error by third baseman Omar Luna in the third, and another scored on a throwing error by shortstop Dee Gordon in the fourth.
* One of the Cubs’ highlights came in the eighth when top prospect Javier Baez knocked down Gordon with a line drive lead off single.
“I think I’ve seen balls hit as hard, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ball hit harder,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “That was like balls that [Gary] Sheffield used to hit.”
“You don’t teach the kind of bat speed Baez has,” Sveum said. “That’s special and comes around once in a while.”
Baez, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, didn’t say anything to Gordon about the rocket.
“It felt pretty good,” Baez said. “If you hit a ball like that all the time, you’re going to be great, you’re going to feel great. You just have to get on base no matter how.”
— Carrie Muskat
* On Wednesday, Scott Hairston put a Cubs cap on for the first time in his life. He should’ve done so sooner. He grew up in Illinois, prepping at Naperville North High School, and his father played for the White Sox and his brother, Jerry, played for the Cubs. Hairston, who signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the Cubs on Sunday, joined the team officially for the first time Wednesday at Fitch Park.
“I was a fan of the players on the Cubs, but my dad played for the Sox, so I was a Sox fan,” he said about growing up. “I used to love coming to Wrigley Field and the history, especially in the late ’90s when Sammy [Sosa] was doing his thing. I sat in the bleachers a few times when he was hitting all his home runs. That was a good time to be in Chicago.”
Coincidentally, Hairston will wear No. 21 with the Cubs, which also was Sosa’s number.
“It’s Sammy’s,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want it? Who wouldn’t want to be 21?”
* Give Dale Sveum an assist in convincing Brent Lillibridge to sign with the team.
“I like to get a feel for the manager, especially in a situation like this,” said Lillibridge, a non-roster invitee. “I wanted to just talk baseball. [Sveum] really sold me on so many different parts of it and was real honest with me. That’s what you want from the manager and the whole organization.”
Now, his wife is already scouting for a place to rent in Chicago. They know the area. He played 3 1/2 seasons with the White Sox, then was traded twice last year — once to the Red Sox and again to the Indians.
He could be the utility player the Cubs need. Anthony Rizzo will be the main first baseman, but there is no backup. Catchers Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro will get some playing time at first in Spring Training just in case but Lillibridge could be the guy. It helps that he has played outfield and shortstop as well.
“I’m not going to lie to you, it gives you a huge edge in the National League,” Sveum said of Lillibridge’s versatility. “He’s got some sock in his bat for a guy who looks like he’s 150 pounds soaking wet.”
* Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson and Jeff Samardzija all threw bullpen sessions on Wednesday. All looked good but Sveum was really pleased with Samardzija.
“You would’ve thought it was playoff time,” Sveum said. “That was about as dominant a bullpen as you’re going to see. It was pretty impressive to watch him throw those 30 pitches today.”
The trio of pitchers give the Cubs something they didn’t have, which is power arms.
“It’s nice as a manager, the players, the organization, to know you have three guys who have no-hitter stuff when they walk up on the mound,” Sveum said. “One, they have experience; two, they have great stuff; and three, they all throw over 95 miles an hour, which is always a huge plus.”
* Keep an eye on Brett Jackson. He has changed his swing, and it should pay off.
“I think it’s going to benefit him a lot,” Sveum said of the changes made during a week in November. “A lot of these things, you’re optimistic about change and making adjustments and stuff, and as a player, you really want the games to get going because it all feels great, but how’s it going to work in a game? That’s the final piece of the puzzle.”
* The Cubs front office bunting tourney gets underway Saturday to determine the final spot in the field of 64. GM Jed Hoyer will face Theo Epstein in the first round, with the media relations staff facing several of the clubhouse crew.
— Carrie Muskat
There’s frost on the fields at Fitch Park for Tuesday’s first workout of pitchers and catchers. How cold is it? Hitting coach James Rowson, who was working with some early bird position players in the cages, needed some winter head gear.
* Pitchers Dayan Diaz and Hector Rondon were the only ones who failed to report on Monday. Both were delayed because of visa problems. Rondon is the Cubs’ Rule 5 pick.
* Pitchers scheduled to throw Tuesday include: Scott Baker, Scott Feldman, Kyuji Fujikawa, Travis Wood, Barret Loux, Alberto Cabrera, Carlos Villanueva, Brooks Raley, Michael Bowden, Jensen Lewis, Drew Carpenter, Robert Whitenack, Rafael Dolis, and Hisanori Takahashi.
* For those of you interested in uniform numbers, new Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston will wear No. 21.
* Kerry Wood is in camp as an extra instructor. No talk of a comeback.
* Casey Coleman spent part of his offseason rehabbing at D1 Sports in Knoxville, Tenn., which is co-owned by Peyton Manning. Coleman was shut down in August after feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder, and didn’t resume throwing until December. Now, he’s trying to build up strength. The right-hander has bounced between starting and relieving, but says this year, he’s been told he’ll be used solely in relief.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs added to their bench on Sunday, signing free agent outfielder Scott Hairston to a two-year, $5 million contract. Tony Campana was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Hairston batted .263 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs last season with the Mets. A right-handed hitter, he has played for the Diamondbacks, Padres, Athletics, and Mets, and has a career .247 average. Hairston could platoon in right field with left-handed hitting Nate Schierholtz. Hairston’s older brother, Jerry Jr., played for the Cubs from 2005-06.
Campana, 26, who was popular among Cubs fans because of his speed, batted .262 with nine doubles, one home run, 54 stolen bases, a .306 on-base percentage and a .300 slugging percentage in 184 games over the last two seasons.
— Carrie Muskat
In case you missed it, Carlos Villanueva finally signed with the Cubs. The team made an official announcement late Saturday. The right-handed pitcher agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal that will pay him $5 million each year. He could contend for a spot in the rotation.
Right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo, who was acquired in the Rule 5 Draft in 2011, was designated for assignment to make room for Villanueva on the 40-man roster. If he isn’t claimed, Castillo could rejoin the Cubs.
The team has yet to finalize its agreement with outfielder Scott Hairston. That also will require the front office to create an opening on the 40-man.
* There were reports Sunday that the Orioles and Rangers were interested in adding a right-handed bat, and that they have inquired about Alfonso Soriano. The Boston Globe reported the interest by the two teams in the veteran, who turned 37 earlier this month, and who would be a good fit for an American League team, which could use him as a designated hitter. Soriano does have a full no trade clause, so he would have to approve a move. He has two years remaining on his contract.
— Carrie Muskat
GM Jed Hoyer’s search for an extra outfielder may be over. According to FOXSports.com, the Cubs have reached agreement with Scott Hairston on a two-year contract. A right-handed hitter, Hairston, 32, was expected to platoon in right with Nate Schierholtz.
Hairston has to pass a physical before the deal can be finalized. The Cubs’ 40-man roster is full, and they must make a move to open a spot for Hairston as well as pitcher Carlos Villanueva, who has yet to be officially added to the team.
Hairston’s older brother, Jerry, played for the Cubs from 2005-06.
Hoyer has said the team wanted to add some outfield depth. Alfonso Soriano, 37, will start in left with David DeJesus, 33, in center. Schierholtz, who turns 29 on Feb. 15, is a career .270 hitter covering all or part of the last six seasons with the Giants and Phillies. Hairston batted .263 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs last season with the Mets. He has an .825 OPS against left-handed pitchers. The Cubs’ other backup outfielders heading into Spring Training include Dave Sappelt and Tony Campana.
— Carrie Muskat