Results tagged ‘ Shawn Camp ’
Shawn Camp apparently has been bothered by his right toe for about a month but didn’t tell the Cubs until Sunday. On Wednesday, the Cubs placed Camp on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained right big toe, and recalled right-hander Rafael Dolis. Camp received treatment on Sunday, and the team hoped Monday’s off day would give him time to heal. On Tuesday, he served up a grand slam to pinch-hitter Travis Snider in the Pirates’ 5-4 win over the Cubs.
“I guess it’s been bothering him for about a month,” Dale Sveum said Wednesday. “He had treatment on Sunday to start the process and re-aggravated it and the inflammation got too bad. I think for awhile, it’s been too tough to push off the mound. We’ve got to give it time to settle down.”
Camp has a 7.56 ERA overall, and in six appearances this month has given up six runs on 10 hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. The Cubs recalled right-hander Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa to take Camp’s spot in the bullpen.
On Sunday, the Cubs designated Michael Bowden for assignment. If they had known Camp’s injury was this serious at that time, they would’ve kept Bowden.
“We didn’t know it was that extensive,” Sveum said of Camp’s injury. “We talked [to him] and the arm was fine. … These guys are competitive, professional athletes who don’t like to use excuses, but sometimes it comes back to bite you, too.”
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Saturday he hasn’t given general manager Jed Hoyer a wish list of what he needs heading into the season, adding that he’s comfortable with the position players on the roster. When the Cubs made their mid-March trip to Las Vegas last year, they didn’t know they would add reliever Shawn Camp and infielder Luis Valbuena, both acquired in late March. Camp was the Cubs’ first-half MVP last year, and Valbuena took over at third when Ian Stewart was injured.
“The thing you’re doing is always looking to get better, whether it’s a player here or a player there, bullpen spot, left-handed reliever,” Sveum said. “You’re always just looking.”
The Cubs also feel better about their pitching depth this year compared to 2012. Last year’s Rule 5 Draft pick, Lendy Castillo, was trying to make the leap from Class A to the big leagues. This year’s Rule 5 pick, Hector Rondon, was the Indians Minor League pitcher of the year in 2009, and has pitched in 105 Minor League games. Castillo had pitched in 45, and was a converted infielder.
“Last year, we went into the last week with so much youth in the bullpen and question marks with how [Kerry Wood] was going to be health-wise — and obviously that didn’t turn out too good — and we didn’t have any depth,” Sveum said. “It was almost a necessity to pick up Camp, and he had a great year. It was more a durable arm, a guy who could throw strikes.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Josh Vitters also had an MRI on Friday, and it revealed that he has a mild to moderate quad strain, and could be sidelined 10 to 14 days. Vitters was injured before he got into a game — he was hurt doing a base running drill. What happens now at third with both Ian Stewart and Vitters sidelined? Expect to see a lot of Luis Valbuena, Junior Lake, Christian Villanueva and even Brent Lillibridge.
“We really don’t have a whole lot of other third basemen,” Dale Sveum said. “They both just went down.”
Lake played at Double-A Tennessee last season. He’s still a little rough at third.
“In the intrasquad games, he’s done fine,” Sveum said. “He hasn’t been tested. There’s some mechanical things. He’s very tall and playing tall. He’s got to play the position smaller. What I mean by that, he wants to stand straight up after he fields a ground ball, so there’s some things we have to tweak. He’s such a good athlete. He’s going to be one of those third basemen who’s not going to look like Scott Rolen but the athleticism will allow him to do a lot of things at that position.”
The Cubs will not move top prospect Javier Baez to third base. If he does play third, it will be more because of need numbers-wise.
* If you’re looking ahead to Sunday’s HoHoKam opener, here’s the lineup:
The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com, with Len Kasper doing the play by play.
* Cubs pitcher Shawn Camp was showing pictures of a bobcat he saw on the golf course on Friday. Camp said he let the ‘cat play through.
* Blake Parker’s intrasquad outing didn’t go well — he gave up three hits, including a three-run homer to Edwin Maysonet — but it felt good to get back on a mound. Parker missed most of last season because of problems with his right elbow.
“I’m still getting back into baseball mode, just thinking out there on the mound and knowing what pitches to throw and reading hitters,” Parker said. “As far as physically, my arm felt good.”
– Carrie Muskat
With the signing of reliever Shawn Camp, the Cubs’ 40-man roster is now at 39. For those who need an update (and can’t find it on Cubs.com):
* 21 pitchers – Baker, Beliveau, Bowden, Brigham, Cabrera, Camp, L. Castillo, Chapman, Coleman, Concepcion, Dolis, Garza, Gutierrez, Marmol, Putnam, Raley, Rusin, Russell, Samardzija, Vizcaino, T. Wood
* 3 catchers – W. Castillo, Clevenger, Navarro
* 7 infielders – Barney, Castro, Lake, Rizzo, Stewart, Valbuena, Vitters
* 8 outfielders – Campana, DeJesus, Jackson, LaHair, Sappelt, Soler, Soriano, Szczur
* Arbitration eligible: Garza, Russell, Samardzija, Stewart and Valbuena
* Signed: Baker, Concepcion, Marmol, Navarro, Castro, DeJesus, Soler, Soriano
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs and reliever Shawn Camp have agreed to a one-year, $1.35 million contract that includes another $200,000 in possible incentives, the team announced Monday. Camp, who was the Cubs’ only free agent, returns to the team after appearing in a career-high 80 relief appearances. He finished tied for the Major League lead in appearances and ranked fifth in the National League with 77 2/3 innings. Camp, who turned 37 on Sunday, is the ninth Cubs pitcher to reach 80 appearances, and first since Sean Marshall did so in 2010.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum picked the durable right-hander as the team’s first half Most Valuable Player. He totaled a career-high 18 holds, retired 57 of his first 80 batters faced, and stranded 15 of 22 inherited runners. Camp was released by the Mariners on March 23, and signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs three days later. He made the Opening Day roster and was one of the few veterans in the bullpen.
– Carrie Muskat
* Cubs reliever Shawn Camp became a free agent on Monday, one of 137 players to do so. Teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents for five days after the completion of the World Series. Free agents can negotiate with all teams beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday.
* The Rawlings Gold Glove winners will be announced on Tuesday. The Cubs’ Darwin Barney is the leading candidate to be named top defensive second baseman in the NL.
* According to Baseball America, the Cubs have hired Derek Johnson as their new Minor League pitching coordinator. Johnson was the associate head coach/pitching coach at Vanderbilt, and tutored six pitchers who were drafted in the first round, including David Price and Sonny Gray.
“I saw him as a lab technician almost,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin told the Tennessean newspaper in confirming the Baseball America report. “The guy immersed himself in pitching. He immersed himself in the development of the kids. It was on his mind 24 hours a day. The thing I like about him the most is there’s no gray with D.J. It’s black or white. And he’s very loyal to the kids and loyal to the program. He stood for all the right things.”
Johnson recently finished his 12th season at Vanderbilt. He was named National Pitching coach of the Year in 2004 and National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010. He helped guide the Commodores to the College World Series in 2011. Vanderbilt’s pitching staff that year led the Southeastern Conference in ERA and strikeouts, and had eight players who were selected in the Major League First-Year Player Draft, including first-round picks Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin. A native of Normal, IL, Johnson began coaching at Eastern Illinois in 1994, and was Southern Illinois’ pitching coach for three seasons, beginning in ’95.
– Carrie Muskat
The 2012 Cubs now have the distinction of being the third team in franchise history to lose 100 games. They dropped No. 100 Monday night, a 3-0 loss to the Astros. Was 100 losses on Jason Berken’s mind when he took the mound?
“You don’t change the way you’re going to pitch,” Berken said. “It’s obviously something we’re aware of and don’t want to be a part of. I don’t think I changed the way I pitched. I tried to be aggressive and tried to give us a chance to win. It wasn’t quite good enough tonight.”
The Cubs mustered two hits off the Astros pitchers. Dale Sveum said they looked like they were “sleep walking.”
What can the young Cubs learn from this?
“I hope they learn it’s not fun when we lose a lot of games,” Alfonso Soriano said. “Everybody feels extra tired when we lose a lot of games. That’s what they can learn — it’s not fun. Baseball is fun when we’re winning. It doesn’t matter how much money they make, how much they enjoy the game, if we’re losing, it’s not fun.”
“We’re not far away,” reliever Shawn Camp said. “It’s like ‘Sori’ always says, you’ve got to throw aside the money and just come on the field and try to get better each and every day. That’s somebody for these young guys to look up to and go about their business.”
– Carrie Muskat
Sure, there are the big awards, like Cy Young and MVP. Dale Sveum was asked which players were the biggest surprises of the season. He picked Shawn Camp and Luis Valbuena. Camp was released by the Mariners in March, and signed a Minor League contract. The right-hander has appeared in a career-high 78 games for the Cubs. Valbuena was claimed off waivers on April 4, spent most of the season at Triple-A Iowa, and will finish with more starts at third base than Ian Stewart, who had been projected as the Cubs’ every day third baseman.
“Some of these key pickups right at the end of Spring Training have kept us afloat,” Sveum said of Valbuena and Camp. “Those kind of guys have helped us out tremendously or this would have been an even tougher season.”
But Sveum’s biggest surprise was veteran Alfonso Soriano, who has set a career-high in RBIs.
“Soriano has been the biggest every single day, all season long surprise, defensively and offensively,” Sveum said. “The person he is, the work ethic and everything has been awesome for a new manager to come in and see what he brings to the table.”
* Who is most improved? Sveum picked catcher Welington Castillo. He has taken over most of the catching duties since Geovany Soto was dealt to the Rangers at the Trade Deadline. In Spring Training, Castillo was like “a deer in the headlights,” Sveum said.
“What he’s done in the last six months has been the most impressive of anybody and he’s the most improved guy I’ve seen this season,” Sveum said.
Castillo, 25, has worked with pitching coach Chris Bosio and coach Mike Borzello on each day’s game plan, and is counted on to handle the pitch calling. Sveum said the transformation is a combination of more playing time, Soto’s departure, and the realization that Castillo has a chance to be an everyday big league catcher.
“It’s not that ‘yes’ man anymore,” Sveum said of the young catcher. “He’ll actually have input on situations. There are definitely guys who are starting to step up and going into Spring Training, it’ll be a very different atmosphere than going into it this past spring.”
Castillo took it as a challenge.
“I want to be a leader one day, and why not start now?” Castillo said. “They’re giving me an opportunity to be an everyday catcher and I think I have to take advantage of that and start doing that now. I feel really good and appreciate the confidence they have in me.”
– Carrie Muskat
When a Cubs player has a tough time, Dale Sveum often calls it a “hiccup.” This month has been one big hiccup. Getting caught up after a tough weekend vs. the Reds …
* What happened? After a winning July, the Cubs are 1-10 in August, and batting .199 this month with a .300 slugging percentage. They’re averaging 2.8 runs per game, and have been out-scored 55-31, out-hit 104-71, and out-homered 11-5.
The pitchers have posted a 5.01 ERA, and opponents were batting .277 against in the last 11 games. The starters are 0-8 with a 4.48 ERA with six quality starts (Dates: 8/4, 8/6, 8/8, 8/9, 8/11, 8/12), while the bullpen has a 6.21 ERA, giving up 20 earned runs over 29 innings. Teams are batting .346 against the Cubs bullpen this month.
* 3B Josh Vitters was expected to start two of the three games against this week the Astros. Dale Sveum says Vitters, who has made three starts, is a good fastball hitter, which should serve him well in the big leagues.
* What’s surprising about the offensive slump is that the players dealt at the Trade Deadline (Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, Geovany Soto) weren’t exactly forces in the Cubs lineup. Here are August numbers so far:
Anthony Rizzo .209 (9-for-43)
Darwin Barney .250 (10-for-40)
Starlin Castro .163 (7-for-43)
Steve Clevenger .143 (2-for-14)
David DeJesus .216 (8-for-37)
Brett Jackson .150 (3-for-20)
Alfonso Soriano .189 (7-for-37)
Bryan LaHair .176 (3-for-17)
Luis Valbuena .261 (6-for-23)
* August numbers for the bullpen …
Shawn Camp: 6 Gs, 8 ER, 4 2/3 IP, 15.43 ERA
Carlos Marmol: 4 Gs, 1 ER, 4 IP, 2.25 ERA
James Russell: 6 Gs, 3 ER, 5 IP, 5.40 ERA (.440 batting average against)
* On the plus side, congrats to Tim Wilken, who was director of amateur scouting and named a special assistant to GM Jed Hoyer.
* Keep an eye on: Double-A Tennessee first baseman Justin Bour now has 100 RBIs, and was batting .300. He’s batting .341 in August with four home runs and 15 RBIs. Bour is the first player in the Southern League to drive in 100 runs in a single season since 1999. Bour is the first player in the Cubs Minor League organization this year to reach 100 RBIs.
– Carrie Muskat
Who’s your first half Most Valuable Player for the Cubs? Manager Dale Sveum picked relievers Shawn Camp and James Russell. Camp was 2-4 with a 2.86 ERA and one save, while Russell was 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA. Russell has a 2.30 ERA in 101 games since the start of 2011, the second-lowest mark by a National League left-hander.
“Those guys have been phenomenal in the first half,” Sveum said. “Without those two guys, we would’ve been in a lot of trouble. The combination of both of them has been tremendous. They’ve been consistent all season long. To have the numbers they have and handle the position they’ve been put in where they haven’t been put in in their careers speaks volumes for what they’ve done for this team this year.”
– Carrie Muskat