Results tagged ‘ Shawn Camp ’

7/9 Camp clears waivers

Right-hander Shawn Camp, who compiled a 7.04 ERA in 26 games in relief, cleared waivers and was given his unconditional release on Tuesday. Camp had been designated for assignment on July 3.

7/3 Extra bases

* The Cubs have reached the halfway point in the season, posting a 35-46 record in the first 81 games, a slight improvement over last year’s 31-50 record at the midpoint. They have hit 20 more home runs at this point compared to last year (87 vs. 67) and have scored 39 more runs (337 to 298). The team ERA of 3.97 is nearly a half run lower than last year’s 4.37 ERA through 81 games. Cubs starting pitchers have a 3.82 ERA through 81 games this season after posting a 4.32 ERA at this point last year, while the bullpen has a 4.32 ERA through 81 games this year, lower than the 4.47 ERA through 81 games last year.

How does manager Dale Sveum assess the team at the midway point?

“The two areas most glaring are obviously, the bullpen and closing games out after having all these leads fater the sixth, seventh, eighth innings,” Sveum said. “We’ve got to clean that up somehow and win those ballgames that we put ourselves in a position to win.

“The offense is coming around a little bit and we’re getting a little better with men in scoring position,” he said. “Our two biggest problems have been men in scoring position and closing things with the bullpen.”

The Cubs are tied for third lowest batting average in the Major Leagues with runners in scoring position.

* Carlos Villanueva began the season in the Cubs rotation and could find himself back there by the All-Star break. The right-hander pitched 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday, and will continue to be stretched out. The Cubs do not have a starter set for Sunday against the Pirates, and could have Villanueva start and then get support from the bullpen. If the Cubs need Villanueva before Sunday, then they’ll likely have to make a roster move and call someone up from the Minor Leagues. Villanueva, whose last start was May 14, has posted a 2.04 ERA in 16 games in relief.

* Wednesday was a tough day for Sveum who had to tell Shawn Camp that he was designated for assignment. Sveum called the right-hander the MVP of the first half last year when Camp compiled a 2.80 ERA in 43 games.

“Unfortunately, we had to outright Camp, which obviously wasn’t my finest day as a manager,” Sveum said. “It was tough because Camp did so much for me my first year as manager and God knows where we would’ve been last year without him. Those days are tough when a guy’s a great guy and obviously done a lot for you. He did a lot for me when I was managing in Double-A. We go way back. It was a tough day today.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/3 Roster moves

The Cubs designated reliever Shawn Camp for assignment on Wednesday and optioned pitcher Chris Rusin to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the active roster for new relievers Pedro Strop and Matt Guerrier.

Camp, 37, who was sidelined with a sprained right big toe in June, was 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA in 26 games with the Cubs. He gave up 34 hits and walked nine over 23 innings. Cubs manager Dale Sveum called the right-hander the MVP of the first half last year when Camp compiled a 2.80 ERA in 43 games. He hasn’t been as successful this season.

Rusin, 26, was called up to start on Tuesday in place of Scott Feldman, who was dealt to the Orioles earlier in the day. Against the Athletics, Rusin gave up three runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings in the start, which he made on three days rest.

Strop and Guerrier were both acquired on Tuesday in separate deals. Strop was picked up from the Orioles along with Jake Arrieta, who was assigned to Triple-A Iowa, while Guerrier was acquired from the Dodgers for Carlos Marmol. Guerrier, 34, was 2-3 with three holds and a 4.80 ERA in 34 relief outings with the Dodgers before he was designated for assignment on Sunday.

Strop, 28, was one of the Orioles’ primary set-up pitchers last season, posting a 2.44 ERA in 70 appearances. This year, he missed time because of back problems, and was 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 relief appearances.

– Carrie Muskat

6/15 DeJesus to DL; Camp added

The Cubs placed David DeJesus on the 15-day DL with a sprained right shoulder and activated right-handed pitcher Shawn Camp from the 15-day DL. DeJesus, 33, injured his shoulder when he crashed into the center field wall during the third inning of Friday’s game against the Mets at Citi Field. He was hitting .260 (52-for-200) with 15 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 21 RBI in 59 games with the Cubs this season.

Camp, 37, was placed on the DL May 22 with a right big toe sprain. He made two Minor League relief appearances with Class A Kane County, tossing three scoreless innings, including two innings Friday night.

– Carrie Muskat

6/13 Dusty, Blackhawks & injury updates

* Reds manager Dusty Baker compiled a 322-326 record in four seasons as the Cubs manager (2003-06), which included a trip to the playoffs his first season and a 96-loss season his final year.

“I’ve been through it,” Baker said Thursday. “Any manager that’s been around has been through it. Everybody’s like, ‘Shake up the lineup.’ You shake it up, you’ve still got the same stuff. And I’m cleaning it up, of course.

“It’s very frustrating,” Baker said. “You’re not sleeping much. You’re trying to figure out something that you’ve already figured and it’s hard to accept that maybe you’re not good. Sometimes you’re not good. You’ve got some good players but you might not be good overall.”

Baker did notice the empty seats at Wrigley.

“I don’t think about that,” he said. “I’m on the other side now. But it’s different. I don’t know if it’s the weather, or if school’s not out, but it’s always a little different early, and then the weather got nicer.”

* Cubs manager Dale Sveum had no trouble staying awake to watch the Blackhawks beat the Bruins, 4-3, in triple overtime Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

“Even without the overtime, it was probably the best hockey game I’ve ever seen,” Sveum said Thursday. “Obviously, both teams came right out, and the Hawks came right out pounding and hitting. The competition the whole night, the level of the first three periods was just incredible for two teams. The opportunities both teams had — for watching on TV, it was no doubt the best hockey game I’ve ever seen.”

Extra bases:

* Cubs reliever Shawn Camp will pitch two innings Friday for Class A Kane County in his second rehab outing. Camp, on the disabled list with a sprained right big toe, was scheduled to throw two innings and no more than 35 pitches in the outing. He threw one inning on Tuesday for the Minor League team, and gave up one hit and struck out one.

* An MRI of right-hander Zach Putnam’s right elbow confirmed that he has a bone spur. Putnam was placed on the disabled list Wednesday.

* Kyuji Fujikawa, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday, rejoined the Cubs on Thursday. Dr. James Andrews did the procedure in Pensacola, Fla.

6/11 Extra bases

* Theo Epstein wasn’t worried about shortstop Starlin Castro, who was 4-for-42 (.095) and batting .243 overall.

“I just think he’s in a slump and he’s going to turn it around pretty soon,” Epstein said Tuesday. “It’s tough, and I feel bad for him that he’s going through this and obviously, we’d love better production, and hopefully we will get better production going forward. In a way, it shouldn’t be unexpected. Baseball is a game of failure and adjustments. You’d like your players to fail in the Minor Leagues so they see what it’s like and come to terms with that and make their adjustments. Starlin is so talented that he has never really failed before, so this is the first extended stretch of failure that he’s had.”

Castro never played at the Triple-A level, and has 995 Minor League at-bats. He is one of the core players the Cubs are relying on, Epstein said.

“In the long run, I think this will be good for him,” Epstein said. “He’ll find his way out of it, and be a better player for it, and the
next time he falls into a slump he’ll know how to get out of it quicker. I think Starlin’s approach will evolve over the
years as it does for most players when they get a few thousand at-bats under their belt.”

* Cubs officials enjoyed watching video of Javier Baez’s four home run night on Monday.

“It was quite a show,” Epstein said. “He sprayed it around, covered different parts of the strike zone, different pitches. His swing is really under control and that’s the great thing about Javy and his bat speed. He doesn’t have to swing for the fences. He can take a nice, normal under control swing, the type that would normally produce a line drive or a ball in the gap, and in his case there’s plenty of carry over the fences.”

Dale Sveum watched video of Baez’s blasts.

“I wish I could’ve seen where they landed,” Sveum said Tuesday. “The swings were pretty good. I’ve been watching the video anyway, but one good thing about it is he’s calmed down. He’s cut down his movement [on his swing] about 40 percent, 50 percent. It’s a lot more calm and controled.”

Baez, 20, the Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick in 2011, was batting .291 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs in 57 games. He’s also been charged with 26 errors.

“A lot of his errors have been extreme plays at the end of his range or weird things on rundowns or trying to do too much,” Epstein said. “He needs to polish that up. We actually feel better at this moment about his ability to play shortstop every day in the big leagues than we did on Opening Day because of the way he’s playing shortstop. He needs to clean it up but I have no doubt he can play shortstop at the big league level.”

* Kyuji Fujikawa underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Tuesday his right elbow. Orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure in Pensacola, Fla. An MRI in May revealed ligament damage to the reliever’s elbow. In 12 games this season, Fujikawa had a 5.25 ERA, giving up seven runs over 12 innings. This is his first season in the U.S. Major Leagues.

* Reliever Shawn Camp was scheduled to pitch one inning for Class A Kane County on Tuesday, his first Minor League rehab assignment since going on the disabled list with a sprained big toe May 22.

* Epstein is a little divided this week. He grew up a Boston Bruins fan but they are playing the Blackhawks in the NHL Stanley Cup final, which starts Wednesday in Chicago.

“Original six hockey is fantastic,” Epstein said. “The passion for the Hawks in town here reminds me a lot of the way it is for the ‘B’s in Boston. It’s going to be a heck of a series.”

And his pick?

“I’m hoping for a great series, good health all around,” he said diplomatically.

– Carrie Muskat

6/7 Extra bases

* In the second round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Cubs selected Missouri left-hander Rob Zastryzny, who compiled a 3.38 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 82 over 90 2/3 innings.

“Talking to the scouts and [scouting and player development director] Jason [McLeod], [Zastryzny] finished well and can get to 94 [mph], has four pitches, and is a real good competitor,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Obviously, the record he had didn’t show because of the team he was on. I think the more impressive thing is how he got better each year and finished his season real strong. He’s a guy who gets on the mound and competes with his fastball.”

Zastryzny, 21, was 2-9 but the Tigers averaged 2.5 runs per start. The lefty ranks eighth all-time in Missouri history with 228 strikeouts.

* Starlin Castro batted seventh for the third straight game Friday. The shortstop, who was batting .256 overall, was 1-for-8 in the first two games there after hitting second most of the season. How long will Sveum keep Castro lower in the order?

“I have no idea,” Sveum said. “There’s no timetable on it. Hopefully, we get him back swinging the bat and having quality at-bats and hitting the ball hard. It’s not even seeing thatt he gets hits but more the at-bats and hitting the ball hard.”

* The Cubs pitchers set a National League record with 19 RBIs in the month of May but success does have a price.

“Hopefully, they have as good a month in June as they did in May,” Sveum said. “They out-produced some of the other spots in the lineup. Not putting a downer on it, but now they get pitched a little tougher.”

* No date has been set for Kyuji Fujikawa’s surgery on his right elbow. Fujikawa needs Tommy John surgery, and the team has been waiting for the swelling to subside before setting a date. Reliever Shawn Camp threw his second bullpen Friday since going on the disabled list with a sprained right big toe. He’s making progress, Sveum said, as is reliever Rafael Dolis, on the DL with a strained forearm.

– Carrie Muskat

5/22 Camp to DL – UPDATED

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

3/16 Roster moves

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

2/23 Extra bases

* 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:

DeJesus CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Schierholtz RF
Navarro C
Bogusevic DH
Barney 2B
Villanueva 3B

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

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