Results tagged ‘ Shawn Camp ’

11/19 Cubs roster update

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

* 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

Contract status:

* Arbitration eligible: Garza, Russell, Samardzija, Stewart and Valbuena

* Signed: Baker, Concepcion, Marmol, Navarro, Castro, DeJesus, Soler, Soriano

— Carrie Muskat

11/19 Cubs sign Camp

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

10/29 Notebook: Camp, Barney & more

* 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

10/1 The century mark

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 


10/1 Award winners

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

8/13 Monday morning quarterback

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 

7/8 First half MVP

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

6/1 May days

It’s June 1. What did we learn about the Cubs in May?

* They don’t have a closer. Carlos Marmol had the job, then lost it to rookie Rafael Dolis, who is now at Triple-A Iowa trying to find his command. James Russell, Shawn Camp and even Casey Coleman will take turns saving games as Dale Sveum goes with the best matchup.

* Bryan LaHair is not Babe Ruth. The first baseman hit .390 in April with five homers, eight doubles and 14 RBIs, then cooled off in May.

* Starlin Castro may not be a No. 3 hitter.

* They survived a 12-game losing streak, and won three in a row earlier than last year’s team did. Give credit to even keel Sveum and his staff.

* They need more catchers. Geovany Soto, Steve Clevenger, and Welington Castillo went on DL in a matter of days.

* Kerry Wood’s career ended perfectly with one last strikeout May 18, and he can now focus on 6-year-old son Justin’s Little League games.

Numbers game:

Team batting

April (23 games): .237 BA; .294 OBP; .339 slugging; .633 OPS; 9 homers, 75 RBIs

May (27 games): .259 BA; .320 OBP; .429 slugging; .748 OPS; 30 homers; 96 RBIs

Team pitching

April: 8-15; 4.21 ERA; 2-for-5 save opportunities

May: 10-17; 4.47 ERA; 5-for-10 save opportunities

May showers

Ryan Dempster: 0-2, 3.72 ERA, 6 starts

Matt Garza: 0-2, 6.86 ERA, 4 starts

Bryan LaHair: .253 BA; .343 OBP; .448 slugging; .792 OPS; 2 doubles, 5 HR, 8 RBIs

May flowers

Darwin Barney .284 BA; .344 OBP; .489 slugging; .832 OPS; 2 HR, 10 doubles, 8 RBIs

Starlin Castro .304 BA; .311 OBP; .452 slugging; .763 OPS; 4 HR, 1 double, 18 RBIs

David DeJesus .317 BA; .400 OBP; .495 slugging; .895 OPS; 7 doubles, 4 triples, 1 HR, 8 RBIs

Alfonso Soriano, .290 BA; .353 OBP; .591 slugging; .944 OPS; 7 HRs, 7 doubles, 17 RBIs

Shawn Camp 2-1, 13 games, 1.35 ERA

Paul Maholm 2-1, 3.56 ERA, 5 starts

Jeff Samardzija 3-2, 2.48 ERA, 6 starts

— Carrie Muskat

5/27 Dolis out as closer

Rookie Rafael Dolis is out for now as the Cubs closer and James Russell and possibly Shawn Camp will share the role, manager Dale Sveum said Sunday. Dolis, who had taken over for Carlos Marmol, hit a batter with the bases loaded in the ninth inning Sunday to force in the Pirates’ game-winning run in a 3-2 win over the Cubs.

“That’s the frustrating thing with the back end of the bullpen is giving it up because of walks and hit batters,” Sveum said Sunday. “Nobody is hitting the ball and doing things. We’re imploding by walking guys and hitting guys.”

Dolis, 22, gave up a single and walked two batters before he hit Matt Hague with a pitch.

“It’s a combination of youth and being put in a situation he probably shouldn’t be put in, for obvious reasons,” Sveum said of Dolis, who was projected to be one of the Cubs set-up pitchers this season but was switched after Marmol struggled. “It’s funny because he started out doing a nice job. Now it’s a combination of making sure you repeat the mechanics that he has in the bullpen. He’s throwing great bullpens and he gets on the mound and wants to recoil and fall off and do these things. It’s a matter of being able to get on the mound, no matter what inning it is or how many outs, and repeat your delivery and throw back to back quality pitches.”

Russell has four career saves, none this year. Camp is 10-for-23 in save opportunities in his career.

“We’ll see how it all pans out,” Sveum said. “Hopefully, [Matt] Garza throws nine innings and we won’t have to worry about it.”

Marmol, currently on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, will make his second rehab outing Sunday for Triple-A Iowa and could join the Cubs Monday or Tuesday when they open a brief three-game homestand against the Padres.

— Carrie Muskat

5/15 Extra bases

Paul Maholm closes the Cubs quickie two-game series in St. Louis today, and the team then heads home for another two-game set against the Phillies, starting Wednesday night.

* Shawn Camp won his second straight game on Monday, and is the first Cubs pitcher to win consecutive games since Jeff Samardzija did so last June 13-14 against the Brewers.

* Bryan LaHair has reached base safely in a team-high 31 straight games. Only four Cubs first basemen since 1945 have had longer streaks:

Phil Cavarretta: 32 games, June 10-July 12, 1945

Andre Thornton: 33 games, Aug. 5-Sept. 13, 1975

Bill Buckner: 32 games, April 9-Aug. 10, 1981

Derrek Lee: 32 games, April 2-May 10, 2007

* LaHair’s streak is second-longest in the Major Leagues, trailing the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus (32 games)

* Ian Stewart needs one RBI for 200.

* Pitching matchups against the Phillies:

RHP Matt Garza (2-1, 2.56) vs. RHP Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07)

Thursday: RHP Chris Volstad (0-5, 6.92) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (3-3, 3.20)

* Looking ahead to the Cubs Interleague series vs. the White Sox, it’ll be Philip Humber vs. Samardzija on Friday; John Danks vs. Ryan Dempster on Saturday; and Jake Peavy vs. Maholm on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

— Carrie Muskat