Results tagged ‘ Steve Clevenger ’
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Q: I’m a stats kind of guy. I noticed that Welington Castillo is a much better hitter in the daytime (.305) than at night (.219). Yes, it’s a small sample but most of Dioner Navarro’s starts come in the daytime. I would assume that Sveum has a valid reason for this but perhaps Navarro’s starts should come more often at night? Just an observation. — Travis C., Cedar Rapids, IA
A: My first reaction was that Castillo had played more day games, so the numbers may be lopsided but that’s not the case. Through Tuesday, he’s played 27 games in the day time, 26 at night. The splits aren’t too far off — he’s 29-for-95 during the day, 21-for-96 at night. I’ll ask him tonight before the game, and update later.
Q: Why doesn’t Cody Ransom get more playing time? He’s solid and can produce some big hits, I feel. — Jacob B.
A: Since you wrote, Ransom has gotten more playing time. Sveum has used him in a platoon at third with Luis Valbuena, inserting Ransom against left-handed pitchers. Ransom was batting .293 vs. lefties compared to .167 against right-handers. On Tuesday against the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright, Ransom did connect for his first home run off a right-hander, and was batting .304 (7-for-23) this month after a .200 June. One of the reasons Ransom bats high in the order is to give him more at-bats.
Q: I was pleased with the Cubs Draft this year. How soon will we see Kris Bryant? Any chance he could be called up in September even just to give fans a look at him? Thanks. — John L., Portland, Ore.
A: If you want to watch Bryant play, you’ll have to go to one of the Cubs’ Minor League teams, possibly Kane County. He won’t be called up in September. First, the Cubs have to sign the third baseman, who is represented by super agent Scott Boras. The Cubs have a signing bonus pool of $10,556,500, and an assigned value of $6,708,400 for Bryant. Talks are ongoing.
Q: With Steve Clevenger coming back from injury and seeming to get a hit in every rehab game, I would assume he will be brought back to the Majors once he’s ready. When this happens, who do you think will be sent down with most of the backups playing well? Would the Cubs consider sending a bullpen guy down for an extra bat? I’m afraid you’ll say Julio Borbon but I don’t want to see that late inning speed sent down. — Michael F., Raleigh, NC
A: Clevenger does give the Cubs some versatility. With three catchers available, Sveum could use Dioner Navarro or Clevenger as a pinch-hitter, and not worry about losing a backup catcher if something happened to Welington Castillo. Right now, Clevenger is getting at-bats at Triple-A Iowa and playing some infield there. Sveum was asked Tuesday about the left-handed hitter, and there’s no date set for his return. Part of the problem is that they have plenty of left-handed bats right now.
Q: With the upcoming renovation of Wrigley Field, are they going to address how small the seats are? People were a lot smaller back in the early 1900s and these days, you feel like you’re jammed in there like a sardine on both sides with no leg room. — Jeff, Calgary
A: The renovation plan includes installation of new, wider seats at Wrigley Field. It should be a more comfortable way to watch the game.
Steve Clevenger went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to help Iowa beat Omaha, 9-5, in the completion of Friday’s suspended game. Brooks Raley started but did not get a decision, giving up five runs over five innings. Brad Nelson drove in two runs.
Clevenger went 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs in the regular game Saturday, helping Iowa beat Omaha, 8-7. Clevenger now is batting .417, and has hit safely in nine of his 10 games. Donnie Murphy also hit a two-out grand slam in the sixth. Junior Lake had two hits and two stolen bases. Barret Loux picked up the win, throwing three innings in relief.
Kyle Hendricks gave up one run on eight hits over seven innings in Tennessee’s 5-2 win over Mississippi. Jonathan Mota hit his fifth home run and drove in two runs. Arismendy Alcantara had two hits, both doubles, and two RBIs.
The Florida State League South All-Star team defeated the North, 8-1. Javier Baez was 2-for-4 with two doubles for the North team. John Andreoli had an RBIs. Daytona returns to action Monday against Clearwater.
Bijan Rademacher had three hits, including his second home run, in Kane County’s 11-5 loss to Wisconsin. Albert Almora had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He’s batting .411 in the streak.
Paul Blackburn threw five shutout innings but Henry Charles hit a pinch-hit walkoff homer in the ninth to lead Eugene to a 1-0 win over Boise. Blackburn struck out eight, retiring the last 13 batters he faced. Shawn Dunston, Kevin Encarnacion and Jose Dore each had a hit.
Iowa’s game vs. Omaha was suspended because of rain. The teams will resume action Saturday, tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth. Steve Clevenger was 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs before the rain.
Jonathan Mota had three hits and one RBIs in Tennessee’s 4-3 loss to Mississippi. Austin Kirk gave up three runs over five innings. Ronald Torreyes had three hits, including a double, and one RBIs and a stolen base.
Daytona is off this weekend for the All-Star break, and will return to action Monday at Clearwater.
Albert Almora extended his hitting streak to 12 games but it wasn’t enough as Kane County lost, 5-1, to Wisconsin. Wilson Contreras had two hits. Shawn Camp threw two scoreless innings in his second rehab outing, striking out three of the eight batters he faced.
James Pugliese threw five shutout innings as Boise opened the season with a 7-0 victory over Eugene. Shawon Dunston Jr. went 4-for-6 with a double, Jacob Rogers hit his first home run and Daniel Lockhart had two hits and one RBIs.
Brad Nelson hit two home runs and Brett Jackson added his fifth of the season to back Brooks Raley and lift Iowa to a 10-7 victory over Round Rock on Sunday. It was Nelson’s second multi-homer game. He finished with three RBIs. Jackson had two hits, including his homer. Junior Lake was 3-for-5 and Logan Watkins and Steve Clevenger each had two hits.
Rubi Silva and Jonathan Mota each homered in Tennessee’s 5-3, 11-inning win over Mobile. Ty Wright was 2-for-2 with one RBIs. Mota finished with three hits.
Kyle Burke gave up one earned run over five innings in Daytona’s 8-2 win over Brevard County in the first game of a doubleheader. Daytona stole six bases in the game. Dustin Geiger hit his seven home run and finished with three RBIs. Daytona completed the sweep with a 3-2 win in the nightcap. John Andreoli had two hits, scored two runs and stole a base.
Marco Hernandez and Dan Vogelbach each homered but it wasn’t enough as Kane County lost, 8-4, to Cedar Rapids. Vogelbach’s blast was his 11th. He finished with two RBIs.
Iowa had Wednesday off.
Tennessee’s game vs. Jackson was postponed because of weather.
Daytona’s game against Bradenton was postponed because of rain.
Pierce Johnson gave up two earned runs on five hits over five innings in Kane County’s 8-6 win over Burlington. Reggie Golden had three hits and two RBIs and Oliver Zapata had two hits, one RBI and a stolen base. Dan Vogelbach had two hits, including his ninth home run, and a double, and drew two walks.
Guillermo Moscoso gave up three runs over six innings in Iowa’s 6-0 loss to Round Rock Thursday. Logan Watkins extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double, and Steve Clevenger was 1-for-3 with a double in his third rehab game. Clevenger has hit safely in all three games he’s played.
Alberto Cabrera gave up five runs over five innings in Tennessee’s 5-0 loss to Jackson in the first game of a doubleheader. In the second game, Eric Jokisch gave up one earned run but took the loss in a 2-1 decision. Ronald Torreyes and Rafael Lopez each had two hits.
Daytona’s game against Bradenton was canceled because of rain. On Friday, the Cubs play Brevard County.
Jose Rosario gave up one earned run over five innings in Kane County’s 9-0 loss to Burlington. Jeimer Candelario had two hits and Albert Almora was 1-for-4, and batting .415 so far.
Chris Rusin gave up five runs over seven innings in Iowa’s 5-3 loss to New Orleans. Dave Sappelt had two hits. Michael Bowden struck out three, gave up one hit and walked a batter in 1 2/3 innings.
Tennessee vs. Jackson was postponed Sunday because of the weather.
Austin Kirk struck out seven over six shutout innings in Daytona’s 5-0 rain-shortened win over Brevard County. The game was called after seven innings because of the weather. Javier Baez had two hits and one RBIs and Jorge Soler drove in two runs. Soler has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.
Dan Vogelbach hit his eighth home run in Kane County’s 3-2, 10-inning win over Cedar Rapids. Albert Almora had three hits, including a double. Jeimer Candelario had three hits.
Brett Jackson had four hits, including his fourth home run, and drove in two in Iowa’s 10-5, 13-inning loss to New Orleans. Nick Struck started but did not get a decision, giving up five runs over five innings. Brad Nelson had two hits. Steve Clevenger started his rehab assignment and hit a double and drove in three runs.
Kyle Hendricks, named the Cubs’ Minor League pitcher of the month for May, kicked off June with seven shutout innings in Tennessee’s 2-0 win over Jackson in the first game of a doubleheader. Hendricks struck out seven. It was his fifth straight quality start, and he’s now 6-2 with a 2.20 ERA. In the second game, Christian Villanueva hit his fifth home run in a 7-1 win. Ronald Torreyes had three hits and two RBIs.
Javier Baez hit a double and Jorge Soler drove in a run but it wasn’t enough as Daytona lost, 5-3, to Bradenton. Yaniel Cabezas had two hits, both doubles, and one RBIs.
Dillon Maples threw five shutout innings, striking out seven, in Kane County’s 10-4 loss to Cedar Rapids. Reggie Golden had two hits, including his first home run, and Rock Shoulders and Gioskar Amaya each had two hits. Albert Almora also had a hit and has hit safely in nine of his first 11 games. He’s batting .455.
* Dale Sveum doesn’t give the Cubs relievers a heads up before the game to let them know who the designated closer is that day. He’s sticking with the best matchup.
“It’s been working,” Sveum said Monday. “I’m not going to say it’s a fix-all and that you don’t want to name a closer. You definitely don’t want to rock the boat when things are going good in the back of the bullpen when everybody is healthy and ready to go that night. It could be one of four guys. It depends on the matchups.”
The four include Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg, Shawn Camp and James Russell.
“After the fifth inning, everybody in that bullpen is on call at any time, depending on how we want to use it in the matchups,” Sveum said.
How does Gregg feel about that?
“There’s pros and cons to both ways,” Gregg said about picking one pitcher and using a closer by committee approach. “You name a closer and you definitely allow guys to slide into a position where they’re comfortable and know what they’re preparing for. Sometimes that backfires on some guys. That knowing [they're the one], the anxiety gets to them a little bit.”
Even if Sveum tells the pitchers that they’ll be called on late in the game, some prefer more specific instructions.
“Late in the game in the seventh inning and late in the game in the ninth inning are two different animals,” Gregg said. “You have to know what guys are comfortable with, what situations they’ll be successful in.”
* Cubs pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa threw 32 pitches in a bullpen session Monday, his first since going on the disabled list April 13, and will do so again before he makes a Minor League rehab outing. Fujikawa, sidelined with a strained right forearm, was expected to join Triple-A Iowa on Sunday if all goes well.
“Things didn’t go real crisp today,” Sveum said of the session. “Everything was fine and he felt great and everything, but the location wasn’t where we wanted it to be.”
* Scott Baker, coming back from Tommy John surgery one year ago, resumed his throwing program on Monday in Mesa, Ariz. Baker threw from about 45 feet.
* Matt Garza, on the disabled list with a strained left lat, was to start Wednesday for Double-A Tennessee, which would be his second Minor League rehab outing. He will make at least three such starts.
* Catcher Steve Clevenger, on the DL with a strained left oblique, was able to catch two bullpen sessions on Monday and is throwing from 120-130 feet. He expected to start swinging a bat early next week.
– Carrie Muskat
Steve Clevenger will be sidelined at least six weeks because of a left oblique strain suffered on a swing Saturday. Clevenger, who missed time last year because of a strained right oblique, was placed on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Kameron Loe, whom the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Mariners. Loe will not be at Wrigley Sunday. The Cubs are waiting for Darwin Barney’s return from the DL, expected Tuesday. Clevenger was 1-for-8 in eight games with the Cubs.
“We lose a lot by losing him,” Dale Sveum said of Clevenger.
Loe, 31, appeared in four games with the Mariners and gave up eight runs over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander has pitched for the Rangers and Brewers.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs will have more news on Steve Clevenger’s status today. Clevenger injured his left oblique on a swing which ended Saturday’s game against the Giants. The team may not call anyone up because Darwin Barney is scheduled to come off the disabled list Tuesday, which means they would be short-handed for one day. Monday is an off day.
“I’ve seen it many times, but not that severe,” Dale Sveum said of Clevenger. “I’ve never seen somebody in that much pain.”
Some notes from Saturday’s game:
* Dioner Navarro hit a two-run pinch-homer off Madison Bumgarner in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was Navarro’s second-career pinch-homer and his second in as many days. On Friday, he connected from the left side of the plate, on Saturday, it was from the right side. Navarro is the third Cub to hit a pinch-home run in back-to-back team games and the first since Darin Jackson did so Aug. 14, 1988, vs. the Cardinals and Aug. 16, 1988, vs the Reds.
“It’s called pinch hitting and not pinch walking or pinch taking,” Sveum said. “That’s nice to see. That’s why we went with the three catchers, to have the ability to do those kinds of things with those two guys.”
* Alfonso Soriano posted his first three-hit game of the season.
* Jeff Samardzija dropped his second straight game. He is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven-career games (two starts) vs. the Giants. Cubs starting pitchers have compiled a 3.00 ERA (22 ER/66.0 IP) with six quality starts in the first 11 games of the season.
“I think he’ll probably tell you that he wasn’t as sharp as his first two outings,” Sveum said of Samardzija. “Fastball command and the split was ‘scuds’ so to speak. The life on the fastball wasn’t quite what it has been.”
* The Cubs have served up five home runs, tied for fewest in the Majors.
* Each game of the Cubs-Giants series has been a one-run decision. The Cubs are 1-2 this series and 2-3 this season in games decided by one run.
– Carrie Muskat
Steve Clevenger was a middle infielder before he was converted to catcher in the Cubs’ Minor League system, but on Friday, he was back at third base. Clevenger got the start against the Giants’ Matt Cain as the Cubs tried to overload the lineup with left-handed hitters.
“I got my ground balls in,” Clevenger said. “I feel very comfortable over there. I played infield when I was first drafted. It’s nothing new to me, just getting the reps.”
He did play infield this spring than in the past. Last year, Clevenger won a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster as a backup catcher.
“It’s just a reaction position at third,” he said. “It’s basically catch it and throw it.”
He’s also prepared as far as equipment.
“I always keep my infielder’s glove broken in,” he said.
“If he’s going to be here, he has to play,” manager Dale Sveum said of Clevenger, who is the third catcher on the Cubs’ roster. “It’s time to get him in the lineup against Cain and see what happens.”
Third baseman Ian Stewart, on the disabled list with a strained left quad, has been rehabbing at extended Spring Training, and played four innings on Thursday, hitting a couple doubles. Sveum said he expected Stewart would begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon.
– Carrie Muskat