Results tagged ‘ Todd Wellemeyer ’

3/23 Cubs roster moves

The Cubs trimmed four from the spring camp roster, including lefty Scott Maine and right-hander Justin Berg. Maine and Berg were optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while Todd Wellemeyer and Angel Guzman were both assigned to the Minor League camp. Guzman is rehabbing from right shoulder surgery and scheduled to throw in a game next week. Wellemeyer was a non-roster invitee. Trimming Maine most likely means the Cubs will have three lefties in the bullpen in John Grabow, James Russell and Sean Marshall. The moves bring the roster to 36 now.

* Also, catcher Max Ramirez was to get an MRI on his left wrist on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

3/14 Sorting things out

Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner will each get another chance Tuesday to convince manager Mike Quade they are best suited for the rotation. Wells and Cashner will start in the Cubs’ final split squad games, with Wells facing the Rockies at HoHoKam Park in Mesa and Cashner going to Phoenix to start against the Athletics.  The two right-handers are vying for the vacancies with Carlos Silva, Casey Coleman, Braden Looper, Todd Wellemeyer and James Russell.

“I’m not closer to nailing stuff down but of that mix, whether it’s bullpen, whether it’s fourth and fifth, I think a lot of guys have been better lately and that’s what we’re looking for,” Quade said Monday. “Until I have to make a decision, we’ll let this thing play out.”

Cashner will be an interesting call. Has he developed his secondary pitches enough to be considered a starter? Do the Cubs feel he needs more experience and would benefit from pitching at Triple-A Iowa? Or, if he’s not ready to start, do they keep his talented arm in the bullpen with the big league team?

“My sense is he has Major League value in whatever role,” Quade said. “It’s a tough call. He’s in a competition with other people. I don’t have an opinion on [whether he start in Minors] yet but we’ve got two weeks after the off day, so obviously at some point these are the kind of tough questions down the stretch that have to be answered.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/9 Cubs extra bases

Matt Garza’s game plan in Spring Training was to throw only fastballs in his first three outings so he can work on location. On Wednesday, the Cubs pitcher had to change his approach.

Garza walked the first two batters he faced, then gave up a RBI single to the Royals’ Billy Butler. Because he was having a tough time throwing fastballs for strikes, he switched to his breaking pitches. First baseman Carlos Pena, who was Garza’s teammate on the Rays, came over to the mound twice in the first to talk to the pitcher.

“[Pena] was just trying to slow it down,” Garza said. “He knew that I was fighting some things and he came over and said, ‘Slow it down, slow it down.’ That’s when I had to step back and take a deep breath and analyze what I can do and can’t do. It was a tough situation but a good learning process today. I was able to adjust on the fly. Next time, it’ll be sooner than later.”

And that’s what Spring Training is for.

* John Grabow has not pitched in a Cactus League game since the first one on Feb. 27 because of some tightness in his left shoulder. He has been able to do side work with pitching coach Mark Riggins, and will likely get back into a Cactus League game next week. Grabow is coming back from knee surgery last year that limited him to 28 games. “It’s nothing serious,” Mike Quade said. “We’re just being careful. You worry about his knee and every so often people coming back from that try to compensate and change their mechanics.”

* The Cubs are not set at second base. Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, Darwin Barney and Augie Ojeda will get playing time there. Quade said, players usually make those decisions for you.
* Todd Wellemeyer is nursing a sore right hip, but downplayed the problem, saying he’s dealt with it for a couple years. “I’m old,” Wellemeyer quipped.

— Carrie Muskat

3/5 Pitching probables

Andrew Cashner makes his first start for the Cubs on Saturday when they play host to the Padres at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. Looking ahead to Sunday’s split squad games, Ryan Dempster will start in Mesa against the Dodgers, and Todd Wellemeyer will get his first spring start in Goodyear against the Reds. Sunday will be the first of four scheduled split squads for the Cubs this spring.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on WGN Radio as will Sunday’s game against the Dodgers. Sunday also will be the first Cubs TV broadcast this spring as Len Kasper and Bob Brenly are in the booth in Mesa for the Cubs-Dodgers game.

— Carrie Muskat

1/27 Non-roster invitees

The Cubs have invited 21 non-roster players to Spring Training, including Todd Wellemeyer, Braden Looper and infielder Augie Ojeda. Looper and Ojeda agreed to terms on Minor League contracts Thursday. Pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 13, and their first workout is the next day. Position players report Feb. 18 and the Cubs’ first full squad workout will be Feb. 19.

Seven pitchers — including right-handers Looper, Wellemeyer, Chris Carpenter, Angel Guzman, Jay Jackson, and Trey McNutt and left-hander Scott Rice — have been invited to the Cubs’ camp along with catchers Steve Clevenger and Chris Robinson. The seven infielders invited include Ojeda, Matt Camp, Bryan LaHair, Scott Moore, Bobby Scales, Marquez Smith and Josh Vitters. Five outfielders were invited including Jim Adduci, Brett Jackson, Reed Johnson, Luis Montanez and Brad Snyder.

Looper, 36, is 72-65 with 103 saves and a 4.15 ERA in all or part of 12 Major League seasons with St. Louis (1998, 2006-08), Florida (1999-2003), the New York Mets (2004-05) and Milwaukee (2009). He last pitched in the big leagues in 2009, going 14-7 with a 5.22 ERA.

Ojeda, 36, is a career .234 hitter with 44 doubles, nine triples, seven home runs and 81 RBIs in 502 games with the Cubs (2000-03), Twins (2004) and Diamondbacks (2007-10). He’s seen action at second, third, and shortstop. Last season, Ojeda batted .190 in 59 games with Arizona.

Wellemeyer, 32, is 32-34 with three saves and a 4.83 ERA in 208 appearances, including 75 starts. He’s pitched for the Cubs (2003-05), Marlins (2006), Royals (2006-07), Cardinals (2007-09) and Giants (2010).

— Carrie Muskat