Results tagged ‘ Tony Campana ’

10/3 Extra bases

* Losing 100 plus games should motivate the young Cubs.

“We have a lot of young guys who are learning and trying to make the adjustments up here,” pitcher Travis Wood said. “I think it can only help us in the long run. This season will leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth. I think we’ll all be fired up and ready to go this spring.”

* Sveum proved he’s very patient during what was a trying season. Will fans support the team as it goes through its growing pains? Wednesday’s crowd was 27,606, and the Cubs finished with less than 3 million at home for the first time since 2003, drawing 2,882,756 for the season.

“I’m sure they’ll gradually get a little less patient,” Sveum said. “People still have to understand things don’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual repair job as well. Whatever happens in the winter — free agents, non-tender guys, whoever you bring in — we have to have some guys who can hit home runs, too. I don’t mean literally. Guys have to have good years.”

* The Cubs won their season finale for the first time since beating the Rockies, 8-5, on Oct. 1, 2006, at Wrigley Field.

* Starlin Castro became the first player to play shortstop in all 162 games in a season on Wednesday, and is the first Cubs infielder to appear in all 162 games since Ron Santo in 1968.

* Tony Campana stole a base and finished with 30 steals for the season.

* Shawn Camp made his 80th appearance, and became the ninth pitcher in Cubs history to reach that mark, and first since Sean Marshall in 2010.

* What’s the biggest thing Sveum will take from this season?

“To really know that I have a lot of patience,” he said. “I kind of knew that was one of my fortes anyway but this tried your patience quite a bit. I can always fall back on that if I don’t have anything else.”

Maybe one of the reasons is he stayed patient was because he didn’t read any negative comments in the local media.

“I don’t read the paper, I don’t ‘twit’ and I don’t do Facebook,” said Sveum, who meant that he doesn’t “tweet” as in Twitter.

— Carrie Muskat

9/25 Extra bases

* Dave Sappelt could be the next Reed Johnson on the Cubs. Sappelt, who batted leadoff on Tuesday for the first time this season, is trying to impress the Cubs that he could handle the role that Johnson filled, which was providing a right-handed bat off the bench plus someone who could sub in the outfield. He made a good impression Tuesday, hitting his first Major League home run in the first.

“Since he’s been here, he’s shown us some realy good at-bats and shown the ability to hit a fastball and get his walks as well,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday. “I thought I’d stick him in that leadoff spot and see what happens.”

A right-handed batter, Sappelt was hitting .333 against left-handed pitchers in 18 at-bats since he was called up from Triple-A Iowa Sept. 1. At Iowa, Sappelt batted .331 against left-handers and .236 against right-handed pitching. Johnson opened the year with the Cubs but was dealt at the Trade Deadline to the Braves.

* Sveum has recommended to third baseman Josh Vitters and outfielder Tony Campana that they consider playing winter ball.

“The more you play, the better you’re going to be,” Sveum said Tuesday. “I think some people nowadays use the winters too much sometimes to work out and rest when you can go play instructional league or [Arizona Fall League] or winter leagues. There’s no substitute for playing.”

Sveum said he and the front office have talked about having Brett Jackson spend the winter working on some of the adjustments they want him to make rather than play.

* Arodys Vizcaino, whom the Cubs acquired from the Braves in the Paul Maholm deal, was at Coors Field Tuesday to workout. Vizcaino is coming back from Tommy John surgery, and will be ready to pitch in Spring Training but Sveum said the right-hander is a starter candidate for 2014.

“He’s going to come into Spring Training ready to pitch but we’ll baby him through everything,” Sveum said. “We’ll baby that situation as much as you can and have him ready for the next season.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/16 Rizzo’s big day

Anthony Rizzo checked off a couple more items on his big league bucket list Sunday. The rookie first baseman belted his first Major League grand slam, notched his first multi-homer game, drove in a career-high six runs, and made his first curtain call, powering the Cubs to a 13-9 come from behind victory over the Pirates.

“Everything he’s done here has been what we expected,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “We don’t expect any more or any less. He’s been spectacular since he’s been here.”

Promoted from Triple-A Iowa on June 26, Rizzo is batting .300 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs. He was leading the Pacific Coast League in nearly every offensive category when called up, hitting 23 home runs, 18 doubles, and batting .342. You do the math.

“The combination of what he’s done in Triple-A and here is pretty impressive,” Sveum said. “He went into a little lull there and figured some things out, and realized that he wasn’t going to be [Tony] Campana, that he was going to be Anthony Rizzo up here.”

Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the fifth and belted his go-ahead slam in a five-run sixth to help the Cubs reduce their magic number to five. Five more wins, and Chicago will avoid a 100-loss season, which the franchise has not done since 1966.

“I don’t think [the slam] tops the walkoff [July 29 vs. the Cardinals] but it was a great game, well fought by all of us, all 25 or all 40 of us,” Rizzo said. “We’re showing some resilience.”

The rookie first baseman is the first Cubs player with six RBIs in a game since Aramis Ramirez did so July 20, 2010, against the Astros.

After his slam, Rizzo stood on the dugout step, and acknowledged the fans.

“I didn’t realize that’s what you do,” he said of the curtain call. “That was pretty cool.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/7 Jackson survives collision

Cubs rookie Brett Jackson had to leave Friday’s game after crashing head-first into the outfield wall at PNC Park. Jackson had precautionary X-rays, but suffered only a bruised right knee from the collision.

Jackson had failed to snare Pedro Alvarez’s fly ball at the wall in center in the Pirates fifth, resulting in a double and the first hit off Cubs pitcher Travis Wood. But with two outs and two on in the Pittsburgh sixth, the rookie outfielder did make a leaping grab of Andrew McCutchen’s fly ball and then collided into the wall near the visitor’s bullpen, which has mesh fencing and metal supports. He appeared to plant his face into the mesh part of the fence.

Jackson lay on the ground for a few minutes as his teammates, Cubs manager Dale Sveum and the athletic trainers ran to him. He was able to walk off under his own power, with a trainer at each side. He was due to leadoff the Cubs’ seventh but was lifted from the game for pinch-hitter Tony Campana.

— Carrie Muskat

9/1 New guys

Tony Campana, Adrian Cardenas and Dave Sappelt joined the Cubs on Saturday, part of the September call-ups. There will be more to come as Chris Rusin is added as well as Miguel Socolovich and Anthony Recker. Sappelt, 25, finished at Iowa with a .266 batting average, but his monthly totals show how much he struggled. He batted .218 in April, .237 in May, .260 in June, .317 in July and .287 in August.

“I was not putting consistent swings on the ball and I went through about 15 batting stances,” said Sappelt, acquired from the Reds along with Travis Wood in the Sean Marshall deal. “I was in a mental hole all year. I think I’m out of it now.”

Which stance did he settle on?

“It’s sometihng brand new,” Sappelt said. “I took a little out of Brett Jackson’s page and Josh Hamilton’s hand drop before the pitch to slow down. That’s been working for me. I think I’m going to ride that out from here on out.”

This is Campana’s second stint with the Cubs. He was with the big league team from mid April to Aug 3, and batted .259. was happy just to get regular at-bats. He hit .264 in August at Iowa, getting more at-bats than he did in June and July combined with the Cubs.

“I went down there and I needed to get at-bats and I got to play every day and I got to get at-bats,” Campana said. “It was nice to play every day.”

His goal now?

“I’ll come off the bench, do my thing, and run around a little bit,” said Campana, who did steal 26 bases for the Cubs.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the new players will have to adjust to few at-bats.

“The core of the lineup will be pretty much the same,” Sveum said. “It’s not as if I’m going to play these guys a lot. It’ll be periodically, matchups, whatever. When we’re playing these teams in first place [like the Giants], we’re going to put our core guys out there.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/31 Call-ups

Jeff Beliveau joined the Cubs on Friday, taking Brooks Raley’s spot on the roster. There will be more players added, starting Saturday. Expect Tony Campana, Adrian Cardenas and Dave Sappelt to join the Cubs at that time. Chris Rusin also will be added, and start on Tuesday. He first went to Double-A Tennessee so he could stay on his work schedule. The Cubs also want to get a little look at newly acquired pitcher Miguel Socolovich and catcher Anthony Recker. They’ll join the team soon.

— Carrie Muskat

8/14 Minor League report

Tony Campana had three hits, stole two bases and scored three runs but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost 14-7 to Las Vegas on Monday. Ryan Rowland-Smith took the loss, giving up five runs over four innings. Dave Sappelt and Greg Rohan each drove in two runs.

Tennessee opens a five-game series at Birmingham on Tuesday. Dallas Beeler was scheduled to start.

Daytona returns to action Tuesday against Lakeland. Austin Kirk was scheduled to start.

Jorge Soler had two hits in Peoria’s 3-2 loss to Beloit. Soler was batting .357. Yao-Lin Wang posted his second straight quality start, giving up two runs on three hits over six innings.

Jeimer Candelario had three hits in Boise’s 11-4 loss to Salem-Keizer, which scored nine runs in the eighth inning. Marco Hernandez extended his hitting streak to a season-high 18 games, going 2-for-4 with a triple and one RBIs.

Albert Almora went 5-for-6 to lead a 25-hit attack and help Mesa beat the Reds, 17-7. Daniel Lockhart hit his first home run and finished with three RBIs. Almora, the Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick, is batting .413 in his last 10 games. Carlos Penalver had four hits and scored three runs.

News & notes:

Left-handed pitcher Austin Kirk and outfielder Rubi Silva were promoted from Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee. Cuban right-handed pitcher Yoanner Negrin was promoted from Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa. Negrin was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2011, and began this season with Omecas de Tabasco of the Mexican League. He made one start for the Smokies, and did not give up an earned run over five innings.

— Carrie Muskat

8/12 Minor League report

Friday’s games

Tony Campana had two hits in Iowa’s 4-3 loss to Las Vegas on Friday. Greg Rohan drove in two runs. Blake Lalli tied the game in the ninth with a RBI double.

Matt Szczur had two hits add one RBI in Tennessee’s 4-3 loss to Huntsville. Trey McNutt made his ninth relief appearance and gave up an unearned run on one hit over two innings.

Micah Gibbs had two hits and two RBIs in Daytona’s 8-5 loss to Dunedin.

Jorge Soler made his debut for Peoria and drove in two runs in a 10-5 loss to Burlington.

Daniel Vogelbach hit two home runs, his second straight multi-homer game, in Boise’s 11-8 win over Everett. He drove in five runs and was batting .381. Jeimer Candelario had four hits, including two doubles, and drove in two runs. Marco Hernandez also homered, his fourth.

Duane Underwood walked two in one inning in Mesa’s 7-3 loss to the Rangers. Shawon Dunston Jr. had two hits and two RBIs and Albert Almora extended his hitting streak to seven games.

Saturday’s games

Iowa’s game Saturday in Las Vegas was suspended after four innings because of rain.

Dae-Eun Rhee threw six shutout innings in Tennessee’s 2-0 win over Huntsville. Matt Szczur had two hits and Jae-Hoon Ha and Michael Brenly each drove in a run.

Daytona’s game against Dunedin was postponed because of rain.

Jorge Soler hit his first home run for Peoria, a grand slam, in a 5-3 win over Beloit. Soler connected in the third inning. Wes Darvill had three hits and Luis Liria picked up the win in relief.

Daniel Vogelbach extended his hitting streak to 11 games in Boise’s 4-1 win over Salem-Keizer. He has driven in a run in seven straight games. Trey Martin had two hits and one RBIs.

Albert Almora had three hits and one RBIs in Mesa’s 8-3 win over the Angels. Trevor Gretzky had two hits and two RBIs.

— Carrie Muskat 

7/25 Cubs lineup

Ryan Dempster will close the Cubs series in Pittsburgh, taking the mound Wednesday at PNC Park. Dempster enters the game with a 2.11 ERA (23 ER/98 IP) in 15 starts. The 2.11 ERA is the lowest among Major League qualifiers, as Dempster has given up three or fewer runs in 11 of his 15 starts. That includes nine starts in which he gave up one or no runs. Opponents are batting .209 against Dempster this season, tied for the third-lowest mark in the NL behind only the Nationals’ Gio Gonazalez (.203) and the Giants’ Matt Cain (.208).

Here’s the lineup:

DeJesus CF

Castro SS

Rizzo 1B

LaHair RF

Clevenger C

Valbuena 3B

Barney 2B

Campana LF

Dempster P

— Carrie Muskat

7/16 Cubs Inbox

Send your questions to

Q: With the Cubs showing they can win games and doing it well, what kind of record would the team have to put together over the second half to get a Wild Card? Not that I think by any means this will happen but I am curious. — Jeremy B., Denver, CO

A: You can dream. The Cubs are 36-52 as of today, and would have to go 45-29 just to get to .500 (81-81). They are on a good pace, with a 12-4 record since June 25. If the season ended today, the Braves and Pirates would be Wild Card winners. The Cubs are currently 13 games back.

Q: What are the team batting/OBP numbers/slugging percentage before and after Rudy Jaramillo was dismissed? — James B., Fredonia, NY

A: From April 5-June 10, the numbers were .247 batting average/.304 on-base percentage/.385 slugging percentage. From June 12-July 15, the numbers are almost the same, .249/.293/.388. What’s different are the pitching numbers. In the first 60 games, the Cubs were 20-40, the pitchers had a 4.39 ERA and converted seven of 18 save opportunities. In the last 28 games, the pitchers have a 3.93 ERA and have converted 10 of 11 save opportunities.

Q: Is Tony Campana in the Cubs’ plans after the All-Star break or is he on the trading block? In the 15 days prior to the break, he only got into 10 games, during which he came to the plate in five of them. — Pete V., Xenia, OH

A: In 21 games in June, Campana hit .237 (14-for-59) and had an on-base percentage of .250. That’s why he’s not getting more starts. He can’t steal bases if he can’t get on base. He’s the perfect 25th man, used as a pinch-runner, defensive sub.

Q: Can Bryan LaHair win Rookie of the Year? — Jeffrey B., Zion, IL

A: No. A player is considered a rookie unless during the previous season he has, No. 1, exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the big leagues, or, No. 2, accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League team during the 25-man limit in effect from Opening Day until Aug. 31. LaHair started this year with 195 Major League at-bats and 100 days service time.

Q: With Ian Stewart looking like he could miss the rest of the season, is there any chance that Theo and Co. will call up surging slugging, Josh Vitters? He hasn’t played 162 games in Triple-A but he has a lot of Minor League experience and with Javier Baez hot on his trail, this may be his only opportunity. — Dean S., Northbrook, IL

A: Baez is a shortstop, so he’s not a threat to Vitters. The Cubs are watching Vitters and Brett Jackson just as closely as they monitored Anthony Rizzo. On Saturday, GM Jed Hoyer said Vitters and Jackson need to show they deserve a promotion.

“Those guys need to force the issue, I would say,” Hoyer said. “Like we talked about with Rizzo, when they sort of prove to us that they’re ready and make it clear, then I think that’s something we’ll see.”

Through Sunday, Vitters was batting .301 with 13 home runs, 28 doubles and 51 RBIs, and had a great June, when he hit .324. His defense is a little suspect. Jackson was batting .256 through Sunday, and coming off a .282 June, but he struck out 50 times in 29 games that month. As for Stewart, he is done for the season.

Q: The extraordinary number of strikeouts by Brett Jackson makes me wonder the obvious. Have they tested his vision? — Eric H., Brandon, FL

A. Yes.

Q: When is Jorge Soler expected to join the Major League team? — Christopher T., Chicago

A: Soler is 20 years old, and has yet to play in a game in the Mesa Rookie League. Sorry, my crystal ball is a little fuzzy and won’t give me an exact date.

Q: Sitting here watching the final three innings of Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game. This game is seldom mentioned as one of the all-time greatest games ever pitched. A 20-year-old ties a MLB record and the only hit was an infield single. A 1-0 game to boot. Any thoughts? — Jim R., Indio, CA

A: Wood’s 20 K game is my favorite of all time.

Q: Other than Wayne Terwilliger and Eddie Miksis, who else wore No. 21? — Sheldon D., Key West, FL

A: Jason Marquis, Tyler Colvin, Sammy Sosa, and now, Joe Mather.

Q: Please evaluate the Colvin and Marshall trades. The new front office shows they are not what they’re cracked up to be. They both stink. I’m holding my breath as we get down to the trading deadline. — Dwight A., Findlay, OH

A: The Cubs knew Stewart had a questionable wrist when they acquired him for Tyler Colvin (yes, Stewart did take a physical), but the team was ready to move on regarding Colvin. You have to admit his .150 average last season wasn’t very impressive. The Rockies did well in that deal as Stewart is done for the year. But I’d say the Reds and Cubs both got what they wanted in their deal which sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Roni Torreyes. James Russell has taken over the left-handed set-up role for the Cubs, Wood has won his last four starts, and Torreyes got off to a rough start but batted .330 in June and was hitting .304 in 12 games this month.

A perfect trade benefits both teams. How would you grade the deal for Rizzo? How about the pickup of Luis Valbuena? What about moving Marlon Byrd?

— Carrie Muskat