Results tagged ‘ Travis Wood ’

#Cubs Wood smacks 1st spring HR

Travis Wood may have started Wednesday night but that didn’t stop the Cubs pitcher from getting an extra at-bat on Thursday, and he took advantage of it.

Wood led off the fifth with a pinch-hit home run off the Angels’ Jered Weaver for his first spring homer, and 32nd by the Cubs.

Last season, Wood belted three home runs, second most in the National League behind the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (four). He’s 1-for-7 in his career as a pinch-hitter with a double. The lefty does like to hit, and is in favor of manager Joe Maddon’s lineup move to have the pitcher bat eighth, which he now has done three times.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs lineup vs Mariners, Wed 3/25

Starlin Castro is back in the Cubs lineup Wednesday for a night game against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. Travis Wood gets the start and will bat eighth. Castro was sidelined because of tightness in his right groin. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Coghlan LF

Montero C

Castro SS

Sweeney RF

La Stella 3B

Olt 1B

Wood P

Alcantara 2B

– Carrie Muskat

Travis Wood makes bid for #Cubs rotation

Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson are battling for the one opening in the rotation but the Cubs are trying to come up with a creative way to keep both.

“There’s different ways to utilize both of them,” manager Joe Maddon said Friday. “It’s hard to say they’re both starters but we’ve talked about different ways to make it fit.”

Maddon, who met with Theo Epstein to discuss the options, didn’t want to go into details but one possibility could be having Wood or Jackson start, with the other in the bullpen as a long man, depending on the opponent. Then, they could reverse roles.

“I’m in a real listening mode right now,” Maddon said.

On Friday against the White Sox, Wood served up two runs on 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out two.

– Carrie Muskat

3/10 Indians 10, Cubs 6

Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit back to back to back home runs Tuesday in the fourth inning but it wasn’t enough as the Cubs lost, 10-6, to the Indians to fall to 0-6-1 in Cactus League play. Welington Castillo also homered in the sixth.

“I know people are concerned with that — I’m not at all concerned,” manager Joe Maddon said about the Cubs’ record. “I’d like to see us win often to get that lovin’ feeling going on right here. If you’re getting some wins, you’re probably doing some good things.”

Travis Wood started and gave up four runs, two earned, on seven hits over three innings.

“It’s still early in spring,” Wood said. “If it was the season and we were 0-4, we’d start to press. It’s spring and everybody is starting to get their feet under them, especially the young guys. Everything’s going to fall into place.”

* Up next: Jon Lester makes his second spring start Wednesday, taking the mound against the Dodgers and Zack Greinke at Sloan Park in Mesa. In his first Cactus League start, Lester struck out three of the first four batters he faced, then served up a broken-bat single before getting the next batter to ground into an inning ending double play. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. MT/3:05 p.m. CT.

– Carrie Muskat

3/10 Cubs lineup and more

Travis Wood makes his second spring start Tuesday when the Cubs travel to Goodyear to face the Indians. The lineup includes several of the Cubs top prospects:

La Stella DH
Lake LF
Alcantara CF
Soler RF
Baez 2B
Bryant 3B
Castillo C
Valaikda 1B
Russell SS

T. Wood P

* Phil Coke is scheduled to make his Cubs debut Wednesday in relief. Jon Lester will make his second spring start Wednesday when the Cubs play host to the Dodgers at Sloan Park in Mesa. Los Angeles will counter with Zack Greinke.

* Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday. Tsuyoshi Wada and Edwin Jackson will start in the split squad games in Arizona, respectively.

– Carrie Muskat

3/5 Cubs vs A’s, Giants results

Manager Joe Maddon’s Cubs debut in Mesa ended in a tie. The Cubs and Athletics played to a 2-2 tie Thursday in front of 11,132 fans at Sloan Park in the manager’s first game. He liked the interaction with the fans during the course of the game

“I thought we played well,” Maddon said. “Oakland pitches well always. That was a typical kind of game you play against the A’s and have to win but we did not get any more hits because they do pitch well. I liked the effort.

“It was just a really nice wonderful first day,” he said.

In the other split squad game, Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam on his 22nd birthday and Billy McKinney added a solo shot but it wasn’t enough as the Giants rallied for five runs in the eighth to beat the Cubs, 8-6, in a split squad game in Scottsdale. Hunter Cervenka served up four earned runs on four hits and two walks in one-third of an inning to take the loss. Schwarber connected in the second inning off Ryan Vogelsong, while McKinney hit a solo shot in the eighth.

In Mesa, Barry Zito, 36, a non-roster invitee who is attempting a comeback after not pitching last season, retired the first five batters he faced, then hit Chris Coghlan with two outs in the Chicago second to set up Mike Olt’s two-run homer. Ryan Sweeney followed with a single off Zito, who got Junior Lake to ground out and end the inning.

Travis Wood, battling for the fifth starter spot in the Cubs rotation, struck out two of the six batters he faced in his first outing. An All-Star in 2013, Wood scuffled last season, posting an 8-13 record and 5.03 ERA.

“You always learn more when you fail than when you succeed, and I learned a lot last year about how to go about when you fail, picking yourself back up and getting back after it,” Wood said. “That’s what we took into the offseason.”

He heard that Maddon had named four starters and that Wood was not included in the quartet. The news just motivated Wood even more.

“There is [a purpose] — the purpose is to not have a year like last year,” Wood said. “I know I’m a good pitcher and just have to get back to the basics of attacking the zone and trusting your stuff.”

Oakland tallied with one out in the seventh against Donn Roach on Luke Carlin’s RBI single, and tied the game in the eighth on Rangel Ravelo’s one-out RBI double off Francisley Bueno.

The Cubs wore No. 14 caps and had a moment of silence before the game to pay tribute to Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who died in January.

* Cubs up next: Jon Lester makes his Cubs debut Friday against the Reds at Sloan Park in Mesa. The left-hander, who signed a six-year, $155 million contract, will be matched up with catcher David Ross, who was with him in Boston. No surprise, but Lester will be the Cubs Opening Night starter on April 5. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CT, and the game can be heard on Cubs.com.

– Carrie Muskat

3/5 Wood pitching with a purpose

Travis Wood, battling for the fifth starter spot in the Cubs rotation, struck out two of the six batters he faced in his first outing on Thursday. An All-Star in 2013, Wood scuffled last season, posting an 8-13 record and 5.03 ERA.

“You always learn more when you fail than when you succeed, and I learned a lot last year about how to go about when you fail, picking yourself back up and getting back after it,” Wood said. “That’s what we took into the offseason.”

He heard that Cubs manager Joe Maddon had named four starters and that Wood was not included in the quartet. The news just motivated Wood even more.

“There is [a purpose] — the purpose is to not have a year like last year,” Wood said. “I know I’m a good pitcher and just have to get back to the basics of attacking the zone and trusting your stuff.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/4 Let the games begin

What will Joe Maddon do as the new Cubs manager? Fans will get their first look when Maddon and the Cubs open Cactus League play Thursday with split squad games, including a home contest at newly named Sloan Park against their new neighbors, the Athletics.

The Cubs also will play the Giants in Scottsdale on Thursday. Travis Wood and Jacob Turner, both vying for a spot in the rotation, will start against the A’s and Giants, respectively. Oakland moved into the Cubs’ former Spring Training Fitch Park complex in Mesa.

For Starlin Castro, Thursday means the first time he’ll be on the field since he sprained his left ankle Sept. 2, ending the 2014 season early.

“I’m ready,” Castro said. “I’m excited because I didn’t finish the season playing and I’ve had a long time that I didn’t play a game. I feel real excited for the first game.”

The Cubs’ lineups were not posted in the clubhouse but Maddon did say Anthony Rizzo would bat second against the Athletics. Rizzo has hit there in five games in his young career, Aug. 21-25, 2013. In his first game in that spot against the Nationals, he went 3-for-4 with two home runs. He followed that with an 0-for-6 game.

Don’t read much into the batting order this spring.

“Honestly, I just want to try guys in different slots, especially in split squad situation, it’s really different,” Maddon said. “You’ll see them in different spots the whole camp.”

Maddon said Dexter Fowler, Starlin Castro, Miguel Montero and Javier Baez would also play in Mesa.

* Thursday’s home opener also marks the beginning of a season of tributes to Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who passed away in January, one week shy of his 84th birthday. The Cubs will wear a commemorative No. 14 patch on both their home and away jerseys. On Thursday, the Cubs will wear hats with No. 14 on them to honor Mr. Cub for both split squad games.

– Carrie Muskat

3/2 Big spring for Wood, Jackson

No one has to say anything to Travis Wood or Edwin Jackson. Both pitchers know how important this spring is.

Manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Kyle Hendricks had secured the No. 4 spot in the Cubs rotation behind Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel. That leaves Wood and Jackson vying for one opening along with Felix Doubront, Jacob Turner and Tsuyoshi Wada.

“Everybody understands what’s going on here,” Maddon said Monday. “There are no dummies.”

Maddon also is quick to point out that things change. A lot can happen between the start of Cactus League games Thursday and the end of camp.

“They’re very competitive and the fact we have a lot of folks for some really narrow choices, it’s going to be an interesting spring,” Maddon said. “I know that competition normally brings out the best in everyone.”

Wood, who will start Thursday against the Athletics in the Cactus League opener, compiled a 5.03 ERA in 31 starts last season after a 3.11 ERA in 32 starts in 2013. Jackson, who has a 5.58 ERA and 14-33 record in two seasons with the Cubs, will make his first spring start Monday against the Padres.

Maddon has been honest with the players about where they stand.

“The line I like is that, I’m not going to lie to you,” Maddon said. “If I tell you the truth, you might be upset with me for about a week or two but then you’re going to be OK. But if I lie to you, you’re going to hate me forever. If you shoot somebody between the eyes honestly, they might leave the room upset, they might slam the door, they might drive out of the parking lot quick, they might go home and hopefully not hit their dog. Eventually, they come back because you told them the truth. Every professional person I’ve ever been around really appreciates that.”

– Carrie Muskat

2/22 Travis Wood: “Let’s go”

The 2014 season was humbling for Cubs pitcher Travis Wood. An All-Star in 2013 when he compiled 24 quality starts and a 3.11 ERA in 32 games, the left-hander posted a 5.03 ERA in 31 starts last year.

“Last year was a big learning year,” Wood said Sunday. “I always say you learn a lot more when you fail than when you succeed. You see your flaws better.

“I kind of went into ’14 like, ‘All right, I’ve got it, I know how to do it,’ and it was a humbling experience last year [finding out] that you’ve never got it in this game,” he said. “You’ve always got something to work on and get better at.”

What is Wood focused on this spring? He says he’s getting back to basics. Wood doesn’t blame a change in mechanics or anything else.

“I just chalk it up to the bad year and time to move on,” he said. “Let’s go.”

– Carrie Muskat

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