Results tagged ‘ Travis Wood ’

4/4 Cubs lineup

Happy home opener, Cubs fans. It rained early in Chicago but the skies are supposed to clear up for the game against the Phillies. Once again, manager Rick Renteria overloaded the lineup with left-handed hitters against the Phillies’ Roberto Hernandez. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Sweeney LF
Barney 2B
T. Wood P

3/27 Cubs 4, White Sox 3

Ryan Sweeney hit his first spring home run to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 victory Thursday over the White Sox in front of 15,170 at Cubs Park, setting a single-season Cactus League record. The Cubs drew 213,815 at the new ballpark, breaking the old mark of 203,105, which the team set in 2009 at HoHoKam Stadium. In 15 home games, the Cubs averaged 14,254 fans, tops in the Cactus League, and Cubs Park now has the top 11 single game Cactus League attendance marks.

Travis Wood, who will start the second game of the regular season for the Cubs on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, gave up two hits over three scoreless innings. The lefty is ready to play games that count.

“I think that’s unanimous around the clubhouse — everybody is ready to get away from here and get things rolling,” Wood said.

Wood is coming off his first 200-inning season, and took the same approach this offseason.

“I took the same approach as I did the offseason before last,” he said. “It seemed to work for me last year and I didn’t want to change anything and keep everything in stride and keep it rolling.”

Sweeney made it 2-0 with a leadoff home run in the second, his first this spring. It was the 36th home run by the Cubs this spring, tops in the Majors.

* On deck: The Cubs close the exhibition season with games Friday and Saturday at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks. Edwin Jackson will start Friday for Chicago. Shortstop Starlin Castro, injured in the third Cactus League game March 2, hopes to play both games in his final tune up for the regular season. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and Cubs.com.

3/27 Cubs lineup

Travis Wood gets the start Thursday in the Cubs’ last Cactus League game at Cubs Park in Mesa. They’ll close against their crosstown rivals, the White Sox. Mike Olt will be the designated hitter. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio SS
Kalish RF
Rizzo 1B
Olt DH
Sweeney CF
Castillo C
Ruggiano LF
Valabuena 3B
Barney 2B

T. Wood P

3/23 Good cause

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Travis Wood and his wife Brittany (far right) helped serve food to families in need at Paz de Cristo on Saturday night in Mesa. Brittany was part of the Cubs wives’ fundraiser at Cubs Park earlier in the day that raised more than $6,500 through a mystery ball event.

3/22 Pitching notes

* Looking ahead, pitching-wise, Jeff Samardzija will make his final spring start on Wednesday against the jet-lagged Diamondbacks in Scottsdale. Arizona has already opened the season with a game in Australia.

* Travis Wood will start the Cubs’ home opener on April 4.

“It’ll be exciting for sure, even though Pittsburgh is a great place to pitch,” said Wood, who had been expected to follow Jeff Samardzija in the rotation.

Isn’t Wrigley Field a good place?

“Wrigley’s fine,” Wood said, laughing. “It’ll be cold either place, so it’s not like the weather will be different. The place will be packed, it’ll be jumping, it’ll be nice.”

Rick Renteria said they made the decision because of matchups. Wood has made three starts against the Phillies, and held them to five runs on 13 hits over 21 1/3 innings.

* The Cubs are still trying to fill the fifth spot in the rotation. The candidates include Carlos Villanueva, Chris Rusin and Tsuyoshi Wada. Villanueva, a valuable swingman, will start Monday against the Padres, while Wada will start Tuesday against the Angels. Rusin, who threw five shutout innings on Friday against the White Sox, is a possibility, but the Cubs may pick Villanueva because of his versatility and the fact they have four off days in the first three weeks of games. If the other four starters stay on a five-day rotation, Villanueva could slide into the bullpen until needed.

Renteria didn’t tip his hand on Saturday when asked about the fifth spot.

“They’re all still in the mix,” he said. “They’re all going out there and doing a nice job.”

* The Cubs had projected Jake Arrieta as the fifth starter but he’s been slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder. On Sunday, Arrieta was scheduled to throw a bullpen.

“I’m hoping the next step is a game,” he said Saturday. “We’ll talk things over and see where we stand.”

* Cubs fans will get a chance to see two of the top pitching prospects on Tuesday when C.J. Edwards and Eric Jokisch pitch against the Padres. Edwards, 22, was a combined 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA in 24 games with Class A Hickory and Daytona last season. The Cubs acquired him in the Matt Garza deal. Jokisch, 24, was 11-13 with a 3.42 ERA at Double-A Tennessee in 2013.

– Carrie Muskat

3/22 Cubs rotation

The Cubs have reconfigured the rotation. Jeff Samardzija will be the Opening Day starter and be followed by Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. That means Wood would start the Cubs’ home opener at Wrigley Field on April 4. Who’s the fifth starter? That’s still to be determined, with Carlos Villanueva and Chris Rusin as options. Villanueva would have an edge in that if the fifth starter has to be skipped, he could go to the bullpen.

– Carrie Muskat

3/20 Extra bases

* Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder, will throw two innings in a simulated game on Friday. Arrieta said he is on schedule in his rehab. Projected for the fifth spot in the Cubs rotation, Arrieta is back on a regular routine, and that’s helped, too.

“For me, that’s very important, so I can approach each day as I would throughout the season and get into that routine,” he said.

* James McDonald was feeling better after coming out of his last start with soreness in his right shoulder. McDonald threw two pitches on Monday before he was lifted because of discomfort.

* The Cubs have traded outfielder Trevor Gretzky, son of hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, to the Angels for Matthew Scioscia, who is manager Mike Scioscia’s son. Matthew, 25, batted .194 at three Minor League levels last season, while Gretzky, 21, hit .274 at short-season Boise and Class A Kane County. Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto told reporters the deal gives the two players a “new opportunity.”

* Travis Wood, scheduled to follow Jeff Samardzija in the Cubs rotation, will tune up with a start in the Minor League camp on Friday, facing the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A team. Wood, 27, has given up seven runs on 14 hits and one walk over 10 2/3 innings, striking out 11.

* The Cubs assigned left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy to Minor League camp on Thursday, reducing the spring camp roster to 44. Hottovy, 32, had appeared in three spring games, and given up one hit and one walk, while striking out five.

* The Cubs wives will host a mystery baseball charity event on Saturday at Cubs Park to raise money for Paz de Cristo in Mesa, which helps feed, clothe and empower those in need in the east valley. Fans can purchase an autographed ball for $30. There also will be game-used bats, jerseys and other equipment for sale. The wives will be set up near the left field gate, inside Cubs Park.

– Carrie Muskat

3/16 Cubs split split-squad games

Travis Wood struck out eight over five innings in the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the Indians Sunday at Cubs Park in Mesa. Luis Valbuena hit a RBI double in the sixth.

In Las Vegas, Chris Rusin gave up one hit over four innings and Donnie Murphy, Daniel Vogelbach and Arismendy Alcantara each hit solo home runs to lead the Cubs to a 6-3 win over the Mets. Two runs scored on a throwing error in the Chicago first, and Ryan Sweeney added a RBI single. Alcantara finished with three hits.

On Monday, the Cubs play split squad games for the third straight day. Half of the team will face the Angels at Cubs Park. Edwin Jackson gets the start in Mesa. The other half travels to Phoenix where James McDonald will start against the Athletics.

3/11 Rockies 13, Cubs 0

Kyle Parker hit a two-run homer as the Rockies hit for the cycle in the third inning, and Nolan Arenado, Kent Matthes and Ryan Wheeler each added two-run blasts to beat the Cubs, 13-0, on Tuesday in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 14,840 at Cubs Park. The previous attendance high was 14,770, set Sunday at Cubs Park when Chicago played host to Milwaukee. Travis Wood took the loss, giving up five runs over 2 2/3 innings.

* James McDonald will make his second spring start on Wednesday when the Cubs travel to Peoria, Ariz., to face the Mariners in a rare night game. McDonald, 29, had a tough time last season with the Pirates. He was limited to six games because of shoulder issues, and posted a 2-2 record and 5.76 ERA. Pittsburgh designated him for assignment in September, and outrighted him to Triple-A Indianapolis but McDonald refused the assignment, and elected free agency. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com, and you can watch on MLB.TV, although it will be the Seattle feed.

3/11 Extra bases

* Travis Wood is hoping the Cubs get all the dropped balls and strange plays out of their system this spring. On Tuesday, the Cubs lefty was charged with five runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings, with two runs scoring on singles that never left the infield. The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first, and with two outs in the third, Nolan Arenado was credited with a triple on a ball that center fielder Junior Lake lost in the sun. Wood gave up hits to the next five batters, including a two-run homer to Kyle Parker, before he was lifted.

“It’s going to happen, it’s part of baseball,” Wood said. “You see it every year. I’ve got to come back and help him out of the inning. I felt I made some good pitches and they put some good swings on them.”

The Rockies also got a couple breaks. Wood could only shrug after his outing.

“I said it’s just one of those days,” the lefty said. “Luckily, it happened in spring, so we can move forward from that and get ready for the next one.”

* James Russell, slowed this spring because of a tired arm, will make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday in the Cubs’ game against the Mariners. Russell has appeared in more than 70 games in relief in back to back seasons, and manager Rick Renteria said he is very cognizant of a pitcher’s usage. The Cubs do have another lefty, Wesley Wright, who could pick up some of the workload for Russell during the season.

* Javier Baez is taking ground balls at second and third before batting practice and Renteria will try to get the Cubs’ top prospect at one of those positions in a Cactus League game soon but is looking for the right shortstop to match up with. Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa at shortstop.

“We’re going to make sure when we do put him there we’re really comfortable and confident he can handle that side of the diamond,” Renteria said. “I think it’s pretty close.”

Darwin Barney started his second game at shortstop on Tuesday, and Renteria said that would be the most likely pairing with Baez because they want someone with experience.

* Mike Olt, who has not started at third to protect a tender right shoulder, is “getting close” to playing there in a Cactus League game. Olt did make a perfect throw on a double play in Monday’s game against the Giants, which impressed Renteria.

* Shortstop Starlin Castro, sidelined with a mild right hamstring strain since March 2, was able to do some light baseball activity on Tuesday. He was expected to get into games early next week.

* Edwin Jackson will face Minor League hitters on Wednesday at the Cubs’ complex to stay on schedule, while James McDonald gets the start that night against the Mariners. Renteria said Tuesday he has yet to talk to Jackson since his last Cactus League start March 7 when the right-hander decided to only throw fastballs, but didn’t tell either the manager or pitching coach Chris Bosio. Jackson gave up three runs on four hits over three innings against Cleveland.

“I’m sure we’ll have the discussion, and that will be between me and him,” Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

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