Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

Cubs Announce Roster Moves

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

From the Cubs Media Relations Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder Javier Baez and left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada from Triple-A Iowa, activated catcher David Ross off the family medical emergency leave list and added outfielder Austin Jackson to the active roster. Additionally, the Cubs have selected the contracts of outfielder Quintin Berry (post-game last night) and right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill (today) from Triple-A.

To make room for Berry and Cahill on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher James Russell was designated for assignment (post-game last night) and right-handed pitcher Rafael Soriano was today activated from the 15-day disabled list and designated for assignment. Chicago’s 40-man roster stands at 40 and its active roster stands at 30 players.

Berry will wear uniform number five, Cahill will wear uniform number 53 and Jackson will wear uniform number 27.

Baez, 22, batted .324 (91-for-281) with 14 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 61 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 70 games with Iowa this season. He turned in a .385 on-base percentage and .527 slugging percentage, good for a .912 OPS, and joins the Cubs riding a 16-game hitting streak. Baez made his major league debut for the Cubs last season and batted .169 (36-for-213) with six doubles, nine homers and 20 RBI in 52 games. He was Chicago’s first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2011 Draft.

Berry, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Cubs on August 24 after spending the entire season with Boston’s Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate, where he batted .228 (82-for-359) with a .329 on-base percentage and 35 steals in 106 games. He has spent parts of three major league seasons with Detroit (2012), Boston (2013) and Baltimore (2014), batting .266 (80-for-301) with a .337 on-base percentage in 117 games, and is a perfect 25-for-25 in stolen base attempts in the regular season and a perfect 5-for-5 in the postseason.

Cahill, 27, signed a minor league deal with the Cubs on August 18 and turned in five scoreless relief outings with Iowa, covering 7.2 innings. The righthander broke into the big leagues with Oakland in 2009 and was an 18-game winner a season later, going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA (65 ER/196.2 IP) in 30 starts while earning A.L. All-Star honors along the way. Overall, Cahill won 10 or more games in four-straight seasons (2009-12) and is 64-72 with one save and a 4.16 ERA (493 ER/1,066.2 IP) in 201 major league outings (28 in relief) with Oakland (2009-11), Arizona (2012-14) and Atlanta (2015).

Jackson, 28, was acquired yesterday from Seattle, where he batted .272 (114-for-419) with 18 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 38 RBI, 46 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 107 games this season. Since making his major league debut with Detroit in 2010, Jackson has batted .273 (908-for-3,320) with 163 doubles, 47 triples, 54 home runs and 286 RBI in 831 career games, all of which have come in center field.

Ross, 38, is batting .190 (23-for-121) with one home run and seven RBI in 57 games with the Cubs this season. He owns a 2.73 catchers’ ERA in his 44 games (35 starts) behind the plate.

Wada, 34, returns to the Cubs after going 1-1 with a 3.73 ERA (13 ER/31.1 IP) in seven starts earlier this season. With Iowa, Wada went 4-5 with a 3.95 ERA (38 ER/86.2 IP) in 16 starts this season. Wada made his big league debut with the Cubs last year and has combined to go 5-5 with a 3.40 ERA (38 ER/100.2 IP) in 20 major league starts the last two years.

Russell, 29, went 0-2 with one save and a 5.29 ERA (20 ER/34.0 IP) in 49 relief appearances with the Cubs this season.

Soriano, 35, went 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA (4 ER/5.2 IP) in six relief appearances for the Cubs this season.

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Tennessee Smokies Announce Their 2015 Promotional Schedule

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

From the Smokies Media Dept:

KODAK – The Tennessee Smokies today announced their promotional schedule for the upcoming 2015 campaign, which promises to bring an exciting blend of baseball with family fun to “America’s Friendliest Ballpark”. The calendar includes 14 fireworks shows throughout the season, as well as giveaways before every Saturday home game, and numerous other promotions and theme nights over the course of the year. The full list of promotions can be found online at www.smokiesbaseball.com.

“We’ve got a great mix of new theme nights with some classic staples planned for this upcoming season,” stated Smokies Director of In-Game Entertainment Kristi Servais. “Not only are we going to be ‘America’s Friendliest Ballpark’ in 2015, we are also going to be one of the most fun, with something for everyone this year.”

Friday nights once again this season will bring the boom, with fireworks following the conclusion of each contest on Remote Area Medical Fridays. In addition to those 11 Friday night home dates, the Smokies will also have a special Saturday Night Fireworks Show on April 25, as well as shows on Wednesday, July 1 and Thursday, July 2 as part of a Red White and Boom three-night fireworks extravaganza, which culminates with Independence Day Fireworks on Friday, July 3.

After staying late on Fridays, fans will want to arrive early for Giveaway Saturdays, with the team giving away items to the first 1,000 fans (unless otherwise stated) before all ten Saturday evening home contests. Items slated to be given away this year include bobbleheads featuring the likenesses of 2014 Smokies Kris Bryant (July 11) and Jorge Soler (June 20) featured, along with legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt (August 22), in addition to other giveaways including a Smokies Blanket (April 18), Super Hero Cape (April 25) for the first 1,000 kids 12 and under, Military Card Set (May 30) and Youth Jersey (August 8) for the first 1,000 kids 12 and under, among others. The Smokies will also be giving away special vacations to one lucky fan in attendance at two games this year, with destinations such as Chicago to see the Smokies’ parent club Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field (May 16) and the popular East Tennessee resort Dollywood in Pigeon Forge (June 6).

Theme nights will also be a staple at Smokies Stadium this season, with scheduled nights centered around movies such as The Goonies (April 18), Back To The Future (June 5) and Star Wars (June 19), as well as other fun themes, pairing family fun with Super Heroes (April 25), Minions and Princesses (May 29), Margaritaville (June 20), The Grateful Dead (July 11), and The Price Is Right (August 29). Nerds will have their revenge courtesy of a special “Geekend”, with consecutive nights featuring Eight Bit, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones themes between August 7-9. Various giveaways will also be themed with these nights, including Smokies Sunglasses on Blues Brothers Night (May 16), and a Smokies Snow Globe featuring Homer the Hound on Christmas in July Night (July 25).

The players and coaches will also be donning specially themed uniforms throughout the season on several of these nights, including pink jerseys on Breast Cancer Awareness Night (June 6), the return of Star Wars Themed Jerseys on June 19, Grateful Dead Themed Jerseys (July 11), Ugly Christmas Sweater Jerseys for Christmas in July (July 25), and Orange Jerseys onUT Night(August 22). Fans will be able to bid on their favorite player’s specialty jersey at that particular evening’s game, with the proceeds benefitting various East Tennessee charities.

After setting a single-season attendance record in 2014, the club will also be bringing back last year’s popular weekly promotions, with McGhee Tyson Airport Dollar Mondays, NexGard-Heartgard Tail Waggin’ Tuesdays, We’re Cooking All-You-Can-Eat Wednesdays, Coors Light Thirsty Thursdays, and U.S. Cellular Family FUNdays on Sundays. Fans will save big on select concessions items on Mondays, be able to bring along “man’s best friend” on Tuesdays, feast on different ballpark foods on Wednesdays, and enjoy drink specials on Thursdays, including one dollar drafts and Pepsi products.

The club’s 2015 home slate begins on Wednesday, April 15 versus the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, with a special 11:30 a.m. start time. The team will then celebrate Opening Night the next evening on Thursday, April 16, at Smokies Stadium, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

Season ticket and multi-game voucher plans are currently available and can be purchased online at www.smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300. Single-game tickets are expected to go on sale beginning in mid-March, with fans encouraged to visit the team’s website and social media channels for the latest information.

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Cubs Acquire Matt Brazis from Seattle for Justin Ruggiano

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitching prospect Matt Brazis from the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Justin Ruggiano.

Brazis, 25, is 8-6 with 14 saves and a 2.89 ERA (51 ER/158.2 IP) in 100 minor league relief appearances covering three seasons in the Mariners minor league system.  He split the 2014 campaign between Single-A High Desert and Double-A Jackson, going 4-1 with six saves and a 2.36 ERA (19 ER/72.1 IP) in 40 appearances.  Brazis struck out 84 batters and walked only 18 in 72.1 innings pitched.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Brazis was originally selected by the Mariners in the 28th round of the 2012 Draft out of Boston College. 

Ruggiano, 32, batted .281 (63-for-224) with six home runs and 28 RBI in 81 games for the Cubs last year.  He was acquired by the Cubs from the Miami Marlins for outfielder Brian Bogusevic on December 12, 2013.

This move, to me, tells me that there is an outfielder close to being signed or traded for. We’ve heard lots of names and Noah broke down some yesterday in his post.

Keep an eye out as I think we’ll see a move before Christmas.

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Cubs Claim LHP, Joseph Ortiz, Off Waivers From Texas

Monday, October 6th, 2014

From the Cubs Media Relations Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today claimed left-handed pitcher Joseph Ortiz off waivers from the Texas Rangers.  The club’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.

Ortiz, 24, went 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA (21 ER/44.2 IP) in 32 relief appearances for the Rangers in 2013 before being limited to only 15 minor league appearances last season due to a fractured left foot.  The southpaw began the 2014 season on the 60-day disabled list and made two rehab appearances with the organization’s rookie-league club in Arizona in July before completing his campaign with 13 relief outings with Double-A Frisco (0-2, one save, 4.50 ERA).

A native of Venezuela, Ortiz originally signed with Texas as a non-drafted free agent on August 28, 2006.  He is 18-15 with 31 saves and a 2.44 ERA (87 ER/320.2 IP) in 217 relief appearances covering eight minor league seasons.

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Cubs Announce Tentative 2015 Schedule

Monday, September 8th, 2014

From the Cubs Media Relations Dept:

CHICAGO – Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs today announced the tentative 2015 regular season schedule.  The Cubs will open their 140th season at home on Monday, April 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals to kick off the 100th season of Cubs baseball at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs will begin the 2015 campaign at home for the first time since 2012 and for just the fourth time in the last 14 seasons.  The Cubs play the Cardinals in their season opener for the first time since 1991, as the first homestand features three games against St. Louis before the club leaves for a three-game road trip in Denver.

The 2015 schedule features eight interleague series against the American League Central, including the annual home-and-home sets against the Chicago White Sox.  The Cubs and White Sox in 2015 will play a total of six games, with the first three games taking place at Wrigley Field leading up to the All Star Break from July 10-12 followed by three games at U.S. Cellular Field on August 14-16.

In addition to the White Sox series, the Cubs welcome three additional A.L. Central opponents: the Kansas City Royals (three games, May 29-31), the Cleveland Indians (two games, June 15-16) and the Detroit Tigers (two games, August 18-19).  The Cubs travel to play at Detroit (two games, June 9-10), Cleveland (two games, June 17-18) and Minnesota (three games, June 19-21). The Cubs visit Cleveland for the first time since 2006.

The Cubs 2015 tentative schedule features only two three-series homestands and two three-city road trips (after four three-city road trips in 2014 and five three-city road trips in 2013).

The Cubs are scheduled to host two holiday games in 2015: Memorial Day Monday, May 25 vs. Washington and the Fourth of July vs. Miami.  The Cubs will be on the road for three holidays this season: May 10 in Milwaukee for Mother’s Day, June 21 in Minnesota on Father’s Day and Labor Day Monday, September 7 in St. Louis.

The tentative 2015 Chicago Cubs regular season schedule is below:

View the Schedule

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Cubs Sign Manny Ramirez

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

From the Cubs Media Relation Department:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today signed Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract to be a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa.  President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who was with Ramirez for seven years in the Boston Red Sox organization, made the announcement.

“We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters,” Epstein said.  “Manny is not only one of the best hitters of all time, he is also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher with younger teammates who have worked with him in the batting cage.  Behind the scenes he has always been a tireless worker who is very serious about the craft of hitting.  Manny has made real mistakes in the past but he has owned up to them and moved his life in a positive direction the last couple of years.  He is in a really great place right now and wants to share the lessons he’s learned along the way.  We think he deserves another chance and that our young hitters will benefit from it.”

“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization.  Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference.”

Ramirez, 41, is a lifetime .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 2,302 games covering 19 major league seasons.

“I’m at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love — the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family,” Ramirez said.  “I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation – both what to do and what not to do. The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers. I am passionate about baseball and about hitting, and I have a lot to offer. While I would love to return to the major leagues, I leave that in God’s hands. My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don’t make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can.”

Ramirez will report to the Cubs’ spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., for at-bats in extended spring training before joining Iowa.

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Press Release: Cubs Staff Announcements

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

From the Cubs Media Relations Dept:

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs today announced several members of manager Rick Renteria’s major league coaching staff for the 2014 season as well as new appointments in scouting and player development leadership roles. 

Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching and strategy coach) and Franklin Font (staff assistant) return to the coaching staff.  Joining the staff in 2014 are Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Gary Jones (third base/infield coach), Bill Mueller (hitting coach), Mike Brumley (assistant hitting coach) and Jose Castro (quality assurance coach).  The club has yet to name a first base coach.

Jaron Madison, who joined the club as director of amateur scouting on August 10, 2012, has been named director of player development, replacing Hyde in that role.  Matt Dorey, who this year worked for the Cubs as a national and regional crosschecker, has been named director of amateur scouting.

Bosio, 50, returns for his third season as the club’s major league pitching coach.  Overall, this is his third stint as a big league pitching coach, previously coaching in the majors for Tampa Bay in 2003 and Milwaukee in 2009.  A veteran of 11 big league seasons, the former righthander worked as a special assignment pitching coach in Seattle’s system from 2000-02, including a stint as Triple-A Tacoma’s pitching coach, before joining Lou Piniella’s staff in Tampa Bay.  Bosio has also served as a pitching coach in Milwaukee’s farm system and as an advance scout for the Brewers. 

Hyde, 40, enters his third year in the Cubs organization and begins his second stint as a major league bench coach, previously serving as bench coach for Jack McKeon and the Marlins for 1.5 seasons from June 23, 2010-2011.  Overall, Hyde has 11 years of coaching experience, including nine seasons in the Marlins organization, following a four-year playing career in the White Sox system from 1997-2000.  Hyde joined the Cubs organization in December of 2011 as minor league field coordinator and was named director of player development on August 29, 2012.

Jones, 53, joins the Cubs as third base coach and infield coach after spending the last 11 years in the Padres organization, including the last seven as minor league infield coordinator.  He has one year of major league experience as the first base coach for Oakland in 1998.  Jones has 15 seasons of experience as a minor league manager, earning four minor league manager of the year awards.  He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 1982 and appeared in 897 minor league games.  

Mueller, 42, joins the Cubs for his first full season as a major league hitting coach.  The 2003 American League batting champion served as interim hitting coach for the Dodgers in the second half of the 2007 campaign.  Mueller joined the Dodgers front office following an 11-year playing career with the Giants, Cubs, Red Sox and Dodgers, finishing with a career .293 batting average, .373 on-base percentage and nearly as many walks (543) as strikeouts (only 571 in 4,886 plate appearances).  Mueller spent the last six seasons as a special assistant in the Dodgers front office.

Strode, 55, returns for his eighth season as Cubs bullpen coach and his 26th year in the Cubs organization.  Prior to his current role, Strode spent 11 seasons as the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator (1996-2006), two seasons with the big league club as a pitching assistant (1994-95) and five seasons as a minor league pitching coach (1989-1993).  Strode pitched professionally in the minor leagues for nine seasons (1980-88) in the Kansas City, Baltimore, St. Louis and Cubs farm systems.

Borzello, 43, enters his third season with the Cubs with an expanded role of catching and strategy coach.  Prior to joining Chicago, he spent four seasons (2008-11) with the Los Angeles Dodgers as their bullpen catcher, a stint that followed 12 years in the New York Yankees organization starting in 1996 (roles included bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher).  Overall, Borzello has 18 years of experience with three major league clubs.

Brumley, 51, joins the Cubs as assistant hitting coach after spending the last four seasons as first base coach with the Seattle Mariners.  A veteran of part of seven major league seasons, Brumley began his big league career with the Cubs in 1987 and later played for Seattle (1990), Boston (1991-92), Houston (1993, 1995) and Oakland (1994).  Upon retiring, Brumley spent 13 seasons as a minor league manager, field coordinator and instructor from 1997-2009 before joining Seattle’s major league staff in 2010.

Castro, 55, joins the Cubs as quality assurance coach after spending the last 25 years as a minor league hitting coordinator or hitting coach in the Kansas City, Seattle, Florida, San Diego and Montreal organizations.  He also served an interim stint as Seattle’s major league hitting coach in 2008.

Font, 36, returns for his 20th season in the Cubs organization, his third at the major league level.  Prior to joining the big league club, he spent three seasons as the Cubs minor league infield coordinator.  Font played in the Cubs system for six seasons from 1995-2000 before becoming a Single-A Daytona staff assistant in 2001.  He served the Cubs as a minor league manager, hitting coach and coordinator from 2002-11.

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Prospect Spotlight: Jorge Soler

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Usually I use this space to talk about at least a few prospects at a time.  However, it’s rare occurrence for someone who could be a No. 1 prospect in an improving farm system to make his professional debut. And we’re going to have it two weeks in a row. Late last week, Cuban phenom Jorge Soler debuted with the Arizona Rookie League Cubs. And first round pick Albert Almora started his professional career in the Arizona League on Monday night.

How good are these two guys? Well, heading into this season a lot of optimistic Cubs fans were envisioning a future starting outfield with Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur manning two of the three positions. After bringing Soler and Almora into the system, it isn’t clear that Jackson or Szczur will have an available position by about 2015.

As of writing this piece, Soler has only played in two games and had 7 plate appearances, so the statistics don’t really tell us anything, although Soler’s Rookie League statistics won’t tell us anything (he SHOULD be above the talent at the level), and he should only be in Mesa for a few weeks.

This is also the first truly live pitching and competitive baseball Soler has faced in more than a year, so it would not be a surprise if his timing is off a bit. However, as Joe let us know yesterday, Keith Law saw Soler in person at his debut and liked the swing. It’s good to hear someone’s initial description include both explosive hands and the ability to generate power with his lower body.

Soler hit his first professional home run on Sunday, which was definitely of the crush it and get out of the park quickly variety. A video is available here. Hopefully it will be the first of many as Soler quickly moves through the Cubs system. I’ll look at Almora next week, but will also provide a brief update on Soler when we’ll at least have double digit plate appearances to look at. Also, for those of you who may be wondering, the guy Soler knocks in with that home run is 2011 second round pick Dan Vogelbach.

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Cubs Claim Adrian Cardenas off waivers and Designate Blake DeWitt for Assignment

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The Cubs media department sent out the following release on a transaction processed today:

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs today claimed infielder Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the Oakland Athletics.  In a corresponding 40-man roster move, infielder Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment.

Cardenas, 24, batted .314 (154-for-491) with 28 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 70 runs scored, 51 RBI and a .374 on-base percentage in 127 games with Triple-A Sacramento last year.  The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower ranked eighth in the Pacific Coast League with 154 hits and posted his highest batting average in his five full professional campaigns.

In 2011, Cardenas saw action at second base (35 games), shortstop (three games), third base (13 games) and left field (44 games), his first professional experience in the outfield.  He has primarily played second base (361 games) in his professional career.

Cardenas was originally selected by Philadelphia in the supplemental round (37th overall) of the 2006 Draft and acquired by Oakland as part of the trade that sent Joe Blanton to the Phillies on July 17, 2008.  In 643 minor league games, Cardenas is a career .303 hitter (749-for-2,475) with 143 doubles, 21 triples, 29 home runs, 77 stolen bases and a .368 on-base percentage.

DeWitt, 26, batted .265 (61-for-230) with 11 doubles, five home runs and 26 RBI in 121 games with the Cubs last year, his first full season with the club after being acquired from the Dodgers on July 31, 2010.  He is a career .260 hitter (283-for-1,087) in 404 major league games with the Dodgers (2008-10) and the Cubs (2010-present).

We’ll try to track down our A’s blogger for his thoughts on Cardenas and have that report ASAP. In the meantime, discuss the move which should have a lot of you excited because of the loss of DeWitt.

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