Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

6 Tennessee Smokies Make the All Star Team

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

From the Smokies Media Relations Department

SEVIERVILLE – The Southern League announced Tuesday that six Tennessee Smokies players have been named Southern League Mid-Season All-Stars for the circuit’s 2016 All-Star Game, which will be played on Tuesday, June 21 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Representing the Smokies are pitcher Paul Blackburn, third baseman Jeimer Candelario, catcher Victor Caratini, pitcher Brad Markey, second baseman Chesny Young and outfielder Mark Zagunis.

Blackburn has served as the ace of the Smokies pitching staff this season, compling a 3-1 record and a 2.06 ERA (15 ER in 65.2 IP) in 11 starts. The 22-year-old has struck out 39 and walked just 17 in 65.2 innings. Entering Wednesday’s contest, Blackburn ranks tied for second in the Southern League in WHIP (1.04), fifth in innings pitched (65.2) and seventh in earned run average (2.06). The Oakley, Calif. native also has the lowest baserunners per nine innings ratio in the circuit (9.32).

Blackburn was named the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April after putting together a sparkling 3-0 mark with a miniscule 0.29 ERA (1 ER in 31.0 IP) in five starts. The right-hander was also named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the time period between April 18-24 after going 2-0 without allowing an earned run in 15.0 innings of work. This is the second career All-Star nod for the starter. He was named a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star while with Low-A Kane County in 2014. Blackburn entered the season as Chicago’s 19th-best prospect according to Baseball America. He was selected by the Cubs in the first round (56th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Heritage High School (Calif.).

Despite some early season struggles, Candelario has been named a Mid-Season All-Star for the second consecutive season. The 22-year-old was named a Carolina League All-Star in 2015 during his time with High-A Myrtle Beach. In his first 55 games with the Smokies this season, Candelario has tallied a .222 average (46-207) with 30 runs scored, 22 extra-base hits – including four home runs – and 23 runs batted in. Prior to Wednedsay’s games, the Dominican native is in a tie for second in the SL in walks (32) and sits third in doubles (17). Candelario was ranked the Cubs’ No. 10 overall prospect by Baseball America entering 2016 and was signed by the organization as a non-drafted free agent out of San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. on September 29, 2010.

Caratini earns Mid-Season All-Star honors for the second time as a professional and for the first time as a member of the Cubs’ organization. The 22-year-old was selected as a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star in 2014 while playing with Low-A Rome in the Atlanta Braves’ system. In 47 contests this season, Caratini has posted a .290 average (47-162) with 14 extra-base hits – one of which was a homer – and 17 RBI. The backstop was ranked the Cubs’ 24th-best prospect by Baseball America entering the campaign. He was acquired by Chicago on July 31, 2014 from Atlanta in exchange for former Smokies’ INF Emilio Bonifacio and LHP James Russell.

For the first time in his career, Markey earns the nod as a Mid-Season All-Star. The 24-year-old has been a model of excellence, compiling a strong 5-1 record and a 2.41 ERA (16 ER in 59.2 IP) in 12 appearances (10 starts). Markey enters Wednesday with the eighth-lowest ERA in the circuit and the league’s best winning percentage (.833). The Smokies have performed well behind the Bel Air, Md. native, winning in eight of his 10 starts. Markey entered the year as the Cubs’ No. 23 overall prospect by Baseball America. He was chosen by Chicago in the 19th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Virginia Tech University.

Young has continued to burst onto the scene for the Smokies, pasting together a .299 batting average (63-211) over his first 54 games with nine extra-base hits – inclduing a career-high two home runs – 13 runs batted in and 14 stolen bases. After Tuesday’s games, the 23-year-old is tied for second in the SL in at-bats (211), tied for third in hits (63), ranks fourth in walks (31) and is 10th in batting average.

The Forestdale, Mass. resident started 2016 on a tear and was named the Cubs”” and the Southern League’s Player of the Month for April. In 22 contests during the season’s opening month, Young posted a league-best .402 average (33-82) with two homers, nine RBI and 11 steals. The second baseman is a Mid-Season All-Star for the first time in his career after finishing last season as a Post-Season All-Star following winning the Carolina League batting title with High-A Myrtle Beach. Young was chosen by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Mercer University.

Zagunis has continued his consistency with Tennessee, as he has been named to a Mid-Season All-Star team for the third time in as many seasons as a pro. The 23-year-old was also named a Mid-Season All-Star with Short-Season Boise in 2014 and High-A Myrtle Beach in 2015. In 50 games with the Smokies, Zagunis has accumulated a team-leading .301 average (53-176) with 18 extra-base knocks – including four home runs – and 24 RBI. The Cinnaminson, N.J. native enters the day with the SL’s second-best on-base percentage (.406) and the eighth-highest batting average. Zagunis entered the year considered the 11th-best prospect in the Cubs’ organization by Baseball America. He was selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Virginia Tech University.

The 2016 edition of the Southern League All-Star Game takes place on Tuesday, June 21 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Players were selected by a vote of League field managers, radio broadcasters, general managers and print media. All players on Southern League rosters as of May 31 are eligible in the voting process. In addition, the Smokies’ six players honored tied with the Jackson Generals for the most of any team in the North Division.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Cubs Make First Series of Spring Cuts

Monday, March 14th, 2016

The Cubs Media Department released the following today:

MESA -€“ The Chicago Cubs have assigned seven players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 63 to 56 players.

Right-handed pitcher Andury Acevedo, left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch and infielder Dan Vogelbach have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Four non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Jonathan Pettibone, Duane Underwood Jr. and Armando Rivero; and left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich.

Chicago’s spring roster of 56 players consists of 29 pitchers (nine non-roster invitees and one D.L.), six catchers (two non-roster invitees), 12 infielders (three non-roster invitees) and nine outfielders (five non-roster invitees).

Nothing earth shattering here. The only player that even had any chance at competing for a job in camp was Leathersich and he was a very low odds type of dark horse.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

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.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

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

“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, 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.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

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.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: