Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

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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