Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

Media Release: Cubs Recall Wellington Castillo

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs recalled catcher Welington Castillo from Triple-A Iowa.  Castillo joins the Cubs for his second stint in the big leagues this season and is available for this afternoon’s game against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.

Castillo, 23, saw action in two games during his previous stay with the Cubs from August 10-22, batting .167 (1-for-6) with a double in his pair of starts.  The double represented his first big league hit in his major league debut August 11 at San Francisco.

Overall, Castillo batted .255 (61-for-239) with 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 59 RBI in 69 games with Iowa this season, his first at the Triple-A level.  He is in his sixth season in the Cubs organization, having made the climb to the big leagues after starting the 2008 campaign at Single-A Daytona.  Castillo has been to major league spring training with the Cubs each of the last three seasons.

A native of San Isidro, Dominican Republic, Castillo originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on December 8, 2004.  He was the starting catcher for the World Team at the 2008 Futures Game and was listed by Baseball America as the organization’s fifth-best prospect into the 2009 campaign.  In 423 minor league contests, Castillo is a career .264 hitter (379-for-1435) with 77 doubles, 40 home runs and 207 RBI.

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Cubs Place Ramirez on the DL; Recall Chad Tracy

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Department comes information on the DL trip for Rammy:

MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder Chad Tracy from Triple-A Iowa and placed infielder Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 8) with a left thumb contusion.

Tracy, 30, has batted .396 (36-for-91) with 21 runs, eight doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI in 26 games with Iowa since joining the team, May 6. The left-handed hitter posted a .422 batting average (27-for-64) against right-handed hurlers, and a .333 (9-for-27) mark against southpaws. He batted .421 (8-for-19) with runners in scoring position, including a .571 mark (4-for-7) with runners in scoring position and two outs.

In his last four games for the I-Cubs, Tracy went 7-for-13 (.538) with six runs, two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI, including a 4-for-4, two-homer game last night vs. New Orleans. That stretch contributed to a 1.075 OPS (.427 on-base percentage and a .648 slugging percentage) with Iowa.

Tracy signed a minor league contract with Chicago this past January and was an invitee to major league spring before breaking camp with the Cubs. He batted .273 (6-for-22) with a double and two RBI in 19 games for Chicago before he was optioned to Triple-A.

In all or part of seven big league seasons with Arizona (2004-09) and Chicago (2010), Tracy owns a .280 career batting average (660-for-2,360) with 78 homers and 320 RBI in 723 contests.

Ramirez, 31, has appeared in 47 games for the Cubs, batting .168 (30-for-179) with six doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI.

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Ted Lilly Back…Down Goes Samardzija

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Department:

The Chicago Cubs today activated left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A Iowa.

Lilly will make his first start of the 2010 season tonight in Milwaukee.  He was placed on the disabled list on April 4 (retroactive to March 26) to continue his recovery from a left-shoulder arthroscopic debridement procedure performed November 3 by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

A 2009 All-Star, Lilly returns to the Cubs rotation after going 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA (61 ER/177.0 IP) in 27 starts a season ago.  Since joining the Cubs prior to the 2007 campaign, Lilly leads the club with 44 wins, a .629 winning percentage and 509 strikeouts in that span.  Overall, he is 44-26 with a 3.70 ERA (242 ER/588.2 IP) in 95 starts with the Cubs.

Lilly made two minor league appearances as part of his rehab process, combining to go 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11.0 IP) with 13 strikeouts and two walks.  His most recent appearance took place Monday with Single-A Peoria, when he limited Burlington to one run on three hits and one walk in 7.0 innings, fanning nine.  Lilly threw 88 pitches in that final tune-up.

Samardzija is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA (7 ER/3.1 IP) in four relief appearances with the Cubs this season.

I’m curious to see what role Samardzija will be used in down in Iowa. If you want him to be a member of the bullpen in the Majors, give him a chance to learn that role in the minors.

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Pat Hughes Named 2009 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGOChicago Cubs/WGN Radio Play-by-Play Announcer Pat Hughes has been named the 2009 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

“I would like to thank the Cubs fans for being the greatest audience that a broadcaster could ever dream of,” said Hughes. “I would also like to thank all of those who voted for me.”

This is Hughes’ eighth Sportscaster of the Year honor – and his fifth in Illinois, having previously won the award in 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2007. He was honored as Wisconsin’s Sportscaster of the Year in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

Hughes is entering his 15th season with the Cubs and WGN, teaming with Ron Santo on the Cubs Radio Network. The 2010 season will be Pat’s 28th of broadcasting Major League Baseball.

The award will be presented the first week of May in Salisbury, N.C.

I’ve always been a big fan of Pat. I loved listening to him on the MLB Audio before I upgraded to the Extra Innings Package. I’ve interviewed him a few times and he’s always been incredibly gracious. Good for him to get recognized.

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Spring Training Invites Galore

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced the club has invited 19 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, which begins Wednesday, February 17 when pitchers and catchers are invited to report in Mesa, Ariz.  Their first workout will take place on Thursday, February 18.  Position players report to camp Monday, February 22 with the team’s first full workout Tuesday, February 23.

Overall, 12 of the 19 invitees are homegrown players either drafted or originally signed by the Cubs.  Additionally, each of the club’s last four first-round draft picks will be in camp: outfielder Tyler Colvin (2006, now on the club’s 40-man roster), infielder Josh Vitters (2007), righthander Andrew Cashner (2008) and outfielder Brett Jackson (2009).

Seven pitchers – lefthanders J.R. Mathes and James Russell and righthanders Cashner, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard and Vince Perkins – have been invited to major league camp, as well as catchers Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, Blake Lalli and Chris Robinson. Infielders Darwin Barney, Matt Camp, Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair, Bobby Scales and Vitters have also been invited, along with outfielders Jackson and Brad Snyder.

Darwin Barney, 24, begins his fourth pro season after hitting .293 (136-for-464) with 24 doubles and 49 RBI in 137 games with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2009. A right-handed hitter and fielder, he was selected by Chicago in the fourth round of the 2007 Draft after helping Oregon State University to the 2006 and 2007 College World Series titles.

Matt Camp, 25, was converted from an infielder to an outfielder prior to last season. Camp spent a majority of 2009 with Triple-A Iowa, batting .282 (98-for-348) with 13 doubles, one triple, two homers and 44 RBI in 99 contests. He opened the season with Double-A Tennessee, owning a .298 (14-for-47) average in 14 games before his promotion. This marks the left-handed hitter’s fifth season in the Cubs organization after being selected by Chicago in the 13th round of 2006 Draft.

Andrew Cashner, 23, was selected by the Cubs in the first round (19th overall) of the 2008 Draft. The righthander went 3-4 with a 2.60 ERA (29 ER/100.1 IP) between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last year, surrendering just one home run in 100.1 innings of work. In five June contests in 2009, the TCU product owned a monthly-best 0.93 ERA (2 ER/19.1 IP) with 14 strikeouts, holding the opponent scoreless in four of those five contests. Cashner is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ Number Four prospect entering 2010

Starlin Castro, 19, was signed by the Cubs prior to the 2007 season and begins his fourth year in the organization. He batted a combined .299 (140-for-469) with three homers and 49 RBI in 127 games between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The right-handed hitter was named to the 2009 All-Star Futures Game for the World Team, going 1-for-1 with a run scored in the World’s 7-5 victory over the USA. He hit .376 (38-for-101) with 10 RBI in 26 games with the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. Castro is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ top prospect entering 2010.

Robinson Chirinos, 25, who begins his 10th season in the Cubs organization, was converted from an infielder to a catcher prior to the 2009 campaign. Chirinos set numerous career highs in his first season as a catcher, batting .294 (77-for-262) with 11 homers and 52 RBI in 81 games between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The right-handed batter and fielder was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cubs July 2, 2000 at the age of 16.

Steve Clevenger, 23, batted .290 (89-for-307) between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa last season, collecting 16 doubles and 36 RBI in 94 games. The left-handed batter has hit .286 or better in each of his first four pro campaigns since he was selected by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2006 Draft.

Casey Coleman, 22, went 14-6 with a 3.68 ERA (61 ER/149.0 IP) in 27 starts with Double-A Tennessee en route to the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2009. The righthander surrendered two or fewer walks in 18 of his starts last season, while tossing 6.0 or more innings 13 times. He is entering his third pro season after being selected by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2008 Draft.

Thomas Diamond, 26, joined the Cubs September 4, 2009 when he was claimed off waivers from Texas. The righty combined to go 2-3 with one save and a 4.20 ERA (26 ER/55.2 IP) in 38 games (one start) between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 117 career minor league games (77 starts) in the Rangers’ system, Diamond is 31-17 with two saves and a 4.01 ERA (194 ER/435.0 IP), striking out 487 batters while walking just 241. He was selected by Texas in the first round (10th overall) of the 2004 draft.

Brett Jackson, 21, compiled a .318 batting average (67-for-211) with six doubles, three triples, eight homers and 36 RBI in 53 games between Rookie-League Mesa, Single-A Boise and Single-A Peoria in 2009. Selected by the Cubs in the first round (31st overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson batted .303 (146-for-481) with 91 runs scored, 25 doubles, 11 triples, 12 home runs and 85 RBI in 152 career games with the University of California-Berkeley. Jackson is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ Number Two prospect entering 2010.

Jeff Kennard, 28, spent the 2009 season with Triple-A Louisville in the Reds’ system, going 3-1 with two saves and a 2.83 ERA (17 ER/54.0 IP) in 40 games before signing a minor league deal with Chicago this offseason. Kennard has appeared in 338 minor league games, all but one in relief, within the Yankees (2001-07), Angels (2007-08) and Reds (2009) organizations. The righty attended Rend Lake Community College in Ina, Illinois.

Bryan LaHair, 27, spent his entire career in Seattle’s organization before signing with the Cubs this offseason, making his major league debut in 2008. In 2009, Bryan batted .289 (132-for-457) in 121 games with Triple-A Tacoma, while setting a career high with 26 home runs. In 45 major league games, the left-handed hitter is 34-for-136 (.250) with four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI. LaHair owns a .287 batting average (789-for-2746) with 194 doubles, seven triples, 96 home runs and 461 RBI in 716 career minor league games.

Blake Lalli, 26, was named to the Southern League post-season All-Star team after finishing 2009 with a .314 batting average (117-for-373), five home runs and 52 RBI in a career-high 118 games for Double-A Tennessee.  Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in May of 2006, Lalli boasts a .304 batting average (339-for-1115), 79 doubles, 20 homers and 159 RBI in 332 career minor league contests.

J.R. Mathes, 28, earned Pitcher of the Year honors for Triple-A Iowa, going 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA (52 ER/129.1 IP) in 26 games (21 starts) last season. The lefty ranked ninth in the Pacific Coast League in ERA.  This marks his seventh season with the club after being selected by the Cubs in the 16th round of the 2004 Draft. He is 56-37 with a 4.20 ERA (361 ER/773.0 IP) in 146 career minor league games (129 starts).

Vince Perkins, 28, owns a 33-33 mark with six saves and a 3.69 ERA (238 ER/581.0 IP) in 182 career minor league appearances (89 starts) spanning eight seasons. The righthander combined to go 7-2 with five saves and a 3.02 ERA (29 ER/86.1 IP) in 53 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2009. Perkins, who was signed by the Cubs as a minor league free agent prior to the 2009 season, was a member of Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009 and has spent time with the Blue Jays (2001-06), Brewers (2006-07), White Sox (2007-08) and Cubs organizations.

Chris Robinson, 25, earned Iowa’s Most Valuable Player honors after hitting .326 (101-for-310) with 37 runs scored, 22 doubles, three triples, two homers and 48 RBI in 91 games for the I-Cubs last season. The 2009 Pacific Coast League All-Star attended the University of Illinois, played for Team Canada in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 and was acquired by the Cubs from the Detroit Tigers August 20, 2006 for INF Neifi Perez.

James Russell, 24, was selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2007 Draft. The southpaw combined to go 5-6 with a 4.03 ERA (46 ER/102.2 IP) in 37 games (12 starts) with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2009. He is 11-16 with a 4.63 ERA (123 ER/239.0 IP) in 66 career minor league games (40 starts) and his father, Jeff Russell, pitched for five teams during a 14-year major league career.

Bobby Scales, 32, made his major league debut with Chicago in 2009 following 11 seasons and more than 1,000 career minor league contests. He appeared in 51 games for the Cubs last season and hit .500 (7-for-14) with two homers and five RBI as a pinch-hitter. A switch-hitter and right-handed fielder, he begins his 12th pro season after he was originally selected by San Diego in the 14th round of the 1999 Draft.

Brad Snyder, 27, batted .278 (66-for-237) with 16 doubles, three triples, 14 homers and 44 RBI with Triple-A Iowa in his first season in the Cubs organization, but was limited to just 69 games due to a sprained left wrist. The left-handed hitter and fielder began his career with Cleveland after he was selected in the first round (18th overall) of the 2003 Draft out of Ball State University.

Josh Vitters, 20, begins his fourth pro season after combining to hit .284 (130-for-458) with 19 doubles, 18 homers and 68 RBI in a career-high 120 games between Single-A Peoria and Single-A Daytona in 2009. The 2009 Midwest League mid-season All-Star was selected by Chicago in the first round (third overall) of the 2007 Draft and is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ Number Three prospect entering 2010

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Cubs Add Greg Maddux as Special Asst. to Jim Hendry

Monday, January 11th, 2010

My inbox just gave me the following release from the Cubs Media Department

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux as an assistant to General Manager Jim Hendry.

Maddux’ responsibilities will include assisting the coaching staffs at major league and minor league spring training, assisting in the development of Cubs minor leaguers during the regular season and assisting Hendry and the baseball operations department in talent evaluation.

“We are thrilled to have Greg back with the Chicago Cubs,” said Hendry.  “He has such a vast knowledge of all phases of the game and the ultimate respect of everyone from the players to the front office.  The addition of Greg Maddux makes us a better organization.”

“I’m looking forward to working my way back into the game and am happy that the Cubs have given me the opportunity to do that,” said Maddux.  “I started my career with the Cubs and Chicago has always been the best place in the league to play.  I’m eager to do whatever I can to help the organization and am looking forward to getting started at spring training.”

Maddux retired from baseball in December of 2008 as the eighth-winningest pitcher in the history of the game with 355 victories, 133 of which occurred during his 10 seasons with the Chicago Cubs.  He won the first of his four career Cy Young Awards with the Cubs in 1992 when he went 20-11 with a 2.18 ERA (65 ER/268.0 IP) in 35 starts.

Originally selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 1984 Draft, Maddux went 133-112 with a 3.61 ERA during two stints with the Cubs from 1986-92 and 2004-06.  His 298 starts and 1,305 strikeouts with the Cubs rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in franchise history.

Maddux also earned the first two of his eight National League All-Star nods with the Cubs and won six of his major-league record 18-career Gold Glove Awards during seasons he pitched for the Cubs.  He was the first pitcher in major league history to win four-consecutive Cy Young Awards (1992-95).

On May 3, 2009, the Cubs retired uniform No. 31 in honor of Maddux and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins.  Number 31 became the fifth to be retired by the Chicago Cubs, joining No. 14 in honor of Ernie Banks in 1982, No. 26 in honor of Billy Williams in 1987, No. 10 in honor of Ron Santo in 2003 and No. 23 in honor of Ryne Sandberg in 2005.  Jenkins and Maddux are the only pitchers in Cubs history to have their uniform number retired.

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Speak Out: Fire Jim Hendry

Friday, December 18th, 2009

From the Cubs Media Department comes Exhibit A in the case for firing Jim Hendry:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Carlos Silva and cash from the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Milton Bradley.

Silva, 30, is 60-64 with two saves and a 4.72 ERA (592 ER/1128.2 IP) in 295 major league appearances (159 starts) with Philadelphia (2002-03), Minnesota (2004-07) and Seattle (2008-09).  He has walked only 214 batters in 1128.2 innings pitched, an average of only 1.7 walks per nine innings.  Silva is 15-7 with two saves and a 4.18 ERA (116 ER/250.0 IP) in 135 games (17 starts) in his career against the National League, including a 5-1 mark and a 3.71 ERA (26 ER/63.0 IP) in 33 games (four starts) against the National League Central.

The righthander won nine or more games in four consecutive seasons with the Twins from 2004-07, including three double digit win campaigns in 2004 (career-high 14 wins), 2006 (11 wins) and 2007 (13 wins).  He made 27 or more starts in five-straight seasons from 2004-08.

Silva broke into the majors in 2002 and went 8-1 with a 3.83 ERA (73 ER/171.1 IP) in 130 appearances, all but one in relief, in his only two seasons in the National League with the Phillies.  Acquired in a trade by the Twins prior to the 2004 campaign, Silva went 47-45 with a 4.42 ERA (380 ER/773.2 IP) in 129 appearances (124 starts) in Minnesota, compiling more than 180.0 innings in all four campaigns.  In 2005, Silva walked only nine batters in 188.1 innings pitched, an average of one walk every 21.0 frames.

In 2009 with the Mariners, Silva was limited to eight appearances (six starts) due to a right shoulder impingement that landed him on the disabled list from May 9-September 15.  He went 1-3 with an 8.60 ERA (29 ER/30.1 IP) in the eight outings.  A native of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Silva is currently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Bradley, 31, batted .257 (101-for-393) with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 124 games with the Cubs last season.

Now that you know how I feel, let’s hear your thoughts on this trade.

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Cubs Select Michael Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

The Cubs make a 1st round selection in the Rule 5 draft, selecting a RHP from the St. Louis Cardinals. (more…)

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Ryne Sandberg to Manage Iowa Cubs in 2010

Monday, December 7th, 2009

From the Iowa Cubs Media Dept:

Des Moines, IA – Today the Chicago Cubs announced Ryne Sandberg has been named manager of the Iowa Cubs for the 2010 season.
Sandberg, 50, spent last season managing the Double-A Tennessee Smokies and led the team to the Southern League Championship Series.  Prior to that he spent two season with Class-A Peoria before spending the 2009 season with AA Tennessee.  Sandberg will be Iowa’s 16th manager since their affiliation with the Cubs began in 1981.  He replaces Bobby Dickerson, now with the Baltimore Orioles’ organization.  In his three-year managerial career, Sandberg has posted a 202-215 (.417) record.
A 2005 Hall of Fame inductee, Sandberg enjoyed a 15-year career in the Major Leagues, the majority of those spent with the Chicago Cubs.  During that span, he earned nine Gold Glove awards and was a 10-time National League All-Star.  Sandberg was originally drafted in the 20th round of the 1978 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.
“We are very happy and excited to welcome Ryne Sandberg to the Iowa Cubs as he continues his managerial career.  We know our fans are excited too and will be supportive in what we hope will be a successful season,” said General Manager Sam Bernabe.
The Iowa Cubs open the 2010 season on April 8 against the Nashville Sounds at 6:35 p.m. at Principal Park.  Season tickets are on sale now by calling the Iowa Cubs at 515-243-6111.
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