Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

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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Cubs Deal Aaron Miles & Jake Fox to Oakland

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitchers Jeff Gray and Ronny Morla as well as infielder/outfielder Matt Spencer from the Oakland Athletics for infielders Aaron Miles and Jake Fox and a cash consideration.  Gray has been added to Chicago’s 40-man roster.

Gray, 28, went 0-1 with a 3.76 ERA (11 ER/26.1 IP) in 24 relief appearances last season with the Athletics.  The righthander walked only four batters in 26.1 innings pitched while striking out 19.  Gray did not allow an earned run in 15 of his first 19 outings, turning in a 1.71 ERA (4 ER/21.0 IP) through September 19, before allowing seven runs in his final five outings to increase his season-ending ERA to 3.76.

The six-foot-three, 196-pound Gray split the 2009 campaign between Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento.  Gray went 2-2 with 16 saves and a 1.54 ERA (7 ER/41.0 IP) in 37 Triple-A relief outings.  Combined between Oakland and Sacramento last year, Gray posted a 2.41 ERA (18 ER/67.1 IP) and walked only 10 batters in 67.1 innings pitched.

Originally selected by the Athletics in the 32nd round of the 2004 June Draft, Gray made the jump from Single-A Kane County at the start of 2006 to Triple-A Sacramento by the end of 2007 before making his major league debut with Oakland in 2008.  He is 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA (15 ER/31.0 IP) in 29 career major league relief outings and is 21-21 with 36 saves and a 3.38 ERA (139 ER/370.2 IP) in 212 minor league outings (24 starts).  He has allowed only 15 home runs in 370.2 minor league innings, an average of one home run per 24.2 innings pitched.

Gray is a native of Texas City, Texas and pitched collegiately for Southwest Missouri State University.

Morla, 21, pitched last season for Single-A Vancouver and went 1-7 with a 4.86 ERA (34 ER/63.0 IP) in 17 appearances, 12 as a starter.  The six-foot-four, 200-pounder struck out 73 batters and walked 24, an average of 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings and a three-to-one strikeout to walk ratio.  Morla also allowed only four home runs in 63.0 innings pitched, an average of one home run allowed per 15.2 innings pitched.

The right-handed pitcher originally signed with the Athletics as a non-drafted free agent on February 10, 2006 and is a native of Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic.  He is 7-15 with a 4.52 ERA (99 ER/197.0 IP) in 48 appearances (36 starts) in three minor league seasons with Oakland’s rookie-level team (2007) and Vancouver (2008-09).

Spencer, 23, was originally selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2007 Draft and acquired by Oakland in the 2008 trade that sent pitcher Joe Blanton to the Phillies.  The left-handed batter and thrower combined to hit .289 (141-for-488) with 34 doubles, 19 home runs and 91 RBI between Single-A Stockton and Double-A Midland last season.  He began the season by hitting 10 home runs in 30 games with Stockton to earn the promotion.

The six-foot-five, 240-pounder is a .281 hitter (321-for-1142) with 42 homers, 186 RBI, a .338 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage in 300 career minor league contests.  He played collegiately at Arizona State University.

Miles, who turns 33 on December 15, signed a two-year contract with the Cubs on December 31, 2008.  He batted .185 (29-for-157) with five RBI in 74 games with the Cubs last season.

Fox, 27, batted .259 (56-for-216) with 11 home runs and 44 RBI in 82 games with the Cubs last season.  He was originally selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2003 June Draft.

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Cubs Trade Aaron Heilman

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired left-handed pitcher Scott Maine and first baseman Ryne White from the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman. White is a native of Chicago and is a 2005 graduate of St. Rita of Cascia High School.

Maine, 24, combined to go 4-5 with seven saves and a 2.90 ERA (20 ER/62.0 IP) in 48 relief appearances between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno in 2009, reaching Triple-A in only his third professional season. The southpaw struck out 61 batters and issued 22 walks in 62.0 innings pitched between the stops, an average of nearly one strikeout per inning and 3.2 walks per nine innings. He allowed only two home runs in 62.0 innings pitched. Maine last month also made a pair of appearances for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League, allowing three runs in 1.2 innings.

Drafted by the Diamondbacks in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft, Maine is 8-7 with 13 saves and a 3.29 ERA (44 ER/120.1 IP) in 88 relief appearances covering three professional seasons. The six-foot-three, 195-pounder pitched for three seasons at the University of Miami before joining the Diamondbacks organization.

White, 23, batted .266 (111-for-418) with 18 doubles, six home runs, 52 RBI, 65 walks and a .371 on-base percentage in 116 games for Single-A Visalia last season. He was especially strong against right-handed pitching, batting .298 (78-for-262) with a .405 on-base percentage compared to a .212 (33-for-156) mark and a .313 on-base percentage vs. left-handed pitching. He is a career .275 hitter (194-for-705) with 13 home runs, 103 RBI and a .366 on-base percentage in 186 professional games the last two seasons.

After graduating from St. Rita of Cascia, White attended Purdue University and was a 2007 Big Ten Conference All-Star after batting .452 (90-for-199) with a .521 on-base percentage in 53 games for the Boilermakers. The five-foot-11, 205-pounder was selected by the Diamondbacks in the fourth round of the 2008 Draft.

Heilman, 31, went 4-4 with one save and a 4.11 ERA (33 ER/72.1 IP) in 70 relief appearances for the Cubs last season. He was acquired from Seattle for left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson and infielder Ronny Cedeno January 28, 2009. The righthander is 26-37 with 10 saves and a 4.22 ERA (245 ER/522.2 IP) in 375 major league appearances (25 starts) with the New York Mets (2003-08) and Cubs (2009).

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The 13 Man Staff Strikes Again

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Sometimes I just don’t understand the decisions made. Reed Johnson to the DL and Jeff Stevens to the big club. The only thing I can think of is that Stevens was still in town and Fuld couldn’t get here in time. The media release is after the jump. (more…)

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MLB Network Program Alert

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

MLB Network sent me this release for a show tonight that I’ll tune into:

July 15, 2009 – MLB Network will televise 30 Clubs / 30 Report Cards, a midseason report, today, Wednesday, July 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Following predictions made during Spring Training on MLB Network’s 30 Clubs / 30 Days, analysts John Hart, Dan Plesac, Victor Rojas and Mitch Williams will host a two-hour conversation as they review report cards for each of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs.

The show will include analysis on the second half of the season and potential American League and National League MVPs, Cy Young Award winners and Rookies of the Year. Hart, former general manager of the Texas Rangers, will also discuss farm reports, giving updates on Minor League players to watch.

30 Clubs/30 Report Cards will re-air until 12:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 16. Attached is a 30-second on-air promo of the show.

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