Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

Freel Gone….Jeff Baker In

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The Cubs made a curious move to me today. Not so much the trade for Jeff Baker, but why DFA Ryan Freel? I guess it comes down to a roster spot, but I think I’d find a way to make it work and still keep Freel. Suggestions as to how that could have happened? Here is the media release from the team.

The Chicago Cubs today acquired infielder Jeff Baker from the Colorado Rockies for minor league right-handed pitcher Al Alburquerque.  To make room for Baker on the roster, infielder Ryan Freel was designated for assignment.

Baker, who will wear uniform number 28, today was activated from the 60-day disabled list by the Rockies prior to the trade and will be available for the Cubs tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.

The 28-year-old Baker batted .268 (80-for-299) with 22 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 104 games last year for the Rockies.  The right-handed batter and thrower saw action at second base (49 games, 47 starts), first base (22 games, 13 starts), third base (nine games, seven starts) and right field (three games, three starts) in last season.

Baker has been limited to only 12 games with the Rockies this season due to a sprained left hand that sent him to the disabled list on April 29.  The six-foot-two, 210-pounder has been on a rehab assignment since June 20 with Single-A Modesto (two games) and Triple-A Colorado Springs (seven games).  With the Rockies this year, Baker batted .130 (3-for-23) with one triple and three RBI prior to his injury.

In all or part of five major league seasons with the Rockies (2005-09), Baker is a career .257 hitter (144-for-561) with 35 doubles, six triples, 22 home runs and 88 RBI in 231 big league games.  He has played first base (44 games), second base (52 games), third base (24 games), left field (eight games) and right field (26 games).

Baker was selected by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2002 Draft out of Clemson University.  He departed Clemson after three years as the school’s all-time leader with 59 home runs and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 2002 after recording 24 home runs and 79 RBI.  Baker made his major league debut as the club’s Opening Day third baseman in 2005.

Alburquerque, 23, went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (8 ER/34.2 IP) in 24 relief appearances for Single-A Daytona this season.

Acquired by the Cubs from Baltimore for Joey Gathright on May 8, Freel batted .143 (4-for-28) with one run scored and one RBI in 14 games with Chicago.

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Players Don't Wanna Play For Piniella

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The new SI hits the stands tomorrow and their advanced media sent me the following image of a poll of the players:

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Cub Recall Sam Fuld…DL AAron Miles Due to Acute Lack of Ability

Monday, June 29th, 2009

From the Cubs Media Department comes this wonderful tidbit:

PITTSBURGH – The Chicago Cubs today recalled outfielder Sam Fuld from Triple-A Iowa. In addition, the Cubs placed infielder Aaron Miles on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 21) with a hyperextended right elbow.

Fuld, 27, is hitting .286 (81-for-283) with 16 doubles, eight triples, 27 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 73 contests for Iowa this season, including a .398 batting average (33-for-83) this month. He has walked 32 times compared to just 22 strikeouts in 319 plate appearances, and has a .309 batting average (21-for-68) with runners in scoring position as the club’s full-time center fielder.

A left-handed batter and fielder, Fuld made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2007, appearing in 14 games as a September call-up. Originally selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2004 Draft, he is a career .287 hitter (537-for-1,868) in 496 minor league contests with 113 doubles, 26 triples, 18 homers, 185 RBI and 82 stolen bases.

Named the Arizona Fall League MVP in 2007, Fuld split 2008 between Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee, combining to hit .264 (106-for-402) with a career-high 52 RBI.

Fuld will wear uniform No. 27 and is available for tonight’s 6:05 p.m. CT game against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Miles, 32, is hitting .203 (25-for-123) with seven doubles and four RBI in 46 games during his first season with the Cubs. This is his second stint on the disabled list, as he was sidelined May 26-June 10 with a right shoulder strain.

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Cubs Recall Jake Fox and DL Jason Waddell

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

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– The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder/outfielder Jake Fox from Triple-A Iowa and placed left-handed pitcher Jason Waddell on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 13) for evaluation and treatment of a non-baseball related medical issue.

Fox, 26, begins his second stint with the Cubs, having batted .417 (5-for-12) with two doubles and two RBI in eight games for Chicago from May 27-June 9. He was 5-for-6 (.833) with two doubles and a RBI as a pinch-hitter and started one game in right field and made two appearances at third base.

The right-handed hitter owns a .409 batting average (67-for-164) with 44 runs, 14 doubles, three triples, 17 homers and 53 RBI in 45 games for Iowa this season. He leads minor league baseball in batting average, on-base percentage (.495) and slugging percentage (.841).

Since he was optioned to Iowa June 9, Fox has reached base safely in three of four games, going 3-for-13 (.231) with three runs, a triple, two RBI and four walks.

Waddell, 28, has a 5.40 ERA (1 ER/1.2 IP) with no record and one hold in three relief appearances for the Cubs, his first major league action after nine seasons in the minors. This year with Iowa, he was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA (10 ER/16.2 IP) in 18 relief outings prior to his selection May 27. He signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent in November of 2008.

Media Release courtesy of the Cubs media dept.

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God has heard your cries: Gerald Perry is out

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

CHICAGO

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– The Chicago Cubs today named Von Joshua as their major league hitting coach and relieved Gerald Perry of his duties. Joshua was promoted to the big league job from Triple-A Iowa and will join the Cubs on Tuesday.

Joshua, who has been a hitting coach for the last 26 seasons starting in 1984, was in his fourth season as hitting coach at Iowa and is in his seventh in the Cubs organization, joining the club in 2003 as the hitting coach at Double-A West Tennessee. Joshua returns to the big leagues for the first time since a four-year stint as the hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox from 1998-2001.

A former outfielder, Joshua spent 10 years in the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1969-71, 1973-74, 1979), San Francisco Giants (1975-76), Milwaukee Brewers (1976-77) and San Diego Padres (1980). He began his coaching career with the Dodgers organization, serving as hitting coach at Double-A San Antonio from 1984-87 and at Triple-A Albuquerque from 1988-92. He joined the White Sox organization in 1993 and spent five seasons with five different minor league clubs before earning his promotion to the big leagues in 1998.

Joshua, 61, spent one season in the Toronto Blue Jays as their minor league hitting instructor in 2002 before joining the Cubs organization the next year.

Perry, 48, was in his third season as the Cubs major league hitting coach, joining the organization prior to the 2007 season. He has served four different clubs in that capacity during the last 10 seasons.

Media release courtesy of the Chicago National League Ballclub

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Jake Fox Gets His Chance and Neal Cotts to AAA

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

From the Cubs Media Department:

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– The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder Jake Fox and selected the contracts of infielder Andres Blanco and left-handed pitcher Jason Waddell from Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs optioned left-handed pitcher Neal Cotts and infielder Bobby Scales to Triple-A Iowa. Additionally, the club placed infielder Aaron Miles on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 26, with a right shoulder strain.

Blanco will wear uniform number 13, Fox will wear number 5 and Waddell will wear number 43. All three are available for this afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.

Fox, 26, is leading all minor league players this year in the “Triple Crown” categories with a .423 batting average (63-for-149), 17 home runs and 50 RBI in 40 games for Iowa. The right-handed batter also has 40 runs, 14 doubles, two triples, a .503 on-base percentage, a .886 slugging percentage and a 1.389 OPS this season. He has seen action at first base, third base, left field, right field, catcher and designated hitter this season. Fox has twice earned Pacific Coast League Player of the Week honors for the periods ending April 19 and May 17.

Originally selected by the Cubs in the third round of the 2003 Draft, Fox joins the Cubs riding a 17-game hitting streak during which he batted .453 (29-for-64) with five home runs and 19 RBI.

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Blanco, 25, is batting .314 (48-for-153) with nine doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI in 43 games for Iowa this season. The switch-hitter is batting .342 (39-for-114) against right-handed pitching and has a .364 mark (16-for-44) with runners in scoring position. Blanco has played exclusively at shortstop in the field this season.

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Signed by the Cubs as a minor league free agent following the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Blanco has played in 78 career major league games with the Kansas City Royals covering parts of three campaigns (2004-06), batting .252 (57-for-226) with six doubles, four triples and 19 RBI. Blanco has played shortstop (51 games) and second base (31 games) at the major league level.

Waddell, 27, joins the first major league roster in his nine-year professional career. He is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA (10 ER/16.2 IP) in 18 relief appearances, limiting right-handed batters to a .205 average (8-for-39) while lefties have batted .346 (9-for-26) off the southpaw. The 2009 campaign marks his first pitching above the Double-A level. He had 270 minor league appearances, all but 13 in relief, prior to his call-up today. He was originally selected by San Francisco in the eighth round of the 2001 Draft and spent his first eight professional seasons in the Giants minor league system.

Signed by the Cubs as a minor league free agent last November 21, Waddell attended camp as a non-roster invitee and spent nearly the entire spring training season with the major league club. He posted a 0.90 ERA (1 ER/10.0 IP) in 11 Cactus League relief appearances.

Cotts was a member of Chicago’s Opening Day roster and is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA (9 ER/11.0 IP) in 19 relief appearances this season.

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Miles is batting .204 (20-for-98) with six doubles and four RBI in 37 games for the Cubs this year.

Scales is hitting .257 (9-for-35) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBI in 14 games for the Cubs this season. The 31-year-old had his contract selected from Iowa on May 4 and made his major league debut the next day, collecting his first big league hit off Tim Lincecum. Scales is batting .303 (23-for-76) with five doubles, a triple, three homers and 10 RBI in 21 games for Iowa this season

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Cubs Recall Jose Ascanio

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

From The Cubs Media Department:

MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Cubs today recalled right-handed pitcher Jose Ascanio from Triple-A Iowa. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed pitcher Chad Fox was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

Ascanio, 24, has gone 1-1 with a 1.01 ERA (3 ER/26.2 IP) in six starts for Iowa this season, striking out 26 compared to just seven walks. His 1.01 ERA ranks second among Pacific Coast League hurlers. The righty has limited the opponent to a .191 batting average (18-for-94), including a .159 mark against right-handed hitters (10-for-63).

Acquired from Atlanta December 4, 2007, for pitcher Will Ohman and infielder Omar Infante, Ascanio made six relief appearances in two stints for Chicago in 2008. He spent the majority of the year with Iowa, going 2-1 with 11 saves and a 5.10 ERA (31 ER/54.2 IP) in 40 relief appearances.

Originally signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in October of 2001, Ascanio owns a 1-1 record with a 5.82 ERA (14 ER/21.2 IP) in 19 major league relief outings with the Braves (2007) and Cubs (2008). In 181 career minor league contests (25 starts), he is 21-15 with 30 saves and a 3.59 ERA (153 ER/383.2 IP), striking out 343 while walking just 135.

Fox, 38, was selected by Chicago May 6 and made two relief appearances for the Cubs after going 1-0 with two saves and a 1.59 ERA (2 ER/11.1 IP) in 11 games for Iowa to start the year. He appeared in three games for Chicago in May of 2008 before an injured right elbow sidelined him for the remainder of the season – it was his first big league action since 2005 with the Cubs.

A member of Florida’s 2003 World Championship squad, Fox has gone 10-12 with six saves and a 3.79 ERA (96 ER/228.0 IP) in all or part of 10 major league seasons with Atlanta (1997), Milwaukee (1998-99, 2001-02), Boston (2003), Florida (2003-04) and the Cubs (2005, 2008-09).

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Cubs Acquire Ryan Freel

Friday, May 8th, 2009

From The Cubs Media Department:

MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Cubs today acquired infielder/outfielder Ryan Freel and a cash consideration from the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder Joey Gathright, who had accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day. In addition, right-handed pitcher Randy Wells has been recalled from Iowa and will make tonight’s start against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Freel is expected to join the Cubs on Saturday.

Freel, 33, is a career .271 hitter (517-for-1910) with 98 doubles, 22 home runs, 118 RBI and a .357 on-base percentage in 562 major league games with Toronto (2001), Cincinnati (2003-2008) and Baltimore (2009). He has 142 stolen bases in 190 attempts, a 74.7 percent success rate, including a career-high 37 stolen bases in 2004 and 2006 with the Reds.

The versatile Freel has played five different defensive positions in his big league career, including 216 games (170 starts) in center field, 107 games (73 starts) in right field, 106 games (89 starts) at third base, 101 games (87 starts) at second base and 75 games (40 starts) in left field.

Freel, who bats and throws right-handed, played in 103 games or more in each season from 2004-06 before injuries limited him to 75 games in 2007 and 48 games in 2008. Last season with the Reds, Freel batted a career-best .298 (39-for-131) in 48 games before having his season end in early June due to injury.

The 5-foot-10, 184-pound Freel was acquired by Baltimore as part of the four-player trade that sent Ramon Hernandez to Cincinnati on December 9, 2008. He has played only nine games with the Orioles this season due to being struck in the head by a pickoff throw April 20 in Boston. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list and was on a rehab assignment with Baltimore’s Double-A Bowie affiliate at the time of today’s trade.

Wells, 26, went 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA (8 ER/26.0 IP) in five starts for Iowa to begin the season. The 6-foot-3 righthander has struck out 21 in 26.0 innings of work while issuing just seven walks. He has limited right-handed hitters to a .172 batting average (10-for-58).

Tonight will mark his first career big league start after making his major league debut last season with Toronto and Chicago. He was selected by the Blue Jays in the major league portion of the 2007 Rule 5 draft and made his first career appearance, April 5 vs. Boston (1.0 IP). He was returned to Chicago April 16 and later made his Cubs debut with three scoreless relief appearances, September 17-21. All told, Wells has not allowed a hit or a run in 5.1 big league innings.

Wells was named the Cubs 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the organization after he went 10-4 with a 4.02 ERA (53 ER/118.2 IP) in 27 games (19 starts) for Iowa prior to his September promotion. He led the club with 10 victories and 102 strikeouts (compared to 34 walks) while his 4.02 ERA was fifth in the Pacific Coast League.

The Belleville, Ill., native owns a 43-26 minor league record with six saves and a 3.75 ERA (247 ER/593.1 IP) in 184 career outings (82 starts). He has struck out 572 batters compared to just 191 walks in 593.1 innings pitched since he was selected by the Cubs in the 38th round of the 2002 Draft.

Gathright, 28, was signed by Chicago as a free agent last December and has batted .214 (3-for-14) with two runs scored and a stolen base in 20 games for Chicago this season. He owns a .262 career batting average (304-for-1,159) with 79 stolen bases in 428 contests for Tampa Bay (2004-06), Kansas City (2006-08) and the Cubs (2009).

I think it’s important to note that Ryan Freel is not the missing piece we needed to contend for the World Series. He’s simply a more reasonable solution to the log jam we had in the OF and shortage in the IF. He’s able to play behind Ramirez, which helps and can fill a role similar to the one DeRosa filled, minus the good bat.

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The Wrong Fox Gets Called Up

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

From the Cubs Media Dept comes the news that makes me happy, sort of. I’m not sure why it wasn’t to move David Patton, but I’ll settle.

HOUSTON – The Cubs today selected right-handed pitcher Chad Fox from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Iowa.

Fox, 38, has produced a 1.59 ERA (2 ER/11.1 IP) with a 1-0 record and two saves in 11 relief appearances for Iowa this season. He has limited the opponent to a .211 batting average and struck out 10, compared to three walks. The Conroe, Texas, native has limited left-handed hitters to just one hit in 10 at-bats.

A veteran of nine major league seasons, Fox has gone 10-12 with six saves and a 3.60 ERA (91 ER/227.2 IP) in 217 games, most recently appearing in three games for the Cubs last May before an injured right elbow shut him down for the remainder of the season. It was his first major league action since 2005, when he made 11 relief outings for Chicago before right elbow surgery ended his season.

Fox, who was a member of Florida’s 2003 World Championship squad, has struck out 262 batters in 227.2 innings of work, good for an average of 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched. He has seen big league action with Atlanta (1997), Milwaukee (1998-99, 2001-02), Boston (2003), Florida (2003-04) and the Cubs (2005, 2008).

Samardzija, 24, has no record and an 8.10 ERA (3 ER/3.1 IP) in five relief outings for Chicago since he was recalled April 23. He began the year with Iowa, posting a 3.75 ERA (5 ER/12.0 IP) in three games (two starts).

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