Posted on 27 March 2015 by Lou
The Cubs are hosting their cross-town rival White Sox at Sloan Park this afternoon. Former Cubs Jeff Samardzija is facing his former Cubs team for the 1st time since being traded to the Oakland A’s in July 2014. Ironically, he is squaring off against Jason Hammel who was also sent to the A’s with Samardzija in that July trade.
Fortunately for the Cubs, Hammel is out-dueling the White Sox opening day starter through 4 innings. The Cubs have a 4-0 lead. Hammel has given up just 3 hits in his 4 innings of work.
The Cubs got to Samardzija right away in the 1st inning. Dexter Fowler led off the inning with a single. One batter later, he came around to score on Jorge Soler’s 2-run home run. That put the Cubs up 2-0. In the bottom of the 4th, Starlin Castro touched Samardzija for a solo home run.
After losing 2 straight, it would be nice for the Cubs to muster a win against the Sox. After a lot of cuts this week, the Cubs roster is starting to take shape. Manager Joe Maddon will also start managing games the full 9 innings pretty soon, especially during the last week of spring training. Getting on a nice role these last 7-8 games should go a long way in giving the Cubs confidence heading into the home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on April 5th.
Go Cubs Go!
Posted on 11 March 2015 by Lou
Is it time to panic? The Cubs are the only major league baseball team that has yet to win a spring training baseball game. After a 10-6 loss to the Indians on Tuesday, the Cubs fell to 0-6-1 on the season.
But to soften the blow a little bit, Cubs fans saw what they hope to see often at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field in the very near future. In the 4th inning with the Cubs trailing 4-0, Jorge Soler clubbed a monster HR to left field. Just 2 pitches later, Javier Baez broke an 0 for 9 slump to start the spring with a monster shot to left field right near Soler’s HR. And just a few pitches later, Kris Bryant made it 3 in a row with a bomb to right center field. It was Bryant’s 2nd HR of the spring.
Travis Wood struggled in his 2nd spring start. Wood allowed 4 runs on 7 hits over 3 innings. His defense didn’t help, as only 2 of the 4 runs were ER. In fact, with 4 errors on the day, only 4 of the 10 runs scored by the Indians were earned runs. So the team really needs to clean up the defense a lot the next few weeks of spring training is they expect to be in tip-top shape come the regular season.
Jon Lester makes his 2nd spring start against Zach Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Let’s hope it’s another gem from the Cubs’ ace.
Posted on 11 June 2012 by Lou
Ryan Dempster won for the 2nd time on the Cubs atrocious 2-8 road trip through San Francisco, Milwaukee and Minnesota. It were Dempster’s first 2 wins of the 2012 MLB season. He pitched 8 scoreless innings to help the Cubs avoid the sweep by the Twins. He scattered 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. He has an amazing 1.03 WHIP and 2.31 ERA, but only has a 2-3 record as the Cubs have failed to provide him much run support in his starts. Starlin Castro led the Cubs 9-hit attack by going 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored. Reed Johnson added 2 hits and 3 runs scored in the lead-off spot.
Off the field, the Cubs landed highly touted Cuban prospect Jorge Soler in the “free agent” market. The 20-year old outfielder was considered the next biggest star out of Cuba after Yoenis Cespedes signed with Oakland for $36 million earlier this spring. The Cubs were able to negotiate a 9-year, $30 million deal for the player they have set their sights on for quite a while now. Other top teams – the Yankees, White Sox, Phillies and Red Sox – were all believed to be involved in the bidding for Soler, but the Cubs got him. The Cubs did not make any public announcement about the deal today, but look for some news later this week.
At 20-40, the Cubs are on pace to finish with more than 100 losses for only the 3rd time in franchise history. Both the 1962 and 1966 Cubs finished 59-103. Not good – not good at all, but at least it looks like new ownership has a plan in place, and the tools necessary to implement that plan…
Posted on 12 March 2012 by Lou
It’s official – the Cubs have agreed to a 5-year, $6 million deal with Cuban lefty Gerardo Concepcion. $3 million will be paid as a signing bonus and the remaining $3 million will be paid over the course of the contract. Concepcion pitched in the Cuban Junior National Tournament 2 years and made 21 appearances in the Cuban National Series last year. At only 19 years of age, he was named the Series’ rookie of the year, going 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA for Inustralies. He made 16 starts and was highly sought after by several major league clubs.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer had this to say about the announcement – “One of our focuses has been on continuing to bring in pitching depth, and he’s a 20-year old left hander, really good feel for pitching, three-pitch mix, has success at a really young age in Cuba. He’s a guy we’re excited to bring over here and work with… He’s certainly advanced when it comes to feel for pitching, but I don’t want to put expectations on him. Let’s get him to the minor leagues and let him get out and perform, we’ll figure that part out when we do that.”
The Cubs are also aggressively pursuing another young Cuban defector – Jorge Soler. While some reports have floated around that the Cubs and Soler have already agreed to a $27 million deal, MLB has strict rules on players not making deals until they are officially deemed to be “free agents”. With Cuban defectors, that can often be a lengthy process, so until MLB officially declares Soler to be a free agent, no MLB team can sign him.
We’ll keep you posted on Concepcion’s progress as well as any news on the Soler front…