Tag Archive | "Tom Gorzelanny"

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Roy Oswalt Stymies Cubs Thru 7 Innings, Cubs Lose 4-3

Posted on 18 April 2010 by Lou

It wasn’t meant to be as Roy Oswalt stymied the Cubs through 7 innings as the Cubs lost 4-3 at Wrigley Field on Saturday.  The Cubs managed just 5 hits against Oswalt, and although the team rallied for 3 ER on 4 hits against Astros’ closer Brandon Lyon in the 8th inning, it was too little too late.

Tom Gorzelanny gave up 2 ER in his 3 innings of work.  He had to leave after his 3 innings after getting struck with a Pedro Feliz line drive in the top of the 3rd inning.  He was able to finish out the inning, but the Cubs staff decided to pull Gorzelanny as a precautionary measure.  Gorzelanny is expected to make his next scheduled start against the Mets in New York on Thursday.

The bullpen did fairly well in emergency duty.  Jeff Gray and Justin Berg each gave up 1 ER in their 2 innings of work.  James Russell worked a perfect 8th inning and Sean Marshall struck out the side in the 9th inning.  Both Russell and Russell have been the Cubs best relievers thus far this season.

Ryan Dempster squares off against Wandy Rodriguez in the rubber match of the series today at 1:20 at Wrigley Field.  Let’s hope the Cubs can win and finish off a successful 1st homestand with a 4-2 record as they embark on their road trip to New York and Milwaukee this week.

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Ted Lilly Set to Return to Cubs Rotation Next Weekend

Posted on 16 April 2010 by Lou

We should see Ted Lilly back in the Cubs rotation pretty soon — he will make his final “tune-up” start at Class A Peoria on Monday.

In his previous outing at Triple-A Iowa this past Wednesday, Lilly gave up just 1 run and 1 hit in 4 innings of work.  He walked one batter and struck out 4.  Lilly was pleased with the start — “Everything went pretty well.  I would’ve liked to have thrown a few more pitches.  It was fun to get back out there in front of a crowd and compete and face some hitters.  I had a good time.”

Manager Lou Pinella had this to say about Lilly’s upcoming minor league start on Monday — “We’ll let him go 75-80 pitches.  If he’s fine after that one, we’ll get him back in the rotation either over the weekend in Milwaukee or when we get back home.”

Look for Lilly to start on the of the weekend games against the Brewers at Miller Park.  Lilly has had success there in the past, and with the Cubs playing “average” baseball these days, they really need to get all their hogs in there as soon as possible…

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Ted Lilly Setback; Rotation Changes for Opening Week @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 10 April 2010 by Lou

Ted Lilly’s sore back kept him from making a scheduled start for Triple-A Iowa today.  His session was pushed back a few days until Sunday.  Although Manager Lou Pinella said that “this is not a setback”, how can it not be?  The Cubs were pushing a fast schedule for Lilly to get back into the Cubs starting rotation by the 3rd week of the season.  At this rate, it will be a week since his last outing when he threw 67 pitched over 5+ innings in a minor league game in Mesa.  Is he really ready?  Should they give him another 2 minor league starts to make sure he is fully healed?  Given the off days built into the schedule in the 1st two weeks of the season (see below), why rush him back when we won’t have to rely on Carlos Silva or Tom Gorzelanny too much.  The Cubs need Lilly to make close to 30 starts, so I would take it slow with the veteran.  But I guess they don’t pay me to make these decisions.

Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild and Pinella tweaked the Cubs starting rotation a little given Carlos Zambrano’s short opening day start.  Zambrano will now start Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.  Tom Gorzelanny gets bumped back to a Sunday start against the Reds.  Ryan Dempster will make the Cubs home opener against the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Monday.  Wells will face the Brewers on Wednesday, while Zambrano will come back and pitch the series finale against the Brewers on Thursday.  Carlos Silva will have to wait a week before he makes his 2nd 2010 start on Friday against the Astros at Wrigley Field.  Given all of these off days and the juggling of the rotation, the Cubs will not have needed a true “5-man rotation” until the 3rd week of the season when the Cubs travel to New York to face the Mets.

Let’s hope the Cubs can put together a nice little string of starts against upcoming “weaker opponents” like the Astros, Mets and Nationals in the month of April…

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Gorzelanny Paces Cubs 5-3 Win Over Giants with 7 Strong Innings

Posted on 31 March 2010 by Lou

Tom Gorzelanny showed why he deserved to be named a starter by Cubs Manager Lou Pinella earlier this week.  Gorzelanny pitched 7 strong innings, giving up 3 ER on 8 hits without any walks.  He also struk out 2 batters.  Gorzelanny was excited that he kept his club in the game so that they could rally to tie the game in the 7th inning and then win it on Chad Tracy’s 2-run pinch-hit home run in the 8th inning.  Gorzelanny had this to say — “I don’t think just because I got the job it’s time to relax.  That’s when you get in a lot of trouble.  You want to go out there and continue to get better and work on stuff and be ready to pitch well when the season starts… I felt like I did a good hob of throwing strikes and keeping the ball in the zone…”

Carlos Marmol pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and then gave way to John Grabow to pick up the final 2 outs of the game.

Gorzelanny wasn’t the only player that proved Pinella made the right move when naming his 25-man roaster.  Tyler Colvin continued his hot hitting by going 2 for 4 with an RBI and 1 run scored.  Pinella has indicated that Colvin will start 2-3 games per week to rest some of the regulars in the outfield…

This was a great win for the Cubs who continue to play way as of late.

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Gorzelanny Shines in Start, Joins Silva in Rotation

Posted on 26 March 2010 by Lou

Lou Pinella finally made up his mind – Tom Gorzelanny’s stellar start in the Cubs 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday made it easy.  Gorzelanny tossed 6 innings – the longest outing by any Cubs starter this spring – giving up just 2 ER on 5 hits and 1 walk.  He struck out 4 batters and he lowered his ERA to 3.07.

As for his chances of being tabbed a starter, Gorzelanny had this to say about his start — “I felt I was in the zone a lot and I wasn’t trying to overthrow and I wasn’t trying to do too much.  I felt I made some major strides today.  There’s always more to do and more to work on…  All I can ask for is to pitch well and I hope that’s the case.  Wherever they need me, I’ll do my best.  If I get to be in the rotation, I’ll run with it and try to claim a spot and keep it — that’s my objective right now.”  Well the consistency of his last 2 outings made it that much easier for Pinella to go with him and Carlos Silva as his 2 final starters when camp breaks at the start of April.

The other 2 starters in contention were Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija and both with start the season in the Cubs bullpen.  As I called it at the beginning of spring training and just 2 days ago, I figured Pinella would tab Marshall and Samardzija for the bullpen.  Both have had success in the bullpen, while Silva and Gorzelanny have had little experience pitching in relief.  Even if Marshall and Samardzija had been pitching a lot better than Silva and Gorzelanny, I still fill like Pinella would have tabbed Silva and Gorzelanny for the final 2 starting spots in the rotation.  Jeff Gray, Marcos Mateo and John Gaub were each sent down to the minor leagues as well.

I guess we’ll see how this all shakes out.  Luckily we’ll only have to see Silva and Gorzelanny in the starting rotation for a few weeks until Ted Lilly returns.  Any longer than that, and the Cubs could find themselves in a bit of a hole in 2010 right out of the gate…

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Marshall Shines after Bumpy 1st Inning

Posted on 25 March 2010 by Lou

Sean Marshall pitched 4 solid innings in the Cubs 12-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.  After a tough start in which he gave up 3 hits and 1 unearned run in the 1st inning, Marshall really settled down.  He only allowed one other base runner through the next 3 innings on a walk and he struck out 5.  Marshall now has a 1.64 ERA in his spring starts this March and he has made a strong case for winning one of the open starting pitching jobs heading into the regular season.

Marshall had this to say — “I pitched pretty well today.  That doesn’t mean I can be the perfect candidate to start but I love starting and I want to start because I like giving the team a chance to win.  As long as I keep building and keep getting better and keep getting guys out, I’ll have no problems… My attitude is always to keep a positive attitude whatever role I’m in and help the team win some ballgames.”

This is great news, but I still have a feeling that Manager Lou Pinella is going to go with Tom Gorzelanny as the 5th starter behind Carlos Silva.  Marshall has more experience coming out of the bullpen and he has performed well there for the Cubs – in fact better than he has as a starter.  I think it’s the wrong move because I think the Cubs will need good starts early on with Ted Lilly on the shelf, but I just have a feeling that Lou is going to tab Silva and Gorzelanny as his 4th and 5th starters until Lilly returns.  We should have an answer within the next few days so that the 2 guys tabbed as “starters” will have a chance to stretch out before the start of the season.  We;ll keep you posted as soon as that happens…

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Jeff Samardzija Struggles in 1st Spring Start, but Feels Good

Posted on 13 March 2010 by Lou

Jeff Samardzija gave up 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk in his 1st spring start in the Cubs 12-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.  Samardzija had a rough 1st inning, giving up home runs to Jim Edmonds and Greg Zaun.  It does not bode well for Samardzija’s chances of winning a starting spot in the rotation, although Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny have not fared very well in their spring starts either.

Despite the 4 runs, Samardzija was still upbeat after his outing: “They jumped on two fastballs.  We’ll work in offspeed pitches earlier in the count.  I thought we were aggressive, and I thought the splitter was great.  The slider was here and there, but I felt pretty good… I want to take something out of every outing and get stronger every time out.  It’s Spring Training and you have to build on up and get ready for the season.”

The Cubs will have a tough decision on their hands and could be in trouble with their 5th slot in the starting rotation.  I still think Gorzelanny will get the 4th/5th spot in the starting rotation.  And the Cubs will either use Samardzija or Silva to spot start until Ted Lilly is ready to return.  Sean Marshall, the final candidate for the starting rotation, will end up in the bullpen because he is effective there and the Cubs are somewhat thin there right now with injuries.

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Ryan Dempster — Scoreless Spring Training Debut

Posted on 09 March 2010 by Lou

Ryan Dempster provided a solid spring training debut – pitching 2 scoreless innings retiring all 6 batters that he faced in the Cubs 10-3 win over the Oakland A’s on Monday.  This is good news for a Cubs pitching staff that is dealing with its share of troubles.  The Cubs should be good at the front end of the starting rotation once Ted Lily returns, but the 5th starter spot and the bullpen could have some issues.  A good Dempster showing in 2010 will mean some stability that should help keep the Cubs bullpen fresh and ready for a grueling 162 game MLB schedule.

Sean Marshall worked 2 innings giving up 1 run on a solo home run and 1 other hit.

Jeff Samardzija worked 2 scoreless innings giving up 1 hit and 1 walk in the process.

Tom Gorzelanny gave up 2 runs on a home run in his 2 innings of work.

Marshall, Samardzija and Gorzelanny (along with Carlos Silva) are competing for the final starting slots in the rotation.  The other 2 will likely end up in the bullpen and once Ted Lilly returns, a 3rd out of the group will get dropped back into the bullpen or sent to Triple-A to continue working as a starter.

Two good hitting performances in the game – Ryan Theriot was 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored, while Mike Fontenot was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored.  Kosuke Fukodome had another hit in the 2-hole behind Theriot and is hitting .500 during the first few games of spring.

Manager Lou Pinella has gotta be happy with some of these performances…

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Who Will Start in Place of Ted Lilly?

Posted on 16 February 2010 by Lou

Now that Spring Training is about to start, it’s time to really assess certain areas of concern for the Cubs.  Ted Lilly underwent successful shoulder surgery this off-season, but it doesn’t look like he will be ready by Opening Day in April.  That begs the question – who will be the Cubs 4th and 5th starters come the start of the season?

By all accounts, it looks like 5 pitchers will be battling for the 2 spots – Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, Tom Gorzelanny, Michael Parisi (a Rule 5 Draft Pick) and Carlos Silva.  Samardzija and Marshall both picked well out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2009, so Manager Lou Pinella might favor keeping one or both of them as relievers.  That being said, Samardzija seemed to struggle in 2009 going back and forth between the Cubs major league club and Triple-A Iowa and going back and forth between starting and relieving.  If the Cubs envision Samardzija being a starter long-term, but if he doesn’t pitch well enough to earn a starting spot out of Spring Training, it might better serve him to go back to Triple-A to hone his starting pitching skills.  As reported before, Samardzija pitched in Mexico this winter to work on all of his pitches and the extra work seemed to work wonders for the young fireballer.

Gorzelanny made some nice starts for the Cubs at the end of 2009 and Parisi is more of a long shot to earn a starting spot.  Silva has always been a starting pitcher, so it is unlikely that the Cubs will move him to the bullpen.

I’m thinking that the Cubs go with Gorzelanny and Silva as the 4th and 5th starters to open the season.  Marshall will work out of the pen with Samardzija going back to Triple-A to continue his work as a starter.  Let’s hope 1 or 2 of them really shine to give us a little confidence heading into the 2010 campaign.  Otherwise, it could be another long season on the North Side…

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Cubs Agree to 1-Year Deals with 5 Players; Theriot, Marmol & Marshall Still to Come

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to 1-year deals with 5 players – infielders Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker; catcher Koyie Hill; and pitchers Angel Guzman and Tom Gorzelanny.  Each player was in his first year of being arbitration eligible.

Fontenot signed a $1 million deal for 2010.  After a great 2008 in which he hit over .300, Fontenot came back down to earth in 2009, hitting just .236 in 135 games played.

Baker signed a $975,000 deal for 2010.  The Cubs acquired Baker from the Colorado Rockies in July and he hit over .300 in 69 games for the north siders.  Baker and Fontenot will be competing for the starting 2nd baseman job in Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona.  If neither stands out, Manager Lou Pinella could implement a platoon.

Catcher Koyie Hill signed a $700,000 deal to be the Cubs backup catcher behind Geovany Soto in 2010.  While Soto was injured in 2009, Hill made 26 consecutive starts from July 7th through August 5th.  Hill only batted .237 but he handled the pitching staff very well.

The Cubs acquired Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a deal that also brought over John Grabow.  The Cubs and Gorzelanny agreed upon an $800,000 deal for 2010.  Gorzelanny appeared in 13 games for the Cubs, going 4-2 with a 5.63 ERA.  Gorzelanny actually fared better in relief, holding opponents to just a .192 batting average during those 6 appearances.

Angel Guzman signed an $825,000 deal after arguably his best season as a Cubs reliever.  Guzman appeared in 55 games posting a 2.95 ERA (2.03 ERA at home at Wrigley Field).  He held opponents scoreless in 40 of his 55 appearances, including 34 of his last 42 games.  Assuming Guzman can stay healthy, he will play a pivotal role in the Cubs bullpen during the 2010 MLB schedule.

The final 3 Cubs players who are arbitration eligible will make a huge impact on the success of the 2010 squad.

Carlos Marmol will be the Cubs opening day closer.  Marmol made $575,000 in 2009 and he will become a free agent in 2013.  Marmol took over the closer’s role from Kevin Gregg at the end of the season and provided a stable force at the back end of the ‘pen.  Marmol ended up saving 15 games, while holding 27 games in 79 appearances.  His 65 walks in 74 innings, however, is still a major concern.

Ryan Theriot will be the Cubs opening day shortstop and will likely lead off for the Cubs.  Theriot made $500,000 in 2009.  Theriot hit .284 with a .343 on-base percentage in 154 games for the Cubs.  His games played, at-bats (602), triples (5), home runs (7) and RBI’s (54) were all career highs.

Sean Marshall will either be in the starting rotation on opening day or serve a vital role in the Cubs bullpen as a lefty reliever.  Marshall made $450,000 in 2009 and will be a free agent in 2013.  Marshall can start and come out of the bullpen, so his versatility is invaluable.

GM Hendry still has his work cut out for him.  Let’s hope he can ink smart deals with Marmol, Theriot and Marshall soon.

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