Posted on 19 December 2014 by Lou
As has been rumored since Jon Lester signed with the Cubs, David Ross has agreed to a 2-year, $5 million deal to catch for the Cubs in 2015. Ross caught 18 starts for Lester with the Red Sox in 2014 and he has caught 29 Lester starts over the last 2 MLB seasons. Lester’s ERA with Ross as his catcher in 2104 was a nasty 2.02. Ross should also provide some much-needed veteran leadership for a young Cubs squad. Ross and newly-acquired Miguel Montero should form a nice-duo for the Cubs for the next 2 seasons as they continue to groom 2014 1st-round pick Kyle Schwarber in the minor leagues. The only negative for Ross is that his offensive production continues to diminish later in his career. in 50 games in 2014 for he Red Sox, Ross hit just .184 with 7 HR’s and 18 RBI’s.
This must mean that current catcher Wellington Castillo is officially on the trading block. Before the Ross signing, the Cubs announced that they had claimed former Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway off of waivers. Theo Epstein drafted Lavarnway in the 2008 draft. Lavarnway is 27 years old and has a career .210 batting average in 97 major league games.
Theo & Co. continue to remain active this winter. The continue to tweak the roster at the major league to give Manager Joe Madden as many options as possible throughout the long MLB season. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything on the Castillo-trade front…
Posted on 25 November 2012 by Lou
The signed veteran catcher Dioner Navarro to a 1-year, $1.75 million deal last week. Navarro is 28 years old and he spent the 2012 MLB season playing for the Cincinnati Reds and their Triple-A club in Louisville. In his 24 big league games, he hit .290 with 12 RBI’s. In 2008, Navarro was an American League All-Star and a teammate of Matt Garza with the Rays. Navarro will back up projected starter Wellington Castillo who made a big impression in 2012 by hitting .265 in 52 major league games – a career high for the youngster.
We’ll keep you posted as things heat up at the winter meetings.
Posted on 04 September 2012 by Lou
The Nationals have taken the 1st 2 games of the series against the Cubs with 2-1 and 11-5 victories. The Nats improved their major league best record to 83-52.
Jeff Samardzija pitched well on Labor Day, but suffered the loss as the Cubs could not muster any offense. Samardzija fell to 8-13 on the season despite allowing just 1 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk in 7 innings pitched. He struck out 8 and walked just 1 batter as he lowered his ERA to 3.91 and his WHIP to 1.26. Starlin Castro and Wellington Castillo each had 2 hits in the loss and Castillo knocked in the only Cubs run with a single in the 9th inning that cut the Nats lead in half. But it was too little too late.
Chris Rusin and the Cubs bullpen served up 6 homers to the Nationals in the 11-5 loss on Tuesday night. Rusin lasted just 1 inning (he did not record an out in the 2nd inning) before being pulled by Skipper Dale Sveum. His line was not pretty — 5 ER on 8 hits with a walk and a strikeout. His WHIP ballooned to 2.00 as his ERA skyrocketed to 9.00. It was his 2nd loss in 2 starts this season. Alfonso Soriano did hit his 26th home run and tallied his 2nd triple of the season. Luis Valbuena, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each had 2 hits in the loss.
The Cubs are a woeful 51-84 on the season and it looks like they could suffer a 100-loss season in 2012. Ouch…
At least they are still finding ways to have fun – check out the picture of Rookie picture Jaye Chapman carrying the “Dora The Explorer Backpack” to the Cubs bullpen before the start of the game!
Posted on 01 September 2012 by Lou
The Cubs look to take Game 2 of the series against the Giants at Wrigley Field. But it is not looking so good as Justin Germano has already surrendered 5 ER in just 2 innings of work. Former Cub Xavier Nady delivered the big blow with a bases-clearing double in the 1st inning. And while Anthony Rizzo and Wellington Castillo have each gotten a hit off of stud Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, they have yet to get on the scoreboard and trail 5-0.
The Cubs started the day with a 51-80 record and they trail the 1st place Cincinnati Reds by a whopping 29 games. Will it ever get better on the north side?!?!?!
Posted on 29 March 2011 by Lou
The Cubs made the right move by sending Catcher Wellington Castillo down to Triple-A Iowa to continue getting regular playing time to learn and grow as a catcher. Sure Castillo hit much better than Koyie Hill who made the opening day roster as Geovany Soto’s back up. Castillo had 12 hits in 19 at-bats while Hill had only 1 hit in 31 at-bats this spring. But having Castillo play once a week with the Cubs at the major league level wouldn’t do him any good and it wouldn’t do the Cubs any good when it was time for Castillo to step up and play a more prominent catching role for the Cubs sometime in the near future.
Manager Mike Quade is thrilled with Castillo’s development thus far – “If he’ll keep his nose to the grindstone and do what he’s done the last year, he’s going to get better and better, and he’ll have some kind of future. The sky’s the limit for this guy.” Quade indicated that Castillo has work to do in managing pitchers and calling games, but that he is headed in the right direction. He also confirmed that Hill has a great grasp of the Cubs pitchers strengths and weaknesses and will serve as a quality back up for Soto during the 2011 MLB schedule.
This is definitely the right move. Hopefully Castillo has a healthy and productive year at the Triple-A level and then he will be ready to step up and claim the back-up catcher’s role in 2012. By playing every day at Triple-A, Castillo should also be ready to go in case Hill or Soto get hurt at some point during the regular season.
Posted on 21 March 2011 by Lou
Randy Wells pitched 6 strong innings of 1-run ball as the Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in 10 innings. With less than 2 weeks left before the start of the 2011 MLB schedule, it looks like Randy Wells has made the strongest case out of any of the potential starters for that coveted 4th spot in the starting rotation. Wells allowed the 1st two batters to reach base, including an RBI single by former Cub Mike Fontenot to plate the 1st run of the game. Then he proceeded to retire the next 18 batters that he faced. Wells did not issue a walk, he struck out 7 and he continued to work at a fast pace keeping his pitches down. When Wells has his sinker going and when he gets into a groove, he can be a very difficult pitcher to face. And while Manager Mike Quade did not officially name Wells a starter, he made it clear that he has been very pleased with Wells’ effort this spring.
Marlon Byrd had 2 hits in the Cubs win, as did Bobby Scales. Wellington Castillo won the game for the Cubs with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Posted on 22 November 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs finalized their 40-man roster prior to the Friday deadline in anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in December. The Cubs added the following players:
Pitcher John Gaub – 2.83 ERA at Double A Tennessee (28 2/3 innings in 26 games) and 1.72 ERA at Triple A Iowa (31 1/3 innings in 26 games). At the Iowa, Gaub struck out 40 and walked just 16.
James Adduci – .300 batting average, 4 HR’s, 51 RBI’s and 35 stolen bases in 131 games at Double A Tennessee. He had the 3rd most hits of any player in the Southern League.
Pitcher Blake Parker – started season at Double A Tennessee (12 1/3 innings) and 3.00 ERA at Triple A Iowa (58 K’s in 51 innings in 45 games).
Pitcher Rafael Dolis – 25 starts with a 3.79 ERA at Class A Daytona.
Catcher Wellington Castillo – .232 batting average, 11 HR’s and 39 RBI’s in 95 games at Double A Tennessee.
We’ll keep you posted if any of these players stand out in Spring Training, but most likely all 5 will continue their development in the Cubs minor league system during the 2010 schedule.