Friday, May 11, 2007

Cubs add Ramirez to shore up offense

With both J.J. Putz and Joe Nathan pitching very effectively in the season, reliever Jonathan Papelbon had only pitched 5.2 innings during the Cubs' first 34 games.

Thus, Papelbon was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez is expected to take over full time at third base with infielder Hank Blalock expecting to split time with the struggling Chris Shelton at first base. Shelton is hitting just .210 on the year with 2 homeruns in 119 at-bats.

In a corresponding roster move, the team optioned infielder Justin Leone and outfielder Luis Montanez to Iowa (AAA) and recalled pitcher Eddy Rodriguez and infielder Martin Prado.

Ramirez joins the team having hit .257 with 5 homers and 22 RBI's with Arizona.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Scott's fifth hit is walk-off

Already 4-for-4 on the day, Luke Scott stepped up in the bottom of the ninth inning with two runs already in and the go-ahead run on second base. Scott ripped a 1-0 pitch in the right-center field gap to win the game and collect his fifth hit of the day.

The Cubs move to 18-14 with the win.

Mark Buehrle turned in another quality start for the Cubs, going 6.1 innings and allowing just six hits and two earned runs before giving way to the bullpen. However, Pittsburgh's Joe Mays was able to match Buehrle pitch-by-pitch, throwing seven quality innings of his own.

With the score tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth inning, Kevin Youkilis thought he had put the Pirates up for good with a two-run homerun off of Cubs' reliever Matt Thornton, but Chicago was able to rally back in the bottom of the inning and give Thornton the win (1-0).

Dmitri Young led off the home half of the ninth by reaching base on an error and Chris Barnwell had doubled to put the tying runs in scoring position. Chris Burke later tied the game with a double of his own before scoring on Scott's hit.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

After 15 days, Burke returns

Chris Burke has returned from the disabled list after missing fifteen days due to a finger injury. The Cubs were 5-8 during that stretch.

Burke was filling in for the injured Carl Crawford who has been out since April 10 with a fractured eye socket. He is expected to miss at least another five weeks.

During Burke's absence, William Veneable and Delwyn Young were getting the majority of the playing time in left field with Luke Scott as the full-time center fielder. Now, Scott will shift back to left field and allow Burke to play center field, however manager Piniella is looking to give Scott a few days off coming up.

To make room for Burke on the roster, infielder Pablo Ozuna was optioned back to Iowa (AAA).

The Cubs are currently 17-13 and lead the Houston Astros by 1 game in the NL Central.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Cubs end streaky April with share of first

The Chicago Cubs had an excellent opportunity to begin the season on a truly excellent note, after starting the month of April with a 13-5 record. However, losing 6 of the last 8 games of the season, the team is forced to settle for a 15-11 month and a share of first place.

NL Central Standings:
Chicago Cubs: 15-11
St. Louis Cardinals: 15-11
Milwaukee Brewers: 13-13, -2.0
Houston Astros: 12-13, -2.5
Pittsburgh Pirates: 12-14, -3.0
Cincinnati Reds: 11-14, -3.5

Team leaders so far:

Wins: Johan Santana, 4
ERA: Johan Santana, 1.50
Saves: Joe Nathan, 10
Strikeouts: Johan Santana, 37
WHIP: Johan Santana, 0.95

Average: Luke Scott, .315
Homeruns: Luke Scott, 5
Runs Scored: Luke Scott, 20
RBI: Chase Utley, 19
Stolen Bases: Chase Utley, 5

Most commonly used lineup:
LF Carl Crawford
CF Luke Scott
2B Chase Utley
RF Brad Hawpe
1B Chris Shelton
3B Hank Blalock
C Gerald Laird
SS Chris Barnwell

Other notable statistics:
C Gerald Laird: .299 avg, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .316 OBP, .481 slug
1B Chris Shelton: .237 avg, 2 HR, 18 RBI, .280 OBP, .392 slug
OF Brad Hawpe: .284 avg, 2 HR, 15 RBI, .390 OBP, .455 slug

SP Mark Buehrle: 3-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP
RP J. J. Putz: 2-2, 5 holds, 2.20 ERA, 0.92 WHIP

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rodriguez down, Ozuna up

In an effort to help a struggling offensive, the Cubs have recalled infielder Pablo Ozuna from Iowa (AAA). In the corresponding roster move, reliever Eddy Rodriguez was sent back to Iowa (AAA).

The move was not necessarily a reflection on Rodriguez's performance, as he has posted a 4.05 ERA in 6.2 innings of work so far this season. However, with the team carrying originally carrying thirteen pitchers, Rodriguez ended up being the odd man out when a roster move had to be made.

The Cubs are 14-9 so far this season.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nathan first to ten saves

Joe Nathan became the first closer in the league to convert ten saves in Saturday's 7-4 win over the Cardinals. Nathan has a 1.86 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP to go along with his ten saves. Atlanta's Huston Street is second in the league with seven saves.

The Cubs improved to 13-5 and have an early two-game lead in the division.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Burke to DL

The injuries keep piling on for the Cubs.

Just ten days after Carl Crawford was placed on the disabled list, utility-man Chris Burke joins Crawford with a finger blister. In a corresponding roster move, the Cubs have purchased the contract of outfielder Luis Montanez from Iowa (AAA), promoted outfielder Jason Dubois from Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA), and promoted outfielder John-Ford Griffin from Daytona (A) to Tennesee (AA). The 40-man roster now sits at 38.

Burke had been filling in for Crawford in the outfield. Now, Luke Scott will have to shift back over to center field to let Delwyn Young and William Veneable to split time in left field.

The Cubs are 12-5 in the season so far. Johan Santana leads all pitchers with a 3-1 record and a 1.42 ERA while Joe Nathan is already nine-for-nine in saves. Offensively, catcher Gerald Laird has led the charge with a .339 average (19-for-56), Scott has four homeruns, and Chase Utley leads the team with 14 RBI.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Crawford placed on DL

Outfielder Carl Crawford has been placed on the 15-day DL. He is expected to miss about two months. Outfielder Delwyn Young was recalled from Iowa (AAA).

Chris Burke will take over as the full-time center fielder, allowing Luke Scott to move to his familiar position of left field.

Crawford was injured on defense during Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Astros. The Cubs are now 7-1 to start the season. Brad Thompson put up another quality start and is now 2-0 on the season with a 2.08 ERA.

Also, the team activated pitcher Javier Lopez from the disabled list and optioned him to Iowa (AAA).

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Scott's three-homer day puts Cubs to 5-0

Luke Scott hit three homeruns in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Brewers.

Chris Sampson pitched seven strong innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run, meaning that each of the starting pitchers delivered a quality start in the first time through the rotation.

J.J. Putz grabbed his second hold of the season and Joe Nathan notched his fourth save.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Cubs open season with Reds sweep

Chase Utley was 6-for-14 in the three-game series as he led the Chicago Cubs past the Cincinnati Reds to open the season.

However, pitching was the main story for the Cubs.

Johan Santana, Mark Buehrle, and Brad Thompson had a quality start in each of the games in the series, combining for 22 solid innings while allowing just 15 hits and five earned runs. Joe Nathan had a save in each game and J.J. Putz had a win and a hold.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Santana outlasts Bonderman on Opening Day

Johan Santana (1-0) did it all on Opening Day for the Cubs.

With the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Santana delivered an RBI infield single to plate Hank Blalock, which proved to be the deciding run. Blalock had reached base to lead off the inning on an error and advanced to third on Gerald Laird's bunt. But when Chris Barnwell couldn't cash in the go-ahead run with less than two outs, it required a two-out hit from the pitcher for the Cubs to take the lead for good.

The Cincinnati Reds scored first in the bottom of the third inning on Adrian Beltre's two-run homer, but that was all the Reds could muster off of the Cubs' ace. Santana pitched eight innings, allowing just those two runs, to pick up the victory.

The Cubs clawed back in the fourth and fifth innings on a sac fly by Chris Shelton and an RBI triple by Carl Crawford, before Santana delieverd the game-winning blow. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth to notch the first save of the season.

Crawford: 2-4, RBI, triple
Scott: 1-4
Utley: 1-4, run, double
Hawpe: 0-4
Shelton: 0-3, RBI
Blalock: 0-4, run
Laird: 1-3
Barnwell: 1-3, run, double
(Burke: 0-1)
Santana: 1-3, RBI

Santana (W, 1-0): 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 K
Nathan (Sv, 1): IP, H, 0 ER, 0 K

Monday, March 26, 2007

Roster finalized; team to carry 13 pitchers

Instead of carrying five outfielders, the Cubs have decided to carry 13 pitchers.

Pitchers Saul Rivera (0-0, 1 save, 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings) and Matt Thornton (0-1, 1 save, 5.79 ERA in 9.1 innings) will break camp with the team.

Pitchers Zach Duke, Aaron Heilman, and Scott Proctor; infielders Ryan Garko and Pablo Ozuna; and outfielder Delwyn Young were sent to Iowa (AAA). Infielder Martin Prado was sent to Tennessee (AA).

Pitcher Javier Lopez was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The Cubs look to put the preseason behind them, where they posted a 10-14 record including a seven-game losing streak to end the Cactus League season.


Starting Pitchers (5)
Mark Buehrle
Tim Redding
Chris Sampson
Johan Santana
Brad Thompson

Relief Pitchers (8)
Brian Fuentes
Damaso Marte
Joe Nathan
Jonathan Papelbon
J J Putz
Saul Rivera
Eddy Rodriguez
Matt Thornton

Catchers (2)
Gerald Laird
Yorvit Torrealba

Infielders (6)
Chris Barnwell
Hank Blalock
Chris Burke
Justin Leone
Chris Shelton
Chase Utley

Outfielders (4)
Carl Crawford
Brad Hawpe
Luke Scott
William Veneable

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Roster becomes clearer

Another eight players have been guaranteed to make the roster for Opening Day 2007.

Brad Thompson (2-0, 3.38 ERA in 16.0 IP), Tim Redding (2-0, 4.00 ERA in 9.0 IP), and Chris Sampson (1-2, 4.09 ERA in 11.0 IP) will be the final three pitchers in the Cubs' starting rotation. Additionally, Eddy Rodriguez (0-1, 1.72 ERA in 15.2 IP), Brian Fuentes (0-0, 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP), and Damaso Marte (0-1, 3.97 ERA in 11.1 IP) will start the season in the Major League bullpen.

Utility-man Chris Burke (.289/2/5/.373/.533 in 45 AB) and outfielder William Veneable (.308/0/1/.345/.462 in 26 AB) will make the team.

There remains just one spot for pitchers and one spot for position players left on the roster.

Pitchers Henry Bonilla, Heath Bell, and George Sherill were returned to Iowa (AAA). Outfielder Richie Robnett was returned to Tennessee (AA).

Position Battle: 6 pitchers competing for 1 spot
SP Zach Duke: 0-2, 8.31 ERA in 13.0 innings.
RP Aaron Heilman: 0-1, 4.32 ERA in 8.1 innings.
RP Javier Lopez: 0-0, 1 save, 1.42 ERA in 6.1 innings.
RP Scott Proctor: 0-0, 3 saves, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 innings.
RP Saul Rivera: 0-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA in 7.2 innings.
RP Matt Thornton: 0-1, 1 save, 6.75 ERA in 8.0 innings; out of options.

Position Battle: 4 position players competing for 1 spot
IF Ryan Garko: .250/1/4/.302/.375 in 40 at-bats.
IF Martin Prado: .214/0/1/.267/.250 in 28 at-bats.
IF Pablo Ozuna: .157/0/3/.232/.176 in 51 at-bats.
OF Delwyn Young: .152/0/2/.204/.196 in 46 at-bats.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Leone, Scott to make team

After an excellent showing in Spring Training, Justin Leone will make the Major League team for Opening Day 2007. Leone hit .442 with 6 doubles, 3 homers, and 10 RBI's in just 43 at-bats, totaling for a 1.259 OPS. He will serve as the back-up to Hank Blalock.

Additionally, outfielder Luke Scott will make the Opening Day 2007 roster, after compiling a .304 average, 2 homers, 8 RBI's and a .912 OPS in 56 at-bats. While his offense is not a question, his defense is. With Carl Crawford anchored in left field, it is uncertain whether or not Scott can make the transition to center field.

The team has been considering Chris Burke as a possible option for center field. Burke is hitting .286 in 42 at-bats.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thirteen guaranteed roster spot

Thirteen players have been guaranteed to make the roster for Opening Day:
SP Johan Santana (can refuse minors assignment)
SP Mark Buehrle (can refuse minors assignment)
RP JJ Putz (out of options)
RP Jonathan Papelbon
RP Joe Nathan (can refuse minors assignment)
C Gerald Laird
C Yorvit Torrealba
1B Chris Shelton
2B Chase Utley (can refuse minors assignment)
3B Hank Blalock
SS Chris Barnwell
OF Carl Crawford (can refuse minors assignment)
OF Brad Hawpe

Position Battle: 5 starting pitchers competing for 2 spots
Henry Bonilla: 2-0, 9.31 ERA in 9.2 innings.
Zach Duke: 0-1, 10.00 ERA in 9 innings.
Tim Redding: 2-0, 4.00 ERA in 9 innings.
Chris Sampson: 1-2, 4.09 ERA in 11 innings.
Brad Thompson: 3-0, 3.75 ERA in 12 innings.

Position Battle: 10 relief pitchers competing for 4 spots
Heath Bell: 0-0, 54.05 ERA in 0.1 innings.
Brian Fuentes: 0-0, 2.25 ERA in 4 innings; can refuse minors assignment.
Aaron Heilman: 0-1, 4.77 ERA in 5.2 innings.
Javier Lopez: 0-0, 1 save, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 innings.
Damaso Marte: 0-1, 3.97 ERA in 11.1 innings; can refuse minors assignment.
Scott Proctor: 0-0, 3 saves, 3.18 ERA in 5.2 innings.
Eddy Rodriguez: 0-1, 1.72 ERA in 15.2 innings.
George Sherill: 0-0, 13.50 ERA in 1.1 innings.
Matt Thornton: 0-0, 1 save, 4.05 ERA in 6.2 innings; out of options.

Position Battle: 5 infielders competing for 2 spots
Chris Burke: .300/2/5/.391/.550 in 40 at-bats.
Ryan Garko: .281/1/4/.343/.438 in 32 at-bats.
Justin Leone: .421/3/10/.452/.763 in 38 at-bats.
Pablo Ozuna: .167/0/3/.225/.190 in 42 at-bats.
Martin Prado: .250/0/1/.308/.292 in 24 at-bats.

Position Battle: 4 outfielders competing for 2 spots
Richie Robnett: .167/0/0/.231/.167 in 12 at-bats.
Luke Scott: .308/2/8/.383/.519 in 52 at-bats.
William Veneable: .318/0/1/.360/.500 in 22 at-bats.
Delwyn Young: .175/0/2/.233/.225 in 40 at-bats.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Injured pitchers placed on DL

Placed P Tom Martin and P Tyler Walker on the 60-day DL.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Inaugural Fantasy Draft Results

Inaugural Draft
1: Drafted Johan Santana and placed him on 40-man roster.
2: Drafted Chase Utley and placed him on 40-man roster.
3: Drafted Joe Nathan and placed him on 40-man roster.
4: Drafted Jonathan Papelbon and placed him on 40-man roster.
5: Drafted J.J. Putz and placed him on 40-man roster.
6: Drafted Mark Buehrle and placed him on 40-man roster.
7: Drafted Carl Crawford and placed him on 40-man roster.
8: Drafted Brad Thompson and placed him on 40-man roster.
9: Drafted Brad Hawpe and placed him on 40-man roster.
10: Drafted Zach Duke and placed him on 40-man roster.
11: Drafted Gerald Laird and placed him on 40-man roster.
12: Drafted Chris Barnwell and placed him on 40-man roster.
13: Drafted Henry Bonilla and placed him on 40-man roster.
14: Drafted Chris Sampson and placed him on 40-man roster.
15: Drafted Luke Scott and placed him on 40-man roster.
16: Drafted Hank Blalock and placed him on 40-man roster.
17: Drafted Aaron Heilman and placed him on 40-man roster.
18: Drafted Eddy Rodriguez and placed him on 40-man roster.
19: Drafted Chris Shelton and placed him on 40-man roster.
20: Drafted Yorvit Torrealba and placed him on 40-man roster.
21: Drafted Justin Leone and placed him on 40-man roster.
22: Drafted Delwyn Young and placed him on 40-man roster.
23: Drafted Ryan Garko
and placed him on 40-man roster.
24: Drafted Damaso Marte
and placed him on 40-man roster.
25: Drafted George Sherill
and placed him on 40-man roster.
26: Drafted Chris Burke
and placed him on 40-man roster.
27: Drafted William Veneable
and placed him on 40-man roster.
28: Drafted Phil Dumatrait
29: Drafted Pablo Ozuna and placed him on 40-man roster.
30: Drafted Tim Redding
and placed him on 40-man roster.
31: Drafted Rajai Davis.
32: Drafted Brandon Jones.
33: Drafted Luis Montanez.
34: Drafted Chris Parmalee.
35: Drafted Matt Thornton
and placed him on 40-man roster.
36: Drafted Heath Bell
and placed him on 40-man roster.
37: Drafted Kasey Kiker.
38: Drafted Jeff Samardzija.
39: Drafted Mike Fuentes.
40: Drafted Welington Castilo.
41: Drafted Jo Jo Reyes.
42: Drafted Scott Proctor
and placed him on 40-man roster.
43: Drafted Javier Lopez and placed him on 40-man roster.
44: Drafted Marcus Lemon.
45: Drafted Brett Harper.
46: Drafted Martin Prado
and placed him on 40-man roster.
47: Drafted Jack Hannahan.
48: Drafted Conrad Brooks.
49: Drafted Sergio Pedroza
50: Drafted Saul Rivera
and placed him on 40-man roster.
51: Drafted Richie Robnett
and placed him on 40-man roster.
52: Drafted Luis Valbuena.
53: Drafted Brian Fuentes
and placed him on 40-man roster.
54: Drafted Tyler Colvin
55: Drafted Taylor Teagarden.
56: Drafted Albenis Machado.
57: Drafted John Sulsarz.
58: Drafted Wade LeBlanc.
59: Drafted Justin Edwards.
60: Drafted Jonah Bayliss.
61: Drafted Alex Jamieson.
62: Drafted Brad Nelson and placed him on 40-man roster.
63: Drafted Tyler Walker and placed him on 40-man roster.
64: Drafted Jonathon Malo.
65: Drafted Welinson Baez.
66: Drafted Yahmed Yema.
67: Drafted Nate Spears.
68: Drafted Justin Ruggiano.
69: Drafted Tom Martin and placed him on 40-man roster.
70: Drafted Jason Donald.
71: Drafted Juan Lagares.
72: Drafted Jon Switzer.
73: Drafted Eric Cyr.
74: Drafted Cole DeVries.
75: Drafted Julio Manon.
76: Drafted Ozzie Chavez.
77: Drafted Juan Valdes.
78: Drafted Chad Qualls.
79: Drafted Steve Green.
80: Drafted Randy Messenger.
81: Drafted Rocky Cherry.
82: Drafted Rob Crosby.
83: Drafted Adam Pettyjohn.
84: Drafted Michael James.
85: Drafted Clayton Richard.
86: Drafted Bobby Parnell.
87: Drafted Manny Acosta.
88: Drafted Roberto Novoa.
89: Drafted Paul Hoover.
90: Drafted Nelson Payano.
91: Drafted Josh Hancock.
Drafted Mike Megrew.
Drafted Gavin Floyd.
Drafted Alexander Hinshaw.
95: Drafted Ryan Edell.
96: Drafted David Parrish.
97: Drafted Russ Adams.
98: Drafted Chris Dickerson.
99: Drafted Rayner Laya.
100: Drafted Victor Mercedes.
101: Drafted Ambiorix Burgos.
102: Drafted Chris Key.
103: Drafted Greg Aquino.
104: Drafted Adam Shabala.
105: Drafted Yusuf Carter.
106: Drafted Brent Abernathy.
107: Drafted Tyler Minges.
108: Drafted Josh Kroeger.
109: Drafted Bobby Scales.
110: Drafted Jeff Culpepper.
111: Drafted Brent Leach.
112: Drafted Eliezer Alfonzo.
113: Drafted Pedro Viola.
114: Drafted Carlton Smith.
115: Drafted Jose Diaz.
116: Drafted Clayton Naylor.
117: Drafted Koyie Hill.
118: Drafted Jason Dubois.
119: Drafted Jeff Deardoff.
120: Drafted Bobby Hill.
121: Drafted Kevin West.
122: Drafted John-Ford Griffin.
123: Drafted Hunter Brown.
124: Drafted Charlton Jimerson.
125: Drafted John Hattig.
126: Drafted Angel Fermin.
127: Drafted Amadeo Zazueta.
128: Drafted Gabriel Alfaro.
129: Drafted Brandon Garner.
130: Drafted Joe Nelson.
131: Drafted Chris Brennan.
132: Drafted Leo Nunez.
133: Drafted Aaron Jackson.
134: Drafted Alexis Sosa.
135: Drafted Morgan Clendenin.
136: Drafted Adam Bright.
137: Drafted Hayden Parrott.
138: Drafted Ryan McCarthy.
139: Drafted CJ Lang.
140: Drafted Adam Godwin.
141: Drafted Joel Pacheco.
142: Drafted Chad Bentz.
143: Drafted Matt Stocco.
144: Drafted Francisco Pena.
145: Drafted Luis Nunez.
146: Drafted Jesus Lopez.
147: Drafted Kalian Sams.
148: Drafted Andrew Lafave.
149: Drafted Trey Hendricks.
150: Drafted Jason Brown.
151: Drafted Cain Byrd.
152: Drafted Matt Clark.
153: Drafted Wilfredo Diaz.
154: Drafted
Joe Hardy.
155: Drafted Jon Aceves.
156: Drafted Levi Tapia.
157: Drafted Brendan Wise.
158: Drafted Pascual Juan.
159: Drafted Steve Doetsch.
160: Drafted Ryan Fleming.
161: Drafted Seth Bynum.
162: Drafted Gabe DeHoyes.
163: Drafted David Timm.
164: Drafted Ivan Izquierdo.
165: Drafted Carlos Piste.
166: Drafted Shane Justis.
167: Drafted Jim Rapoport.
168: Drafted Rafael Cabreja.
169: Drafted Thomas Hickman.
170: Drafted Jesse Carlson.
171: Drafted Tim Gudex.
172: Drafted Kevin Tomasiewicz.
173: Drafted Roman Martinez.
174: Drafted DJ Hollingsworth.
175: Drafted Marco ALbano.
176: Drafted Josh Wilkie.
177: Drafted Jose Valdez.
178: Drafted Emary Frederick.
179: Drafted Francisco Rodriguez.
180: Drafted Cesar Suarez.
181: Drafted Henry Gutierrez.
182: Drafted Luany Sanchez.
183: Drafted Casey Smith.
184: Drafted Rob Dillon.
185: Drafted Jose Graterol.
186: Dragted Marcus Causey.
187: Drafted Elton Duncan.
188: Drafted Juan Delgado.
189: Drafted James Heuser.
190: Drafted Caesario Bertolini.
191: Drafted Peter Bourjos.
192: Drafted Juan Portes Hale.
193: Drafted Luis Ordaz.
194: Drafted Jack Wood.
195: Drafted Nick Cavanagh.
196: Drafted Yen-Feng Lin.
197: Drafted Matt Fisher.
198: Drafted Jose Maria.
199: Drafted Courtney Billingslea.
200: Drafted Drew Taylor.