Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

Villanueva makes case for spot in the pen as Rockies rout Cubs

Cubs 5-14 line

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  Carlos Villanueva was so very good for parts of this season, but the last few times out have not gone so well.  With the recent struggles it wouldn’t be surprising to see Villanueva head to the bullpen when Matt Garza returns.  I know who he can replace, Shawn Camp , more on him later, he didn’t help his or the Cubs cause tonight.  The Cubs were never in this one and it was over before it started it seemed as the Rockies jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the third inning.  Things got worse in the fifth as the Rockies added two more to take a 7-0 lead, that’s when the Cubs woke up, with some help from the Rockies.  The Cubs scored once in the fifth, and twice in the eighth to Helton 5-14make it 7-3 but they wouldn’t get any closer.  The Rockies tacked on two more runs in the ninth thanks to Carlos Gonzalez putting an exclamation point on his night with his second home run, he ended is evening 5-for-5 with two home runs, and three RBI’s.  Seems about right when it comes to Car-Go and the Cubs.  Two games in this series and two blow outs, one each way, wonder what tomorrow will bring.

At The Plate – The Cubs could only manage seven hits in this one, but they had their chances to score more than the four runs they did.  The Cubs were only 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position in this one, and they left seven men on.  David DeJesus was 2-for-5 with a run scored as he raised his average to .281 on the season.  Darwin Barney found some magic in this one, he was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI’s, that performance raised his average to .186, going to need a few more of those from Darwin.

On The Mound – Carlos Villanueva was hit hard all night, even the outs were loud outs.  Villanueva worked five innings giving up seven runs on twelve hits while striking out one, the loss dropped his record to 1-3 on the season.  Hector Rondon continues to prove he belongs out of the pen as he worked a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one to lower his ERA to 3.68 on the season.  Michael Bowden also seems to be finding a comfort zone out of the pen, he worked two scoreless inning giving up two hits while striking out one.  The only thing comfortable about Shawn Camp is how opposing hitters feel in the box against him.  Camp is getting really close to be designated for assignment, he worked one inning tonight giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one, his ERA climbed to a robust 7.31 for the season.

Up Next – The rubber match of the series as Jeff Samardzija looks for his second win of the season.  He will be opposed by a familiar face, Jon Garland, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM CST.

Cubs 5-14 box


Game Highlights:

Thank you, Rockies
Barney goes deep, imagine that

George header

Minor Matters – May 11, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-11 line

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At The Plate – The Cubs left some runs out on the bases in this one but they found just enough offense to come away with a win.  Brett Jackson was 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI’s, and  his fourth stolen base of the season.  Dave Sappelt had a good day going 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.  J.C. Boscan was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in the win.  I mentioned that Iowa left some runs out there, they were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and left nine guys on base.

On The MoundGuillermo Moscoso was brilliant in this one for the Cubs as he improved his record to 2-0 on the season.  Moscoso went seven innings giving up one run, unearned, on six hits while walking one and striking out seven.  Zach Putnam worked a scoreless inning out of the pen giving up one hit while walking one.  Blake Parker was solid again for his fifth save of the season, he worked a scoreless ninth while striking out one.

Smokies 5-11 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies finally found a way to beat the Barons, and almost blew the lead late before hanging on to a 5-4 victory.  Matt Szczur was good again at the top of the order going 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, two runs scored, and two stolen bases, he now has twelve stolen bases on the season.  Ty Wright was 2-for-3 with a walk, and a double in the win.  Christian Villanueva had another solid day going 3-for-4 with two doubles, and an RBI, he’s hitting .294 over his last ten games.

On The MoundMatt Garza had a solid outing for the Smokies, and more importantly came out of it healthy again.  Garza went 3.1 scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking two and striking out two.  Matt Loosen struggled with his command out of the pen but managed to get the win.  Loosen went four innings giving up three runs on two hits while walking four and striking out six.  Marcus Hatley struggled a little bit but earned his first save of the season going 1.2 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out one.

Kane County 5-11 line

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At The Plate – After falling behind 3-1 early the Cougars went to work at the plate scoring six times over the final six innings en route to a 7-4 victory.  Pin-Chieh Chen was solid at the top of the order going 2-for-5 with a double.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a walk, a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .292 on the season.  Willson Contreras had a huge day going 3-for-5 with a double, his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.  Gioskar Amaya only had one hit in this one (1-for-5) but he had two huge RBI’s.

On The MoundMichael Heesch flirted with disaster all day long but pitched out of trouble for the most part.  Heesch worked six innings giving up four runs on twelve hits while walking one to earn his second win of the season.  Brian Smith was outstanding out of the pen, he worked three scoreless inning giving up two hits while striking out three to earn his first save of the season.

NOTES:  Daytona had a double-header scheduled, and both games were postponed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there, including mine, the best one there is!

George header

Minor Matters – May 6, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 5-6 line

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At The Plate – The Iowa Cubs are playing much better baseball of late and they are being rewarded with wins.  Brian Bogusevic just hits, that’s all, he was 1-for-2 with two walks, a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Josh Vitters was 1-for-4 with his second home run in as many days, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Brad Nelson was 2-for-4 with two singles in the win.  Edwin Maysonet was 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, a double, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The MoundMatt Garza made his first appearance with Iowa in his rehab tour of the minor leagues tonight.  Garza was solid tonight, working 3.1 innings giving up four runs while striking out three, and emerging healthy.  Cory Wade worked two-thirds of an inning giving up a hit while striking out two.  Chris Rusin was tremendous out of the pen to get the win, he worked five scoreless innings giving up three hits while striking out two.

Daytona 5-6 line

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At The Plate –  Daytona seems to be in a funk at the plate as of late, they were only able to score twice on six hits tonight.  John Andreoli hasn’t missed a beat however as he was 2-for-4 with a double, and his tenth stolen base of the seaoson.  Jorge Soler had a big night going 2-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.

On The MoundZach Cates was knocked around quite a bit this one as he worked four innings giving up six runs on eleven hits while walking one and striking out two.  Frank Del Valle was great out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out three.  Austin Reed was just as good going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out one.

Kane County 5-6 line

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At The Plate – Kane County’s six game winning streak came to an end tonight, but not without some fight from the Cougars.  After falling behind 11-1 the Cougars scored seven times over the final five innings to make it a game but fell just short.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-3 with two walks, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a walk, a double, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-3 with a double, two walks, an RBI, and a run scored.  Bijan Rademacher has been out of his mind lately, he was 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored in the loss.

On The Mound – Some good and some bad for the Cougars in this one.  Lendy Castillo got the start and the loss as he went four innings giving up eight runs, six earned, on eight hits while walking one and striking out two.  Jeffry Antigua wasn’t much better as he worked an inning giving up three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out one.  Now the good, Eddie Orozco went two scoreless, hit-less innings while striking out two.  Brian Smith worked a scoreless inning as well giving up two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Bijan Rademacher not only had three hits in this one, he also pitched a scoreless inning, ah, minor league baseball with loads of double-headers.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – May 1, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-1 line

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At The Plate –   The Cubs couldn’t scratch out a run in this one as they could only manage four hits in a 1-0 loss.  Logan Watkins did nearly all the work today for Iowa as he was 3-for-3 with a walk, Ryan Sweeney was the only other Iowa player with a hit.  The Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position but that one hit did not result in a run.

On The MoundChris Rusin was outstanding in this one, but saw his record fall to 1-3 with the loss.  Rusin went seven innings giving up one run on six hits while striking out five.  Hisanori Takahashi, and Zach Putnam each tossed a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to keep things close.

Smokies 5-1 line

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At The Plate – Yeah, only five innings as this one was shortened by rain.  In those five innings the Smokies did nothing, well almost nothing, they did get singles, yep that’s it.  The Smokies didn’t even have a chance to hit with anyone in scoring position in this one.  Rubi Silva and Rafael Lopez were each 1-for-2 in the loss.

On The Mound – Much more important things taking place on the mound in this one as Matt Garza made his first rehab start.  That’s the other part of minor league baseball, sometimes it’s not for development, it’s for getting healthy, and Garza took his first step towards that today.  Garza went 2.2 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking two, but more importantly made it out of today seemingly healthy, so that’s good news.  Kevin Rhoderick tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while walking two and striking out one.  Matt Loosen couldn’t keep things close “late” as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up two runs on two hits while walking one.

Daytona 5-1 line

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At The Plate – Really solid game all around from the D-Cubs in this one as they found just enough offense to knock off the Cardinals.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a double, and a stolen base, nice to see Soler starting to get a few hits here and there after slumping, his average is back up to .275 on the season.  Ben Carhart is on fire of late, that continued tonight as he went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .312 on the season.  Anthony Giansanti was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.

On The MoundBen Wells was outstanding today, and really has been good all year.  Wells went seven innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out three.  Eduardo Figueroa took it from there as he worked two scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three to earn his first save of the season.

Kane County 5-1 line

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At The Plate – Looked like the Cougars were going to cruise to a victory, but as we have learned so far this season, nothing is easy for the Cougars and they needed ten innings to get the win.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.  Daniel Vogelbach played the hero tonight as he was 1-for-5 with two RBI’s, that one was a huge one, a walk-off single in the tenth inning.

On The MoundPierce Johnson has been disgusting (in a good way) as of late, and tonight was no different.  Johnson went 6.2 innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out four.  Eddie Orozco did a solid job out of the pen tossing a scoreless inning while giving up one hit while walking two and striking out two. Jeffry Antigua had a rough go of it as he blew the save, but also got the win, he went 2.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out four.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Sveum Sees Feldman in Rotation Already

I’m not going to say that Scott Feldman making the Cubs rotation is surprise, I just expected to be writing about it at the end of a very competitive camp, not before it even starts.  Patrick Mooney reported today that Dale Sveum has penciled Scott Feldman into the rotation behind “the big three” of Garza, Samardzija, and Edwin Jackson.  Yes, barring a step back from Samardzija, a blown apart Garza elbow, and an Edwin Jackson disaster, the Cubs can actually be considered as a team that has a big three at the top of the rotation.  At this point, if you look at the top three for the other teams in the Central Division, I like the Cubs.  They have three power arms at the top, and now, edwinjacksoncubsslideaccording to Sveum they have Scott Feldman following them.  “Feldman’s going to be one of the starters,” Sveum said Thursday. “There’s an above-average chance Baker’s going to probably start a little bit late, just because you don’t want to really rush him. There’s no need for anything like that.”  The words from Sveum today caught me a little off guard because the one word that I think describes this Cubs camp the best is competition, not saying there still won’t be plenty of it, I just expected more of it before naming Feldman to the rotation.  As Mooney says in his article, both Feldman and Baker were promised a chance to redeem themselves this year as starters, so one would think that gives them the inside track.  Not so fast, if we have learned anything from this Cubs organization since Theo took over is that they are calculated, everything they do has a reason or four behind it.  Sveum continued with the comment of “there are no guarantees” in the rotation behind Garza, Samardzija, and Jackson, so what Sveum is saying in my opinion is that Feldman, and Baker for that matter, will be slotted in the rotation but if they give the coaching staff any reason to doubt that they belong there they will be bumped for someone who deserves it.  So my final thought on this is expect there to be plenty of competition all Spring long, and don’t be surprised if Feldman doesn’t start the season as a starter, for my money, I think he will, but don’t count out Carlos Villanueva, or Travis Wood quite yet.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Non-Tender Ian Stewart, Among Others

Some Cubs roster moves today, figured this was coming based on the comments from Jed Hoyer earlier in the day.

via Bleacher Nation

“According to Paul Sullivan, Carrie Muskat, and Bruce Miles on Twitter, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said a couple interesting things this afternoon:

(1) He expects the Cubs’ 40-man roster to be under 40 by tonight (it currently stands at 40); and

(2) The Cubs are “very likely” (per Sullivan) to have a couple of non-tenders (Muskat used the words “may have a couple non-tendered”).”

This led to some speculation that there would be an unexpected non-tender as the five arbitration eligible players were Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, Luis Valbuena, and Ian Stewart.  ian-stewart-10Not the case, and I think there was some confusion in the reporting process of Hoyer’s comments, so moving onto the news of the day.

The Cubs non-tendered Ian Stewart, Zach Putnam, and Jaye Chapman today, essentially making them free agents immediately.  All three players drop off the 40 man roster, leaving the 40 man roster at 37 currently.  I said essentially free agents because teams sometimes do this to save money on arbitration eligible players.  If the Cubs think that they can still sign all three players but at a lesser cost, it makes sense to non-tender them and then sign them on the open market.  With that said, all three players are now in the FA pool and any team can sign them.

The did tender Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, and Luis Valbuena.  All four of those players remain under Cubs control for 2013, and will go through the arbitration process early next year unless contract extensions can be worked out.

Thanks for reading,
– George

August 6 – 8, 2012; @ Padres – Series Preview

No rest for the weary as the Cubs stumble into San Diego for a three game series starting tonight on the heels of being swept by the Dodgers.  The Cubs have lost five straight games as they are now fully immersed in the rebuilding process.  Despite the losses the Cubs are becoming a lot more fun to watch as the lineup moving forward will feature Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, Welington Castillo, and Starlin Castro, all of these guys figure to be around when the Cubs are ready to contend on a yearly basis.  That’s a little ways down the road right now, the task at hand will be trying to solve the Padres who red-hot at Petco Park, winning seven of their last nine games in their spacious home field.  The Padres are winning most games with pitching, as expected in that pitchers paradise, but they do have some hot bats as well.  Yonder Alonso is hitting near .400 in his last seven games, if the Cubs want to be in this series they are going to have to contain Alonso and find a way to generate runs.  The latter might be a little easier as the Cubs reworked lineup yielded some solid results on Sunday in LA, hopefully they can build on that and not only win a series but put an end to their five game losing streak before it gets really out of hand, again.  


August 6, 2012 – August 8, 2012;  Petco Park, San Diego, CA


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Here are the pitching matchups for the three game series, at the time of this preview the Cubs have yet to name a Tuesday Night starter as Matt Garza will not make the start as he has been placed on the DL.

Monday August 6, 2012
Chicago: Travis Wood (4-7, 4.90 ERA)
San Diego: Eric Stults (1-2, 3.19 ERA)

I really like this matchup for Travis Wood, a big ballpark should suit him well.  The key for Travis Wood will be to throw strikes, no brainer right?  The reason I mention it is that he can use the ballpark to his advantage by letting the Padres elevate without the concern of the ball leaving the yard.  If Wood can stay ahead of hitters he should be able to make his pitches to get outs.  Eric Stults profiles as a guy the Cubs struggle with, however the Cubs have destroyed Stults in his career.  Stults is 0-3 vs the Cubs in three career starts with a 7.24 ERA, that bodes well.

Tuesday August 7, 2012
Chicago: Some Guy (?-?, ?.?? ERA)
San Diego: Ross Ohlendorf (3-2, 6.27 ERA)

I really don’t like the chances of Some Guy vs the Padres on Tuesday night.  All kidding aside usually when a team is forced to use a starter that might not be ready for the Majors it doesn’t work out well.  That could be the case on Tuesday as the Cubs still have not announced a starter, mainly because the candidates for that start all pitched this past weekend in Iowa.  The bright side here is that the Cubs face Ohlendorf who has been awful this year, so I’m saying there’s a chance. 

Wednesday August 8, 2012
Chicago: Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37 ERA)
San Diego: Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01 ERA)

Game three sets up to be the best of the bunch as Samardzija battles Richard.  Samardzija faced San Diego earlier this year and went seven strong innings in picking up a win at Wrigley Field.  I expect much of the same from Shark on Wednesday as he looks to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season last time out.  The Cubs haven’t seen much of Richard as they have only faced him one time in the last three years, and Richard got the best of the Cubs that day.  I expect this one to be the lowest scoring game of the series.  

Season Series:  Cubs lead 3-0

Prediction:  Cubs win series, 2-1

Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
– George

Deadline Day Around the League

The Cubs aren’t the only one who are going to be dealing today.  Here are some of the latest happenings around the league.  There will be plenty of updates as the day continues.

  • It looks like Shane Victorino will be traded to the Dodgers.  It sounds like Josh Lindblom would be going to the Phillies.  Nothing official yet, but this means the Dodgers will not be going after Alfonso Soriano.
  • UPDATE:  It is officail The Philies have traded OF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and SP Ethan Martin.
  • The D-Backs appear to be in the market for a big time starting pitcher.  No names yet, but maybe they would be interested in Matt Garza?
  • Although the Phillies have traded away Shane Victorino there are still reports they are talking to the Giants about Hunter Pence.
  • UPDATE:  Hunter Pence on his way to San Francisco for C/1B prospect Tommy Joseph.  Nate Schierholtz is going to the Phillies as well, as does Seth Rosin.
  • Padres are asking for a lot for Chase Headley, but a deal could still get done.
  • Rangers looking to bolster bullpen.  Possibly put Ogando back in the rotation and acquire another bullpen arm, possibly Broxton from KC.
  • The Cardinals have acquired Edward Mujica for Zachary Cox.
  • Marlins are close to sending Gaby Sanchez to Pirates for Gorkys Hernandez.
  • UPDATE:  According to Ken Rosenthal Gaby Sanchez to the Pirates is a done deal.  This also includes a competitive balance pick going to the Marlins.
  • Red Sox to acquire Craig Breslow for Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik.
  • The Reds have traded for Jonathan Broxton.  The Royals got AAA lefty Donnie Joseph and AA JC Sulbaran
  • Casey McGehee traded to the Yankees for Chad Qualls.

This is what is out there right now, some deals may still be coming in, but I think that is it for now.


Some More on the Trade Front

  • The Cubs will reportedly not comment on any trades tonight and will wait until tomorrow morning.  Obviously as we find more out we let you know.
  • After the injury to Matt Garza it appeared it was going to be a long shot to move him, but it seems there are a few teams who are still interested.  The Cubs let teams look at his medical reports and some teams might be satisfied.
  • The teams that have shown interest in Garza are the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Cincinnati Reds and according to some sources there is good chance he gets moved.
  • Nothing new on Dempster yet, but with Maholm going to the Braves, I am guessing he won’t end up there, but you never know.
  • Who will come up after the deals are completed, I am guessing Welington Castillo will be up in Soto’s place and there have been rumors that Brett Jakcson, who was taken out of the Iowa could be on his way or it could be someone like Dave Sappelt.

We will keep you updated throughout the night and tomorrow.

– Mark


Countdown to the Deadline: Talks Picking Up, Sort Of

Just two weeks ago it seemed that the Cubs would have made a few deals by July 30th, well here we sit, on July 30th and nothing has been done.  I attribute this to the whole Dempster saga, if he accepts the Braves deal then I think the Cubs would have made a few more moves by now.  But because he declined, at least for now, the Cubs sit in a holding pattern.  Here are some of the latest trade rumors involving the Cubs.


Andy Martino is reporting  that the Mets have had discussions with the Cubs about Geovany Soto.  Odds are a deal doesn’t get done here, but it is nice to see somebody asking about Soto. If the Cubs could move him for anything more than a Manny Alexander life-size cardboard cutout we should all be grateful.


Ken Rosenthal weighed in with some thoughts about the increase in demand for starting pitching, and how it relates to Garza.  Even with the news of Garza not starting again until after the deadline team keep calling on him.  What teams are looking for her obviously is a discounted rate for Garza, the Cubs aren’t budging.  For that reason Rosenthal and a number of sources believe that a Garza deal during the 2012 season before the deadline is “doubtful” but not out of the question.  Because the Cubs and Garza have not talked contract extension since the Spring it is believed that the Cubs will move him in the Winter.


Danny Knobler is reporting that the Dodgers and Cubs are at an impasse on Dempster.  If I had to guess I thing each team is waiting for the other to cave and accept a deal to just make a deal.  Because of the this the Braves have been keeping an eye on the situation and might be ready to start-up talks again with the Cubs for Dempster.  Per Knobler, people in the game expect Atlanta to get involved with Dempster again.

Yesterday afternoon Peter Gammons was on MLB Network and was very candid about what the Dodgers need to do, and the #1 thing he said the Dodgers needed to do was trade for Dempster.  He said that they should do whatever it takes to land Dempster because he could be the difference for them.  Let’s hope he’s right.


An interesting rumor popped up over the weekend, Ken Rosenthal suggests that Alfonso Soriano’s name has come up in the Dempster to the Dodgers talks.  The Cubs were rumored to add Soriano to a potential deal to the Dodgers to get a better prospect in return, but nothing has come out of those talks, yet.  Rosenthal adds that if the Cubs can’t find a deal before the deadline they would look to deal Soriano in the off-season where they might get a better return.

Things are going to get pretty crazy here as the deadline is only 31 hours away, keep checking back for the latest updates, and maybe a couple trades to announce as well.

Thanks for reading,
– George