Category: Dailies

Cubs Sign Ramon Ortiz and Doug Davis

The Cubs have signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. The right-hander will report to the team’s Triple-A affiliate and make his first start Monday night.

Ortiz, 38, threw 30 innings for the Dodgers last year (6.30 ERA), his first big league action since 2007. He was designated for assignment in late-May, then moved on to the minor league systems of the Mets and Rays. Ortiz owns a 4.93 ERA in a big league career that has spanned parts of ten seasons, though it’s been almost seven years since he was last a viable MLB starter.

The Cubs are a little thin on pitching at the moment with Andrew Cashner and Randy Wellson the disabled list.”

12:55pm: Davis will earn a $900K pro-rated salary in the Majors, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, with the chance to earn close to $2MM with incentives.

12:21pm: The Cubs have signed Davis, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  The lefty will head to extended Spring Training.  Wittenmyer suggests the signing was done to provide “longer-term depth.”

10:39am: The Cubs are close to signing free agent lefty Doug Davis to a minor league deal, MLBTR has learned.  The contract will include some kind of opt-out.  The team is in need of rotation depth given the recent injuries to Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.  They added Ramon Ortiz on a minor league deal a few days ago.

Davis, 35, made only eight starts with the Brewers last year due to a heart condition andeventual surgery to fix a small tear in the flexor tendon of his elbow.  At his best, Davis can eat up innings and work around the many baserunners he allows.”

These moves are meant to fill Iowa’s rotation and provide organizational depth as the Chicago and Iowa rotations have been hit with injuries and call-ups respectively.

James Russell will pitch today at Houston.  The Cubs are 5-5, the Bulls have clinched the 1st seed and the Blackhawks start their playoffs against Vancouver tomorrow.

Cubs Lose With Milwaukee Comeback

Casey Coleman made his first start of the 2011 season for the Cubs Sunday afternoon at Miller Park in the rubber match between the Cubs and Brewers. Despite having a 7.20 ERA over 5 innings, his overall performance wasn’t all that bad. Coleman allowed 9 hits, two of which were home runs to Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, which gave the Brewers an early lead. 

However, the Cubs were able to rebound just a little bit later in the game. Aramis Ramirez scored Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd on a double in the 1st. Second baseman Darwin Barney singled to right in the second scoring Tyler Colvin. Ramirez scored Byrd again in the 3rd and lastly, in the 8th, the Cubs pulled ahead when Colvin grounded out on a short ground ball to first, and Byrd was able to come in. 

With the lead, manager Mike Quade went to his bullpen, which has been fantastic thus far, and went with Sean Marshall in the 7th, who did a fantastic job. The problem came in the 8th when Kerry Wood came into the game. Wood has a 3.60 ERA so far this season and has been pretty reliable in the bullpen. However, he walked the leadoff hitter, Yuniesky Betancort, and former Cub Casey McGehee came in to pinch hit for the pitcher, Kameron loe. McGehee homered to right field, giving the Brew Crew the lead, and eventually winning the game. 

Kerry Wood suffers the loss, his first this season. Coleman got a no decision for this game, but if he is going to continue making big league starts, I would really like to see him work on his pitch location. He is similar, I believe, to Jeff Samardzija, who has good stuff, but needs to practice it a little more and work with Mark Riggins to get it down a little more. Coleman can be a great pitcher, with a little more work. 

As for the triple-C stars of the game, I would say Kouske Fukudome, Marlon Byrd and Sean Marshall. Fukudome made a great shoe strong catch in right field, taking away a base hit. However, he injured himself by pulling his hamstring and is listed as day-to-day. Marlon Byrd has been fantastic, picking up right where he left off in 2010. Byrd shows hustle on the base paths and can hit the ball as well as play center field and he really showed that today. Lastly, I say Sean Marshall because of how fantastic he was today when Quade put him in during the 7th. He had a great game, as he has all hear. 

Bottom line, the Cubs lose to the Brewers in the series finale, by a score of 6-5. Hopefully the Cubs have better luck tomorrow night in Huston. Game time is 7:05 pm and it will be broadcasted on Comcast Sports Net Plus and WGN radio 720. 

Cubs Win to Get Back Over .500

Can’t give a great recap today, as I was watching the big Blackhawks game and missed a good portion of the game, but I’ll highlight the main points.

Baker collected four hits, including a towering 3-run home run and knocked in four runs.
Geovany Soto hit a game-tying two-run home run.
Marmol struggled but got out of it and collected the save.
Castro went 1 for 5.
The Cubs won 7-4.
I’ll be back to better recaps right away, don’t worry.

Cubs Lose in More Ways Than One

Well, Cashner has to go on the Disabled List.  Worse than that, Wells has to as well, meaning that only 3 of our 5 starters are healthy.  Casey Coleman will fill one of the slots in the rotation until they return, and James Russell will more than likely take the other.

To make things worse, the Cubs lost today.  But Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano each went deep as the Cubs lost 6-4, and Dempster earned his second loss of the season.
Pittsburgh won, so the Cubs have fallen to third place.

Cast, Colv, and Cash Send the Cubs over .500 for the first time since ’09

Andrew Cashner made his first MLB start Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, after spending last season in the Cubs bullpen.  Kosuke Fukudome walked in the second and Darwin Barney and Koyie Hill scored on the pickoff attempt that at bat.  The Cubs were not done, as Starlin Castro proceeded to knock in Koyie Hill with a double, but Fukudome was out at home trying to extend the lead to 3-0.  Arizona cut the lead to 2-1 with a Ryan Roberts home run in the 3rd.  But Tyler Colvin answered right back with a two run home run to make it a 4-1 Cubs lead.  Cashner was taken out with a two-hitter going after recording one out in the 5th with tightness in his shoulder.  The Diamondbacks loaded the bases and scored three runs in the 7th to tie the game, but Marlon Byrd doubled to score Baker.  Later in the same inning, Tyler Colvin walked to score Castro and give the Cubs a 6-5 lead.  Mike Quade made a questionable move by letting James Russell bat with the bases loaded, but it paid off as Russell pitched a scoreless eight and the Cubs went into the 9th leading 6-4.  The Diamondbacks would score one off Marshall but a great putout by Stalin Castro and a strikeout by Sean Marshall sealed the victory for the Cubs.

Triple-C Stars of the Game:
#3) Starlin Castro
#2) Tyler Colvin
#1) Andrew Cashner
Standings:
Cincinnati 3-0
Pittsburgh 3-1
Chicago 3-2
St. Louis 1-3
Houston 0-3
Milwaukee 0-4

Cast, Colv, and Cash Send the Cubs over .500 for the first time since ’09

Andrew Cashner made his first MLB start Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, after spending last season in the Cubs bullpen.  Kosuke Fukudome walked in the second and Darwin Barney and Koyie Hill scored on the pickoff attempt that at bat.  The Cubs were not done, as Starlin Castro proceeded to knock in Koyie Hill with a double, but Fukudome was out at home trying to extend the lead to 3-0.  Arizona cut the lead to 2-1 with a Ryan Roberts home run in the 3rd.  But Tyler Colvin answered right back with a two run home run to make it a 4-1 Cubs lead.  Cashner was taken out with a two-hitter going after recording one out in the 5th with tightness in his shoulder.  The Diamondbacks loaded the bases and scored three runs in the 7th to tie the game, but Marlon Byrd doubled to score Baker.  Later in the same inning, Tyler Colvin walked to score Castro and give the Cubs a 6-5 lead.  Mike Quade made a questionable move by letting James Russell bat with the bases loaded, but it paid off as Russell pitched a scoreless eight and the Cubs went into the 9th leading 6-4.  The Diamondbacks would score one off Marshall but a great putout by Stalin Castro and a strikeout by Sean Marshall sealed the victory for the Cubs.

Triple-C Stars of the Game:
#3) Starlin Castro
#2) Tyler Colvin
#1) Andrew Cashner
Standings:
Cincinnati 3-0
Pittsburgh 3-1
Chicago 3-2
St. Louis 1-3
Houston 0-3
Milwaukee 0-4

Cubs Outplay Arizona on the Diamond

The Diamondbacks led off Randy Wells with a home run off the bat of Willie Bloomquist to take an early 1-0 lead Monday, but that was all they would touch Cubs pitching for.  Alfonso Soriano tied the game with his second home run in as many days, and of the season, leading off the 3rd inning.  The Cubs loaded the bases in the 4th inning, and scored the go-ahead run on a Carlos Pena sacrifice fly.  Carlos Pena made a nice defensive play to make the first out of the 7th inning with a putout to Sean Marshall.  Kerry Wood got into a jam in the 8th after a Starlin Castro error, a single, and an intentional walk to load the bases, but managed to escape the inning unharmed, much like he did yesterday.  In the 8th, Geovany Soto doubled off the left field wall to score Aramis Ramirez.  Later in the inning, Soriano singled to score Soto and give the Cubs a 4-1 lead.  Carlos Marmol came in to pitch the 9th inning after a loss and a blown save Sunday, and earned his 2nd save of the season as the Cubs won 4-1.

The Cubs are now 2-2 and pull ahead of St. Louis to break the tie for third place, dependent on tonight’s Pittsburgh-St. Louis game.
As of the end of the game today, the NL Central standings are:
1) Cincinnati Reds     3-0  0GB
2) Pittsburgh Pirates  2-1  1GB
3) Chicago Cubs        2-2  1.5GB
4) St. Louis Cardinals 1-2  2GB
5) Houston Astros       0-3  3GB
6) Milwaukee Brewers  0-4 3.5GB
Triple-C Three Stars of the Game:
#3) Alfonso Soriano
#2) Randy Wells
#1) Geovany Soto
Next Game: vs. Arizona at 1:20 PM Tuesday on Comcast SportsNet