(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs and left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada came to terms on a deal for the 2015 season on Monday.
The 33-year-old Wada made 13 starts for the Cubs in his first major league action of his pro career. The southpaw went 4-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 69.1 innings. He signed a minor league deal with the Cubs last offseason and spent a majority of the season with Triple-A Iowa, where he went 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA (113.2 IP) in 19 appearances (18 starts) en route to earning Pacific Coast League All-Star honors. He received a call-up in late July and was part of the rotation for the remainder of the season.
Following a nine-year career with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in the Japan Pacific League, Wada signed a two-year major league deal with Baltimore in December of 2011. He suffered an elbow injury during Spring Training of 2012 that led to Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in May. He returned to action in June of 2013, and made 19 starts for Triple-A Norfolk that season, going 5-6 with a 4.03 ERA (46 ER/102.2 IP).
Wada went 107-61 with a 3.13 ERA (503 ER/1,444.2 IP) in 210 games, all but three as a starter, for Fukuoka from 2003-11, striking out 1,329 batters while walking just 395. He recorded 36 complete games, including eight shutouts, and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2010, a season in which he was 17-8 with a 3.14 ERA (59 ER/169.1 IP) in 26 starts.
The Cubs today announced the firing of manager Rick Renteria. The 52-year-old led the club during the 2014 season after being named skipper on Nov. 7, 2013. He was the 53rd manager in franchise history.
Cubs President Theo Epstein released the following statement:
Today we made the difficult decision to replace Rick Renteria as manager of the Chicago Cubs. On behalf of Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer, I thank Rick for his dedication and commitment, and for making the Cubs a better organization.
Rick’s sterling reputation should only be enhanced by his season as Cubs manager. We challenged Rick to create an environment in which our young players could develop and thrive at the big league level, and he succeeded. Working with the youngest team in the league and an imperfect roster, Rick had the club playing hard and improving throughout the season. His passion, character, optimism and work ethic showed up every single day.
Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.
Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon—who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us—had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.
While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.
We offered Rick a choice of other positions with the Cubs, but he is of course free to leave the organization and pursue opportunities elsewhere. Armed with the experience of a successful season and all the qualities that made him our choice a year ago, Rick will no doubt make an excellent major league manager when given his next chance.
Rick often said he was the beneficiary of the hard work of others who came before him. Now, in the young players he helped, we reap the benefits of his hard work as we move forward. He deserved better and we wish him nothing but the best.
We have clung to two important ideals during our three years in Chicago. The first is to always be loyal to our mission of building the Cubs into a championship organization that can sustain success. The second is to be transparent with our fans. As painful as the last week was at times, we believe we stayed true to these two ideals in handling a sensitive situation. To our fans: we hope you understand, and we appreciate your continued support of the Cubs.
Jacob Hannemann had another nice day at the plate, but a pair of Cubs struggled on the bump in a 7-5 loss to Scottsdale Thursday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- LF Jacob Hannemann had a pair of doubles, finishing 2-for-4. He drove in two with two outs in the fourth inning, scoring Tony Renda (Nationals) and Spencer Kieboom (Nationals). His second double came in the ninth, scoring Renda again. He also recorded an outfield assist.
- RHP Armando Rivero got roughed up in 0.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks and picking up the loss.
- RHP Zach Cates gave up four runs on four hits and a walk in one inning of relief.
Mesa takes on Glendale on the road Friday, with first pitch scheduled at 12:35.
Right-hander Ivan Pineyro got the start Tuesday, but his outing was brief in a 2-1 Solar Sox loss to Peoria. Here are some notes from Tuesday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- RHP Ivan Pineyro fanned one of the game’s top prospects in Francisco Lindor, but had to be replaced just three batters into the game due to injury.
- LHP Gerardo Concepcion pitched two innings of relief, giving up three hits and one unearned run while striking out one and walking none for Mesa.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the third inning and finished the afternoon 0-for-2 with a seventh-inning walk.
Mesa heads to Scottsdale Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 12:35.
A strong pitching effort from one of the Cubs’ top arms and solid efforts at the dish by two farmhands earned Mesa a 3-3, 11-inning tie Monday against Salt River. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- RHP C.J. Edwards pitched three hitless innings, giving up no walks and striking out one. He lowered his ERA to 1.80 after four starts this fall.
- RF Jacob Hannemann had three hits, including a pair of triples and a single. He recorded the game-tying run in the ninth after his second three-bagger of the day. Hannemann finished 3-for-6.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach recorded a pair of singles and finished 2-for-5.
Mesa will host Peoria on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time. Cubs right-hander Ivan Pineyro will take the mound for the Solar Sox.
Only one Cubs prospect got into Mesa’s 14-0 thumping of Surprise on Saturday. Here are some notes from this weekend’s Arizona Fall League action:
- RF Bijan Rademacher doubled in the first inning, scoring Matt Olson, and then tripled in the fifth, scoring Olson again. He finished 2-for-6 and added a run scored.
Mesa hosts Salt River Monday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time. Recently named AFL All-Star C.J. Edwards will make the start.
Mesa picked up a 7-3 win over Scottsdale with limited production from Cubs prospects Thursday. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- SS Addison Russell finished 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the seventh, his second of the fall. It was announced after the game that this will be Russell’s final showing in the Arizona Fall League. Russell missed the early portion of 2014, so the front office brought the shortstop to Arizona to get a full season’s work.
- DH Dan Vogelbach went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
The Solar Sox head to Peoria Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35. Cubs right-hander Armando Rivero is projected to start for Mesa.
The offense again carried Mesa to victory, this time a 9-3 win over Scottsdale Wednesday afternoon. Every Cubs prospect who got into the game contributed to the result. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- RHP Ivan Pineyro earned the win despite a shaky second inning. He pitched 2.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out three. All his earned runs came on a three-run homer in the second.
- RF Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-4 on the day with a walk and two runs scored. He singled in the third and fifth innings. He also committed a fielding error in the game.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. He recorded singles in the second and eighth innings.
- SS Addison Russell went 1-for-6 with a two-RBI single in the second inning, scoring Rademacher and Chad Hinshaw (Angels). In the field, he committed his third error of the season.
Mesa will host Scottsdale Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.
It was a big day for Cubs bats as Mesa took down Surprise 11-6 Tuesday afternoon. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- RHP C.J. Edwards got the start, giving up one earned run on one hit and three walks over two innings.
- DH Addison Russell hit his first homer of the AFL season and finished 2-for-5 with three RBI. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Russell drove in fellow farmhand Jacob Hannemann. Jon Berti (Blue Jays) scored on an error during the play. In the top of the fifth, Russell hit a two-run shot, scoring Matt Olson.
- LF Jacob Hannemann finished with three hits, two RBI and a run scored Tuesday. He led off the game with a single and scored on the Russell single. He recorded his second single in the fourth inning and drove in a run with an eighth-inning single.
- LHP Gerardo Concepcion picked up his first win of the fall, going 2.1 innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.
Mesa heads to Scottsdale Wednesday where Cubs prospect Ivan Pineyro is scheduled to start. First pitch is slated for 12:35 local time.
Mesa’s late rally was thwarted by Surprise, as the Solar Sox fell 6-5 Monday, but three Cubs prospects got into the game. Here are some notes from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League action:
- 1B Dan Vogelbach finished 1-for-3, with a double to lead off the third inning. He also recorded a sacrifice fly in the first to give Mesa an early lead and drew a ninth-inning walk.
- LF Jacob Hannemann went 1-for-4 with a bunt single in the second inning. He recorded an RBI groundout in the eighth as well.
- SS Addison Russell was 0-for-5 and committed his second error of the AFL season defensively. But he also helped turn two double plays.
Mesa heads to Surprise Tuesday, where Cubs farmhand C.J. Edwards is scheduled to start. The start time is 12:35 local time.