Results tagged ‘ Dale Sveum ’
Mesa, Ariz. — Cubs manager Dale Sveum named veteran right-hander Ryan Dempster the club’s Opening Day starter over the weekend.
The 34-year-old will start his second consecutive opener for the Cubs and fourth Opening Day start overall (Florida 2001-02) when he takes the Wrigley Field mound April 5 against Washington.
His 2011 totals of 10 wins and a 4.80 ERA are his lowest since the Cubs moved Dempster into the rotation in 2007, but Sveum ultimately picked the veteran for his consistency. The two-time All-Star fanned 191 batters last season, good for 11th in the NL. He also started a league-best 34 games and pitched 202 innings, good for top 20 in National League.
Dempster will face off against 23-year-old Nationals’ phenom Stephen Strasburg.
Mesa, Ariz. – The Chicago Cubs sent seven players to minor league camp Friday, including a pair of elite prospects in Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson.
Rizzo, as well as infielder Adrian Cardenas were optioned to Triple-A Iowa, while Brett Jackson, Jim Adduci, Michael Brenly, Jay Jackson and Bobby Scales were assigned to minor league camp.
Rizzo, a 22-year-old first base prospect, came over in an offseason trade with the San Diego Padres for pitcher Andrew Cashner. Rizzo hit .364 with a .962 OPS in 33 at-bats this spring.
The Cubs used a 2009 first-round draft pick on the five-tool outfielder Brett Jackson. The non-roster invitee hit .276 with seven RBI and an OPS of .986 through 29 at-bats in the Cactus League.
While Manager Dale Sveum has praised both of their abilities throughout the spring, it was well-documented that neither would make the Opening Day roster.
MESA, Ariz.–Cubs color commentator Bob Brenly spent nine seasons as a major league catcher and more than three seasons as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks before joining the Cubs broadcast team. To wrap up our week in Mesa, Vine Line talked with Brenly about what he’s seen so far in camp, what he thinks of new manager Dale Sveum and how Spring Training can set the tone for the regular season.
MESA, Ariz.–Prior to the second intrasquad game of the season, manager Dale Sveum sat down with the media to discuss the bunting competition, some of the top prospects in camp and the new Wild Card situation.
On the Bunting Contest (where Sveum defeated Ryan Dempster yesterday)
“[Steve] Clevenger is the No. 1 guy right now. Whether he can handle the pressure or not, I don’t know. He seems to have no heart rate.”
“[Dempster] was one of the favorites and definitely spent more time practicing than anyone else. I don’t think he was real happy with yesterday’s result.”
On Bryan LaHair
“I’m impressed. I knew he had power obviously because of his numbers, but he also has tremendous leverage through the strike zone. He’s the kind of guy who can run into eight to 10 home runs a year just because of the leverage he has. What I mean by that is he can hit home runs when he’s not perfect, when he’s off balance.”
“The bottom line is the kid deserved a chance. I mean, the numbers he’s put up. Besides Rizzo, we didn’t have that incumbent coming in or anybody making $15 million in front of him or anything like that. And then what he did in winter ball was as impressive as anything. To hit 15 home runs in winter ball—nobody does that. He deserves a chance, and he’s going to get that chance.”
On Adding the Extra Wild Card Team
“It’s not something a lot of people will care for–the historians of the game–but things change over the years. The more teams you can get into the playoffs, the better it is. You can fight longer, an organization can fight longer. It puts you and a couple other teams in the running to make a trade at the deadline. I like it. I know it’s a little strange the way it’s going to be done, but for the most part, I think it’s good for baseball and good for our organization to have one extra team vying in September to make the playoffs.”
“What we saw last year going down to the last week of September probably won’t ever happen again. That many teams vying for a playoff spot. That many Wild Card and divisions coming down to the last game of the season. That’s what we all dream about as players and managers. You always want to win Wild Cards or the division by 10 games, but we know that’s not always the case. There’s so much parity going on right now in baseball. That extra team, it’s great to have. Baseball fans all over, it could come down to that last day of the season to where the whole country is watching three, four extra games because it comes down to that last Wild Card spot.”
MESA, Ariz.–Cubs manager Dale Sveum has settled on a lineup for the first Cactus League game of the season against the Oakland A’s on Sunday, and Cubs fans might be surprised to see Alfonso Soriano back in the leadoff spot.
“He asked me a couple days ago what I thought about batting leadoff and I said, ‘I’m open,’” Soriano said. “My last time batting leadoff here was two, three years ago. I said to the manager, I’m open to any decision he makes.”
Tomorrow’s lineup will feature all of the projected Opening Day starters, minus catcher Geovany Soto, who is still nursing a groin injury. Welington Castillo, one of the many talented catchers battling for the backup job, will start in his place.The rest of the lineup will look like this:
P R. Lopez
MESA, Ariz.–Manager Dale Sveum addressed the media today in the dugout at HoHoKam Park, as his team prepares for its first intrasquad matchup. Though Sveum created minor stir by penciling Alfonso Soriano into the leadoff spot, he again stressed that people should not read too much into his lineups this spring because he is still experimenting. Today’s game will last five innings, with each starter going two-three frames or about 50-60 pitches.
“It’s going to be a different lineup every day. You’ll see a different leadoff hitter pretty much every day. We’ll probably have a set lineup by somewhere in the middle of March.”
“We don’t have the bona fide guys at any position in the order. We don’t have any guys who have driven in runs in the big leagues. Castro is probably the best hitter we have to hit third. Do we have that base stealer, leadoff and on-base guy? DeJesus probably fills that as much as anyone. But we don’t have a lot of cut-and-dry spots. It’s not that easy with this lineup right now.”
“These guys are giving as good an effort as I’ve ever seen in Spring Training. There’s no doubt about that. It’s been phenomenal the effort they’ve given in all the fundamentals and their defensive work.”
“I’m hugely confident in my bunting. But I am probably facing the best bunter in camp today (Ryan Dempster), so it will be a tough match.”
“You want to see [starters Travis Wood and Randy Wells] throw the ball well. You want to see them keep it down in the strike zone. They’re both guys who have to keep the ball down in the strike zone. Woody especially on his arm side, he needs to keep the ball down. He’s pretty good when he throws the ball inside. That’s probably his forte. But he needs to be able to open the plate up, so you’re looking at that. Wells just needs to have command of all of his pitches and keep the ball down. And have command of and have his change-up. He has a really, really good change-up that he gets away from sometimes and stops using to right-handers. So it’s a pitch for him that he has to have command of to be successful.”
MESA, Ariz.–The Cubs are gearing up for their first live game action of the season this afternoon at HoHoKam Park. After morning workouts, the club will play an intrasquad game–blue team versus white–essentially pitting the major league squad against the minor leaguers. The game starts at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.
Here are today’s intrasquad lineups:
1. Soriano – LF
2. Stewart – 3B
3. Castro – SS
4. LaHair – 1B
5. Byrd – CF
6. DeJesus – RF
7. Lalli – C
8. Barney – 2B
9. DeWitt – DH
T. Wood – P
1. Jackson – CF
2. Sczcur – RF
3. Baker – 2B
4. Rizzo – 1B
5. Johnson – L
6. Vitters – 3B
7. Lake – SS
8. Brenly – C
9. Campana – DH
Wells – P
MESA, Ariz.–Today was the last day at the Cubs’ practice facility, Fitch Park, which means live games are just around the corner. After workouts this afternoon, the players cleaned out their lockers, packed up their gear and dragged everything over to HoHoKam Park.
Although the first official Cactus League game isn’t until Sunday’s opener with the A’s, the Cubs will play the first of two intrasquad games tomorrow at HoHoKam Park starting at 1 p.m. local time. Randy Wells and new acquisition Travis Wood will start the game, which is free and open to the public.
“It’s time to see guys in action and getting real at-bats,” manager Dale Sveum said in his daily press conference. “It’s finally gotten to that point where it’s time to just play baseball … to see them out there against people in other uniforms.”
Sveum stressed that fans shouldn’t read too much into the starting lineups this weekend, as he’s still experimenting with things.
“I’ll probably have different lineups every day, just looking at things,” he said. “Like I told these guys, don’t look into any of the lineups I’m going to be throwing out in the first week or so. I’m just getting the feel of everything.”
MESA, Ariz.–Cubs manager Dale Sveum celebrates his win over pitcher Kerry Wood in the first round of the Spring Training bunting tournament. The competition has served as a good icebreaker for the team and helped solidify a necessary fundamental. But it’s also stoking the players’ (and the manager’s) competitive fire. (Photo by Stephen Green)
MESA, Ariz.–The Cubs announced today that they will gear up for the Cactus League season by playing two intrasquad games on Friday and Saturday at HoHoKam Park. Manager Dale Sveum said he would manage one of the sides, while Triple-A manager Dave Bialas likely manages the other.