Results tagged ‘ Dave Sappelt ’

Cubs bring up OF Sweeney, RHP Dolis

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The Cubs selected outfielder Ryan Sweeney from Triple-A Iowa Monday. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty)

They might only be minor league numbers, but Cubs fans should still be impressed with what outfielder Ryan Sweeney accomplished in the Pacific Coast League this season.

The 28-year-old outfielder spent the first month of 2013 ripping the cover off the ball to the tune of .337/.396/.627 (AVG/OBP/SLG). In 83 at-bats, the lefty had six home runs, 16 RBI and an OPS of 1.022, good for eighth in the league. Now he’ll get a chance to see if he can keep that up at the major league level, as the Cubs selected him today from Triple-A Iowa.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native is a career .280 hitter (481-for-1,719) with 102 doubles, 12 triples, 14 home runs and 185 RBI in 535 games covering all or part of seven big league seasons with the White Sox (2006-07), Athletics (2008-11) and Red Sox (2012). He has a .338 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage, good for a .715 OPS. Sweeney has spent time at all three outfield positions, and his .994 fielding percentage ranks third-best among all major league outfielders since the start of the 2006 season.

Sweeney’s best season came in 2009, when he hit .293/.348/.407 in 134 games for Oakland. He was originally drafted by the White Sox in the second round of the 2003 draft.

The Cubs also recalled right-handed reliever Rafael Dolis to help the struggling bullpen. This will be Dolis’ second call-up to the major league level this season. He also threw 1/3 of an inning on April 14. The 25-year-old was on the major league roster for most of 2012, recording a 6.39 ERA over 38 innings and fanning 24. He had a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings in Iowa this season.

To make room for the pair, reliever Kameron Loe was designated for assignment, while outfielder Dave Sappelt was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Now Playing: 2013 Cubs Home Opener

There’s nothing like a fresh start to the season at the Friendly Confines. Though the Cubs ninth-inning comeback attempt fell short and the team ultimately dropped their home opener 7-4 to the division rival Brewers, it was still a beautiful day for baseball at Wrigley Field. After a rainy morning, the clouds miraculously parted, and the game-time temperature was in the mid-60s. Cubs Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins were all on hand, along with Chicago dignitaries like Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney. Vine Line shared the Opening Day festivities with Jenkins, Anthony Rizzo and several of the newest Cubs players.

Sappelt finding his groove

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Last weekend was all about shortstop Javier Baez—and rightfully so. Hitting four homers in two games, including a walk-off blast, typically merits a little hype. But Dave Sappelt is putting together a string of solid outings as well.

The outfielder started his hot stretch last Friday in the exhibition against Team Japan. Sappelt recorded a double, a pair of singles, an RBI and scored twice in the win.

In his first at-bat on Sunday against Oakland, the 26-year-old ripped a solo shot in the second inning. Then in the fourth, he hit a two-out, two-run single. He backed that performance up the next day with a three-run bomb off Padres’ pitcher Clayton Richard.

The reserve outfielder could break camp as the squad’s fifth outfielder. Despite hitting just .200 this spring, he has received high praise from the coaching staff. He’ll be in the lineup for the first of two Cubs games Thursday as they take on the Dodgers at 3:05 CST. Scott Feldman will throw for the Cubs, and Stephen Fife will take the mound for Los Angeles. That game can be followed at Cubs.com.

Jeff Samardzija will be throwing in the nightcap, as the second half of the team takes on the Mariners on the road. Fans can watch this game on MLB.TV.

Here’s the lineup the Dodgers will be facing Thursday afternoon:

2B Darwin Barney
SS Starlin Castro
1B Anthony Rizzo
LF Scott Hairston
CF Dave Sappelt
C Welington Castillo
3B Brent Lillibridge
RF Brian Bogusevic
P Scott Feldman

Here’s the Cubs lineup versus the Mariners in the night game:

CF David DeJesus
3B Luis Valbuena
RF Nate Schierholtz
LF Alfonso Soriano
C Dioner Navarro
SS Javier Baez
1B Brad Nelson
2B Alberto Gonzalez
P Jeff Samardzija

Dave Sappelt gets the start in center

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Outfielder Dave Sappelt won’t have a starting position when the Cubs kick off their season in Pittsburgh next month. He might not even be involved in the probable right-field platoon. But the 26-year-old could be a mainstay in the outfield for years to come.

When the Cubs dealt reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati in December 2011, the organization acquired young, left-handed starter Travis Wood as the focal point of the deal. However, they also acquired Sappelt, a rangy defensive player with some pop in his bat. The best display of his offensive abilities likely came in 2010, when the 5-foot-9 right-hander hit .361/.416/.548 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with nine homers and 62 RBI, earning him the Double-A Southern League MVP. Over five minor league seasons, Sappelt owns a .299 career average.

In 2012, the Cubs gave him a September call-up, and he fared well in the latter months of the season, hitting .275/.351/.449 with a pair of homers in 78 plate appearances. Manager Dale Sveum recently praised the diminutive outfielder’s ability at the plate.

“I’m not too concerned about Sappelt,” Sveum said. “The guy has put himself in that category where he can kind of just hit.”

Sappelt will be starting in center field Tuesday, as the Cubs face the Rockies on the road. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 CST, and the game will be webcast at cubs.com. Colorado will be sending lefty Jeff Francis to the hill. Here is the Cubs full batting order:

CF Dave Sappelt
2B Darwin Barney
C Welington Castillo
RF Scott Hairston
3B Junior Lake
1B Brian Bogusevic
SS Edwin Maysonet
LF Matt Szczur
P Scott Feldman

Cubs sign 21 pre-arbitration players

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs agreed to terms with all 21 pre-arbitration eligible players currently on the organization’s 40-man roster Monday. Terms were not disclosed.

Right-handed pitchers Michael Bowden, Alberto Cabrera, Rafael Dolis, Trey McNutt, Hector Rondon, Arodys Vizcaino and Robert Whitenack; and lefties Brooks Raley, Chris Rusin and Travis Wood were all signed to new deals.

Catchers Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger; infielders Darwin Barney, Junior Lake, Anthony Rizzo, Christian Villanueva, Josh Vitters and Logan Watkins; and outfielders Brett Jackson, Dave Sappelt and Matt Szczur also earned updated contracts.

Cubs vs. Cubs round two, Maysonet hits walkoff blast for team White

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Though the Cactus League season doesn’t officially get started until tomorrow, it was Cub on Cub again Friday afternoon at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. Former Brewer and Astro Edwin Maysonet propelled the White team to a 6-3 win with a “walk off” three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth off reliever Jensen Lewis. Of course, being Spring Training, the Blue team still had to get the last out, so the game wasn’t officially over until the next batter, Brent Lillibridge, grounded out to short.

There were some standout offensive performances in the brief, five-inning game. Manager Dale Sveum praised the hitters, who seemed to be a little ahead of the pitchers today. Between both sides, there were eight free passes issued in the game.

“Any time you’re getting quality at-bats [you're happy],” Sveum said. “And quality at-bats are sometimes are just that—just not swinging at pitcher’s pitches, the borderline strike, getting yourself out quick, getting yourself out in fastball counts, those things. That’s what we’re trying to eliminate is quick outs because of bad pitch selection.”

Blue team center fielder Brett Jackson’s retooled swing was on full display Friday, as he finished the day 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Jackson struggled in his first call-up to the big leagues last season, hitting just .175 with four home runs, nine RBI and 59 strikeouts in 120 at-bats. He spent most of the offseason at the Cubs practice facility in Mesa reworking his swing to produce more contact.

“It’s a big confidence boost,” Jackson said. “I worked really hard this offseason. To make a muscle memory-type adjustment is a pain in the [butt], so to see results is good. I’m going to keep pounding on that to keep reinforcing so that it [becomes] second nature.”

Designated hitter Dave Sappelt, who is in a good position to win an extra outfield spot on the 2013 squad, also went 3-for-3 with a little help from the Arizona sun. He singled in the first, doubled in the third and hit a deep, soaring pop fly in the fifth that White team center fielder Matt Szczur lost in the bright sky.

“I’m not too concerned about Sappelt,” Sveum said. “The guy has put himself in that category where he can kind of just hit.”

Utility infielder Luis Valbuena also drilled a two-run home run off reliever Micheal Bowdon to tie the game 3-3 in the fourth.

The press corps was a little larger at the park today because Japanese import Kyuji Fujikawa was making his Cubs debut. Though he didn’t look particularly sharp, he did work one scoreless inning of relief. After the game, Fujikawa commented that several Cubs pitchers told him about how the dry Arizona air affects the way a ball moves.

“He’s a veteran guy who’s thrown a lot of innings in key situations in Japan,” Sveum said. “But you do want to see him in key situations against really good National League and American League hitters. Just to see how it all matches up.”

The Cubs will play their first official game at 1 p.m. local time tomorrow afternoon against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Now Playing: Kicking Back with the Cubs, Part 2

Being a major league baseball player can be a strange life. The stakes are always high, millions of people are watching your every move and everyone wants to be your friend. You’d be surprised the things these athletes hear on a day-to-day basis.

Thanks to the World Baseball Classic, Spring Training is a few weeks longer than usual this season. As the spring slate drags on, everyone needs to blow off some steam. Vine Line had some fun with the team to dig up a few facts you won’t find on the back of a baseball card. We’ll post one more installment of our Kicking Back video series early next week.

Here are the other videos from out Spring Training series:

Mesa Cubscast: Kicking Back with the Cubs, Part 2

Mesa Cubscast: The Cubs Core

Mesa Cubscast: Kicking Back with the Cubs, Part 1

Mesa Cubscast: The New Guys

Mesa Cubscast: The Coaching Staff

 

Now Playing: Mesa Cubscast, Kicking Back with the Cubs

Think you know everything there is to know about the 2013 Cubs? Think again.

Did you know Edwin Jackson could have been a real estate agent, Anthony Rizzo feels a kinship with Justin Timberlake, and Dave Sappelt has a little crush on a cartoon character?

Thanks to the World Baseball Classic, Spring Training is a few weeks longer than usual this season. As the spring slate drags on, everyone needs to blow off some steam. After a rain-shortened workout Wednesday, even manager Dale Sveum said, “It’s not bad to have a little breather,” from time to time.

Vine Line had some fun with the team to dig up a few facts you won’t find on the back of a baseball card. Check back later this week for more in our Kicking Back video series.

Spring Training Preview: In the Outfield

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Baseball is finally back. Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training last week, while position players reported this weekend. And Cubs fans everywhere got a little more excited with the realization that the baseball season is almost here.

To get us back into gear, the February issue of Vine Line previewed the squad heading into Mesa, Ariz. We broke the team down into five categories—starting pitching, relief pitching, catchers, infielders and outfielders—to give fans a clearer picture of what to expect when the Cubs break camp and head to Chicago.

Below is a look at the outfield. The February issue is on newsstands now, with single issues available by calling 800-618-8377. Or visit the Vine Line page on Cubs.com to subscribe to the magazine.


While Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus appear to be locks in the outfield, the Cubs may be inclined to move either of them if the right deal comes along this year.

In 2012, Soriano provided value to the Cubs in a multitude of areas. He was surprisingly durable (his 151 games played were the most in his Cubs career) and drove in a career-high 108 runs (though consistently hitting in the clean-up spot for the first time certainly helped). He also slugged 32 home runs and received a few MVP votes, accomplishments he hadn’t achieved since his first season with the club. Soriano markedly improved on defense and emerged as a leader on a team that was sorely lacking in that department after trading veterans at the deadline.

DeJesus provides strong defense in right field and delivers solid on-base skills. The signing of Nate Schierholtz means DeJesus might spend quite a bit of time in center field, where his defensive skills are average at best. But that should increase the value of his bat due to the lower expectations for power that come with moving from a corner outfield spot.

The left-handed Schierholtz provides a strong bat against right-handed pitching and solid defense, including a great arm in right field. It’s likely he will be part of a platoon with new acquisition Scott Hairston. Dave Sappelt is also a rangy outfielder who could rack up some innings in any of the three spots. Elite prospect Brett Jackson, who made his big league debut last season, will start 2013 in Triple-A and continue to refine his swing and work on his contact rate.

The trajectory of the Cubs’ 2013 outfield could be similar to that of the 2012 starting pitching staff, a unit that looked vastly different at the end of the season than it did at the beginning.

1000 Words: On the road with Tony and Dave

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs outfielders Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt kill some time and get cozy on the road with the Cubs Caravan.

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