Results tagged ‘ Hisanori Takahashi ’

Cubs activate Barney, add Gregg, Loe, Ransom

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Kevin Gregg returns to the Cubs bullpen, where he was the club’s closer in 2009. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Cubs made a flurry of roster moves Tuesday afternoon. The North Siders brought Darwin Barney off the 15-day DL, and officially added relievers Kevin Gregg, Kameron Loe and infielder Cody Ransom to the major league fold.

Gold Glove second baseman Barney returns after lacerating his knee on the final weekend of Spring Training. During his three-game rehab stint at Triple-A Iowa, the 27-year-old went 5-for-10 with a double and four runs scored. Playing in 155 games at second base last season, Barney committed just two errors, including a stretch of 141 consecutive games without an error.

The 34-year-old Gregg has spent much of the last 10 years in the majors, including a stint as the Cubs’ closer in 2009. The right-hander has a career 4.13 ERA and 144 saves, including five straight seasons of 22 or more saves from 2007-11. Gregg was in Dodgers camp for Spring Training before being released on April 3. He has previously spent time with the Angels (2003-06), Marlins (2007-08), Blue Jays (2010) and Orioles (2011-12).

The Cubs claimed the 31-year-old Loe off waivers from Seattle on Sunday. The nine-year major league veteran moved into a full-time relief role in 2008. The right-hander has a career 4.44 ERA and owns a 33-41 overall record. He’s previously played with Texas (2004-2008), Milwaukee (2010-2012) and Seattle (2013).

The Cubs also claimed infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from the Padres. The 37-year-old has spent 11 seasons in the majors with the Giants (2001-04), Astros (2007), Yankees (2008-09), Phillies (2010), Diamondbacks (2011-12), Brewers (2012) and Padres (2013). His finest season came last year, when he hit .220 with 14 doubles and 11 home runs in 90 games. He is a career .215 hitter with 21 homers and 85 RBI.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Cubs designated infielder Brent Lillibridge and reliever Hisanori Takahashi for assignment and optioned reliever Rafael Dolis to Triple-A Iowa.

Lillibridge hit .042 with one hit in 24 at-bats this season, while Takakashi had a 6.00 ERA (2 ER, 3 IP). Dolis held the Giants scoreless in his lone relief appearance this weekend.

Battle for final Opening Day spot heats up

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Last week’s roster cuts gave Cubs fans a better view of who will be on the Opening Day roster—a total of 11 players were sent to various minor league squads on Friday, and reliever Rafael Dolis was shipped to Triple-A Iowa later in the weekend—but there is still at least one spot up for grabs.

Zach Putnam, Hisanori Takahashi and Cory Wade all will be vying for the final spot in the bullpen, following the news that Michael Bowden and Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon were likely  in.

The 25-year-old Putnam signed with the Cubs this past Christmas after spending 2012 with Colorado. The right-hander has pitched nine innings this spring, posting a 3.00 ERA, a 1.56 WHIP and notching five strikeouts. In Triple-A last year, he racked up 12 saves in 49 games and posted a 4.15 ERA in 60.2 innings of work.

Takahashi is a 37-year-old veteran who spent most of his career playing in Japan before coming to the U.S. in 2010. The left-hander split time with the Angels and Pirates last year, posting a 5.54 ERA in 50.1 major league innings. With James Russell the only lefty locked into the bullpen, the Japanese native might have the inside track.

Wade comes over as an offseason signing as well, having spent the previous two seasons with the Yankees. The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 6.46 ERA in 39 innings in 2012. That came after a 2011 campaign in which he had a 2.04 ERA in 39.2 innings. This spring, he has a 5.63 ERA in eight innings pitched.

Cubs.com’s Carrie Muskat reported that Steve Clevenger is likely going to beat out utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez for the final bench spot on the roster. Clevenger played 69 games for the Cubs in 2012, mostly at catcher. This spring, the organization has tried out the 26-year-old at first base. He’s hitting .395 in 41 plate appearances.

Clevenger will be batting third and playing first Monday as the Cubs host defending World Series champs San Francisco. Lefty Travis Wood will get the start for Chicago, opposite Ryan Vogelsong. The 3:05 CST game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet, or fans can listen in on Cubs.com. Here’s the lineup the Cubs will send out Monday:

CF David DeJesus
SS Brent Lillbridge
1B Steve Clevenger
LF Alfonso Soriano
RF Nate Schierholtz
C Dioner Navarro
3B Luis Valbuena
2B Alberto Gonzalez
P Travis Wood

Takahashi takes the mound vs. Rangers

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

This offseason, the Cubs dipped into the free agent market to get some help for a bullpen that struggled in 2012. Japanese import Kyuji Fujikawa got much of the press, especially considering his previous success in the NPB. But the Cubs also acquired a few other relievers, including lefty Hisanori Takahashi.

The 37-year-old Japanese native started last season with the Angels before the Pirates claimed him on waivers in late August. The Cubs signed Takahashi to a minor league deal on Dec. 27, after he was released by the Pirates.

Last season, he recorded a 5.54 ERA in 50.1 innings, striking out 52 batters, with a WHIP of 1.25. In 68 innings in 2011 with Los Angeles, he recorded a 3.44 ERA. Before the Mets originally signed him to a major league contract in 2010, Takahashi spent 10 seasons in Japan, playing for the Yomiuri Giants.

In four innings this spring, the finesse pitcher has given up three hits and one earned run. He’ll be the starter Wednesday as the Cubs take on the Rangers on the road. Though he might start the season at Triple-A, Takahashi could prove a serviceable, veteran arm in the ‘pen as the season progresses.

Steve Clevenger will get the start at first base, while Anthony Rizzo is off playing for Team Italy in the WBC.

Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 2:05 CST, and it will be webcast at cubs.com. Texas will send lefty Robbie Ross to the mound. Here’s the lineup he’ll be facing:

CF David DeJesus
2B Darwin Barney
RF Scott Hairston
LF Darnell McDonald
DH Dave Sappelt
C Dioner Navarro
SS Javier Baez
3B Junior Lake
1B Steve Clevenger

Cubs invite 22 non-roster players to Mesa

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Reliever Jaye Chapman was one of 22 players invited to Spring Training Friday.

(Photo by Stephen Green)

The clubhouse in Mesa, Ariz., will be a little more crowded later this month as the Cubs have invited 22 non-roster players to major league Spring Training camp. For some of the younger ballplayers, the invite serves as a chance to get acclimated to major league hitting or pitching. For the veterans, it could be another shot to break camp with a big league team.

The Cubs non-roster invitees include a mix of top prospects (Javier Baez, Nick Struck), familiar faces (Jaye Chapman, Casey Coleman, Blake Parker) and former major leaguers (Brent Lillibridge, Brian Bogusevic, Darnell McDonald).

Pitchers and catchers report to Mesa Feb. 12, and the first full squad workout is Feb. 17. Below is the complete list of non-roster invitees:

Right-handed pitchers: Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, Casey Coleman, Dayan Diaz, Jensen Lewis, Barret Loux, Blake Parker, Zach Putnam, Nick Struck, Cory Wade

Left-handed pitchers: Hisanori Takahashi

Catchers: J.C. Boscan, Michael Brenly, Rafael Lopez

Infielders: Javier Baez, Alberto Gonzalez, Brent Lillibridge, Edwin Maysonet, Brad Nelson

Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Johermyn Chavez, Darnell McDonald

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