Results tagged ‘ Jeff Samardzija ’
Des Moines–An overcast day at Principal Park today. I was commenting to Andrea Breen, Iowa’s manager of media relations that the clouds covering Iowa will most likely meet me in Chicago when I return tomorrow.
It was business as usual for these farmhands, most of them strolling into the clubhouse around 10:00. Poker chips lay strewn across a table in case an impromptu game might just break out during a rain delay. Clubhouse manager Cleo Welch was busy cooking breakfast–big fluffy pancakes, some eggs.
Five guys were taking early cage work with hitting coach Desi Wilson. Utilityman Matt Matulia, catcher Chris Robinson, and infielders Darwin Barney and Bobby Scales were all taking their hacks.
Andrea told me that when she asked the players to fill out a questionnaire at the during the season, the player teammates voted as the “most intense” was Scales. In the cage, that was evident.
Always quick with a smile and a guy who loves to talk about college football–especially his alma mater the University of Michigan–you’d never think Scales was that intense given his usually cheery disposition when we last saw him in Chicago. But there he was, talking and muttering to himself, motivating himself, trying to talk himself into squaring up the ball better and not swing a bad pitches. He takes his job very seriously, and after getting his first taste of the big leagues this year, he desperately wants to return.
Outside, the pitchers started throwing long toss; Jeff Samardzija looked relaxed, as did lefty James Russell. Playing a different kind of long toss was Micah Hoffpauir and Matt Craig. They were throwing the pigskin around a little bit.
As a guy who was with the big-league club most of the season, Hoffpauir is in the awkward position of being a strong consideration for a call-up but he has put up mediocre numbers at Iowa.
“I don’t have any control over what happens in Chicago,” Hoffpauir said. “My numbers aren’t what they should be, but I’ve been working things out, trying to right the ship here.”
He has tried to prevent the impending Sept. 1 date from hovering in his mind, despite his eagerness to return to Chicago. Like Scales, when you get that taste, you want more. There’s something special when the skipper calls you in on that day.
“For younger guys, they probably aren’t even thinking about [Sept.1]; they’re just happy to be in Triple A,” Hoffpauir said. “But for some older guys, they might be a little more disappointed. But I remember when me and Koyie Hill went up at the same time. Pat [Listach] called us in. We both had been up once already, so he told us together. But Casey McGehee hadn’t been up yet. So when it was his turn, they called him in by himself to make it a little more special.”
It was Chris Robinson’s last game, too, chipping in a single for good measure. Afterward, he shook hands with every one of his teammates and coaches and set off to the Great White North and Team Canada. To a man, Iowa personnel and the team all said Robinson was one of their favorite players this year.
The I-Cubs took down the Redhawks again, 2-0, behind some fine pitching from Mitch Atkins, John Gaub and Blake Parker.
To subscribe to Vine Line visit http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/vineline.jsp
Slightly different lineup today. There was no full-field BP this morning because of the night-day follow-up, but several guys took some time in the batting cage, under the rightfield bleachers.
Left-hander Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.13 ERA in the NL) pitches for the Phillies.
Right-hander Justin Berg was recalled today, and last night’s starter, Jeff Samardzija, was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. With the injuries and extra-inning games lately, the Cubs can use as many fresh arms in the bullpen as possible.
Right-hander Pedro Martinez pitches for the Phillies, making his first appearance of 2009.
What beats that? Jeff Samardzija is making his first career start — and we hope the first of many.
I am Sam
I followed Sam Fuld into the ballpark this afternoon and was amused when he was stopped at the gate for his ID. Sam is about average height and, while strong, looks inconspicuous for a professional athlete, especially when wearing plain clothes.
He started to pull out his driver’s license when I backed him up to the guard. “They’ll recognize you soon enough,” I told him with a laugh. And I think Cubs fans already do.
– Sean Ahmed
The Cubs will try to make it a 5-1 homestand this afternoon against the Giants. Lou is resting a number of regulars for the game:
Right-hander Tim Lincecum (2-1, 3.16 ERA) will pitch for the Giants.
Bobby Scales makes his first career start today. I had the opportunity to talk to him earlier about his first call-up to the big leagues, after 10 years and 1,013 games in the minors. He said he’s taking everything one day at a time — knowing that he could be shuttling back and forth between Triple-A Iowa and Chicago. And he said he is up here with the mindset to do absolutely anything the team wants him to do.
As you can imagine, he said being in uniform and the Wrigley Field dugout last night was an unbelievable experience. Today, he gets the chance to help the major-league club win.
Right-hander Randy Wells also was in the clubhouse this morning, though he has not officially been called up yet and won’t be in uniform today. He exchanged hugs with Scales and Jeff Samardzija, who has spent parts of this season and last in Des Moines.
– Sean Ahmed
Today’s lineup, on a beautiful day:
Right-hander Aaron Harang (1-2, 2.70 ERA) will pitch for the Reds.
The Cubs called up Jeff Samardzija today to help bridge the middle relief to setup. Right-hander Luis Vizcaino was designated for assignment, meaning the club has 10 days to either trade, outright to the minors (which he can refuse) or release him.
Samardzija, 24, made three starts with Triple-A Iowa this season and had a 3.75 ERA (5 ER/12.0 IP). He held opposing batters to a .154 average and struck out 11 batters in 12 innings.
Wrigley Field turns 95
From our media relations department: Today marks the 95th anniversary of the first game played at Wrigley Field … then known as Weeghman Park, the Chicago Federals defeated Kansas City, 9-1, on April 23, 1914 … Claude Hendrix was the park’s first-ever winning pitcher.
Between its two years handling Federal League games (1914-1915) and its time as the home of the Cubs (1916-2009), Wrigley Field has hosted 7,474 regular season contests entering today’s action – the home team has gone 3,973-3,468 (.532) with 33 ties.