Results tagged ‘ Johermyn Chavez ’

Jackson to make Cubs debut, Villanueva at third

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Christian Villanueva will get the start at third base Tuesday.
(Photo by Scott Jontes/Daytona Cubs)

The Cubs made a plethora of moves this offseason to improve a struggling rotation. The biggest of those moves—Edwin Jackson—is scheduled to put his arm on display Tuesday as the North Siders host Colorado in Mesa, Ariz.

Even though Spring Training games are just kicking off, Jackson’s path the Cubs has been well documented. Despite entering the majors on his 20th birthday, making an All-Star team, throwing a no-hitter and winning a World Series, he was traded six times from 2006-11. Last season in Washington, he went 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA and completed his sixth straight year starting 30 games.

Defensively, Cubs regulars Anthony Rizzo (first base), Starlin Castro (shortstop) and David DeJesus (center field) will all be in action. Projected backup Dioner Navarro will catch and Brett Jackson will be playing left field, spelling Alfonso Soriano, who will DH. The bottom third of the order is comprised of a trio of interesting hopefuls.

Brent Lillibridge, whose versatility has already been applauded this spring, will start at second. Though he struggled offensively for three teams (White Sox, Red Sox, Indians) last year, he saw time at every position but catcher in 2012.

Christian Villanueva was the key piece in the Ryan Dempster deal during the trade deadline. In High-A ball last season, the third baseman hit .279/.353/.427 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 14 homers and 68 driven in. But the 2012 Top 100 prospect according to Baseball America is better known for his slick glove. Villanueva gets the nod at third base Tuesday.

Johermyn Chavez put up monster stats in High-A in 2010 for Seattle. Hitting .315 with 32 homers and 30 doubles, things looked promising. But his stats haven’t resembled that season since. Last year he hit .232 in 288 at-bats, with eight home runs in Double-A. But he is just 24 years old. The Cubs took a chance and signed him in November, with the hopes of regaining those numbers. He’ll be starting in right field.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 CST. Cubs fans can listen exclusively on Cubs.com. The Rockies will be sending out righty Jhoulys Chacin. Here is the full batting order:

CF David DeJesus
SS Starlin Castro
1B Anthony Rizzo
DH Alfonso Soriano
LF Brett Jackson
C Dioner Navarro
2B Brent Lillibridge
3B Christian Villanueva
RF Johermyn Chavez

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

Winter League Highlights: Chavez walking the walk

Seattle Mariners v Arizona Diamondbacks

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Johermyn Chavez is new to the Cubs organization, but he spent much of the 2012 season playing against the Double-A Tennessee squad in the Southern League. The Cubs front office must have seen something they liked, as they acquired Chavez on Nov. 21 in a minor league free agent deal.

Playing for the Jackson Generals (Mariners) this summer, the 23-year-old outfielder hit .232 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 246 at-bats. What likely impressed the Cubs was his .339 on-base percentage on 35 walks—that’s a base on balls in 12 percent of his plate appearances. He also slugged .386 and compiled a respectable .725 OPS (on-base plus slugging).

Though his playing time has been limited of late in winter league action, Chavez is hitting .212 with 10 walks in 95 plate appearances. He has driven in 13 runs and scored 12. On Sunday, Chavez went 1-for-5 with a single and a run scored as the Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan league earned a 10-5 win.

Other notes around the Caribbean:

Junior Lake had a single and a walk in a 1-for-3 day for the Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican on Sunday.

Loiger Padron pitched 2/3 of an inning, striking out one for the Leones del Caracas of the Dominican league.

Winter League Highlights: Searle’s success down under

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(Photo by Rodger Wood)

All the Winter League talk this offseason has been related to play in the Caribbean. The leagues in Venezuela, the Dominican, Mexico and Puerto Rico are the most notorious offseason destinations for Cubs players and rightfully deserve their mention. There are however a few leagues being played around the world, including one in Australia, where a Cubs reliever is thriving in a prominent role.

Australian-born Ryan Searle started playing for his hometown Brisbane Bandits squad in late November. Acting as the team’s closer, the right-handed pitcher has seen much success in his six appearances this season.

In his 12 innings pitched in Australia, Searle has a 1.50 ERA with a 1-0 record and three saves. Though he’s walked five batters, the 23-year-old has struck out 10.

Searle bounced around the Cubs’ system in 2012. His early struggles in Double-A Tennessee led to an early demotion to High-A Daytona, where some of his totals improved. The reliever’s walks numbers improved from 4.1 batters per nine to 3.0, which improved his WHIP in the process. Searle also struck out one more batter per nine innings than he had in Tennessee. For his efforts he spent a few games in Triple-A to wrap up Iowa’s season.

In 2012, Searle finished with a combined 8-5 record with a 3.87 ERA in 42 games.

News in the Caribbean:

Johermyn Chavez had a base hit and a pair of walks for the Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan League.

Winter League Highlights: Bour pours it on

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(Photo by Rodger Wood)

As Vine Line noted on Wednesday, Justin Bour didn’t arrive in Puerto Rico until Dec. 6, so his totals thus far are limited. But he made a big impact Wednesday afternoon for his Gigantes de Carolina team.

Batting third and playing left field, the 6-foot-4 slugger went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks. His RBI came in the first on a single to center, and he was left stranded after ripping a double in the third. He grounded out in the fifth, and his next two at-bats resulted in walks.

Bour had a successful year in Double-A Tennessee this season. The natural first baseman finished with a .283/.360/.455 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line and had a franchise record 110 RBI. He hit 36 doubles and 17 home runs, good for third and seventh best, respectively, in the Southern League.

The Cubs’ 25th round pick in 2009 was also a Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star this year.

Other notes around the Caribbean:

Jay Jackson got the start for the Venados de Mazatlan of the Mexican league. He went 4.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits.

Dave Sappelt led off and had a pair of hits for the Bravos of Venezuela. He drove in a run, scored a run and recorded a walk.

Johermyn Chavez recorded a pinch-hit, two-RBI triple in his lone at-bat for the Caribes of Venezuela.

Winter League Highlights: Caridad on cruise control

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(Photo by Dave Durochik)

It’s difficult to get excited about a one-inning reliever, especially one who doesn’t close out games. So it would be easy to overlook Cubs pitcher Esmailin Caridad, who seems to be throwing in almost every game in the Mexican league.

But the 29-year-old reliever has been making contests an inning shorter for opponents, posting a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings over 26 appearances for the Yaquis de Obregon. The Dominican native has fanned 35 batters this winter and boasts a 1.20 WHIP. He spent 2012 in Triple-A Iowa with a 3.03 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 65.1 innings, mostly in relief.

Thursday was more of the same for Caridad, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Yaquis, allowing no runs, no walks and striking out two in an 8-7 loss. The right-hander appeared in 22 games for the Cubs in 2009 and 2010, and should be in consideration for a spot in the Cubs bullpen in 2013.

Other highlights around the Caribbean:

Luis Valbuena was 0-for-4 with an RBI on a bases-loaded walk for his Cardenales team in Venezuela.

Recently acquired Johermyn Chavez went 1-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and a walk in a win for his Venezuelan Caribes team. The Cubs signed the 23-year-old to a minor league deal on Nov. 21.

Dave Sappelt went 1-for-4 with a single in a Margarita win in Venezuela.

The Dominican league was off on Thursday.

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