Results tagged ‘ Marlon Byrd ’

Cubs get reliever Bowden from Red Sox for Byrd

The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named from the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Marlon Byrd and cash considerations.

Bowden, 25, began the 2012 season on Boston’s Opening Day roster, posting no record and a 3.00 ERA (1 ER/3.0 IP) in two relief appearances before being designated for assignment on April 15. He has a 3.91 ERA (10 ER/23.0 IP) in 16 major league appearances since the start of the 2011 season. Bowden is a 2005 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Ill.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander split the last three seasons between Boston and Triple-A Pawtucket, where he spent the majority of the 2011 season as Pawtucket’s closer. Bowden went 3-3 with 16 saves and a 2.73 ERA (16 ER/52.2 IP) in 41 relief outings in Triple-A last year, striking out 61 and walking only 18 in 52.2 innings. He converted 16-of-17 save chances and limited opponents to a .218 batting average (43-for-197).

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the supplemental round (47th overall) of the 2005 Draft, Bowden has pitched parts of the last five seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, going 2-2 with a 5.61 ERA (37 ER/59.1 IP) in 39 appearances, all but two in relief.

Byrd, 34, is batting .075 (3-for-43) with two RBI in 13 games with the Cubs this season, his third since signing a three-year contract with the club prior to the 2010 campaign. Byrd was named a National League All-Star in his first season with the Cubs, batting .293 (170-for-580) in 152 games in 2010. He hit .276 (123-for-446) in 119 games with the Cubs last year.

Wrigley Cubscast: Marlon Byrd’s Muay Thai Workout

Baseball players must rely on mental strength just as much as physical prowess to make it through the 162-game grind. For that reason, Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd incorporated Muay Thai, a form of martial arts developed in Thailand, into his offseason workout program.

“If I can go five rounds in here training and sparring, then when I’m going out for baseball, nothing’s going to slow me down,” he said.

Vine Line sat down with Byrd to discuss his Muay Thai training, goals for the upcoming season and his relationship with the up-and-coming outfield prospects in the Cubs organization.

Cactus Notes: Opening Day lineup revealed

Last Friday, Manager Dale Sveum set his lineup against the Dodgers the same way he plans on setting it Thursday against the Washington Nationals on Opening Day at Wrigley Field.

1. David DeJesus – RF
2. Darwin Barney – 2B
3. Starlin Castro – SS
4. Bryan LaHair – 1B
5. Alfonso Soriano – LF
6. Ian Stewart – 3B
7. Marlon Byrd – CF
8. Geovany Soto – C
9. Ryan Dempster – P

Throughout the spring, there was speculation about the top of the order, mainly over where Castro would bat. Sveum even toyed with Soriano in the leadoff spot, but after a powerful preseason (.316, six homers, five doubles), Soriano landed in the middle of the order. Barney was rewarded for his .392 Cactus League average with the second slot, and, despite a slow first half of spring, LaHair turned it around enough to secure the cleanup spot.

Mesa Cubscast: Goals for 2012

MESA, Ariz.–The Cubs transitioned to game action today at HoHoKam Park after a tough few weeks of workouts. As the team continues to stress the fundamentals in preparation for Cactus League action, the players look ahead to their goals for the 2012 regular season.

Cactus Notes: Game day

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 Cubscast: Outlook for 2012

MESA, Ariz.–Despite finishing 71-91 last year, the pervasive feeling in Cubs camp this spring is optimism. The Cubs feel they improved their organization from top to bottom this offseason, and the energy at Fitch Park is palpable. Vine Line sat down with several of the Cubs this week to talk about how the team feels coming into Spring Training.

Cactus Notes: Sveum edges Wood in bunting competition

MESA, Ariz.–It was like a heavyweight fight: two evenly matched competitors slugging away at each other. But when the final round of Monday’s bunting competition was over, only new manager Dale Sveum was left standing.

In a back-and-forth battle between Sveum and right-hander Kerry Wood, Sveum advanced through the first round only after Wood’s final bunt edged into the 20-point box, instead of the 40-point box Wood needed for the victory.

“I got lucky by the way the grass was growing to the east,” Sveum said. “The ball kind of fell off the white line. I thought I was done, and I was going to shake his hand, and the ball just trickled off the white line at the end.”

This spring, Sveum created a NCAA tourney-style bracket, pitting 62 Cubs players and two coaches against each other in a bunting competition. Chalk lines have been drawn on one of the infields at Fitch Park, and different point totals are awarded depending on where the ball lands. Each competitor gets 24 pitches over three rounds and is required to bunt 12 to the first base side and 12 to the third base side.

This was the final first-round draw, with the exception of the matchup between Paul Maholm and Rodrigo Lopez. Their contest has been postponed while Maholm recovers from the flu. Carlos Marmol, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, David Dejesus and Jeff Baker also advanced on Monday.

“It’s a fun thing, but also a lot of people really want to get better and care about it,” Sveum said. “Sacrifice bunting is something that’s very important to the game, and it’s kind of been lost a little over the years.

“You get a feeling of guys who are bearing down and competing, and some guys who aren’t competing as well. You get to know somebody a little bit through this tournament.”

Hot off the presses: November 2011 Vine Line sneak peek

It’s an issue you won’t want to miss. Theo Epstein graces the cover of our November issue, and we begin our offseason coverage with an in-depth look at a new era in Cubs baseball operations. Along with our cover feature—which includes exclusive quotes from our one-on-one interview with Epstein—we also take a look at the example Theo set in Boston and how his tack to modernize the Cubs organization echoes the circumstances in which Dallas Green did so 30 years ago.

We also continue our look from top to bottom of the Cubs organization with a pair of features. Marlon Byrd lends Vine Line readers an introspective look at his 2011 season and place in the game today in a series of blog posts by the Cubs center fielder. For those of you who have enjoyed Doug Glanville’s “The Game From Where I Stand” and other columns, Byrd offers an insight and competitiveness that sets an example worth following.

It’s one you hope is set for the next generation of Cubs, almost 50 of whom were getting one-on-one training in the Arizona instructional league last month. Cubs.com’s Carrie Muskat and Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks give an in-depth look at the work being done with some of the organization’s youngest players.

All that and more in the November 2011 issue of Vine Line hitting mailboxes this week. Be a part of an exciting new chapter at Wrigley Field by subscribing to or giving the gift of Vine Line today.


More inside this issue:

  • Picnic in the park: Fans fill Wrigley Field for a Ferris Bueller Movie Night.
  • Inside Pitch: Addressing the rotation.
  • Glory Days: 9 innings with Todd Hollandsworth.
  • The Profile: DJ LeMahieu.
  • Stretching Out with Martin Sheen.
  • Farm Report: Daytona Cubs win the Florida State League championship.
  • Minors Tracker: 2011 season statistics, plus Future Watch by Kevin Goldstein

Thank you, Cubs fans!

As the home schedule winds to a close today, Marlon Byrd and the entire Chicago Cubs family thanks our fans for their support all season long. (2010 Photo by Stephen Green)

Music Issue extra: Cubs Countdown

Perhaps the next Wrigleyville Block Party, Aug. 19-21, could play this Cubs Countdown of top hits. (Photo by David Banks)

In honor of Vine Line‘s first-ever Music Issue this month, we thought it would be fun to see what the Billboard Top 100’s number 1 song was at the time of some of your favorite Cubs players’ births:

  • When Darwin Barney was born on Nov. 8, 1985, the country was jamming to “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder.
  • “Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell was the number 1 song when Ryan Dempster, whose birthday is May 3, 1977, made his first appearance in the world.
  • “Best of My Love” by The Emotions was the Billboard Top 100’s number 1 song on Aug. 30, 1977, when Marlon Byrd was born.
  • When Jeff Samardzija was born on Jan. 23, 1985, “Like a Virgin” by Madonna was the most popular song cruising through the airwaves.

Here are some more of the No. 1 songs on Cubs players’ birthdays:

  • Blake DeWitt, Aug. 20, 1985- “Shout” by Tears for Fears
  • Reed Johnson, Dec. 8, 1976- “Tonight’s the Night” by Rod Stewart
  • Casey Coleman, July 3, 1987- “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston
  • Mike Quade, March 12, 1957- “You Don’t Owe Me a Thing” by Johnnie Ray
  • Sean Marshall, Aug. 30, 1982- “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
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