Results tagged ‘ Randy Wells ’

Minors tracker: Week one prospect report

We’re only a week into the minor league season, but some young stars already are starting to blossom. A few of the Cubs affiliates are playing better than others, but there’s no denying some individuals left Spring Training ready to go.

High-profile corner infielders Josh Vitters and Anthony Rizzo have powered Triple-A Iowa to a 5-3 start. Vitters (.458/.500/.500) has racked up 11 hits in 24 at-bats, driving in six runs. Rizzo, who the Cubs acquired from the Padres for Andrew Cashner, has been just as impressive (.387/.424/.677), smacking three home runs and driving in 10.

Welington Castillo, a backstop who narrowly missed a spot on the Cubs Opening Day roster, is hitting .357 with a 1.214 OPS in 14 at-bats.

Top prospect Brett Jackson has recorded a .276 average with four RBI.

Ace Randy Wells is 1-0 in two starts, posting a 5.25 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and seven strikeouts.

Double-A Tennessee, resting at .500 with a 4-4 record, has plenty of bright spots in both the lineup and on the bump. Shortstop Elliot Soto has a .476 OBP and is slugging .500. Michael Burgess (.333/.417/.524) has a home run and 11 total bases.

Nicholas Struck (1-1, 2.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 15 K, 12 IP), Dallas Beeler (1.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11 IP) and Trey McNutt (0.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8 K, 7.2 IP) have all been consistent members of the rotation early on.

Despite Daytona’s 1-6 record, a few individuals still have something to smile about. First-round pick Hayden Simpson has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in two starts, and outfielder John Andreoli has a .429 average with a .600 OBP, drawing six walks in 20 total at-bats.

Pitching has been the key for Class-A affiliate Peoria. The Chiefs, who sit at 3-4, have gotten two solid outings each from Michael Jensen (2-0, 2.45 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 11 IP) and Patrick Francescon (0-1, 3.48 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 12 K, 10.1 IP).

Cactus Notes: Cubs reduce roster to 31 players

Mesa, Ariz. — The Cubs are closer to finalizing their Opening Day roster after sending nine players to minor league camp Thursday, trimming their ranks from 40 players to 31.

Left-handed pitchers Scott Maine and Travis Wood, righty Randy Wells, outfielder Dave Sappelt and catcher Welington Castillo have all been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Infielders Edgar Gonzalez and Matt Tolbert, righty Blake Parker and catcher Blake Lalli—all non-roster invitees—were assigned to minor league camp.

Manager Dale Sveum announced his Opening Day rotation will consist of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm.

Wood and Wells were in the rotation mix heading into Spring Training, but were outpitched by Volstad and Samardzija. Wood struggled in Mesa, with a 17.28 ERA in 8.1 innings, surrendering 16 earned runs and three home runs. Wells, on the other hand, didn’t give up a run in his 7.1 spring innings, surrendering just four hits.

Castillo spent much of the spring battling Steve Clevenger for the backup catcher position. Though the 23-year-old Castillo hit .324 in 37 at-bats in the preseason, including a pair of home runs, the Cubs ultimately liked Clevenger’s lefty, line-drive bat and poise.

The roster, which needs to be cut down to 25 by next Thursday, currently sits at 16 pitchers, two catchers, seven infielders and six outfielders.

Cactus Notes: Prospects dominate first game

MESA, Ariz.–The first Cubs game of the season is in the books, and the youngest Cubs made a big early statement. The Blue team, led by top prospects Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo, took down the White team, which consisted of most of the projected Opening Day lineup, 10-4 in an intrasquad matchup at HoHoKam Park.

Top prospect Jackson got the Blue team off to a good start when he blasted a leadoff home run off starter Travis Wood.

“I just got a good pitch to hit,” said Jackson, who who went two-for-two with two walks. “It feels good to get underway and get that feel of playing innings instead of facing pitchers with the [cage] over you. It’s a good start all around. I think it was a productive day for everyone.”

Although many of the prospects impressed, Matt Szczur, a former football standout at Villanova University, was the real star of the game, hitting a grand slam, a two-run double and scoring from second on a sacrifice fly. Designated hitter Tony Campana also collected three hits and scored three runs in the game.

Wood, a left-hander who is in the mix for one of the final two rotation spots, struggled over three innings, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs. Randy Wells started for the Blue team and gave up three runs and four hits in three innings of work.

Cactus Notes: Highlights from Sveum’s morning press conference

MESA, Ariz.–Manager Dale Sveum addressed the media today in the dugout at HoHoKam Park, as his team prepares for its first intrasquad matchup. Though Sveum created minor stir by penciling Alfonso Soriano into the leadoff spot, he again stressed that people should not read too much into his lineups this spring because he is still experimenting. Today’s game will last five innings, with each starter going two-three frames or about 50-60 pitches.

Day-to-Day

“It’s going to be a different lineup every day. You’ll see a different leadoff hitter pretty much every day. We’ll probably have a set lineup by somewhere in the middle of March.”

“We don’t have the bona fide guys at any position in the order. We don’t have any guys who have driven in runs in the big leagues. Castro is probably the best hitter we have to hit third. Do we have that base stealer, leadoff and on-base guy? DeJesus probably fills that as much as anyone. But we don’t have a lot of cut-and-dry spots. It’s not that easy with this lineup right now.”

High Energy

“These guys are giving as good an effort as I’ve ever seen in Spring Training. There’s no doubt about that. It’s been phenomenal the effort they’ve given in all the fundamentals and their defensive work.”

Bunting Competition

“I’m hugely confident in my bunting. But I am probably facing the best bunter in camp today (Ryan Dempster), so it will be a tough match.”

Starting Spots

“You want to see [starters Travis Wood and Randy Wells] throw the ball well. You want to see them keep it down in the strike zone. They’re both guys who have to keep the ball down in the strike zone. Woody especially on his arm side, he needs to keep the ball down. He’s pretty good when he throws the ball inside. That’s probably his forte. But he needs to be able to open the plate up, so you’re looking at that. Wells just needs to have command of all of his pitches and keep the ball down. And have command of and have his change-up. He has a really, really good change-up that he gets away from sometimes and stops using to right-handers. So it’s a pitch for him that he has to have command of to be successful.”

A pitch for philanthropy

Illustration by Jerry Neumann, and story by Jordan Ramos. Featured in the upcoming September 2011 edition of Vine Line.

Several Cubs players have new boots in their closets, but these kicks are much more than they appear to be at first glance.

Randy Wells, Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Baker, Jeff Samardzija and Mike Quade are all part of the Boot Campaign, an initiative created by five Texas women that supports injured American soldiers. The inspiration came from the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, in which author Marcus Luttrell recounts Operation Redwing, an ill-fated mission to kill a high-ranking Taliban official in 2005.

Wells was introduced to Luttrell in the offseason.

“When I went down to the charity event and saw how much this book touched so many people, I got it and read it,” said Wells, who wore the boots in spring training. (more…)

The Buzz: What musical act would you like to see play Wrigley Field?

Former Beatle Paul McCartney tours Wrigley Field for two nights on July 31 and Aug. 1, and with the upcoming Music Issue of Vine Line hitting your mailbox soon, we asked four Cubs who they’d most like to see rock the Friendly Confines. Subscribe or give a gift today.

Reed Johnson, OF
“I’m a big Pearl Jam guy. I enjoy Eddie Vedder loving this organization. I think that means a lot as well. We were fortunate enough to see him solo a couple years ago at a small venue.”

Sean Marshall, LHP
“I’d like to see Kings of Leon. They’ve been playing some good music for a while—and the last couple years, songs like ‘Closer.'”

Randy Wells, RHP
“I’m more into smaller, not-so-mainstream groups. I’d like to see [country act] Randy Rogers Band. They’re blowing up now, though. I’d probably like to see the Eagles.”

Darwin Barney, IF
“Honestly, I’ve never been to a concert before. My wife and I are trying to figure out a good time to go, but we would like to see Coldplay or The Fray. I think they’d be awesome concerts.”

Fill up the Cup! Sponsored by BP

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgOn Monday morning, executives from both Chicago baseball teams unveiled the annual Crosstown Cup, sponsored by BP, at the Cloud Gate of Millennium Park. It was the perfect neutral site for such a partisan event.

From the North Side, on hand were Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, manager Lou Piniella, Cubs President Crane Kenney, Chief Marketing Officer Wally Hayward and Cubs players Marlon Byrd and Randy Wells.

From South Side, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brooks Boyer, White Sox players Gordon Beckham and AJ Pierzynski were on hand. WGN on-air personality Dave Kaplan emceed the event.

BP logo small.JPG“It gives [the city of Chicago] two weekends where everyone is just focused on baseball,” Ricketts said.

The previous Crosstown Classic now will be known as the BP Crosstown Cup. Under these new rules, the team with the most wins in the yearly series will be formally awarded the rivalry’s namesake trophy. If the annual series is split 3-3, the BP Crosstown Cup will be awarded to the winner of the series’ last game.

“I’ve been here three years, so I know what this series means to the city of Chicago that has such great sports fans,” Piniella said. “Obviously my focus is winning games on the field, but it’s going to be hard not to think about winning that cup for the first time.”

Here’s a trio of photos from yesterday:

Lou Bean.JPG

Lou Piniella in front of the “Bean”

Tom Ricketts Cup presser.JPG Tom Ricketts and Randy Wells mug for staff photographer Steve Green.

byrd cup presser.JPG

Marlon, we know it’s a bit brisk, but a parka? You better get used to Chicago springs! 

  –Mike Huang

Front office road trip

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ON LOCATION LOGO.jpgThough our team might be out of the playoff hunt that didn’t exclude the Cubs front office from enjoying a road trip up the interstate to Miller Park, the home of the division-rival Milwaukee Brewers.

About 60 front office employees and their guests made the two-and-a-half hour trip up to Milwaukee. For the last three years or so, we’ve made a trip of some sort like this. Last year it was to Peoria, to see our Class-A Chiefs and then-skipper Ryne Sandberg.

Decked out in our best Cubs blue or some facsimile thereof, we cheered on our team to a 7-1 win. The enthusiasm was overwhelming….The staff bonding was palpable….We saw a great night of hitting from first baseman Derrek Lee and a solid outing from
front office.JPGright-hander Randy Wells. Also, rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin made a spectacular catch in the ninth inning, robbing the Brewers of a home run. Colvin then caught another running line drive to center to end the game. An auspicious start for the 2006 first-round pick, indeed.

But the main attraction was Miller Park’s famous Klement’s Sausage Race. The contest traditionally pits five cased meats against one another in a foot race that can only be described as whole-hog chaos.

Unbeknownst to us, however, our own Hayley DeWitte and Vijay Tekchandani were participating in the race! They successfully kept it quiet until it started filtering out into the stands where we were sitting. For those of you who don’t

HVJ Sausages.jpgknow, Vijay serves as a community affairs assistant and Hayley is general manager Jim Hendry’s executive assistant. Hayley donned the “Hot Dog” costume, while Vijay became the “Polish”.

And they were off!

Out of the gate, Vijay the Polish had good position in the middle of the pack, but the Italian Sausage blew right by him, along with the Brat. Hayley the Hot Dog pulled up the rear of the pack. Down the home stretch, Vijay maintained his lead on the Chorizo, but the Italian and Brat were just too many lengths ahead to catch.

Alas, try as their little legs might, Vijay the Polish came in third and Hayley the Hot Dog came in a distant fifth.
race2.JPGAlas, try as their little legs might, Vijay the Polish came in third and Hayley the Hot Dog came in a distant fifth.

Despite coming up short of victory, the experience was “wurst” remembering.

“It was awesome,” Vijay said. “I was on Cloud 9. I actually false started before they said go, so I took a step back right from the start. But I was really concentrating on not falling, to be honest.”

MIke Huang

 

This is Cubtown

Soriano, LF
Theriot, SS
Bradley, RF
Lee, 1B
Johnson, CF
Soto, C
Fontenot, 3B
Blanco, 2B
Wells, RHP

Left-hander Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.02 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers.

Hello, goodbye … hello

The Cubs recalled Bobby Scales today, as Ryan Freel hit the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. That comes one day after he was optioned to Iowa …

(Typically, players cannot be recalled for 10 days after being sent down, but that does not apply in cases of injury.)

Well enough

Notes from our media relations department:

Randy Wells Saturday night in San Diego tossed 3.0 scoreless frames before allowing the first runs of his major-league career in the fourth inning … the runs allowed capped a couple of impressive streaks for Wells, as he went 19.1 innings to start his major-league career and 18.1 innings to start his Cubs career without allowing a run.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wells is the only pitcher on record to toss 18.1 innings to start his Cubs career … the previous longest run on record to start a Cubs career was Vern Olsen with 15.1 scoreless frames covering the 1939-40 seasons.

Wrapping up the homestand

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:

Gathright, CF
Miles, SS
Fukudome, RF
Lee, 1B
Hoffpauir, LF
Fontenot, 3B
Scales, 2B
Hill, C
Marshall, LHP

Right-hander Tim Lincecum (2-1, 3.16 ERA) will pitch for the Giants.

Earned pinstripes

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.

Iowa reunion

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

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