Results tagged ‘ roster moves ’

Cubs recall OF Soler, IF Watkins from Iowa

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Jorge Soler will make his first major league start Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs recalled outfielder Jorge Soler and infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa Wednesday afternoon, placing outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with left ankle inflammation and a left hamstring strain, respectively.

Soler, 22, was the organization’s No. 5 preseason prospect, according to Baseball America and ranked the No. 49 prospect in all of baseball prior to the season. The right-handed batter and thrower combined to hit .340/.432/.700 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 57 RBI in 200 at-bats over 62 games this season across three minor league levels.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound player started the 2014 season at Double-A Tennessee, where, despite being slowed by hamstring injuries, he batted .415/.494/.862 in 65 at-bats over 22 games to earn a promotion to Triple-A Iowa on July 24. In just more than a month with Iowa, Soler batted .282/.378/.618 with eight homers and 29 RBI in 32 games.

Soler originally signed a nine-year major league deal with the Cubs in June of 2012 out of Cuba. He entered the 2013 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the organization and batted .281 (59-for-210) with 13 doubles, eight homers and 35 RBI after being limited to 55 games with Single-A Daytona due to a left shin fracture. He was named to the World Team in the Futures Game that year (though he did not play due to injury) and recovered to participate in the Arizona Fall League with the Mesa Solar Sox, playing in 20 games.

Overall in 151 career minor league games, Soler has batted .307 (167-for-544) with 300 total bases, 108 runs scored, 43 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 117 RBI, a .383 on-base percentage, a .551 slugging percentage and a .934 OPS.

Watkins, who turns 25 on Friday, returns to the Cubs for his second stint this season. He hit .300 (3-for-10) with a double and three RBI in four games with the Cubs last week before being optioned back to Iowa after the game on Sunday. At Triple-A this season, he is batting .256 (83-for-324) with 21 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBI in 103 games. He was the organization’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year.

Ruggiano, 32, is batting .281 (63-for-224) with 13 doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI in 81 games with the Cubs this season.

Sweeney, 29, is batting .251 (52-for-207) with nine doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI in 77 games.

Cubs activate RHP Fujikawa; designate OF Schierholtz for assignment

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs today activated right-handed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday. To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Nate Schierholtz has been designated for assignment.

Fujikawa will be available for the Cubs Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Fujikawa, 34, returns to the Cubs following an almost 14-month recovery from Tommy John surgery on June 11, 2013. He made his major league debut with the team last season after pitching 12 years for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan’s Central League. Fujikawa appeared in 12 games in 2013, recording the save on Opening Day, and went 1-1 with two saves and a 5.25 ERA (7 ER/12.0 IP) overall. He twice landed on the disabled list, first on April 13 with a right forearm strain and again on May 27, the day after walking off the mound due to injury. Soon after, he underwent Tommy John surgery.

The right-hander combined to make 12 rehab appearances with three minor league clubs during the past month, posting no record and a 0.77 ERA (1 ER/11.2 IP). He struck out 13, walked three and limited opponents to a .171 batting average.

Schierholtz, 30, batted .192 (60-for-313) with six homers and 33 RBI in 99 games for the Cubs this season. He signed with the team prior to the 2013 campaign, when he went on to hit a career-high 21 home runs.

1000 Words: Javy Time

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Cubs’ 2011 first-round draft pick Javier Baez is slated to make his major league debut Tuesday, as the Cubs kick off a three-game set in Colorado. After a slow start in Triple-A Iowa, MLB.com’s No. 5 prospect was hitting .260/.323/.510 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 23 home runs and 80 RBI at the time of the recall. Twelve of his home runs have come in the last 32 games.

Cubs trim spring roster to 54 players

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Slugger and 2013 first-round draft pick Kris Bryant has been assigned to minor league camp. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Chicago Cubs have assigned 12 players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 66 to 54 players.

Infielders Arismendy Alcantara and Logan Watkins, outfielder Matt Szczur and right-handed pitcher Dallas Beeler have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Outfielder Jorge Soler has been optioned to Double-A Tennessee.

Six nonroster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: right-handed pitchers Marcus Hatley and Carlos Pimentel, left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch, infielders Kris Bryant and Jeudy Valdez, and outfielder Albert Almora.

Additionally, outfielder Aaron Cunningham has been granted his release.

Chicago’s spring roster now consists of 27 pitchers (seven nonroster invitees), five catchers (three nonroster invitees), 11 infielders (four nonroster invitees) and 11 outfielders (five nonroster invitees).

Cubs claim RHP Bard off waivers

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(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Cubs claimed right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard off waivers from Boston Wednesday. To make room for the 28-year-old, the Cubs designated outfielder Cole Gillespie for assignment.

Originally selected in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Red Sox, Bard owns a 10-19 career record with a 3.67 ERA over 257.1 innings. He has made 10 starts since his debut in 2009, but he’s been most effective out of the ‘pen.

From 2009-11, Bard worked exclusively in reief, posting a 2.88 ERA over 197.0 innings. He struck out 213 batters and limited opposing hitters to a .190 average.

In 2012, he was converted to a starter, a role in which he has struggled. As a result, he has spent most of the last two seasons in the minors. He made 17 big league appearances last year (10 starts) and finished 5-6 with a 6.22 ERA. Bard has made just two major league appearances this season, allowing one run in one inning.

For his career, Bard has a 3.24 ERA in 201 relief appearances compared to a 5.30 ERA in 10 starts.

Gillespie is hitting .203 in 59 at-bats with the Giants and Cubs this season.

Cubs bring up RHP Lim, DFA Bowden

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(Photo by Rich Pilling/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Cubs brought up right-handed pitcher Chang-Yong Lim from Triple-A Iowa Wednesday morning.

To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Michael Bowden was designated for assignment.

The 37-year-old Lim signed a two-year deal this offseason while recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2012. At four levels this year, the righty had no record and posted a 1.61 ERA in 22.1 innings, including five starts. He fanned 24 batters and walked seven while limiting opponents to a .173 average.

The South Korea native pitched 17 seasons in Korea (1996-2007) and Japan (2008-12), and represented his country in the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Bowden was 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 34 appearances this year for the Cubs.

Cubs claim OF Thomas Neal off waivers

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Thomas Neal as a member of the Indians in 2012. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cubs claimed outfielder Thomas Neal off waivers from the Yankees Monday afternoon. They made room for Neal by transferring right-handed reliever Rafael Dolis to the 60-day disabled list.

The 25-year-old batted .325/.391/.411 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with two homers, 17 doubles and 29 RBI over 265 at-bats for New York’s Triple-A affiliate this season. Defensively, Neal’s played 41 games in right field and 21 in left.

Neal was originally selected by the Giants in the 36th round of the 2005 draft and was a mid-season and post-season California League All-Star in 2009 and an Eastern League mid-season All-Star in 2010 and 2012, the latter as a member of the Indians organization, where he played after being acquired at the 2011 trade deadline.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound outfielder has a career line of .301/.377/.459 with 70 homers and 170 doubles in 701 minor league games, spanning eight seasons.

Fade to Black: Cubs trade Soriano for Yanks RHP

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs traded left fielder Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees Friday afternoon, in exchange for minor league right-hander Corey Black.

The 37-year-old Soriano spent almost seven seasons with the club, after joining the North Siders in 2007 on an eight-year, $136 million deal. Seen as both a leader in the clubhouse and on the field, Sori was a key component to the club, especially during the transition period when the new regime took over after the 2011 season.

“Seeing him from the other side of the fence, I was completely blown away by the kind of person he is and the work ethic he puts in,” said Cubs manager Dale Sveum prior to the season. “I rank him in the top five people I’ve ever been around in the game as far as work ethic, people and everything.”

Soriano returns to the Yankees, where his MLB career began in 1999. It was in New York where the slugger was mentored by some of the game’s great players, including Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. Soriano used that experience to help teach an often green Cubs clubhouse how to stick at the major league level.

“When I see Starlin and all those young guys, they are like me,” Soriano said. “When I used to be young with the Yankees, I needed help, and all those guys gave me help. So that’s what I try to do with [guys like] Starlin. Try to help them to play in the big leagues. … This is the job, and this is what you love to do, so play hard and do the best you can in the field.”

Soriano has a career line of .272/.321/.503 (AVG/SLG/OBP) with 389 home runs, 181 as a member of the Cubs. This season, he was hitting .254 with 17 homers and 24 RBI.

The 21-year-old Black was a fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Faulkner University in Alabama. In 2013, his first professional season, the starter is 3-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 82.2 innings. Black has recorded 88 strikeouts—an average of 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings—and has limited opposing hitters to a .243 average.

Cubs deal Marmol to Dodgers for RHP Guerrier

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Adding to their haul for the day, the Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Guerrier from the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-handed pitcher Carlos Marmol and international signing bonus money (slot number four). Guerrier is expected to report to the Cubs later this week.

In 10 seasons with the Twins and Dodgers, Guerrier, 34, has gone 25-33 with 112 holds, six saves and a 3.54 ERA in 513 major league appearances, all but three in relief. He went 2-3 with three holds and a 4.80 ERA in 34 relief outings with Los Angeles this season before being designated for assignment on Sunday.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound pitcher broke into the majors with the Twins in 2004 and had a breakout campaign in 2007 when he went 2-4 with 14 holds and a 2.35 ERA in 73 appearances. He signed a three-year contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2011 season.

Marmol, 30, went 2-4 with two saves and a 5.86 ERA in 31 relief appearances this season before being designated for assignment on June 25. He struck out 32 and walked 21 batters in 27.2 innings pitched, an average of 10.4 strikeouts and 6.8 walks per nine innings.

The right-hander originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on July 3, 1999. Though he signed as a catcher, Marmol converted to a pitcher prior to the 2003 season and made his big league debut in 2006. He holds the franchise mark with 82 career holds and was a National League All-Star in 2008 as a set-up man. He became the closer in late 2009 and compiled 117 saves, third most in team history. Overall, he went 23-32 with a 3.50 ERA in 483 appearances with the Cubs.

Cubs acquire RHP Arrieta, RHP Strop from Baltimore

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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty)

The Cubs today acquired right-handed pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop as well as two international signing bonus slots (slot numbers three and four) from the Baltimore Orioles for right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger.

Arrieta will be assigned to Triple-A Iowa while Strop is expected to report to the Cubs later this week.

Arrieta, 27, is a former top prospect with front-of-the-rotation stuff, but he’s yet to put everything together at he major league level. In parts of four seasons with Baltimore, he’s 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA in 69 appearances, all but six as a starting pitcher. He was originally selected by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft and made his major league debut in 2010 at the age of 24. He was a 10-game winner for the Orioles in 2011, going 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Arrieta, whose fastball averages in the low- to mid-90s, was a member of Baltimore’s 2013 Opening Day roster and has had three stints with the big league club this season, going 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA in five starts. With Norfolk, Arrieta went 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts).

Arrieta was drafted by the Orioles out of Texas Christian University and made his professional debut in 2008. A year later, he advanced as high as Triple-A, combining to go 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in 28 starts between Double-A Bowie and Norfolk. He began the 2010 campaign by going 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) with Norfolk to earn his first promotion to the big leagues.

Strop, 28, has struggled so far this season, but served as one of Baltimore’s primary set-up men last season, going 5-2 with three saves, 24 holds and a 2.44 ERA in 70 relief appearances. He tied for seventh in the American League in holds and limited opponents to a .283 slugging percentage, the sixth-lowest mark in the majors among pitchers who made at least 70 appearances.

The 6-foot, 175-pounder is 7-6 with three saves and a 4.14 ERA in 144 major league relief appearances with Texas (2009-11) and Baltimore (2011-13). He missed time on the disabled list this year due to a lower back strain and has gone 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 relief outings.

Feldman, 30, signed a one-year contract with the Cubs prior to the 2013 campaign and went 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA (35 ER/91.0 IP) in 15 starts this season. Overall, Feldman is 46-50 with a 4.66 ERA (424 ER/818.2 IP) in 219 major league games (116 starts) with Texas and the Cubs. Left-hander Chris Rusin (7-7, 3.27 ERA at Iowa) will pitch tonight for the Cubs in place of Feldman.

Clevenger, 27, batted .125 (1-for-8) in eight games with the Cubs this season before straining his left oblique on April 13.  He batted .327 (17-for-52) in 15 games with Iowa this year.

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