Results tagged ‘ Scott Hairston ’

From the Pages of Vine Line: Q&A with Scott Hairston

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Scott Hairston may be new to the Cubs, but he is far from a rookie when it comes to the big leagues. Hairston joined his grandfather, father, uncle and brother in the family business when he was drafted in 2001. The veteran outfielder had nine seasons of major league experience on his own resume before coming to Chicago—the city where he spent many childhood years rooting for his father’s White Sox teams. For the April issue of Vine Line, we talked to Hairston about growing up in a baseball family, how it feels to call the Friendly Confines home and which artists are on his gameday playlist.

FIRST LOVE  I think when I started playing Little League at age 7, that’s when the love of the game as a player began. And I decided early. As a kid, I was around the game my whole life, and I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.

CLUBHOUSE CULTURE  Getting a chance to know some of the guys on the teams my dad was on really caused me to dream more. I looked up to those players, and it definitely made me work harder, because I wanted to be like them. It had a huge influence on me.

SOUTH SIDE  I [was a White Sox fan] growing up. I had to be. I think if I grew up rooting for the Cubs, my dad would have really been upset. So in a way, you pretty much had to be [a Sox fan]. But, you know what, I was a fan of a lot of the Cubs players. I did go to Cubs games. It’s not like I didn’t go. And I rooted for the players that were in that system, like Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg and all those guys that were there. Shawon Dunston and Lee Smith, those guys were there when I watched them.

BRICKS AND IVY  I’ve kind of stopped myself right before and hit [the brick wall] lightly. But I’ve seen guys go right in there. Psychologically, it’s always something that’s in the back of your mind. It’s there, but you’ve just got to be aggressive as an outfielder. The main priority is to catch the ball, but at the same time, you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you can get critically injured. That’s no fun either.

MUSIC MAN  I’m a big Dave Matthews Band fan. I have been for a long time. When it comes to R&B and rap, I love listening to Common. I love Radiohead. I think they’re one of the best bands in the world. And Pearl Jam—I can’t leave out Pearl Jam. I know [frontman] Eddie [Vedder] is a big Cubs fan, and I’ve been dying to meet him. When my brother played here in 2005 and 2006, Eddie came to the clubhouse two times. I’d be really happy to meet him. I’m a big fan of Pearl Jam. I have been since they’ve been out.

To read the complete interview with Hairston, pick up the April issue of Vine Line, featuring the rebuilt Cubs pitching staff, available now at select Jewel-Osco, Walgreens, Meijer, Barnes & Noble, and other Chicago-area retailers. Or subscribe to Vine Line today.

Now Playing: 2013 Cubs Home Opener

There’s nothing like a fresh start to the season at the Friendly Confines. Though the Cubs ninth-inning comeback attempt fell short and the team ultimately dropped their home opener 7-4 to the division rival Brewers, it was still a beautiful day for baseball at Wrigley Field. After a rainy morning, the clouds miraculously parted, and the game-time temperature was in the mid-60s. Cubs Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins were all on hand, along with Chicago dignitaries like Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney. Vine Line shared the Opening Day festivities with Jenkins, Anthony Rizzo and several of the newest Cubs players.

Castro back in the lineup, Baker to debut Sunday

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Two-time All-Star Starlin Castro will be back in the lineup for the Cubs Wednesday afternoon as they square off with the Colorado Rockies.

The 22-year-old has been out since Feb. 27 after injuring his hamstring while running the bases. Despite being out two weeks for precautionary reasons, the injury was never deemed serious, and Castro continued to practice. He’s participated in three games so far this spring.

With first baseman Anthony Rizzo out with the Italian squad at the World Baseball Classic (Italy vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m. CST), non-roster invitee Edwin Maysonet will get another crack at first. He’s hitting just .130 in 13 games this spring.

Scott Hairston will slide over and play center field, giving prospect Jorge Soler more time in right. The 21-year-old Soler is hitting .304 in 26 plate appearances.

Cubs fans can listen to the game’s free webcast on Cubs.com. Edwin Jackson will get the start against the Rockies, who will be sending out lefty Josh Outman. Here’s the full lineup Outman will face Wednesday:

3B Luis Valbuena
2B Darwin Barney
SS Starlin Castro
LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Scott Hairston
C Dioner Navarro
RF Jorge Soler
1B Edwin Maysonet
P Edwin Jackson

Cubs Notes: Scott Baker is slated to make his first Spring Training start on Sunday. It will be his first official return to the mound since having Tommy John surgery in April 2012. He went two innings in a minor league game on Tuesday.

Raley scheduled to make start with regulars

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Left-handed starter Brooks Raley got a taste of what life in the big leagues was like in 2012. The 24-year-old struggled in five games down the stretch for the Cubs, going 1-2 with an 8.14 ERA. But 2013 brings a new window of opportunity, as well as another chance to crack the major league roster. With a much deeper rotation in place, his most likely role this season is as a swingman.

Raley will make his spring debut Wednesday against the Dodgers at HoHoKam Stadium, and many of the Cubs regulars will be manning the field behind him.

Newcomer Nate Schierholtz brings some World Series experience to the Cubs after spending most of the last six seasons with the Giants (though he finished 2012 with Philadelphia). The outfielder, who is starting in right field Wednesday, hit .257 with six home runs in 114 games last season. Journeyman Scott Hairston is playing center field. He hit .263 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in 134 games last season for the Mets before the Cubs signed him to an offseason deal.

Newcomer (and former South Sider) Brent Lillibridge is starting at short, with Starlin Castro playing DH.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 CST. Cubs fans can listen to the free webcast exclusively on Cubs.com. The Dodgers will be sending righty Aaron Harang to the mound. Here is the full batting order:

3B Valbuena
DH Castro
1B Rizzo
LF Soriano
RF Schierholtz
CF Hairston
C Castillo
2B Barney
SS Lillibridge

1000 Words: Hairston runs one down

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

New Cubs outfielder Scott Hairston tracks down a ball at Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Monday afternoon. Hairston is one of five members of his family to play in the major leagues and is the third member of his family to play for the Cubs. His uncle, Johnny, was with the Cubs in 1969, and his brother, Jerry, played for the Cubs from 2005-06.

Spring Training Preview: In the Outfield

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

Baseball is finally back. Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training last week, while position players reported this weekend. And Cubs fans everywhere got a little more excited with the realization that the baseball season is almost here.

To get us back into gear, the February issue of Vine Line previewed the squad heading into Mesa, Ariz. We broke the team down into five categories—starting pitching, relief pitching, catchers, infielders and outfielders—to give fans a clearer picture of what to expect when the Cubs break camp and head to Chicago.

Below is a look at the outfield. The February issue is on newsstands now, with single issues available by calling 800-618-8377. Or visit the Vine Line page on Cubs.com to subscribe to the magazine.


While Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus appear to be locks in the outfield, the Cubs may be inclined to move either of them if the right deal comes along this year.

In 2012, Soriano provided value to the Cubs in a multitude of areas. He was surprisingly durable (his 151 games played were the most in his Cubs career) and drove in a career-high 108 runs (though consistently hitting in the clean-up spot for the first time certainly helped). He also slugged 32 home runs and received a few MVP votes, accomplishments he hadn’t achieved since his first season with the club. Soriano markedly improved on defense and emerged as a leader on a team that was sorely lacking in that department after trading veterans at the deadline.

DeJesus provides strong defense in right field and delivers solid on-base skills. The signing of Nate Schierholtz means DeJesus might spend quite a bit of time in center field, where his defensive skills are average at best. But that should increase the value of his bat due to the lower expectations for power that come with moving from a corner outfield spot.

The left-handed Schierholtz provides a strong bat against right-handed pitching and solid defense, including a great arm in right field. It’s likely he will be part of a platoon with new acquisition Scott Hairston. Dave Sappelt is also a rangy outfielder who could rack up some innings in any of the three spots. Elite prospect Brett Jackson, who made his big league debut last season, will start 2013 in Triple-A and continue to refine his swing and work on his contact rate.

The trajectory of the Cubs’ 2013 outfield could be similar to that of the 2012 starting pitching staff, a unit that looked vastly different at the end of the season than it did at the beginning.

Cubs finalize deal with Scott Hairston, DFA Campana

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(Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

The Cubs and outfielder Scott Hairston have agreed to terms on a two-year deal, believed to be worth $5 million dollars with another $1 million in incentives.

Hairston, 32, hit .263/.299/.504 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and 57 RBI in 134 games with the New York Mets last season, setting career highs in home runs, games played and slugging percentage (.504). He was one of only eight National League outfielders to have at least a .500 slugging percentage and reach 20 home runs and 25 doubles last season. The versatile outfielder saw action in left field (59 games), right field (48 games) and center field (14 games).

A right-handed hitter, Hairston hit .286 with 11 home runs against lefties. He’ll likely platoon in right field with left-hander Nate Schierholtz. According to fangraphs.com, the nine-year veteran rates out as a below-average fielder, accumulating a -2.4 UZR in the outfield last season.

The 6-foot, 204-pound Hairston joins the Cubs after playing all or part of nine major league seasons with Arizona (2004-07), San Diego (2007-09, 2010), Oakland (2009) and the Mets (2011-12). He is a career .247 hitter (543-for-2,197) with 124 doubles, 17 triples, 95 homers and 279 RBI in 777 big league games.

Hairston is one of five members of his family to play in the majors and becomes the third member of his family to join the Cubs organization. His uncle, Johnny, played for the Cubs in 1969 and his brother, Jerry, played for the Cubs from 2005-06. Scott, his brother, his father (Jerry) and his grandfather (Sam) are one of only four families that have seen three generations play in the big leagues, joining the Bells, Boones and Colemans. Scott is also one of three third-generation players now in the Cubs organization, joining pitcher Casey Coleman and third base coach David Bell.

To make room for Hairston on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated popular outfielder Tony Campana for assignment. The speedster hit .264 in 192 plate appearances last year, and stole 30 bases.

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