Results tagged ‘ Wood ’

Cubs decisions on arbitration day

Today is an important day for MLB clubs, as they have until midnight EST to offer arbitration to players who have declared for free agency. For the Cubs, that includes Henry Blanco, Jim Edmonds, Chad Fox, Bob Howry, Jon Lieber, Daryle Ward and Kerry Wood.

Two of those free agents — Wood and Howry — would bring draft-pick compensation if they are offered arbitration and instead sign with another team. Both are Type A free agents (ranked in the top 20 percent of their position over the last two years), so the Cubs would be compensated with two draft choices: a first or second round pick and a sandwich pick between those two rounds.

So general manager Jim Hendry and his staff have to weigh the chance that Howry or Wood accept arbitration — and thus will get a high-value, one-year contract with the team — against the value of the draft choices.

Note that the current Basic Agreement, agreed to Oct. 24, 2006, changed a few imporant things about salary arbitration and free agency deadlines:

  • The deadline to offer salary arbitration was moved to Dec. 1 from Dec. 7.
  • Teams no longer must re-sign or offer arbitration to a former player by Dec. 7. Previously, teams that did not meet that deadline would lose the rights to that player until May 1.
  • Players now must decide whether to accept arbitration by Dec. 7, moved from Dec. 19.
  • Type B free agents were redefined from top 21-40 percent from 31-50 and are compensated with a sandwich pick rather than another team’s.
  • Type A free agents were redefined from top 30 percent to top 20. Type C classification was eliminated.

As for the other Cubs players eligible for arbitration …


Samardzija gets the call


The Cubs have announced that pitcher Jeff Samardzija will be taking over the roster spot that was left open after Kerry Wood was placed on the DL with a nagging blister on his right hand. He will wear No. 29.

After being promoted to triple-A Iowa on June 24, Samardzija has pitched extremely well posting a 4-1 record with a 3.13 ERA in six starts. Earlier this year control problems seemed to be the downfall of the former Notre Dame football star, but since the call-up to the Iowa Cubs Samardzija has pounded the strike zone, striking out 40 and walking only 16 in 37.1 innings.

–Zach Martin

In so many words

Cubs team photographer Stephen Green was all over Yankee Stadium during the All-Star Game festivities and sends along these pictures:

Dempster Wood kids.jpg

Z home run derby.jpg

Piniella Zambrano Ramirez.jpg

Shooting strikes

KW_KZ_Wood_plays_smile_sm.jpgKerry Wood announced his Fifth Annual Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament yesterday. Mark your calendars for 6 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the 10pin bowling lounge in downtown Chicago.

This is one of the team’s most popular charitable events, giving fans the opportunity to meet and even bowl with Cubs players as well as bid on one-of-a-kind items. Kerry Wood’s Strike Zone really is a labor of love for both Kerry and his wife, Sarah. In four years, the event has raised over $1.3 million, and this year it will benefit the Chicago Public Schools’ “Organic School Project.”

Some great moments from last year: The Wrigley Field dugout urinal was auctioned for more than $10,000 … Kerry played the guitar and Michael Wuertz sang Pink Floyd’s “Brick in the Wall” … Mark DeRosa (with a career-high score of 271) and Cliff Floyd (290) made for a competitive rivalry on the lanes.

Oppo Jim

Anyone noticed how much Jim Edmonds seems to love Wrigley Field’s left-center basket? All five of his home runs with the Cubs have been hit straightaway or to the opposite field. For reference, 51 percent of his 362 career home runs before this year went to the pull side (right or right-center).

This sort of shift tends to happen with age — Edmonds turns 38 on Friday — as batters’ hands slow down. But right now, it matters less how he’s getting it done and more that he’s batting .300 AVG/.352 OBP/.588 SLG in 27 games with Chicago.

UPDATE: After writing this blog, Edmonds hit another home run last night, just to the right of center. It was his fourth homer in as many games and sixth with the Cubs.

— Sean Ahmed

What a night

How about that for a win? The pitching and defense played about as well as they could to keep the team in the ballgame, and the hitters stepped it up to put the game away.

And look at who did come through with the big hits: Ronny Cedeno, battling for a significant role and following two bases-loaded outs, fights a ball up the middle to expand the lead to 4-1. Then Felix Pie follows with a beautiful, line-drive home run into the rightfield bleachers. Kerry Wood, like Carlos Marmol the inning before, was both efficient and perfect.

Michael observed during the game that this game could really send a message because of the quality of opponent. So far the Cubs have done very well against third-tier teams: 8-1 against Pittsburgh and Houston. They couldn’t have proved much more than they did in those particular games. But tonight was a different sort of test, and the team displayed an all-around effort to earn the victory.

They’ll have to keep doing it, too: After the Mets, the Cubs take on the Rockies, Nationals, Brewers and Cardinals … with only Washington being a weak team. There are some good tests in there, and some good opportunities for this team to keep proving itself.

Today’s lineup

Johnson, LF
Pie, CF

Lee, 1B

Ramirez, 3B

Fukudome, RF

DeRosa, 2B

Cedeno, SS

Blanco, C

Lilly, LHP

Nelson Figueroa pitches for the Mets. Strong wind blowing out today.

Two to 10,000

In first place and at 9,998 all-time wins feels pretty good right now, even as early as it is.

Going for .500

Yesterday’s comeback was a good start for the team, particularly the lineup against a good pitcher in Houston’s Roy Oswalt. Today, Henry Blanco makes his first appearance, giving Geovany Soto a rest.

Soriano, LF

Johnson, CF

Lee, 1B

Ramirez, 3B

Fukudome, RF

DeRosa, 2B

Theriot, SS

Blanco, C

Zambrano, RHP

Kid K

Kerry Wood saved his second game of the season with yesterday’s 1-2-3 inning. His slider kept hitters off balance, and his fastball was moving very well.

In his 36 career appearances as a reliever, Kerry has a 3.43 ERA and has held opponents to a .181 batting average.

Evolving lineup

Lou explained this morning his rationale for moving the catcher to the eight hole in the lineup: He wants to have some speed in front of the catcher so that he can try to get runners in scoring position for his backstops.

Lou thinks carefully about his lineups, and as he said, if something’s not working, he’s going to change things around a little bit.

“Z” for Zero

Carlos Zambrano holds a 19.2 scoreless-innings streak. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three starts, dating back to Sept. 28 in Cincinnati (6.0 IP).

He’s the first Cubs pitcher to go three starts without yielding a run since Ken Holtzman accomplished the feat in both 1968 and ’69.

On to the Astros

Everybody around the office was relieved that we got our first win yesterday. Nobody was truly panicking, but we all were looking for a win to really set the bar for this season. Yesterday, the Cubs hit, pitched and ran like they’ve been looking to do since returning from Mesa, Ariz.

Soriano, LF

Theriot, SS

Lee, 1B

Ramirez, 3B

Fukudome, RF

DeRosa, 2B

Soto, C

Pie, CF

Hill, LHP

The Astros will start with right-hander Chris Sampson on the mound.

Walk hard

There’s no question that Fukudome is a patient hitter. Already in his first three major-league games, he’s walked four times and several times taken at-bats deep into the count. Oh, he can hit, too: He’s 4-for-8 with two doubles and that three-run home run from Opening Day. That homer came on the first pitch.

Rewind and reverse

Kerry Wood looked good closing the ninth-inning of Ryan Dempster’s excellent start yesterday. It was just a few years ago that Dempster was sealing Wood’s games.