Ryan Dempster is a pro, but pitching amid trade rumors swirling can’t be easy, you wouldn’t know it by watching Dempster pitch today. Dempster was stellar, really never tempting fate in any of the seven brilliant innings he went. The Cubs jumped on Daisuke Matsuzaka early plating three runs in the first two innings, and that was it, for both teams. As I mentioned, Dempster went seven strong innings giving no runs on four hits, walking only two and striking out three. Dempster has been great all year, and because of that he is becoming the number one target during this years trade season for teams wanting a starting pitcher. If I had to guess, Dempster will be traded very soon, if the Cubs want to wait closer to the deadline I wouldn’t blame them. Given the addition of wild card playoff spots, and so few teams selling, the Cubs might have the best chance of anyone to add to an already tremendously improved farm system via trade(s).
The Cubs didn’t knock around Dice-K, as they only managed four hits during his six innings, but it was enough. Steve Clevenger had a the big blow with a two out two run double in the first inning on his was to a 1-for-3 day. Ryan Dempster was the other star at the plate, yes you heard right, Dempster was 2-for-2 with a triple and a run scored. David DeJesus had the only other hit for the Cubs and it was a big one, a two out single to put the Cubs up 3-0. Carlos Marmol was thrust back into the closer role today, and of course things got a little dicey. The final out of the game was a Dustin Pedroia ground out with the bases-loaded. It would be great if Marmol could recapture the closing magic, because he really doesn’t do any good to the Cubs if he can’t get something back in a trade. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Gerardo Comcepcion record dropped to 1-4 as he struggled once again allowing 8 runs, 5 of which were earned on 12 hits in just 4.2 innings. That was plenty for Wisconsin as they added more runs to beat the Peoria 11-3. The Cubs lone bright spot came from SS Marco Hernandez who went 2-3 including a home run and a triple. Jake Devoss also added two hits and an RBI in the game.
Daytona got a great pitching performance from Matt Loosen as he improved his record to 2-1 on the season. He gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven in six innings of work. Daytona got the scroring started in the third with a two RBI single by Nelson Perez. Rubi Silva who went 2-4 with a triple scored the second run on an RBI ground out by Elieser Boone. After Clearwater cut the lead in half in the fifth with a solo homerun, Daytona scored in the seventh when Matt Szczur drove in John Andreoli who went 2-3 with two runs scored. That was plenty for the Cubs as the newly promoted Jeff Lorick pitched two scoreless innings while only giving up one hit and striking one out. Scott Weismann struck out two in the ninth to record his second save of the season.
The Smokies got some pretty good pitching, but the offense never got going as Tennessee lost 3-0. Trey McNutt’s record dropped to 2-4 when he took the tough luck loss on Saturday. McNutt only went four innings giving up two earned runs on five hits. Ty’Relle Harris pitched two scoreless innings while striking out two and walking one. Mobile added a run in the eighth of of Marcus Hatley who also pitched two innings. There really was not much excitement from the offense, but Michael Burgess had two hits.
The Cubs hit four solo home runs two power past Memphis 6-4. Steve Clevenger, who ended the day 3-3 got the scoring started in the first with a home run. After Memphis tied the game in the second Brett Jackson gave Iowa the lead back in the fourth when he hit his fifth home run of the season. Memphis would score three in the fifth to take the lead 4-2. Iowa tied the game in the sixth when Jackson stepped back to the plate and lined an RBI triple and would later score on a base hit by Ty Wright. The Cubs took a lead in the eight when Anthony Rizzo connected on his league leading 17th home run of the season. Josh Vitters hit a homer in the ninth to give the Cubs a little breathing room. Mike MacDougal finished the game in the ninth recording his first save of the season.
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No, not THAT kind of rehab, a rehab assignment of course. This is good news for sure, I know Marmol has struggled but he needs to be on the mound to be any good to the Cubs, and yes I’m talking about trade value and team success. Steve Clevenger can’t get healthy soon enough for the banged up catchers crew of the Cubs. Welington Castillo is dinged up, Geovany Soto is out for four weeks most likely, and Koyie Hill is Koyie Hill.
The playing schedule for Clevenger and Marmol is determined by the Chicago Cubs, not the Iowa Cubs. Another oddity of minor league baseball, hopefully Marmol and Clevenger help get a couple wins for Iowa then are back up in Chicago shortly.
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Busy Cubs day. Geovany Soto had an MRI on his knee, and the result is that Soto will need arthroscopic knee surgery. Soto will be out 3-4 weeks. Steve Clevenger is close to returning to action, once he does he will platoon with Castillo. Oh yeah, there is a game still today.
UPDATE – Blake Lalli has been called up to back up Castillo for the meantime.
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I’m sure that’s a huge relief for Paul Maholm, probably for the Cubs too. After two rough, well, bad outings the newly acquired Paul Maholm showed his employer and fans that he isn’t a complete disaster by going a strong six innings to tally his first win of the year and put a halt to the Cubs six game losing streak. The Cubs got to Reds starter Mike Leake early as they put up five runs in the first two innings, and that was all that Maholm and the Cubs needed for the victory. Full Recap and box score after the jump.
As promised, Dale Sveum, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer sat down after yesterday’s 2-0 victory over the Indians and hammered out the Cubs 25 man roster, or at least most of it.
Spring training is always a great stage for a competitive hard fought position battle, this year is no exception. Enter Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo, the two men fighting tooth and nail for the backup catcher position. Coming into the spring I knew that Geovany Soto’s backup was a position to be had for a number of candidates, I just didn’t think more than one guy would stand out. Let’s meet the two men vying for the position.