Recent News

Wada Could Be Lift That Cubs’ Rotation Needs

May 21st, 2015 at 11:33 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Tsuyoshi Wada made his first big league start of the 2015 yesterday and he may just be what the Chicago Cubs’ need to get the back end of their rotation on track. Wada, who struck out nine in 4.2 innings of work, will pitch out of Travis Wood’s spot in the rotation going forward and, if he can reproduce the success he had last summer, he could help the Cubs challenge the St. Louis Cardinals for the division lead sooner rather than later.

Level

Starts

W-L

ERA

WHIP

K/9IP

AAA

6

1-3

2.86

1.212

7.5

MLB

1

0-0

3.86

1.071

17.4

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

Wada, 34, did not begin the 2015 season on the Cubs’ Major League roster because of injury but now that he is back with the big club the Cubs are hoping for good things.

The Cubs are hoping that Wada’s ability to pound the strike zone will help them stay in, and win more ball games, something that Travis Wood has struggled to do since 2013. Last year Wood was plagued by walks, ranking among the league’s worst in that category (allowing 3.9/9IP) and this year it has been leaving the ball up in the zone (Wood has allowed 2.1 HR/9IP this season).

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BREAKING NEWS: Cubs Ship Castillo to Seattle

May 19th, 2015 at 10:23 AM
By Tim Duxbury

BREAKING NEWS: According to Jeff Passan, the Chicago Cubs have sent C Welington Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. In return the Cubs will receive Yoervis Medina, a 26-year-old RHP who owns a 2.82 ERA in 141 relief appearances for Seattle. Medina is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 12.0 innings in 2015.

Castillo, 28, has spent his entire career with the Cubs, hitting .252 with 29 home runs in parts of six seasons. Castillo, who was the team's starting catcher the past two seasons, found himself on the outside looking in after Theo Epstein acquired both Miguel Montero and David Ross this off-season and it's not a huge surprise to see him go. With Castillo gone, Joe Maddon will have much more flexibility with his substitutions now that he does not have three catchers to manage.

Theo Epstein has been a busy man in the last 36 hours making a number of roster moves involving Phil Coke, Junior Lake, Brian Schlitter, Tsuyoshi Wada and now Castillo.

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All Coke’d Out: Cubs Cut Ties with Lefty

May 18th, 2015 at 11:30 PM
By Tim Duxbury
The Chicago Cubs have finally had enough of Phil Coke. The team designated the 32-year-old lefty for assignment on Monday; no corresponding move has been announced at the time of this writing.
The Cubs invited the Coke to Spring Training this year and selected him for the Opening Day roster after he threw 8.2 scoreless innings and held opponents to a .194 batting average. The regular season, however, was not been nearly as kind. In 10.0 innings (16 appearances) Coke sported a 6.30 ERA and a WHIP of 1.700. Coke's original role on the roster was the team's lefthanded specialist but after seeing lefties hit .304 against him it's not hard to see why Theo Epstein decided to sever ties.
As mentioned above, the Cubs have not yet announced Coke's replacement on the roster but it is likely that an outfielder will be called up as the team has just three on the current roster. Speculation favors Junior Lake for a comeback but there are still those who think that Javier Baez could be a darkhorse candidate.
All stats in this article are per baseball-reference.com

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Baez Primed and Ready for a Return

May 18th, 2015 at 3:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Javier Baez got off to a brutal start in 2015 when he attended Major League Spring Training and hit just .182 with one home run and 21 strikeouts across 55 at bats. Upon the conclusion of Spring Training Baez was met with yet another challenge, the passing of his younger sister. The Cubs’ 22-year-old infielder was away from baseball for nearly a month grieving the loss. However, seemingly against all odds, Baez back playing again is looking better than ever. Entering play today Javy is slashing .299/.381/.433 with two home runs and five steals in 18 games for the Iowa Cubs (AAA). Additionally, he has struck out just 19 times, a massive improvement from what we have seen the past couple years.

Baez has played the field in 17 games for the I-Cubs (he DH’d one contest) and has split his time pretty evenly between second base and shortstop at 10 games and seven games. While he has looked a bit shaky on the left side of the diamond, fielding just .891 thanks to 8 errors, Javy has looked real sharp at second base. He is fielding .982 and has posted a range factor per game of 5.50.

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CUBS NEWS: Maddon to Shake up the Rotation

May 16th, 2015 at 9:24 PM
By Tim Duxbury

2015 has not been Travis Wood's year. The Chicago Cubs' former all-star sports and ERA of 5.45 in eight appearances and has finally been removed from the rotation by Joe Maddon. Wood picked up his first career save in his first relief appearance since 2011 in yesterday's win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and it is believed that Tsuyoshi Wada, currently pitching for the Iowa Cubs (AAA), is the favorite to move into the rotation.

It will be interesting to see how Wood fares in the Cubs' bullpen and how long he actually ends up staying there. The 'pen has not been overly kind to the Cubs' other demoted starter, Edwin Jackson, but unlike his teammate, Travis Wood actually has a decent track record coming in in relief. According to baseball-reference.com, Wood has been nearly perfect as a reliever, allowing just one hit across six innings (yesterday's outing included).

With the gross underperformance by LHP Phil Coke this year, having Wood in the 'pen could come in handy for Joe Maddon in the late innings moving forward.

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