The Cubs signed 34-year old righty reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league deal after the 2013 season started. He bided his time as Cubs’ relievers kept blowing leads late in games. Gregg finally got his big shot to close for the Cubs and he hasn’t looked back. Gregg has pitched in 22 games (0 starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 2-0 with 9 saves, a 0.83 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He has only given up 14 hits and 7 walks while whiffing 24 batters in his first 21 2/3 innings this year…..which is impressive! Gregg has now pitched in 94 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the Cubs and he is 7-6 with 32 saves, a 3.79 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. The Cubs need Gregg to keep up the good work as the closer, because they have no one else to turn to.
33-year old lefty swinging outfielder David DeJesus has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right shoulder which was the result of him running into a wall against the Mets in yesterday’s game. DeJesus has played in 59 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 52 for 200 (.260 avg, .763 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 6 homers, 21 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. 28-year old lefty swinging Ryan Sweeney will likely take over in CF until DeJesus is ready to return to action. Sweeney has played in 30 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 20 for 61 (.328 avg, .863 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs. Sweeney will likely do a solid job for the Cubs while DeJesus is out of action.
28-year old righty Jeff Samardzija, 26-year old lefty Travis Wood and 30-year old righty Scott Feldman have all been rock solid for the Cubs so far this year. Samardzija has pitched in 13 games (all starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 3-7 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He has given up 67 hits and 29 walks while whiffing 98 batters in his first 85 innings this year. Wood has pitched in 13 games (all starts) in which he is 5-5 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Wood has given up 57 hits and 28 walks while whiffing 60 batters in his first 85 innings so far this year. Feldman has pitched in 12 games (all starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 5-5 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Feldman has given up 65 hits and 20 walks while whiffing 54 batters in his first 72 2/3 innings so far this year. This trio has been rock solid for the Cubs this year and they hope that they can keep up the good work.
The Cubs have placed 25-year old righty reliever Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list due to right elbow soreness. Putnam has pitched in 5 games (0 starts) for the Cubs this year and he is 0-0 with a 18.90 ERA and a 2.70 WHIP. He has given up 9 hits (1 homer) in his first 3 1/3 innings this year, so it’s surprising that his injury isn’t whiplash. The Cubs have called up 24-year old lefty starting pitcher Brooks Raley to replace Putnam in the bullpen. Raley has pitched in 13 games (12 starts) in AAA-ball so far this year and he is 5-4 with 1 save, a 4.92 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Raley got his first taste of the majors last year, working in 5 games (all starts) for the Cubs in which he was 1-2 with a 8.14 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP.
The Cubs have acquired 26-year old righty reliever Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals for 22-year old righty starter/reliever Ian Dickson. Rodriguez pitched in 17 games (0 starts) for the Nationals this year and he was 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He has now pitched in 143 games (0 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 5-7 with 11 saves, a 4.23 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Dickson pitched in 11 games (3 starts) in A-ball for the Cubs this year and he was 2-2 with 1 save, a 6.88 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Rodriguez has a live arm and I really like this picked for the Cubs who desperately need some help in the bullpen.
The Cubs have suspended 28-year old lefty swinging 3B Ian Stewart indefinitely without pay for his recent rant on twitter. Stewart has played in 40 games in AAA-ball so far this year for the Cubs and he is only 19 for 113 (.168 avg, .657 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 5 homers and 20 RBIs. He played in 55 games last year (his first with the Cubs) and he was 36 of 179 (.201 avg, .627 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 5 homers and 17 RBIs. His career with the Cubs could very well be over because of his mouth (ooops….fingers).
21-year old switch-hitting 2B/SS Arismendy Alcantara came into this season as the Cubs’ #10 prospect according to Baseball America. He has played in 58 games in AA-ball so far this year and he is 61 for 212 (.288 avg, .840 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 9 homers, 30 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Alcantara has now played in 366 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 394 of 1,389 (.284 avg, .745 OPS) with 193 runs scored, 24 homers, 174 RBIs and 75 stolen bases. Alcantara could make it to Chicago by September, when rosters expand, if he keeps playing well in AA.
When the Cubs signed 29-year old lefty swinging outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a 1-year deal over the winter, it made just a blip in the news. But, it has worked out well for both the Cubs and Schierholtz. He is platooning in RF with Scott Hairston for the Cubs this year. He has played in 50 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 45 of 156 (.288 avg, .836 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 7 homers (2nd on team), 23 RBIs (3rd on team) and 4 stolen bases. Schierholtz loves to play at home. He has played in 27 games at Wrigley Field so far this year and he is 26 for 83 (.313 avg, .952 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 5 homers, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.
The Cubs have placed 25-year old righty reliever Rafael Dolis on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right forearm. Dolis has pitched in 5 games (0 starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has now pitched in 40 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Cubs and he is 2-4 with 4 saves, a 5.48 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. The Cubs have called up 27-year old righty reliever Blake Parker to replace Dolis in the bullpen. Parker has pitched in 16 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year and he was 0-1 with 7 saves, a 2.04 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Parker only gave up 8 hits and walked 10 batters in 17 2/3 innings in the minors this year while whiffing a very impressive 26 batters. Parker pitched in 7 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last year (his only one in the majors) and he was 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP. The Cubs hope that Parker is better for them this time around.
The Cubs have claimed 25-year old righty reliever Alex Burnett off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. He pitched 1 game for the Cubs already, working a scoreless inning. He pitched in 2 games (0 starts) for the Orioles this year and he was 0-0 with a 20.25 ERA and a 4.50 WHIP. Burnett has now pitched in 177 games (0 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 8-11 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Burnett might be able to help the Cubs out of the pen as he has a live arm.
UPDATE: (6/1/2013) - The Cubs have designated Alex Burnett for assignment.
UPDATE II: (6/3/2013) - The Cubs have outrighted Alex Burnett to AAA.