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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2011 » December

The Chicago Cubs sign Andy Sonnanstine

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 December 2011 at 6:32 pm

The Cubs have signed 28-year old righty starter/reliever Andy Sonnanstine to a 1-year deal. He pitched in 15 games (4 starts) for the Tampa Bay Rays last year and he was 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Sonnanstine has now pitched in 132 games (80 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 28-31 with 1 save, a 5.26 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He will have a good shot of making the Cubs’ 2012 pitching staff next spring as either the #5 starter or the long man in the bullpen.

UPDATE: (3/25/2012) - The Cubs have released Andy Sonnanstine.

The Chicago Cubs deal Sean Marshall to the Reds

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Friday 23 December 2011 at 11:08 am

The Cubs have dealt 29-year old lefty reliever Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds 24-year old lefty starting pitcher Travis Wood, 24-year old righty swinging outfielder Dave Sappelt and 19-year old righty swinging 2B/SS Ronald Torreyes. Wood will likely step right into the Cubs’ rotation in 2012. He pitched in 22 games (18 starts) for the Reds last year and he was 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. He has now pitched in 39 games (35 starts) in his first two years with the Reds and he is 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Dave Sappelt came into last year as the Reds’ #20 prospect according to Baseball America. Sappelt made his debut in the majors last year as he played in 38 games in which he was 26 for 107 (.243 avg, .607 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 0 homers, 5 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He also played in 74 games in AAA-ball last year and he was 93 for 297 (.313 avg, .834 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 7 homers, 29 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Ronald Torreyes came into last year as the Reds’ #22 prospect according to Baseball America. He played in 67 games in A-ball for the Reds last year and he was 99 for 278 (.356 avg, .855 OPS) with 53 runs scored, 3 homers, 41 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Torreyes has now played in 158 games in his first two years in the minors and he is 228 of 627 (.364 avg, .935 OPS) with 125 runs scored, 8 homers, 87 RBIs and 37 stolen bases.

Sean Marshall has been an excellent reliever for the Cubs the last couple of years. He pitched in 78 games (0 starts) for the Cubs last year and he was 6-6 with a 2.26 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Marshall pitched in 292 games (59 starts) in his six years with the Cubs and he was 32-40 with 7 saves, a 3.96 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Although it must have been hard to pull the trigger on this deal because of how good Marshall has been for the Cubs lately, but they had to make this deal. Wood will go right into the starting rotation in 2012 and Dave Sappelt will also have a good chance of making the Cubs out of spring training. Ronald Torreyes has a huge upside, but the Cubs will take their time developing him.

The Chicago Cubs sign Manny Corpas

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 22 December 2011 at 9:56 pm

The Cubs have signed 29-year old righty reliever Manny Corpas to a minor league deal. Corpas missed all of last season due to Tommy John Surgery, but he’s ready to make his comeback in 2012. He last pitched in the majors back in 2010 with the Rockies. Corpas has pitched in 280 games (0 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 12-16 with 34 saves, a 3.93 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. This was a nice low risk/high reward signing for the Cubs as Corpas has been a decent reliever when healthy.

The Chicago Cubs re-sign Reed Johnson

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 22 December 2011 at 9:25 am

The Cubs have re-signed 28-year old righty swinging outfielder Reed Johnson to a 1-year deal. Johnson played in 111 games for the Cubs last year and he was 76 for 246 (.309 avg, .816 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 5 homers, 28 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He has now played in 285 games in his first three years with the Cubs and he is 219 of 744 (.294 avg, .783 OPS) with 108 runs scored, 15 homers, 100 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Johnson is one of the best #4 outfielders in the major leagues, so the Cubs were very smart to bring him back for 2012.

The Chicago Cubs have not tendered a contract to Koyie Hill

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 13 December 2011 at 9:41 am

The Chicago Cubs have decided not to tender a contract to 32-year old switch-hitting catcher Koyie Hill, making him a free agent. Hill played in 46 games for the Cubs last year and he was 26 for 134 (.194 avg, .545 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 2 homers, 9 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has now played in 252 games in his five years with the Cubs and he was 149 of 716 (.208 avg, .565 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 7 homers, 63 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Hill was a good defensive catcher but it didn’t make up for his utterly terrible bat.

The Chicago Cubs claim shortstop Jeff Bianchi off waivers

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Friday 9 December 2011 at 8:18 pm

The Cubs have claimed 25-year old righty swinging SS Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Royals. He played in 119 games in AA-ball last year for the Royals and he was 115 of 444 (.259 avg, .654 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 2 homers, 48 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Bianchi has now played in 490 games in his first six years in the minors and he is 516 of 1,838 (.281 avg, .744 OPS) with 279 runs scored, 31 homers, 251 RBIs and 76 stolen bases.

UPDATE: (1/11/2012) - The Cubs have lost Jeff Bianchi on waivers to the Brewers.

The Chicago Cubs acquire Ian Stewart from the Rockies

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Friday 9 December 2011 at 10:49 am

The Cubs have acquired 26-year old lefty swinging 3B Ian Stewart and 26-year old righty reliever Casey Weathers from the Cubs for 23-year old 2B/3B D.J. LeMahieu and 26-year old outfielder Tyler Colvin. Ian Stewart will get every chance to replace Aramis Ramirez as the starting 3B in 2012. He played in 48 games for the Rockies last year and he was 19 for 122 (.156 avg, .464 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 0 homers, 6 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Stewart has now played in 432 games in his first five years in the majors and he is 293 for 1,242 (.236 avg, .751 OPS) with 178 runs scored, 54 homers, 187 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Stewart does whiff a lot (396 times in his career), so the power he usually brings doesn’t come without some issues. 26-year old righty reliever Casey Weathers came into last year as the Rockies’ #14 prospect according to Baseball America. Weathers pitched in 44 games (0 starts) in AA-ball last year and he was 2-2 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. He has now pitched in 132 games (0 starts) in his first four years in the minors and he is 4-5 with 8 saves, a 4.20 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Weathers will get a shot next spring to win a spot in the Cubs’ bullpen.

Tyler Colvin had a rough season for the Cubs in 2011. He played in 80 games for the Cubs last year and he was 31 of 206 (.150 avg, .509 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 6 homers and 20 RBIs. Colvin played in 221 games in his three years with the Cubs and he was 125 of 581 (.215 avg, .696 OPS) with 78 runs scored, 26 homers, 78 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. D.J. LeMahieu came into last season as the Cubs’ #13 prospect according to Baseball America. He played in 37 games for the Cubs last year in his first taste of the majors and he was 15 for 60 (.250 avg, .546 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 4 RBIs.

The Cubs are banking on Ian Stewart getting straightened out in 2012 and that is a risk, but one that could have a high reward.

The Chicago Cubs picked Lendy Castillo in the Rule 5 Draft

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 8 December 2011 at 3:00 pm

The Chicago Cubs selected 22-year old reliever/starter Lendy Castillo in the Rule 5 Draft from the Philadelphia Phillies. Castillo pitched in 21 games (2 starts) in A-ball last year and he was 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He has now pitched in 38 games (12 starts) in his first two years in the minors and he is 7-4 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Castillo has only given up 86 hits while whiffing 111 batters in his first 111 innings in the minors, showing what kind of stuff he has. Castillo is a converted shortstop who has only been pitching for two years, which makes his numbers even more impressive. Castillo came into last year as the Phillies’ #27 prospect according to Baseball America. He will have a good shot to make the Cubs’ bullpen next spring as he has a nice upside.

Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs gets inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame

Blogged under Blast from the Past, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Monday 5 December 2011 at 12:35 pm

The Veterans Committee has inducted 3B Ron Santo into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 22nd in Cooperstown N.Y. Santo made it to nine All-Star Games as a Chicago Cub and he also won 5 Gold Gloves with them. He played in 2,126 games in his 14 years with the Cubbies and he was 2,171 of 7,768 (.279 avg, .838 OPS) with 1,109 runs scored, 337 homers, 1,290 RBIs and 35 stolen bases. Sadly, Ron Santo died last year at the age of 70 due to complications from diabetes. He will be remembered in Chicago was one of best players the Cubs ever had.

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