Catcher will be a timeshare for the Chicago Cubs in 2013

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by joelapinski on Thursday 31 January 2013 at 7:57 am

25-year old righty swinging Welington Castillo and 28-year old switch-hitting Dioner Navarro will likely split P.T. behind the plate for the Cubs in 2013.  I don’t think it will be a straight platoon as the Cubs want to play Castillo more than Navarro in 2013.  Castillo played in 52 games for the Cubs last year and he was 45 of 170 (.265 avg, .754 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 5 homers and 22 RBIs.  He played in 49 games (46 starts) behind the plate for the Cubs last year and he had 7 errors and 4 passed balls.  He also threw out 7 of 40 base stealers (17.5%) and Cubs’ pitchers had a 4.83 with him behind the dish.  Castillo has now played in 63 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 53 of 203 (.261 avg, .750 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 6 homers and 27 RBIs.  Dioner Navarro played in 24 games for the Reds last year and he was 20 for 69 (.290 avg, .755 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 2 homers and 12 RBIs.  He played in 21 games (16 starts) behind the plate for the Reds last year and he had 1 error and 1 passed ball.  He threw out 1 of 6 (16.7%) base stealers and pitchers had a 2.78 ERA with him behind the dish.  Navarro has now played in 626 games in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 493 of 2,011 (.245 avg, .663 OPS) with 208 runs scored, 41 homers, 209 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.  26-year old lefty swinging Steve Clevenger will only make the opening day roster for the Cubs if Castillo or Navarro get injured.  Clevenger played in 69 games for the Cubs last year and he was 40 for 199 (.201 avg, .537 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 1 homer and 16 RBIs.  He played in 51 games (49 starts) behind the plate for the Cubs last year and he had 4 errors and 4 passed balls.  He only threw out 6 of 51 (11.8%) base stealers last year and Cubs’ pitchers had a 4.47 ERA with him behind the dish.  33-year old righty swinging J.C. Boscan will likely split time in AAA-ball with Steve Clevenger when the 2013 season begins.  Boscan played in 6 games for the Braves last year and he was 2 for 10 (.200 avg, .400 OPS) with 2 RBIs.  He also played in 70 games in AAA-ball for the Braves last year and he was 42 of 222 (.189 avg, .548 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 3 homers, 23 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  Boscan played in 6 games (2 starts) behind the plate for the Braves last yera and he had 1 error and 0 passed balls.  He was 0 for 3 in throwing out base stealers and pitchers had a 3.72 ERA with him behind the plate.  Boscan has now played in 11 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 5 for 19 (.263 avg, .563 OPS) with 1 run scored and 2 RBIs.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2013:  C-

The Chicago Cubs sign Scott Hairston

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Wednesday 30 January 2013 at 9:05 am

The Cubs have signed 32-year old righty swinging outfielder Scott Hairston to a 2-year deal.  Hairston played in 134 games for the Mets last year and he was 99 of 377 (.263 avg, .803 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 20 homers, 57 RBIs and 8 stolen bases.  He has now played in 777 games in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 543 of 2,197 (.247 avg, .751 OPS) with 276 runs scored, 95 homers, 279 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.  Hairston will likely share RF with lefty swinging Nate Schierholtz, unless the Cubs deal Alfonso Soriano before the season starts, in which case Hairston would be the starting LF.  This was a good signing for the Cubs as Hairston has a pretty decent bat.

The Chicago Cubs DFA Lendy Castillo

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by joelapinski on Wednesday 30 January 2013 at 8:09 am

The Cubs have designated 23-year old righty reliever Lendy Castillo for assignment.  Castillo pitched in 13 games (0 starts) in his first taste of the majors for the Cubs last year and was 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP.  He also pitched in 7 games (all starts) in Rookie+A+AA-ball last year for the Cubs in which he was 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.  The Cubs hope that Castillo clears waivers as they likely want to keep him around.

UPDATE:  (2/6/2013) – Lendy Castillo has cleared waivers and he has been outrighted to AAA-ball by the Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs sign Darnell McDonald

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 10 January 2013 at 7:27 pm

The Cubs have signed 34-year old righty swinging outfielder Darnell McDonald to a minor league deal. McDonald played in 42 games for the Red Sox and Yankees last year in which he was 18 of 88 (.205 avg, .649 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 2 homers, 9 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has now played in 306 games in his first six years in the majors and he is 175 of 711 (.246 avg, .705 OPS) with 98 runs scored, 19 homers, 78 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. McDonald will have a good shot of winning a bench job for the Cubs this spring.

The Chicago Cubs sign Brent Lillibridge

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 10 January 2013 at 7:24 pm

The Cubs have signed 29-year old righty swinging IF/OF Brent Lillibridge to a minor league deal. He played in 102 games last year for the White Sox, Red Sox and Indians last year in which he was 37 of 190 (.195 avg, .524 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 3 homers, 10 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Lillibridge has now played in 338 games in his first five years in the majors and he is 138 of 649 (.213 avg, .628 OPS) with 100 runs scored, 19 homers, 66 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Lillibridge’s versatility in the field defensively might just help him win a bench job with the Cubs this spring.

The Chicago Cubs sign Dontrelle Willis

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 5 January 2013 at 11:57 am

The Cubs have signed 30-year old lefty starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal. He pitched in 4 games (1 start) in AAA-ball for the Orioles this year and he was 0-3 with a 8.53 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP. Willis last pitched in the majors for the Reds back in 2011. Willis has pitched in 205 games (202 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 72-69 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Willis has also been a solid hitter in the majors. He is 95 of 389 (.244 avg, .665 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 9 homers and 39 RBIs. Willis is a longshot to help the Cubs in 2013.

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