The Cubs signed 34-year old righty reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league deal after the 2013 season started. The Cubs then used a host of pitchers as the closer and they all failed. So, the Cubs called up Gregg and gave him a shot to save some games and he appears to be the new closer. Gregg has pitched in 5 games (0 starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 0-0 with 3 saves, a 0.00 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. He has given up 3 hits and he has walked 2 batters while whiffing 4 batters in his first 4 innings pitched this year. The Cubs hope that Gregg is better this time around for the Cubs. He pitched for them in 2009, working in 72 games (0 starts) in which he was 5-6 with 23 saves, a 4.72 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
Righty swinging SS Shawon Dunston was a solid player for the Cubs, but he wasn’t the big-time player that they thought he would be in Chicago. He played in 1,254 games in his 12 years with the Cubs and he was 1,219 of 4,570 (.267 avg, .702 OPS) with 563 runs scored, 107 homers, 489 RBIs and 175 stolen bases. Dunston did make it onto the N.L. All-Star team twice (1988 and 1990). Dunston played in 155 games in 1988 for the Cubs and he was 143 of 575 (.249 avg, .627 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 9 homers, 56 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. In 1990, Dunston played in 146 games in which he was 143 of 545 (.262 avg, .709 OPS) with 73 runs scored, 17 homers, 66 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. Dunston was playing in the shadow of the great Ryne Sandberg when they played together for the Cubbies.
26-year old righty swinging catcher Welington Castillo was supposed to share time with switch-hitting Dioner Navarro, but he has taken over an almost full-time role so far this year. Castillo has played in 14 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 19 for 54 (.352 avg, .838 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Castillo is hacking at the plate right now as he has whiffed 13 times without walking so far this year, and it’s going to be hard for him to maintain a high batting average that way. Castillo has now played in 77 games in his first four years with the Cubs and he is 72 for 257 (.280 avg, .768 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 7 homers, 31 RBIs and 1 stolen base.
The Cubs have released 28-year old righty reliever Jensen Lewis. Lewis pitched in 5 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year and he was 0-1 with a 17.18 ERA and a 3.55 WHIP. He gave up 10 hits (4 homers), walked 3 batters and only whiffed 1 of them in 3 2/3 innings in AAA-ball this year and that is pathetic. Lewis has pitched in 161 games (0 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 7-11 with 14 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Lewis deserved to get let go with how horrible he was pitching in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year.
The Cubs have claimed 27-year old lefty swinging outfielder Julio Borbon off waivers from the Texas Rangers. Borbon played in 1 game for the Rangers this year and he was 0 for 1 (.000 avg) with 1 run scored. Borbon has now played in 216 games in his first four years in the majors and he is 194 for 685 (.283 avg, .681 OPS) with 101 runs scored, 7 homers, 73 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. This was a good pickup for the Cubs as a change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered to bring out the best in Borbon.
The Cubs have designated 30-year old righty swinging infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment. Gonzalez played in 11 games for the Cubs this year and he was 5 for 23 (.217 avg, .661 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. Gonzalez has now played in 413 games in his first seven years in the majors and he is 221 of 916 (.241 avg, .597 OPS) with 94 runs scored, 4 homers, 87 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. The Cubs needed Gonzalez’ roster spot for Julio Borbon, who they have claimed on waivers.
UPDATE: (4/23/2013) - The Cubs have outrighted Alberto Gonzalez to AAA.
26-year old lefty starting pitcher Travis Wood is off to a good start for the Cubs in 2013. He has started 3 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He has allowed only 13 hits and 8 walks while whiffing 13 batters in his first 19 2/3 innings for the Cubbies this year. Wood didn’t pitch that great in 2012 for the Cubs (his first year with the team) as he started 26 games and was 6-13 with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. But, you could tell that he had big time potential last year and he has cashed it on it so far in 2013. The Cubs hope that he keeps up the good work.
The Cubs have designated 38-year old lefty reliever Hisanori Takahashi for assignment. He pitched in 3 games (0 starts) for the Cubs this year and he was 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. He has now pitched in 168 games (12 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 14-12 with 10 saves, a 3.99 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. This is no loss for the Cubs moving forward.
UPDATE: (4/18/2013) - Takahashi has cleared waivers and he has been outrighted to AAA-ball by the Cubs.
The Cubs have designated 29-year old IF/OF Brent Lillibridge for assignment. Lillibridge played in 9 games for the Cubs this year and he was 1 for 24 (.042 avg, .083 OPS) with 0 runs scored, 0 homers, 2 RBIs and an amazingly awful 9 whiffs. Lillibridge has now played in 437 games in his first six years in the majors and he is 139 of 673 (.207 avg, .609 OPS) with 100 runs scored, 19 homers, 68 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. This isn’t much of a loss at all for the Cubs.
UPDATE: (4/19/2013) - The Cubs have outrighted Brent Lillibridge to AAA, as he has cleared waivers.
The Cubs have claimed 37-year old righty swinging 3B/SS Cody Ransom off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Ransom played in 5 games for the Padres this year and he was 0 for 11 (.000 avg, .000 OPS) with 5 whiffs. Ransom has now played in 326 games in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 128 of 594 (.215 avg, .690 OPS) with 90 runs scored, 21 homers, 85 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Ransom has some defensive versatility and some random power, so maybe he can help the Cubs.