Chicago's Inside Pitch

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Villanueva laments 'heartbreaking' loss

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 07/30/2013 - 18:34

Carlos Villanueva summed up this afternoon’s 6-5 loss to the Brewers this way:

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s a heartbreaking loss. It’s frustrating. It’s baseball. It happens. We go out there and try to do our jobs. Sometimes it doesn’t happen the way we want it to. When it happens more than once, more than twice, it’s obviously difficult on the day of.”

Fetching far with Samardzija trade talk

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 07/30/2013 - 13:06

We’re in it for the long haul today, with a day-night doubleheader between the Cubs and Brewers at Wrigley Field. The first game is a makeup of a rainout on April 10. The Cubs have recalled pitcher Jake Arrieta from Class AAA Iowa to serve as the 26th man in the doubleheader. He’ll start the second game. There is no open spot in the rotation, so Arrieta will head back to Iowa. The Cubs got him in the July 2 trade with Baltimore for Scott Feldman.

The nonwaiver trading deadline is tomorrow at 3 p.m. Questions come up every year at this time about how players handle the speculation.

Cubs come home feeling good

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 07/29/2013 - 18:12

We’re back at the ballpark just two days before the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline. The names of Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz are the two most bandied about in trade talks, and one or both could be gone within 48 hours.

“It’s not my first go-around with the trading deadline,” Gregg said this afternoon before the Cubs took the field for batting practice ahead of tonight’s game against the Brewers. “Rumors swirl, and front offices are running all kind of scenarios. We can’t get involved that stuff as players. We’ve got to worry about the job on the field and go from there.”

True or false? Sox set to trade (UPDATED)

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 07/29/2013 - 13:36

So we’re about 50 hours away from the nonwaiver trade deadline.
Brace yourself for some wild rumors leading up to Wednesday afternoon, and don’t believe everything you read or hear. If you’re on Twitter, take even more precaution.
It’s no secret the White Sox are in sell mode, but we’ve already been subjected to two outrageous trade reports.
This first came on July 19, when right fielder Alex Rios was pulled from the Sox’ game against the Braves.
The immediate speculation was Rios had been traded, and there were numerous reports he was spotted “hugging” his teammates in the dugout.
In reality, Rios was yanked from the game by manager Robin Ventura for failing to run hard to first base.

Bad day for Crain

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 07/25/2013 - 12:25

Not a good day for Jesse Crain. And not a good day for the White Sox.
The nonwaiver trade deadline is less than a week away, and Crain (shoulder strain) was hoping to come off the disabled list as early as Sunday.
That would have allowed the ace reliever (0.74 ERA) to pitch in a game or two before Wednesday, and you have to figure contending teams would have engaged in a bidding war to get Crain in a trade.
The way it looks now, Crain is still going to be on the DL when Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline rolls around.
After throwing off the mound Tuesday, Crain wasn’t feeling too hot yesterday. He was hoping to give it another go this morning at U.S. Cellular Field, but Crain wasn’t feeling up to another bullpen after doing some light throwing in the outfield.

Sometimes a day off is just a day off (Soriano sits)

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 07/24/2013 - 17:29

The Cubs made one roster move today and one lineup move that sent social media atwitter. Center fielder David DeJesus came off the disabled list after more than a month. He’ll lead off against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix. The hot-hitting Junior Lake will play left field, and Nate Schierholtz is in right. Who’s not in the lineup is Alfonso Soriano. That set off speculation that Soriano would be traded soon. However, the Cubs say today is a scheduled day off for Soriano.

Tell that one to everybody on Twitter, many of whom are citing Soriano’s 6-for-13 batting and 3 homers lifetime against Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy.

Crain on comeback trail; Sale says he's sorry

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 18:42

We're just over a week away from the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, and things are getting interesting on the South Side.
Reliever Jesse Crain is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder and hasn't pitched since June 29.
The ace setup man, who has a 0.74 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, threw a bullpen for the first time Tuesday and could be back on the mound for the White Sox on Sunday or Monday.
"He felt good," Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said after Crain threw 33 pitches. "The juggling act for us today was it was his first time on the mound. We want to do enough work without doing too much. We want to do it to the point where he's maybe a tad fatigued, making sure you've got that good workout in and feel good before, during and after."

Soriano next? Plus lots of oddities and ends

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 09:31

We’ll get caught up on a few things today, the morning after the Cubs traded pitcher Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for prospects. Now, word comes out of New York and the New York Post that the Cubs and Yankees are close to a deal that would send left fielder Alfonso Soriano to the Bronx:

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/sori_desperate_need_of_power_yank...

The Post’s George King reports that the Cubs would pick up most of what’s left on Soriano’s eight-year, $136 million contract, which expires at the end of the 2014 season. Soriano has no-trade rights because he is a 10-and-5 player.

In return, King reports, the Cubs would get a midlevel prospect.

Rios at odds with Ventura over benching

Posted by scotgreg on Sat, 07/20/2013 - 13:33

The obvious question is - did White Sox right fielder Alex Rios hurt his trade value by dogging it running to first base Friday night, a decision that prompted manager Robin Ventura to pull him from the game?
The obvious answer is - who knows?
Contending teams interested in Rios know what he can do when he is fully motivated.
But Rios' knack for slacking off when things don't go well might be a concern for teams that are focused solely on the playoffs.
We'll see what happens there.
At U.S. Cellular Field this morning, Rios said most of the right things when asked about being benched last night.

Sox worth watching - on trade front

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 07/19/2013 - 18:52

The White Sox are preparing to open the (unofficial) second half of the season tonight against the Braves at U.S. Cellular Field.
With a 37-55 record they are going nowhere fast in the AL Central, and there is still a very strong sense that players including Jesse Crain, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Lindstrom are all going to be traded before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline.
"I don't know what direction they're going to go," Crain said earlier this afternoon. "I'm not sure if they're going to sell some guys off in trades."
General manager Rick Hahn traded veteran reliever Matt Thornton to the Red Sox one week ago, and he indicated more deals are coming.