Cubs suspend Stewart for Twitter flap

Cubs suspend Stewart for Twitter flap

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/11/2013 - 18:16

Theo Epstein said he’d rather be talking about Javier Baez’s 4 home runs last night for Daytona instead of putting out Twitter fires. But Epstein had to talk about the need to suspend minor-league third baseman Ian Stewart for comments Stewart made on Twitter overnight.

Among other things, Stewart said he had no chance of being called back up by the Cubs because manager Dale Sveum doesn’t like him. That may be true now, but Sveum said he was in Stewart’s corner last winter when the Cubs non-tendered him and ended up bringing him back anyway.

Stewart also tweeted that life was better at Class AAA Iowa than in the big leagues. The Cubs outrighted him to Iowa early this season after he completed an injury rehab. Epstein cited a loyalty clause in Stewart’s contract.

“There was a personal attack on the manager, which can’t really be tolerated,” Epstein said.

It’s possible the Cubs and Stewart could negotiate an end to the relationship because it’s unlikely Stewart will be called back up. He’s not on the 40-man roster, and Epstein said the Cubs are getting the second-best production from third base along with good defense from Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom.

“If that were to change in the future and Ian were to prove he can excel at the Triple-A level, then we’d consider calling him back up here at some point,” Epstein said. “But in the meantime, we’re really happy with the production we’re getting at third. Ian’s working on trying to figure out Triple-A pitching. We’ll see what happens. I do wish him the best. I hope he can turn his career around. We’re rooting for him. He made a mistake. He apologized for it. We’re taking some disciplinary action. It’s over at that point.”

Stewart apologized on Twitter and to the Cubs. His agent, Larry Reynolds, sent a statement out to the Chicago media: “I have spoken to both Ian and Theo regarding Ian’s tweets last night. Ian is very apologetic for venting his frustrations with his situation in that manner. He has apologized to the Cubs organization and does not want to be a further distraction. With that being said, if the Cubs don’t have Ian in their future plans, I feel that it is in the best interests of both parties for the Cubs to release him and end this relationship.”

As for Sveum, he seemed clearly disappointed by Stewart, but not entirely surprised, given Stewart’s propensity to use Twitter.

“I was all on board in bringing him back and giving him another chance, give him a chance to prove what he could do at the big-league level and with the Cubs," he said. "Obviously, it didn’t work out. It’s unfortunate people have to vent their frustrations through social media. It’s just unfortunate.

"It's unfortunate that somebody could be that unprofessional to tweet something like that about an organization. It reflects on everybody here, the players and the whole organization.

“Valbuena’s played well. We gave him every chance. I said it was his job to win, and obviously, that didn’t happen.”

As far as "not liking" Stewart, Sveum said: “I liked him enough to be in his court to bring him back.”

On to Javier Baez. We’ll credit the Daytona Beach News-Journal and Chris Boyle for the quotes and coverage of Baez’s 4-homer game. Baez became the second player in Florida State League history – joining onetime Cubs minor-leaguer and top draft pick Ryan Harvey to hit 4 homers in a game.

“It means a lot that only two people can do that, and hopefully somebody will do it again,” Baez told the paper.

Daytona manager Dave Keller was in the third-base coaching box while the Cub were at bat. He talked about the fourth homer.

“I was almost straddling the third base line, and I thought it was fair and that it went right over the top (of the foul pole),” he told the paper. “The third baseman and I were talking about it, and he thought it was foul.

“He only overswung at one, maybe two pitches tonight, and that was during his fourth at-bat where he fouled them off. He was under control with his swings. He got good pitches to hit, and he hit them hard.”

Baez said the night was even more special because his mother, sister and two brothers were in attendance.

“They know how good I am (at) playing baseball. They expect anything from me,” Baez said.

MINOR-LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Iowa beat Oklahoma City 7-6 Monday. Yoanner Negrin got the win, working 5 innings and giving up 10 hits and 5 runs. He’s 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA. Brad Nelson hit a pair of homers to give him 12 for the season. Logan Watkins went 2-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI.

Junior Lake (.435) went 1-for-5 with two runs scored, a double (5) and a. He has hit safely in five of his first six games with Iowa

Class AA Tennessee was a walk-off 4-3 loser at Mobile. A.J. Morris got no decision as he worked 5.1 innings, giving up 2 his and 1 run while walking none and striking out four.

Arismendy Alcantara (.290) recorded his 17th multi-hit game of the campaign, going 2-for-4.

Rafael Lopez (.271) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a season-high 2 doubles (14). He has hit safely in five of his last six

In Baez’s big game at Daytona, Zach Cates got the win as he worked 6 innings, giving up 7 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned, while walking none and striking out six. Cates is 6-5 with a 4.18 ERA.

Tim Saunders (.210) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

John Andreoli (.316) went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and one RB. He is batting .352 (56-for-159) with 19 RBI against right-handed pitchers.

The Kane County Cougars fell 6-2 to Cedar Rapids. Pierce Johnson lasted 4.2 innings, giving up 7 hits and 5 runs. He’s 4-5 with a 3.45 ERA.

Rock Shoulders (.260) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double (12).

Oliver Zapata (.270) recorded his third multi-hit game in his last four contests, going 2-for-3 with a run scored

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our or terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.