October 2010

10/31 AFL update

Cubs prospect Jake Muyco served up four runs on seven hits over four innings and took the loss in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 12-6 loss Saturday to Phoenix in Arizona Fall League Play. Muyco, a converted catcher, struck out four but also gave up two home runs, both to Cory Harrilchak, who connected in the second and the fourth. Chris Carpenter gave up four runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning and Kyle Smit was charged with one hit and one walk over 1 2/3 innings. Ryan Flaherty went 3-for-4 and Josh Vitters 2-for-5 with one RBI, hitting a RBI single in the eighth. The Solar Sox have Sunday off and return to action Monday, playing host to the Peoria Saguaros at HoHoKam Stadium.

— Carrie Muskat

10/30 AFL update

Brett Jackson was 0-for-2 and Ryan Flaherty 1-for-3 in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 9-1 loss to Scottsdale in Arizona Fall League play on Friday. The Solar Sox play host to Phoenix on Saturday, and Jake Muyco, a catcher converting to pitcher, was slated to start. In three starts so far, he’s given up 10 earned runs on 16 hits and four walks over 8 2/3 innings for a 10.38 ERA.

— Carrie Muskat

10/30 Bullpen catcher ticketed

The Cubs are investigating an incident in which bullpen catcher Corey Miller was ticketed on suspicion of possession of marijuana after authorities found 8.4 pounds of pot in the truck he was driving through Lincoln, Neb., last weekend.

Miller had been stopped last Saturday by the Nebraska State Patrol for driving 71 mph in a 65 mph zone, traveling east on Interstate 80. According to the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, Nebraska State Police Trooper Mark White pulled over the pickup for speeding.

“I asked what [Miller] did for a living, and he said that he was a catcher for the Cubs,” the affidavit states.

Miller, 34, has been the team’s bullpen catcher since 2007. His contract expires Monday. A Cubs official said they are looking into the matter.

A woman in the truck, Maria Myaskovsky, 26, of Madera, Calif., was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. She was charged Monday in Lancaster County Court with possession of marijuana with intent to delivery. She pleaded not guilty and posted 10 percent of her $25,000 bond to be released from jail.

When stopped, Miller and Myaskovsky were interviewed separately, and the affidavit says the trooper became suspicious when their stories didn’t match up. A background check revealed several prior arrests of Myaskovsky.

The affidavit said Miller consented to having the truck searched, and the trooper found a small baggie of marijuana and a marijuana pipe in a plastic baby formula bag. The trooper found 8.4 pounds of pot packed in plastic bags and wrapped in dryer sheets in a suitcase which contained men’s clothing.

There was an infant in the car, and Miller was cited and released to take care of the child while Myaskovsky was jailed. Interviews conducted by the trooper led investigators to believe Myaskovsky was responsible for packing the drugs, according to the affidavit.

— Carrie Muskat

10/29 Roster move

The Cubs tweaked the 40-man roster Friday, selecting catcher Robinson Chirinos from Double-A Tennessee. They also outrighted outfielder Jim Adduci to Triple-A Iowa. The 40-man roster now stands at 39.

Chirinos, 26, set career marks with a .326 batting average, 18 home runs and 74 RBIs between Tennessee and Iowa. He also totaled 28 doubles, a .416 on-base percentage and a .583 slugging percentage. A right-handed hitter, he spent most of the season with the Smokies, where he hit .318 with 15 homers, 24 doubles and 64 RBIs in 77 games.

Adduci, 25, batted .248 with nine doubles, a triple, three homers and 33 RBIs in 114 games for Iowa. He led the club with 23 stolen bases. The outfielder was acquired by the Cubs in September 2006 from the Marlins to complete an earlier deal that sent pitcher Todd Wellemeyer to Florida.

— Carrie Muskat

10/29 AFL update

Josh Vitters scored a run and stole a base but it wasn’t enough as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 6-4 to the Peoria Javelinas on Thursday in Arizona Fall League Play. Vitters is batting .222 so far while teammate Ryan Flaherty is batting .289 and riding a five-game hitting streak. Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2009 Draft, is 3-for-10 with a double and five RBIs in three AFL games. The Solar Sox play at Scottsdale against the Scorpions Friday night.

— Carrie Muskat

10/28 AFL update

Brett Jackson hit a two-run single in a four-run fifth inning and stole a base in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 7-6 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions in Arizona Fall League action Wednesday. Jackson is the Cubs’ 2009 No. 1 Draft pick. Kyle Smit, acquired from the Dodgers in the Ted Lilly-Ryan Theriot-Blake DeWitt deal, picked up the win in relief, getting three ground outs in the seventh. David Cales and Chris Carpenter, also Cubs prospects, pitched in the game. Both Cales and Carpenter pitched at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. The Solar Sox play host to the Peoria Javelinas on Thursday at HoHoKam Stadium.

— Carrie Muskat

10/27 Cubs Convention tix on sale Nov. 3

Can’t wait for summer to see the 2011 Cubs? Weekend passes for the 26th annual Cubs Convention will go on sale Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. CDT.

The Cubs Convention will be held Jan. 14-16, 2011, at the Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Ave., Chicago. Passes will be available for purchase by visiting http://www.cubs.com or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS.

Fans can purchase up to four weekend passes per person while they last. Each weekend pass is $60 plus convenience fees, with proceeds benefiting Chicago Cubs Charities. Passes include access to all autograph/photo opportunities, question and answer sessions, memorabilia and vendor booths, as well as interactive areas.

Rooms at a special Cubs Convention rate are still available at the Hilton Chicago. Fans with room reservations under the special rate can purchase weekend passes for $20 each (limit four per room). In addition, the Cubs will offer a special autographed item to everyone who books a room under the Cubs Convention rate (one item per room while supplies last). Hotel reservations can be made by calling the Hilton Chicago at (312) 922-4400.

— Carrie Muskat

10/27 AFL update

Cubs prospect Josh Vitters went 2-for-6 with two doubles and one RBI and scored two runs in Mesa’s 18-9 victory over the Peoria Saguaros on Tuesday in Arizona Fall League play. Vitters doubled in the second but was stranded and then hit a RBI double in the third. Ryan Flaherty was 1-for-5 and scored two runs in the win. The Saguaros committed six errors in the game but Josh Harrison was the star. The Pirates’ prospect went 4-for-5, including a home run and two doubles, drove in three runs, and scored five. Mesa plays host to Scottsdale Wednesday at HoHoKam Stadium.

— Carrie Muskat

10/26 Coaches update

Cubs manager Mike Quade needs a new bench coach and Ryne Sandberg does not appear to be in line for the job. Alan Trammell, who was the bench coach for four years under Lou Piniella, has joined Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson’s staff as bench coach, Arizona announced Tuesday. Trammell joins other former Cubs as Don Baylor was named hitting coach and Eric Young named first base coach. Gibson was Trammell’s bench coach in Detroit when Trammell managed the Tigers from 2003-05.

Quade, given a two-year contract one week ago after a successful six-week term at the end of the 2010 season, was not expected to name the rest of his staff until after the World Series. MLB asks teams to refrain from making any announcements during the series, which gets underway Wednesday in San Francisco between the Giants and Rangers.

Sandberg, one of the finalists for the Cubs manager’s job, was not expected to replace Trammell on the bench and it was not clear what role the Hall of Fame second baseman would have in the organization. That likely will be one of the topics discussed during the Cubs’ organizational meetings, which get underway next week in Arizona.

The majority of the Cubs staff was expected to return in 2011, including pitching coach Larry Rothschild, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, bullpen coach Lester Strode, third base coach Ivan DeJesus and first base coach Bob Dernier. Dernier had been the team’s roving baserunning instructor before joining the big league team when Quade took over for Piniella on Aug. 23.

Matt Sinatro, who was a special assistant to the manager and involved with the scouting reports and working with the catchers, was not expected to return in 2011.

— Carrie Muskat

10/26 Trammell to join D-backs

Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell was expected to join Kirk Gibson’s staff on the Diamondbacks in a similar capacity. Gibson also was adding former Cubs manager Don Baylor as hitting coach. Trammell, 52, would replace Bo Porter, who was dismissed at the end of this season. Gibson was Trammell’s bench coach in Detroit when he managed the Tigers from 2003-05. Trammell has been the Cubs’ bench coach since 2007 when Lou Piniella took over.

The Cubs have yet to announce manager Mike Quade’s staff. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild did exercise his option to return and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo was expected back after signing a three-year deal in October 2009.

— Carrie Muskat