Tagged: Tom Gorzelanny

1/14 Geovany Soto signs

Cubs catcher Geovany Soto avoided arbitration and signed a one-year, $3 million deal Friday night. Soto batted .280 last season with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 105 games. The 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, Soto struggled in ’09 and batted .218. The Cubs now have avoided arbitration with Soto, Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill. The arbitration eligible players remaining include Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Matt Garza and Tom Gorzelanny.

— Carrie Muskat 

1/12 Russell, Cashner options for rotation

The Cubs will consider lefty James Russell as well as right-hander Andrew Cashner for the rotation and let them compete in Spring Training with the other pitchers on the roster. Manager Mike Quade said Wednesday he plans to talk to pitching coach Mark Riggins as well as Russell and Cashner this week while all are in Chicago for the Cubs Caravan and Cubs Convention.

Russell was a starter in the Minor Leagues in 2007 and ’08, but switched to the bullpen in ’09. Last season with the Cubs, he was used strictly as a reliever, appearing in 57 games and compiling a 4.96 ERA. The Cubs could have three lefties in the bullpen in John Grabow, Sean Marshall and Scott Maine. The rotation is very right-handed with Tom Gorzelanny as the only southpaw option.

Cashner wants to start, too. He did that exclusively in the Minor Leagues but when called up to the Cubs, was used strictly out of the bullpen and posted a 4.80 ERA in 53 games. He finished strong, with a 1.40 ERA in his final 18 appearances. The difference? The right-hander said he had better command of his fastball. He and Russell will head to Arizona next week to start training at the team’s facility.

The Cubs would appear to have a lot of pitching depth with the addition of Matt Garza to a rotation that already has Gorzelanny, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Silva, and Randy Wells. Quade said the competition is good. Who will be the Cubs’ Opening Day starter?

“I have no idea,” Quade said. “What I do know is I have three great pitchers to chose from. There are too many variables to look at but there’s no question that Garza is in the mix. We’ll take a look at ‘Z’ and ‘Demp’ and ‘Garz.'”

— Carrie Muskat

1/12 Hill avoids arbitration

The Cubs avoided arbirtration with catcher Koyie Hill on Wednesday and signed him to a one-year, $850,000 contract.

“In the bottom of my heart, I would probably scrape every penny I have to pay for a chance to do this,” Hill said. “Contract negotiations is something that’s part of the game, but I’m happy its over, I’m happy I’m a Cub and I’m happy the Cubs organization thinks enough of me to want to have me back.”

Hill, 31, made 60 starts last season and batted .214 with 13 doubles, one triple, one homer and 17 RBIs. Since 2007, the team has an 84-72 record in games he has started.

Catcher Geovany Soto and pitchers Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, and Tom Gorzelanny are the Cubs’ remaining arbitration eligible players. Jeff Baker, 29, also was arbitration eligible but he renewed Dec. 2 on a $1.175 million contract.

— Carrie Muskat

1/5 Garza to Cubs rumors

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday the Cubs were “close” to acquiring Rays right-hander Matt Garza. That was news to the Cubs. ESPN’s Buster Olney cited a well-placed source Wednesday morning as saying the Rays were more likely to deal Garza this summer. My Tampa sources say the same thing. The Rays are waiting for a team to blow them away with players in exchange. Are the Cubs interested in Garza? Yes. But the Cubs don’t want to give up some of their young talent. The Rays may change their mind around the trading deadline. The Cubs do have depth in the rotation with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva. Garza would definitely give the team a boost and help counter moves made this offseason by the Brewers.

— Carrie Muskat

12/29 Looking ahead

Will the Cubs be quiet on New Year’s Eve? Or will it be like last year when they signed outfielder Marlon Byrd to a three-year deal on Dec. 31, 2009? Remember New Year’s Eve 2008? On that date, the Cubs signed infielder Aaron Miles and traded Mark DeRosa to the Indians for Chris Archer, John Gaub and Jeff Stevens. Archer was named the organization’s Minor League pitcher of the year in 2010.

Heading into 2011, the Cubs’ only major piece of unfinished business is to sign arbitration eligible players Carlos Marmol, Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, Geovany Soto, and Koyie Hill. Jeff Baker also was arb eligible but he signed on Dec. 2 for $1.18 million. The arbitration filing period is Jan. 5-15, and figures are Jan. 18 if a resolution is not reached. Hearings take place in February.

Other dates to remember: The Cubs Convention will be Jan. 14-16 at the Hilton Chicago.

— Carrie Muskat

12/17 Mets interested in Gorzelanny?

The New York Post reports the Mets have inquired about Cubs pitcher Tom
Gorzelanny. The lefty made $800,000 last year, and will receive a raise
through arbitration but would still be a fairly economical addition.
Gorzelanny was 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 games (23 starts) last season
with Chicago. You can never have enough pitching, but the Cubs do have a
surplus with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Carlos Silva,
plus up and coming youngsters such as Casey Coleman, Chris Carpenter,
Chris Archer and Thomas Diamond.

— Carrie Muskat

12/2 Baker signs 1-year deal

The Cubs and Jeff Baker avoided arbitration, and the infielder signed a one-year, $1.175 million deal on Thursday. Baker was one of six Cubs who are arbitration eligible. The team will tender contracts to the other five: Geovany Soto, Tom Gorzelanny, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol. As of now, Baker is listed on the depth chart at first base.

— Carrie Muskat

9/26 Extra bases – UPDATED

Tom Gorzelanny will get one more start before the regular season ends on Thursday against the Padres. The left-hander lasted 3 1/3 innings on Friday against the Cardinals, his first start since Sept. 1. He had been sidelined after being struck by a line drive by the Pirates’ Jose Tabata. Ryan Dempster (14-11, 3.87 ERA) will start Tuesday and in the regular season finale next Sunday.

* Marlon Byrd’s right eye was still swollen and bruised after taking a foul ball off his face. on “If I needed him today, I’m sure he’d run out and play his heart out,” Mike Quade said of Byrd. “Let’s give him a couple days and we’ll try him in San Diego. In my mind, we’re just having him ready for San Diego tomorrow.”

* WGN Radio broadcaster Ron Santo will not make the team’s final road trip to San Diego and Houston. Santo will host a walk-a-thon to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on Oct. 3 in Chicago.

* Cubs players and coaches threw balls and souvenirs into the stands prior to Sunday’s game, the last home game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have topped 3 million fans for the seventh consecutive year.

“It’s the end of a long grind but we’ll have some fun today and enjoy the crowd and spend some time with the fans,” Quade said. “It’s just phenomenal the support we get. It’s always been from when I was 7 years old to 53 now.”

* The Cubs rookies had some colorful costumes to wear on the plane ride to San Diego instead of their normal street clothes. It was rookie hazing day at Wrigley. Thomas Diamond was dressed as a chicken, Andrew Cashner was dolled up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, while Marcos Mateo had an elaborate Cleopatra get-up. James Russell had an appropriate cowgirl dress.

“I like their taste,” Russell said of whomever selected the costumes. “It’s a little Western wear and I’ve got piece of Texas in me.”

Outfielder Brad Snyder had fishnet stockings, a purple sequined top and purple, green and gold wig.

“I never played dress-up as a kid,” he said.

It’s all in good fun.

* Albert Pujols has hit 25 home runs at Wrigley Field, tied for the most by an active player with Washington’s Adam Dunn. Pujols has 47 homers against the Cubs, the most against any opponent. “Just another park, man,” Pujols said.

* The Cubs bullpen has a 1.51 ERA (nine earned runs in 53 2/3 innings) in the last 18 games dating to Sept. 6.

— Carrie Muskat

9/24 Gorzelanny lobbies for safer game

Cubs pitcher Tom Gorzelanny has had to deal with his share of comebackers this season, including a line drive by the Pirates’ Jose Tabata on Sept. 1 off his left hand. Gorzelanny made his first start since the incident on Friday against the Cardinals.

“It’s one thing you can’t control,” Gorzelanny said of all the flying objects. “Things happen, balls fly, they find people.

“With Tyler [Colvin], it was such a scary thing,” he said of the Cubs rookie, struck in the chest by a broken bat last Sunday. “It’s not shocking because of the way bats are these days. You see it all the time all year and they’re not finding people and the one time it does, bad things happen. You’ve got a guy with a punctured lung at home right now.

“Hopefully, something can be done about that,” Gorzelanny said. “It’s frightening. You don’t think as a guy on base, running the bases, you’re going to get hit. The closest person to getting hit is the pitcher. You’ve got baseballs flying back at you and bats flying back at you. It’s part of the game. You hope the bat aspect, you can control it. The ball, you can’t control.”

— Carrie Muskat