Tagged: Xavier Nady

9/1 Old friends

Xavier Nady was a good roommate when he, Justin Germano and two other players shared a three-bedroom apartment in Portland in 2004 while members of the Padres’ Triple-A team. Nady was clean, always quick with one-liners, and kept things light. Germano could’ve used a quip from his former teammate after Nady got the better of the Cubs pitcher on Saturday.

Playing his first game back in the big leagues after a month-long Minor League stint, Nady hit a three-run double off Germano to spark the Giants to a 5-2 win over the Cubs. Nady, who signed a Minor League contract with the Giants on Aug. 5 after being released by the Nationals, came through in the first for San Francisco. Germano (2-5) took the loss.

“He’s a good hitter,” Germano said of Nady. “You definitely have to mix it up with him. He can hurt you with a long ball and drive the ball in the gap. I tried to get a fastball in there and tried to get a ground ball and I did but he was able to keep it out of reach of [third baseman Luis] Valbuena.”

How was Nady, the roommate?

“He was clean, he was funny,” Germano said. “He kept us all in a good mood. He was definitely a good guy to have on the team and as a roommate.”

The two roomed with infielder J.J. Furmaniak and pitcher Dennis Tankersley that season.

“I think [Nady] could probably find something to say to pick things up,” Germano said. “He was always good at that.”

Nady, who played for the Cubs in 2010, was just happy to be in a big league lineup, even if he was wearing No. 68.

“I always wanted to put on a Giants uniform,” said the veteran, who was a Will Clark fan. “To have the opportunity to do it, I knew going to (Triple-A) Fresno could benefit me.”

— Carrie Muskat

11/19 Hoffpauir eager to play in Japan

Micah Hoffpauir was shopping in a Dallas mall on Friday and added one more item to his holiday shopping list: some Japanese language tapes to help him adjust to his new team, the Nippon Ham Fighters. Hoffpauir, who has played his entire professional career with the Cubs, cleared unconditional release waivers on Friday and the rights to his contract were sold to the Japanese team. Those language tapes will help.

The Cubs are without a first baseman after trading Derrek Lee in August and letting free agent Xavier Nady go but Hoffpauir didn’t get a sense that he was their guy.

“I didn’t know what the Cubs were going to do,” Hoffpauir said. “Obviously, I thought they’d sign somebody and I’d be stuck in the same situation I was in the past. That’s not what we wanted. We wanted some sort of stability and that’s one of the main reasons we decided to do it.”

By “we,” Hoffpauir is including his wife Tiffany and soon to be 2-year-old daughter Addyson, who both had a vote. Hoffpauir plans on getting to Tokyo by Jan. 26 to get over jet lag before Spring Training begins Feb. 1.

“We’re definitely looking forward to the opportunity, no doubt,” Hoffpauir said. “It’ll be a neat experience.”

— Carrie Muskat

11/2 Free agency season underway

Cubs first baseman Xavier Nady was one of 142 players who became a free agent after the final out of the World Series Monday night. Due to recent changes in the players’ basic agreement, the exclusive negotiating period for free agents and their current clubs has been shortened to five days from 15. On the sixth day, free agent players are eligible to negotiate and sign with any team.

Also, third baseman Aramis Ramirez has three days to decide whether to exercise his $14.6 million player option for 2011 and return to the Cubs. Ramirez did indicate at the end of the season that he expected to do so. Ramirez has until midnight Thursday to decide. This season, he batted .241, including a .207 average before the All-Star break, and finished with 25 homers, 21 doubles and 83 RBIs in 124 games while battling nagging injuries.

— Carrie Muskat

9/30 New free agent rules

Major League Baseball and the Players Association have agreed to some changes regarding the free agent market. The changes include allowing free agents to negotiate with all teams at an earlier date, earlier dates for contract tenders and free agent arbitration offers, new protocols regarding public comments regarding free agent negotiations, and a prohibition on including “most favored nations” provisions in Player contracts. Specifically, for the 2010 off-season, the new dates that have been agreed to by the parties are as follows:

* Players no longer have to file for free agency; it will be automatic.

* Free agents now will be able to negotiate with any team on midnight ET of the fifth day after the World Series instead of 15 days after, as it had been previously.

* Arbitration must be offered by midnight ET Nov. 23 if a club wants to keep its right to  Draft-pick compensation. The previous deadline was Dec. 1. And free agents must accept by Nov. 30, as opposed to Dec. 7.

* Teams must tender contracts by Dec. 2, nine days earlier than the previous deadline.

The Cubs have only one free agent on the roster, Xavier Nady.

— Carrie Muskat

9/12 Colvin staying put

Tyler Colvin will continue to take grounders at first but the Cubs rookie outfielder was not expected to see any action there any time soon.

“Things are going well,” manager Mike Quade said, “and I’m not interested in pulling the trigger on that. I’d like him to keep working there. I teased him yesterday and said, ‘You never know, pal. Be ready.’ We don’t have the need that I thought we might when Derrek [Lee] left.”

Lee was traded Aug. 18 to the Braves, leaving a gap. But Xavier Nady has handled first base and the Cubs called up Micah Hoffpauir. Colvin hasn’t played first since his sophomore year in college and it was only part time then.

“It’s going to be a new experience for him,” Quade said of Colvin at first. “I don’t want him to show up tomorrow and, bang. Like I do with all of them, I want to give him a heads up. Nady’s making it tough for me to do that.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/19 What happened in the 7th

This was just too weird. The Cubs had a 2-1 lead going into the Padres seventh on Thursday. Sean Marshall had taken over for Carlos Zambrano and walked Miguel Tejada, then gave up three straight singles, including a RBI single by Ryan Ludwick, which tied the game. Chris Headley singled and one out later, Will Venable hit a two-run single to chase Marshall.

Then it got bizarre. Denorfia bounced a grounder to Aramis Ramirez at third, and he threw to catcher Koyie Hill, who chased Headley back and tagged him. Venable had scampered to third on the rundown. As Hill walked away, he appeared to have called time. But the umpires didn’t think so. No one was covering at home and Venable scored on what was ruled a fielder’s choice.

“You have to put your arms up to stop play,” Lou Piniella said. “[Hill] put his wrist up and the umpire didn’t acknowledge it. You’ve got to get your hands up and make sure the umpires know it’s ‘time out.'”

Padres third base coach Glenn Hoffman told Venable he had a window.

“I noticed it,” Venable said, “but it wasn’t until [Hoffman] nonchalantly came over and confirmed it. It ended up being a closer play at the plate than I thought. It was a great heads-up call by Hoffy.”

First baseman Xavier Nady recognized what was happening and tried to cover home.

“I was trying — he’s a lot faster than I am,” Nady said of Venable. “I didn’t know what was going on. I bolted and it wasn’t quite enough.”

Hill said he made the same gesture he usually does.

“I think in that situation I need to be more emphatic about it just to make sure because you’ve got guys scattered all over the field,” Hill said. “Credit [Nady] for getting to home plate because he’s holding a guy on and he has to stay put at first.”

Hill’s plan was to call time, then go to the mound to check on pitcher Justin Berg.

“What’s frustrating is it wasn’t a lack of concentration or just cluelessness,” Hill said. “It just happened. I felt I asked for time with the same gesture I always use.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/19 Colvin preps at 1st base

Before batting practice on Thursday, Tyler Colvin was asked if he had been secretly practicing at first base just in case he was needed there. Colvin did play first in high school and part time in college at Clemson.

“At night,” Colvin said with a straight face. “We’ve been practicing at midnight with no lights which makes it tougher.”

At that point, none of the Cubs coaching staff had said anything to him
about a possible switch from the outfield. That changed in minutes. Colvin was taking grounders at first on Thursday.

“I was a little bit surprised but I had enough people hinting toward it
the last week or so,” Colvin said. “I was a little surprised at the

With Derrek Lee gone to the Braves, the Cubs have a huge hole in the lineup and infield. Xavier Nady and Jeff Baker can handle the position for now but Colvin, a left-handed hitter, may get some time there in the final six weeks.

“He’ll get some ground balls over there and we’ll do that for a couple days and see how he feels and how he does,” Lou Piniella said. “If we can look at him over there, it gives the new people a head start on what the options are.”

Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell, who works with the infielders, only made a few suggestions during Colvin’s workout Thursday, saying the athletic rookie looked comfortable. How did Colvin feel?

“There’s a big difference between taking ground balls off a fungo and taking line drives from Ryan Howard,” he said. “That’s what I have to get used to.”

He used his first baseman’s glove from college which his grandfather had sent him earlier this year as well as a new Wilson A2000 model he was trying to break in. When Colvin did play the infield in college, he wasn’t the every day first baseman either. His best spot really is left field. That’s Alfonso Soriano’s space. Maybe Soriano could switch to first?

“Whoa,” Soriano said. “Never. I didn’t want to play second base and I played second base for five years.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/19 Lineup vs Padres

Xavier Nady is starting at first base Thursday for the Cubs in the series finale against the Padres. But rookie Tyler Colvin took grounders at first and will continue to do so to see if he can make the transition. Colvin hasn’t played first since sophomore year of college and that was part time. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome
SS Castro
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
1B Nady
LF Soriano
2B DeWitt
C Hill
P Zambrano

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Roster moves

The Cubs will call up Micah Hoffpauir from Triple-A Iowa to take Derrek Lee’s spot on the roster. The plan now is to have Hoffpauir and Xavier Nady share first base duties following the trade of Lee to the Braves for three Minor League pitchers.Hoffpauir was expected in Chicago Thursday.

— Carrie Muskat