Chicago Cubs: Brian Bogusevic

Rapid Reaction: Pirates 2, Cubs 1

September, 23, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday:

How it happened: Starling Marte hit a two-out home run off of Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning after the Cubs tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth. The Cubs trailed 1-0 until the eighth inning, when pinch hitter Donnie Murphy drove in Brian Bogusevic with a base hit to left. A Neil Walker home run in the first inning nearly held up as the Cubs' offense couldn’t help starter Jeff Samardzija, who went six innings. Charlie Morton was on his game as he gave up only three hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out five. He struck out the side in the fifth and had to work out of only one jam over the course of the night. The Cubs had the leadoff man on in innings 6-8 before finally pushing across their lone run in the eighth.

What it means: Samardzija had a rough start, with the second batter of the game going deep, and though he gave up five hits and four walks, he battled through six innings. That’s significant because many times this year he hasn’t kept his team within striking distance. In his second-to-last start of the year, that’s exactly what he did, and now Samardzija has a chance to finish his year strong on Sunday in the season finale. The Pirates clinched at least a tie for a wild-card berth pending the outcome of the St. Louis Cardinals/Washington Nationals game.

Outside the box: Cubs catcher Welington Castillo had arthroscopic right knee surgery on Monday and is expected to be fully healed for next season. Before the game, manager Dale Sveum expressed interest in seeing reliever Hector Rondon pitch in back-to-back games. He had a 1-2-3 eighth inning, which featured a fastball that reach 98 mph. The speed of his fastball was something Sveum was interested in seeing on his second straight day on the mound.

What’s next: Game 2 of the series takes place on Tuesday night when Chris Rusin opposes Gerrit Cole.

Jake Arrieta stuck in neutral

September, 7, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Sometimes, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta sounds and looks like he’s starting to figure things out, but then comes another frustrating outing and you’re left to wonder if he can be a big league starter for this team in the coming seasons.

Arrieta had a 2-0 lead on the lowly Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday but blew up in the fourth inning after walking two batters and giving up three hits.

The hits aren’t the problem, but three walks and a hit batter in his first four innings are.

“Obviously, it’s something we’re trying to get a grip on because it’s been a problem,” manager Dale Sveum said after Chicago's 5-3 loss. “A couple of good pitches, you get two strikes, and not being able to make a pitch to put someone out with.”

But Arrieta isn’t always even getting to two strikes. Both he and Sveum agree that walks are going to be part of the game, but after loading the bases with his second free pass in the fourth, Arrieta went 2-0 on Logan Schafer. The next pitch was sent to the wall in right center, clearing the bases.

“Went 2-0 just trying to be too fine there instead of pounding the zone,” Arrieta explained. “Bases loaded -- had to come at him. Left a sinker right in the middle of the plate. Just backed myself into the corner with those walks.”

Makes sense, but why go 2-0? Why wait to pound the zone with the bases loaded? Schafer knew what he was getting. Once again, it’s the pitches after the walks that are as frustrating as the walks themselves.

“[He’s] having trouble with his fastball control, period,” Sveum said. “He got 2-0, and you’re hoping to keep that ball down. He got it belt-high.”

Arrieta was asked what he can do before the damage is done.

“Raise my sights and aim for the middle of the plate with quality sinkers,” he responded. “When I try to go to the middle of the plate it never ends up there. Be more focused on the middle of the plate.”

Again, it sounds like he has the right plan, but the execution -- and then the realizing it after the fact -- is frustrating.

“It’s frustrating because it’s just a couple of pitches in there that cost me four runs in that inning,” Arrieta said.

That’s a statement any Triple-A pitcher trying to make it to the big leagues could say. “Just that one inning” or “just that one or two pitches.” It’s the difference between winning and losing, and it might be the difference between Arrieta taking his talented arm to the bullpen and remaining in the rotation next season.

Bogusevic homers: It seems like outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic continue to take turns impressing at the plate. Bogusevic hit his fourth home run of the season on Saturday, a line shot out to right field. The converted pitcher has never had a season of 500 at-bats.

“I think everyone wants that,” Bogusevic said. “That’s what you play for, to play every day.”

It will be interesting to see which, if any, of the two the Cubs keep for next season. Sweeney is more refined and complete as a baseball player, but Bogusevic might have more upside with his big bat. With the Cubs organization still in transition mode, there might be an opening for one next season -- either as a third or fourth outfielder.

“I think I can hit,” Bogusevic said. “I just want to do it every day.”

Rapid Reaction: Brewers 5, Cubs 3

September, 7, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday:

How it happened: Jake Arrieta was staked to a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run home run by Luis Valbuena in the second inning, but he couldn’t hold it, giving up four in the fourth. The big blow was a three-run triple by Logan Schafer after Arrieta walked two earlier in the inning. He was done after five innins. Brian Bogusevic hit a solo shot in the sixth to draw the Cubs within one, but that’s as close as they’d come as Jonathan Lucroy tripled home an insurance run in the ninth.

What it means: Arrieta is running out of chances this season to prove he belongs in the rotation for next season. He gave up the lead way too easily and finished with three walks and a hit batter in just five innings. That’s not good enough and his 4.28 ERA are not good enough.

Outside the box: Chang-Yong Lim made his major league debut for the Cubs on the mound in the seventh inning, becoming the 54th player to see action for them this season. That tops the franchise record set last season. He put two players on but induced a ground-ball double play to get out of the jam.

What’s next: Scott Baker makes his season and Cubs debut on Sunday in the series finale, in which he’ll face Yovani Gallardo (10-9, 4.31 ERA).

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 6, Cubs 2

September, 3, 2013
Levine By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs lost a 6-2 decision to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: Edwin Jackson was seeking his first victory since July 31. The 29-year-old starter was 0-3 with a 5.97 ERA in August. (Marlins starter Tom Koehler also had his problems in August, having posted only one victory in the month.) Jackson got out of jams with men in scoring position in four straight innings before giving up a one-out RBI double to Christian Yelich in the fifth. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a run-producing single. Starlin Castro’s error on a routine double-play ball extended the inning, scoring the third run. Jackson was finished after five innings. Koehler imploded in the fifth, giving up a leadoff home run to Brian Bogusevic and walking the bases loaded before getting removed. Anthony Rizzo’s sacrifice fly closed the gap to a single run. The Marlins finished the scoring with three runs in the eighth.

What it means: Jackson (7-15) is winless in his Past six starts. He has averaged 5T innings in his 27 outings. Rookie LHP Zach Rosscup made his major league debut, striking out Chris Coghlan in the sixth (two-thirds of an inning, with a walk and the K).

Outside of the box: Kris Bryant, the Cubs' first draft choice for 2013, was named the organization’s player of the month. Bryant hit seven home runs and drove in 21 runs between rookie league Boise and high Class A Daytona. The 21-year-old third baseman recorded a 1.199 OPS. RHP Pierce Johnson was the franchise’s pitcher of the month. Johnson, 22, was 3-0 in three starts and one relief appearance. He had an ERA of 1.02. … The Cubs added four players from Triple A Iowa. LHP Brooks Raley, Rosscup and RHP Justin Grimm will pitch out of the bullpen. Catcher J.C. Boscan will back up Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro.

Up next: RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-11,4.13) goes after his ninth win at 1:20 CT Wednesday, as the Cubs try to avoid a three-game sweep against Miami. LHP Brian Flynn will be making his major league debut for the Marlins.

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 7, Phillies 1

September, 1, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

How it happened: The Cubs hit Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick hard, scoring single runs in the first and third innings before breaking the game open with a three-run fourth. Ryan Sweeney drove in a run in his first at-bat since late June with a soft single in the bottom of the first. A double by Anthony Rizzo plated another run in the third before Darin Ruf got the Phillies on the board with a solo home run off Jake Arrieta in the top of the fourth. But then the Cubs went to work on Kendrick as Donnie Murphy, Brian Bogusevic and Welington Castillo opened the bottom of the inning with hits. Castillo’s double plated two runs. After tagging from second to third on a fly out to right, Castillo did the same from third to home on a fly ball by Darwin Barney as catcher Erik Kratz dropped the ball after the tag. The Cubs added two runs in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk to Luis Valbuena and sacrifice fly by Starlin Castro. Arrieta was on his game, walking only three, two of which came in the sixth inning. He limited the Phillies to three hits over 6⅔ innings before giving way to the bullpen.

What it means: The Cubs got the good Arrieta on Sunday as his control wasn’t an issue for the majority of the day. And when he did give a free pass to a batter, he got out of trouble with good pitches to the next batter. Twice he walked Jimmy Rollins in front of the dangerous Chase Utley, but Arrieta got Utley out three times, twice on strikeouts. He’s starting to fit into next season’s plans, as long as his control doesn’t become troublesome again.

Outside the box: With the calendar turning to September, the Cubs added only three players to their roster on Sunday. Their Triple-A affiliate in Iowa ends its season on Monday, so expect a few more bodies to join the team in a couple of days, including another lefty for the bullpen, Brooks Raley.

What’s next: The Cubs host the Marlins for a three-game series beginning with an afternoon game on Monday. Travis Wood (8-10, 3.09 ERA) takes on Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.90) in the opener.

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Dodgers 2

August, 28, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers

Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

How it happened: Travis Wood outdueled Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and also scored the game’s first run after singling off Kershaw in the third inning. A catcher’s interference call put him on second, and he scored on a Dioner Navarro base hit. The Cubs chased Kershaw in the sixth after Starlin Castro drove in Cody Ransom with a hit. The Dodgers finally got to Wood in the bottom of the sixth when Juan Uribe drove in Hanley Ramirez with a two-out single. Then, a Brian Bogusevic double play with the bases loaded in the eighth inning scored the Cubs' third run. The Dodgers pulled to within one on an Andre Ethier single in the bottom of the eighth that scored Ramirez again, but that’s as close as they got to tying the game. Wood was great, going seven innings while giving up just five hits and one unearned run.

What it means: The Cubs chased Kershaw by elevating his pitch count. He threw the ball 107 times in just 5.2 innings as the Cubs went deep into counts by fouling off good pitches. It made a big difference in the game because Travis Wood was able to pitch with a lead for a change. The at-bats by the Cubs are the kind they wouldn’t mind going forward. Even if they aren’t scoring a lot of runs against the starter, running up pitch counts forces opponents to their middle bullpen, which opens the possibility to add on runs. The Cubs were able to do that by getting the winning run to cross the plate against middle man Ronald Belisario.

What’s next: The rubber game of the series takes place on Wednesday afternoon when Edwin Jackson faces Ricky Nolasco.

Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 6, Cubs 2

August, 27, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers

Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night:

How it happened: Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke broke a scoreless tie with a two-out base hit on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth inning to give the Dodgers the lead for good. Carl Crawford followed with a double that drove in another run. In the sixth, Nick Punto doubled one home off Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, who walked five and allowed three to score. His night was done after Punto’s hit. A sacrifice fly by Crawford accounted for the Dodgers fourth run, then Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig hit solo home runs to put the game away. Greinke was superb on the mound, mixing speeds while giving up just five hits and two walks, though he left after 8⅔ innings when a Brian Bogusevic double drove in the Cubs' two runs. At the plate, Greinke had a walk and sacrifice bunt to go along with his go-ahead RBI.

What it means: Arrieta hung in there, but his one weakness has reared its head over his past two starts: He’s walked nine in nine innings of work. Until he shows he can cut down on the free passes, he won’t establish himself as an every-fifth-day starter. He threw 111 pitches in five-plus innings one day after the Cubs played 15 innings in San Diego. That’s not helping your team or bullpen.

Outside the box: Anthony Rizzo returned to batting third in the lineup after being moved up to second for several games. Before the game, Rizzo told reporters he was more comfortable hitting third. … Jeff Samardzija was named co-NL player of the week after wins over the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres. His ERA was 1.59.

What’s next: Game 2 of the series takes place on Tuesday, featuring Travis Wood (7-10, 3.22 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (13-7, 1.72).

'Donnie Baseball' delivers again

August, 22, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- There might only be one real "Donnie Baseball," and he's managing the Los Angeles Dodgers right now, but that doesn't mean the Chicago Cubs can't have a version of their own. After all, Donnie Murphy is hitting a lot like Don Mattingly used to.

Murphy hit a two-out, two-run home run off Nationals star Stephen Strasburg in the ninth inning Thursday to tie the score 4-4. The Cubs eventually lost, 5-4 in 13 innings, but it doesn't take away from Murphy's heroics.

[+] EnlargeDonnie Murphy
Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsDonnie Murphy watches his ninth-inning homer, which tied the score against the Nationals on Thursday. Murphy has eight home runs in 16 games.
"I've never been on a run like this in the big leagues so I'm having fun with it," Murphy said after hitting his eighth home run in 16 games. "At the same time, I wish we were winning some more ballgames."

Murphy was called up from Triple-A Iowa a couple of weeks ago when Luis Valbuena went down with an injury. He hasn't stopped hitting since he got here, and according to Stats Inc., he became the first Cub since at least 1921 to hit eight home runs in his first 16 games.

"It's awesome," teammate Anthony Rizzo said. "It really is. It's special to see. He got off to a great start and he's running with it. This game is all confidence."

Murphy obviously didn't lose much confidence after striking out in his first three at-bats against Strasburg before the ninth inning.

"I can't get any worse than three K's," he said.

A fourth would have been worse -- but instead he tied the score.

"That was the only pitch he hung me today and I hit it pretty good," Murphy said. "Getting the last say was pretty cool."

The Cubs are in tryout mode, and though prospects are coming soon enough, there is no guarantee that they'll pan out and certainly no guarantee that they'll be here next season. The Cubs need some bodies, and Murphy, along with outfielder Brian Bogusevic, are making the most of their opportunities. Bogusevic homered off of Strasburg in the eighth before Murphy did it in the ninth.

"Strasburg was still in the game and we said, 'Let's break his heart,' " Rizzo said.

Mission accomplished, though the Nationals still won the game. Meanwhile, Murphy keeps plugging along, setting a career high in home runs with each one he hits. His previous high (six) was accomplished in 132 plate appearances for Oakland in 2007. He has eight this year in 63. He's also hitting .328 with 15 RBIs. No wonder Rizzo & Co. are calling him by his new nickname.

"Donnie Baseball" is making some noise.

Source: Cubs call up Lake from Iowa

July, 18, 2013
Junior LakeAP Photo/Charlie RiedelJunior Lake is batting .295 in 40 games at Triple-A Iowa.
The Chicago Cubs called up infielder Junior Lake from Triple-A Iowa on Thursday and placed outfielder Brian Bogusevic on the disabled list, a source told's Jesse Rogers.

The 23-year-old Lake has excelled in his first season at Triple-A, batting .295 with a .341 on-base percentage and an .803 OPS. Originally a shortstop, Lake has spent most of his time at third base in Iowa but has also played outfield.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lake has four home runs and 18 RBIs along with 14 stolen bases in 40 games with Iowa. He missed most of the first two months of the season with a rib injury he suffered during spring training.

Lake likely will play some outfield with the Cubs in addition to some third base.

Bogusevic is batting .261 in 13 games with the Cubs since being recalled from Iowa last month.

The Cubs open the second half of the season on Friday in Denver against Colorado Rockies.

A run that wasn't costs Cubs in Oakland

July, 4, 2013
By Joe Stiglich
Special to
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Chicago Cubs not only tallied their first hit in the fourth inning Thursday against the Oakland Athletics, but what appeared to be their first run.

Alfonso Soriano singled to left with one out against A’s starter Dan Straily. Starlin Castro, running at second, read the ball and seemed to be in good shape to score. Then Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes unleashed a cannon of a throw to home, catcher Derek Norris applied a slick tag and Castro was out at the plate.

That was the only hit the Cubs registered off Straily in seven innings, and Chicago fell 1-0 before 26,967 fans at Coliseum.

That fourth-inning play epitomized the Cubs’ offensive day. They didn’t get another runner past second base all afternoon.

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Mariners 3 (F/11)

June, 29, 2013
By Taylor Soper
Special to

SEATTLE -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs’ 5-3 win in 11 innings over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field.

How it happened: The Cubs were on the verge of blowing yet another game Saturday in Seattle. But then Alfonso Soriano came to the rescue.

Hitting in the DH spot, the 37-year-old veteran crushed an 11th-inning, two-run homer to help the Cubs escape with a 5-3 win.

Before that, though, the Chicago bullpen blew its 16th game in 32 chances. Just one day after squandering a three-run lead on Friday, closer Kevin Gregg -- who came in a perfect 12-for-12 on save opportunities -- gave up a two-out single to Endy Chavez in the ninth that tied the game at three apiece.

But it was Soriano’s blast that helped save Chicago from another heartbreaking loss.

What it means: Soriano’s homer covered up another disappointing effort from the Cubs bullpen. Chicago reliever James Russell, who suffered a blown save in Friday’s loss, ran into trouble again in the eighth inning while trying to protect a one-run lead. He allowed a one-out single, but then pinch runner Jason Bay was caught stealing. Moments later, Raul Ibanez smacked a two-out double to left field. Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak followed up with a grounder to left field, but Brian Bogusevic made a great throw to nail Ibanez at home to end the inning.

It seemed like the Cubs would squeeze out with the win, but then Gregg surprisingly blew the lead for the first time all season.

Soriano had another good day at the DH spot, finishing 3-for-5 with a single, double, homer and three RBI. He went 2-for-4 with a home run on Friday. Soriano has been taking swings in the cage between at-bats, which is one advantage of not having to play in the field as a DH during interleague play.

Outside the box: The Cubs got another good start from Jeff Samardzija, who gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings of work in his first career start against Seattle. Samardzija is pitching well away from Wrigley Field as of late, allowing five runs in his past 31⅔ innings of work on the road.

Blake Parker retired the side in the 11th to pick up his first career save.

Center fielder Ryan Sweeney left the game after hitting the wall while making a catch in the third. The team called it “left rib soreness.” Julio Borbon replaced him.

The Cubs have homered in a season-high nine straight games. Chicago also scored first for the seventh time in their past eight games after Starlin Castro lifted a solo shot to center field in the first inning. … Second baseman Darwin Barney had a Web Gem-like play in the fifth inning, sliding to his right and throwing out Chavez from his knees. Barney, a reigning NL Gold Glove Award winner, is riding a 67-game errorless streak at second base dating back to Sept. 30 of last season.

Up next: Edwin Jackson (3-10, 5.84 ERA) will face Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 3.30 ERA) in the final tilt of this three-game series in Seattle at 3:10 p.m. CT.

Cubs' 2013 spring wrap-up

March, 28, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
MESA, Ariz. -- Let’s put a lid on the Chicago Cubs' 2013 spring training, their last at HoHoKam Park (which the Cubs have called their spring home since 1997) and the longest in history due to the World Baseball Classic.

There were some mundane days, but even for a team coming off 101 losses, there were plenty of storylines, players and moments of interest. Here’s the wrap-up:

Spring record: 16-18-1
Batting average leader (min. 20 at-bats): Brian Bogusevic, .410
HR leader: Alfonso Soriano, 5
RBI leader: Dioner Navarro, 16
ERA leader (min. 10 innings): Chris Rusin, 1.93

Most impressive veteran: It was close between David DeJesus and Starlin Castro; the latter missed two weeks but never missed a beat. DeJesus gets the nod simply because he was consistently good at the plate from day one to the end. He finally went a game without a hit because he got only one at-bat on the final day. Before that he was on fire, hitting in 14 straight and batting .364 in Cactus League play overall. And many of his outs were hit as hard as his hits.

Most impressive prospect: It’s closer than you might think between Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. Baez was simply better later in camp so that’s what people remember. Asking the experts, Soler is more refined at the plate and perhaps in the field as well -- but Baez has more flair. Soler did more of his damage in batting practice before games while Baez did it in games, so we’ll give the nod to him. The instincts in both players were impressive.

Best off-field moment: When Baez’s name “came up” a little too much in meetings, as one player put it, Cubs veterans decided to pull a fast one on him by dressing up his car with a major league logo and a large bumper sticker that said “Rookie on Board.” The 2011 first-round pick took it all in stride -– and had to drive with it on his car for a day.

Best on-field moment: Baez gets the nod here as well. His four home runs on seven pitches over two days broke up the monotony of camp and created a buzz. They were also rocket shots. Honorable mention goes to Jeff Samardzija, who hit two home runs in his first four at-bats of the spring.

Best quote: This goes to Dale Sveum, when he called a back-of-the-shoulder ailment to Junior Lake a “trapeze” injury. He was trying to say “trapezoid.” He was wrong there, too.

Strangest spring moment: It didn’t occur on the field, but a massive hailstorm that also brought snow caught everyone off guard. Samardzija was pelted while putting on the 12th hole, while players’ cars were covered in the wintry mess. The fields and grass parking lots the next day were soaked.

Still some moving pieces after Cubs cuts

March, 22, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs must be stacked with pitching if they can afford to cut two pitchers who produced 0.00 ERAs in spring games.

Casey Coleman and Blake Parker must be wondering what they have to do to make the team. But of course it's more complicated than that. Both of them can move up and down from the minors without clearing waivers while Michael Bowden, for example, can't. Bowden is in, as is Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon. Because of those draft rules Rondon can't simply be sent down as well. Neither threw poorly this spring but they had a head start on the competition.

Coleman and Parker were sent down as part of a wave of cuts on Friday. Let's analyze a couple more of them:

(Read full post)

Sappelt makes Cubs as fifth outfielder

March, 22, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
MESA, Ariz. -- Dave Sappelt made the roster as a fifth outfielder after the Chicago Cubs paired down their roster to 35 players on Friday.

Pitchers Chris Rusin, Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, Casey Coleman, Jensen Lewis and Blake Parker will report to minor league camp as will infielders Edwin Maysonet and Brad Nelson. Outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Darnell McDonald also were sent down.

"Those days you dread," manager Dame Sveum said Friday morning. "Especially a lot of those guys that went down today, they had good springs. Bogusevic had a really good spring training. The Colemans, the Parkers, they all threw the ball well."

The final infield position is down to Steve Clevenger and Alberto Gonzalez. Gonzalez is the likely candidate unless the Cubs go outside the organization.

"There's still things that can happen through guys getting released and waiver wires and all that," Sveum said.

The bullpen has one spot open among four players with Hector Rondon and Michael Bowden securing jobs along with James Russell, Shawn Camp, Kyuji Fujikawa and Carlos Marmol. That leaves lefty Hisanori Takahashi battling with righties Rafael Dolis, Zach Putnam and Cory Wade for the final spot.

Four players including Matt Garza, Scott Baker, Ian Stewart and Arodys Vizcaino will start the season on the disabled list.

Roster decisions: Best 25 or need?

March, 15, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was just Thursday that Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, “You want to take the best 25” in reference to his roster for the regular season. In other words, the best 25 players who deserve to make the team.

[+] EnlargeBrian Bogusevic
Norm Hall/Getty ImagesBrian Bogusevic is hitting .444 with seven extra base hits this spring.
Many of those choices are easy ones. No matter what kind of spring Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo have, they’re making it. Same goes for most of the Cubs roster, save a few position spots and bullpen openings. Every team in baseball goes through the same thing.

But what about those final spots? Are they won based on spring games or are they won based on past major league production -- or both? When it comes to the final roster positions, many times there isn’t much past production to go by so spring training is all there is.

Take the case of Oak Lawn native Brian Bogusevic. He was a first-round pick for Houston in 2005 as a pitcher but he switched to outfield in 2008. The Cubs picked him up as a free agent in the offseason and now he might be proving he’s one of the best 25 in camp, but he’s still a longshot to make the team. Entering action on Friday he was hitting .444 with seven extra base hits, most on the team. But because he bats from the left side he may not be needed.

“We’re a pretty left-handed team,” Bogusevic said Friday morning after doubling home two runs on Thursday against the Dodgers. “At the same time that’s not something you can control. So the only thing you can do is try to prepare as best you can and perform as best you can and leave the decisions up to the decision-makers.”

(Read full post)



Starlin Castro
.289 14 65 55
HRA. Rizzo 30
RBIA. Rizzo 71
RA. Rizzo 81
OPSA. Rizzo .889
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAT. Wood 4.72
SOJ. Arrieta 135