Tag: Rafael Soriano

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Cubs designate Rafael Soriano, James Russell for assignment

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From beat writer Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com

That move cleared up two 40-man roster spots for the Cubs’ first wave of September callups.

Russell, a 29-year-old left-handed specialist, was sporting a 5.29 ERA through 49 appearances this season for the Cubs. Soriano allowed eight hits and four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings with Chicago before landing on the disabled list August 4 with right shoulder inflammation. The 35-year-old right-hander will probably have to settle for another minor league contract this winter if he wants to continue his playing career.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Zack Greinke

Dodgers 1, Reds 0: A win for the Dodgers but a costly one as both Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig left with injuries. Gonzalez’s is minor and he says he’ll play tonight. Puig says his hamstring is worse now than his original strain, so it’s not unreasonable to think he’s done for the year. But at least they have Zack Greinke, who tossed seven shutout innings and lowered his ERA to 1.61. If the season ended today that would be the fifth lowest ERA in the live-ball era.

Angels 2, Tigers 0: As everyone expected, a pitchers duel between Matt Shoemaker and Randy Wolf. Shoemaker was scoreless into the eighth, tossing one-hit ball. The game story notes that Shoemaker is from just south of Detroit and he was happy to pitch in front of family and friends. So just like Jerome Bettis. In case you were unaware. Also: the Harbaughs are brothers.

Rangers 4, Blue Jays 1: The Blue Jays are finally cooled off. Yovani Gallardo was scoreless into the sixth and picked up his 100th career win. Delino DeShields walked three times, scored twice and had two hits, including a single on which he totally rounded the bases because Jose Bautista let the ball roll under his glove and all the way to the wall.

Royals 5, Orioles 3: Yordano Ventura struck out 11 in six innings. He’s 5-0 in his last seven starts. Not bad for a guy who was demoted in he middle of the year. The bullpen this time was not as impressive — Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland each got beat up a bit — but K.C. held on. Costly loss for the O’s too, as Adam Jones ran into the wall and had to leave the game. He doesn’t leave games often. I think he once played three innings after a gator bit is dang leg off.

Giants 9, Cubs 1: If you think Ventura was overpowering I’ll raise you a Madison Bumgarner, who struck out 12 in six innings. And he did this:


Also, Kelby Tomlinson hit a grand slam. Which has to be a joke because there is no way someone named Kelby Tomlinson is not a backup quarterback for an SEC team. More of a runner than a thrower, but coach is trying to get him to stay in the pocket more to keep the defense honest.

Nationals 4, Padres 2Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman homered, and starter Joe Ross allowed only one hit. That’s good! Meanwhile, Yunel Escobar, Michael Taylor and Denard Span are all sidelined by injuries now. That’s bad! So bad it’s inspiring some Nats fans to be less-than-optimistic:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsGonna be a long winter in Washington if they don’t mount some crazy rally in September.

Mets 9, Phillies 5: The Mets are 18-6 in August. They’re getting outs with crazy plays. They’re starting rallies with relief pitchers getting hits. They’re watching Daniel Murphy be a hero. They’re making Jeff Francoeur pout a little:


Hard to script this any better if you’re a Mets fan.

Pirates 2, Marlins 1: Gerrit Cole allowed one run into the eighth and the Pirates take three of four. Pedro Alvarez homered and Francisco Cervelli tripled and scored.

Rays 5, Twins 4: The Twins’ six-game winning streak is snapped. Rays relievers Brandon Gomes, Alex Colome and Brad Boxberger combined for four and two-thirds scoreless innings. The Twins fall just behind Texas for the second wild card.

White Sox 4, Mariners 2: Adam Eaton had three hits and scored three runs and Carlos Rodon took a shutout into the seventh. More importantly, the White Sox looked like this:



If Rafael Soriano played for the 1976 White Sox, what would he do to celebrate each save? Tuck IN his shirt?

Cardinals 5, Diamondbacks 3: Seth Maness got came into the game with the bases loaded in the eighth and no one out, the Cardinals clinging to a two run lead. He got two strikeouts and induced a groundout, threat over. The Cards just aren’t fair sometimes.

Cubs shut down Rafael Soriano with shoulder injury

Rafael Soriano Cubs

This isn’t how the Cubs envisioned things going when they signed Rafael Soriano to a one-year, $4 million deal.

First he struggled, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings after sitting out most of the first half of the season waiting for free agent offers that never arrived, and now after making six appearances he’s headed to the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has talked repeatedly about how important he feels getting Soriano on track is to the bullpen–when Chicago signed him a move into the closer role seemed very possible–but now the 35-year-old right-hander figures to be sidelined until September.

Cubs pick up Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter for Junior Lake

Tommy Hunter Orioles

Rafael Soriano’s struggles put the Cubs back in the market for veteran bullpen help and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that they’ve acquired Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter in exchange for infielder/outfielder Junior Lake.

After years as an inconsistent mid-rotation starter Hunter moved to the bullpen full time in 2013 and found success, adding several miles per hour to his now mid-90s fastball and posting a 3.05 ERA and 145/37 K/BB ratio in 192 innings for the Orioles. That includes a 3.63 ERA and 32/11 K/BB ratio in 45 innings this season.

Lake has struggled in 193 games for the Cubs since debuting in 2013, hitting .241 with 16 homers, a .663 OPS, and a hideous 198/31 K/BB ratio. His numbers in the minors are a lot better and Lake has experience at every position except catcher defensively, so if nothing else the 25-year-old could develop into a useful bench player.

Video: Jeff Francoeur hits another timely homer for the Phillies

Jeff Francoeur

Phillies outfielder Jeff Francoeur has made a habit of racking up timely hits, as I noted at Crashburn Alley a few days ago. Coming into Friday’s action at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Francoeur had six hits that improved the Phillies’ odds of winning by at least 15 percent, using the Win Probability Added statistic, found on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.

He’s had three hits that were real game-changers: a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Marlins on Sunday (.696 WPA), a tie-breaking two-run double against the Giants in the seventh inning on June 7 (.317 WPA), and a go-ahead three-run home run to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning against the Red Sox on April 8 (.297 WPA).

Francoeur hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th inning against reliever Rafael Soriano on Friday to break a 3-3 tie, registering a WPA of .437 — ranking as his second-most important hit this season. Watch:

Francoeur, 31, is hitting .265/.298/.469 with nine home runs and 33 RBI on the season. He has reportedly drawn trade interest from the Pirates. The rebuilding Phillies are now 35-63 and still have a seven-game lead for the worst record in baseball, which would earn them the first overall pick in the 2016 draft.