Tag:Jeff Baker
Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:36 am
 

Cubs players say they trust Braun's collector

Jeff BakerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

During his press conference following his successful appeal of a 50-game suspension, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun tried to cast doubt on specimen collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. Laurenzi later released a statement defending himself, then Thursday, Braun's lawyer shot back.

Laurenzi, though, doesn't just collect samples from the Brewers, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Laurenzi also collects samples from the Cubs. And while Braun has called Laurenzi's motives into doubt, several Cubs told the Sun-Times that they trust Laurenzi.

"Just from knowing Dino the three years I've been here, he's been nothing but professional," Cubs infielder Jeff Baker told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times. "He's been very, very thorough. I have no concerns and no qualms."

Alfonso Soriano also gave his thumbs up to Laurenzi.

"I'm not worried that it's the same guy," Soriano told the newspaper. "I'm not worried because I know what I take. It doesn't matter who takes the sample. If you don't take nothing, he can take [the specimen] home for a week, and nothing will come out."

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 1:15 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 1:19 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pirates surge to second place


By C. Trent Rosecrans


Pittsburgh Pirates: With their 5-1 victory over the Astros, the Pirates improved to four games over .500 (45-41) this late in the season for the first time since 1992. The win, coupled with Milwaukee's loss to the Diamondbacks, moved Pittsburgh into second place in the National League Central, 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. Jeff Karstens allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings, improving to 7-4 on the season and lowering his ERA to 2.55. Brandon Wood added a two-run homer in the win.

Dan Haren, Angels: The Angels' right-hander allowed just two hits in a shutout victory over Justin Verlander and the Tigers on Tuesday. Haren struck out nine batters, earning his ninth win of the season and the 100th of his career as he retired the last 15 batters he faced. The Angels have now won 10 of their last 12. Verlander struck out eight, while allowing a run and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He was ejected from the game as he left the mound and was credited with his first loss in his last 12 starts.

Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners: Sometimes the best part of baseball isn't the towering shot or the big strikeout, but the other things a player can do to help his team win. With one out and runners on first and second in the top of the 10th, Brendan Ryan hit a grounder to A's second baseman Jemile Weeks who flipped it to Cliff Pennington, but Suzuki was on the move and slid wide, disrupting Pennington's throw to first. The throw went by first baseman Connor Jackson and allowing the go-ahead run to score. Adam Kennedy followed with an RBI double to give the Mariners a 4-2 victory. None of that would have happened without Ichiro's slide.
Randy Wolf, Brewers: Milwaukee's left-hander gave up four runs in the first inning and then allowed two home runs to put the Brewers in a 7-1 hole. Wolf did throw three more scoreless innings to at least give the bullpen some rest, but when that's the best that can be said about a start, it's not a very good start. The Brewers lost consecutive games at home for the first time this season and fell to third place in the National League Central.

Chris Volstad, Marlins: Perhaps Jack McKeon should just skip Volstad's next start against the Phillies. In two games against Philadelphia this season, the right-hander has allowed 15 runs in 9 2/3 innings, including seven runs in four innings in Tuesday's 14-2 in Florida.

Jeff Baker, Cubs: With bases loaded and no outs in the first inning of Tuesday's game in Washington, Ramon Ortiz got Laynce Nix to do exactly what he wanted him to do -- a tailor-made ground ball to second base. It would cost the team a run, but two outs for one run is fine in the first inning. Instead, the Nationals would get two runs and the Cubs no outs as Baker airmailed the short throw into left past shortstop Darwin Barney. The Nationals would score one more run in the inning, but that was all they needed, beating Chicago 3-2.

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Baker drawing trade interest from other teams

BakerBy Evan Brunell

It's going to be rather difficult for the Cubs to jettison its high-salaried players, as many are either making too much money or not performing up to snuff. (Read more on the high-salaried players available for trade.)

That's not the case with utility fielder Jeff Baker, who is drawing trade interest and has been linked to the Red Sox and Phillies. Both teams are seeking a right-handed bat capable of playing the outfield, which Baker can provide, but he doesn't want to be moved.

“I think I have a pretty good niche and role here that’s functional,” Baker told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I can play some positions that we might have a need going forward."

Baker, 30, has carved out a career thus far with the Rockies and Cubs as a platoon player who has played every position on the field save for catcher, shortstop and left field. Baker usually amasses 200-300 at-bats a year thanks to his ability as a right-handed batter to hit left-handed pitching, as his line of .321/.370/.549 indicates, versus a .241/.295/.370 mark against righties. Baker's whole package makes him a valuable player at just $1.175 million for the year.

“I know personally I want to stay here. I hope it is all just ­rumors," Baker added. "We’ve been through some rough patches and we’re trying to play better now, but I would like to be part of that team that plays well here. I remember coming here in ’07 when they were winning the NL Central and how much fun that was. I want to be on one of those teams.”

Unfortunately, Baker has no way to prevent the Cubs from dealing him. With Chicago playing poorly and in desperate need of a rebuild and new blood, Baker is one of the few players who can bring back a piece for the future that could have an impact.

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Posted on: June 25, 2010 12:20 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2010 1:51 pm
 

Roster move could cost Cubs player

Infielders Jeff Baker and Chad Tracy are in danger of being lost to the Cubs when Aramis Ramirez is activated from the disabled list prior to Friday's game, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Both players are out of minor-league options, manager Lou Piniella said he's keeping the pitching staff at 12, and the club has said previously that rookie shortstop Starlin Castro was staying with the big-league club. That leaves either 29-year-old Baker (.250/.299/.417) or 30-year-old Tracy (.250/.327/.295) as odd man out to make room for Ramirez.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Tracy was designated for assignment before Friday's game. The Cubs now have 10 days to trade, release or assign him to a minor league team (which would require him clearing irrevocable waivers).

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