Cubs get good news on Morrow, Strop
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Chicago Cubs received good news on closer Brandon Morrow and reliever Pedro Strop, who have both been slowed this spring by injuries.
Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop has a strained right hamstring, eliminating the likely candidate to close at the start of the season as Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow surgery.
Strop joins Morrow on sidelines as Maddon ponders closer
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop has a strained right hamstring, eliminating the likely candidate to close at the start of the season as Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow...
Cubs’ Maddon foresees ‘fluid’ situation for bullpen
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Cubs manager Joe Maddon has a lot of experience cobbling together bullpens from pitchers without defined roles.
Until closer Brandon Morrow is mended and ready, Maddon will once again be faced with a juggling act of sorts in the late innings.
Maddon said Sunday the Cubs bullpen is a "fluid" situation. While that's not ideal, it's nothing new for the three-time manager of the year. He's not so big on in-game guidelines, anyway.
AP source: reliever Brach agrees to $4.35M deal with Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says free agent reliever Brad Brach and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees $4.35 million.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. Brach and the Cubs have options for 2020.
The right-hander had 12 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 69 games for Baltimore and Atlanta last season. He posted a 1.52 ERA over 27 appearances following a trade to the Braves.
Cubs’ Morrow has elbow surgery, likely to start season late
CHICAGO (AP) — Closer Brandon Morrow likely will miss the start of the season for the Chicago Cubs following arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow last month.
Chicago president of baseball operations Theo Epstein revealed Thursday that Morrow's operation took place on Nov. 6. The Cubs waited to make an announcement because Morrow's recovery will impact how they fill out the bullpen.
Cubs closer Morrow shut down for rest of 2018
PHOENIX (AP) — The Chicago Cubs say closer Brandon Morrow will be shut down for rest of the year because of an injured right elbow that has been slow to heal.
The NL Central leaders made the announcement before Tuesday night's game at Arizona.
Morrow, who tops the Cubs with 22 saves, has been on the disabled list since July 19. The Cubs are without their two relievers with the most saves — Pedro Strop has 13 and is out with a hamstring injury, and the team hopes he's ready for the postseason.
LEADING OFF: Cubs lose their closer, Indians try to clinch
A look at what's happening around the majors today:
The Cubs will try a closer-by-committee approach down the stretch after learning Pedro Strop is out for the rest of the regular season because of a strained left hamstring. Strop, who had posted 11 saves since closer Brandon Morrow went on the disabled list in July, hurt himself trying to beat out a double-play grounder this week.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop to miss rest of regular season
CHICAGO (AP) — It looks like the back end of the Chicago Cubs' bullpen will be a big question mark down the stretch.
Pedro Strop will miss the rest of the regular season with a left hamstring strain, leaving the NL Central leaders with a closer-by-committee approach as they try to hold off the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
The team announced the injury after Strop underwent an MRI on Friday.
LEADING OFF: Indians can clinch, Cubs’ new closer hurt
A look at what's happening around the majors today:
ON THE CUSP
Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians can clinch their third consecutive AL Central crown with a victory at home over Detroit and a Minnesota loss at last-place Kansas City. Josh Tomlin (1-5) pitches for the Indians against Matthew Boyd (9-12) and the Tigers. All-Star right-hander Jose Berrios (11-11) and the Twins face rookie Jorge Lopez (2-4), who took a perfect game into the ninth inning last Saturday at Minnesota.
Cubs place closer Morrow on 10-day DL
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list with right biceps inflammation.
Morrow has 22 saves and a 1.47 ERA in 35 games in his first season with the Cubs. The DL stint is retroactive to Monday.
Morrow, who turns 34 on July 26, also spent time on the DL earlier this season with lower back tightness.
Cubs rally for 4 in 8th to beat Reds 8-7
CHICAGO (AP) — As far as Javier Baez is concerned, no deficit is too big for the Chicago Cubs to overcome.
Baez and his teammates showed why he feels that way on Saturday.
Baez homered and had four hits — including a game-tying infield single in the eighth — and the Cubs rallied from a five-run deficit for an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Anthony Rizzo's RBI groundout capped a four-run eighth inning for Chicago, which has come from behind in each of its last eight wins.
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs will have to get by without closer Brandon Morrow for a little while.
The Cubs placed the right-hander on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday because of lower back tightness, leaving a short-handed bullpen without its most important piece.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Chicago Cubs got some key hits and effective pitching to get a big win.
Jason Heyward and Addison Russell homered, and Ian Happ had a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning as the Cubs rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Saturday night.
Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks (5-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, snapping a career-high three game losing streak. Brandon Morrow got the last three outs for his 16th save in 17 chances.
CHICAGO (AP) — The fans were already roaring when Jason Heyward stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
They just about came unglued when he delivered in the grandest fashion.
Heyward hit a game-ending grand slam off Adam Morgan to give the Chicago Cubs a 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) — Frustrated after his third straight strikeout, Albert Almora Jr. tried to break the bat over his knee. That was a swing and miss, too.
"Failed miserably," he said.
Eventually, Almora and his Cubs teammates made contact.
Despite striking out 24 times, Chicago beat the New York Mets 7-1 Saturday night, boosted by Almora's tiebreaking, two-run double in the 14th inning.
Chatwood, Cubs sweep Brewers with 2-0 win
CHICAGO (AP) — For four straight days, Tyler Chatwood, Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks put on a pitching clinic.
A very stingy show.
Chatwood pitched seven sparkling innings and helped himself with an RBI single, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday and a sweep of the four-game series between NL Central rivals.
Arenado out at plate in game-ending replay reversal
DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado broke for home the moment Brandon Morrow's bases-loaded pitch bounced to the backstop. Arenado wound up causing an unusual ending that left the Colorado Rockies with a painful loss.
National League Central capsules
Capsules of National League Central teams, listed in order of finish last year:
2017: 92-70, first place, lost to Dodgers in NLCS.
Manager: Joe Maddon (fourth season).
He's Here: RHP Yu Darvish, RHP Brandon Morrow, RHP Tyler Chatwood, RHP Steve Cishek, LHP Drew Smyly, C Chris Gimenez.
He's Outta Here: RHP Wade Davis, C Alex Avila, C Rene Rivera.
Duensing, Cubs finalize $7 million, 2-year contract
CHICAGO (AP) — Left-hander Brian Duensing and Chicago have finalized a $7 million, two-year contract for the reliever to remain with the Cubs.
Duensing gets $3.5 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the agreement announced Monday. His 2019 salary can escalate by up to $1.25 million based on pitching appearances this year: $250,000 for 50, $333,333 each for 55 and 60, and $333,334 for 65.
AP source: Cubs, Duensing agree to $7 million, 2-year deal
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs bolstered their revamped bullpen on Wednesday, bringing back Brian Duensing with a $7 million, two-year contract.
Duensing returns to Chicago after signing a one-year deal with the Cubs last winter. The left-hander went 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 68 appearances last season.
A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because it is pending a physical.
Dodgers get Alexander in 3-team trade with White Sox, Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired left-handed reliever Scott Alexander from Kansas City in a three-team trade that also included the Chicago White Sox.
The White Sox got veteran relievers Luis Avilan and Joakim Soria and cash. The Dodgers also obtained minor league infielder Jake Peter and the Royals added a pair of minor leaguers in the deal Thursday.
Free agent Darvish meets with Cubs minus translator
DALLAS (AP) — The Chicago Cubs are making a pitch for Yu Darvish.
The free agent right-hander says he had a "very good meeting" on Monday with Cubs officials. Darvish tweeted a statement in Japanese confirming the get-together amid reports that Chicago executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were in Dallas to speak with him.
Cubs finalize 2-year deals with Morrow ($21M), Smyly ($10M)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Chicago Cubs finalized a $21 million, two-year contract with right-hander Brandon Morrow after the reliever played a key role in their loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series and also completed a $10 million two-year deal with injured left-hander Drew Smyly.
The 33-year-old Morrow went 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA and two saves in 45 appearances for Los Angeles last season. The hard-throwing right-hander did not allow a home run in 43 2/3 innings.
Orioles star Machado could move _ new position, or new team
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado could be on the move.
To a new position — or a new team.
Big names emerged in trade talk Tuesday, with Machado, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer heating up the winter meetings.
And no surprise, the busy New York Yankees are looming, looking to boost a ballclub getting more formidable by the day.
For the moment, no deals for that trio of All-Stars.
Winter meetings warm up fast: Gregerson, relievers in demand
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Now that Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton picked their new places to play, baseball bosses checked into the winter meetings primed to make moves that had been bottled up for weeks.
The market for relievers quickly warmed Sunday, even before many teams got down to business.
Luke Gregerson found a spot in the St. Louis bullpen, and Brandon Morrow could be closing for the Cubs. Still available: free agents Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Brandon Kintzler.
Dodgers face decisions, luxury tax bill in offseason
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers came within a game of winning their first World Series championship in 29 years. After a dud of a Game 7 against the Houston Astros, it's time to start all over.
Well, not entirely over. Not with young stars like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, and of course ace Clayton Kershaw.
Beleaguered bullpens for Astros, Dodgers in World Series
HOUSTON (AP) — Nobody needs a day off in this World Series more than those run-down relievers.
Brandon Morrow has pitched in all five games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had never pitched three straight days before talking himself into a wild Game 5, then allowed a tying home run on his first pitch. He left without getting an out and the Houston Astros suddenly ahead by three runs.
Morrow has given up three home runs in the postseason after not allowing any in 45 regular-season appearances.
The Latest: Dodgers take Game 1 over Astros 3-1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on Game 1 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers (all times local):
Clayton Kershaw struck out 11, the most by a pitcher in a World Series opener since 1968, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 3-1 Tuesday night.
With the Dodgers in the World Series for the first time since 1988, Taylor homered on the first pitch of the game by Dallas Keuchel.
Darvish, Bellinger combine to lead Dodgers past Giants 4-1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yu Darvish and two relievers combined on a five-hitter and Cody Bellinger hit his 37th home run as the Los Angeles Dodgers won back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks, beating the San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Dodgers pull away from Pirates in 5-2 to reach 90 wins
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled away from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 5-2 victory Thursday, their 90th win of the season.
Dodgers beat White Sox 6-1 to move 50 games above .500
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joc Pederson got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run in a five-run eighth inning, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers rally for a 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
The victory pushed the Dodgers (84-34) to a whopping 50 games above .500.
Dodgers lose injured Kershaw, beat Braves 5-4 in 10
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw left after two innings with lower back tightness that is sending him to the disabled list, and the Los Angeles Dodgers overcame a blown save by Kenley Jansen to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Sunday on Logan Forsythe's bases-loaded single in the 10th.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Freeway Series got feisty in the eighth inning when both benches and bullpens emptied after Brandon Morrow's fastball hit Yunel Escobar in the shoulder. The pitch clearly wasn't intentional despite Escobar's furor, and no fights actually broke out.