Cubs

Cubs claim RHP Gutierrez off waivers

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Cubs claim RHP Gutierrez off waivers

The Cubs continued their trend of buying low on former promising players, claiming right-handed pitcher Carlos Gutierrez off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.

Gutierrez was the Twins' first-round draft pick in 2008 out of the University of Miami, but has yet to reach the majors.

The 26-year-old appeared in just 10 games in 2012 for Rochester, Minnesota's Triple-A affiliate, as he was shut down with a right shoulder injury in mid-June that eventually required surgery. He resumed throwing in early October.

Gutierrez, whose draft spot was acquired when the Twins lost Torii Hunter to free agency, has made 136 career minor-league appearances, including 32 starts. He carries a 4.11 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He has spent parts of the last three seasons in Triple-A, compiling a 2-3 record with a 4.62 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 8.2 K9 over 62.1 innings in 2011, his last full season.

The Miami native will be another option as a bullpen arm for Dale Sveum's big-league squad and could have an impact if he can ever cash in on his first-round potential.

Gutierrez played for Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a teammate of former Cub Geovany Soto.

Catcher Anthony Recker was designated for assignment to accommodate Gutierrez's signing. Recker appeared in nine games with the Cubs last season, hitting one home run and driving in four in 18 at-bats.

Joe Maddon goes after Sean Doolittle's delivery: ‘That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do’

Joe Maddon goes after Sean Doolittle's delivery: ‘That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do’

The Cubs finished Saturday's loss at the Nationals under protest after Joe Maddon saw what he believed to be an inconsistency in how illegal pitches are being called.

Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle came in to close the game out in the ninth with the Nats up 5-2. After one pitch, Maddon went to the umpires to complain. This dragged on throughout the inning.

Maddon didn't like that Doolittle's delivery involved him pausing and potentially even touching the ground in the middle of his wind up before coming home with the pitch. To Maddon, it was clearly an illegal pitch and he was fired up because that's something Carl Edwards Jr. got called for earlier in the season. By comparison, Edwards' version may be more deliberate, but Maddon thinks it is the same thing.

"That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do," Maddon said postgame in a video posted by ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "There's no judgment. If he taps the ground, it's an illegal pitch, period. There's nothing to judge. You can judge whether he did or not. It's obvious that he did, or if you can't tell that then there's something absolutely wrong."

Maddon and the Cubs protested the game as a result. If they win the protest, the game would be restarted with one out in the ninth, when Maddon notified the umpires of the protest.

Doolittle was less than amused by Maddon's protest.

"I have no qualms against Doolittle," Maddon said. "He's great, but they took it away from our guy so for me to sit in the dugout and permit that to happen while they stripped us of that ability earlier this year with Carl, how could I do that? You can't do that. I got to say something."

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Jon Lester's hot streak comes to an end at Nationals

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USA TODAY

Jon Lester's hot streak comes to an end at Nationals

Jon Lester was on a heck of a run since coming off the IL in late April, but it came to a screeching halt on Saturday.

Lester had by far his worst start of the season at the Nationals in a 5-2 Cubs loss. He labored through his start, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Lester gave up 10 hits, which matches the most he has given up since joining the Cubs. He gave up a fair number of hits in his last two starts, but was able to avoid trouble on the scoreboard. Lester gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers last time out, but only gave up an unearned run. On May 7, Lester gave up eight hits to the Marlins, but only allowed two unearned runs in six innings of work.

This time, Lester couldn’t stay out of trouble. Brian Dozier got the Nats on the board with a solo shot in the second and then the wheels came off in the third.

To open the third inning Lester gave up six straight hits. The Nats got three runs that inning and then added another in the fifth, when Lester departed the game.

Since Lester came off the IL on April 25, he had allowed just one earned run (four runs in total) in 24 2/3 innings. During that stretch, he had 25 strikeouts against just two walks. His ERA fell to 1.16, which would have led all of baseball if he had enough innings to qualify. It’s at 2.09 after Saturday’s loss.

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