MILWAUKEE — Friday was a whirlwind day for new Cub Julio Borbon.
He was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers. After packing up in Arlington, Texas, he caught a flight for Chicago. A limo ride from O’Hare to Milwaukee got him to Miller Park just in time for the 9th inning of the Cubs’ game against the Brewers.
No sooner did he hit the dugout than he was put into the game as a pinch runner, only to be thrown out at second base trying to steal. That ended the Cubs’ crazy 5-4 loss to the Brewers.
“I was in there and said, ‘Hey, get your stuff on,’” said manager Dale Sveum, who was in the clubhouse because he had been ejected from the game. “‘There’s a good chance you’re pinch running in this game.’ He got the green light, and unfortunately, he did a slow slide. He had the bag stolen easy, and he slid too early.”
Borbon, 27, has some interesting history. He was born in Starkville, Miss. His father taught at Mississippi State University.
The family moved to the Dominican Republic when Borbon was 3 or 4. He attended the University of Tennessee, playing baseball for three seasons.
“There are some words where I definitely have a little southern accent,” he said.
As for the kind of player he is, Borbon said: “People say numbers really don’t lie, and it comes down to, I’m a guy who relies on speed. I like to go out there and put some pressure on the defense from the second I get up there. I like to bunt. It’s no secret in the American League. I like to get out there, put some pressure on the pitchers.”
Sveum will have to choose his spots to get Borbon a start. Alfonso Soriano has picked it up at the plate. The Cubs have four outfielders already sharing time in center and right fields.
“We’ll see what happens,” Sveum said. “Sori’s feeling really good now. He’s swinging the bat good. We already had days off with the rainouts, so it’s not like he’s getting beat down right now. Tomorrow would be a logical day to give him a day off if we didn’t have the rainouts and he was still struggling a little bit. We’ll just have to wing all that.”
Being with Boston:
The Cubs’ clubhouse TV was tuned to the Red Sox-Royals game Saturday afternoon. Dale Sveum, who coached in Boston, was watching in his office. Like many, he watched the stirring pregame ceremonies, which remembered the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and saluted law enforcement officials.
“I probably watched every bit of it,” Sveum said. “It was a pretty emotional day and easy to tear up in that scenario today. Caught Big Papi. That was interesting.”
Sveum was referring to David Ortiz, who dropped a major expletive over the public-address system at Fenway Park.
“Fitting statement for the day,” Sveum said.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.