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40 James Russell RP
Height/Weight: 6-4/205 | Birthdate: 1/8/1986 | Birthplace: Cincinnati, OH | Bats/Throws: L/L | Team: Chicago | College: Texas | MLB Experience: 6 | Salary: $1,075,000 | Owned/Started%: 0/0 | Average Draft Position: 9999
CHC

Latest Updates

 

Cubs reliever James Russell makes season debut Tuesday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/6/2015) Cubs reliever James Russell allowed one run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings during the team's 7-4 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday. After starting his career with Chicago, he was dealt to the Braves at the trading deadline last season. The Cubs signed him to a minor league contract last month, and brought him up to the team prior to Tuesday's game

"It's comfortable to be back," Russell said, per MLB.com. "It's a good feeling. The culture has kind of changed for the better. It's definitely nice."

Last season with the Cubs and Braves, the left-hander pitched to a 3.51 ERA in 33 1/3 innings. While pitching in Triple-A this season, Russell did not allow an earned run in seven appearances, and posted a 12:0 K:BB ratio.


Report: Cubs sign LHP James Russell to minor-league deal


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/8/2015) The Cubs have signed left-hander James Russell to a minor-league deal on Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. He will report to Triple-A Iowa, per MLB.com

Russell, 29, spent his first four-plus seasons with the Cubs before he was acquired by Atlanta last season at the trade deadline. The Braves released Russell last week after allowing nine earned runs and three homers in 7 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking three.


Braves release RP James Russell


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) The Braves have released relief pitcher James Russell, MLB.com reports.

Russell came to the Braves from the Cubs in a deadline-day deal last season and posted a 2.22 ERA and 16:4 K:BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with his new team. He struggled this spring, allowing nine earned runs and three homers in 7 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking three.


Braves' James Russell (toe) has 30-pitch live BP session


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/11/2015) Braves pitcher James Russell, who has been dealing with turf toe, said he felt good Wednesday after throwing 30 pitches during live batting practice Tuesday, per MLB.com.

Russell, who has yet to make his spring debut, is still hoping for a chance to be used as a starting pitcher.


Braves RP James Russell agrees to $2.425M salary for 2015


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/15/2015) The Braves and reliever James Russell avoided arbitration Thursday, agreeing to a one-year, $2.425 million contract, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Russell posted a 2.22 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 22 relief appearances after his acquisition from the Cubs in July. He posted a career-best 2.97 ERA in 66 relief outings last season.


James Russell named starter for season finale


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/27/2014) The Braves announced that left-hander James Russell will make the start in Sunday's season finale against Philadelphia. Russell owns a 3.19 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over 53 2/3 innings of relief this season.

Braves acquire Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell from Cubs


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) The Braves made one move before the trade deadline, acquiring reliever James Russell and infielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Cubs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Additional details on the trade are not yet available.

Russell has a 3.51 ERA in 33 1/3 innings for the Cubs this season, while Bonifacio was hitting .279/.318/.373 in 276 at-bats for the Cubs.  


James Russell melts down in loss to Cardinals


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/26/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell (0-2) took the loss Saturday afternoon at home against the Cardinals.

Russell allowed a run to score on a fielder's choice to Matt Carpenter and a two-run triple to Matt Adams in the seventh inning. He was charged with four runs on two hits and one walk while striking out one in two-thirds of an inning. He owns a 3.77 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP over 31 innings of relief.

Cubs' closer situation gets all the more confusing


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/17/2014) Wondering why James Russell got the save in the Cubs' extra-inning win over the Marlins Monday? Yeah, so am I.

Hector Rondon, who has been the closer most of the year, returned from a nine-day absence for an elbow injury with a scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit and one walk, but the Cubs clearly didn't reserve him for a save situation, as the road team normally would its closer in an extra-inning game.

So then, they must have been reserving Neil Ramirez, right? After all, he got the save opportunities in Rondon's absence and has the more impressive numbers between the two, leading CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman to suggest on Monday's Fantasy Baseball Today that he may be more than just an injury fill-in.

But when the save opportunity came in the bottom of the 13th inning, it wasn't Ramirez who got the call, but Russell. Ramirez was well rested, too, having thrown just 11 pitches Sunday after sitting out Saturday.

Of course, the Cubs have been extra cautious with Ramirez's workload so far, which may be all there is to it. I still think he's the Cubs' reliever to own here, with Rondon a close second. Hopefully, we'll have some clarity soon.


James Russell makes quick work for first save of season


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6/17/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell made quick work of the Marlins in extras to secure is first save of the season on Monday.

Russell needed only nine pitches to close out a 5-4 win for the Cubs. He owns a 2.45 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 18 1/3 innings of relief.

James Russell not getting as much work


by Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst
(5/6/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell, who averaged 75.5 appearances the past two years, has only been used 11 times this season. The lefty is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA.

"It's a little different," Russell told MLB.com. "We haven't really been playing many teams that have a lot of lineups set up to where I can get extended work. It's just one of those things. It happens. I haven't really talked to them about it. I figure if there's a problem, they'd come to me and tell me."

Russell said he felt arm fatigue this spring but feels fine now. "My body feels great, everything feels good," he said. "It's kind of luck of the draw."

Fellow lefty Wesley Wright has cut into Russell's work, posting a 1.86 ERA in 10 games.


James Russell surrenders home run in spring debut


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/13/2014) Cubs pitcher James Russell made his spring debut Wednesday, giving up a solo home run and recording one strikeout in one inning in his team's game against the Mariners.

Russell has dealt with a dead arm this spring, pushing back his first spring appearance to mid-March. He went 1-6 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 37:18 K:BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings last season.


James Russell on track to make spring debut Wednesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/11/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell (arm) is on track to make his spring debut Wednesday against the Mariners, per MLB.com.

James Russell could make debut next week


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/8/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell completed a bullpen session on Friday and told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday that he could pitch in games by end of next week.

Russell has been dealing with a dead arm during camp. He posted a 3.59 ERA in 52 2/3 innings last year.


James Russell to throw bullpen session Friday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/6/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell is set to throw a bullpen session Friday, according to MLB.com.

Russell has been dealing with a dead arm during camp. He has yet to throw a bullpen session. Russell posted a 3.59 ERA in 52 2/3 innings last year.


James Russell dealing with dead arm


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2014) Cubs reliever James Russell is dealing with a dead arm, according to MLB.com.

Russell has yet to get into a spring game due to the issue. Manager Rick Renteria said the injury is not serious. Russell posted a 3.59 ERA in 52 2/3 innings last year.


Cubs, James Russell avoid arbitration


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/17/2014) The Cubs and pitcher James Russell have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.775 million.

Russell is in his second year of arbitration eligibility, putting him on track to become a free agent after the 2015 season. He went 1-6 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 37:18 K:BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings last season.


Orioles, Braves, Diamondbacks interested in James Russell


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/25/2013) At least five teams have contacted the Cubs with interest in acquiring pitcher James Russell, ESPN.com reports. The Orioles, Braves and Diamondbacks are all known to have interest in Russell.

Russell is 1-2 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 29:12 K:BB ratio in 37 innings.


Braves looking to acquire left-handed reliever


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/18/2013) The Braves are in the market to trade for a left-handed reliever, according to MLB.com. Cubs reliever James Russell, Brewers reliever Mike Gonzalez and Astros reliever Wesley Wright are among the lefties on general manager Frank Wren's wish list.

Cubs not inclined to deal James Russell


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6/25/2013) The Cubs have received offers for pitcher James Russell, but are not inclined to trade the 27-year-old, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Russell owns a 2.22 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 35 appearances.

James Russell picks up win


by Jack Moore | CBSSports.com
(5/12/2013) Cubs pitcher James Russell earned the win with a scoreless relief inning Sunday against Washington.

Russell has settled in as Kevin Gregg's setup man and has a 0.63 ERA to go with his first win. Even with a walk Sunday he has a 5.3 K/BB ratio and has been one of the best non-closer relievers this season.


Sveum chooses closer based on matchup


by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com
(4/29/2013) Cubs manager Dale Sveum told MLB.com on Monday that he does not tell his relievers beforehand who will serve as closer before each game. He added that he goes by best the matchup to decide who to throw in the ninth inning.

“It’s been working,” Sveum said Monday. “I’m not going to say it’s a fix-all and that you don’t want to name a closer. You definitely don’t want to rock the boat when things are going good in the back of the bullpen when everybody is healthy and ready to go that night. It could be one of four guys. It depends on the matchups.”

Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg, Shawn Camp and James Russell are the "four guys" Sveum was referring to.

Cubs sticking with closer by committee


by Jack Moore | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2013) The Cubs are sticking with a closer by committee despite Kevin Gregg recording the save in Tuesday's game, ESPN Chicago reports.

Manager Dale Sveum reiterated he will play matchups, which means Gregg, Carlos Marmol or left-hander James Russell can be in the mix for saves depending on how the lineup shakes out in the ninth.

Kyuji Fujikawa is expected to retain the job upon his return from a forearm injury.


James Russell pitches scoreless eighth inning against Rangers


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2013) Cubs reliever James Russell, who is thought to be in the mix for saves in the team's unstable bullpen, was called upon to pitch the eighth inning with the Cubs up 6-2 against the Rangers Thursday. He responded with a 1-2-3 inning that included one strikeout.

Russell has surrendered just one hit and no walks in 5 1/3 scoreless innings this season while striking out seven batters.


James Russell a bright spot in Cubs' bullpen


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2013) The Cubs have had one of the league's worst bullpens through the first few weeks of the season. Cubs' relievers have a 6.06 ERA, which is the second-worst mark in the majors.

But one bright spot has been the play of left-handed reliever James Russell, who hasn't allowed a run in seven outings (4 1/3 innings).

"Just his numbers alone dictate that, and the reliability and endurance that he has," manager Dale Sveum said to MLB.com. "He's got a four-pitch mix to where he can get right-handers out as well. You can leave him in, obviously [he] demonstrated last year when he had to face a lot of right-handers and did a great job."