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James Russell | Relief Pitcher

Team: Chicago Cubs
Age / DOB:  (29) / 1/8/1986
Ht / Wt:  6'4" / 200
Bats / Throws: Left / Left
Contract: view contract details
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Latest News

Recent News

Cubs recalled LHP James Russell from Triple-A Iowa.
The team signed Russell to a minor league contract on April 8. He'll provide them with some necessary, proven bullpen depth. Last season, he posted a 2.97 ERA and a 42/20 K/BB ratio over 57 2/3 innings between the Cubs and the Braves. May 5 - 7:55 PM

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Player News

Date:

Cubs signed LHP James Russell to a minor league contract.

Russell, of course, has spent all but half of a season of his career with the Cubs and was released by the Braves last month in a cost-cutting move. He'll report to extended spring training initially before eventually going to Triple-A Iowa. Russell stands a good chance of spending a good portion of 2015 with the big club.
Apr 8 - 12:26 PM

Braves released LHP James Russell.

By releasing him now, the Braves will only have to pay Russell $606,000 of the $2.425 million he's owed. Still, it's a surprising decision given how steady the southpaw has been the last few seasons. Russell posted a 2.97 ERA and a 42/20 K/BB ratio over 57 2/3 innings while pitching out of the bullpen for the Cubs and Braves. The 29-year-old will catch on elsewhere in short order.
Mar 29 - 9:04 AM

James Russell (toe) felt good after throwing 30 pitches of live-action batting practice on Tuesday.

Russell has been struggling with turf toe, but is expected to make his spring debut some time this week. Russell is hopeful that he will be able to start for the Braves. Last season, he posted a 2.97 ERA and a 42/20 K/BB ratio over 57 2/3 innings while pitching out of the bullpen for the Cubs and Braves.
Mar 11 - 8:56 AM

Braves and LHP James Russell avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.425 million contract.

Russell was arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter and gets a decent raise from the $1.77 million he made in 2014. The 28-year-old posted a 2.97 ERA and a 42/20 K/BB ratio over 57 2/3 innings between the Cubs and Braves last season.
Jan 15 - 4:47 PM

Braves acquired LHP James Russell and INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio from the Cubs for C Victor Caratini.

Russell, 28, has posted a 3.51 ERA and 26/16 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings this season. Oddly, he's been better against right-handed batters than left-handed hitters this year, though his career numbers say otherwise. Still, he should be a useful addition to Atlanta's bullpen.
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 05:16:00 PM

James Russell picked up his first save of the year with a perfect 13th against the Marlins on Monday.

The Cubs weren't going to use Neil Ramirez tonight after his saves Saturday and Sunday and they had already run through Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop, so Russell got his first save since 2012. He's been very effective of late, turning in 13 straight appearances without allowing an earned run. He's not really a candidate for additional saves, though.
Tue, Jun 17, 2014 12:58:00 AM

James Russell (arm) threw an inning Wednesday in his Cactus League debut.

Russell gave up a home run to Mariners shortstop Brad Miller but was otherwise pleased with the performance. He had been battling a case of arm fatigue. "The arm is good," the left-hander told reporters Wednesday night. "One mistake. Made some good pitches. Felt great."
Thu, Mar 13, 2014 09:09:00 AM

James Russell (arm) will make his Cactus League debut Wednesday.

Russell has dealt with some arm fatigue this spring, which is no surprise given that he leads all left-handed relievers with 151 appearances over the past two seasons. Cubs manager Rick Renteria indicated that he'll be careful with Russell's usage this season. "Obviously, he pitched a lot," Renteria said. "I’m very cognizant of pitcher usage. I’m very cognizant of how many times they get up in the bullpen. I’m very cognizant of how many pitches they throw in a given day. Am I aware of it? Yes."
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 07:03:00 PM

James Russell (arm) threw a successful bullpen session on Friday and could be ready for game action by the end of next week.

Russell has been battling arm fatigue early on in camp, but the issue isn't believed to be anything serious. The 28-year-old southpaw posted a 3.59 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 37/18 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 2013.
Sat, Mar 8, 2014 10:43:00 AM

James Russell (arm) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday in Cubs camp.

Russell has been slowed by some early-spring arm fatigue, but it's a yearly occurrence for him and he fully expects to be ready for the opening of the regular season.
Thu, Mar 6, 2014 11:43:00 AM

James Russell has yet to appear in a Cactus League game this spring because of arm fatigue.

The early-spring fatigue is normal for Russell, who expects to be fine within the next week. He should open the 2014 season as a prominent member of the Cubs bullpen.
Tue, Mar 4, 2014 11:28:00 AM

Cubs avoided arbitration with LHP James Russell by agreeing to a one-year, $1.77 million contract.

It was Russell's second year of arbitration eligibility. The lefty reliever has put up a 3.39 ERA over the last two years for the Cubs and will be a key reliever for them again in 2014.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 02:18:00 PM

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports that the Cubs nearly traded James Russell to the Braves last week.

The Braves aren't an option anymore after their acquisition of Scott Downs, but it does signify that Russell is very much available. The southpaw didn't do himself any favors with a rocky showing Tuesday, but he entered the day holding left-handed batters to a .179/.235/.269 batting line.
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 08:13:00 PM

James Russell gave up a three-run homer after taking over in the eighth inning to take a blown save and a loss Tuesday against the A's.

Just one of the two baserunners was his; the other run was charged to Blake Parker, who retired five of the six hitters he faced in the seventh and eighth. At this point, Parker would seem to be the better bet than Russell for saves if Kevin Gregg is traded. The newly acquired Pedro Strop could leapfrog them both, though.
Wed, Jul 3, 2013 01:31:00 AM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Miguel Montero
2Kyle Schwarber
3David Ross
1B1Anthony Rizzo
2B1Addison Russell
2Tommy La Stella
SS1Starlin Castro
2Jonathan Herrera
3B1Kris Bryant
LF1Chris Coghlan
2Chris Denorfia
CF1Dexter Fowler
RF1Jorge Soler
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Jon Lester
2Jake Arrieta
3Jason Hammel
4Dan Haren
5Kyle Hendricks
6Clayton Richard
7Tsuyoshi Wada
8Jacob Turner
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Jason Motte
2Hector Rondon
3Pedro Strop
4Tommy Hunter
5Justin Grimm
6James Russell
7Rafael Soriano
8Neil Ramirez
9Travis Wood
10Zac Rosscup