I wasn't at the game, but the Cubs dropped a 4-2 decision to the Colorado Rockies today at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson.
After the game, the Cubs announced several roster cuts, optioning C Geovany Soto
to Iowa, and sending NRI LHP Ryan O'Malley
and Carmen Pignatiello
, C Jake Fox
, 3B Casey McGehee
, and 1B Micah Hoffpauir
to the minor league camp at Fitch Park.
The Cubs have also released RHP Eli Diaz
and Alfredo Francisco
, LHP Nate Bland
, C Kevin Ciarrachi
, 1B Jason Hart
and Luther Murphy
, INF Derek Wathan
, and OF Tony Miller
and Nate Price
from minor league camp, and OF Davy Gregg
Diaz was a 2006 40th round draft pick out of Texarkana JC who pitched at AZL Mesa last season, Francisco was a one-time hot-shot Dominican 3B prospect who received a big bonus from the Cubs five years ago, but was converted to a pitcher when he couldn't learn to hit curve balls and sliders, Murphy was a 2005 "draft+follow" JC player (selected in the 46th round out of Palm Beach CC) who signed with the Cubs prior to the 2006 Rule 4 Draft and then was assigned to AZL Mesa, Price was a '06 NDFA (University of Iowa) who hit a combined .263 as a "4th OF" at Peoria and Daytona last year, Ciarrachi was signed last December after playing in professional independent leagues the previous five seasons, and Bland (ex-HOU) , Hart (ex-TEX), Wathan (ex-FLA), and Miller (ex-COL) were minor league FAs signed to minor league contracts during the off-season by the Cubs. Gregg was a speedy CF selected in the 27th round of the 2005 draft out of the University of South Carolina who played at Boise in '05 and at Peoria last year.
In the game at Hi Corbett, Ted Lilly went five innings, allowing nine hits, four runs (earned), walking two, and striking out one, with a 6/8 GB/FB. He also threw a WP.
The Cubs did all of their scoring in the top of the 1st, as Alfonso Soriano pumped-out another lead-off HR, and Daryle Ward drove in Angel Pagan (who had doubled with one out) with a two-out RBI single. Pagan was 1-3 with a BB, Michael Barrett and Mark DeRosa each had a hit and a walk, and Felix Pie was 0-2 with two K in relief of Soriano in CF. DeRosa also made an error at 2B.
Lilly breezed through the odd-numbered innings, but struggled in the even-numbered innings. The Rockies scored all four of their runs in the 4th, as Lilly surrendered two walks (a lead-off free pass to Matt Holliday and another one to pitcher Brian Lawrence while Lawrence was trying to bunt) and four hits (including a Troy Tulowitzki RBI double, an RBI single by Yorvit Torrealba, a Jamey Carroll sac fly, and a Garret Atkins infield hit misplayed by Lilly). In the second inning, Lilly had survived a no outs/bases loaded jam (three consecutive hits to start the inning), by getting a pop up, K, and fly out.
Ryan Dempster returned to action after missing about a week with a tight neck, throwing one inning (1 H and 1 BB, and a 1-6-3 DP). Other Cubs pitchers who saw action included Will Ohman (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Angel Guzman (1 IP, 1 K), as Manager Lou Piniella has apparently already begun transitioning Gooz to bullpen duty.
The Cubs return to HoHoKam Park in Mesa Wednesday to face Sammy Sosa and the Texas Rangers. Jason Marquis is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Cubs. I wonder if Rob G has any thoughts on Sammy Sosa, and his relationship with Cubs fans?
With Tuesday's roster cuts, the Cubs ST roster now stands at 38 (20 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders, and seven outfielders) 35 of the remaining players are on the 40-man roster, and three are NRI.
2007 CHICAGO CUBS SPRING TRAINING ROSTER
OPTIONED TO IOWA (AAA):
IF-OF Scott Moore
LHP Clay Rapada
C Geovany Soto
OPTIONED TO TENNESSEE (AA):
1B Brian Dopirak
OPTIONED TO DAYTONA (A+):
RHP Jeff Samardzija
Here are a couple of factors Jim Hendry has to consider when deciding which remaining players to cut...
NO TRADE RIGHTS IN 2007
Henry Blanco (automatic through June 15th)
Mark DeRosa (automatic through June 15th)
Scott Eyre (limited - unknown which teams are "no go")
Cliff Floyd (automatic through June 15th)
Jacque Jones (limited - unknown which teams are "no go")
Ted Lilly (automatic through June 15th)
Jason Marquis (automatic through June 15th)
Daryle Ward (automatic through June 15th)
Kerry Wood (automatic through June 15th)
: Blanco, DeRosa, Floyd, Lilly, Marquis, Ward, and Wood get automatic "NO TRADE" rights through June 15th because they were Type XX FA who signed contracts after the conclusion of the Free-Agency Filing Period; Wade Miller was a Type XX FA, but he does NOT have "no trade" rights through June 15th, because he re-signed with the Cubs prior to the conclusion of the MLB Free-Agency Filing Period.
MINOR LEAGUE OPTION STATUS
(Spring Training 2007)
* Player can be optioned to minors out of Spring Training 2007 only after clearing Major League Waivers
ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT
Angel Guzman (see NOTE 1
* Roberto Novoa
* Will Ohman (see NOTE 2
Geovany Soto (has been optioned to AAA)
* Michael Wuertz
: Because of time spent on the DL in 2004 and 2005, Guzman gets a 4th option year in 2007. A player receives a 4th option year if he has not spent five “full seasons” (a “full season” being a minimum of 60 days on a major league or a minor league active roster--NOT including time spent on the DL--from the start of a season, or a minimum of 90 days total on a minor league or major league active roster--NOT including time spent on the DL--in a given season) by the time his first three minor league options have been exhausted.
: Ohman cannot be optioned to the minors without his consent once he accrues another 132 days of MLB service time. (Players cannot be optioned to the minors without their consent once they accrue five years of MLB service time).
TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT
* Neal Cotts
Brian Dopirak (has been optioned to AA)
Scott Moore (has been optioned to AAA)
* Mark Prior (see NOTE 3
: Prior cannot be optioned to the minors without his consent once he accrues another 41 days of MLB service time (that's when he will have accrued five full seasons of MLB service time).
THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT
Clay Rapada (has been optioned to AA)
FOUR MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT
Jeff Samardzija (has been optioned to A+)
In the case of a player who has already been optioned to the minors (Soto, Moore, Rapada, Dopirak, and Samardzija), his option year will only be exercised once he has spent at least twenty days on optional assignment to the minors in 2007, which would be as of April 21st (if the player is not recalled in the meantime).
Also, players on optional assignment to the minors can be moved back and forth between the majors and minors as necesary throughout the season, limited only by having to remain in the minors at least ten days after being optioned, UNLESS the optioned player is being recalled to replace a player who has been placed on the DL.