Mateo Gets Rehab Start at Fitch

The EXST Giants defeated the EXST Cubs (Boise/Mesa) 6-1 this morning at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa, a game that featured the first game appearance for RHP Juan Mateo. After a couple of lackluster "live" BP sessions over the past week, Mateo (on the Cubs 15-day DL since ST with a sore shoulder) finally got some game action today, tossing two shutout innings (31 pitches, 20 strikes). Throwing at "cruising speed," Mateo topped out at 90, and his breaking ball was sharp. He gave up no runs on two singles, with no walks and three strikeouts, and one wild pitch. I would think Mateo will likely be leaving Fitch in the next few days to continue his rehab at Daytona or Tennessee, and if all goes well, he should be back in the Iowa starting rotation (and off the Cubs DL) within a couple of weeks. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Kerry Wood threw a 15-20 pitch bullpen session on Tuesday morning before the Cubs EXST intrasquad game at Fitch, but he did not throw in the game itself. A "live" BP session (probably tomorrow) would seem the likely next step for Woody. Minor leaguers currently rehabbling at EXST include outfielders Jeff Culpepper (off-season shoulder surgery rehab), Ryan Harvey (hamstring), and Andy Lopez (quad), and pitchers Jose Ceda (shoulder), Michael Cooper (shoulder), Rafael Dolis (elbow), Adam Harben (TJ elbow surgery), Junniol Lami, Billy Muldowney (elbow), and Taylor Parker (elbow). Of the rehabbers, Culpepper and Cooper are playing in EXST games and (barring setbacks) should be ready to join a full-season club (probably Daytona) soon. The other rehabbing pitchers are participating in PFP and conditioning drills only at this time. Also, RHP Mark Prior (shoulder surgery), RHP Roberto Novoa (fractured shoulder sustained in off-season car crash), 2006 12th round pick RHP Kitt Kopach (shoulder surgery), and Daytona RHP Todd Blackford (awaiting surgery for a torn elbow ligament) are out indefinitely. In other EXST roster news, Cubs 2006 16th round pick C-1B Blake Parker is now a pitcher, 3B Elvin Puello and OF Valerio Heredia have been released (both 22, Puello was once considered one of the Cubs better prospects, and Heredia was one of the fastest players in the organization), recent 2006 Draft + Follow signees 3B Jovan Rosa (Lake City CC) and RHP Jordan Latham (College of Southern Idaho) have arrived (Rosa played in the EXST intrasquad game on Tuesday, but only took BP today), and 2006 NDFA 5th year college senior RHP John Muller (recently signed by the Cubs out of St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York) threw a "live" BP session today. Here is the abridged box score (that means Cubs players only) from today's EXST Cubs game: LINEUP: 1. Sammy Baez, DH#1 (1-4, K) 2. Jeff Culpepper, DH#2 (1-4, 2B, CS) 3. Marwin Gonzalez, 3B (1-4) 4. Steve Clevenger, 1B (1-3) 5-A. Carlos Perez, C (1-2) 5-B. Mario Mercedes, C (1-2, K) 6. Nelson Perez, RF (0-3, K) 7. Drew Rundle, LF (0-3, K) 8. Andres Quezada, CF (0-3, 2 K) 9. Gian Guzman, SS (1-2, R, BB, SB) 10. Cesar Valentin, 2B (0-3, 2 K) NOTE: Mercedes hit between Culpepper and Gonzalez in the 9th, so that he would be sure of getting two ABs in the game. PITCHERS: 1. Juan Mateo - 2.0 IP, 2 H. 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP 2. Larry Suarez - 2.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 1 K 3. Kevin Kreier - 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K 4. Brad Clipp - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP ATTENDANCE - 1 Best I can tell, here is the current up-to-date Cubs EXST roster: 2007 CUBS EXST ROSTER (5/24/07): * bats or throws left # bats both PITCHERS (ACTIVE): Francisco Acosta Alberto Cabrera Julio Castillo Brad Clipp Miguel Cuevas Wily Garcia Chris Huseby Kevin Kreier Jordan Latham Simon Lee Matt Maradeo Oswaldo Martinez John Muller Andrew McCormick Blake Parker (ex-C) * Mark Pawelek Leonel Perez (ex-3B) Audy Santana Ryan Searle Larry Suarez Brandon Taylor (ex-3B) Harol Tolentino Donny Walters PITCHERS (REHAB) Jose Ceda Michael Cooper Rafael Dolis Adam Harben Junniol Lami Juan Mateo Billy Muldowney * Taylor Parker PITCHERS (INACTIVE) Todd Blackford (torn elbow ligament - awaiting surgery) Brett Jackson (unknown) Kitt Kopach (shoulder surgery) Roberto Novoa (fractured shoulder) Mark Prior (shoulder surgery) Kerry Wood (shoulder/triceps) CATCHERS: * Steve Clevenger (ex-INF) Mario Mercedes Carlos Perez INFIELDERS: # Marwin Gonzalez (3B-1B) Gian Guzman (3B-SS) Elvis Lara (2B) Jesus Reyes (1B-OF) Jovan Rosa (3B) Nathan Samson (SS) Cesar Valentin (SS-2B) OUTFIELDERS: * Cliff Andersen Sammy Baez (ex-SS) Cody Gilbert (OF-1B) * Nelson Perez (was signed as RHP, then converted to OF) # Andres Quezada * Drew Rundle POSITION PLAYERS (REHAB) * Jeff Culpepper, OF (shoulder surgery rehab) Ryan Harvey, OF (hamstring) Andy Lopez, OF (quad) # Francisco Tirado, 2B (quad) MANAGER: Tom Beyers (Boise manager) COACHES: Franklin Font (Boise hitting coach) Carmelo Martinez (AZL Mesa hitting coach) Ricardo Medina (AZL Mesa manager) Tom Pratt (Boise pitching coach) Rick Tronerud (AZL Mesa pitching coach)
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Comments

And you you can read my bi-weekly Cubs EXST reports from Fitch Park at Road to Wrigley.

That's also where you can read what's happening around the Cubs minor leagues.

AZ Phil,

What do you know about Matt Matulia the starting SS for Daytona? The first time I heard of him is when I saw the box score for Daytona yesterday and his 282/374/382/757 seem excellent outside the lack of slugging.

Thanks, Phil. As always, your consistent updates are much appreciated. So, when you're the only person there to watch their games at Fitch, do the players and other personnel keep their distance from you, or do they come over and joke around with you? I'm just trying to picture how that works when you are the only person there....

chifan3887 — May 24, 2007 @ 2:16 pm
AZ Phil,

What do you know about Matt Matulia the starting SS for Daytona? The first time I heard of him is when I saw the box score for Daytona yesterday and his 282/374/382/757 seem excellent outside the lack of slugging.

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CHIFAN3887: Matulia was selected in last June's draft (24th round) out of The Citadel and played at Boise last year and hit in the .240's. I remember seeing him play in The Arizona Instructional League (TAIL) last September-October, and I wasn't paticularly impressed. I figured him for maybe the Peoria utility infielder gig in '07.

Matulia has certainly benefited from a lack of quality shortstop prospects in the Cubs system, but still, his performance so far this season has been a pleasant surprise. Hopefully he will continue to play well and move up through the pipeline.

Jace — May 24, 2007 @ 2:20 pm
Thanks, Phil. As always, your consistent updates are much appreciated. So, when you’re the only person there to watch their games at Fitch, do the players and other personnel keep their distance from you, or do they come over and joke around with you? I’m just trying to picture how that works when you are the only person there….

================================

JACE: Among the pitchers not scheduled to pitch in the game or throw BP, one is assigned to be the batboy, two others chase foul balls, and three others sit in the cage behind home plate and run the scoreboard, the radar gun, or chart the pitches,

The rest of the pitchers and the injured (rehab) players who aren't doing anything else are required to sit in the stands and watch the game, and I sit in their midst. Some of them know who I am, some don't.

If Arizona and Virginia Phil collide is it similar to matter and anti-matter colliding?

Rich-
They are brothers.

VA is the oldedst, AZ the youngest.

They have a middle brother Oklahoma Phil.

And they have a cousin they are none to fond of...LandPhil

~rimshot~

I've never seen Oklahoma Phil! I didn't realize they were brothers either though.....I'm learning. lol. By the way, I'm not sure what I did wrong on the Parachat but they emailed me a cryptic password that never seems to work no matter how it's entered. If anybody can help me there I would very much appreciate it because I had a blast the couple of times I got to do the chat before it needed a password. Thanks in advance!

Rich-
They are brothers.

Virginia is a guy?

There's gotta be a Train reference lurking around in here somewhere...

A family of Phil's. Hey Phil please pass the butter. They all look at each other and say which Phil?

What is Mark Pawelek doing there? I noticed he had pitched a bit at Peoria, but not recently. You didn't have him in the rehab category. Is he a lost cause or is there still hope? Thanks for your updates.

And unlike his third cousin Puxatony Phil, AZ Phil is NOT afraid of his own shadow.

Nice update dood.

TJ — May 25, 2007 @ 10:16 am
What is Mark Pawelek doing there? I noticed he had pitched a bit at Peoria, but not recently. You didn’t have him in the rehab category. Is he a lost cause or is there still hope? Thanks for your updates.

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TJ: Mark Pawelek was demoted to EXST after a couple of weeks at Peoria to work on his mechanics (which were all fouled up) and velocity (he is topping out at 88--he threw 93-94 when the Cubs drafted him). He is pitching in EXST games, though (where he has continued to struggle with his command), and in fact, he is scheduled to pitch tomorrow.

For anybody interested, here is my report from today's EXST game at Fitch Park that I just posted over at Road to Wrigley.

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