Mateo Flips Three at Fitch, Looks Fit to Phil

The EXST Cubs (Boise/Mesa) rallied with four runs in the bottom of the 8th to defeat the EXST Angels 6-4 at Mesa's Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, in a game that featured the second rehab start for RHP Juan Mateo. Mateo, who has been on the Cubs 15-day DL with a sore shoulder since ST, increased his innings to three and his pitch count to 40+, as he threw 41 pitches (29 strikes, 4/2 GB/FB), with his fastball topping out at 92 MPH. He allowed three hits (one HR) and one run, but no walks, with three strikeouts, in his three innings of work. As long as he does not having any significant negative physical symptoms in the aftermath of today's game, Mateo looks fit and ready to leave Mesa and continue his rehab (gradually increasing his pitch count) at Daytona or Tennessee, with a return to the Iowa starting rotation probably by no later than mid-June, possibly even earlier. In today's game, the Cubs trailed the Angels 4-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, but rallied thanks to outstanding execution of offensive fundamentals. (The youngsters at EXST practice this stuff over and over, every day) Carlos Perez worked a walk to lead-off the inning, and advanced to second when Andres Quezada was hit on the foot by a pitch. The tying runs were moved up to second and third thanks to a picture-perfect sac bunt by Gian Guzman, and Steve Clevenger followed with a line single to left, scoring Perez and sending Quezada to third. Mario Mercedes then came through with a game-tying sac fly to CF. Jesus Reyes followed with a walk, and after Clevenger and Reyes moved up on a wild pitch, Cesar Valentin singled through the middle of the diamond, scoring Clevenger and Reyes with the winning runs. It was a very exciting inning in what normally isn't an exciting environment, as the players on the Cub bench were up on their feet en masse yelling and screaming. Side-slingin' RHP Matt Maradeo (signed a year ago as a 2005 NDFA 5th year senior out of Kutztown) worked the 9th inning for the save, striking out the lead-off hitter, and getting a game-ending GIDP after allowing a one-out ground single. I guess I must have missed all of Maradeo's bad outings, because every time I see him throw, he works fast, he throws strikes, and it's either three up and three down, or six up and six down, or nine up and nine down with seven K's, or 1-2-3 strike out the side for the save. In some EXST and Cubs minor league roster news, OF Jeff Culpepper (who has been rehabbing at Fitch after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery) has left for Daytona. Also, Peoria OF D. J. Lewis has been released. (Lewis got released to make room for a position player who is being demoted from Daytona to Peoria to make room for Culpepper, but unfortunately I don't know who that position player is at this point). Here is the abridged box score (that means Cubs players only) from today's EXST Cubs game: LINEUP: 1. Nathan Samson, SS (0-2, HBP, SH) 2. Jovan Rosa, 3B (0-4, K) 3. Nelson Perez, LF (1-3, R, HBP) 4. Carlos Perez, DH-1 (0-3, R, BB) 5-A. Drew Rundle, CF (No AB) 5-B. Andres Quezada, CF (1-3, RBI, R, HBP) 6. Gian Guzman, DH-2 (1-3, 3B, SH, K) 7. Steve Clevenger, 1B (2-2, RBI, R, 2 HBP) 8. Mario Mercedes, C (1-3, SF-RBI) 9. Jesus Reyes, RF (0-3, R, BB, 2 K) 10. Cesar Valentin, 2B (2-2, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB, SB) NOTE: Rundle left game after he became sick in the outfield in the top of the 1st inning (nothing serious, as he walked unaided to the clubhouse). PITCHERS: 1. Juan Mateo - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR 2. Audy Santana - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP 3. Donny Walters - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP 4. Matt Maradeo - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP CATCHER: Mercedes 2-2 CS ATTENDANCE - 5 Weather: Cloudless hot sunny morning with temp in the 90's.
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Comments

AZ Phil,

With Wade Miller about to be released and Guzman and Marmol in the pen who do you think is the 6th starter in case of injury. I am thinking it would probably be Cotts, but I would rather see Gallagher or Holliman get a chance first. What are your thoughts on the subject. Also are there any type of Craig Hansen type relief prospect that the Cubs can draft at 48 to help the pen this season?

this is about 2 weeks old but from scout.com...

http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=304&p=2&c=644285

3. Chicago Cubs - Josh Vitters. Early reads suggested that the Cubs and Matt Wieters would appear to be a match made in heaven, considering the Cubs' willingness to spend. But, it appears that the Cubs may be a little lighter in the pockets after their off-season spending spree. Look for them to take the cheaper route, which is not exactly a drop off talent-wise. Right now, according to several sources, they are trying to decide between Vitters and flame throwing Indiana high school righty, Jarrod Parker. Vitters' near sure thing bat will be tough to pass though.

"I think the Cubs are going to surprise," one crosschecker told us. "Remember, they spent a lot of money last year and this year on their big league club. I think

great time to get cheap....

http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=304&p=2&c=644765

May 17th date saying the DRays are poised to take Wieters now instead of Price.

chifan3887 — May 29, 2007 @ 3:20 pm
AZ Phil,

With Wade Miller about to be released and Guzman and Marmol in the pen who do you think is the 6th starter in case of injury. I am thinking it would probably be Cotts, but I would rather see Gallagher or Holliman get a chance first. What are your thoughts on the subject. Also are there any type of Craig Hansen type relief prospect that the Cubs can draft at 48 to help the pen this season?

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

CHIFAN3778: In case of injury, I believe Neal Cotts would get the next call, and (if 100%) Juan Mateo would be next after that. I think the Cubs will likely leave Gallagher and Holliman at AA for the most of the rest of the season, although an August promotion to AAA for either would be well within reason.

But Gallagher has had some mild shoulder stiffness, and Holliman needs to prove his mid-season dead arm of last year isn't going to be an every-year occurrence.

Also, Gallagher does not need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2008 season, and Holliman doesn't need to be added to the 40 until after 2009, so there is no reason for the Cubs to rush either of them to the big leagues, unless circumstances unexpectedly warrant otherwise.

As far as who the Cubs might take at 48, I don't know. If the Cubs do take a pitcher there, I hope it's a college pitcher, and the most advanced college pitcher available. Somebody who can help them ASAP.

I don't know how the first two picks will go, but if (somehow) Price and Wieters go 1-2, I'd actually prefer to see the Cubs take ex-Missouri RHP Max Scherzer (who is throwing 97 MPH and striking everybody out at Ft. Worth) with the #3 pick rather than Vitters or a HS pitcher.

A two-pitch pitcher (but both pitches are plus pitches),Scherzer would be a definite MLB closer candidate, and could reach the big leagues in a BIG hurry (he will want--and will almost certainly get--a "Major League" contract, so no reason not to bring him up in September, if not sooner).

Of course, Scherzer (a Scott Boras client) will be a "tough sign" (which is why the Diamondbacks couldn't sign him), but the Cubs don't seem to have a problem with dealing with Boras. Heck, Hendry actually seems to like the guy!

But again, that's ONLY if Price and Wieters go 1-2. No way will Scherzer last to #48.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/story/2007/5/2...

hat tip to Road to Wrigley....

Sickels take on Vitters.

AZ Phil: I noted that the cubs recently promoted recent minor league rule 5 pick, Jim Anderson from AA to Iowa after 18 games/24 IP with an ERA of 0.75. Have you seen him pitch? If he does as well in Iowa is he a candidate for the bullpen or is he just more minor league fodder?

cubster — May 29, 2007 @ 4:23 pm
AZ Phil: I noted that the cubs recently promoted recent minor league rule 5 pick, Jim Anderson from AA to Iowa after 18 games/24 IP with an ERA of 0.75. Have you seen him pitch? If he does as well in Iowa is he a candidate for the bullpen or is he just more minor league fodder?

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

CUBSTER: I saw Jim Henderson pitch three times at Minor League Camp in ST, and I wasn't particularly impressed. He reminds me some of Randy Wells, who pitched great at AA last season but hasn't pitched so well at AAA after getting promoted. But Henderson certainly had a lot of success at AA this season, so we'll see how he does at AAA. But (like Randy Wells) I don't think he is an MLB prospect. I hope I'm wrong.

Wait...is it Anderson or Henderson? Take of the 'der' and you got some muppets...

Whatever happened to Lou's comments regarding Lilly being questionable for his next start? Is that still a possibility?

"ATTENDANCE - 5"

Gotta be some kind of record. Were some seats removed?

cubswinthepennant — May 29, 2007 @ 5:10 pm
“ATTENDANCE - 5”

Gotta be some kind of record. Were some seats removed?

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

CWtP: Actually we had nine for one of the games over the Memorial Day weekend. We were packed in there like sardines.

A. Soriano lf
C. Izturis ss
D. Lee 1b
A. Ramirez 3b
M. Murton rf
M. DeRosa 2b
M. Barrett c
A. Pagan cf

Attendance-5

LOL of the day.

Az Phil and friends re-enact "the wave" from Field of Dreams.

lou gives a pregame blah blah media fest talk about baserunning.

cubs commit 2 outs on 2 separate plays involving baserunning gaffs in 1 inning.

is it the players yet or the elderly fat man dujour?

AZ Phil: How does Mateo stack up against the other Iowa starters and the Guzman/Marmol/Marshalls, stuff-wise and ceiling-wise?

garsky — May 30, 2007 @ 9:17 am
AZ Phil: How does Mateo stack up against the other Iowa starters and the Guzman/Marmol/Marshalls, stuff-wise and ceiling-wise?

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GARSKY: Mateo's stuff doesn't rate with that of Guzman, Marshall, and Marmol, but I would say he could be a passable MLB #5 starter or right-handed middle-reliever.

You have to remember that Mateo has never pitched at AAA. He was promoted from AA straight to the big leagues last summer, so he could probably benefit from some time in the Iowa starting rotation. He's only 24, so it's not like he's past his prime. He WILL be an MLB pitcher. Maybe not with the Cubs, but with somebody.

Good call on Mateo being ready - he's up at Peoria now.

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