Extended Spring Training (EXST) came to an end today, as the EXST Cubs (Boise/Mesa) played an intrasquad game at Mesa's Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.
The EXST players will get two days off before they will reassemble, together with players who sign after being selected in tomorrow's Rule 4 Draft and Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFAs) signed after the draft, beginning on Saturday, forming two separate and distinct teams--the Boise Hawks (NWL) and the Mesa Cubs (AZL). The two short-season clubs will have pre-season work-outs for about a week to ten days before they each begin league play the week of June 18th.
18-year old Dominican RHP Alberto Cabrera (who was probably the ace of the EXST Cubs staff) got the start for SQUAD "A" today, and pitched fairly well over his four inning stint.
Carlos Perez was the catcher for SQUAD "A."
23-year old Korean RHP Simon Lee (signed by Cubs Pacific Rim scouting coordinator Steve Wilson earlier this year) got the start for SQUAD "B," and worked 2.2 IP before being relieved.
2006 16th round draft pick C-1B-3B Blake Parker, who had been the EXST Cubs best power hitter and run producer before (surprisingly) being converted to pitcher last month, finally got into his first game action as a hurler, but did not have a good outing. L
anky side-slingin' RHP Matt Maradeo (signed by the Cubs as a 2005 NDFA 5th year senior a year ago out of Kutztown State) retired the only four men he faced.
Steve Clevenger was the catcher for SQUAD "B."
On offense, 22-year old Dominican Sammy Baez (who was converted from SS to OF this year after struggling with his infield defense, most notably an inability to make accurate throws from SS to 1B) went 3-4 with a triple and a stolen base and three runs scored, slick-fielding 18-year 2006 32nd round draft pick SS-2B Cesar Valentin went 2-3 with an RBI and a stolen base, and 21-year old Venezuelan 1B Jesus Reyes was 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. So here is today's EXST Cubs intrasquad game abridged box score.
Again, there were no specific "lineups" or batting orders, as all the players except the pitchers and catchers played defense and took their swings for both squads.
Nathan Samson, SS (1-3, RBI, CS)
Gian Guzman, 2B-SS (0-3)
Marwin Gonzalez, DH (0-1)
Andres Quezada, RF-CF (0-1, BB)
Jovan Rosa, 3B (0-1, SH)
Mario Mercedes, DH (0-1)
Cesar Valentin, SS-2B (2-3, RBI, SB, CS)
Elvis Lara, 2B-RF (1-2, 3B, R, BB, SH)
Francisco Tirado, 3B-1B (0-2, K)
Nelson Perez, CF-LF (0-1, SF-RBI)
Sammy Baez, LF (3-4, 3B, 3 R, SB)
Jesus Reyes, 1B (2-4, RBI, 2 R)
Drew Rundle, RF-CF (1-3, RBI, K)
Carlos Perez, C (0-3, RBI, K)
Steve Clevenger, C (No AB)
Alberto Cabrera - 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 B, 3 K (6/2 GB/FB)
Simon Lee - 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K (3/5 GB/FB)
Blake Parker - 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Matt Maradeo - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (3/0 GB/FB)
ATTENDANCE: 3 (including AZ Phil and Oneri Fleita, although they did not sit together)
WEATHERr: Sunny and mild, with a temp in the 80's
In EXST roster news, RHP Brad Clipp (2006 33rd round pick out of Point Loma Nazarene University) has been promoted to Peoria, as 2006 23rd round pick RHP Chuckie Platt (who was at EXST prior to his promotion to Peoria in April) goes from Peoria to Daytona, and RHP Rocky Roquet (2005 NDFA out of Cal Poly who was signed by the Cubs a year ago as a 5th year senior) gets promoted again (he just got promoted from Peoria to Daytona a couple of weeks ago!), this time from Daytona to AA Tennessee. Clipp's promotion leaves RHPs Matt Maradeo and Andrew McCormick as the last of the college pitchers signed by the Cubs a year ago who have yet to get their tickets punched out of Fitch Park.
2007 CUBS EXST ROSTER:
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Brad Clipp (just got promoted to Peoria)
* Mark Pawelek
Jose Ceda (shoulder – limited activity only)
Rafael Dolis (elbow – limited activity only)
Adam Harben (post-’06 TJ elbow surgery – limited activity only)
Junniol Lami (sore arm - limited activity only)
Billy Muldowney (elbow – limited activity only)
* Taylor Parker (elbow – limited activity only)
Leonel Perez (elbow – limited activity only)
Todd Blackford (TJ elbow surgery)
Michael Cooper (torn rotator cuff – awaiting decision on surgery)
Brett Jackson (shoulder surgery – torn labrum)
Kitt Kopach (shoulder surgery)
Roberto Novoa (fractured shoulder – off-season car crash)
Mark Prior (shoulder surgery)
Kerry Wood (torn rotator cuff – no surgery)
* Steve Clevenger
# Marwin Gonzalez
# Francisco Tirado
* Nelson Perez
# Andres Quezada
* Drew Rundle
POSITION PLAYERS (REHAB)
* Cliff Andersen, OF (lower back strain – BP only)
Ryan Harvey, OF (hamstring – BP only)
Andy Lopez, OF (quad – BP only)
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.