Cubs Get 2008 Season Started at Fitch Park
With security understandably tight (well, there was one off-duty Mesa cop in the players parking lot), the Cubs had their first "official" work-out of the 2008 season under mostly cloudy skies (around 60 degrees, with a wind chill of about 59) this morning at Mesa's Fitch Park, as Pitchers & Catchers and eight position player "early birds" took the field. It was a smaller crowd than usual for the first day (maybe about 40 or 50 fans), but at least nobody got arrested.
As usual, the pitchers were broken up into four groups, and rotated from Field #2 (PFP - practice covering first base) to Field #3 (pick-off practice) to the pit (side-throwing), under the eagle-eye supervision of coaches Larry Rothschild and Lester Strode and ST instructors Mark Riggins, Mike Mason, and Dennis Lewallyn.
Angel Guzman (who is rehabbing from TJ elbow surgery) definitely did not participate, and I don't recall seeing Sean Gallagher with any of the groups, either, although I might have missed him.
Meanwhile, the catchers were working hard out on Field #4 with Matt Sinatro and Minor League Catching Coordinator Casey Kopitzke.
This group included:
J. D. Closser
Corey Miller (bullpen cacher)
Edgar Tovar (bullpen catcher)
While the pitchers were out on Fields #2 & #3 and the catchers were doing their thing on Field #4, the position players who arrived early were on Field #1 taking BP. Coaches Gerald Perry, Alan Trammell, Mike Quade, Von Joshua, Dave Keller, Bobby Dickerson, Carmelo Martinez, Bobby Dernier, and Billy Williams were out on the field with the players, taking turns throwing BP for about 10 minutes each.
This group of eight players (taking BP in groups of four) included:
Daryle Ward (looking almost thin?!)
After the position players finished their BP and the pitchers completed their work-out, the catchers moved to Fields #1 and #2 and took BP.
For those of you who might be interested in such things, there have been several uniform number changes for 2008 (in bold), and here is the current Cubs Spring Training Roster (with uniform numbers), as least as things stand right now (and certainly subject to change).
1 - Kosuke Fukudome, OF
2 - Ryan Theriot, INF
3 - Alan Trammell, COACH (was #6)
4 - Eric Patterson, IF-OF (was #3)
5 - Ronny Cedeno, INF
6 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME
7 - Mark DeRosa, INF
8 - Mike Quade, COACH
9 - Jake Fox, C
10 - RETIRED (Ron Santo)
11 - Ivan DeJesus, COACH (was #59)
12 - Alfonso Soriano, OF
13 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME
14 - RETIRED (Ernie Banks)
15 - Andres Torres, OF
16 - Aramis Ramirez, INF
17 - Mike Fontenot, INF
18 - Geovany Soto, C (was #58)
19 - Matt Murton, OF
20 - Felix Pie, OF
21 - Jason Marquis, RHP
22 - Kevin Hart, RHP (was #55)
23 - RETIRED (Ryne Sandberg)
24 - Henry Blanco, C
25 - Derrek Lee, 1B
26 - Billy Williams, ST INSTRUCTOR
27 - Sam Fuld, OF (was #57)
28 - Gerald Perry, COACH
29 - J. D. Closser, C
30 - Ted Lilly, LHP
31 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME
32 - Jon Lieber, RHP
33 - Daryle Ward, 1B-OF (was #32)
34 - Kerry Wood, RHP
35 - Lester Strode, COACH
36 - Sean Gallagher, RHP
37 - Angel Guzman, RHP
38 - Carlos Zambrano, RHP
39 - Matt Sinatro, COACH
40 - Larry Rothschild, COACH
41 - Lou Piniella, MGR
42 - RETIRED (MLB-wide - Jackie Robinson)
43 - Michael Wuertz, RHP
44 - Chad Fox, RHP
45 - Sean Marshall, LHP
46 - Ryan Dempster, RHP
47 - Scott Eyre, LHP
48 - Neal Cotts, LHP
49 - Carlos Marmol, RHP
50 - Jeff Samardzija, RHP
51 - Juan Mateo, RHP
52 - Tim Lahey, RHP
53 - Rich Hill, LHP
54 - Shingo Takatsu, RHP
55 - Koyie Hill, C
56 - Billy Petrick, RHP
57 - Andres Blanco, INF
58 - Jose Ascanio, RHP
59 - Adam Harben, RHP
60 - Les Walrond, LHP
61 - Mike Smith, RHP
62 - Bob Howry, RHP
63 - Carmen Pignatiello, LHP
64 - Casey McGehee, C-3B
65 - Luis Figueroa, INF
66 - Tyler Colvin, OF
67 - Micah Hoffpauir, 1B
68 - Josh Kroeger, OF
69 - NOT ASSIGNED (this number is NEVER assigned!)
70 - Geoffrey Jones, LHP
71 - Esmailin Caridad, RHP
72 - Welington Castillo, C
73 - Bobby Scales, IF-OF
74 - Josh Donaldson, C
75 - Pat Listach, ST INSTRUCTOR (AAA manager)
76 - Jose Ceda, RHP
77 - Dave Bialas, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Field Coordinator)
78 - Edward Campusano, LHP
79 - NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME
80 - Carmelo Martinez, ST INSTRUCTOR (Latin American Field Coordinator)
81 - Bobby Dernier, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Outfield & Base-running Coordinator)
82 - Von Joshua, ST INSTRUCTOR (AAA Hitting Instructor)
83 - Buddy Bailey, ST INSTRUCTOR (AA Manager)
84 - Bobby Dickerson, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Infield & Bunting Coordinator)
85 - Mark Riggins, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Pitching Coordinator)
86 - Mike Mason, ST INSTRUCTOR (AAA Pitching Coach)
87 - Dave Keller, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Hitting Coordinator)
88 - Casey Kopitzke, ST INSTRUCTOR (Minor League Catching Coordinator)
89 - Dennis Lewallyn, ST INSTRUCTOR (AA Pitching Coach)
90-97 NOT ASSIGNED AT THIS TIME
98 - Edgar Tovar, BULLPEN CATCHER
99 - Corey Miller, BULLPEN CATCHER
Position players do not have to report until next week.
Players do not start to receive their salaries until the start of the regular season, so every player in big league camp---whether it be Alfonso Soriano or Welington Castillo---gets paid the same, which amounts to about $1,000 per week (adding the MLB Spring Training allowance, housing allowance, and per diem together).
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!
So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?
And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.
I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.
What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?
Thanks as always for the info.
back on the Run Differential hunt... (aka The Hunt for Blue October)
These are the 2016 Cubs I know and love. Also digging that Cardinals OF (lack of) defense.
Another day, another eight runs