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.

GROUP: 1:
Edward Campusano
Scott Eyre
Adam Harben
Rich Hill
Jon Lieber
Carlos Marmol
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

GROUP 2:
Ryan Dempster
Chad Fox
Bob Howry
Ted Lilly
Jason Marquis
Sean Marshall
Michael Wuertz

GROUP 3:
Neal Cotts
Kevin Hart
Geoffrey Jones
Tim Lahey
Juan Mateo
Billy Petrick
Shingo Takatsu

GROUP 4:
Jose Ascanio
Esmailin Caridad
Jose Ceda
Carmen Pignatiello
Jeff Samardzija
Mike Smith
Les Walrond

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:

Henry Blanco
Welington Castillo
J. D. Closser
Josh Donaldson
Koyie Hill
Casey McGehee
Geovany Soto
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:

Tyler Colvin
Jake Fox
Sam Fuld
Micah Hoffpauir
Eric Patterson
Felix Pie
Ryan Theriot
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.

FIELD 1:
W. Castillo
Donaldson
McGehee

FIELD 2:
H. Blanco
Closser
K. Hill
Soto

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).
.

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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    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.

    Rob G. 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #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

    Rob G. 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    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.

    Rob G. 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • great defense

    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.

    Rob G. 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 2 hours 32 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 3 hours 37 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 4 hours 50 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 5 hours 11 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 5 hours 55 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 10 hours 46 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 32 sec ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 4 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 13 hours 22 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 20 hours 35 min ago view