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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  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 14 min 1 sec ago view
  • This site is as dead as the team.

    The E-Man 18 min 9 sec ago view
  • AL pitcher hits a home run for a 1-0 lead. There goes perspective

    billybucks 35 min 44 sec ago view
  • Here are the ERAs for the last five starting pitchers:
    3.40
    3.64
    4.28
    4.68
    9.45

    At what point does the manager note it's not the "other pitcher"?

    And why does he start Montero in the middle of a downturn?

    The E-Man 45 min 58 sec ago view
  • Some perspective (mostly for my own benefit): Dan Straily beat MadBum 2-1 today as the Reds took 2 of 3 in SF. Giants are 2-9 since the break and their lead over LA is down to 2.5 games. So, yeah...baseball. It'll drive ya nuts.

    billybucks 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • McNutt / Archer didn't work out well for us.

    QuietMan 2 hours 32 min ago view
  • The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.

    John Beasley 3 hours 17 min ago view
  • Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres. 

    link 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 8 hours 2 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 8 hours 10 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 43 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 22 hours 49 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 23 hours 32 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 23 hours 43 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 23 hours 49 min ago view