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).
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.