Chad Fox Rehab Full Speed Ahead
Chad Fox continued his active rehab,,throwing 1.1 IP (four up, four down) in today's Extended Spring Training game versus the Brewers EXST team on Fitch Park Field #3.
Fox looked sharp, striking out the first two men he faced and getting the last two on 5-3 ground-outs.
The 37-year old right-hander was signed to a minor league contract by the Cubs last January and received and NRI to Spring Training, but pitched in only one Cactus League game before being shut-down with a sore elbow.
He had missed most of the previous two seasons after retiring in April 2006 with what he thought was an elbow problem that turned out be just scar tissue from a previous surgery.
While there is clearly no room for him in the Cubs' bullpen (at this time), he is probably getting close to the point where he can be assigned to a full-season club, probably AAA Iowa.
It's also possible that the Cubs have promised Fox that if he is not added to their 25-man roster by a certain date (like maybe May 1st or June 1st), that he will be free to make his own deal elsewhere (see Rod Beck circa 2003).
While Fox was impressive in his outing, the five pitchers who followed Fox to the hill for the EXST Cubs today did not fare as well, as the EXST Brewers drubbed the Cubs 11-5. The youngsters either got hammered and/or could not throw strikes.
On offense, Dominican third-baseman John Contreras continued his hot hitting, going 2-2 with a 420-foot two-run home run over the CF fence in the 6th and a lead-off double roped down the left-field line in the 9th. Contreras has the same body type as Mike Lowell (for example), a thick lower body combined with powerful forearms.
The home run by Contreras was the third four-bagger hammered by a Cubs player in the EXST Cubs first three games, as Josh Vitters hit one over the LF fence and onto the street on Monday, and Roberto Sabates homered down the LF line versus the EXST Giants at Scottsdale yesterday.
Here are a couple of Cubs EXST roster updates:
RHP Audy Santana has been promoted from EXST to Peoria replacing the suspended Robert Hernandez, and LHP Mark Pawelek (who was missing from Fitch Park last week) is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
Also, promising young RHPs Larry Suarez (shoulder) and Oswaldo Martinez (elbow) threw bullpen sessions today as they attempt to return to action.
Here is today's Cubs EXST abridged box score:
1. Leon Johnson, DH #1: 0-4 (6-3, 4-3 RBI, P-6, 4-6-3 GIDP)
2. Gian Guzman, SS: 1-4 (4-3, 2-3, 2B RBI + R, 6-3)
3a. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-2 (L-5, 4-3)
3b. John Contreras, 3B: 2-2 (2-RUN HR, 2B + R)
4. Luke Sommer, RF-LF: 1-4 (4-3, K-S, 2B, L-9)
5. Brandon Guyer, DH #2: 0-4 (P-6, P-6, 6-3, F-8)
6. Andres Quezada, CF: 1-3 (BB, 6-3, F-7, 1B-RBI)
7a. Kevin Soto, LF: 1-2 (1B, L-8)
7b. Nelson Perez, RF 0-2 (F-7, K-S)
8a. Bryan Jost, 1B: 0-2 (K-S, 4-3)
8b. Alvaro Sosa, 1B: 0-1 (P-6)
9. Jose Made, 2B: 1-2 (1B + SB + R, 4-3, BB)
10a. Carlos Guevara, C: 0-1 (6-3)
10b. Carlos Perez, C: 0-0 (HBP + R, BB)
ERRORS: Contreras - 2 (one throwing, one dropped throw)
OF ASSIST - Sommer (at 3rd base from LF)
C. Perez: 2-2 CS
1. Chad Fox - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (15 pitches - 10 strikes)
2. Jose Severino - 2.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K
4. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K
5. Carlos Rojas - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4R, 2 BB, 0 K
6. Miguel Sierra - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
WEATHER: Overcast and unseasonably cold and windy (sweater weather!)
ATTENDANCE: Two (me & some other guy)
Short rest for MadBum would be 2 days. WC game is Wed., Games 1 & 2 are Friday/Saturday.
A left-handed one...
lester going for #20...cubs haven't had a 20 game winner since d.ellsworth in 1963.
J-Hey not finishing with an offensive onslaught.
If Geoff Blum could be a Playoff hero, there is hope still...
Giants scare me. I think you're wrong about Bumgarner, he would pitch on short rest for Game 2 and then full rest for Game 5. Cueto would go Game 1, then short rest in game 4. Add in some really tough outs in that lineup and I want nothing to do with them. With that rotation they can easily steal a series.
Cards are a tough matchup. The rivalry evens out their comparable lack of talent. And like someone said, they love HRs, which is how to beat the Cubs. The upside is that I would feel really good about Lester twice against STL.
j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er
zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8
heyward 0-4 :(
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says
Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.
I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.
The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.
I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.
I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.
With that said in reverse order:
3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.
2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.
1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.
CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.
Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.
I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.
any opponent preference for NLDS?
Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.
A couple of Cub related puzzles.
Can't teach height and thinness