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)