Where Is Team China When You Need Them?

The EXST Giants smacked 14 hits off four EXST Cubs pitchers, en route to an 8-2 stomping of the Cubs at Indian School Park Field #2 this morning in Scottsdale.

Bryan Jost blasted a solo HR over the RF fence and Nelson Perez and Junior Lake belted back-to-back doubles to plate the only EXST Cubs runs. Josh Vitters also doubled. 

The biggest cuplrits in the loss were the four Cubs pitchers (none of whom escaped unscathed), most of the starting lineup (only four hits total), back-up catcher Roberto Sabates (0-4 CS plus one error trying to throw out base-stealers--and that was in just three innings behind the plate!), and 2B George Matheus (who made an ill-advised unnecesary relay throw to 3rd base that resulted in an error and a run, after he had earlier been thrown out by a mile trying to score from 1st base on a one out double by Vitters in the top of the 1st). 

Here is today's abridged EXST Cubs box score (Cubs players only)...

1a. Cesar Salazar, LF: 0-3 (GIDP)
1b. Marwin Gonzalez, PH: 0-1
2a. George Matheus, 2B: 0-2 (BB)
2b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-1
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-3 (2B, K)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 1-3 (2B, R)
5a. Junior Lake, SS: 1-3 (2B, RBI)
5b. Jose Made, SS: 0-0  
6. Kyler Burke, DH #1: 0-2 (BB, K)
7. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-3 (K)
8. John Contreras, DH #2: 0-3
9. Bryan Jost, 1B 1-3 (SOLO HR)
10a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1 (BB)
10b. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-1

1. Yohan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K
2. Luke Sommer - 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K
3. Jon Mueller - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
4. John Muller - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K

1. George Matheus, E-4: Errant throw trying to put out batter-runner at 3rd base on RBI triple, ball caromed off batter-runner into dugout and batter-runner scored.
2. Roberto Sabates, E-2: Bounced throw into CF on SB attempt, runner advanced to 3rd base.

Nelson Perez, threw out runner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to RF 

Roberto Sabates: 0-4 CS, plus the E-2 throwing error

WEATHER: Hot with temperatures in the 90's, clear skies, gentle breeze



Phil -- Two quick questions. 1) Any rumblings about who is headed north to Boise? 2) A little bird mentioned that two pitchers were cut. One could be Scott Taylor. Have you heard? Did I miss one of your columns (naw)?

Alex, Scott Taylor and Chris Shaver were cut.

Another XBH for Vitters, is he still looking better with the bat, AZ Phil (and with the throwing arm since he had no errors!)?

Submitted by Raisin101 on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:40pm. Another XBH for Vitters, is he still looking better with the bat, AZ Phil (and with the throwing arm since he had no errors!)?


RAISIN: Vitters is looking much better with the bat since he returned to the lineup. I would think this is the Josh Vitters the Cubs expected to see when they drafted him.

In today's game, Vitters had only two defensive chances at 3B, one a 5-3 put-out where he made a strong, accurate throw to 1st base on a play where he had no time to think, and the other a line drive hit right at him.

It seems like the more time Vitters has to make a throw, usually the worse throw he makes. Like it's probably mainly a mental thing, because he has a decent arm and he is capable of making accurate throws. Again, it's similar to David Kelton's throwing problem a few years ago that resulted in Kelton eventually being moved to OF (although by the time the move was made his confidence was shot).

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 5:32pm.

Phil -- Any rumblings about who is headed north to Boise?


ALEX: Not yet.

More will be known next week after the Cubs make their selections in the Rule 4 Draft and sign some NDFA college players. Who they sign and what positions they play will help to shape the Boise roster.

Thank you, Phil. Makes sense. Just getting anxious.

I can't find anything on why Chris Shaver was cut. Scott Taylor makes sense, but didn't they just send Shaver to Iowa for a few days?

BTW, Kevin Kreier never was actually sent down to EXST from Peoria. He was told on Friday that he was supposed to leave for Arizona the next day, but then the Cubs changed their minds before he left and told him to stay put in Peoria.

I believe this had something to do with Todd Blackford getting promoted from Peoria to Daytona.

Also, Iowa RHP Jim Henderson is back at Fitch Park. He had a back priblem in Spring Training, and now he has a sore arm.

You're right, AZ Phil. Kreier is back with Peoria and Blackford is up to Daytona per the Chiefs web site. And Robert Hernandez was great in his season debut with Peoria.

Thanks for the update on Vitters. I hope he gets to Peoria soon!


Thanks as always for your reports!

I must admit, noting the poor attendance, there must be suitors to buy the EXST Cubs. Are you hearing anything??

Or - will the team have any more bobblehead nights to try to boost attendance?

Submitted by Alex Dimm on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:28pm. I can't find anything on why Chris Shaver was cut. Scott Taylor makes sense, but didn't they just send Shaver to Iowa for a few days?


ALEX D: I don't know why the Cubs released Chris Shaver. He was promoted from Tennessee to Iowa as a temporary replacement when they needed another lefty in the bullpen there, but then he got released when he was no longer needed.

Shaver had shoulder surgery last year and his velocity never really came back, but it's still a bit of a surprise that the Cubs would release him in mid-season.

Submitted by The E-Man on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 6:31pm.

AZ PHIL: Thanks as always for your reports!

I must admit, noting the poor attendance, there must be suitors to buy the EXST Cubs. Are you hearing anything??

Or - will the team have any more bobblehead nights to try to boost attendance?


E-MAN: The Tribune Company offered to sell me the EXST Cubs, but they didn't have change for a twenty so the deal fell through.

I think the primary reason for the drop in attendance at EXST games this week is that a lot of the half-year residents who stay in Arizona through May just so they can attend EXST games leave for back east on June 1st.

Tomorrow is the final game for the EXST Cubs, and it's supposed to be "Fan Appreciation Day" at Fitch Park. (And if you're wondering who that fan is, well...)

Sorry if 3/44, but Hart up, Hoffpauir down.


Recent comments

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  • CUBBIES-4-EVER: It's not unusual for a PTBNL to be chosen after the Rule 5 Draft from the list of Rule 5 eligible players who were not selected. That way, a club gets a player they like (perhaps somebody like OF Jeffrey Baez) without the cumbersome Rule 5 roster restrictions that go with a Rule 5 Draft pick.

  • Clayton Richard is absolutely, positively NOT a free-agent. He is under club control through the 2016 season. 

  • Haren was 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA with the Cubs. Seems like he worked out just as expected.

  • Did they ever say or who the PTBNL or cash decision on Rodney was or who was the PTBNL in the Austin Jackson deal was yet? Neither was worth whatever they gave up. Cahill and Richard were the only two good "deadline" deals they made. Hunter (given Lake was the odd man out by far and taking up a roster spot) and Haren weren't worth it.

  • MLB.com says he is, cubs.com site says he's a Cub, great cooperation between the 2 sites, weird

  • The drafting of Shea at #1 was a sign of things to come -- an undersized white linebacker who's not particularly fast; lets make him an NFL defensive end! Just idiotic. When the best thing you can say about your #1 pick is that he has a "high motor", that's a problem...that's what you should say about late-round picks.

  • Not AZ PHIL but after being DFA'd by the Cubs (after they got him from the Pirates in the "I get a chance in the Majors clause"), the Cubs re-signed him for the remainder of the season. I do not believe service time is an issue for him, so he is eligible to opt for Major League Free Agency - which he is doing and the Cubs or someone else will sign him to an MLB deal. AZ PHIL please correct this if you see fit - but that is the most current info that I'm aware of.

  • To also be fair to Emery, wtf do you draft Shea McLellin as a #1, Jonathan Bostic in the same draft, let Peppers go in lieu of signing Jared Shit-Head, Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriguez, Isiah Frey, on and on...

    I will give him credit for Kyle Long - who is like my favorite player (what does THAT say about the team - but he did throw in the 90's as a former pitcher), and Jeffrey.

  • Geo Soto leaves the WSux and signs with the Angels who lost Chris Ianetta to the Mariners.

    Freed... The Angels also promoted Bobby Scales from director of player development to special assistant

  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.