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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  • 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.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.


  • Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.

  • i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).

    i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.

  • I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.