New Blood at the Ranch
There apparently was a change in the itinerary for the Boise Hawks, as the roster will not be announced until after today's workout, and the team will not leave for Idaho until after tomorrow's work-out.
Therefore (naturally), there was another intrasquad game today.
In addition, Cubs 1B Daryle Ward, who is on the 15-day DL with a back problem, has finally arrived at Fitch Park.
The Cubs ace LHPH took about 30-swings in a "standard" early-morning BP session (coach throwing "BP fastballs" from in front of the mound) on Field #4 and he looked OK. (He hit a couple over the fence onto 6th Place). He did not participate in the intrasquad game, however.
Also, the Cubs will be converting still another position player to pitcher, as OF Leon Johnson (2007 10th round pick out of BYU) will become a LHP.
Johnson, who had his collegiate career interrupted for a couple of years while serving on an LDS mission in Siberia, was probably the fastest runner and best bunter in the organization, as well as being a well above-average defensive CF with a plus-arm.
The one thing he just couldn't seem to master was the art of hitting, and apparently he decided to try pitching after being demoted to EXST from Peoria last week while in the midst of a major slump.
There also were still more new-arrivals at Fitch Park today, as several more of the Cubs 2008 draft picks reported for duty.
As of today, the following 2008 Rule 4 Draft picks have physically reported to Fitch Park (others may have signed, but they haven't reported yet):
James Leverton, LHP (8th round pick out of Texas Tech)
Jay Jackson, RHP (9th round pick out of Furman U.)
Josh Whitlock, RHP (26th round pick out of U. of West Virginia)
Tommy Mejia, RHP (NDFA out of Dominican College)
Michael Brenly, C (36th round pick out of UNLV)
Ryan Keedy (16th round pick out of UAB)
Rebel Ridling (25th round pick out of Oklahoma State U.)
Sean Hoorelbeke (33rd round pick out of Western Michigan U.)
Jake Opitz (12th round pick out of U. of Nebraska)
David Macias (19th round pick out of Vanderbilt U.)
TeWayne Willis (28th round pick out of Lincoln Memorial U.)
Kurt Calvert (32nd round pick out of U of Missouri)
Some initial observations about the new recruits...
Ryan Keedy has a nice short line-drive stroke with some power behind it and he drives the ball all over the yard, but he is a VERY slow runner. EXTREMELY slow. He's also very stiff at1st base.
Jake Opitz made a couple of nice plays at 2B, one going to his left, and another going to his right. He also roped an opposite-field RBI double into the LF corner. However, he also struck out (swinging) twice.
Michael Brenly is a solid defensive catcher, but a better hitter than I thought he would be. He's also one big boy. (He looks like he could play left tackle for the Bears!)
David Macias brought both an infielder's glove and an outfielder's glove with him to Fitch Park, and he worked out at 2B, 3B, LF, CF, and RF. He is a versatile defender. And he's a scrapper!.
TeWayne Willis is as fast as Ryan Keedy is slow. Willis is essentially Dwaine Bacon Redux.
Here is the abridged box score from today's intrasquad game...
NOTE: The position players who arrived yesterday (Opitz, Willis, Macias, and Keedy) played in the game, but they were allowed to bat out of turn several times to maximize their ABs.
Also, Nelson Perez played for both squads, as he was "traded" from SQUAD "A" to SQUAD "B" in the middle of the 4th inning.
1. Bryan Jost, 1B 1-2 (3B, R)
2. Dwayne Kemp, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-4 (2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)
4. Junior Lake, SS: 0-4 (2 K)
5a. Kevin Soto, CF: 1-1 (2B, RBI)
5b. Jake Opitz, 2B: 1-3 (2B, RBI, 2 K)
6a. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1 (K)
6b. TeWayne Willis, CF: 0-3 (K)
7. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-3
8a. Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 1-1
8b. David Macias, RF: 0-3
9a. Robinson Chirinos, C: 0-1 (K)
9b. Ryan Keedy, 1B: 0-3 (R, K)
1. Drew Rundle, RF-LF: 0-3 (K)
2. Marwin Gonzalez, DH #1: 0-2 (BB)
3. Starlin Castro, SS: 2-3 (R)
4. John Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (R, CS)
5. George Matheus, LF-DH #3: 0-2 (SF-RBI)
6. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-2
7. Cesar Salazar, CF: 0-3
8. Kyler Burke, 1B: 0-3 (K, CS)
9. Jose Made, 2B: 0-3 (2 K)
10. Roberto Sabates, DH #2: 0-3
11a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-2 (K)
11b. Michael Brenly, C: 1-1 (2B)
1. Miguel Sierra - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
2. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
3. John Muller- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
4. Luke Sommer - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
1. Mark Pawelek - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K
2. Jose Pina - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
3. Michael Bunton - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
4. Manolin DeLeon - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K
Jeffrey Rea - E4, bobbled ground ball, allowing batter to reach base
Ryan Keedy - E3, missed catch on what should have been a 4-3 GO at 1st base allowing batter to reach base and runner at 2nd base to advance one extra base
Jose Made - E4, muffed ground ball allowing batter to reach base
Carlos Perez: 2-2 CS
WEATHER: VERY hot & sunny
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.