Jost Another Saturday in the Park
Angel Guzman (on the 60-day DL while rehabbing from 2007 TJS) threw two innings (28 pitches) in an intrasquad game, and Daryle Ward (on the 15-day DL while rehabbing from a back injury) took an extended BP session, as the AZL Cubs spent their first day home alone at Fitch Park.
Also, three more players signed out of the recent Rule 4 Draft have reported to Fitch Park, bringing the count up to 22 drafted players signed (with 29 still unsigned), plus three non-drafted free-agents (NDFA) signed.
The Cubs have signed 22 of their first 37 2008 Rule 4 draft picks, but included among the unsigned are 1st round pick RHP Andrew Cashner (TCU), 2nd round pick RHP Aaron Shafer (Wichita State), 3rd round pick RHP Chris Carpenter (Kent State), and 5th round pick RHP Justin Bristow (East Carolina).
Angel Guzman displayed good control in his outing today, throwing 20 strikes and only eight balls in his two innings of work (15 pitches in the 1st inning, and 13 pitches in the 2nd). He allowed one run on four hits (all singles), no walks, and two strikeouts (both swinging), and a 2/1 GO/FO (another runner was thrown out after over-running 2nd base).
Daryle Ward hit in a "standard" BP session (coach throwing "BP fastballs" from in front of the mound) on Field #4 at 9 AM (although once again he did not take an AB in the intrasquad game), and he launched bomb after bomb onto 6th Place (that's when he wasn't hitting ropes off the LF and RF fence).
The new players reporting to Fitch Park today included RHPs Dan McDaniel (14th round pick out of Chabot JC) and Jon Nagel (17th round pick out of Independence CC), and OF Ryan Sontag (23rd round pick out of Arizona State). Nagel is wearing a plastic splint on his right arm (he recently had TJ surgery). The only player reported to have signed who has yet to arrive is 4th round pick IF-C Matt Cerda.
In AZL Cubs roster news, besides the addition of McDaniel and Sontag to the roster (Nagel goes directly into the Fitch Park Rehab & Witness Protection Program), RHPs Israel Camacaro (signed earlier this year out of Venezuela) and Mike Perconte (recently signed NDFA out of Murray State) were added to the Boise roster after yesterday's intrasquad game, and both left for Idaho with the other Hawks this morning. This brings the Hawks roster up to 29, with one open slot.
The AZL Cubs roster currently stands at 38, but two of the players (Jeffrey Rea and Robinson Chirinos) are expected to leave Fitch Park by the start of the AZL season next weekend. (Rea appears to be 100% recovered from his strained quad and will probably end up back at Peoria and play 2B, and Chirinos--who was sent to EXST from Tennessee to learn to be a catcher--will very likely be assigned to a full season team and serve as a "super sub" C-IF-OF utility guy).
1B Bryan Jost (2007 44th round draft pick out of the U. of Minnesota, and one of the EXST Cubs who was left behind when the Boise Hawks broke camp today) was late to Fitch Park this morning (think he might have been out partying with the Hawks last night?), so he was ordered to stay on the field in the hot sun and play 1B for both squads in the intrasquad game.
Then after the game, Jost had to take 45 ground balls at 1st base in 100 degree heat, while the rest of the team had to sit on the bench (albeit in the shade) and watch.
After each round of 15, Jost had to run over to the bench (from across the field), and shake hands with and apologize to each player. Then he had to run back to his position and take more ground balls (and coach Rick Tronerud made sure to make Jost go hard to his left and then range far to his right on every-other one!).
After finally completing his drill, Jost had to pick-up all the balls and put them in a grocery cart. What happened to Jost after that, I cannot say, but I did see somebody washing the coaches cars in the parking lot as I was leaving.
Fitch Park will be mostly quiet over the next few days, as many members of the AZL Cubs will be going to Cooperstown for the Cubs-Padres "Hall of Fame Game" at Abner Doubleday Field on Monday, followed by a VIP Tour of the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum on Tuesday.
Here is the abridged box score from today's AZL Cubs intrasquad game:
NOTE: Jeffrey Rea and Jose Made switched squads after the 1st inning, Kevin Soto was a DH for both squads, and Bryan Jost played 1B for both squads (see above). Also, Jose Guevara played defense but did not take an AB (he is rehabbing from a broken hand and still has problems swinging a bat), and RHP Oswaldo Martinez (rehabbing from TJ surgery) pitched from behind a BP screen (this was Martinez's first game action since the surgery).
1a. Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 0-1
1b. SLOT SKIPPED 2nd TIME THRU ORDER
2. Kevin Soto, DH #1: 1-2
3. Sean Hoorelbeke, DH #2: 1-2 (K)
4. Nelson Perez, CF: 1-2 (3B, R)
5a. SLOT SKIPPED 1st TIME THRU ORDER
5b. Jose Made, 2B 1-1 (3B, RBI, R)
6. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-2 (RBI, R, SB)
7. Ryan Sontag, RF: 1-2 (3B, R, K)
8. Alvaro Sosa, C-DH: 2-2 (RBI)
9. Roberto Sabates, DH-C: 0-1 (SF-RBI)
10. Cesar Salazar, LF: 0-2 (K)
11. George Matheus, SS: 0-1
12. Bryan Jost, 1B (PLAYED 1B FOR BOTH SQUADS)
1. Starlin Castro, SS: 2-3 (2B, HR, RBI, 2 R)
2. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-1 (3B, R, SH)
3a. Jose Made, DH #1: 1-1 (RBI, R)
3b. SLOT SKIPPED 2nd TIME THRU ORDER
4. John Contreras, 3B: 2-2 (2B, 3B, 2 RBI)
5. TeWayne Willis, LF: 0-2 (CS)
6. David Macias, RF: 0-2
7. Kurt Calvert, CF: 0-2
8. Kevin Soto, DH #2: 0-1
9. Jeffrey Rea, DH #3: 0-1
10. Jose Guevara, C (NO AB - rehabbing from broken hand)
11. Bryan Jost, 1B (PLAYED 1B FOR BOTH SQUADS)
1. Dionis Nunez - 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, (4 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
1. Angel Guzman - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K
2. Oswaldo Martinez - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
ERRORS: NONE (Josh Vitters has left for Boise)
Alvaro Sosa: 1-1 CS
Jose Guevara: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Very hot, sunny, and no breeze (but it's a dry heat)
ATTENDANCE: 5 (including Oswaldo Martinez's parents)
Javy's grunge dive into the stands for the popup was awesome - the hitting into the double play not so much
Third time I've tried to post this (forgive me if it winds up appearing three times)
Junior Lake, batting 9th and playing RF for the Blue Jays...
*That was a fun HALF inning.
this game is no longer awesome.
he did...it was awesome.
I'm pretty sure that Len called Bryant's home run a Brexit.
everyone but heyward with a hit and a 3 run lead with coghlan on 3rd through 5 batters. hell yeah.
okay, this is just silly. 19 pitches in, 1 out, 4 runs in, men on 1st and 2nd...hendricks up to bunt.
...and almora contributes the final out. that was a fun inning.
this game is awesome already.
also, there's a lot of cubs fans in the park tonight.
Clearly, Joe Maddon is a Lineup Wizzard.
"Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."
Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.
how many pairs of dice did dusty leave hidden around the park when he left the cubs?
Line-up shakeup, going all-2015 with pitcher batting 8th, Bryant 2nd
J-Hey, Bryant 1B, Zobrist, Willson, Coghlan, Baez 3B, Russell, Hendricks, Almora
The Cubs are currently down Schwarber, Fowler, Soler, and Rizzo and Montero appear to be day-to-day. Maybe not surprising that they are struggling a bit as they rely more than expected on Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, and Szczur to provide offensive value.
Joe: "I loved the way we brought it today, man. We'll take this every night and win a lot of ballgames like that. Losing 4 in a row...that's nothin'."