Daryle Ward Completes the Fitch Park Phase of His Rehab

Daryle Ward went 2-3 and scored a run, and Sean Hoorelbeke and Dwayne Kemp drove in two runs a piece with RBI doubles, as the AZL Cubs and AZL Angels played to a 5-5 tie at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in what was a final tune-up for AZL Opening Day on Sunday.

Ward, who played 1B and hit 3rd in the order, left the game amidst the usual handshakes, hugs, and kisses that accompany a "rehabber" leaving for the airport in the middle of a game. Whether DW will end up in Iowa or Tennessee is apparently still TBD. But if all goes well at who knows where, Ward is supposed to rejoin the Cubs next week In Chicago.  

In AZL Cubs roster news, RHP (ex-OF) Andres Quezada has been sent to DSL Cubs #1, as another player selected in the Rule 4 Draft has signed and reported to Fitch Park. This keeps the AZL Cubs roster at 37 (must be down to 35 by Opening Day on Sunday). 

RHP Toby Matchulat (11th round pick out of Wabash Valley CC) walked from the clubhouse to the bench (imagine the ending of Pride of the Yankees, but in reverse) and introduced himself to the coaches and manager in the top of the 6th, just about the same time Daryle Ward said his good-byes, Matchulat was then told to put on his spikes and go have a game of catch with DH TeWayne Willis on Field #2 (and welcome to the Cubs, Toby!).

Matchulat joins 3rd round pick RHP Chris Carpenter (Kent State), 4th round pick C Matt Cerda, 5th round pick RHP Justin Bristow (East Carolina), and 18th round pick LHP Jeffrey Beliveau (Florida Atlantic) among the newest arrivals at Fitch Park.

4th round pick Cerda played SS in high school, but the Cubs envision him as a catcher. The youngster hasn't caught since his days on the Oceanside, CA Little League team that advanced to the LLWS in Williamsport in 2001, but he is being tutored one-on-one by AZL Cubs coach-mentor Danny Fatheree, who was Kerry Wood's catcher in HS before embarking on a lengthy minor league career in the Astros organization. 

So far, the Cubs have signed 27 of their 51 2008 draft picks, including 18 of their first 21. The only three still unsigned from among the top 21 selections are RHPs Andrew Cashner (1st round pick out of TCU), Aaron Shafer (2nd round pick out of Wichita State), and Alex Wilson (10th round pick out of Texas A&M).

Cashner and Shafer appear to be fairly locked-into their slot by what players selected above them and below them have already received, so Cashner should expect about a $1.5M bonus, and Shafer should probably expect somewhere around $630K.

If they want more than that, the haggling could go to the August 15th signing deadline, but if the Cubs are unable to sign the players, they will receive a compensation pick in the 2009 Rule 4 Draft (2009 #20 overall if they don't sign Cashner, and/or 2009 #66 overall if they can't sign Shafer). So the Cubs are really under no pressure to sign either of the two.

As for 10th rounder Alex Wilson, that's a bit more complicated.

The right-hander had "Tommy John" surgery last year after suffering a torn elbow ligament while pitching in the Cape Cod League, and he missed the 2008 regular season at A&M (after transferring from Winthrop). However,he reportedly threw 94 MPH in a "showcase" bullpen session prior to the draft. The Cubs plan on scouting him this summer while he pitches in a summer collegiate league before deciding whether to offer him the above-slot bonus he supposedly wants to turn pro. (He was considered a very highly-regarded pitching prospect prior to his elbow injury)

As for the AZL Cubs, the first game is Sunday, and the boys get tomorrow (Saturday) off before embarking on the 2009 campaign, 

To get down to the 35 player AZL roster limit, it's possible that Robinson Chirinos will be assigned to a full-season team as a C-IF-OF "super-sub" (he probably exceeds the age and pro experience limits for the AZL), and catcher Jose Guevara (still rehabbing from a broken thumb on his non-throwing hand) could start the eeason on the DL, although that is unknown at this time.  

And here is the box score from today's AZL "pre-season" game (Cubs players only, natch)...

1. Kurt Calvert, LF: 2-3 (RBI)
2a. Kevin Soto, CF: 1-3 (K, PO)
2b. Nelson Perez, PH: 0-1
3a. Daryle Ward, 1B: 2-3 (R)
3b. Robinson Chirinos, PH: 0-1 (K)
4. Jericho Jones, RF: 2-3 (R, BB)
5a. Sean Hoorelbeke, DH #1: 1-3 (2B, 2 RBI)
5b. Bryan Jost, 1B: 0-0 (SH)
6. Junior Lake, 3B-SS: 1-4 (R, K)
7. TeWayne Willis, DH #2-CF: 3-4 (R, SB)
8a. George Matheus, SS: 0-1 (SH)
8b. John Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (K)
9a. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-2 (2B, 2 RBI, R, SB)
9b. Starlin Castro, 2B: 0-2 (K)
10a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1 (SF-RBI)
10b. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-2
1. Dionis Nunez - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP (5/4 GO/FO)
2. Julio Pena - 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/5 GO/FO)
3. Luke Sommer - 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K (2/3 GO/FO)
4. Rogelio Carmona - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (3/1 GO/FO)

1. Alvaro Sosa, E-2, overthrow at 2nd base on stolen base attempt allowed base-runner to take 3rd.
2. Junior Lake, E-6, muffed grounder allowing batter to reach base. 

Alvaro Sosa: 0-1 CS

Kurt Calvert, 7-2, threw out runner trying to score from 2nd base on two-out single to LF


1st base; Ryan Acosta

2nd base; Kitt Kopach (called balls & strikes from behind the pitcher's mound)

3rd base; Chris Huseby

NOTE: The game was put together at the last minute, so no "regular" umpires were available.  

WEATHER: Hot & cloudless with temperature in the high 90's en route to 110+ (see yesterday and the day before and the day before that...)  

ATTENDANCE: 3 (the Usual Suspects)


Thanks for todays report Phil. Are you going to report on the AZL Cubs home games also, or are there any other ways of finding out info once the games begin on Sunday?

Submitted by Falcon on Fri. 06/20/2008 - 3:24pm

Thanks for todays report Phil. Are you going to report on the AZL Cubs home games also, or are there any other ways of finding out info once the games begin on Sunday?


FALCON: Once the season starts, the AZL is covered here.

Unfortunately, the rosters they have listed over there right now are from last year. Hopefully it will be updated by Sunday.  

In the meantime, here is the roster for the AZL Cubs (Mesa) as of today. They need to get down to 35 active players by Sunday (there will probably be some roster moves made on Saturday).


Franklin Font

Danny Fatheree (catching instructor)
Ricardo Medina (hitting coach)
Rick Tronerud (pitching coach)


* bats or throws left
# bats both

Francisco Acosta
Eric Allen
* Jeffry Antigua
* Jeffrey Beliveau 
Justin Bristow
Rogelio Carmona
Chris Carpenter
Manolin DeLeon
Yohan Gonzalez
Chris Huseby
* Leon Johnson (ex-OF)
Toby Matchulat
Dan McDaniel
Tarlandus Mitchell
Dionis Nunez
Julio Pena
Carlos Rojas
Jose Severino
Miguel Sierra
* Luke Sommer (ex-OF)

* Matt Cerda
Robinson Chirinos (AA INF-OF learning to be a catcher)
Roberto Sabates
# Alvaro Sosa

Starlin Castro (SS-2B-3B)
John Contreras (3B-1B)
Sean Hoorelbeke (1B)
* Bryan Jost (1B)
Dwayne Kemp (2B-LF)
Junior Lake (SS-3B)
George Matheus (SS-2B)

* Kurt Calvert
Jericho Jones
* Nelson Perez
Kevin Soto 
TeWayne Willis


Ryan Acosta, P
Alberto Alburquerque,
Alberto Cabrera,
* Jeff Culpepper, OF
Rafael Dolis,
Jose Guevara, C
Angel Guzman, P (MLB Cubs DL)
* Clark Hardman, OF
Jim Henderson,
P (Iowa DL)  
Kitt Kopach,

Oswaldo Martinez,
Jon Nagel,
Billy Petrick,
P (Daytona DL)  
Cedric Redmond,
Larry Suarez,

God, Hawk & DJ suck. I'm like "what happened?" cause everybody's cheering and I was doing something else. Apparently he said "...and this ball game is over" but I never heard him. I guess you have to listen real close to these fuckers to know what's going on.

Any other opposing TV crew would have actually reported a walk-off home run for what it is.

What a bunch of dicks.

probably old news and apologies if it's 3/44, but I haven't been around the last few days...


LHP Lambert, 3B Lansford and LHP Campusano promoted to AA; RHP Michael Cooper demoted to Hi-A

LHP Dustin Sasser promoted to Hi-A as well from Peoria

Maestri had an incredible performance with 10 strikeouts, no walks in 10 innings. AZ Phil -- At 23, only at high A Daytona, I wonder how he projects?

sorry it wasn't 10 innings... that was a typo

What was it, then?


Get your fat ass back to Chicago, stat!!!!

AZ Phil: have you seen former Phillie/Sox/Mariner, Freddie Garcia, trying out for any of the Cubs staff? If so, how'd he look?

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I know, man. What a season. 3rd best record in all of baseball, good enough to have won any division other than the one there in.

    With a win tomorrow, the Cubs will match their 2008 record. Bad omen, I know. If they do win, the most recent year in which the Cubs will have won more games would be 1945 (98-56), the last time they went to the World Series.

    I'll take that omen instead...

  • "oh yeah, and get the fuck off my lawn. :D"

    Ok, now that was funny. :)

  • KB 0-5 with 8 LOB. Really? He is torturing me with 99 RBI. He is also a very different hitter at home vs. road. I suspect most young hitters are.

  • Greinke still in for the 8th. 3 up, 3 down. After 8. 108 pitches, ERA still at 1.66 according to mlb boxscore and he's in line for a 19th win.

  • Greinke 95 pitches through 7. Gives up one run (solo HR to Hedges). ERA at 1.66. Doubt that they will let him give up 5 runs in the 8th.

    Dodgers ahead 2-1.

  • 96 wins with one game to go. Who woulda thunk it.

    Cubs 96 wins have clinched a better record than any AL team and the NL West/East division winners too.

  • cubs win, pirates lose...

  • the curse is now yours.

  • cog a HR away from the cycle after a single in the 6th.

  • Hendricks: 15 up, 15 down.

  • he strongly separates his post-playing career from his playing career, though he loves to visit the barrier of player and fan. many ex-players don't put up this barrier.

    he's not interested in going back to the clubhouse or pretty much anything field/game related, but he'll grab a ticket and observe with the fans and visit ex players on "neutral" ground. he's written 3 pieces for the new yorker and other pieces elsewhere. i remember one photo/bio piece he did, but don't remember where i read it (years ago).

  • ?
    I find your comments rather obtuse. He recognized he didn't want to pursue baseball anymore and went back to school to learn how to become a better writer - opening up a new chapter in his life.

    I don't know where you find a "sad disconnection" because he is writing about his experiences? He pursued a ball career for a long time so no doubt there is some meloncholy in his tone, but I just don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

  • he has an almost sad disconnection from the game based on his writings. even though he's "been there" (no matter how much of a minor role) he doesn't seem to feel like he belongs or deserves to belong in the boy's club.

    he seems to go to great lengths to enjoy the game from an arm's length while occasionally getting close enough for a high-5 from those who affirm him that he belongs.

  • I read that guy's article about why he quit baseball and it was really well done too. In terms of Rizzo, I have seen multiple references to how this is Rizzo's team just as much as Madden's and it makes that pick up that much better that we have someone that is not only a great player but a leader and all around great guy (been reading about all the charity work he does too). There is really nothing not to like about Rizzo.

  • Nice article on Rizzo

    Written by ex teammate


  • JD concurred with Ariettas second at bat