Springfield & Burruel Lead Cubs to Victory

Sergio Burruel smacked a bases-loaded triple to put the Cubs on the board, and Blair Springfield reached base four times on two singles, a double, and a walk, drove-in two runs, and scored two more, leading the AZL Cubs to a 10-5 victory over the AZL Rangers in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa tonight.

box score

Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman (Louisburg JC) made his pro debut, working one inning (nine pitches - seven strikes), allowing no runs on two singles, while striking out one. He should have been out of the inning after having faced just three hitters, but the Bieneme-Chen DP tandem was unable to make a clean-exchange on what should have been a routine inning-ending 6-4-3 GIDP, getting just the force at 2nd for the second out, and prolonging the inning. Ackerman then gave up another hit, before striking out the final hitter he faced. 

The Cubs sent ten men to the plate and six of them scored in the bottom of the 2nd.

Jake McAloose reached base on an E-6 muffed grounder to lead-off the inning, and then Cody Shields reached on a bunt single and Anthony Giansanti drilled a single to left to load the bases with no outs. Xavier Batista struck out (looking), but Sergio Burruel (2009 19th round draft pick out of Trevor Browne HS - Phoenix, AZ) picked-up his teammate, ripping his bases-loaded triple into the right-center alley, giving the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish. Blair Springfield then got the first of his three hits and two RBI, driving a single past the shortstop and into LF, scoring Burruel. Vismeldy Bieneme lined a single down the LF line to advance Springfield to 2nd, and then Pin-Chieh Chen reached on an infield hit, as Springfield scored and Bieneme advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by the Rangers 2nd baseman, who was trying to throw the speedy Chen out at 1st (with the pitcher covering) after the batted ball deflected off the 1st baseman's glove. Ryan Cuneo capped the inning with an F-7 sac fly to the warning track in left-center, scoring Bieneme with the 6th and final run of the inning.

After struggling mightily throughout Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and the first three weeks of AZL play, Blair Springfield had probably the best game of his pro career. He hit the ball hard to all fields, and showed patience at the plate, too, working deep into counts. For the first time since signing with the Cubs last Summer, the 19-year old Decatur, IL, native showed why the Cubs thought enough of him to make him a 7th round draft pick out of MacArthur HS. Now he just has to find a way to keep it up, because after having been moved to LF, he must hit to advance.

In what is the latest information regarding the Cubs future Spring Training plans, the powers that be in Naples, Fl, have (at least for the time-being) withdrawn their offer to be the Cubs new Spring Training hosts. Naples could revisit the matter if Mesa cannot get funding for a new Cubs Spring Training and Minor League campus, but as of now, it appears Mesa has won the game.

The City of Mesa has proposed relocating the Cubs to a still-secret location on the far east-side of town on open land owned by the City (perhaps as much as a square-mile) near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (ex-Williams Field AFB), but any site out there would be a good 15 miles east of downtown Mesa (albeit with good freeway access), and about 25 miles from the Spring Training stadium and Minor League camp of the next-closest MLB team (the Giants in Scottsdale or the Angels in Tempe).

But the newest site revealed to be under consideration is one just a half-mile southeast of Fitch Park (HoHoKam Park being a half-mile north of Fitch), at the S/E corner of University & Mesa Drive, just across the street from the former site of Rendezvous Park, the original Mesa Spring Training stadium used by the Cubs in the 1950's and 1960's (and by the Oakland A's in the 1970's). This site would also be just a half-mile north of the Main Street light-rail extention expected to be completed into downtown Mesa in the next few years. (The light-rail presently terminates on Main Street west of Dobson Road, about three miles short of the proposed downtown Spring Training stadium).

The Downtown University-Mesa Drive site would be for the Spring Training Stadium ("Wrigley Field West") only, with the Minor League HQ at Fitch Park to be retained and upgraded. Whether the Cubs would accept this plan is still to be determined, but a location in downtown Mesa would certainly be good for the Main Street Business District, and certainly a lot closer to where most of the fans who attend Spring Training games in Mesa are located.  


AZ Phil:

What do you hear about Hayden Simpson - illness wise?

Submitted by QuietMan on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 6:46am.
AZ Phil:

What do you hear about Hayden Simpson - illness wise?


QUIET MAN: I don't know what type of illness Hayden Simpson contracted, but it apparently had a major impact on his body to the extent that he is on the AZL Cubs injury list. Hopefully he'll get into some game action soon.

16th round draft pick RHP Ryan Hartman (Mt. Zion HS - Mt. Zion, IL) is in Mesa but he is injured, although I don't know what specifically is wrong. He's not wearing an elbow brace or a sling so he hasn't had elbow or shoulder surgery, but he is on the AZL Cubs injury list.

RHP Gian Guzman (elbow), OF Melvin Camarena (sprained ankle), 2B Doug Cherry (???), and C Carlos Romero (???) are also on the DL.

RHP Melvin Rosa (TJS), OF Manuel Pestana (shoulder surgery), and OF Dong-Yub Kim (???) are on the AZL Cubs 60-day DL and so they do not count against the AZL Cubs 35-man Reserve List/Active List.

BTW, milb.com has Melvin Rosa listed as an outfielder and 3B Dustin Geiger listed as a pitcher, but that is just plain wrong. Rosa is a pitcher, and Geiger is a 3B.

Thanks Phil. You information is greatly appreciated.

Re: milb.com - maybe they can see a few years in the future.

Braves trade immature hothead SS Yunel Escobar to Toronto for journeyman SS Alex Gonzalez...


On a side note, this is the second time Toronto has traded a SS named Alex Gonzalez. I think their return this time is barely better than what the Cubs gave them (Felix Heredia).

Yunel Escobar is a good shortstop, though. Yeesh.

Great line from the NYDailyNews:

"This is Bobby Cox’s last year, the Braves are serious contenders, and Escobar is not well-liked on the team because of a persistent lack of hustle. “Bobby hates Escobar,” a Brave told me earlier this season. “Escobar doesn’t have a lot of friends in the clubhouse.”


AZP - what do you think about trying to acquire the hawaiian first baseman from the royals' omaha team in anticipation of end of the d. lee era & what might it take to get him?

Submitted by Mike Wellman on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 1:32pm.
AZP - what do you think about trying to acquire the hawaiian first baseman from the royals' omaha team in anticipation of end of the d. lee era & what might it take to get him?


MIKE W: Kila Ka'Aihue has been a Royals Top 10 Prospect in the past, but he has not been able to cross the line from AAA to MLB. He might be worth a look.

As for what it would take to get him, I would think a position-player prospect like 1B-OF Matt Spencer (who would have three option years ahead of him once he's added to a 40-man roster, while Ka'Aihue will have one option left as of Spring Training 2011) and an MLB-ready pitching prospect like Jeff Stevens or Mitch Atkins would probably be what it would take to get Ka'Aihue.

But that's presuming the Cubs don't plan to move Tyler Colvin or Alfonso Soriano to 1B in 2011.

I would think playing Colvin at 1B and maybe taking a look at Brad Snyder in RF come this September and then again in Spring Training 2011 might be a better option than trading players just to give Ka'Aihue a shot at 1B (with Colvin remaining an outfielder).

i don't know what sort of tap dancer he is around the bag but his obp #'s are consistently high plus his power #'s are good this year, the royals don't need him &, bless his heart, he hits lefty...i don't like idea of moving soriano to first because it's a more critical position than given credit for & think colvin's speed would be wasted defensively @ first...maybe we could snag the hawaiian & alex gordon both from the omaha club & move the one-time wunderkind back to the infield as a bridge from ramirez to vitters, although gordon's been manning LF in the pcl this year...

I seem to recall reading that the Royals are not inclined to move Alex Gordon. So I imagine his price tag would be higher than Ka'Aihue.

But I like the Gordon idea.

Submitted by Mike Wellman on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 2:40pm.
i don't know what sort of tap dancer he is around the bag but his obp #'s are consistently high plus his power #'s are good this year, the royals don't need him &, bless his heart, he hits lefty...i don't like idea of moving soriano to first because it's a more critical position than given credit for & think colvin's speed would be wasted defensively @ first...


MIKE W: I would agree that Colvin's speed would be wasted at 1B (so did Clemson coach Jack Leggett), but if Brad Snyder (for example) were to get a shot with the Cubs in September 2010 and in Spring Training 2011 and shows he can hit big league pitching, moving Colvin to 1B and playing Snyder in RF in 2011 might accomplish the same thing as making a trade for Ka'Aihue, except no players would have to be sacrificed.

And while I agree that 1st base is an underrated and under-appreciated defensive position, and that playing Soriano at 1B would almost certainly have a negative overall effect on the Cubs infield defense (I just can't see Sori doing the splits to nab an errant Castro throw), MLB clubs (including the Cubs) have had a long history of moving guys with leg and knee problems to 1B as they get older. And the Cubs are probably stuck with Soriano through the 2014 season, so a move to 1st base might be considered or even tried at some point, even with the aforementioned down-side.

Why would the Cubs consider moving Colvin to 1B over Soriano. Is it just an ego thing?

colvin is left handed, that's about all. it's easier for lefties to man 1st from a footwork and throwing point of view. it's not like having a slow guy in CF or whatever, though...righties can play 1st.

I think moving Colvin to 1st is a huge mistake. His bat had been a question anywhere but CF. Not a stretch to think his bat at 1st would put a huge strain on the rest of the lineup.


well don't worry.

he doesn't get to carry his bat to the field, though if he can he should definitely play 1st.

I don't worry about his defense. Its more a case of yet another marginal offensive player in the lineup. Especially at a position that is supposed to utilize a slugger.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 8:12pm.
I don't worry about his defense. Its more a case of yet another marginal offensive player in the lineup. Especially at a position that is supposed to utilize a slugger.


DR AARON: I don't think the Cubs see Colvin as a marginal offensive player. I think they project him as an everyday player in search of a regular defensive position, and in 2011 that will be either RF or 1B (or LF if Soriano were to be moved to 1B).

It's also possible that Geovany Soto will get more PT at 1st base with the Cubs in 2011, especially if Welington Castillo improves his hitting enough by next season to play in the big leagues. Castillo consistently throws out 40%+ of opposing base stealers and slugs at or near .500 despite a BA in the 240's. The Cubs will be closely watching Castillo's development as a hitter over the last two months of AAA ball and in Winter Ball (he'll probably play in the Dominican Winter League).

Are any catching prospects running out of options that would take over for Koyie Hill? Maybe I won't mind him as the backup if the next manager doesn't like him as much as Lou

I read somewhere a week or two ago that Colvin played 1b in college. Not sure if he played much 1b or what. The Baseball Cube stats do not show fielding numbers for his time at Clemson.

i just hope if they use him at 1st in 2011 they also get him occasional time in the corner OF to keep him familiar. he shouldn't have much trouble at 1st unless he's got slow reaction time.

it was brought up in another thread colvin played 1st in college, but i don't remember the thread.

probably read it from Phil, he's mentioned it a few times.

I believe it was more in high school and they moved him quickly to the OF at Clemson.

Yes, I think it was Phil who said that.

Submitted by Paul Noce on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 4:52pm.
I read somewhere a week or two ago that Colvin played 1b in college. Not sure if he played much 1b or what. The Baseball Cube stats do not show fielding numbers for his time at Clemson.


PAUL N: Tyler Colvin was a 1B in HS, and was moved to LF at Clemson to take better advantage of his speed. But he is a natural 1st baseman.

I've never seen Colvin play 1B, but I talked to someone who played with Colvin at Clemson, and he said Colvin occasionally played 1B there and that he is a good defensive 1st baseman.

Thanks Phil.

I think the idea of Soriano playing first base is laughable. Scooping throws? Jumping for high throws? Charging bunts? 3-6-3 double plays? Acting as the cutoff on throws home? Handling pop ups around the mound, in foul territory, and near the catcher? Catching the ball consistently? Handling hard smashes with less time than he had at second? What in his career gives any indication that he could do this adequately?

He switched to probably the easiest position on the field - Left - and will soon play his 5,000th inning there. He plays there in spring training every year, practices there when he shags flies, and has worked with various outfield coordinators on his play. And he has gotten better, but he is still not good. They pull him for defensive purposes with a lead in the late innings as it is. There is simply no way, in my mind, he becomes an adequate first basemen.

Someone asked Bruce Miles this beneath one of his posts a few weeks ago and he basically said that the Cubs are not even giving this a thought.

Imo, sori will be at first sooner than later.
Colvin in cf would be extra cheese.

Put Sori at 3b with a Cricket glove and a Jai Alai basket to make throws with. At the very least it will be entertaining.

Lee willing to waive NTC according to "close friends".


"Zambrano watch: Carlos Zambrano won't return to the Cubs in the Phillies series that begins the second half of the season Thursday. The Cubs insist they don't know when Zambrano, who's on the restricted list, will be back, or when he can begin his rehab, or even if he's done with his anger management therapy. "We're still in limbo," Piniella said."


whatever...can we drop this "anger management" b/s yet? i guess it's his own business, but how many weeks can we sit around waiting for something he hasn't started yet for reasons no seems to want to explain.

hi, we run a business and this part we're paying 17m for...yeah, we have no idea when we'll get around to fixing it or making it a part of the team. go figure. you believe that yet?

If you're worried about the Cubs paying him, I would bet he is suspended w/o pay. So, the team is saving tens of thousands...

Zambrano was suspended without pay for three days following Friday's tirade. He will be paid while he is on the restrictive list.


it's still the 1970s to joey votto...good for him...


I hope Cashner drills Votto in the face and ends his career. The jackass.

That might be a little harsh. How about just framing him for murder? hahahahaha. He killed the Cubs season.

Hendry should trade for him. Dear Reds... anyone you like. :)

...this year. Then blame the terrible season on him.


*rubs hands together*

I wonder what joey's dad thinks of that.

He might be the least interesting person I have ever read about. Dictionary definition of the word ASSHAT.

What kind of grown ass man calls himself, "Joey". What a dipshit.

May the spirit of Bob Probert reincarnate itself in Andrew Cashner for the next series with the Reds.

Joey is such a gay name for a grown man that one hr-mashing steroid freak preferred to go by Albert instead. (everyone's favorite White Sox, Albert Belle)

CarrieMuskat: Congrats to #Cubs Tennessee Smokies which will host 2012 Double-A All-Star Game
Woo...all-star smokie links

link please


...she generally has the lineups first, too


...also of interest, imo

Its more a case of yet another marginal offensive player in the lineup.
when I read this the first time, I was thinking the reference was to Soriano as the marginal offensive player over the next few years.

Submitted by Cubster on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 8:29pm.
Its more a case of yet another marginal offensive player in the lineup.
when I read this the first time, I was thinking the reference was to Soriano as the marginal offensive player over the next few years.


CUBSTER: My mistake. I thought Aaron was referring to Tyler Colvin.

I was referring to Colvin. Everyday bat in cf is a different animal from being a 1b and possible cleanup hitter.

A lineup with castillo/soto,colvin,theriot,Castro,aramis,sori,Byrd,fukudome isn't going to instill much fear in the hearts of opposing managers.

No excuse for a 140 million dollar payroll team to field a lineup weaker than the KC Royals IMHO.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 9:55pm.
I was referring to Colvin.


In that case I rescind my apology, I demand a retraction, and I challenge you to a duel, sir!

Pistols at dawn sir!

Cub weapon of choice...noodle art, of course!

"The New York Mets, once considered to have the inside track for Oswalt, have turned their attention recently to Lilly -- and the Cubs are seriously considering their overtures. The Cubs, sources say, have been doing their homework on three key Mets prospects -- left-hander Robert Carson and right-handers Kyle Allen and Jeurys Familia."


(it's at the bottom of the article)

They all sound like douchebags.

Joey Carson, Joey Allen, and Jeurys (Spanish for Joey) Familia...



call sox and see if they will trade beckham for lily. then stick him back at third

Maybe Lee and Lilly for Beckham?

I'd do it if I were Hendry

This is one for Arizona Phil.

Why are the Cubs force-feeding Josh Vitters through their system? After putting up only mediocre numbers in A+, he's really struggling at Tennessee. 3 for his last 36 with a .203 BA.

Is there any chance the Cubs will demote Vitters?

You don't need Phil to answer that question. The Cubs are pushing Vitters to save the embarassment of him becoming a bust, since they passed on guys like Weiters, Bumgarner, Heyward, Porcello, etc.

Those guys weren't obscure enough for a Wilkens pick.

More likely it would have been a HS or Juco SS or a 5'9 or shorter pitcher.

the still not 21-year old Josh Vitters is who this thread is about, right?


there's no reason to bump him down. he's making contact...he's not missing.

his quality of contact isn't good, though.

that's a tweak or early-ceiling, not something huge (well, an early-ceiling would be huge, but he's just 20).

I think early in the season the Cubs were worried about Ramirez leaving early, or at least threatening to leave, and they wanted to know where they stood with Vitters, so they rushed him a little.

As it turns out, Ramirez will be returning and Vitters has another year, at least, to get on track.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 11 hours 55 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 14 hours 53 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 15 hours 6 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 15 hours 14 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 15 hours 20 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 15 hours 38 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 16 hours 14 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 32 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 16 hours 34 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 16 hours 52 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 16 hours 59 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 17 hours 55 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 12 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 18 hours 17 min ago view