Chiefs & D-Cubs Rally to Tie a Wrap on Minor League Camp

D. J. Fitzgerald singled, doubled, tripled, stole a base, scored one run, and knocked-in two more, and LHP Austin Kirk threw four shutout innings, as the Peoria Chiefs rallied to tie the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Los Angeles Angels Class “A” affiliate) 3-3 on Field #2, while next-door on Field #3 Michael Burgess clubbed a grand slam HR over the RF fence and Evan Crawford doubled, tripled, walked, stole a base, drove-in two runs, and scored another, as the Daytona Cubs rallied from an early 5-0 hole to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Advanced “A” affiliate) 7-7, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training action at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ, this morning.

This was the “getaway day” game for both Daytona and Peoria, but since the Iowa Cubs will be remaining in Mesa for another day (they open the season Thursday at Round Rock, TX), I-Cubs catcher Welington Castillo stayed at Fitch Park and served as a DH for Daytona while his teammates traveled to Diablo Park in Tempe to face the Angels Salt Lake Bees AAA affiliate.

After a short intrasquad game on Field #1, several players from the Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad (C Yaniel Cabezas, SS Wes Darvill, 3B Dustin Harrington, C Brian Inoa, and LF Blair Springfield) saw some late game action with Daytona in the game on Field #3. (Players from the Boise/Mesa Extended Spring Training group are often used as late inning replacements in Minor League Spring Training games).

Peoria OF Matt Szczur (who has been sidelined more than a week with a leg injury) was able to run the bases in a PFP & baserunning work-out with some of the pitchers from the Boise/Mesa squad on Field #4 prior to the intrasquad game on Field #1. It is unknown if Szczur will be cleared for game action by Opening Day next Thursday, or if he will begin the season on the Peoria 7-day DL and remain at Fitch Park for a few more days.

And OF Smaily Borges has been moved down to Peoria from Tennessee, probably to serve as a “Crash Davis”-type minor league mentor to RHP Juan Yasser Serrano and OF Rubi Silva (all three are Cuban defectors, but the 27-year old Borges is older than the others, and was brought to the U. S. by the Cubs a year earlier). It’s possible that Borges will eventually serve as a player-coach at Peoria (like 1B John Urick is at Daytona), although he is probably needed on the Chiefs active roster right now, at least until Szczur returns to game action.

In addition, RHP Alessandro Maestri and LHP Chris Siegfried have been released (both were with the Tennessee squad). Siegfried was the Cubs 11th round draft pick in 2007 out of the U. of Portland (where he was a teammate of current Iowa RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx), and Maestri was the first player signed by the Cubs out of the MLB European Academy (in January 2006). Despite getting released by the Cubs, the 25-year old Maestri could be the #1 starting pitcher for Team Italy in next year’s World Baseball Classic (he pitched for Team Italy in both the 2006 and 2009 WBC), presuming there is one.

The DAYTONA CUBS OPENING DAY ROSTER has been established; 

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS (13): * Jeffrey Beliveau, * Brent Ebinger, Ty'Relle Harris, Aaron Kurcz, Jordan Latham, * Jeff Lorick, Dae-Eun Rhee, Kevin Roderick, * Zac Rosscup, Ryan Searle, Nick Struck, Brett Wallach, and Rob Whitenack

CATCHERS (2): Michael Brenly and Chad Noble

INFIELDERS (6): * Justin Bour, * Matt Cerda, Junior Lake, # David Macias, * Jake Opitz, and * Logan Watkins,  

OUTFIELDERS (4): * Michael Burgess, Evan Crawford, Jae-Hoon Ha, and * Nelson Perez  

PLAYER-COACH (1): * John Urick (1B signed to a player contract, but is inactive unless needed and normally serves as 1st base coach)


Here are today’s abridged box scores from Fitch Park (Cubs players only):

FIELD #2 (CLASS “A” – Peoria Chiefs vs Cedar Rapids Kernels)

1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (P-5, 6-3, 6-3, 1B, R)
2. Rubi Silva, CF: 1-4 (5-3, K, 1-3, 1B)
3. D. J. Fitzgerald, LF: 3-4 (E-5, 3B, 1B, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB, PO)
4. Richard Jones, 1B: 1-4 (1B, F-7, F-8, K, RBI)
5a. Ryan Cuneo, DH: 0-1 (F-7)
5b. Smaily Borges, PH-DH: 0-3 (F-9, 6-4 FC, K)
6. Anthony Giansanti, 3B: 2-4 (1B+E6, F-8, K, 1B)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-4 (K, L-5, E-5, 1B)
8. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-4 (5-3, K, 6-4-3 DP, 6-4-3 DP)
9. Elliot Soto, 2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, R)

1. Austin Kirk: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 56 pitches (38 strikes), 5/4 GO/FO
2. Eric Jokisch: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Bryce Shafer: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 26 pitches (10 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Yasser Serrano: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Marcus Hatley: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 24 pitches (15 strikes)

1. CF Rubi Silva E-8 – dropped pop fly in CF allowing batter to reach base safely
2. C Sergio Burruel E-2 - dropped pop up in foul territory prolonging AB

Sergio Burruel: 1-1 CS, 1 E (see above)


FIELD #3 (CLASS “ADVANCED-A” – Daytona Cubs vs Inland Empire 66ers)

1a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, R)
1b. David Macias, 2B: 1-2 (P-6, 1B, RBI)
2a. Matt Cerda, 3B: 0-3 (F-7, P-6, 4-6-3 DP)
2b. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 1-2 (1B, K)
3. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #1: 0-4 (K, BB, F-9, 6-4-3 DP, 3-U, R)
4a. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-1 (K, BB, R)
4b. Jake Opitz, 1B: 0-2 (E-3, K, CS)
5. Welington Castillo, DH #2: 0-3 (BB, K, K, F-8)
6a. Michael Burgess, LF: 1-2 (K, HR, R, 4 RBI)
6b. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (3-1, F-9)
7a. Michael Brenly, C: 0-1 (K, BB)
7b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-1 (1B)
7c. Brian Inoa, C: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-4 (K, K, K,, K+WP, R)
9a. Junior Lake, SS: 0-2 (6-3, 3-U)
9b. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, E-6, R)
10. Evan Crawford, CF: 2-3 (6-3, BB, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI, SB)

1. Aaron Kurcz: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 67 pitches (45 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Dae-Eun Rhee: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 48 pitches (34 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Jeff Lorick: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 10 pitches (4 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Jordan Latham: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (9 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (10 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

1. P Aaron Kurcz E-1 – errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner at 2nd and runner at 1st to advance a base
2. SS Junior Lake E-6 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
3. LF Blair Springfield E-7 – errant throw back into infield after single allowed runner who had stopped at 3rd to score and batter-runner to move-up to 2nd base

Brian Inoa: 1 PB



WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s


Thanks as always Phil. Does this mean that past 3rd round pick Dylan Johnston has finally bit the dust?

He was a 4th round pick and no, it means their experiment with trying to convert him to a pitcher failed; he’s on the DL again with a shoulder injury-> Elbow, shoulder, shoulder.

Nice to see Dae-Eun Rhee have a nice outing. He was in a few Cubs top ten prospects lists before TJ. I was just interested in how he's looked this spring? It would be awesome if he could regain his 2009 form. Thanks.

A groundout in the fourth gave the A's a 2-1 lead. Kurt Suzuki helped set up the run, reaching on a one-out double when Mariners left fielder Milton Bradley lost a fly ball in the sun.

Is it just me, or do you follow non-Cubs teams more than you follow the Cubs?

Not that I want to defend Bradley's defense or his concentration... you made it sound like MB did something boneheaded but in reality it was a tough sun field and Ryan Langerhans also lost one in the sun later in the game that was even more costly (in the 7th that lead to 4 runs, Bradleys lead only to one run).

Milton Bradley lost a ball in the bright sky in the fourth inning to give Kurt Suzuki a double that led to one run and Ryan Langerhans did the same on a two-base hit by Coco Crisp in the seventh that ignited a four-run outburst against rookie reliever Josh Lueke that broke the game open.

and here's a link that works...

or as Harry Caray said: "Aw, how could he (Jorge Orta) lose the ball in the sun, he's from Mexico."

That was Rey Sanchez Harry said that about. Playing SS the year Dunston left.

HC might have used a variation on that line more than once but it's all over the internets that he said it regarding Orta while broadcasting for the WSux.

Rey Sanchez is from Puerto Rico, although I think the HC reference may have just said "how can a Latin ballplayer lose a ball in the sun? Dunno, can't fine a soundbite on it. Here's a link that says the Rey Sanchez quote is a bit different:

I remember Sanchez more for getting a high infield pop fly hit to him and Harry Caray saying, "He's never missed one of these in his life," only for Sanchez to drop the ball and Steve Stone saying, "He just did!"

and the Jorge Orta links...

and a Northside Lounge thread that discusses both the Orta and Sanchez references as being different.

What happen to Luis Flores?? Released???

Recent comments

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  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.

  • TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.

    I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.

  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.

  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester pulled and Strop pulled in. Should of left Lester in. oy.

  • Sweet merciful fuck, I hate the Cardinals.

  • *flips table*


  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester out for the 8th. Down 1-0, at 100 pitches, seemed better to give a very fresh bullpen a little work.

    Oh well...Throw away game, although in a 5 game series there is no luxury afforded to do that.

  • This game is not on Lester - he did his job

  • Had a lot of hope hanging on that deep Fowler fly in the sixth.

    Really despise the Cards