Cubs May Put "GO" in Chicago, but A's Put "GO" in Papago

Making his second injury rehab appearance in four days, Todd Wellemeyer threw two perfect innings (31 pitches – 17 strikes) with three strikeouts (all swinging), but the EXST Athletics scored at least one run off each of the other four EXST Cubs pitchers who followed en route to a 7-2 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.

The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and A's pitchers to get their scheduled work.

Wellemeyer missed most of Spring Training with a sore hip, and he had indicated that he might even consider retiring if the pain persisted. But with the way he has thrown (so far) in his first two Extended Spring Training rehab outings, I think he probably made the right decision when he chose to keep pitching. He still throws hard, and while he may not be an “ace” (or anything close to one), he certainly isn’t any worse than a lot of other pitchers (including some pitching for the Cubs) who are throwing in MLB games these days.

21-year old RHP Su-Min Jung followed Wellemeyer to the mound, and while he was hit fairly hard at times (allowing three runs—two earned--on three singles, a double, and a triple), the Korean youngster was able to throw three innings and close to 60 pitches, so he could be about ready to complete his rehab assignment and get moved up to either Peoria or Daytona, if the Cubs choose to do so.

RHP Austin Reed (Cubs 2010 12th round draft pick out of Rancho Cucamonga HS - Rancho Cucamonga, CA) had a poor outing, walking five A’s hitters in just two innings (throwing 48 pitches, but only 22 strikes). The 19-year old Reed has electric stuff, but he also occasionally suffers from bouts of wildness, as was the case today.

The Cubs scoring consisted entirely of a Jesus Morelli solo HR (his 2nd HR of EXST), and an Oliver Zapata triple followed by an RBI GO.

Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):

1. Jose Valdez, CF-DH: 2-4 (3-1, 1B, K, 1B)
2. Oliver Zapata, RF-CF: 1-4 (F-8, F-8, 3B, K, R)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (BB, 3-U, 4-3, 4-3, RBI, SB)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #1: 1-4 (5-3, K, 2B, K)
5. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-3 (BB, HR, F-9, 5-3, R, RBI)
6. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-4 (F-8, 5-3, K, 1B)
7. Max Kwan, DH #2: 1-3 (K, BB 1B, K)
8. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, 4-6 FC)
9. Hector Suarez, C: 0-3 (F-9, FC+E4, 5-3)
10. Dustin Harrington, SS: 1-3 (5-3, 5-3, 1B)
11a. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH #3: 0-1 (K)
11b. Marco Hernandez, PH: 0-1 (K)
11c. Gregori Gonzalez, RF: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)

1. Todd Wellemeyer: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Su-Min Jung: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 56 pitches (34 strikes), 6/3 GO/FO
3. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 5 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 48 pitches (22 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Casey Harman: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 30 pitches (20 strikes)

1. 3B Dustin Geiger E5 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
2. LF Jesus Morelli E7 – dropped line drive allowing batter to reach base safely and runner who was on 2nd base to score unearned run

Hector Suarez: 1-2 CS


WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 70’s



Brett Jackson's last ten games:
13/33, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 R, 7BB, 5K, 4 SB/2 CS

Not likely to be able to keep this up much longer. I wonder if the club plans on leaving him at AA until he goes to the majors or if he would go to AAA?

DrewBoke (IL): Best case scenario for Brett Jackson, ..... a healthy Grady Sizemore?

Matthew Eddy: I really Cubs Double-A CF Brett Jackson's well rounded game, but I think a Sizemore-in-his-prime comp is a bridge too far. I'm tempted to say that Jackson could be a Curtis Granderson type as a lefty hitter who's athleticism and defensive range might be a bit undersold. Granderson had similar over-the-fence power at Jackson's age. Oh, and the strikeouts are always going to be part of the package.

BBA's Hot Prospect Chat:

The Granderson comparison is probably a very good choice. Jackson might, might, hit for a little bit better average.

22 years old, AA at the moment

.922 OPS in minors, 12 HR's in A+, AA has been his tops, 21.7 K%, 13 BB%

Majors by age 23, full season by 25
.877 OPS in minors, 21 HR's in AA was his tops, 18.8 K%, 10.6 BB%

Majors: 9.5 BB%, 24.2 K%, .825 career OPS

Majors by age 21, full season by 22
.791 OPS in minors, 13 HR's in AA was hos tops, 14.3 K%, 11.3 BB%

Majors: 11 BB%, 22.4 K%, .842 career OPS

Really the question to me on B Jackson is the power - is his 3 HR's this year just a blip, or is he going to have a 25-30 HR season? We know he's going to walk and K and have pretty good BABIP's, but if he is just a 12 HR guy in the majors then he's a nice player. If he can hit 25 then he's someone you can count on to help you win pennants.

Submitted by QuietMan on Sat, 04/23/2011 - 8:31pm

DrewBoke (IL): Best case scenario for Brett Jackson, ..... a healthy Grady Sizemore?

Matthew Eddy: I really Cubs Double-A CF Brett Jackson's well rounded game, but I think a Sizemore-in-his-prime comp is a bridge too far. I'm tempted to say that Jackson could be a Curtis Granderson type as a lefty hitter who's athleticism and defensive range might be a bit undersold. Granderson had similar over-the-fence power at Jackson's age. Oh, and the strikeouts are always going to be part of the package.


Q-MAN: As far as a speed/power/OBP combo with CF range, I think Rick Monday might be another B-Jax comp (for us old fart Cub fans).

And if it gets to the point sometime soon where the Cubs decide Brett Jackson is ready to play CF and hit lead-off in MLB, and that neither Jackson nor Marlon Byrd have the arm to play RF, one team that does need a CF is the Washington Nationals. Ex-Cub RHP Jason Marquis is making about the same salary as Byrd in 2011 ($7.5M for Marquis and $5.5M for Byrd), and the Cubs actually do need a proven #5 starter.

The Nats would get Byrd for about the same salary ($6.5M) in 2012 as 2011, too, so there would be no significant increase in WAS payroll to retain Byrd through 2012, plus they would save $2M in 2011 payroll. Conversely, Marquis is a FA post-2011, so although they would be adding $2M in 2011 payroll, the Cubs would get out from under Byrd's $6.5M 2012 salary (which could be added to the 2012 FA kitty) by exchanging him for Marquis.

Ha gets a mention in Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet.

Cubs CF Jae-Hoon Ha has caught scouts' eyes in the Florida State League with eye-popping numbers to start the season. He is hitting .403/.406/.645 through 14 games with a pair of home runs. He has not drawn a walk yet and is only 2-for-7 on stolen base attempts, but manager Buddy Bailey is pleased with the 20-year old's aggressive approach. "He's got one gait and it's always aggressive," Bailey said. "To me, it's the perfect thing for a young player. Players learn when they're aggressive."

Brett Jackson on the list.

...The first of those extra-base hits was a fastball he roped down the first base line for a double, the second a fastball on the outer half that he dropped the bat head on to take the other way for a home run over the left-field fence.

Cubs hitting philosophy - learn to hit in the minors, and we hope that you learn to take walks in the majors.

I have started following the minor league teams (not counting Iowa) daily to get a fix for the prospect pipeline. I guess watching Byrd, Pena, and Soriano in the middle of the lineup and Coleman and Russell/Samardzija as starting pitchers will make you look elsewhere for baseball news.

If nothing else this gets me bought into the idea of building the team from within. I think Jackson will be the CF next year and maybe if Colvin rebounds to last years numbers he could be the everyday right fielder, or Byrd could move over if they keep him.

Assuming that they sign a strong FA 1B, the only open position spot is 3B. I think Vitters might be a long shot to take over but I guess it could happen. I don't think the team will give M Smith a shot even if they should.

I wonder when J Jackson will be considered for Chicago. You have to think that he would have taken the spot starts from Coleman had he been healthy this spring.

Jay Jackson would have gotten the spot starts last year had he pitched well in AAA - the recent reports are encouraging, but he's a guy who hasn't really consistently got hitters out since he left A ball two years ago.

So far, so good for Vitters and the season where he doesn't swing at everything.... I fearlessly predict that if he stays healthy and his HR total = his K total for the whole year, he'll be ready for 2012.

Still early, but so far this year Vitters has 3 HR, 3 K, and 3 BB

In 16 starts at AA, Jackson had a 3.70 ERA, 77/39 SO/BB, 112/82.2 WHIP (about 1.37)

Did organizational issues move him up to AAA or is this a good enough line to advance him. 82 innings doesn't seem like very many for the most talented level in the minors

j.jackson's stuff moved him up. when he moved up he hit a "wall" of stamina and they played around with him in the pen. thankfully the pen experiment is over.

he's got a hell of a low-80s slider to compliment his fastball.

earlier this year his velocity took a while to show up, but supposedly it's back up or near what he's used to throwing.

i dunno what they're doing with his curve or how much he's throwing it this year. he's another one of those guys with 2.5 pitches who could use 3. i think part of the pen thing, along with the stamina scare, was he has control/use of 2 pitches and the curve/etc. isn't coming along as quickly.

Big day for SS Junior Lake yesterday for Daytona: 4-5, 2B, 1st HR on season, pulling the avg up .323. Has perked up since moving to the leadoff spot in the lineup.

Another question, is there a code among the teams that if a guy is killing the competition at say, hi-A, that he be promoted even if the organization doesn't have room for him at the next level?

Check out how many years Steve Clevenger and Blake Lalli have been in AA and you'll have your answer.

Loss... aww... oh well, the Cubs will win tomorrow.

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  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 3 hours 29 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 4 hours 22 min ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 5 hours 46 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 13 hours 53 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 14 hours 49 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 15 hours 33 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 15 hours 39 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 16 hours 13 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 16 hours 15 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 19 hours 37 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 20 hours 23 sec ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 20 hours 25 min ago view