Talking Stick... or Candlestick?

The EXST Rockies defeated the EXST Cubs 7-4 this morning in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Red Mountain Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.

The game was played under clear skies but with the wind blowing out to RF at 25 MPH, as several balls fell safely (including three doubles and an inside-the-park HR) when fielders (most notably Keystone Kubs outfielders Dong-Yub Kim and Oliver Zapata) collided with each other and/or lost pop ups and fly balls in the sun and/or wind.

At one point Cubs pitcher Matt Loosen was apparently so frustrated by fielders not catching pop ups that he ran full-speed to the Cubs 1st base dugout to try and catch a foul pop, calling off 1st baseman Wilson Contreras and catcher Yaniel Cabezas (either of whom probably could have made the catch fairly easily), and then (naturally) the ball fell between all three of them in foul territory.   

Both Reggie Golden and Yaniel Cabezas slammed wind-aided doubles (both near-HR) off the outfield fence, but the Rockies put more balls in the air than did the Cubs, and that turned the tide in the Rocks favor.

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

1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, K, K, 1-3)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3)
2b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-1 (3B, R, RBI)
3. Marco Hernandez, DH #1: 1-4 (P-3, K, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 0-4 (5-3, F-7, L-4, 1-3)
5. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, K)
6. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 1-3 (2B, K, P-6)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
8a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-2 (F-9, 2B, R)
8b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (E-5)
9. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-2 (1B, BB, 6-3 DP, SB)
10. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 3-1, RBI, SB)
11b. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #3: 1-1 (1B, R)

1. Justin Bristow: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 42 pitches (31 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Matt Loosen: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 59 pitches (40 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Jin-Young Kim: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 39 pitches (23 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 15 pitches (7 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Sosa’s inning was stopped with one out when he reached his pre-planned max pitch limit


1. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
2. Johan DeJesus 0-1 CS

CF Oliver Zapata threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd base on ground single to CF


WEATHER: Sunny and VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80’s



that new col/arz complex is amazing. i've seen a few video tours and compared to what they had in beyond night/day difference in facilities. i'm not sure how i'd feel as a player having so much open-viewed access to the workout rooms, though.

pena sits tonight (against a righty)...baker @1st, batting 5th

why baseball is awesome...

We[Kevin Towers & the Padres] used to dial it[radar gun readings] down. I know for a fact that every time Brad Penny pitched for the Dodgers in San Diego it was probably the lowest velocities he ever had. He liked velocity. He’d stare at the board. He was throwing 95-96, but we’d have it at 91 and he’d get pissed off and throw harder and harder and start elevating.

Sure enough, I checked the numbers and Brad Penny is 1-5 with a 6.47 ERA in 10 career games pitched in San Diego. Towers also admitted that the Padres “would bump it up on a couple of our pitchers” because “we felt it gave us an edge.”

That's great.

wow..they already have Zorbzilla shirts...they're sleeveless "incredible hulk" fake torn bottom-shirt 80s looking as hell.

tb has them in the booth, but they're not available just yet. "marketing" threw it together over the past 24 hours.


the ARE available, evidently...or some got given away because there's people in the stands wearing the shirt. maybe they meant it's not available online yet...*shrug*

Hey Arizona Phil,

I meant to ask you this yesterday after seeing your report but didn't get a chance. What is Luis Liria's stuff like? He had good results last year, you say he should be in Peoria and seems to have good results at Fitch whenever you report.

Also, do you think Justin Bristow is progressing in his rehab and will be ready to get promoted soon?

Thank you!

Yes Jeff Baker bats ahead of Sori and Soto.

/time for Uncle Fester to go

Uncle Fester! Ha!

Baker interestingly is one of their best hitters so far.

Sadly, Pena and Soto are not.

Nice come-from-behind win by Iowa tonight, beating the 1927 Yankees--I mean the Royals' triple-A team--by a score of 4 to 3 in Omaha, on Marquez Smith's 3-run 9th-inning homer.

The Smokies came from three runs down in the 6th, scoring eight runs in the final three innings and ending up with 18 hits, not an outrageous hit total for them. Everyone in the starting lineup tonight except the pitcher and Marwin Gonzalez (at .290) and you-know-who (at .243) is over .300. Lalli, the second-string first baseman, is hitting .348.

Zach Rosscup, the forgotten man in the Garza deal, went six innings with 8 K's and picked up his first win for Daytona.

and you-know-who (at .243) is over .300

John Gaub?

Gotta be Vitters. Time to promote him!


Things were going well with Castro and Barney hitting 1-2, baldy should go back to that. Today's Soriano, Soto, Z 7-9 has to be the strongest bottom third in the NL. Goofy bastard.

paul sulivan lulz...

"Soriano's nine home runs in April sets a franchise record, surpassing D-Lee, Lee Walls and Sammy (Sosa, not Fuld)."

also, for the "who the hell is lee walls crowd" (like me):

ah, the "one magical season" career...shame.

takes a bunt off the face...OUCH!

looks like it hit more of the bill of his helmet luckily.

1- Fox Sat. evening baseball is coming on a more regular basis...neat. they did a couple evening games last year (both yanks games).

2- the commercial advertising it with joe buck is funny

Whitesnake getting roughed up a little right now for TN. Vitters now batting #7 in the lineup.

who the what?


Vitters went 2/4 with a double and a HR.

ah yeah, i keep forgeting he's relevant. i hadn't heard of him til this spring.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • CUBBIES-4-EVER: It's not unusual for a PTBNL to be selected after the Rule 5 Draft from the list of Rule 5 eligible players who were not selected. That way, a club gets a player they like (maybe somebody like OF Jeffrey Baez) without the cumbersome Rule 5 roster restrictions that go with a Rule 5 Draft pick.

  • Clayton Richard is absolutely, positively NOT a free-agent. He is under club control through the 2016 season. 

  • Haren was 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA with the Cubs. Seems like he worked out just as expected.

  • Did they ever say or who the PTBNL or cash decision on Rodney was or who was the PTBNL in the Austin Jackson deal was yet? Neither was worth whatever they gave up. Cahill and Richard were the only two good "deadline" deals they made. Hunter (given Lake was the odd man out by far and taking up a roster spot) and Haren weren't worth it.

  • says he is, site says he's a Cub, great cooperation between the 2 sites, weird

  • The drafting of Shea at #1 was a sign of things to come -- an undersized white linebacker who's not particularly fast; lets make him an NFL defensive end! Just idiotic. When the best thing you can say about your #1 pick is that he has a "high motor", that's a problem...that's what you should say about late-round picks.

  • Not AZ PHIL but after being DFA'd by the Cubs (after they got him from the Pirates in the "I get a chance in the Majors clause"), the Cubs re-signed him for the remainder of the season. I do not believe service time is an issue for him, so he is eligible to opt for Major League Free Agency - which he is doing and the Cubs or someone else will sign him to an MLB deal. AZ PHIL please correct this if you see fit - but that is the most current info that I'm aware of.

  • To also be fair to Emery, wtf do you draft Shea McLellin as a #1, Jonathan Bostic in the same draft, let Peppers go in lieu of signing Jared Shit-Head, Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriguez, Isiah Frey, on and on...

    I will give him credit for Kyle Long - who is like my favorite player (what does THAT say about the team - but he did throw in the 90's as a former pitcher), and Jeffrey.

  • Geo Soto leaves the WSux and signs with the Angels who lost Chris Ianetta to the Mariners.

    Freed... The Angels also promoted Bobby Scales from director of player development to special assistant

  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.