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Wang the Drum Slowly

Runey Davis reached base twice on a double and a walk and scored two runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the EXST A’s in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.


The game was a pre-planned 7-1/2 affair with the Cubs playing as the “home” team even though the game was played at the A’s minor league complex, because the A’s only had enough healthy and rested pitchers available to throw seven innings, while the Cubs needed at least eight opponent's innings to get their scheduled pitchers enough work.


Angels Nip Cubs at Diablo Park

Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield each had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, but the EXST Angels rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.


Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first seven innings. He roped a liner into the LF corner in his first AB (but only managed to get to 1st base), then was called out on strikes in his second PA, before grounding out three times in a row (1-3, 5-3, 5-3) to complete his day at the plate. While he seems to be swinging the bat OK, he also seems to be running a bit gingerly.


Giants Sweep Cubs in Split Squad Double-Bill at Fitch Park

The EXST Giants swept the EXST Cubs by the scores of 7-0 and 9-2 in a “Split Squad” doubleheader played at Fitch Park in Mesa this morning. The EXST Cubs are now 2-3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.


The games were played simultaneously, one game on Field #2 and the other on Field #3. Both games were abbreviated due to the squads having a limited number of pitchers available to throw in a game.


Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) saw his first game action of the 2010 season today, getting four Plate Appearances in the game on Field #2. He hit the ball hard all four times, grounding out sharply 5-3 his first time up, flying out twice (F-8 and F-9) in his next two ABs, and then crushing a double off the fence in right-center in his 4th and final PA. The 23-year old 6'4 235+ Ridling (310/357/466 with 16 HR & 97 RBI, 34 doubles, and a league-leading 166 hits in 136 games at Peoria in 2009) will probably be at Fitch Park for about another week before joining the Daytona Cubs.


Ridling replaces Matt Spencer as the newest EXST “AB Hog,” as Spencer (broken toe) has completed his rehab and is en route to Daytona, where he will play until the Cubs can open up a roster slot for him at AA Tennessee. 


Francisco Guzman had the best day offensively, ripping an RBI triple to CF and beating out a routine ground ball to 2nd base for an infield single, while also scoring two runs. Otherwise, Cubs bats were quiet on both fields.


Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (EXST Cubs players only):


Spencer Hits Early and Often at Extended Spring Training

Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield drove-in two runs a piece in a four-run Cubs 2nd, and Matt Spencer whacked a home run over the RF fence leading-off the bottom of the 3rd, as the EXST Cubs held-on to defeat the EXST A's 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.


Carpenter Gets Rehab Start at Extended Spring Training

The Cubs managed only six hits while committing six errors in the field, as the EXST Angels defeated the EXST Cubs 4-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.


Considered by most observers to be the Cubs #3 best pitching prospect coming into the season, RHP Chris Carpenter made his first appearance of the year after nursing a sore shoulder throughout Minor League Camp and after starting the 2010 regular season on the AA Tennessee Smokies 7-day DL. Carpenter was the Cubs 3rd round pick in 2008 out of Kent State, and went a combined 6-7 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP and 52/118 BB/K in 130.2 IP at Peoria/Daytona/Tennessee in 2009.


Camp Day at Fitch Park - Updated Cubs Extended Spring Training Roster

Thursday is "Camp Day" at Cubs Extended Spring Training, which means the entire squad participates in an extended training & workout session (PFP, pick-off drills, baserunning drills, fielding practice, BP, and situational hitting), with an intrasquad game to follow.


In post-Minor League Camp roster news, RHP Alvido Jimenez, Hector Mayora, and Jade Mendez, 1B Melvin Camarena, and OF Xavier Batista, Albert Hernandez, and Manuel Pestana arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica, DR, last week (and Camarena, X. Batista, Hernandez, and Pestana have already seen EXST game action), and 23-year old 5'11 195 former catcher Alvaro Sosa (214/254/305 with a 33% CS% combined at AZL Cubs and Boise in 2009 and a career .225 hitter going back to 2005) is being converted to a RHP (joining ex-OF Drew Rundle, who continues his conversion to LHP that began at Instructs last October). And (as I have mentioned previously) utility INF Jonathan Mota continues his conversion to catcher, to help him improve his versatilty. (Mota will be assigned to a full-season minor league team after he has had a chance to get some more experience behind the plate).


Here is the current up-to-date Cubs Extended Spring Training roster (61 players) as of today:


Cubs & Brewers Fit to Be Tied

Francisco Guzman singled three times, stole three bases, scored two runs, and drove-in another, but it wasn’t quite enough, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Brewers played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Maryvale Park Field #7 in Phoenix this morning.


Cubs Defense & Bullpen Falter in 9th

Down to their last strike, the Cubs rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th to take a 5-3 lead, only to see the Giants take advantage of a two-base throwing error in the bottom of the 9th and score two runs to tie the game, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Giants played to a 5-5 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this morning.  


Cubs Extended Spring Training In Overdrive

Brandon May reached base four times, scored four runs, and drove-in two more, Jonathan Mota knocked-in three runs, and Charles Thomas had three hits, leading the EXST Cubs to a 15-7 drubbing of the EXST Giants at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.


Today was Cactus League Extended Spring Training (EXST) Opening Day in the Valley of the Sun, as the EXST Cubs played the first of 38 games they will be playing over the next eight weeks.

Easter Lilly in Full-Bloom at Fitch Park Sunrise Service

Ted Lilly threw 5.2 IP (66 pitches – 46 strikes) for the Iowa Cubs this morning against the Angels AAA squad (Salt Lake) at Fitch Park Field #3, allowing one run on three hits, no walks, with four strikeouts.


Lilly was supposed to throw four innings/60 pitches, but he was so efficient with his pitches he ended-up working into the 6th inning before he hit 60 pitches, and even then he ended up going slightly over his pre-arranged pitch limit.


Lilly retired the first nine men he faced, and he generally threw strikes (he didn’t walk anyone, and he went to a three-ball count on only two of the 20 men he faced). While he had outstanding command of his fast ball and had a really good change-up today (same as last time), he had some difficulty commanding his curve, bouncing three in the dirt.


Here is Lilly’s INNING-BY INNING LOG:


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  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.

  • Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...

  • nice.

    also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.

    also also, the wsox are 19-8.

  • Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.

  • Fully agree on Addy -- hope he is our SS for a long time. I'm just surprised he has 4 errors already -- the last 2 on routine plays.

  • Guess how many Carlos Correa has?

    3

    I would still rather have Russell, right now, than any shortstop the team has had in many years. The future is bright enough to wear shades.

    EDIT: Gonzo WOULD have been my favorite, 'cepting a certain error of a double-play ball...

  • Hi Phil, made it home tonight safely. Looks like Cease is getting better each outing. I see Crow did ok today too. I will be reading your write_ups everyday. Great seeing you while there!

  • tomorrow's game is a 12:35pm EST game for some ungodly stupid reason...then it's back to wrigley field for a night game on the 5th.

  • The best part of tonight's game was 6 different players with RBIs. Truly a lineup that doesn't give up top to bottom.

  • excubs [email protected]_NEWS

    Jake Arrieta first Cub to go 6-0 in first six starts since Three Finger Brown in 1908.

  • Russell now with 4 errors -- that's a big (unpleasant) surprise.

  • Thanks Phil!

  • Throwing error to 2nd on a possible double play ball.

  • 19-6...unf.

  • Can someone tell me what happened on Russell's error?

  • BILLY BUCKS: As things stand right now, Dylan Cease will be in the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL season begins play in June, and if he peforms well there he could perhaps move up to South Bend toward the end of the minor league season or for the MWL playoffs (if South Bend qualifies).