Daryle Ward Completes the Fitch Park Phase of His Rehab

Daryle Ward went 2-3 and scored a run, and Sean Hoorelbeke and Dwayne Kemp drove in two runs a piece with RBI doubles, as the AZL Cubs and AZL Angels played to a 5-5 tie at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in what was a final tune-up for AZL Opening Day on Sunday.

Ward, who played 1B and hit 3rd in the order, left the game amidst the usual handshakes, hugs, and kisses that accompany a "rehabber" leaving for the airport in the middle of a game. Whether DW will end up in Iowa or Tennessee is apparently still TBD. But if all goes well at who knows where, Ward is supposed to rejoin the Cubs next week In Chicago.  

In AZL Cubs roster news, RHP (ex-OF) Andres Quezada has been sent to DSL Cubs #1, as another player selected in the Rule 4 Draft has signed and reported to Fitch Park. This keeps the AZL Cubs roster at 37 (must be down to 35 by Opening Day on Sunday). 

RHP Toby Matchulat (11th round pick out of Wabash Valley CC) walked from the clubhouse to the bench (imagine the ending of Pride of the Yankees, but in reverse) and introduced himself to the coaches and manager in the top of the 6th, just about the same time Daryle Ward said his good-byes, Matchulat was then told to put on his spikes and go have a game of catch with DH TeWayne Willis on Field #2 (and welcome to the Cubs, Toby!).

Matchulat joins 3rd round pick RHP Chris Carpenter (Kent State), 4th round pick C Matt Cerda, 5th round pick RHP Justin Bristow (East Carolina), and 18th round pick LHP Jeffrey Beliveau (Florida Atlantic) among the newest arrivals at Fitch Park.

4th round pick Cerda played SS in high school, but the Cubs envision him as a catcher. The youngster hasn't caught since his days on the Oceanside, CA Little League team that advanced to the LLWS in Williamsport in 2001, but he is being tutored one-on-one by AZL Cubs coach-mentor Danny Fatheree, who was Kerry Wood's catcher in HS before embarking on a lengthy minor league career in the Astros organization. 

So far, the Cubs have signed 27 of their 51 2008 draft picks, including 18 of their first 21. The only three still unsigned from among the top 21 selections are RHPs Andrew Cashner (1st round pick out of TCU), Aaron Shafer (2nd round pick out of Wichita State), and Alex Wilson (10th round pick out of Texas A&M).

Cashner and Shafer appear to be fairly locked-into their slot by what players selected above them and below them have already received, so Cashner should expect about a $1.5M bonus, and Shafer should probably expect somewhere around $630K.

If they want more than that, the haggling could go to the August 15th signing deadline, but if the Cubs are unable to sign the players, they will receive a compensation pick in the 2009 Rule 4 Draft (2009 #20 overall if they don't sign Cashner, and/or 2009 #66 overall if they can't sign Shafer). So the Cubs are really under no pressure to sign either of the two.

As for 10th rounder Alex Wilson, that's a bit more complicated.

The right-hander had "Tommy John" surgery last year after suffering a torn elbow ligament while pitching in the Cape Cod League, and he missed the 2008 regular season at A&M (after transferring from Winthrop). However,he reportedly threw 94 MPH in a "showcase" bullpen session prior to the draft. The Cubs plan on scouting him this summer while he pitches in a summer collegiate league before deciding whether to offer him the above-slot bonus he supposedly wants to turn pro. (He was considered a very highly-regarded pitching prospect prior to his elbow injury)

As for the AZL Cubs, the first game is Sunday, and the boys get tomorrow (Saturday) off before embarking on the 2009 campaign, 

To get down to the 35 player AZL roster limit, it's possible that Robinson Chirinos will be assigned to a full-season team as a C-IF-OF "super-sub" (he probably exceeds the age and pro experience limits for the AZL), and catcher Jose Guevara (still rehabbing from a broken thumb on his non-throwing hand) could start the eeason on the DL, although that is unknown at this time.  

And here is the box score from today's AZL "pre-season" game (Cubs players only, natch)...

1. Kurt Calvert, LF: 2-3 (RBI)
2a. Kevin Soto, CF: 1-3 (K, PO)
2b. Nelson Perez, PH: 0-1
3a. Daryle Ward, 1B: 2-3 (R)
3b. Robinson Chirinos, PH: 0-1 (K)
4. Jericho Jones, RF: 2-3 (R, BB)
5a. Sean Hoorelbeke, DH #1: 1-3 (2B, 2 RBI)
5b. Bryan Jost, 1B: 0-0 (SH)
6. Junior Lake, 3B-SS: 1-4 (R, K)
7. TeWayne Willis, DH #2-CF: 3-4 (R, SB)
8a. George Matheus, SS: 0-1 (SH)
8b. John Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (K)
9a. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-2 (2B, 2 RBI, R, SB)
9b. Starlin Castro, 2B: 0-2 (K)
10a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1 (SF-RBI)
10b. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-2
1. Dionis Nunez - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP (5/4 GO/FO)
2. Julio Pena - 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/5 GO/FO)
3. Luke Sommer - 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K (2/3 GO/FO)
4. Rogelio Carmona - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (3/1 GO/FO)

1. Alvaro Sosa, E-2, overthrow at 2nd base on stolen base attempt allowed base-runner to take 3rd.
2. Junior Lake, E-6, muffed grounder allowing batter to reach base. 

Alvaro Sosa: 0-1 CS

Kurt Calvert, 7-2, threw out runner trying to score from 2nd base on two-out single to LF


1st base; Ryan Acosta

2nd base; Kitt Kopach (called balls & strikes from behind the pitcher's mound)

3rd base; Chris Huseby

NOTE: The game was put together at the last minute, so no "regular" umpires were available.  

WEATHER: Hot & cloudless with temperature in the high 90's en route to 110+ (see yesterday and the day before and the day before that...)  

ATTENDANCE: 3 (the Usual Suspects)


Thanks for todays report Phil. Are you going to report on the AZL Cubs home games also, or are there any other ways of finding out info once the games begin on Sunday?

Submitted by Falcon on Fri. 06/20/2008 - 3:24pm

Thanks for todays report Phil. Are you going to report on the AZL Cubs home games also, or are there any other ways of finding out info once the games begin on Sunday?


FALCON: Once the season starts, the AZL is covered here.

Unfortunately, the rosters they have listed over there right now are from last year. Hopefully it will be updated by Sunday.  

In the meantime, here is the roster for the AZL Cubs (Mesa) as of today. They need to get down to 35 active players by Sunday (there will probably be some roster moves made on Saturday).


Franklin Font

Danny Fatheree (catching instructor)
Ricardo Medina (hitting coach)
Rick Tronerud (pitching coach)


* bats or throws left
# bats both

Francisco Acosta
Eric Allen
* Jeffry Antigua
* Jeffrey Beliveau 
Justin Bristow
Rogelio Carmona
Chris Carpenter
Manolin DeLeon
Yohan Gonzalez
Chris Huseby
* Leon Johnson (ex-OF)
Toby Matchulat
Dan McDaniel
Tarlandus Mitchell
Dionis Nunez
Julio Pena
Carlos Rojas
Jose Severino
Miguel Sierra
* Luke Sommer (ex-OF)

* Matt Cerda
Robinson Chirinos (AA INF-OF learning to be a catcher)
Roberto Sabates
# Alvaro Sosa

Starlin Castro (SS-2B-3B)
John Contreras (3B-1B)
Sean Hoorelbeke (1B)
* Bryan Jost (1B)
Dwayne Kemp (2B-LF)
Junior Lake (SS-3B)
George Matheus (SS-2B)

* Kurt Calvert
Jericho Jones
* Nelson Perez
Kevin Soto 
TeWayne Willis


Ryan Acosta, P
Alberto Alburquerque,
Alberto Cabrera,
* Jeff Culpepper, OF
Rafael Dolis,
Jose Guevara, C
Angel Guzman, P (MLB Cubs DL)
* Clark Hardman, OF
Jim Henderson,
P (Iowa DL)  
Kitt Kopach,

Oswaldo Martinez,
Jon Nagel,
Billy Petrick,
P (Daytona DL)  
Cedric Redmond,
Larry Suarez,

God, Hawk & DJ suck. I'm like "what happened?" cause everybody's cheering and I was doing something else. Apparently he said "...and this ball game is over" but I never heard him. I guess you have to listen real close to these fuckers to know what's going on.

Any other opposing TV crew would have actually reported a walk-off home run for what it is.

What a bunch of dicks.

probably old news and apologies if it's 3/44, but I haven't been around the last few days...


LHP Lambert, 3B Lansford and LHP Campusano promoted to AA; RHP Michael Cooper demoted to Hi-A

LHP Dustin Sasser promoted to Hi-A as well from Peoria

Maestri had an incredible performance with 10 strikeouts, no walks in 10 innings. AZ Phil -- At 23, only at high A Daytona, I wonder how he projects?

sorry it wasn't 10 innings... that was a typo

What was it, then?


Get your fat ass back to Chicago, stat!!!!

AZ Phil: have you seen former Phillie/Sox/Mariner, Freddie Garcia, trying out for any of the Cubs staff? If so, how'd he look?

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.