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.
  • 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.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.


  • Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.

  • i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).

    i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.

  • I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.

  • he's a righty (a 27 year old one that's going to be 28 before spring training starts) that throws low 90s with a low-80s slider. that's as ordinary as it gets for a righty reliever.