Iowa Cubs Get Stung by Bees

I had so much fun watching the Iowa Cubs yesterday at Fitch Park, I decided to follow the Cubs' AAA affiliate to neighboring Tempe today as they took on the Angels AAA affiliate (the PCL Salt Lake Bees) at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park. 

While it isn't unusual for one or more Cubs major leaguers to play in a AAA game (esprcially when the big club has a night game), that wasn't the case today  

Kyle Reynolds smashed a two-run homer and Doug Deeds blasted a solo shot, but that's all the runs the Cubs could muster. And since tthe four Cubs pitchers were (mostly) ineffective, the I-Cubs lost, 7-3.

Here is today's abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only). Some of the more observant among you might note that most all of the I-Cubs who played today were at big league camp not too long ago...  

LINEUP:
1. Sam Fuld, CF: 0-5 (4-3, 6-3, P-6, P-5, 3-U)
2. Luis Rivas, 2B: 1-3 (1B, BB, Ks, 6-4-3 DP)
3. Bobby Scales, 3B: 1-3 (BB, Ks, 6-3, 1B)
4. Jake Fox, 1B: 0-4 (FC, FP-3, F-7, Ks)
5a. Jason Dubois, LF: 0-3 (Ks, Ks, 5-3)
5b. Richie Robnett, LF:  0-1 (P-6)
6. Doug Deeds, RF: 2-4 (Ks, SOLO HR, Ks, 2B)
7a. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, BB + R)
7b. Chris Robinson, C: 0-1 (4-3)
8. Kyle Reynolds, DH:1-4 (1-3, F-9, TWO-RUN HR, Ks)
9. Matt Camp, SS: 1-3 (BB, L-7, 1B, 2-3)

PITCHERS:
1. Jesse Estrada - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HR (61 pitches - 33 strikes, 0/6 GO/FO)
2. Brian Schlitter - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K (30 pitches - 18 strikes, 1/1 GO/FO)
3. Justin Berg - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K (19 pitches - 11 strikes) 
4. Jeff Stevens - 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches - 12 strikes)
NOTE: Two very lengthy innings were terminated early (prior to three outs).

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Welington Castillo: 0-1 CS
Chris Robinson: 0-2 CS

ERRORS (1):
Welington Castillo - bounced throw past second base on SB attempt, allowing baserunner to take 3rd.   

OUTFIELD ASSIST:
Sam Fuld (runner at 3rd)

WEATHER: EXTREMELY windy. Absolutely ridiculous.

The Cubs AA affiliate (Tennessee Smokies) played the Angels AA affiliate on an adjoining field at Diablo, and while I am unable to provide the abridged box score for that game, I did observe CF Brandon Guyer hit a garagantuan solo HR over the LF fence.  

 

Comments

...and zito strikes out the side in the 1st throwing nothing but pure crap.

Bradley blast 1-0

wild swirling wind reminscent of candlestick...tumbleweeds blowing past the outfielders, coulda sworn it was a tumbleweed.

the wind is so crazy since game start i dunno if you can even judge how well anyone's doing tonight...besides anyone who has to catch a popup.

easy 15-20+mph winds steady...gusts going much higher. wind is roaring to RF.

Parachat?

game called in the 7th.

it was just silly out there...wind was stupid.

Az Phil, have you heard of any other cuts besides Ryan Harvey? Thanks.

Not sure if this has been mentioned here, but with the talk of Ryan Harvey and why he didn't become a pitcher, Miles reports that the Cubs are converting 2006 pick Josh Lansford from an infielder to a pitcher.

In somewhat related subjects.

Scott Eyre and Jason Schmidt are both, in fact MLB Pitchers.

That statement is debatable. I guess it depends on how loosely you use the term "MLB Pitcher." How are those two doing for cash these days?

Sorry, thought it must be new since Miles just reported it in an article today...

Following our Parachat discussion last night, there's another guy in the Zito/Rowand area of ridiculous salaries.

We all know Schmidt's deal, but he made $12M for a total of zero innings in 2008 and the Dodgers are on the hook for another $12M this year with full no-trade. Yikes.

Hey, if you need somebody to hand out overpaid contracts to risky players, Ned Colletti's your man.

If you live in a glass house...

well...

Everyone can see you undress?

Important Things is probably one of about 4 shows currently on television that I cannot miss. Enjoy it very much.

lol, well I was going to say "Don't throw stones" if you live in a glass house, but I guess that's true too.

I agree Hendry isn't the best dealmaker either, but he's light years ahead of Colletti.

yeah, I think that happened at the beginning of the offseason since I've had him here for awhile....

http://cubs.scout.com/2/808547.html (probably subscription) but they started him at Instructs last Oct/Nov...

Thanks, Rob.

And is that information accurate about Chirinos? I remember him being converted to a catcher. Was he then converted to a pitcher?

whoops, that must have been what I was thinking...I knew he got converted to something.

How's the weather in AZ, AZ? I'll be there Sun-Wed, and am hoping it's not too much of a broiler. I screwed up -- my seats for Sunday's game are along the wrong lines of the field and NOT where the awning is at Ho Ho. Also, I guess Jason Dubois is formally a 4A guy (I know, it's just a formality).

Submitted by Romero on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 9:55am.

Thanks, Rob.

And is that information accurate about Chirinos? I remember him being converted to a catcher. Was he then converted to a pitcher?

======================================

ROMERO: Subject to change at any time (because rosters at Minor League Camp are altered almost daily), Robinson Chirinos is presently one of the three catchers with the AA (Tennessee) squad (Steve Clevenger and Blake Lalli are the other two).

I have never seen Chirinos pitch, although it's not unusual for catchers in the minors to take the mound in the 9th inning of a blow-out.

There are a couple of converted catchers presently assigned to the AA squad's pitching staff  though (RHPs Blake Parker and Jake Muyco).  

Submitted by Old and Blue on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 10:46am.

How's the weather in AZ, AZ? I'll be there Sun-Wed, and am hoping it's not too much of a broiler.

I screwed up -- my seats for Sunday's game are along the wrong lines of the field and NOT where the awning is at Ho Ho.

Also, I guess Jason Dubois is formally a 4A guy (I know, it's just a formality).

======================================

OLD & BLUE: It was so windy last night (50 MPH+ winds) they actually shutdown Sky Harbor Airport! We had the windows open at the casa and it was blowing a steady gale through the house. It was like one of those blustery winter days in Chicago, but without the snow. Other than that, the weather has cooled off a bit.

As for Jason Dubois, I predict that he will be released prior to the start of the regular season, mainly because his AAA roster slot will be needed once the big club makes it's last wave of cuts (Andres Blanco, Esteban German, Brad Snyder if he clears waivers, etc).

Also, although they are probably getting paid about $200K on their minor league contracts and could be replaced by cheaper organizational players like Matt Matulia or Matt Camp, don't be surprised if the Cubs keep both German and Rivas "on retainer" at Iowa in case something bad happens to Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Theriot, Aaron Miles or Mike Fontenot.

Arizona Phil - I absolutely love your contributions to TCR!!

I am from Peoria and can't wait until the Chiefs get rolling. Any insight as to where Vitters starts this year? It appears that Flieta would love to jump him to Daytona, but I haven't heard anything more about it. I would definitely be bummed to miss out on Vitters considering Cashner, Colvin & Samninja all leaped over Peoria.

Today (nine days prior to MLB Opening Day) is the first day MLB players can be placed on the 15-day DL, and it's also the earliest date a 15-day DL assignment can be backdated. (If a DL assignment is backdated to a date during Spring Training, the injured player cannot appear in an "official" Cactus League or Grapefruit League game during the backdated period, although the player CAN appear in a minor league Spring Training Game

(MLB players can be placed on the 60-day DL anytime during Spring Training, as long as his club's 40-man roster is full, and the injured player is replaced on the 40-man roster by another player).

Also, next Wednesday (4/1) is the deadline for a club to place a player with a non-guaranteed contract on Release Waivers (the player must be released by next Friday) so that the player is owed only 45 days termination pay (1/4 of his 2009 salary). This is how and why the Cubs ended up with Reed Johnson last year, after he got released by Toronto.

All non-guaranteed contracts automatically become 100% guaranteed on MLB Opening Day (4/5), and because it takes two business days for a player to clear waivers, and because Saturday and Sunday are not considered "business days" once Spring Training has ended, the waiver request must be made no later than the Wednesday prior to MLB Opening Day (which is a week from Sunday, even though there is only one game that day) so that the player can be released by the Friday prior to Opening Day.

All MLB clubs have to get their Active List (25-man roster) down to 25 players no later than Sunday 4/5, even if the club doesn't actually play its first game until Monday.  

Submitted by rob9999 on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 11:28am.
Arizona Phil - I absolutely love your contributions to TCR!!

I am from Peoria and can't wait until the Chiefs get rolling. Any insight as to where Vitters starts this year? It appears that Flieta would love to jump him to Daytona, but I haven't heard anything more about it. I would definitely be bummed to miss out on Vitters considering Cashner, Colvin & Samninja all leaped over Peoria

===========================================

ROB9999: Although it's possible that Josh Vitters could get moved up to the Daytona squad prior to Opening Day, it usually doesn't work like that at Minor League Camp. The movement of players is almost always downward (or in some cases, a player just gets released instead of being demoted).

Last time I checked, Vitters was the 3B with the Peoria squad at Minor League Camp, and Jovan Rosa was the 3B at Daytona, although I guess Rosa could be moved to 1B (or maybe even to a corner OF spot) at some point to make room for Vitters at Daytona.

Also, Tyler Colvin (rehabbing from TJS) is DH-ing with the AA (Tennessee) squad right now (because they use one or two DHs in minor league Spring Training games), but once the season starts, Colvin will almost certainly be the primary DH at Daytona (Peoria and Daytona use the DH in all their regular season games, while Tennessee and Iowa only use it when they play an American League affiliate on the road), so Colvin's presence would make it difficult for Rosa to be used as the DH at Daytona.

Do you have any insight into WHAT the Cubs were thinking by double promoting Josh Lansford last year (first to A+ then to AA) if they were going to (rightly) decide he was just a strong arm who couldn't hit (at all)?

It makes a lot of sense to try to turn him into a pitcher (he's got a fantastic arm) but I really don't understand the fast track through minors he was on.

that's not much of a fasttrack for a 24 year old.

What are you talking about?? Josh Lansford went to Cal Poly an hour, hour and a half or so north of here on the central coast. He started his Cub career at Peoria(A) in 2007. By the middle of 2008 he was already at Tennessee(AA). At each stop along the way he posted below mediocre .600+ OPS's.

I call that a fastrack based on something other than performance. Contrast that with Ryan Theriot who started his third year in the Cubs organization in A ball and his fourth year at A+ Daytona while posting numbers similar to Lansford.

2+ seasons in A ball over 3 years (he played in boise before peoria) and gets moved up to AA as 24 year old for a 1/2 season.

you've seen this before. this is not odd, unusual, or weird.

especially not since Wilken took over...

Although some of them were subsequently released, the following Cubs minor league position players were converted to pitcher over the past few years:

Oscar Bernard (ex-C)
Randy Brown (ex-OF)
Gasner Guerrier (ex-C)
Leon Johnson (ex-OF)
Junniol Lami (ex-3B)
Josh Lansford (ex-3B)
Carlos Marmol (ex-C)
Jake Muyco (ex-C)
Blake Parker (ex-C)
Leonel Perez (ex-C)
Andres Quezada (ex-OF)
Luke Sommer (ex-OF)
Blake Taylor (ex-3B)
Randy Wells (ex-C)

There also were a number of "two-way" players (like SS-RHP Ryan Acosta, OF-RHP Marcus Hatley, OF-RHP Jay Jackson, OF-RHP Tarlandus Mitchell, and SS-RHP John Muller) signed by the Cubs out of HS or college over the past couple or three years who became pitchers (exclusively) after they signed.

Position players who were converted to catcher by the Cubs in recent years include:

Matt Cerda (2B in HS)
Robinson Chirinos (ex-2B)
Steve Clevenger (ex-2B)
John Contreras (ex-3B)
Blake Lalli (ex-3B)
Casey McGehee (although he kept playing 3B in addition to catcher)
Geovany Soto (ex-3B)

The only pitcher I can think of who was converted to a position player by the Cubs was Nelson Perez, who (with the release of Ryan Harvey) probably has the #1 or #2 OF arm in the organization (along with Kyler Burke). Perez has an absolute cannon for an arm.

BTW, the Cubs signed N. Perez at the urging of Alfosno Soriano (right after they signed him as a FA in November 2006), and Oneri Fleita very quickly decided he had too much power and athleticism to not be tried as a RF. If you've never seen him, Nelson Perez sort of resembles Sammy Sosa, except he hits LH.

Although I'm sure they hope he can develop as a RF (he is still EXTREMELY raw), knowing the Cubs, if the outfield doesn't work out for him (as a hitter, he murders fastballs, but is totally confounded by breaking balls), Perez could still end up a RHP. 

Today's game is on WGN - Cubs/Sox, Z pitching, and Kosuke debuts and hopefully lasts longer than Koskie. Good times.

Cubs face Clayton Richard, a lefty, but I wonder if Lou bats Kosuke second anyways just to prove his point.

Sure enough...

Sori
KFuk
Lee
Bradley
ARam
Miles
Theriot
Hill
Zambrano

Submitted by navigator on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 12:10pm. Do you have any insight into WHAT the Cubs were thinking by double promoting Josh Lansford last year (first to A+ then to AA) if they were going to (rightly) decide he was just a strong arm who couldn't hit (at all)?

It makes a lot of sense to try to turn him into a pitcher (he's got a fantastic arm) but I really don't understand the fast track through minors he was on.

===================================

NAVIGATOR: I think it was partly because Lansford was blocking Marquez Smith at Daytona, and moving Lansford up to AA got him out of the way, and partly because the Cubs will not convert a postion player to pitcher or to catcher unless the player agrees to do it.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect the Cubs may have suggested to Lansford that he might consider a move to the mound, but he didn't agree to it until he found out for himself that he didn't have the chops to hit at AA, and moving him up to AA was a way to show him his limitations.

Lansford may have been conflicted about making the switch, because while his brother (Jared) is a pitcher is in the A's organization, his dad (Carney) was a big league 3B and A. L. batting champion, and a couple of his uncles (Phil and Jody) played 1B-3B in the minors.

Thanks for the reply Phil. I think you're right about this. Josh could hit at the college level but he had to know he was never going to make it to show after the last couple years of futility with the bat.

But that arm of his, that's another thing entirely.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/sports/baseball/Hanley-Thr...

Summary of the above link:

Superstar throws hissy fit about dress code.
Superstar writes shit all over him in some form of protest.
Superstar requests trade.
Superstar changes his mind and doesn't know what you're talking about.

I might be sympathetic with the Marlins on this except that I have absolutely no faith in Marlins management. It is my opinion they are all huge doodyheads.

Doodyheads? Ouch...

yeah, i'm all about free speech and freedom of expression, but that deserves a ban if i've ever seen something that deserves one.

just, wow...

can't believe you went there.

dress codes are relics of the old anyway...most make no sense and are just what makes the manager (and in most cases...hell, almost EVERY case...the owners) wants.

they wear suits to/from the airport...walk into hotels in suits (well, most of the time)...all that other image stuff while being "professional looking off the field."

MATTINGLY...I TOLD YOU TO SHAVE THOSE SIDEBURNS!!!!!

meh...

this from a team that brought us scantily clad cheerleaders as part of their baseball image...yeah...whatever...

Still like him better than Steinbrenner

Superstar writes shit all over him in some form of protest.
---
fortunately he did his writing with a sharpie and not his poop

they tried to convert Theriot to a switch hitter...looks like they abandoned that global strategy and replaced it with conversion to pitchers.

Lou on Fukudome on MLB.tv

"we like him to spray the ball around..."

and I chuckle...

2 RBI's for Z today, a hit, a BB and 2 RBI's for Koyie...

Theriot slides over a bat at home plate, grabbed his side but is probably fine...

Who the FUCK was on-deck after the batter dropped the bat??!!! Or, was Pyrzynzski making sure not to lift a finger.

That is Little League shit! WTF?!

Answer my last question: Three-Fingers Hill...

Soriano makes a nice catch in left center...Fukudome loses one in the sun and ends up a ground rule double...9-2 Cubs.

Snyder gets outrighted...37 on the 40-man roster now.

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/03/327_qui...

Noooooooooooo!

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  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 33 min 31 sec ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 3 hours 36 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 8 hours 11 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 19 hours 15 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 19 hours 19 min ago view