Cubs Roll a Seven in the One to Thump Sox

The Cubs scored seven runs in the bottom of the 1st, and cruised to a 9-4 victory over the White Sox this afternoon at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa, in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 13,327, a game that I'm sure many of you watched on WGN-TV.

box score  

The bats were hot right from the gitgo this afternoon, as the Cubs racked-up a seven spot in the 1st off White Sox starter LHP Clayton Richard, who REALLY had a bad day.

Alfonso Soriano lined a single to right to start the inning, and then Kosuke Fukudome celebrated his return to the Cubs with a line single to CF. Derrek Lee then lined a single to left to score Soriano and send Fukudome to 3rd, Milton Bradley walked to load the bases, and then Aramis Ramirez bounced into an RBI 5-4 FC. Aaron Miles grounded an RBI single to the right of second baseman Chris Getz to score D-Lee, and then Ryan Theriot walked to re-load the bases. Koyie Hill bounced a double down the LF line to plate Ramirez and Miles, and that finished Richard.

RHP D. J. Carrasco relieved Richard, and Carlos Zambrano drove in Theriot from 3rd on a 6-3 GO (K. Hill holding 2nd), and then Soriano finished the scoring with his second hit of the inning, a pop fly down the line in RF that bounced off the rock-hard field and up & over the retaining wall in foul territory for an RBI ground rule double.    

After Carrasco struck out Fukdome, Lee, Bradley, and Ramirez in succession, the Cubs mounted another rally in the bottom of the 3rd. Miles and Theriot singled to start the inning, and Koyie Hill walked to load the bases. Zambrano then bounced a one-hopper to 1st baseman Josh Kroeger, who threw to 2nd to get a force-out, but Sox SS Alexei Ramirez's relay sailed past 1st base, allowing both runners to score (one RBI for "Z").

Zambrano started for the Cubs and went six innings (90 pitches - 50 strikes, 4/11 GO/FO), and had a problem in only one of the innings, that being the top of the 4th, when he threw 36 pitches (and only 18 strikes). He had hustled to beat the throw to 1st on his RBI FC in the previous half-inning (bottom of the 3rd), and he appeared to be dropping his arm when he started to work in the 4th.

Zambrano had difficulty throwing strikes throughout the inning, (he had thrown only 29 pitches through the first three innings combined), eventually allowing two runs on three hits and a walk, the key hit being a two-out bases-loaded double by Josh Fields that bounced off the warning track and over the fence for a double, after CF Fukudome appeared to lose the ball in the sun. 

But "Z" righted the ship in the 5th, retiring the last six hitters without much trouble. For the day he allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits and a walk, while striking out three. 

On the bubble, out of options, and competing fiercely for a spot on the 25-man roster, Angel Guzman took the mound in the 7th. He had good moments and bad moments, the worst one being a no-doubt-about-it opposite field solo home run with one out by Brian Anderson that landed in the upper (visitors) bullpen. He also allowed a broken bat single, and had to throw 25 pitches to get out of the inning. But he did strike out the last two hitters (Brent Lillibridge and Carlos Quentin), and he generally threw strikes (19 of his 25 pitches).

So based upon his outing today, Guzman did not pitch well enough to insure himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, but neither did he pitch badly enough to eliminate himself from consideration.

Luis Vizcaino threw a 1-2-3 eight-pitch 8th (K, PO, FO), Mike Stanton got the first out in the 9th (striking out LH hitter Josh Kroeger), and then Chad Fox finished up, getting the final two outs while allowing one run, thanks to two doubles to RF sandwiched around a strike out, before inducing Lillibridge to line-out sharply to Brad Snyder in RF to end the game. 

The other battle in progress is for the back-up catcher gig, and both candidates saw action today. Koyie Hill got the start and played the first five innings, going 1-2 at the plate (RBI bases loaded double, a walk, and a 5-3 GO), while also allowing a passed ball. Bako played the last four innings, and went 0-1 (3-1 GO). Neither player did anything overtly stupid. 

The Cubs travel to Hi Corbett Field in Tucson tomorrow, and will face the Colorado Rockies.     

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Comments

"a game that I'm sure many of you watched on WGN-TV."

Oh yeah... a game many of us might have watched if many of us weren't at an effing wedding rehearsal, then promptly a wedding rehearsal dinner. Tomorrows game isn't on WGN or many of might have missed that one too as many of our wives will have dragged many of us to a wedding from noon to 11:00pm because they are in the freaking wedding party.

*grumble*

Thanks, Phil!

So the game was real, after all.

I tuned in....

Watched Z have an 8 pitch first inning (including giving up a hit)
Saw Soriano work a 3-1 count
Saw Fukudome get a hit against a lefty
Saw Derrek Lee not hit into a DP.

After that I was sure I was actually watching the Twilight Zone and turned the TV off.

Lou will name the closer on Sunday.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-28-cubs-b...

It would be helpful if he named him before 9:00 pm EDT

The new Corey Provis is...

Judd Sirott (who will move over from his radio role with the Blackhawks)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-28-cubs-r...

Sirott will assist Santo on the road and conduct interviews for the pregame show during home games. He auditioned at spring training.

"I knew right away he was the best guy," Santo said. "He was here for two games. I took him down in the clubhouse and introduced him to everybody. The two innings he did, he was a little nervous at first but then settled in."
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So this is the ptbnl for John McDonough?

courtesy of Carrie Muskat•The Cubs outrighted outfielder Brad Snyder to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs' 40-man roster is now at 37.

Hey... did you hear that Scott Eyre is broke?

When a player is placed on waivers, how many days do they have to clear before they get outrighted to AAA? Have Robnett and Snyder already officially cleared waivers? Little confused on how it all works...

yes, they already cleared waivers...I want to say teams have 48 hours to put a claim in, but they are first placed on waivers, where teams can claim them and if no one does, they are outrighted.

As usual, AZ Phil explains almost all of it here...

http://thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster#rules

Fwiw, it looks like Robnett or Snyder can't be added back to the 40-man until May 15th at the soonest.

Thanks. So there is a difference between a player being outrighted and being designated for assignment, correct? And both Robnett and Snyder were outrighted...

Right. A player who is DFA'd might be outrighted, or he could be traded or released. A team has 10 days to decide what to do. DFAs allow a team to free up a 40-man roster spot immediately and worry what exactly to do with the player (outright him to minors, trade him, release him) later on.

got it. thank you!

i would also guess that if i team chose to DFA a player vs outrighting them, they probably think they can get something of value for him? was casey mcgehee outrighted or DFA'd?

looks like he was outrighted

http://thecubreporter.com/2008/10/30/brewers-claim...

my guess is if you're immediately outrighted, a team is hoping to get you through waivers as soon as possible and try to keep you. If you're DFA'd, which is a 10-day window, a team is trying to get rid of you but is trying to get something back or knows that someone will put in a claim and wants some time to figure out a deal if possible.

As always, I'm sure Phil can fill in the details..

Reed Johnson just got hit in the wrist... sounded bad according to pat/ron but he's staying in the game.

rbi hit by pitch, 1-0

3 off Dempster in the 1st so far, including HR for Atkins deep to center in his first game back from a groin injury.

Game on delay on MLB TV

MLB Network? Mlb.tv seems to be live...

Hoff-power dooble and HR already, Soto a dooble...

Network.

Guess I need to be more specific now adays.

Miles rbi single after a Dempster triple, 6-4

Fukudome has 2 walks in 4 at bats, so he's got that down pat.

Is the Sun-Times getting ready to fold? I see Greg Couch is leaving to join Jay Mariotti over at AOL FanHouse.

Very possibly. They were #7 on Time's list of 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America.

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1...

The fundamental business is still strong, but they're carrying over $200 million in debt from poor management that's just killing them.

It'd be a great acquisition for a newspaper group due to the company's full penetration of the entire city and suburban metro area. There needs to be more coordination between newspapers, but the infrastructure is there to become the best news source in Chicagoland with a little investment.

They need a smart investor willing to come in, retire the debt and start taking some quarterly profits while investing in a more local-centric foucs and a better content-sharing system across newspapers.

Even at $1 a share, that will never happen. But I think they're trading at 2 or 3 cents a share these days, which makes me think it's possible.

I'm starting to believe that HoffPOWER could put up better numbers in 500 ABs than DLee...

Good to be a part of The Randy Wells Experience today. 0.2 IP 5ER

Submitted by Rob G. on Sun, 03/29/2009 - 11:37am. my guess is if you're immediately outrighted, a team is hoping to get you through waivers as soon as possible and try to keep you. If you're DFA'd, which is a 10-day window, a team is trying to get rid of you but is trying to get something back or knows that someone will put in a claim and wants some time to figure out a deal if possible.

As always, I'm sure Phil can fill in the details..

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

ROB G: It takes two business days for a player to clear all four types of waivers (Release, Optional, Outright, and Trade). Saturday and Sunday are not business days during the off-season, but they are during Spring Training & the MLB Regular Season.

For a player who is placed on Outright Waivers, MLB notifies the player's club if a claim was made at the end of the two business days. If a claim is made, the player is immediately & automatically assigned to the claiming club. (Players with "no trade" rights can refuse a waiver claim). If the player is not claimed. the club can outright the player to the minors.

Outright Waivers are good for seven days from September 1st through the 30th day of the MLB regular season, but they are good for the entire waiver period starting on the 31st day of the regular season through August 31st. So if a player clears Outright Waivers during the waiver period that commences on the 31st day of the regular season, the player can be sent back & forth to the minors repeatedly during that waiver period without having to be placed back on waivers again each time, just like he had options left.

Of course, once the player has been outrighted once in his career, any additional outright assignment gives the player the option to become a free-agent immediately, or else defer the option to the end of the regular season (unless he is added back to the club's 40-man roster by that time, in which case he cannot become a FA that way).

If a player is outrighted to the minors, he has to spend at least ten days on a minor league reserve list, unless he is added back to the 40-man roster to replace an injured player, or the player's minor league season has ended, or the player gets traded (just like a player who is optioned to the minors has to spend ten days on Optional Assignment).

Also, if a player is outrighted to the minors and then is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the end of that season, the player uses up an option year (if he has minor league options left), even though he was never actually optioned to the minors that season. That happened to Randy Wells last year, when, as a Rule 5 Player, he was outrighted to AAA Iowa in April after the Blue Jays decided they were unable to keep him on their 25-man roster, and then the Cubs added him to their 40-man roster when they brought him up in September.   

The May 15th date you mentioned applies only to players on a 40-man roster who are released (outright) after being placed on Release Waivers between September 1st and Opening Day and then re-sign with their former club. (It does not apply to players who are non-tendered on 12/12 and then re-sign with their previous club, however).

If a player on an MLB 40-man roster is released outright (again, getting non-tendered on 12/12 doesn't count) during the period of time extending from September 1st to MLB Opening Day and then re-signs with his former club, the player cannot be added back to the 40-man roster of that club until May 15th. If a player is released during the period from MLB Opening Day to August 31st and then re-signs with that same club, the player cannot be added back to that club's 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) for a period of 30 days, although he can sign a minor league contract with the club.

In the case of Casey McGehee, the Cubs had until four days after the end of the World Series to outright him to the minors. That's because he was a "Draft-Excluded Player," meaning he was added to a 40-man roster after August 15th, and Draft-Excluded Players who are not outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft cannot be outrighted (or optioned) to the minors until 20 days prior to the start of the following season. (That's the same date that is the earliest date a Rule 5 Player can be sent to the minors or offered back to his original club).

So if the Cubs had waited to remove Casey McGehee from the 40-man roster until past the deadline (four days after the end of the WS), they could not have outrighted him until March 16, 2009. (When the Brewers claimed McGehee, he remained a "Draft-Excluded Player").

If the Cubs had wanted to remove McGehee from the 40 after the deadline for Draft-Excluded Players but prior to March 16th, they could have non-tendered him on 12/12 and then re-signed him to a MLB contract (and then added him back to the 40 that way), but otherwise they would have had to place him on Release Waivers and then they would have had to try and re-sign him to a minor league contract after he became a FA.

However, once he became a FA, McGehee would have been free to sign with any of the 30 MLB clubs (and that would be true if he was non-tendered on 12/12, too), and the Cubs would have had to compete for his services. But even if they did convince him to remain in the Cubs organization, they would have had to re-sign him to a minor league contract (although he could have received an NRI to ST), but even if he hit .800 with ten HR in ST and even if Aramis Ramirez went down with a season-ending injury the last week of Spring Training, the Cubs would not have been able to add McGehee back to the 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) until May 15th.

That's why the Cubs should not have added McGehee to the 40-man roster last September, if they weren't planning on keeping him there for a while. They probably should have added Jason Dubois instead, and then they could have just released him after the end of the 2008 season. As a 3B-1B-C-RHPH with three options remaining, McGehee was just too attractive for the Brewers to pass up.

As for the "Designated List," clubs use it mainly when they need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster immediately, like if the club signs a FA when the club's 40-man roster is already full, or when a player is acquired via trade or waiver claim where the club's 40-man roster is full (since it takes two business days to get a player off the 40-man roster and through waivers).

The Designated List can also be used to allow a club several days to make a trade. This would happen if the player getting dropped from the 40 has too much perceived value to risk losing on waivers without trying to make a trade first.

Also, a club's MLB 40-man roster does NOT have to be full for the club to place a player on the Designated List, but that's usually the situation.

Additionally, while a club normally has up to ten days (minus the two business days it takes for a player to clear waivers) to decide whether to either trade, release, or outright a "Desigated Player," a club can OPTION a "Designated Player" to the minors IF the player was not designated for the purpose of opening a slot on the 40-man roster for another player. The reason a club might do that is if the Designated Player has options left, but needs to clear Optional Waivers before he can be sent to the minors.

BTW, players continue to accrue MLB Service Time and get paid their major lague salary while on the Designated List.

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