Cubs & Giants Split at Fitch

The EXST Cubs and EXST Giants split a simultaneous doubleheader played at Fitch Park this morning, one game on Field #1 and one game on Field #3. Both games went seven innings.  

Unfortunately, I watched the game that was played on Field #3, and that was the one the Cubs lost 9-1. 

I don't have much information about the game played on Field #1, other than the Cubs won, Cedric Redmond threw one shutout inning, Josh Lansford Gian Guzman, and a 4th pitcher threw two effective innings each, Chris Weimer blasted a HR, Robert Bautista hit an inside-the-park HR, and Jae-Hoon Ha smacked a triple over the centerfielder's head. 

In the game played on Field #3, three of the four Cubs pitchers struggled, and the only Cubs run scored on a bases-loaded walk, while the Cubs could not score after loading the bases with one out in one inning, and with runners at 1st & 3rd and one out in another inning. 

Also, catcher John Contreras had a really bad day defensively. (Contreras was converted to catcher at Minor League Camp, and although he also still plays 3B and 1B on occasion, he's really a DH who is dangerous no matter what position he plays in the field). .

The (good) defensive play of the day on Field #3 was shortstop Dwayne Kemp's spectacular diving stop & throw from behind 2nd base, cutting down the batter 6-3. Kemp has shown he has the range and arm to play SS and 3B in addition 2B (his "natural" position), and he can play LF, too (he played there some last season), which means the Cubs could move Kemp up to Peoria if they decide to promote "supersub" IF-OF Josh Harrison to Daytona at some point in the near future.   

Here is the abridged box score from the game played on Field #3 (Cubs players only)  


1. Hak-Ju Lee, DH:           0-4  (K, 1-2 FC, E-4, 1-6 FC)
2. Dwayne Kemp, SS:     1-4  (1B, 5-4 FC, 6-3, K)
3. Matt Cerda, 2B:            0-3  (BB, 4-3, F-8, 1-3)
4. John Contreras, C:       1-3  (5-3, 1B, F-8)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B:  1-3  (6-3, 1B, P-6)
6. Jesus Morelli, LF:         2-3  (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, 1B + 1 R)
7. Kevin Soto, CF:            0-2  (BB, K, K)
8. George Matheus, 3B:    0-2  (BB, F-9, 3-1)
9. Sean Williams, RF:       0-1  (BB, 3-U, BB + 1 RBI)

1. Cody Hams -           2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/3 GO/FO
2. Adam Spencer -     2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GO/FO
3. George Pineda -     0.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 3 WP, 1 BALK
4. Rogelio Carmona - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO

  ERRORS (2):
1. 2B Matt Cerda - errant throw to 1st base, allowing runner to reach base safely, eventually leading to unearned run scoring.
2. 1B Sean Hoorelbeke - attempted pick-off throw bounced off glove and into right-field foul territory, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base.

John Contreras: 0-3 CS, 3 PB


Yikes, sounds like a tough one to watch.

Speaking of Harrison, what's your take. He's got that great BA, a little lucky on batted balls (only 14% LD's), and he doesn't seem like much of a base stealer, but is he a little guy that puts a charge into the ball or just someone who's got on a hot streak?

I do wish Harrison took a few more walks. That said, it's not like he has bad discipline, so this is probably, like Vitters, a case of the pitching in Peoria not being challenging enough for him. He makes me think Mike Fontenot (in a positive way). Not the best athlete out there, a smaller guy, but a guy with pop in his bat and a smart baseball player (for that matter, that sounds like Dwayne Kemp as well, but I'm assuming Kemp is a bit more athletic than the other two guys, although Harrison did handle shortstop while at Cincy, IIRC). I'll be curious what AzPhil says - for me, I think his numbers are "real" in Peoria in that he's too good for the level (thus, more than just a hot streak), but in comparing him to Fontenot, I also don't think Harrison is a guy who's as good as his numbers in Peoria, if that makes sense. If the Cubs aren't planning on giving him regular time at a MI spot (and with Flaherty/Lake, that's unlikely), I'd like to see him at Daytona. First, he'd give a charge to that Daytona lineup. 2nd, he might see more IF time there.

Az Phil, is Cerda still doing some catching or is he now a 2b? Thanks.

Submitted by Hagsag on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 3:28pm.
Az Phil, is Cerda still doing some catching or is he now a 2b? Thanks.


HAGSAG: Some days he catches, some days he plays 2B, and some days he's a DH. I don't think the Cubs know what to do with him, but he looks like he should be a corner OF to me.

Cerda is a good hitter with excellent plate discipline, he's not afraid to hit with two strikes, he has plus bat speed, and he looks like he will develop HR power as he matures (he set a HR record in high school, but that was with an aluminum bat).

Even with his potential as a hitter, if the Cubs had projected Cerda as a corner outfielder coming out of HS, I doubt that he would have been taken anywhere in the first 15 rounds, Of course, it was Oneri Fleita's belief that Matt Cerda could be a catcher (a position he hadn't played since little league) that motivated Tim Wilken & the Cubs scouting department to draft him in the 4th round and give him a half-million bucks to give up his opportunity to play college ball at the University of San Diego. (Oneri personally worked out Cerda at catcher prior to the draft, and Oneri is considered an expert on catchers).

Phil, one more thing. Have the Cubs had any prospective draft picks at Fitch for workouts?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 3:25pm.

Yikes, sounds like a tough one to watch.

Speaking of Harrison, what's your take. He's got that great BA, a little lucky on batted balls (only 14% LD's), and he doesn't seem like much of a base stealer, but is he a little guy that puts a charge into the ball or just someone who's got on a hot streak?


REAL NEAL: Josh Harrison has real good bat speed and he hits the ball hard, so I think there's a bit more to his BA than luck. He has the versatility to play all over the place, but the main thing is he needs to move up to Daytona because he is too good for Peoria. The only thing keeping him at Peoria is that the Chiefs need a supersub IF-OF, so if Kemp can perform that role (and I think he can), the Cubs could move Harrison up to Daytona, where he belongs.

BTW, when Tony Campana and Josh Harrison were teammates at the U. of Cincinnati, Campana hit lead-off, and Harrison hit 3rd. Harrison was the Bearcats best all-around player when he was there. And Campana is probably the fastest player in the Cubs system right now. Campana is a maniac on the bases.

Thanks. Hope your wish comes soon, and hope he brings Vitters with him.

I wouldn't mind if the Cubs swapped Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Harrison if they don't feel Kemp is ready. I'm glad the Cubs gave the toolsy Gonzalez a chance to break out, but he hasn't done it yet, and sending him to Peoria might not be the worst thing if they don't think Kemp is ready.

From, Glavine cut by Braves, is pissed off, wants to pitch...
Cubs might be able to use a veteran lefty starter for added depth...

I doubt Glavine would sign anywhere that he doesn't have a clear shot to the 5th starter's job. As well as Wells has pitched, along with Marshall in the background, I just don't see it. Not against it (Wells could be used as a trade asset to fill something else perhaps), but I don't see us going after him.

I could see the Phillies take a run at him for depth, and I think Glavine would be intrigued about staying in the NL East. Maybe the Brewers (good mentor for Manny Parra perhaps)?

Submitted by Hagsag on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 3:58pm. Phil, one more thing. Have the Cubs had any prospective draft picks at Fitch for workouts?


HAGSAG: Probably, but they're being a lot more secretive this year than they were last year.

For instance, last year they actually played Las Vegas Chaparral HS SS Niko Vasquez in an EXST game when he was at Fitch Park for a work-out (and he hit a HR in the game, too!), and so I thought they were a lock to draft him in the 2nd round, but then they took RHP Aaron Shafer with their 2nd round pick instead, and the Cardinals drafted Vasquez in the 3rd round six picks before the Cubs could make their 3rd round pick, who turned out to be RHP Chris Carpenter .

BTW, Baseball America ranked Vasquez the #13 prospect in the Appalachian League post-2008 (he hit 317/416/462 at Johnson City), and Baseball Prospectus ranked Vasquez the Cards #11 prospect coming into this season, but he's struggling at the plate at Quad Cities (MWL) so far this year, while Shafer is on the DL at Peoria with a sore arm.

But Carpenter's better than both of them, so it all worked out!

I didn't mention this in the post. but today's game on Field #3 featured the three Australian players at Cubs EXST (OF Sean Williams, RHP Adam Spencer, and LHP Cody Hams).

Although he has struggled this Spring, the 19-year old Hams is a really interesting story. He was a star cricket player ("bowler") in South Australia, and he had never seen a baseball game in his life--much less played in one--until a teammate of his suggested he try playing baseball.

So he paid his own way to the MLB Australian Academy at the Gold Coast, and the second baseball game he ever saw in his life was a game where he was the pitcher. And he was so impressive (in a VERY raw form) at the MLBAAP that the Cubs offered him a $150,000 bonus to sign in March 2008, and he agreed.

If you see him pitching from a distance, you would think he was Sean Marshall or Rich Hill (Hams is 6'5 200, and has a similar type delivery as Marshall and Hill). He still has a long way to go (he was a virtual "blank slate" when the Cubs signed him), but if he is able to learn the art of pitching, he could be an interesting prospect at some point in the future.

for Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez and Jeff Locke...

I think it's a fairly solid deal for both sides. I like Gorkys Hernandez enough. I'm a fan of Jeff Locke and think he has "2/3" potential. Not so big on Morton, but he's an upper level "ready" arm. I guess I'd give the Braves a slight edge for not overpaying this early in the juncture, but I think the deal makes enough sense for both sides.

Wasn't Hernandez one of the guys they labeled (laughably) untouchable when they were after Peavy?

Are the Braves gonna play McLouth in center? That's going to make them yearn for the fat Andruw Jones.... now that I think about it, why didn't they just trade for him?

Don't think Texas is going to move Andruw right now.

Gorkys, best that I can recall, was available. One package suggested that he would be going there, along with a "ready arm" like Charlie Morton and perhaps another piece or two. It was Jordan Schafer that was untouchable.

There was one article out of the Journal that listed 5 guy as 'untouchables'.

Without knowing the article, I'd guess it was Tommy Hanson, Julio Teheran, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, and Jordan Schafer one ... it might've been referring to Yunel Escobar, who was featured heavily in Peavy rumors. Just guesses. Hanson and Heyward are two of the top prospects in the minors, Teheran was a big time Latin American upside arm, Freeman came off a huge year as a first baseman (although I wonder if he has plus power), and Schafer was viewed, even with the PED suspension, as a top tier talent. For comparison's sake (just my opinion, as rankings are really as much for discussion purposes as anything else) - Heyward/Hanson, entering the year, were above Vitters (both have had excellent seasons, although Vitters has closed the gap somewhat), while entering the year, guys like Schafer/Freeman would've challenged for top 3 in our system, if not ahead of Vitters, and Teheran probably would've slotted in the top 7 -10 based on upside.

Maybe there was an article that said Gorkys was off limit, but I don't recall it at this moment.

"The Braves also would like to keep elite center-field prospects Jordan Schafer and Gorkys Hernandez, possibly envisioning a future outfield of Heyward and Schafer flanking speedy Hernandez.

It remains to be seen whether the Padres would deal Peavy without getting at least one of those prospects."

Google is your friend.

read the article

the above sentence

"Five-tool outfielder Jason Heyward and 17-year-old pitcher Julio Teheran are considered close to untouchable prospects, and pitcher Tommy Hanson and slugging first baseman Freddie Freeman might not be far behind in terms of being off limits."

They specifically note the guys that are considered untouchable, and then comment on these two later. I know there were several news articles that said Tommy Hanson was untouchable, which was understandable after his electric AFL. I don't rule anything out, as winter rumors are still rumors, but check the winter news on Braves sites, from DOB's blog to other places. Most indications were that Gorkys was being shopped, with one package with him being a key element involved involved.

btw, yes, I know that was a DOB article, but it was from October, when people were just speculating.

Tom Krasovic (one of the beat writers out there)

"As part of Jake Peavy trade talks in November, the Padres and Braves were far along on a 4-for-1 plan that included shortstop Yunel Escobar and center fielder prospect Gorkys Hernandez. The Padres wanted the Braves to include starting pitcher Charlie Morton instead of Jo-Jo Reyes and pushed hard for either pitching prospect Jeff Locke or catching prospect Tyler Flowers to be substituted for reliever Blaine Boyer. Talks regressed from there, and the Braves later traded Flowers to the White Sox. According to, the Braves now would be unwilling to deal Escobar, described by teammate Chipper Jones as the best shortstop in the National League. Whether Peavy would consent to a trade to Atlanta also remains in question, though if the Cubs are out of the picture, it can't hurt those chances."

From Dave O'Brien, Braves ajc beat writer whose article you used above

"The Braves need him. The Padres need to trade him. The Braves have offered the best package for Peavy including a very good young, affordable player in shortstop Yunel Escobar, who could turn out to be a star and will almost certainly be no less than a solid major leaguer for many years to come. They would also likely give up center-field prospect Gorkys Hernandez, who is at least two years away but who has legitimate big-time potential, according to every scout I’ve talked to and opposing managers in the low-level minors."

There was this obviously wrong report from Scott Miller of cbssports

"Under terms of the deal discussed by the Braves and Padres, San Diego would receive shortstop Yunel Escobar, Class A outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, one of two starting pitchers -- Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes -- and either reliever Blaine Boyer or one of two minor-league left-handers (one of which is believed to be Jeff Locke)."

From Ken Rosenthal - suggests Gorkys was not untouchable

"The Peavy Sweepstakes (cont.)

The Padres again have asked the Braves to revise their proposal for right-hander Jake Peavy, requesting that the team substitute Single-A catcher Tyler Flowers for Single-A center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, according to major-league sources.

Yunel Escobar's stock might have fallen in the Braves' eyes. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Flowers, 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, is tearing up the Arizona Fall League, and the Braves probably are unwilling to part with him in the same package as shortstop Yunel Escobar and either right-hander Charlie Morton or left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes. Frankly, they're not thrilled with trading any of those players."

Buster Olney - Gorkys was a key part of the package.

There's probably other articles, so if your still not certain, I'll try and dig through and spend a minute or two and find some more later.

Glad to see McClouth out of Pitt.

I agree. Nice to see he is out of the division now. Great trade by ATL.

I am too, but I think the kid they're bringing up tomorrow is going to be a huge pain in our ass for quite some time.

If they all hit their potential the Hernandez/McCutchen/Tabata OF will be pretty sick. For a guy that has had only 1 good season it is a great haul for the Buccos.

Gotta love the fundamentals of this team. Why can't we get bunts down?

Sammy Sosa said Wednesday that he's ready to announce his formal retirement from baseball.

"I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame," said a delusional Sosa. "I always played with love and responsibility and I assure you that I will not answer nor listen to rumors. If anything ugly comes up in the future, we will confront it immediately, but with all our strength because I will not allow anybody to tarnish what I did in the field."

He sort of tarnished what he did on the field with the bat incident, but unless someone comes up with some actual evidence that he was juicing... well it's going to be hard to keep him out of the HoF.

most likely.

bonds and palmeiro are out...mcgwire took himself out of the mix by being very a very fringe candidate to begin with...they don't got sosa.

he doesn't even have a credible rumor tied to him though almost all of us here, and almost every non-cubs fan overall, have our own opinion on the subject that paints sosa as a probable user of PEDs.

still...unless something happens it's gonna be hard to keep him out too long if he doesn't go 1st voting.

yeah, at some point the consensus will become "well, 50% of hitters took it, and with that benefit these were the best guys". Sort of like Shoeless Joe memory of the alleged crime will fade. It will certainly be interesting.

Sosa will never get in, as much as it pains me to say it.

I've got a question that makes me sound like a Noob, but is the password we use to log into TCR the same one we should use to get into the parachat? And, why can't I get Mozilla to work in parachat, is it because of Java? Thanks to anyone who can help my clueless ass.

Parachat and TCR passwords are separate....and of course parachat doesn't require a username or password although if you like going by the same name you can register.

Firefox seems to work fine for me with Parachat and Java. I guess make sure you have the latest version of Java if you're on a PC.

My Mac never asks for it, but when I had a PC it was always updating it.

I have had similar issues with Firefox. Google Chrome won't load it at all, even with all the Java updates.

-edit- doh, redundant post...yeah, it's java...either not installed or enabled.

Go HOFF!!! GW RBI. Good job by Gregg to close the door.

Nice to be back above .500.

Another very nice job by Lilly.

Nice rebound by the bullpen.

Much appreciated.

Was I the only one cursing fiercely when Lilly went back out for the 7th? That goose was cooked in the 6th.

Went to Sox game tonight against Oakland.

I went down to bullpen bar before game and sat by RF fence as A's took batting practice.

Wuertz was shagging and a ball came over by the fence.
I said "Michael, Cubs could have used you last night."

He stopped and leaned against the fence, smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

I said "you wouldn't have thrown a cock high fastball to Francour." He laughed.

And then I said "How's Oakland treating you?"

He said "They are letting me pitch here."

I said good luck and he waved and went back to shagging.

The Braves for the first time since 1987 do not have Smoltz or Glavine in their organization.

~tip of the cap~

Thanks for the anecdote, jacos! Good stuff.


Nice one, Jacos. are you doing at a Sox game?


Before I forget. That was one helluva a play Theriot made tonight.

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  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 11 min 25 sec ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 29 min 3 sec ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 30 min 51 sec ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 48 min 48 sec ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 56 min 2 sec ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • Phil, when will the Cubs start moving international players from EST to the Dominican for the start of the DSL season?

    diamondjaxx 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • It was a nice barehand pick-up but he was close enough to 1st where he could underhand the ball to Bryant. The trouble he's had has been with the overhand throw. He's definitely working on it, but I don't know if that play was a good example of progress made.

    K Dub 7 hours 52 min ago view
  • Phil, have you heard anything about the condition of Oscar De La Cruz's elbow? Has there been talk of a time table? Is he throwing?

    K Dub 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • i was distracted for most of the game and also missed the first few innings.

    but yeah, any time he makes a good fielding+throwing play on D it's worthy of praise and a trip to pizza hut for a personal pan pizza and $1 worth of songs on the juke box.

    seriously, i'll take it.

    crunch 15 hours 45 min ago view
  • BTW, CRUNCH, Lester made a nice bh pick-up and toss to Bryant. Did you catch it?

    He's been workin' on the D!

    The E-Man 17 hours 42 min ago view