"A" Team Throws "Live" BP at Fitch

Twelve Cubs pitchers (essentially the "B" team -- Mitch Atkins, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard, Marcos Mateo, J. R. Mathes, Mike Parisi, Blake Parker, David Patton, Vince Perkins, James Russell, and Jeff Stevens) threw their first "live" BP session (25 pitches) at Fitch Park yesterday (six on Field #2 and six on Field #3), and 14 more pitchers (essentially the "A" team) threw their first "live" BP today.



FIELD #2: Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva threw to Darwin Barney, Sam Fuld, Blake Lalli, Bobby Scales, and Brad Snyder, Carlos Marmol and Tom Gorzelanny threw to Marlon Byrd, Brett Jackson, Derrek Lee, and Xavier Nady, and Esmailin Caridad and John Gaub threw to Andres Blanco, Micah Hoffpauir, Kevin Millar, and Chad Tracy.


FIELD #3: Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells threw to James Adduci, Steve Clevenger, Tyler Colvin, and Bryan Lahair, John Grabow and Sean Marshall threw to Starlin Castro, Kosuke Fukudome, and Alfonso Soriano (this is Aramis Ramirez's group, but he did not hit today), and Justin Berg and Rafael Dolis threw to Koyie Hill, Jeff Baker, Ryan Theriot, and Josh Vitters. Chris Robinson was the catcher on Field #2 and Welington Castillo was the catcher on Field #3, while Geovany Soto and Robinson Chirinos warmed-up pitchers in the bullpen.


Andrew Cashner and Jeff Samardzija threw "live" BP in an early morning session prior to the full-squad workout.


All of the pitchers who threw today looked good, except Rafael Dolis. The 22-year old fireballer was obviously over-throwing and was especially wild, most notably his final pitch, a high/tight fastball that came up under Theriot's chin, causing The Riot to take a nasty spill that resulted in an injured hand that required treatment by the training staff.


Jeff Gray (groin strain), Angel Guzman (knee surgery rehab), and Ted Lilly (shoulder and knee surgery rehab) are not yet able to throw BP, although Gray has been cleared to start throwing off a mound and Guzman is particpating in PFP and pick-off drills while throwing off flat ground only.


Prior to the "live" BP sessions, the pitchers broke-up into two groups for PFP and pick-off drills on Field #1 and Field #4, while infielders took fielding practice on Field #2 ("B" squad" with Lahair at 1B, Barney and Scales at 2B, Castro and Camp at SS, and Vitters at 3B) and Field #3 ("A" squad with Lee and Hoffpauir at 1B, Baker and Blanco at 2B, Theriot and Fontenot at SS, and Ramirez and Tracy at 3B) and the outfielders (Adduci, Byrd, Colvin, Fukudome, Fuld, Jackson, Millar, Nady, and Soriano) practiced running down fly balls and playing balls off the "Green Monster" (batter's eye) in dead CF.


After the "live" BP sessions, most of the squad reported to Field #3 for agility drills, while the catchers who did not have the opportunity to take "live" BP earlier took their usual end-of-workout BP (with coaches throwing) on Field #2.

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Comments

fwiw, Guzman was shut down with shoulder discomfort and Lilly has had some fever the last 2 days...

thanks for the report as always...

cause Lou said he's already on the team unless "he pitches himself off of it."

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/02/...

Levine called in today from ST, said Dempster looked good.

Phil-
Do you ever interact with him or any of the other media?

Submitted by jacos on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 2:28pm.
Levine called in today from ST, said Dempster looked good.

Phil-
Do you ever interact with him or any of the other media?

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

JACOS: No.

"a high/tight fastball that came up under Theriot's chin"

That'll teach him to go to arbitration.

The Royals are going to give Kyle Farnsworth a chance to start. Here's Joe Posnanski's take on it...

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2010/02/25/th...

Sound a heckuva a lot like the TCR readers when Dempster was moved to the rotation.

and it was about time he got to return to the rotation.

Could have saved alot of space just by typing

"HAHAHAHAHA!"

that was a really weird read...nice one.

who knows anything about Richard Justice?

http://twitter.com/richardjustice/status/9642...

My very excellent take on Ed Wade's two years with the Astros. http://blogs.chron.com/sportsjustice/ #hounews

sounds like a tool

"who knows anything about Richard Justice?"

70's porn star whose gimmic was a judge?

awww man...

i wanted to make a "rob is looking for some dick justice" joke.

I've always liked Justice's writing. I find him to be knowledgable (especially about Houston sports) and funny/self-deprecating. TRN probably has a better feel for how Justice is viewed in Houston.

He covered the Orioles for the Washington Post for years before going to Houston. I always liked him, also.

I didn't even read the article but who the fuck writes "my very excellent take"?

milton bradley

haha

The article is in response to a deadspin article, he's making fun of bloggers, hence the title.

As others have said, he's pretty good. Better than anyone Chicago has going for it at the moment.

Without thinking too deeply on it, Justice would be on my list of top sports writers. As noted, more of a columnist now. In terms of pure beat writers, I'd rank Bruce Miles up there.

He's one of the better sports writers out there, IMO. He's sort of become more of a columnist now, so you see some "tool-ish" comments once in awhile (as columnists are apt to do on occasion), but he's a solid writer who interacts with fans.

Hey, great to have AzPhil posts again. I'm wondering if you could answer a question that's been bugging me forever. I noticed that you had Jordan Latham listed on the Cubs depth chart again. BA also had the Cubs reactivating him, and Bruce Miles indicated that he was at XST all last year (which I assumed, as I figured that's how you knew to put him on the charts).

What exactly happened to him, though? I remember there was some spec on personal issues, but I don't recall a definitive answer ever given. Been bugging me for awhile. Thanks.

Submitted by toonsterwu on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 3:16pm.
Hey, great to have AzPhil posts again. I'm wondering if you could answer a question that's been bugging me forever. I noticed that you had Jordan Latham listed on the Cubs depth chart again. BA also had the Cubs reactivating him, and Bruce Miles indicated that he was at XST all last year (which I assumed, as I figured that's how you knew to put him on the charts).

What exactly happened to him, though? I remember there was some spec on personal issues, but I don't recall a definitive answer ever given. Been bugging me for awhile. Thanks.

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

TOONSTER: RHP Jordan Latham is a power-reliever (94 MPH fastball & a hard slider) who was the Cubs 29th round draft pick out of the College of Southern Idaho in 2006. He received a substantial bonus when he was signed as a JC "draft & follow" in May 2007 (he otherwise would have transferred to Arizona State).

Without getting into really specific detail, Latham was involved in an off-season DUI/Hit & Run in his hometown (Boise) a while back where he crashed his SUV into a house and then ran away. I don't know what the outcome of that matter was, but he was on the Restricted List in 2009. He is now active again, however, and I would think he has a reasonable chance to make the Daytona or Tennessee Opening Day roster with a good Minor League Camp and no further personal issues. Arms like his don't grow on trees.

Likewise, RHP Julio "Animal" Castillo (who was convicted for assaulting a fan with a baseball during a brawl in 2008) spent the entire 2009 season on the Inactive List at Fitch Park while dealing with his legal troubles (he threw "sim games" about once a week throughout the season), and if he can get an H-2B visa, he should have a shot at making the 2010 Daytona Cubs Opening Day roster or possibly even the Tennessee Smokies staff. (Castillo throws 95 MPH). Like Latham, Castillo will certainly be on a "short leash" no matter where he is in 2010.

If Animal can't get a work visa to get into the U. S. because of his standing felony conviction, he could possibly remain a member of the Cubs organization and spend the 2010 season pitching in the Mexican League for Los Broncos de Reynosa (he's too old and has too much minor league experience to pitch in the DSL). The Cubs have had an informal working agreement with Reynosa (the former Los Potros de Tijuana franchise) for several seasons and usually loan one player to the Broncos (previously Potros) each season. (RHP Oswaldo Martinez was there last year). BTW, while MLB recognizes the Mexican League as an "unaffiliated" AAA league, scouts have told me that it really is more equivalent to A+ (like Daytona, but with older players).

awesome info. Thanks. It had been bugging me for awhile

As a follow up, do you think there's a chance they would ponder Latham as a starter? I remember hoping they would try him as a starter. I doubt it, as the A ball ranks are going to be very competitive in regards to rotation spots.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

to "True Average" or TAv

wOBA vs. TAv(formerly eQA)?

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-...
(check the comments and there are plenty of other articles discussing it)

just about the same, one is scaled to Batting average, the other on-base percentage and TAv does a park factor adjustment.

anyone not associated with BP seems to like wOBA a little bit more fwiw, although not a big difference.

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2010/2/25/1326...

6 spring training games added, 3 on tape delay, apparently blacked out in Chicago though

damn...byrd.

Bout time we got some of that.

Probably fluff, but it could be a huge deal if Rothschild is serious. Who couldn't use an extra starter?

And by extra we mean 5th.

Lou was talking about Ninja having a more fluid, natural motion this spring.

which corner, Clark and Addison or Sheffield and Waveland?

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Angel Guzman doin' the Ted Lilly thang...got his knee scoped so he could rest his shoulder.

per Bruce Levine...

"He had some discomfort in his shouldfer," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "We just felt coming off of the [arthroscopic meniscus surgery] he's had on and off difficulties in the past, so we thought that we were just going to take the precautionary route."

Guzman said he expected to be ready to go on the field in a week to 10 days.

"I still think I will be back in a week or week and a half," Guzman said. "My knee is the main thing. I don't think the shoulder is anything I have to worry about."

When has a shoulder ever been anything to worry about?

Need to get him doing some of them "Towel Drills" stat!!!

http://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/9647113313

still searching, Levine mentioned Frasor and Gregerson again...

would anyone not trade Tyler Colvin for either one?

Gregerson's a no-brainer. Frasor would cause me a bit more trepidation due to his only one year of club control, but this team obivously has to play to "win now."

I guess I think it's possible Colvin still develops. He did put up a 858 OPS in 320+ PAs as a 23-y-o in AA. There's enough potential there that you don't just give him away for a one-year bullpen rental who may not even work out.

I'd like to hold on to Colvin for one more year. I realize that there's risk there, in that he may totally wash out any value, but I think there's still a chance for a .775 OPS hitter who can play CF and not embarrass himself.

I would not be opposed to moving Colvin. He is roadblocked for the time being.

A roadblock for who?

Colvin is blocked by Byrd, Fukudome and Soriano(and possibly others) for at least the next 2 years is what I assume he meant

He is roadblocked to having an everyday job.

uhhhh he isn't good enough for an everyday job.

That doesn't stop our three starters.

Colvin doesn't have the plate discipline to be an MLBer.

If he was a SS with a gold glove it would be one thing. As a corner OFer it will be too much of a liability.

Best case for Tyler is an MLB 4th outfielder IMHO. Frasor or Gregerson should be able to net us that at the deadline/August waiver deadline if we aren't in the race.

Worth the gamble if Colvin is all we part with.

"As a corner OFer it will be too much of a liability."

See Soriano, Alfonso

Colvin's numbers in AA at 23 were pretty close to Byrd's numbers in AA at 23.

the +3 K/BB ratio is probably more of a concern with Colvin, Byrd was in the 2:1 range mostly.

and Byrd was generally considered one of the better prospects in the game coming up.

But maybe Jamarillo can fix Colvin too :)

fwiw,
Colvin in AA: 17.2% K/PA, 3.56 K/BB ratio
career: 18.25% K/PA, 3.24 K/BB ratio

he actually had better ratios in 2008 at AA but worse overall numbers

Byrd in AA at 23: 15.97% K/PA, 1.79 K/BB ratio
career minors: 17.18% K/PA, 2.07 K/BB ratio

better slugging by Byrd too, although did get a little boost from some rehab games or whatever the last few years.

I've thought we've been over this. BB/K ratio does't mean much.

K rate is important, and the difference between these two guys - and this is a guy I just grabbed because Colvin's career path will ideally be similiar- is negligible.

I've thought we've been over this. BB/K ratio does't mean much.

to you...

I agree that it's not as important as K rate, but anything over 3:1 is going to have me worried. Not saying they can't overcome it with other skills, but it's a big warning sign.

To me and everyone else who gives it a good think or studies it...

I'll happily offer a mea culpa for a link to a good study showing it doesn't mean much or even a handful of links from some folks well-versed on the minors saying they don't ever look at it.

No problem, right after you produce the link with studies that show that a 3.24 KBB ratio precludes you from being a major leaguer.

No problem, right after you produce the link with studies that show that a 3.24 KBB ratio precludes you from being a major leaguer.

hello hyperbole...

of course that's nothing remotely close to what I wrote, but if you need to distort what I did write to feel some sort of Internet victory, more power to you.

Let's see, you asked for a handful of studies and I asked for one link, and you got your panties in a wad? Interesting.

To explain it to you in maybe a manner that you can understand, walking is an offensive skill like power hitting and base stealing. If someone has a 1:1 BB/K ratio that doesn't make him any more likely to be a successful major league hitter than someone with a 1:3 BB/K ratio. If the first guy hits two doubles on the year and the second guy hits 40 HR's, guess which one is more likely to become a major league hitter? Picking out BB's to compare to K's makes approximately the same sense as SB/K's.

If a guy doesn't strike out an inordinately high number of times, he's likely to be able to hit in the majors. Now, whether that hitting will be valuable enough to make him an effective player depends on other skills, his walk rate and his HR rate being the most important of them.

To give some divergent examples.
Player 1: 5.26 BB/K ratio when he made the majors
Player 2: .50 BB/K ratio when he made the majors

Both of them had long major league careers (including playing for the Cubs). But player A played a premium defensive position, hit for more power and was able to steal bases and wound up in a couple of All-Star Games. Player B mostly walked and put the ball in play.

think you're confused on who has their panties in a wad and I asked for a link to just one study, not a handful.

No reason to make up stuff or distort what I wrote.

As for the rest, I already wrote I agree that it's not as important as K rate, but anything over 3:1 is going to have me worried. Not saying they can't overcome it with other skills, but it's a big warning sign.

Picking out BB's to compare to K's makes approximately the same sense as SB/K's.

so you say, both(BB and K's) are indicators of a players' ability to control the strike zone imo

you don't use it, great, I'm sure your batting 1.000 on how prospects will fare in the majors, just as I am.

Let me quote you "a handful of links". You were the one too lazy to search for it. Quit being a child.

"so you say, both(BB and K's) are indicators of a players' ability to control the strike zone imo".

No, I never said that. In fact, I've been explaining to you for two years that K rate and BB rate are relatively independent. You're either willfully ignorant or too stupid to understand it, but I'll wash my hands of it. Have an "expert" explain it to you.

I'm not being too lazy, you brought it up, I'm not buying your word. You prove it. And I said one study or a handful of links to people who say it's irrelevant, you tried to put those phrases together.

the "so you say" was in response to
Picking out BB's to compare to K's makes approximately the same sense as SB/K's.

the rest of the sentence was my own opinion on the relation of BB/K's. I realize you don't believe they have anything to do with each other.

You're either willfully ignorant or too stupid to understand it
speaking of being a child...

This exchange pretty much sums up why I stopped arguing with Neal a long time ago. He first tells you that you are completely wrong. Not that there is something else you could incorporate, or that you could look at things differently, or that he has a different opinion - you are utterly, and completely wrong. In addition, how could you have even thought you were right when EVERYONE knows this stance is wrong? It is a widely established fact. When you ask for proof of this, even one link or a cite to one study, he says that it is soooo widely accepted that he doesn't need to give you anything. In fact, the burden of proof is on YOU to show support for your original point. When you question this as being a bit odd - which of course it is! - he resorts to name calling and tries to make it appear to everyone else that you are either too stupid to understand the point, too lazy to prove it, or are being purposefully combative with him when you know you are wrong. This takes a few days and a half-dozen or more posts, when it all could have been avoided had he simply said in the very first post: "here's a link to an interesting article that shows that stat X may not be as good of a measure as Y." Ah, but that would be way too easy, wouldn't it?

Really great explanation of how FIP works for those of you interested:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

"The primary reason that pitchers do not control their BABIP is that among those sufficiently capable of missing bats, they all seem to have the similar lack of skill in keeping the ball from hitting directly on the barrel rather than just above or just below."

okay, sure, why, not.

If Mike Fontenot shows he still sucks at shortstop,what are the odds that he is left off roster,obviously being left handed will help him but there is not many bench players that can only play one position besides catchers.

The Fontenaught played a pretty good third base last year, and I imagine he could probably play a corner outfield spot reasonably well.

Anyone want some hard-hitting news?

Yankees’ Rodriguez Relieved After World Series Win

Thank you, Yahoo Sports, I was wondering.

I will be relieved when I stope hearing about what Rodriguez worries about.

ArizonaPhil - Can you tell us what a typical minor leaguer makes over the course of a season? Assuming no special contractual arrangements, Does everyone in all levels of the minors make the same amount, or does it vary as they rise through the system? Also, if they play in the fall instructional league, do they get extra? How about the Arizona Fall league. Finally, do you have any idea how much they may make in the various winter leagues?

http://twitter.com/Kevin_Goldstein/status/966...

I'm totally entertained by the fact that the most talked about Cub in spring training is Kevin Millar -- yeah, he's the answer.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/cu...

"You know what, he(Milton) didn't have one negative thing to say about Chicago," Byrd said. "Not one thing. OK, he said the clubhouse was a little small, but that's it. He just wishes he was able to enjoy it more."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/20...

"Competition is good because it brings out the best in all of us. But to be quite honest with you, 'What have you done at the major league level?"' Theriot said Thursday at training camp. "Those expectations and that pressure, everybody deals with that differently. I think it takes a little bit more than just ability."

snaaaaaap.

Wow..."What have you done at the major league level?"...Theriot really rips on himself, there.

i bet he's just edgy because spring training pranks are in full swing and someone stole his Lucky Charms cereal...it was probably fontenot.

i bet he's just edgy because...

He woke up one morning with this red "target" tatoo on his back

I bet he's just edgy because...

Soon after a meeting between Hendry, Lou, and Rafael Dolis on the batting practice mound Theriot got plunked by a pitch on the wrist. An evil Hendry "bwah-ha-ha" laugh was heard in the distance.

because...

Starlin Castro is both newer AND shinier.

I bet he's just edgy because...

Lilly is out until June.

omg we're doomed?

How can you blame him? He is not the best SS in the league, but he is certainly not the worst. Right now he is feeling like he has to win his job again. He is probably fielding questions from idiots like Phil Rogers on a daily basis.

Right now he is feeling like he has to win his job again.

Good. He should feel like that every day for the rest of his baseball career.

Not so good. If he could do what this chap projects, Theriot would be out already.

http://vegaswatch.net/2010/02/2010-mlb-wins-o...

that's tough, my brain says exactly 83, my heart says over...

that's tough, my brain says exactly 83, my heart says over...

Oui...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

so there's this possibility?

Soto, Lee, Baker, Theriot, Ramirez, Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome
Bench: Hill, Fontenot, Nady, Millar, Tracy

I can't see Tracy and Millar both on this team, and between the two, I would truly root for Tracy. If the club needs more "nice guys", go get one who plays manager instead.

Anybody else think that barring injury, Tracy has pushed Hoffpauir from the roster?

I actually think that Nady makes Millar redundant. Maybe he's there incase Nady has to start the year on the DL.

Tracy has to make the team.

He can play both corner positions, the Amish Assasin can't.

Millar is old and bad.

I have trouble seeing Millar's role, as well.

Think of Millar as a Rule 5 Pickup who we need to keep on the active roster for a year.

feels like Tracy and Millar are probably fighting for the same job as Millar's working out at third base as well as first and he said earlier he'd try the outfield.

That being said, they could easily have 6 bench spots to start the season as they don't need a 5th starter for a few weeks.

After making that comment Z saw a dog out of the corner of his eye.

"Oooo a dog with a fluffy tail" Z shrieked.

And then he chased the dog around the park.

I have a hard time seeing the Cubs go with Nady or Fukudome as the backup CF, and hence why I think Fuld will make it. There simply isn't a good option, and I don't think the Cubs want to shift around Fukudome.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/...

still at 80 wins (follow the depth chart link)

good explanation/warning on using them and their team forecasts in there as well...

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/sarah-spain/2...

didn't see any photos of Cindy Sandberg, Dave Martinez or Rafael Palmeiro surprisingly...

nothing exciting to be honest, around 2:30 it gets into all the memorabilia he's collected...

Whoa. The Rangers just voided Khalil Greene's contract.
He hasn't reported to ST.

Wish we could do that with Silva.... Too much of him reported for ST.

yesterday's news actually, he's still having anxiety issues...

tough thing to go through as I've witnessed, meds usually help though, wonder if he doesn't want to take them or it's just that bad they're not helping.

The higher the dose, the more pronounced these side effects typically are. But some people feel sleepy, foggy, and uncoordinated even on low doses of benzodiazepines, which can cause problems with work, school, or everyday activities such as driving. Some even feel a medication hangover the next day.

Because benzodiazepines are metabolized slowly, the medication can build up in the body when used over longer periods of time. The result is oversedation. People who are oversedated may look like they’re drunk.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_medic...

Not really good for a professional athlete. I don't think Grienke is on medication. There's obviously varying degrees of problem.

not the most reliable source

http://socialanxietydisorder.about.com/od/cel...

does say he went on anti-depressant medication, no idea if he's still on it.

You can still function quite well on them from what I've witnessed, although it takes some getting use to and definitely getting can put you in a fog.

but as you said, probably not best to be on them when staring at 90mph+ heaters

and anti-depressants and anxiety are different things...although some people use them interchangably, so not sure if Greinke and Greene are dealing with the same issues.

Both anxiety and social anxiety are commonly treated with Benzodiazepines.

sure, that link on Greinke said he was battling both SAD and depression though and was on anti-depressants, hence my comment

Something like Xanax(Benzodiazepines) is the common anxiety medication while something like Prozac(fluoxetine) is the more common antidepressant.

Obviously I don't know either of their cases though or the degrees to which they are suffering...

I prefer Citalopram. Good stuff.

Dealing with an anxiety dis-order or whatever. He isn't even remotely ready to play baseball and the Rangers can't/don't want to wait a year to find out if he can ride their bench.

about to start if anyone has questions

http://espn.go.com/chicago/chat/_/id/31055/es...

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