"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.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).
I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.
Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.
I felt the same way, too, but...
I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.
Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.