"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.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.