Diamond Sends Greeting Card to Sori
Thomas Diamond drilled Alfonso Sorianio in the ribs with a fastball, Andres Blanco crushed a Mitch Atkins pitch high & far over the RF fence, and eight Cubs pitchers working in four groups of two threw two innings a piece, as the Cubs continued their pre-Cactus League workouts under sunny skies and a cool north breeze at Fitch Park this morning.
On Field #2, Blake Parker & Jeff Kennard worked their two-inning stints first (about 20 piches each inning), followed by Thomas Diamond & David Patton, with Tyler Colvin, Bryan Lahair, Matt Camp, Janmes Adduci, Starlin Castro, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Robinson Chirinos, Koyie Hill, and Josh Vitters taking the ABs.
On Field #3, Mike Parisi worked opposite Jeff Stevens, and then J. R. Mathes alternated with Mitch Atkins, as Sam Fuld, Darwin Barney, Brad Snyder, Bobby Scales, Marlon Byrd, Derrek Lee, Brett Jackson, Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir, and Andres Blanco provided the opposition.
Other than the Soriano HBP, Diamond threw the ball very well, as none of the hittrers who faced him got good swings. Mike Parisi also looked good, throwing strikes and mixing up his pitches very well. As a Rule 5 player, Parisi will get a longer look than most of the other pitchers who are "on the bubble."
On the more negative side, Blake Parker and Mitch Atkins were hit hard (especially Parker), as Tyler Colvin continued his hot "live" BP hitting. And David Patton still has major control issues with his curve ball.
James Russell and Marcos Mateo threw in an early morning "live" BP session that preceded the full-squad work-out.
Ted Lilly was on the the field today, participating in PFP and looking chipper. In addition to rehabbing from both shoulder and knee surgery, Lilly has been fighting an infection of some sort the last few days that reportedly had his temperature up to about 103.
The Cubs wore their traditional "home" unis (white with pinstripes and names on the back of the jerseys) today for the first time in 2010. They had been wearing their blue BP jerseys in previous workouts.
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump