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.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "thet never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.