Shark Attack and Z Sighting at Fitch!
Today was an off day for most of the Cubs, but not for Carlos Zambrano and Jeff Samardzija, as Big “Z” and the Shark traveled a half-mile south down Center Street to Fitch Park to get in some additional work.
Zambrano made the trip just so he could take pre-game Batting Practice with the Iowa Cubs position players, but Samardzija was sent to Fitch by Manager Lou Piniella and Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild specifically to throw some innings in a game.
Competing with Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, and Sean Marshall for a spot in the Cubs starting rotation, Samardzija last pitched in a Cactus League game last Friday, so today was the day he would normally be scheduled to pitch, but with the off day for the big club, pitching in a minor league intrasquad game was the next-best alternative.
Samardzija had a poor outing last time out, and although he did throw three no run/no hit innings in today's minor league intrasquad game, he also struggled with his control, at one point walking three consecutive AA Tennessee hitters (Matt Spencer-Kyler Burke-Ryan Flaherty) with two outs in the top of the 2nd, before getting Kevin Soto to fly out to the warning track in LF to end the inning.
The Smokies scored their only run of the game in top of the 9th off LHRP Dustin Sasser, as Jason James and Josh Vitters crushed doubles off the LF fence (and that was James' second two-bagger of the day).
Hard-throwing RHP Rafael Dolis got the start for Tennessee, one day after the Cubs optioned him to AA. He had a bad first inning, as Brandon Guyer led-off by ripping a triple into the right-center alley. Then Jake Opitz sliced a double into the LF corner, and after Ty Wright advanced Opitz to third with a grounder to the right side of the infield, veteran Jason Dubois dumped a broken bat single into CF to score Opitz.
The I-Cubs added three more runs in the 9th. Russ Canzler singled and then sole second. before scoring on a one-out double into the left-center alley by Steve Clevenger. After Tony Thomas reached base on a two-out Ryan Flaherty error, Clevenger scored and Thomas advanced to 2nd base on a Hank Williamson wild pitch, and then Thomas scored on a Mario Mercedes bloop single into short right center.
The Cubs minor league squads have been rearranged in preparation for the first minor league Spring Training games tomorrow, with a 5th squad (Boise/Mesa/EXST) being formed from among players moved down from Peoria, Daytona, and Tennessee.
Today’s intrasquad games featured Peoria versus Daytona on Field #2, and Tennessee versus Iowa on Field #3.
Here is the the abridged box score & statistical summary from today’s Iowa-Tennessee game:
NOTE: Some innings were stopped prior to three outs because the pitcher had reached his max pitch count for that inning, while other innings were extended beyond three outs to allow a pitcher to throw more pitches. Also, Blake Lalli PH for Steve Clevenger in the 6th, but then Clevenger returned to the game as DH #2 in the same slot in the batting order in the 9th, and Lalli took his 2nd AB in the #4 slot in the batting oder (replacing Jason Dubois both at bat and in the field) in the 8th.
AA TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1. Brett Jackson, DH #1: 0-4 (F-7, 4-3, 1-U, 3-1)
2. D. J. Lemahieu, DH #2: 1-4 (P-3, 5-3, 1B, Ks)
3. Jason James, LF: 2-4 (Ks, 2B, 1-3, 2B, R)
4. Marquez Smith, 2B: 0-3 (4-3, 1-3, HBP, P-2)
5. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-4 (P-7, 5-3, 5-4-3 GIDP, 2B, RBI, PO)
6. Matt Spencer, 1B: 0-1 (BB, HBP, F-7, SB)
7. Kyler Burke, RF: 0-1 (BB, BB, F-7)
8. Ryan Flaherty, SS: 1-2 (BB, Kc, 3B)
9. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-3 (F-7, P-4, P-8)
10a. Luis Flores, C: 0-2 (Ks, F-8)
10b. Mark Reed, C: 0-1 (Ks)
AA TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Rafael Dolis – 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 38 pitches (23 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Todd Blackford – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 20 pitches (10 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. David Cales – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (14 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Luke Sommer – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Chris Siegfried – 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 18 pitches (12 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
6. Ryan Buchter – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 18 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
7. Hank Williamson – 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
AAA IOWA LINEUP:
1a. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-3 (3B, 1B, 6-3, R)
1b. Tony Campana, CF: 1-1 (1B, PO)
2. Jake Opitz, 3B: 1-4 (2B, 1-3, L-9, Ks, R, RBI)
3a. Ty Wright, LF: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, 5-3)
3b. Matt Camp, LF: 0-1 (Ks)
4a. Jason Dubois, 1B: 1-2 (1B, HBP, Kc, RBI, SB)
4b. Blake Lalli, PH-1B: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3)
5. Russ Canzler, DH-RF: 1-3 (BB, Kc, 1-U, 1B, R, SB)
6. Smaily Borges, RF-DH: 0-3 (Ks, BB, L-8, FC)
7. Steve Clevenger, C-DH: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 2B, R, RBI, CS)
8a. Nate Samson, SS: 1-2 (P-4, 1B, SB)
8b. David Macias, SS: 0-2 (5-3, P-4)
9. Tony Thomas, 2B: 0-4 (5-3, Kc, Kc, E-6, R)
10. Mario Mercedes, DH-C: 1- 4 (4-3, F-9, F-7, 1B, RBI)
AAA IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Jeff Samardzija – 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Mitch Atkins – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 39 pitches (25 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Gregory Reinhard – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 1 HBP, 18 pitches (11 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Jake Muyco – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (9 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Dustin Sasser - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (7 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
Ryan Flaherty (TENN) throwing error E-6 led to two unearned runs scoring in the 9th.
Luis Flores (TENN): 1-3 CS
Mark Reed (TENN): 0-1 CS
Steve Clevenger (IOWA): 0-1 CS
Mario Mercedes (IOWA): 1 PO (Vitters at 2nd base)
I don't know the score of the Peoria-Daytona intrasquad game, but I do know that Daytona RF Nelson Perez was summariliy pulled out of the game by Player Development Director Oneri Fleita in the bottom of the 1st inning for not running out a ground ball.
Not AZ PHIL but after being DFA'd by the Cubs (after they got him from the Pirates in the "I get a chance in the Majors clause"), the Cubs re-signed him for the remainder of the season. I do not believe service time is an issue for him, so he is eligible to opt for Major League Free Agency - which he is doing and the Cubs or someone else will sign him to an MLB deal. AZ PHIL please correct this if you see fit - but that is the most current info that I'm aware of.
To also be fair to Emery, wtf do you draft Shea McLellin as a #1, Jonathan Bostic in the same draft, let Peppers go in lieu of signing Jared Shit-Head, Brandon Hardin, Evan Rodriguez, Isiah Frey, on and on...
I will give him credit for Kyle Long - who is like my favorite player (what does THAT say about the team - but he did throw in the 90's as a former pitcher), and Jeffrey.
Geo Soto leaves the WSux and signs with the Angels who lost Chris Ianetta to the Mariners.
Freed... The Angels also promoted Bobby Scales from director of player development to special assistant
AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.
Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...
Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.
The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request
Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"
To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.
HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.
Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.
"they just fade away"
(Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)
Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.
I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.
AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?
He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.
Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.
I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.
I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).
Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.