Marshall Plan Works to Perfection at Fitch

Brandon Watson (signed yesterday after getting released by the White Sox earlier in the week) doubled, tripled, and collected two RBI, Fernando Perez (just demoted from big league camp) singled, doubled, scored a run, and knocked-in two others, and Blake Lalli tripled and singled, scored a run, and drove-in another, helping the Iowa Cubs mount a fierce five-run 8th inning rally to close a 6-0 deficit to just one run, but Watson was left stranded at 3rd when Scott Moore and Matt Spencer struck out (Moore looking and Spencer swinging) and Ty Wright popped out to RF, and the Salt Lake Bees (Angels AAA affiliate) hung-on to edge the I-Cubs 6-5 on Field #3, while over on Field #2, Cubs LHRP Sean Marshall (sent to Minor League Camp to get work) threw a 13-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning (F-9, 5-3, F-9), Ryan Flaherty and Rebel Ridling hammered solo home runs (Flaherty’s a towering 450-foot job over the “Green Monster” Batter’s Eye in dead CF), and Nate Samson reached base three times (a triple, a single, and a walk) and drove-in two runs, leading the Tennessee Smokies to a 4-1 nine-inning victory over the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) on Field #2 (although the game was extended an extra half-inning to allow LHP Chris Siegfried to pitch his pre-scheduled inning--bumped to extra innings when Sean Marshall arrived, and the Travelers scored four runs in the top of the 10th), in Cactus League Minor League action at Fitch Park this afternoon



LHP Brooks Raley and RHP Rob Whitenack followed Marshall to the mound on Field #2, and both had impressive three-inning outings.


After a work-out on Field #4, several players from the Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad (SS Wes Darvill—just demoted to Boise/Mesa from Peoria, and outfielders Blair Springfield, Dong-Yub Kim, Xavier Batista, and Oliver Zapata) saw some late game action with Tennessee or Iowa. (Players from the Boise/Mesa Extended Spring Training group are used as late inning replacements in Minor League Spring Training games).


Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):


FIELD #2 (CLASS AA – Tennessee Smokies vs. Arkansas Travelers)


TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1a. Brett Jackson, CF-DH: 0-3 (3-1, K, 5-3)
1b. Wes Darvill, PH-SS: 0-1 (E6)
2. D. J. Lemahieu, DH #1: 0-4 (F-8, 5-3, 4-3, 4-3)
3a. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-3 (F-9, K, F-8)
3b. Blair Springfield, CF: 0-1 (F-7)
4a. Michael Burgess, RF: 1-3 (1B, F-8, K)
4b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH-RF: 1-1 (1B)
5a. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-3 (L-9 DP, K, HR, R, RBI)
5b. Xavier Batista, PH-1B: 0-1 (5-4 FC)
6a. Ryan Flaherty, SS: 2-2 (HR, 1B, R, RBI, CS)
6b. David Macias, PH-2B: 0-2 (4-3, 3-U)
7a. Michael Brenly, C: 0-2 (5-3, BB, F-7)
7b. Mario Mercedes, C: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Kyler Burke, LF-CF-DH: 2-3 (1B, F-7, 2B, 2 R)
9a. Brooks Raley DH #2: 0-0 (2-4 SH)
9b. Smaily Borges, PH-LF: 1-2 (F-8, 1B)
10. Nate Samson, 2B-SS-3B: 2-2 (3B, BB, 1B, 2 RBI, PO)


TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Sean Marshall: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches (9 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Brooks Raley: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (25 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
3. Rob Whitenack: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 37 pitches (28 strikes), 7/1 GO/FO
4. Aaron Shafer: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 15 pitches (9 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Mike Perconte: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
6. Chris Siegfried: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 17 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO


TENNESSEE ERRORS: 1
SS Wes Darvill: E-6 – two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base – eventually scored unearned run


TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Michael Brenly: 0-1 CS, 1 PO
2. Mario Mercedes: 0-2 CS


===============================================


FIELD #3 (CLASS AAA – Iowa Cubs vs Salt Lake Bees)


IOWA LINEUP:
1. Fernando Perez, CF: 2-4 (1B, L-5, K, 2B, R, 2 RBI, CS)
2. Brandon Watson, LF: 2-4 (4-3, 1-3, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI)
3. Scott Moore, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, BB, K)
4. Matt Spencer, RF: 0-4 (K, K, F-9, K)
5. Ty Wright, DH: 0-4 (F-8, P-4, K, F-9)
6. Bobby Scales, 3B: 1-4 (K, F-9, 2B, 3-U, R)
7a. Blake Lalli, C: 2-4 (1-3, 4-3, 3B, 1B, R, RBI)
7b. Oliver Zapata, PR: NO AB
8. Matt Camp, SS: 0-3 (1-3, P-6, BB, L-5, R)
9. Jonathan Mota, 2B: 0-3 (K, 6-3, BB, K, R)


IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Austin Bibens-Dirkx: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 71 pitches (44 strikes), 5/5 GO/FO
2. Polin Trinidad: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 41 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Luke Sommer: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 16 pitches (11 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. John Gaub: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Chris Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 14 pitches (10 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO


IOWA ERRORS: 2
1. SS Matt Camp E-6 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely
2. 3B Bobby Scales E-5 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely


=================================================


ATTENDANCE: 86


WEATHER: Sunny, with temperatures in the 70’s

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Comments

I was at Friday's game against Seattle, and am proud to say I was able to get a small contingent of fans to yell, in the "Let's go Red Sox" style chant, "Let's go Rebel!" He got a walk, and our little section cheered loudly.

It's the little things that count in spring training.

Brandon Watson. Anything there? Burgess looking better I'm guessing. Flaherty could be a huge benefit if he breaks out. Raley DHing? Curious.

Submitted by tim815 on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 2:31am.

Brandon Watson. Anything there?

======================================

TIM: Brandon Watson was apparently signed to provide OF depth at Iowa. Brad Snyder (oblique) and Tony Campana (unknown) are hurt and I don't know when they are expected to return.

Watson is the guy who had the record-setting 43-game International League hitting streak in 2007. He can play all three OF spots, has plus-speed (he was once rated by BA as the fastest player in the Expos organization), and has proven he can hit at the AAA level. But he's 29 years old, so it's not like he will be expected to chase Reed Johnson off the MLB 25-man roster, although he could cop a September call-up if he has a strong 2011 season in the PCL.

As things stands right now, Jim Adduci, Lou Montanez, Fernando Perez, Matt Spencer (who can also play 1B), Brandon Watson, and Ty Wright are competing for four OF slots on the Iowa Cubs Opening Day 24-man roster (with Campana and Snyder presumably starting the season on the DL and rehabbing at Fitch Park).

Matt Camp (who can also play OF), Marwin Gonzalez, Bryan Lahair, Scott Moore, Jon Mota (who can also catch in a pinch), Bobby Scales, and Marquez Smith are competing for six infield slots (Augie Ojeda is out indefintely with back issues), and Steve Clevenger (who can also play 1B), Chris Robinson, and Blake Lalli (who can also play 1B) are competing for the back-up catcher job (presuming Welington Castillo gets optioned to Iowa at the end of Spring Training and is the #1 catcher at Iowa in 2011).

Casey Coleman, Robert Coello (who has been stretched-out as a starter at Minor League Camp), Thomas Diamond, Jay Jackson, and either Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Hung-Wen Chen, or J. R. Mathes will be the Iowa starting rotation (Todd Wellemeyer will begin the season on the DL rehabbing his hip at Fitch Park).

Jeff Stevens, Chris Carpenter, Scott Maine, Esmailin Caridad, John Gaub, Justin Berg, and one from among LHPs Ryan Buchter, Luke Sommer, Polin Trinidad, and Scott Rice, and RHPs Blake Parker and Jake Muyco, plus Bibens-Dirkx, Chen, or Mathes (if they don't start) will be the I-Cubs bullpen, with Angel Guzman beginning the season at Fitch Park continuing his rehab from 2010 shoulder surgery.

Thanks AZ Phil.

Does Polin Trinidad look like a future big leaguer? Just a LOOGY or more than that?

Submitted by Paul Noce on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 12:01pm.
Thanks AZ Phil.

Does Polin Trinidad look like a future big leaguer? Just a LOOGY or more than that?

===============================

PAUL N: I could see Polin Trinidad maybe as an MLB LOOGY at some point down the line. The problem with his ever being a LOOGY with the Cubs is there is probably no room for him at Iowa or Tennessee at this time. He has decent stuff but has all kinds of problems throwing strikes. I expect Trinidad to get released today, along with about 10 or 15 others (mostly pitchers).

Submitted by tim815 on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 2:31am.

Raley DHing? Curious.

==================================

TIM: Brooks Raley was technically DH #2 at the start of the game because Marshall started the game and the manager wanted Raley to get at least one AB before he left the game, since AA and AAA pitchers hit in games where a National League affiliate is the home team.

Looks like a real over load of outfielders on the Iowa squad. Very interesting that they added Watson to the mix even though I wouldnt think he is anything but a roster fill.

Nyjer Morgan now a Brewer. Lenny Dykstra's kid (Cutter) goes to nats.

Carlos Gomez the righty platoon to Morgan's lefty-ness.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110...

The Brewers continue to purge their system of prospects. Cutter Dykstra, b-bye.

es official...Silva released.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/5385

Although I won't miss him much, I have to say--Damn. They couldn't get even a little bit of cash back for him last year when some team needed a swing man or some rotation filler?

I can't say I really see why we're better off with three lefties or Mateo in the pen than with Silva until somebody offers us $1 mill for him.

I think the mistake Mike Quade and Mark Riggins made with Carlos Silva was they should have taken more of a Leo Durocher/Dallas Green approach after his atrocious performances in his first few Spring Training games, telling him early on that he is pitching like crap, and based on that, that he is behind the other candidates on the depth chart.

Instead, Quade and Riggins tried to stay positive and encouraging, saying all the right things, being polite, and what did that get them?

Sometimes blunt honesty is the best policy.

I couldn't agree more, Phil. As a manager myself I've learned with some people you can't be too direct. The art is learning who those people are in your work group.

Hendry releases Silva while ripping him to the press...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking...

"You're looking at a guy who had a 14-something ERA from July 11 on, and came to camp with the notion that he already had a spot in the rotation."

Hendry is now Fox News, using misleading information to make his case. Let's look at the facts: from July 11 on, Silva pitched in only 5 games for a total of 12 2/3rd ip. He missed most of the 2nd half with his heart condition. He had two bad starts in a row, getting knocked out after 1 inning each time. Then he threw 5 innings and allowed 1 run. Then 5 innings allowing 2 runs. Then he missed over a month with the heart problem. He returned to make 1 start in September and got shelled (again, after 5 weeks off). Then they didn't let him make another appearance. This is after he was 9-2 with a 2.96 ERA before July 11th.

Bottom line, Silva was one of our best pitchers last season. It was a shock, but he had big league success in the past and let's not forget, Hendry tried to sign him as a free agent, so at one point Hendry liked the guy. Silva came to camp as a 9 year MLB vet with a large contract and a lot of success last season. Somehow he has a bad spring and absolutely must be jettisoned. It makes little sense. Garza has had a bad spring, Russell has had a bad spring, Koyie Hill has set a record for the worst spring in recent memory. All make the team (and Garza rightly so, spring training stats don't mean crap). But if they're going to point to Silva's spring training stats and say he had an awful spring, then Russell and and Hill shouldn't make the team either.

I'm not arguing that Silva is/will be a stud. He was a pleasant surprise last year when we all expected crap and a quick release. I'm just unhappy with their manipulating of facts and using whatever supports their goals. Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen like to do that crap, smear jobs on players they want gone, and after they're gone. It's very low behavior and we deserve better than that, from both teams.

If they wanted roster spots for young pitchers they should have said that. Not all this crap.

Carlos Silva and Larry Rothschild got along pretty well last year, and so I wouldn't be surprised if Silva ends up signing a minor league contract with the Yankees and do what the Cubs wanted him to do, which is go to AAA and be a starting pitcher until such time as the big club might need him.

Carlos Silva and Larry Rothschild got along pretty well last year, and so I wouldn't be surprised if Silva ends up signing a minor league contract with the Yankees and do what the Cubs wanted him to do, which is go to AAA and be a starting pitcher until such time as the big club might need him.
---------
http://twitter.com/JackCurryYES/status/521306...

Az Phil: Yes Network says No... to Yanks having interest in Silva

FWIW, I read quotes from Hendry today where he said that none of the other 29 MLB teams were interested in Silva even though the Cubs were asking for no players back and were willing to pick up the lion's Silva-sized share of his 2011 salary.

We shall see.

Update: Turns out it was a Levine column and the source was unidentified:

The Cubs tried all spring to trade Silva, but didn't get any interest from any of the other 29 major league teams. According to a major league source, the Cubs let it be known that they would be willing to eat a large portion of Silva's $11.5 million 2011 salary. The source also said the Cubs were not asking for any players in return. However, there were still no takers.

Silva did show up to camp in "record shape" despite that he had heart problems. He seems like a guy who has long since mailed it in and expects to be treated like he cares. I agree they should have kept him for a while to try to trade him, but the guy is a heartless dipshit. Good luck to you, Silva, you'll need it

It's bad form to slam the guy in the press. It seems desperate, like Hendry is worried about losing his job some time in the next 10 years. eyeroll Because, let's face it, this whole Silva mess is a consequence of the Milton Bradley mess.

Technically, the Silva mess, like the Bradley mess, is a consequence of the Fukudome mess. In 2008, the Cubs signed a right fielder for a lot of money for four years. They quickly discovered that their new right fielder couldn't hit, and the following winter they went after Bradley to play the same position.

Sometimes I wish Soriano and Fukudome were jerks and were willing to criticize the organization that fattens their wallets.

If you read the entire interview, he was referring to Silva's performance since July of last year, including spring training.

Bottom line, Silva was one of our best pitchers last season. It was a shock, but he had big league success in the past...

2010 31 CHC NL 10 6 .625 4.22
2009 30 SEA AL 1 3 .250 8.60
2008 29 SEA AL 4 15 .211 6.46
2007 28 MIN AL 13 14 .481 4.19
2006 27 MIN AL 11 15 .423 5.94
2005 26 MIN AL 9 8 .529 3.44
2004 25 MIN AL 14 8 .636 4.21

He last had "big league success" in 2005. His performance last year is basically an aberration, and the odds that he would have repeated his first-half from last year, after the crap he was throwing for the majority of the Spring, are very long.

Cash is gonna have lumps, but his upside is going to be much higher and since the team is hard-pressed to finish .500, I say why not allow these "future anchors" to get experience now?

Hard to believe Case Coleman and Jay Jackson aren't just as likely to succeed as Silva, too. Just wish Hendry had figured out some way to save some money, perhaps by jettisoning the guy last year some time.

The chances of Coleman or Jackson having a 4.22 ERA (or a 4.19 ERA in the AL which is apparently "unsuccessful" now) with any significant amount of innings is pretty damned small. Coleman had a xFIP of 5.13 and a SIERA of 5.28 last year, expect more of the same this year.

And what were the chances of Silvia having a 4.22 ERA this year in a significant amount of innings? I'm saying I don't think they were any better. I'm not saying I think either Coleman or Jackson is likely to produce the numbers Silva did last year, but I don't think Silva had much chance of doing that either.

Silva's xFIP last year was 3.90 and his SIERA was 3.91, he wasn't doing it with smoke and mirrors. So to answer your question, his chances were significantly greater than anyone else the Cubs have waiting in the wings, with the possible exception of McNutt and Carpenter.

Look at the stats, E-Man posted. He did what he did last year four times in a seven year career.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Silva, known as an innings eater at the time of the signing, has provided a 5.82 ERA over 296 2/3 frames over the last three years.

Are you saying that other than McNutt or Carpenter, no other young pitcher can match this, or may be worthy of given a shot to do so?

Are we just random grabbing samples to make an argument now? Last year - not three years ago, he was our best starter for the first half of the season.

Nope. Really, my point is that there is not much to be gained in pitching Silva, compared to hindering another prospect's potential progress at the MLB level. They both will be about "equal" perhaps, but personally I would rather give the innings to prospects since the team is not going anywhere.

And, no one lining up right now to put him on their rosters.

Finally, yes we all know he went 8-0 for the first time in his career, but again, the "first half of last year" for Silva was an extreme aberration. His lifetime numbers, and noting the way he came into camp and on-the-mound performance, does not bode well for him coming anywhere close to this in 2011. I'd rather see a prospect fail, than Fat-Boy Slim, as would most.

Guess I am not reaching you on this one. Meh...

The problem is that our "prospects" who are going to be failing are not as good as Carlos Silva. They're not really prospects.

woo...wgn game today...

I do like this comment from Quade: "If you're not willing to give [respect], you're not going to get it," Quade said, adding, "whether he was upset at Riggs or whatever, the one thing that everybody needs to know, this was my call. This wasn't Jim Hendry's. If you want to be irritated with somebody, this is on me."

Nice to see a manager take responsibility like that.

it should be his call...if hendry is making these kinds of calls they don't have a manager, they have a clubhouse tool that babysits the GM's desires.

it's something that's discussed, of course, when you're talking about cutting someone with a contract...especially one that big.

I'm starting to like Quade more and more.

another 2-person in-game chat parachat in session.

feeeeeell the boredom.

...and then it was one.

at least some of you have a decent enough day outside to spend it doing something besides spring training baseball on television. here, it's high-30s F and raining/windy...stupid for this time of year.

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