MaxRam Celebrates End of Minor League Camp

Max Ramirez crushed a two-run HR onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, and Xavier Batista slammed a three-run HR onto the street, leading Boise/Mesa (EXST CUBS) to a 6-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs in a six-inning intra-organization game played at Fitch Park #3 this morning, in what was the official end of Minor League Camp and the beginning of Extended Spring Training for the players remaining in Mesa.


Meanwhile, the Iowa Cubs will be heading to Round Rock, TX, for PCL Opening Day on Thursday.



Iowa provided all four of the pitchers who threw in this morning’s game, and Max Ramirez was “loaned” to the Boise/Mesa squad, partly so that an Iowa catcher would catch the Iowa pitchers throwing for Boise/Mesa, and also because the I-Cubs had too many position players and not enough at bats to go around.


In Iowa Cubs roster news, RHP Jay Jackson (shoulder fatigue?) will be remaining at Fitch Park, joining fellow I-Cubs DF Brad Snyder (oblique), INF Augie Ojeda (back), RHP Todd Wellemeyer (hip), and RHP Angel Guzman (2010 shoulder surgery rehab) on the 7-day day DL. While the other four are limited as to what they can do, Angel Guzman is progressing very well, and is on a rehab pitching schedule where he throws sim games at Fitch Park every 5th day. Over the weekend Gooz threw especially well, getting his fastball velocity up to 92 MPH for the first time since his surgery (he threw consistently 94-96 in 2009).


LHP Ryan Buchter, RHP Hung-Wen Chen, RHP Blake Parker, LHP Polin Trinidad, and OF Brandon Watson were not in uniform with the Iowa Cubs today at Fitch Park, and so it is possible that one or all of them may have been moved down to AA Tennessee (and a couple may have been released), while RHP Chris Carpenter (who was pitching with the Tennessee squad last week) has been moved back up to the Iowa squad (and in fact he threw an inning today).


Also, Daytona RHP Ty’Relle Harris (acquired from Atlanta in last year’s Derrek Lee trade) was left behind when the D-Cubs left for Florida, and will probably start the 2011 season on the 7-day DL. Although he is not exactly injured, Harris is beginning an arm strengthening program at Fitch Park to improve his stamina and velocity, which the Cubs player development & training staffs apparently felt was not where it needed to be.


Here is today’s box score (and I have no idea why light-hitting INF Marco Hernandez hit clean-up for Boise/Mesa... perhaps he is this month's car-pool contest winner):


FIELD #3: Boise/Mesa (EXST Cubs) vs Iowa Cubs


BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) LINEUP:
1. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-4 (1-3, 6-3, L-6, K)
2. Kyung-Min Na, LF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 4-3, R, RBI)
3. Max Ramirez, C: 1-3 (HR, 6-4-3 DP, K, R, 2 RBI)
4. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 1-3 (6-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 2-3 (1B, 6-3, 1B, R)
6. Xavier Batista, 1B: 2-3 (K, 1B, HR, R, 3 RBI)
7. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 2-3 (6-3, 1B, 1B)
8. Yaniel Cabeza, DH #1: 0-3 (1-3, 5-3, F-7)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, P-6)
10. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 0-3 (E-6, 6-3, K, R)


IOWA LINEUP:
1. Fernando Perez, CF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, L-5, R)
2. Tony Campana, RF: 1-3 (1B, F-7, K, R)
3. Lou Montanez, DH #1: 2-2 (2B, 1B, RBI)
4. Bryan Lahair, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
5. Bobby Scales, 2B: 0-2 (E-6, K, R, SB)
6. Ty Wright, LF: 0-2 (K, L-8)
7. Matt Camp, SS: 1-2 (1B, L-3, R, RBI)
8. Chris Robinson, C: 1-2 (3B, F-7, R, RBI)
9. Jonathan Mota, 3B: 1-2 (1B, F-9, RBI)
10. Marquez Smith, DH #2: 0-1 (F-8, BB, SB)
11. Scott Moore, DH #3: 0-2 (3-U, K)


BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) PITCHERS:
1. Robert Coello: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 79 pitches (51 strikes), 1/6 GO/FO
2. Chris Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO


IOWA PITCHERS:
1. J. R. Mathes: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 1 GIDP, 63 pitches (41 strikes), 14/2 GO/FO
2. Jeff Stevens: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO


BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) ERRORS: 2
1. SS Wes Darvill E-6 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
2. C Max Ramirez E-2 – throwing error on pick-off attempt allowed runner to advance a base


IOWA ERRORS: 1
SS Matt Camp E-6 – two-base throwing error allowed batter-runner to reach 2nd base safely


BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Max Ramirez: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)


ATTENDANCE: 10


WEATHER: Warm & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s

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Comments

I looked for a map of Fitch Park, just wanted to see how close the street was to get an idea of Max Ramirez' hr. I found a site with a Google Map.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=33.4282224&lon=-111...

AZ Phil, what are the field numbers for the fields on this map?

Submitted by Paul Noce on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 5:15pm.
I looked for a map of Fitch Park, just wanted to see how close the street was to get an idea of Max Ramirez' hr. I found a site with a Google Map.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=33.4282224&lon=-111...

AZ Phil, what are the field numbers for the fields on this map?

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

PAUL N: Fitch Park Field #1 lower left (S/W), Field #2 upper left (N/W), Field #3 upper right (N/E), Field #4 lower right (S/E), Field #5 (half-field, used for PFP, catchers drills, and infield practice when other fields are in use) is located up and to the right of Field #3, the Tower (used by Oneri Fleita, Jim Hendry, Gary Hughes, et al) is between the four fields, the clubhouse is to the extreme right (due east) of the fields down the walkway between Field #3 and Field #4, the 10-PAC (pitch and catch) ten-mound bullpen is on the north side of the clubhouse between the clubhouse and Field #5, and the covered batting cages are located to the right (east) of the Ten PAC.

And if you look real close, you can see me standing just to the east of the tower, between Field #3 and Field #4.

Thanks Phil!

You're a lot taller than I imagined Phil.

Updated link, that first one didn't work when I went to check it again...

http://wikimapia.org/105996/Fitch-Park-Baseba...

Has anyone ever used gold preferred parking at Miller Park.

I would guess it should be right up front?

Looking forward to first visit since old county stadium.

"Gold preferred"... hmm... by the sounds of it you pull up and are lofted out of your car and carried into the park by Mark Kotsay's wife. Just a guess. Have a blast, it's not home, but it's a real nice ball park. Get the fried cheese curds. They will shorten your life by about a month, but sooo worth it.

I haven't tried the fried cheese curds, or Mark Kotsay's wife's parking, but it is a fun park. Parking is simple there anyway. And you can get bottles of beer, but last time I was there they won't let you keep the bottle cap because you might throw it at someone (but nobody would throw a plastic bottle?) LOL. Fun park, nice fans.

I always enjoy trips to Milwaukee, it's such a nice clean city. Summerfest rocks!

Nice to see Golden went 2-3.

The Iowa Cubs roster has been set and really the only confusion part is that Welington Castillo is not listed -- Is he hurt??

http://iowa.cubs.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ym...

maybe he got sent to AA so him and Ramirez would both get playing time.

-edit- nope

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/artic...

Clevenger and Mercedes are the catchers

Submitted by skavoovee on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 8:34pm.
The Iowa Cubs roster has been set and really the only confusion part is that Welington Castillo is not listed -- Is he hurt??

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

SKAVOOVEE: Welington Castillo was left behind at Fitch Park and was the DH for the Daytona squad yesterday (Sunday) while his Iowa Cubs teammates played a road game vs Angels AAA Salt Lake Bees in Tempe, and he got four ABs and looked fine at the plate. But he was not in uniform at Fitch Park today, even though all of the other I-Cubs (including J. Jackson and Snyder) were. I guess I'll have to see if he turns up with the Fitch Park Rehab Group.

There are also several recently-active players who have disappeared from Fitch Park and from Opening Day rosters, including C Luis Flores, OF Alvaro Ramirez, LHP Polin Trinidad, OF Brandon Watson, and OF Jose Valdez. Flores was suspended for 30 days at the end of Minor League Camp last year for violating a team rule and I suppose it could have happened again, except if he violated the same rule again (and last year wasn't the first time, either), the Cubs would have probably just released him. So unless he is in Deep Rehab (which is possible if he suffered a major injury at the end of Minor League Camp), I would say he almost certainly was released.

And there are a number of pitchers who I have yet to see this year (even in limited activity drills) and so I presume some or all might be in Deep Rehab, including RHP Manolin DeLeon, LHP James Leverton, RHP Oswaldo Martinez, RHP A. J. Morris (acquired from WAS in the Gorzelanny deal), RHP Eric Rice (who had a sprained elbow lig at end of AZL last year), RHP Jhon Rodriguez, and LHP Brian Smith. It is possible that the Cubs may have given one or more of them permission to report late (both DeLeon and Rodriguez reported after the start of the regular season last year), however.

Also, RHP Craig Muschko supposedly received permission to report late because he was negotiating a deal with an NPB (Japanese) club, but that was before the earthquake hit. There is no indication that he has signed with a Japanese team, but if he does, the Cubs will get a couple hundred thousand bucks out of it and Muschko will get a chance to advance his career beyond what is probably possible should he remain with the Cubs. So if things don't work out for him in Japan, I wouldn't be surprised if he shows up at Extended Spring Training and gets himself in shape to pitch for Iowa or Tennessee, and then revisits the Japanese thing again next off-season (if the opportunity is still there).

The last few games of spring training, on a Cubs broadcast Len Kasper said Welington Castillo had a thumb injury and couldn't throw so he wouldn't be able to play for a few days.

Submitted by Paul Noce on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 9:33pm.
The last few games of spring training, on a Cubs broadcast Len Kasper said Welington Castillo had a thumb injury and couldn't throw so he wouldn't be able to play for a few days.

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

PAUL N: That's probably it. He may have aggravated the injury yesterday (Sunday) in one of his ABs with Daytona.

Which will last longer Byrd batting third or Theriot leading off?
Buccos beat cards

Haha, jacos!

I was just gonna post that. The Pirate juggernaut continues.

McCutcheon goes yard. Man, I like that dreadlocked kid!

I wonder what loaded contender will end up w/him?

AZ Phil----how did Coello look? Saw him last year in minors and think he's got what it takes to help out in the pen.

Submitted by carmelo on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 9:21pm.
AZ Phil----how did Coello look? Saw him last year in minors and think he's got what it takes to help out in the pen
========================================================

CARMELO: The Cubs stretched Coello out as a starting pitcher as soon as he was sent to Minor League Camp, and he has pitched so-so in games. He seems to have the durability you often will see with ex-catchers, and he does have an effective splitter as a strikeout pitch, but his other stuff is kind of mediocre and he sometimes has trouble throwing strikes.

He's also kind of intense. He yelled at teammate Scott Moore today for calling time when he was ready to pitch (Moore was playing for the other team), and this was, after-all, just a glorified intrasquad game. Coello is VERY competitive.

I don't know if the Cubs are using Coello as a starter at AAA just to get him more innings/experience and to force him to use his secondary stuff (which is not uncommon), or if they actually project him as a starting pitcher at the MLB level. From what I have seen of him, though, I would say he probably projects as a middle reliever at the MLB level.

This roster was posted at the Iowa Cubs site today:
Iowa Cubs:

Pitchers
Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, J.R. Mathes, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, and Roberto Coello will start.

Bullpen Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco, Jeff Stevens, John Gaub and Scott Maine.

Catchers: Max Ramirez and Chris Robinson

Infield Matt Camp, Bryan LaHair, Bobby Scales, Marquez Smith, Scott Moore

Outfield: Montanez, Tony Campana, Fernando Perez, and Ty Wright

Submitted by skokiejoe on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 9:57pm.
This roster was posted at the Iowa Cubs site today:
Iowa Cubs:

Pitchers
Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, J.R. Mathes, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, and Roberto Coello will start.

Bullpen Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco, Jeff Stevens, John Gaub and Scott Maine.

Catchers: Max Ramirez and Chris Robinson

Infield Matt Camp, Bryan LaHair, Bobby Scales, Marquez Smith, Scott Moore

Outfield: Montanez, Tony Campana, Fernando Perez, and Ty Wright

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

SKOKIEJOE: Yes, that is exactly the team that was in uniform at Fitch Park today, plus Jon Mota (who is not on your list, but probably should be).

Coello and Mathes were the starters, and Stevens and Carpenter threw one inning each at the end, so they are probably the co-closers.

Jay Jackson and Brad Snyder were also present and in uniform, but they are definitely on the I-Cubs 7-day DL.

No sign of Welington Castillo, Augie Ojeda, or Todd Wellemeyer. I believe Wellemeyer said during Spring Training that he might just retire if his If his hip doesn't get any better, so I don't necessarily expect to see him at Extended Spring Training. Ojeda should be the #1 SS at Iowa if and when his back improves enough to allow him to play. Matt Camp can play SS, but just barely (his best positions are 2B-LF-CF), and while Jon Mota can play SS, he is kind of bottom-heavy and just doesn't have much range.

Yes, Jonathon Mota is on the Iowa roster, missed it.

Tennessee Smokies Roster

OF: Matt Spencer, Brett Jackson, Jim Adduci.

IF: Blake Lalli, Nate Samson, Ryan Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, Josh Vitters, DJ LeMahieu, and Rebel Ridling.

Catchers: Steve Clevenger and Mario Mercedes

Pitchers: Trey McNutt, Ryan Buchter, Alberto Cabrera, David Cales, Marco Carrillo, Hung-Wen Chen, Rafael Dolis, Blake Parker, Chris Rusin, Kyle Smit, Luke Sommer, and Brooks Raley.

Submitted by skokiejoe on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 9:58pm.
Tennessee Smokies Roster

OF: Matt Spencer, Brett Jackson, Jim Adduci.

IF: Blake Lalli, Nate Samson, Ryan Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, Josh Vitters, DJ LeMahieu, and Rebel Ridling.

Catchers: Steve Clevenger and Mario Mercedes

Pitchers: Trey McNutt, Ryan Buchter, Alberto Cabrera, David Cales, Marco Carrillo, Hung-Wen Chen, Rafael Dolis, Blake Parker, Chris Rusin, Kyle Smit, Luke Sommer, and Brooks Raley.

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

SKOKIE JOE: McNutt-Cabrera-Dolis-Rusin-Raley is positively the Tennessee starting rotation, with Blake Parker the likely closer. And either Chen or Carrillo can start if something happens to any of the Big Five.

Phil
I'm excited about all this pitching. Do you think the Cubs have the right arms to fill out their rotation in the next couple years with players already in the system instead of exploring free agency/trade again?

I guess next year all five starters would be back with the Cubs barring trades/etc. Who would McNutt bump if he had another incredible season?

Submitted by Jumbo on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 3:29am.
Phil
I'm excited about all this pitching. Do you think the Cubs have the right arms to fill out their rotation in the next couple years with players already in the system instead of exploring free agency/trade again?

I guess next year all five starters would be back with the Cubs barring trades/etc. Who would McNutt bump if he had another incredible season?

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

JUMBO: Both Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster are signed through 2012 (Dempster does have a player option to opt-out post-2011 although I doubt he would do that), so both should be back in 2012.

Matt Garza is under club control through 2013 (unless he signs a long-term deal at some point), and of course his salary should increase by about 40-50% each of the next two years. He could get traded, but I don't think the Cubs would be inclined to do that before 2013 since they gave up so many top prospects to get him.

Randy Wells will be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time post-2011, and depending on how he performs this season, he will probably move up to the $3M range in 2012. That could make him a trade candidate next off-season.

And Andrew Cashner has yet to prove himslf as a starting pitcher, and could end up back in the bullpen (he was the #1 closer in college baseball in 2008) as the 8th inning set-up guy in 2012, especially if Kerry Wood does not return next season.

Of the Cubs starting pitchers in the minors, most probably would have the capability to be used out of an MLB bullpen if there is no room for them in the starting rotation (and in fact Chris Carpenter has alrerady been moved to the pen).

At present I would rate the Cubs minor league pitching prospects this way:

1. Trey McNutt, RHP (Tennessee)
2. Chris Carpenter, RHP (Iowa)
3. Aaron Kurcz, RHP (Daytona)
4. Alberto Cabrera, RHP (Tennessee)
5. Rob Whitenack, RHP (Daytona)
6. Chris Rusin, LHP (Tennessee)
7. Brooks Raley, LHP (Tennessee)
8. Rafael Dolis, RHP (Tennessee)
9. Nick Struck, RHP (Daytona)
10. Austin Kirk, LHP (Peoria)

I haven't rated 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson yet because I haven't seen him throw in a game, but he will be the Opening Day starter for Peoria, so we'll see how he does in the MWL.

Also, RHP Jin-Young Kim, RHP Ben Wells, and RHP Austin Reed are presently assigned to Extended Spring Taining (EXST Cubs), but any one of the three could move up very quickly.

One other pitcher at EXST to keep in mind is fireballin' RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas, who was the last cut from Peoria. He was a two-way player in college (3B/RHP-closer), but signed as a 3B. The Cubs moved him to RHP from 3B last summer, and he throws 98 MPH. He is 6'4 250, and looks a bit like Lee Smith. His big problem is control, but if and when he begins to throw strikes more consistently he will move up the pipeline VERY fast, and could be a future MLB closer.

Just thought this was interesting. The Boise Hawks website links to this post as a "possible 2011 Hawks" story. I think that says a lot about our own AZ Phil that lower parts of the Cubs organization are deferring to him. I know it is said often on this site, but I still don't think it is said enough - THANK YOU, PHIL! You are a treasure!

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?...

it's at the bottom under Hawks headlines

in their little revolving top story box I see links to a Bleed Cubbie Blue article and Chicago Cubs Online article though, so seems they're just aggregating stuff from around the web.

But all the stuff about Phil is still true!!!

Welington Castillo has been assigned to Daytona where he can DH on a regular basis until the physical problem that is keeping him from catching (reported during Spring Training to be a thumb injury) is resolved.

The Cubs did the same thing with Tyler Colvin a couple of years ago when he was rehabing from TJS, since Daytona and Peoria are the only full-season Cubs minor league affiliates that use a DH every game. (Iowa and Tennessee only use the DH when they play a road game at an A. L. affiliate).

I did see W. Castillo DH for Daytona vs Inland Empire on Sunday at Fitch Park, so apparently it wasn't just for that day.

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