Angels Fly Away with Shutout at Fitch Park

Michael Bolaski slugged a 450-ft+ two-run HR over the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”) and five EXST Angels pitchers combined to throw a seven-hit shutout, as the EXST Cubs were blanked 3-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.

Continuing his injury rehab assignment, RHP Todd Wellemeyer got the start for the Cubs today and threw three innings (42 pitches). He allowed one run on four hits (three singles and a double) and a HBP, issuing no walks, while striking out three. The only run allowed by Wellemeyer scored in the top of the 2nd inning (lead-off double, ground out, and a sacrifice fly).

After struggling with the AZL Cubs in 2010 (8.22 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, and .311 Opp BA in 15.1 IP), AZ Instructional League post-2010 (8.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and .381 Opp BA in 9.0 IP), and Minor League Camp and the first two weeks of Extended Spring Training in 2011, Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman (Louisburg JC) had what was probably his best pro outing to date today, throwing 2.2 IP of shutout ball, and allowing just one hit and a walk, while striking out five. 

While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke, RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas, and RHP Larry Suarez (injury rehab - unknown type injury) threw “live” BP to the most of the Cubs position players who were not in the lineup on Field #3.

Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):

NOTE: To practice his bunting, Todd Wellemeyer took an insert-AB with no outs and a runner at 1st base in the top of the 1st inning

X. Todd Wellemeyer, P: 0-0 (2-4 SH)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, 1-3, K)
2. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (5-U FC, K, K, CS)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (P-4, K, 3-U)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, F-8)
5a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3)
5b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (F-7)
6. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 1B)
7. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (L-8, 6-3, 5-4-3 DP)
8. Max Kwan, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, K)
9. Dustin Harrington, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, CS)
10. Eduardo Gonzalez, CF: 1-3 (K-DP, L-7, 1B)
11b. Gregori Gonzalez, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, 6-4 FC, CS)

1. Todd Wellemeyer: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 42 pitches (29 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Zeller’s first inning of work was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning


Chad Noble: 2-3 CS

Chad Noble was thrown out at 3rd base (made the third out at 3rd base) trying to stretch a double into a triple


WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80’s


a different take on trading the Legend of Sam Fuld

The legend of Sam Fuld just keeps on growing in Tampa Bay. But you won't hear the Cubs second-guessing themselves for adding him to the package in the Matt Garza deal.

Remember, the oft-injured Fuld was a left-handed-hitting outfielder who was out of options and stuck behind two other left-handed-hitting outfielders (Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin) on the depth chart. So the Cubs were almost certainly going to have to move Fuld someplace sometime before Opening Day. When Tampa Bay offered them Fernando Perez, a switch-hitter who could play center field, the pieces fit, and they had themselves a deal.

"Neither side pushed for either guy," said one source familiar with the discussions. "It was just one of those deals where two teams helped each other out."

I have no regrets trading Fuld. He hadn't shown any ability to hit for any power, even just a few doubles here and there, with us. He wouldn't have made the team out of spring training unless there were a couple of OF injuries.

He's a fun player, but he's not going to hit like this for a full season. He's a backup OF, best served as a defensive replacement and PR. But if he proves me wrong, good for him.

I don't regret losing Fuld either, but I always wonder why we sign guys like Reed Johnson instead of just using a gut like Fuld. He was part of the deal and that's that, but to me there's not much risk in filling out the 23-25 spots on your roster with organizational fodder. If they end up becoming a serviceable backup at the MLB minimum that can help a team with payroll concerns. They're paying an extra 500k to Johnson to do what Fuld could have done. The same for K Hill, and there's an extra million to spend/save.

Fuld left handed hitting and cannot be trusted to play defense at Wrigely without endangering his life.

I don't regret losing Fuld either, but I always wonder why we sign guys like Reed Johnson instead of just using a gut like Fuld.

I didn't know that Sam Fuld batted from the right side.

Point taken. Maybe we don't have either a right handed version of Fuld or a poor man's Reed Johnson in the organization.

Not to quibble, but I recently read (and in more than one source) that the Rays were trying to pry Fuld away from the Cubs and wanted him included in any deal for Garza.


NY Times: "Jim Hendry, told Fuld that the Rays had wanted him for a long time."

Check it out. He was no "throw-in."

they're not necessarily mutually exclusive...

you can want a guy, doesn't mean they pushed for him to the point that the deal would have been off if he wasn't included. That would have been Chris Archer. I'm sure the deal still gets made w/o Fuld or Perez involved.

This is not like Dallas green demanding Sandberg in Dejsus deal .

over/under on 6 Rockies HR's tonight?

Everyone, well almost everyone, has been complaining about Quade starting Coleman and Russell. After Cashner and Wells went down who was he supposed to start? Who is he supposed to start? He just has who Hendry gives him.

Also note, most of us were bemoaning the fact that somehow, there is no starter ready at AAA or AA to step in for a few starts? That using a reliver for 3 starts is silly, and taxing the rest of the bullpen. Not to mention that Russell stunk as a starter in the minors, and hasn't been great as a reliever.


You may remember a couple days after the Cubs released Carlos Silva that Quade bragged to the reporters it was his decision not to give him a bullpen spot - leaving the Cubs with no long releiver and Casey Coleman as their #6 starter.


now lost 3 in a row despite scoring multiple 1st inning runs in each game...

Oh, Goodie! Koyie is in the lineup Wednesday, along with Colvin and Pena. Baker hitting 3rd... This is absolutely CRAPTASTIC!

Here's the Cubs lineup:

Fukudome RF

Castro SS

Baker 2B

Ramirez 3B

Pena 1B

Byrd CF

Colvin LF

Hill C

Coleman P

I understand Soto getting the day off, but on Friday if Quade doesn't try Soto batting third he should be fired.

This is sort of funny, because I was just doing some trivia at work and got stuck on the answer "What is the best way to turn a three game losing streak into a four game streak?" Thanks Quade, you are the man.

Maybe if Zambrano goes on the DL they could make Stevens a starter.


Hmmm...Let's check this out:

Fuke - I suppose as good as any to lead off with his .OBP so far

Castro - OK

Baker - he has been our top performer at the plate along w/Castro.

So far, its tolerable.

Ramirez - not hitting for power much these days. Bat him 6th

Pena - not hitting for power, average, with RISP, with RISP and 2-outs. Bat him 7th

Byrd - not hitting for power, average, with RISP, with RISP and 2-outs. Bat him 7th

Colvin - See Byrd and Pena. Bat him 8th

Hill - See Colvin, + don't bat him at all. He sucks ass.

Coleman - probably hits better than Hill. Bat him 8th.

There you go! Your 2011 Chicago Cubs: Leading the League with #7/8 Hitters Starting!

Trying to create a good lineup out of what Hendry has built is like trying to make jewels out of concrete. Baker has had a good start but the mere fact that Quade feels compelled to bat him third says a lot about Hendry's offseason, or lack thereof.

EDIT: Actually, to state the obvious, it says a lot about hole Hendry dug himself with the Soriano gamble, etc.

Fukudome gamble, Pena gamble

I think the Soriano and Fukudome moves qualify as gambles. The Pena move was a relatively minor one, in my book. They needed someone to fill that space for one year, until the Pujols/Fielder sweepstakes start. It's not like the Cubs were a quality hitting first baseman away from a World Series appearance here.

Ya know Jace, I am beginning to wonder if the Cubs will be in the play for serious FA's after this year.

Tom Ricketts seems to be focused on "building from within" - when compared to spending money on players.

We'll see - but I will not be holding my breath.

Tom Ricketts isn't focused on anything but getting the public to fix Wrigley Dump up for him.

Roy Oswalt leaves Phils for "personal reasons"

Tornado related, his family is freaked out, tornadoes destroyed his neighborhood and might have damaged his home. And it says last year his parent's home was destroyed by a tornado. Yikes. Talk about bad luck or angering the gods.

At this point, I would say it is time to declare his rehab complete. He is ready to throw as much as Russell is on any given start. Give that guy a plane ticket, and get him lined up to pitch the next time Russell's slot rolls around...

One big problem with that... who is going to take Coleman's spot?

Yeah, no kidding... Look, at least I have a plan for one of the Cibs most glaring problems... We could just have rainouts each time one of these guys is due to pitch, until Cashner and Wells are ready to come back.

given the make-up date for today's game is so far away they can at least skip one of the bums next go around.

That works.

Instead of Spahn and Sain and pray for rain, for us it should be, pray for a biblical flood.

is there an estimated start time on this game?

They just called the game. That was quick. No word yet on a doubleheader.

Sullivan says game will be made up on Monday, 6/27 at 1:20 pm!/cst_cubs


That fancy new drainage system at Wrigley and they call them game less than an hour after start time. Amazing.

the radar may be wonky, but it looks like it's been clear there for a while.


It's been raining here pretty much all day.


God did not want to see Jeff Baker bat third.

But he's been OK with Marlon Byrd?

FLA shows the world how to over-manage a bullpen.

nice work e.rodriguez.

Well Edward Mujica was clearly gassed: he threw one pitch in two-thirds of an inning of work.

Jeff Stevens is probably requesting a trade to the Marlins as we speak.

7 relievers, pinch hit for 2.

BTW, how does Chris Coghlan pronounce his name?

Last couple of years I heard it as Cog-lan.

This year I heard an announcer call him Cough-lan.

Did Coghlan change his own pronunciation?

MLB Network has The Rundown on, they keep cutting in on the Reds/Brewers game, and two other games about to start.

Brewer's reliever John Axford has a Wyatt Earp look going on. (Or Skeet Ulrich?)

ken macha has aged so much since he became a manager.

he's 60 going on 80 in that photo of him in that collection. yow.

Yeah, managing must be a bit like being president, all of those guys are under so much stress they look significantly older after just a couple years on the job.

There's also a cool press-box photo at the bottom of that page, in Milwaukee they apparently write on the wall who the hitter and pitcher was when a foul ball comes into the press box.

If Quade sticks around a long time we won't be able to tell he's aged. In fact, he might be 350 years old now!

3/44, but check out this great picture...

Elmo is one bad motherf#cker

No spitting?

/one magic loogie

Z supposedly going tomorrow...coleman going 4 games from now.

actually, though coleman going 4 days from now makes sense...i'm not sure they got "Z going tomorrow" correct on the ARZ game graphic (they're playing ARZ next).

dempster probably going, then Z, then garza, then coleman...

dumpster, z, garza, coleman (thur-sun)

I was going to put a dig about Coleman in here, but our pitchers all suck, so really I guess Coleman shouldn't bother me more than anyone else currently in the rotation.

Well at least Coleman had 1 good start out of 3? (ducks)

Recent comments

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.