Geo Back in Action at Fitch Park

On an injury rehab assignment in Mesa, AZ, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto went hitless in five plate appearances this morning in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played at Fitch Park.

Soto, who was seeing his first game action in two weeks after suffering a groin strain in a game on May 10th, was the starting catcher and got five at bats in the game played on Field #2 (there was another game played simultaneously on Field #3), batting third in each of the first five innings. He looked a bit rusty at the plate, bouncing out 5-3 in the 1st inning, popping out to the first-baseman in foul territory in the 2nd, flying out to the warning track in CF in the 3rd, getting called out on strikes in the 4th, and striking out swinging in the bottom of the 5th. Also two Rockies base-runners stole 2nd base while Soto was behind the plate.

As far as the games were concerned, one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Rockies played to a 1-1 tie on Field #2, while the other squad of Rockies defeated the other squad of Cubs 5-2 on Field #3.

The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.

Here are the abridged box scores from today’s games (Cubs players only)


NOTE: Geovany Soto batted third in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.

X. Geovany Soto, C: 0-5 (5-3, P-3, F-8, K, K)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 1-3 (K, 3B, K, R)
2. Gregori Gonzalez, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, P-3, RBI)
3a. Jesus Morelli, DH: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
3b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (F-9)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
6. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, 4-6 FC)
7. Max Kwan, 1B: 0-2 (F-8, F-9)
8. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (K, P-4)

1. Willengton Cruz: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 60 pitches (41 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 23 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Larry Suarez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Gregori Gonzalez - E4 (missed catch allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely on what should have been a 5-4 FC)

1. Geovany Soto: 0-2 CS
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS



1. Vismeldy Bieneme, CF: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, K, R)
2. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 3-U, 4-3)
3. Brian Inoa, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, L-4)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, L-3)
5. Rafael Valdes, SS: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 1-3)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 0-3 (5-3, 4-3, 5-3)
7. Dustin Geiger, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-7)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-2 (1B, E-6, R, SB)
10. Carlos Romero, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)

1. Joe Zeller: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 65 pitches (43 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Manolin DeLeon: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO

3B Brandon May - E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Brian Inoa: 1-2 CS, 2 PB



WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s


According to Tom Skilling on WGN, a nasty storm is due in the Chicago area around 6-7 pm that has produced tornadoes or gustnadoes (never heard of those) and he thinks at the least there will be a rain delay if the game isn't called, perhaps before it even starts.


also, i can't remember the last time the cubs had so many night games in a row.

It is like a category 1 hurricane.

Cubs are in a franchise record run of night games, 10 in a row, I think it is. They had one day game scheduled to break it up and it got rained out.

Updated Illinois radar, looks wild.

Phil - I might have missed it in one of the recaps, but has Jose Valdez been reinjured, called up (which I haven't seen him in a box score), or released?

Looks like they are going to try and start the game on time.

and the sky looks like apocalyptic death.

Wind howling in from LF. Game On! Race to get 5 innings in.

I know it's just Casey Coleman, but seems like this is just going to be a waste of a starter.

Coleman can't even throw 2 scoreless innings against a depleted Mets lineup.

hater :)

Berg is even worse!

12 pitches, 12 balls from Justin Berg. I wonder if that's finally the end of his Cubs career. If Dusty or Lou were the manager it likely would be.

You know, going to the bullpen in the 2nd inning in a game that is not likely going to even go 5 innings isn't the smartest thing. If Coleman went say 3 innings and the game was called, OK, not a big problem, but now we're 2 relievers into the game already in only the 2nd inning. If we go 3-4 innings, we probably get another pitcher in the game and then 3 rp's get wasted. Someone just needs to eat some innings here regardless of the score.

Z will come out of bullpen

/ meh

Never mind that shit!

Here comes Russell!

Russell's been a fairly effective long man in his last two chances. Maybe that's a role he won't suck at.

breaking out the rain dance

Can't remember a worse succession of Cub pitchers in a game

Chris Huseby signs with Red Sox. No mention if it's as an OF or pitcher.!/Kevin_Goldstein/statuse...

< crunch > Barney...woo. < /crunch >

Top play of the night on espn

It's gone long enough to be official, but we're losing.

Quade going berserk over the tarp being put on the field. Maybe your team should have scored some more runs today.

Can we end the Casey Coleman and Justin Berg experience?

If we can't end the Mike Quade experience, can we at least have him stop looking like a little kid throwing a tantrum when he argues with umps? It's embarrassing how he acts.

"get me! I'm managin'!"

There's plenty of things to complain about with Quade without pointing out him acting like a three year old who has been denied a third fruit roll-up.

He's more embarrasing than the end of the season '04 Cubs, all by his lonesome.

I sure hope someone makes some cement shoes for his and Hendry's baseball careers quickly.

As I said in my original post, if we have to watch Quade all year, at least put an end to his tantrums.

How was his arguing different from how most managers argue when they're angry?

What's next? "God damn, Quade, why do you have to be so bald?!!?"

I have gone on record early and often of my dislike for Justin Berg.

I can understand that Iowa may need roster fillers, but never, EVER, do I want to see him pitching in Wrigley unless it is for another team.

Anybody notice how Berg resembles an early '70's Ringo Starr?

Do you have a photograph?

Was referring to Berg's photo in Gameday. Kind of like how he looked around the time of the cover of the Ringo the 4th album. Not exact -- just reminiscent.

And you missed my Ringo starr joke.

/you know it don't come easy

D'oh! That was pretty good, too. Sorry man -- I Should Have Known Better.

Perhaps the blisters on his fingers led to the 12 straight balls.

Great call on that, Tito!

Lot of people think that was Lennon who said that.

Vitters was 2 for 5 tonite with a 2B. Avg. is up to .271 for the season and for the last 10 days he is .375/.390/.550. For May, he is hitting .300/.325/.438.

I agree that Vitters's last ten days have been interesting. I don't recall him pulling out of a tailspin before. He usually goes down, down, down, then he bottoms out, then . . . wait till next year. Maybe this is something he can build on.

What tailspin? Is LeMahieu crashing and burning right now?

If you can, watch the 19th inning of the Phillies Reds game. Wilson Valdez called upon to pitch and he was hitting 88 89 on the gun. Got Votto and Bruce quickly. Then hit Rolen when he tried to throw a curve. Inning's over when the pitcher pops out to second.

AND he gets the win.
Then, during an interview someone pies him in the face.

LOL. Good for him, if Utley was healthy this spring Valdez might not have even made the team.

That's going to make for an interesting arbitration hearing.

I was just thinking I'd watch the 19th inning tonight. Sounds like fun. Last night I was awoken by the Phillies broadcasters at God knows what hour when they won it in the 19th. I'd fallen asleep with At Bat '11 audio on sometime in the 12th or 13th.

what an ugly season so far...

Yes, but . . .

Tennessee going for 10th win in a row today, Daytona trying for its 9th.

Tom Ricketts and Laura just made a quick visit to Daytona and Kodak, TN. On the site, there's the audio of a booth interview with the two owners. Mostly boilerplate, but Tom does say that he reads a summary of the minor-league happenings every morning. A man after my own heart!

It's a rather long interview, because after the other team's half inning, the radio guy asked Tom if he could stick around, and then the Smokies came up and batted around.

Speaking of happenings, Luis Flores likes it at Tennessee, where he hit two home runs yesterday, to give him four HRs in 17 at bats.

Buster Posey breaks his ankle on a play at the plate, also has ligament damage, likely out for the season. He also didn't have the ball, was up the first base side of home, and the runner had a clear view of home plate.


His agent wants MLB to change the rules for plays at the plate.

agent demanding rule change too

"He also didn't have the ball, was up the first base side of home, and the runner had a clear view of home plate."

He caught the ball in to the first base side of the plate and lunged to the third side of the plate with ball. Then collison.

Should have done swipe tag.

Peter Gammons tweet-
Carlton Fisk almost ended his career with a home plafe collision in '74, learned to sweep tag and went to Cooperstown.

well the fact like he acted like he had the ball is all the runner saw. The runner could have aimed for the back of the plate but Posey was blocking some of it. I'm not sure what video you're looking at.

part of baseball, if you don't want to get hit as a catcher, don't block the plate. They're the ones with all the gear anyway.

If MLB wants to change the rules, they should disallow blocking the bag, which they actually do in a way...

NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

Posey would know better than the runner if he didn't have the ball.

All catchers block home plate, long before they have the ball, which is against the rules. If they are standing in front of home plate waiting for the ball, they are breaking the rules. They don't have to change the rules, just enforce them.

However, I suggest Rob G. go back an look at the video. Cousins launches himself sideways in the air at the same time Posey is turning back towards home plate. Cousins has his upper body pointed towards where Posey was, which was up the first base line. That was a total cheap shot by the runner. He didn't do a "normal" run the catcher over on the way to the plate, he turned his body sideways to annihilate the catcher, who was out of position. It's a cheap shot whether the catcher got hurt or not.

If the Giants and Marlins are playing today and Cousins is in the lineup I expect them to drill him in the head. Total bullshit by Cousins.

you can tell by Cousins reaction he had no intent to hurt him. The only bullshit right now is coming from you and Posey's agent. He's trying to score the winning run and there's a guy in front of the plate and did what every runner does. He's suppose to calculate in that split second whether Posey is in front of the plate enough to warrant running into him or not? The ball beat him and Posey acted like he had it and was partially in front of the plates. Cousins did what every runner did and try to knock it loose, shit happens.

Do you bitch when a runner gets spiked by a fielder by accident or nailed in the face by a tag?

You're the guy that throws flags in the NFL on defensive lineman taking 3/4 of a step instead of a half step and hitting the QB.

It was a clean play, rough but clean.
You want dirty base running check out swisher slide to break up double play, earlier this year against Twins, he broke the Japanese 2nd baseman's leg.

Ah, but those Japanese have brittle bones, see.

They should start ejecting catchers who do it - I can't see any other way to get them out of there.

Looked like a double forearm shiver to the head on that one, a cheap shot, but Posey should get the hell out of the way.

I-Cubs getting beat on a beautiful afternoon here; wish I was in attendance...tidbits from team's game notes: 6 of Colvin's 8 hits in 7 games are for extra bases; LaHair's 12th HR last night was INTO 20 mph+ wind; Gaub has whiffed at least 1 in all 17 apps & has 37 overall in 19 IP's; Clevenger is 15/35 since promo; Ortiz gives up too many hits [66 in 53 IP's] but his K/BB ratio is a tidy 54/12 [3rd in PCL in K's]

Ortiz gives up too many hits [66 in 53 IP's] but his K/BB ratio is a tidy 54/12

Mike, my theory, based entirely on the high BABIP that all the starters are allowing is that the I-Cubs don't turn as many batted balls into outs as they should. What's your take on that?

first off, i think i've memorized what BABIP stands for; second, i can recall off top of head an earlier post when i remarked on how little range scales was showing @ 2B one night & how it cost ortiz on 3 ground singles through right side...also think i-cub ss's have made an error in every game i've seen so far, whether it's been camp or mota...very slow/sluggish team defensively, especially w/out campana & given the irregularity of the poet's playing time

Sorry, BABIP is how often balls that get hit into the field of play fall for hits rather than get converted into outs.

Ortiz's is sitting at .384, which is pretty high. The major league average is about .300, and I would guess the AAA average is a little higher than that maybe .310.

The best any Iowa starter has done this year is .330.

yeah, batting average of balls in play, right? the #'s you cite certainly jibe w/ my naked eye impressions - sometimes the pcl seems like a slo-pitch softball league...seen ortiz twice & was impressed both times; think his line is inflated by 1 horrendous start recently but most have been solid; he's certainly an upgrade over coleman & possibly davis as well - i'm all for going w/ experience for the young guys but i question what coleman's ceiling is i guess; is it worth it to season him?

Thanks. I am with you on Coleman. Hopefully after this latest disaster the Cubs will be too... To me, Coleman's upside is a 6th starter, no need to get him experience at the cost of making the Cubs games interesting.

Cubs game pushed back to 1:50.

Florida plays at SF again today at 2:45.

is that a 3 already in the error column for the cc's on the linescore?!

"Reyes doubled to right, Reyes to third on right fielder Fukudome's fielding error, Reyes scored on second basemen Barney's fielding error"

/cue yakity sax music

saw the replay, Fukudome cuts ball off in right field corner, one hops a throw to Barney that gets away. They still had Reyes dead to rights at 3b, but Barney throws it away.

Barney could have had Fukudome's throw, it wasn't that bad and looks like DeWitt could have had Barney's throw.

Clip is on MLB gameday.

Dickey apparently out with some sort of ankle injury

Koyieieie Hill and Z gettin' it done. (With an assist from CF, of course.)

going into today


Reed 36 361/439/639/1078
Pena 68 265/420/515/935
Byrd 64 344/408/516 924
Baker 30 400/400/500/900
Soto 24/250/357/542 899

Castro 85 306/322/424/745
Soriano 69/290/329/391/720
Ramirez 74 284/338/351/689
Hill 35 257/297/371/669
Barney 84 298/326/321/647
Fukudome 218/268/273

Pena hit his 6th HR of the month today. Hope he keeps it through June/July so they can trade him.

I keep seeing Pena hit a HR, get excited and check the box to see his triple slash line and realize, "Nope, still shitty".

sub .500 OPS April is gonna do that to you...

was 1/17 over last 7 days heading into the game as well. If he can manage 6 HR's a month the rest of the year, that'll get him to 30.

I guess the expectations are so low now that I don't even notice a 1/17... He's pretty bad, but at least he's not Adam Dunn bad.

what in the hell did Z throw to get the last out of the top 6th?

it was a 69mph...something.

Z busts out a slow curve about 3-4 times a season, and he usually throws it in the high 60s. It's beautiful in some cases--I've seen him use it in ABs where the batter has fouled off a number of good pitches, and it usually freezes the hitter.

I was at game last year against SF in September, and Aubrey Huff looked like he swung twice at it.

thanks. haven't seen that one that closely. it had the movement f'sure.

I think I remember him throwing it against Pujols a few years ago

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  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 6 hours 18 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 6 hours 20 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 13 hours 15 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 13 hours 35 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 13 hours 37 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 13 hours 48 min ago view