Cubs Blank A's at Papago

Wilson Contreras lined a two-run double into the left-field corner to spark a four-run 4th inning, and four pitchers combined to throw a six-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, as the EXST Cubs whitewashed the EXST Athletics 8-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.

In EXST Cubs roster news, 1B-OF Xavier Batista has been sent from Extended Spring Training to DSL Cubs #1, and IF-OF-C David Macias has completed his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment and has been assigned to Peoria.

The 19-year old 6'3 210+ X. Batista was hitting just 133/175/163 with 22 K in 63 PA for the EXST Cubs so far in 2011, after putting up a 215/248/419 slash-line with 42 K in 101 PA with the EXST Cubs this time last year, and a 212/263/300 line with 63 K in 186 PA last summer with the AZL Cubs. Despite showing HR power in BP, Batista hit just four HR in a combined 350 PA with the EXST Cubs and AZL Cubs in 2010 and the EXST Cubs in 2011.

Macias had been on the Daytona 7-day DL since May 10th, but he was needed at Peoria after 2B Pierre LePage was placed on the Chiefs 7-day DL with a groin strain. Such is the life of an "organizational player."

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

1. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-5 (K, F-8, 2B, E-6, P-6, R)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-4 (K, 2B, 4-3, 4-6 FC, R)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI, CS, PO)
4. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-4 (F-9, F-9, 4-3, K)
5. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (F-8, 2B, 4-3, 3-1, R, 2 RBI)
6. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (1B, F-9, P-6, K)
7. Brandon May, DH #1: 2-4 (6-U FC, 1B, 3-1, 1B, R, RBI)
8. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-4 (F-9, 1B, 1-3, 3-6 FC, R)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 2-4 (K, 1B, 6-3, 2B, R, RBI)
10. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 2-4 (2B, P-4, E-6, 1B+E9, R, 2 RBI)

1. Starling Peralta: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 41 pitches (29 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Hector Mayora: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 42 pitches (24 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 42 pitches (23 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Yilver Sanchez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 30 pitches (22 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO


Yaniel Cabezas 1-1 CS

CF Pin-Chieh Chen threw out runner 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single.


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s



r.coello is starting tonight for TN.

wonder if they're gonna try to turn him into a starter. BOS played around with it last year before trading him.

wasn't he starting for Iowa?

yup...he was, muh bad. did a horrible job of it, too.

BA expert draft

Archie Bradley to Cubs at #9

garrett cole and his shoulder dropping by the day/week on these lists.

ive not seen a BA list before, but the guy was a "sure thing" 1st/2nd pick on many people's radar going into the year.

that's the BA experts doing their own draft based on what they like, rather than what they hear teams are planning to do.

Most of the speculation is Pirates still deciding between Rendon, Cole, and Hultzen and Cole would be a surprise if he's not one of the top 3 picks.

Gerrit Cole is still being talked by the Pirates as the #1 pick. Kevin Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus) and Keith Law (ESPN) both had him going #1 in their mocks today.

And now the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Cole will be the #1 pick:

according to Muskat love, Soriano and Baker in AZ rehabbing, Byrd given okay to start light activities

Garza's bullpen must have gone fine, Q-Ball named him starter for Monday.

this game didnt waste time sucking...neat.

Taylor Guerreri, RHP, Spring Valley HS (SC). The next highly unpredictable pick in the top ten. Late rumors have the Cubs hoping a big college arm falls to them, but the highest upside high school arm could be the plan.

Could surprise with Springer
Not afraid of Starling
Lindor/Baez in HS mix
Late run on Guerreri

the intro...

What you see below is my current mock draft. Instead of big write-ups, which I’m saving for my final mock draft on Monday, these are the notes from calls and texts in my latest mock worksheet with source names removed. I hope it's a fun look at how the sausage is made.

Some sort of self fashioned scout, reporting on Guerreri with links to some other guys who will be available when the Cubs make their pick.

I'm not the biggest fan of Guerreri but they could do worse. He has a high ceiling. I prefer Archie Bradley over all other likely candidates.

do the cubs plan on turning a double play in 2011?

also, matt v. is making himself sound retarded pouring hype and love all over d.barney.

you know what Bree Olson and the Cubs have in common?

they both suck dick

LOL. I missed the game, other than the 3 run hr in the first. I assume it didn't go so well.

r.lopez up in the pen...garza's defiantly coming back.

Probably trying to figure out if he has to.

june 3rd...adam dunn gets his 1st hit of 2011 off a lefty...1 for 39 (7bb)

The only good thing about this season is that we didn't sign Adam Dunn.

look out below

Oooga, oooga. Abandon Ship. Ugly, uglier, ugliest. The T-ball Cubs stands for "trauma"?

Rob Whitenack gets Tommy John elbow ligament surgery, Trey McNutt is out indefinitely with a rib cage injury that he tried to pitch through and the Cubs won't have the money for any free agent signings for years.

A source with first-hand knowledge of the Cubs’ purchase deal and debt structure says it involves enough annual burden that fans shouldn’t count on the Cubs going after any big free agents for two or three years.

Even on the pitching side, the Cubs’ fastest rising prospect this season, Robert Whitenack, had a possible 2011 callup ruined by Tommy John surgery this week. And that pitching depth at AAA Iowa? The I-Cubs rank last in the PCL in pitching.

Wittenmeyer, Sun-Times...

RHP Dallas Beeler is moving up to Tennessee from Peoria to replace Trey McNutt in the Smokies starting rotation. Beeler (like Whitenack this year and McNutt last year) is being fast-tracked up through the pipeline, and at least he has already had TJS (in 2009 while he was at Oral Roberts). Beeler throws 92-94 with a killer slider and a decent change-up, and he returned from his TJS rehab faster than expected.

Conversely, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee was one of the Cubs top pitching prospects going into the 2008 season after wowing everybody at AZ Instructs post-2007 with a dive-bomb splitter and starting off strong at Peoria in 2008, but then he had TJS in June 2008, and although he was back pitching (although not effectively) by the end of the 2009 season and was able to put-in a mediocre full-season at Daytona last year, he was only a shell of his former self. Now three years removed from TJS, Rhee just recently started to show some indication that he might (maybe) finally be getting back to where he was pre-TJS.

Bruce Miles, Daily Herald with more...

On Whitenack:

The 22-year-old right-hander out of SUNY Old Westbury will undergo Tommy John surgery next Tuesday. He had been experiencing some elbow discomfort. The Cubs brought him to Chicago for an MRI and got the bad news last night.

"It's a crushing blow and unexpected," farm boss Oneri Fleita told me this morning. "I told him the advantage he has is that he was a step away from Triple-A. He knows how close he is, and that's going to make him work harder to come back. He'll be fine. He knows what he's working for."

...and Trey McNutt is out indefinitely with bruised ribs.

Muskat: "(McNutt) had to leave the game because of soreness in his ribs. McNutt apparently bruised his rib cage in a collision five days ago and tried to pitch through the injury. He will miss his next start, and there is no timetable for his return."

The only thing good about this season is...


Let me count the ways. I'm going to need all my fingers and multiple toes...

Tyler Colvin, broken bat hits him in the 3rd base line, punctured lung. Never the same?
Marlon Byrd, HBP in Eye, fractured skull. Out > 6 weeks
Matt Garza, elbow "bone bruise"
Andrew Cashner, strained rotator cuff. Out indefinitely.
Randy Wells, strained pitching forearm. Back but not pitching well yet.
Aramis Ramirez, hit in mouth by grounder, multiple stitches inside lip. Don't forget the left shoulder dislocation.
Geo Soto, pulled groin. This as much about Cub fans suffering 3 weeks of Koyie Hill.
Alf Soriano, pulled quad. Also, Clown shoes in need of repair.
Jeff Baker, strained groin
Reed Johnson, injured low back
Brett Jackson, finger ligament sprain
Rob Whitenack, TJ elbow surgery
Trey McNutt, smashed ribcage made worse for pitching through it.

This stuff makes the Rich Harden days look like a piece of cake.

Don't forget Angel Guzman (2010 shoulder surgery).

He's throwing sim games once or twice a week at Fitch Park, and while he has his velocity almost back up to where it was pre-surgery and is able to throw all of his pitches without pain, his control is off (he has difficulty throwing his fastball for strikes).

If and when he can control his fastball, he will probably move up to Daytona and then to Iowa, and then if he can get to the point where he can throw at least every-other day, he should be back in the Cubs bullpen by the end of the season.

Thanks for the update AZ PHIL. I believe Guzman, Wood and A-Ram are close to one another with career DL Trips.

Guzman also reportedly signed a deal with the Devil:

"Yes, you will make the majors and I will give you an amazing arm. But when you do, you will require surgery after surgery, HAHAHAHAHA!! [evil laugh]

Oddly, Kerry Wood is healthy. For now.
and I should have put John Grabow on that list for his bum knee.

(but who cares)

"Tyler Colvin, broken bat hits him in the 3rd base line, punctured lung. Never the same?"

Colvin hit .215 in August last year. The air was out of the balloon before the lung was punctured.

There was a similar legend about Hee-Seop Choi a few years ago: that he was doing fine before he fell backward and hit his head. Not in the couple of weeks before. And he had many seasons to recover from a bump on the head.

[should have been a reply to #25]

...and then Colvin put up .250/.333/.475 in September before the injury.

Not good numbers, but for a rookie? Hell right now, I'd take that from any of the Cub OF's who are playing...

Cubs debt level is so high they can't afford top free agents for years?

And 1 + 1 = 3 .

Just shoddy irresponsible "journalism"... did their debt level decrease last year when they brought in Pena?

He doesn't really attempt to explain his reasoning at all. In fact, you could argue the headline has little to do with the actual article (goddamn editors do really suck).

Hendry only had $3 million of "flexibility." He traded Gorzelanny to get $2 million more and Pena agreed to defer $5 million until next year for a total of $10 million. That's the kind of thing you do when you're strapped for cash...which is what the Cubs are... broke.

It's the kind of thing you do when you have a payroll limit that you're trying to fit under, and has absolutely nothing to do with the teams' amount of debt.

Actually, it's not debt per se but debt to earnings the MLB keeps an eye on:

The rules, intended to ensure clubs have the resources to support their financial obligations, generally limit a team's debt to 10 times its annual earnings,

So lower attendance = lower earnings = worse debt to earnings ratio = no payroll flexibility for free agents.
So if you want the Cubs to sign Fielder next year, go buy a mess of tickets right now.

Their earnings haven't taken that much of a hit... comparitively very little comes from 3K shitty tickets and concessions they're missing out on. Now next year, if they don't sell all their season tickets, we'll talk.

No Aram, No Pena no Fukudome, only one year of Z and Dempster... you think Pujols or Fielder is going to get a $50 million per season deal?

aw, it's just 2 or 3 years...

The Sun-Times and Tribune will be out of business by then.

lol. Scary, my dad keeps hearing rumors that both are ending subscriptions, which so far isn't true.

top of 1… first and third, nobody out

Castro FC, Pena K, DeWitt Foul flyout.

typical. No runs. it's getting easier to do other things this summer.

and it looks like pujols power drought has ended, too. neat time for it.

Looks like the ump is squeezing Wells on the right side of the plate....according to pitch f/x, Wells had Pujols struck out on three pitches, two of which were called balls. But who knows, I'm not watching.

A few minutes ago Tim McCarver said Mike Quade had spent 22 years managing in the Cubs organization before becoming third base coach in 2006.

Wrong and wrong.

you should have heard matt v. on MLB Network's broadcast last night lumping d.barney in with castro as blue chip prospects that are the future of the cubs.

matt v. was lavishing praise on d.barney as if he's going to be holding the job down for years.

Didn't Quade show up on the coaching staff some time in 2006?

he was a long time A's system coach/manager until he realized the A's were going in another direction for manager.

he was one of the finalists for the cubs 06 job until lou pa. decided to come out of retirement to add a marquee name to the list of candidates.

Named 3rd base coach for 2007 season. Interviewed for mgr job after 2006 season. I may be nitpicking on that point, but it's Tim McCarver, he never gets anything correct.

Q-ball was Iowa cubs manager from 2003-2005, forgot what happened to him in 2006.

I'm no Quadihistorian but Wikipedia says about Quade...

Quade also served as the first base coach of the Oakland Athletics between 2000 and 2002 as well as on the Chicago Cubs bench staff during the 2003 playoff run.

..and (manager of )the Iowa Cubs from 2003-2006.

During July of the 2006 season, Quade substituted for then Cubs third base coach Chris Speier. Speier was out for three games of third base/coaching duties because of a DUI.

2 out hitting...for runs?

randy wells gets his 1st hit of the season putting guys on the corners?

cubs lead?


The Cubs are getting ready for their run of about .500 ball such that they will be about 9 games back or so in July. Hendry will consider them not out of the race at the trading deadline (or even just one piece away from contending and therefore in position to trade prospects for a veteran) and we will retain the entire team.


wonder what kerry wood will bring in trade.

fwiw, im still amazed k.wood had/has a long career. he always had "stuff" but as he was being promoted through the minors he had some of the ugliest numbers while getting promotion after promotion. even his numbers didn't sway baseball america from laying prospect hype on him when he was walking 100+ guys a year in at nearly a guy per IP.

carlos marmol weirded me out in a similar way with how the cubs promoted him and others loved his stuff.


wood minors...

95- 7ip 5h 6bb 7k (18 - Rk/A-)
96- 114.1ip 72h 70bb 136k (19 - A+)
97- 151.2ip 93h 131bb 186k (20 - AA/AAA)

One of the things with guys who have big breaking pitches, is that they get more strike calls from major league umpires than minor league ones.

well...colvin is at least holding soriano's defense steady out in LF turning a single into a double by jogging after a ball in front of him assuming the runner would stop at 1st.

at least there was 2 outs. on the next play the runner would be on 3rd via sac fly to RF rather than holding at 1st if there wasn't. turned out harmless thanks to 2 outs on the board.




"i knew he was going to throw me a slider. i was sitting on it." - pujols

He must have, because it looked like a pretty good pitch. Slider down at the knees that Pujols had to really reach down for. Wasn't a cookie down the middle of the plate.

as far as guys not named marmol or randy johnson was a great slider.

pujols making such solid contact with it was kinda 'woah.'

i think pujols specializes in 'woah' though.

Samardzija will be good with the Cardinals under Duncan next year.

Greg Maddux for President.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 13 hours 56 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 16 hours 54 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 17 hours 6 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 17 hours 15 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 17 hours 21 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 17 hours 39 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 18 hours 15 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 18 hours 33 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 18 hours 34 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 18 hours 52 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 19 hours 10 sec ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 19 hours 55 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 20 hours 13 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 20 hours 18 min ago view