Double Plays, Errors, and Injuries Strike Cubs at Fitch Park

The EXST Diamondbacks turned four double plays and took advantage of seven EXST Cubs errors to score three unearned runs, en route to a 6-3 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Today’s game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers who were due to throw could get their scheduled work. Several other Cubs pitchers threw in a “sim game” on Field #2 simultaneous with the EXST game on Field #3.

This was the final Cactus League Extended Spring Training game for the Cubs, as the players will be given a short break before returning to Fitch Park after next week’s draft to prepare for the start of the short season leagues. The Boise Hawks begin play on June 17th at Eugene (Hawks home opener is June 22nd), and the AZL Cubs first game is the night of June 20th versus the AZL Giants at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

The AZL Cubs will play their home games at HoHoKam Park (with a 7 PM start time) up through July 24th, before moving to Fitch Park and playing their home games in the morning (11 AM start time) beginning on July 26th.

As far as today’s game is concerned, lanky 20-year old Dominican LHP Willengton Cruz got the start (his third game started in six days), and allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits in three innings of work (53 pitches – 35 strikes). He was the unlucky victim of five errors behind him (four in the first inning alone), but he came back strong to strike out the last five batters he faced (all swinging).

Of the ten Cubs pitchers at Extended Spring Training who spent last season pitching in the Dominican Summer League, W. Cruz and 20-year old Dominican RHP Starling Peralta are easily the top two, and I would say both have a good chance to get assigned to Boise (skipping AZL Cubs).

Unfortunately, two Cubs suffered injuries and had to leave today’s game. OF Jesus Morelli was hit on the left hand by a pitch (and it did not look good), and catcher Johan DeJesus had to be helped from the field after taking a foul tip direct hit on the groin/protective cup. DeJesus was on the ground writhing in pain for five minutes, and looked like he was about to pass out once he got to his feet. (Just watching it made me feel like passing out, too).

1B Trevor Gretzky (Oaks Christian HS - Westlake Village, CA) worked out for Cubs scouts on Field #1. The son of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Trevor didn't show a whole lot at the plate (opposite-field stroke with warning track power), but he is still recovering from labrum surgery. He has a lanky body with long legs, and looks like he could maybe benefit from an off-season body-building regimen at Camp Colvin. If he does not choose to sign with an MLB club this year, he will attend San Diego State.

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

1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 6-3, K, 1B, RBI)
2a. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 0-1 (4-6-3 DP)
2b. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-0 (HBP)
2c. Wilson Contreras, PR-3B: 0-2 (L-7, 3-1)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-4 (L-9, 3-6-3 DP, F-8, K)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-4 (P-4, K, K, 1B)
5. Brandon May, 1B: 2-4 (2B, 1B, 6-3, 6-4-3 DP, R)
6. Brian Inoa, DH #1: 1-3 (K, K, 2B, R)
7. Max Kwan, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, BB, E-6, RBI)
8a. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-2 (P-4, K)
8b. Carlos Romero, C: 0-1 (4-6-3 DP)
9. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B-RF: 1-3 (6-3, K, 2B, R, RBI, SB)
10. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-2 (F-9, P-6, BB)

1. Willengton Cruz: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 53 pitches (35 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 47 pitches (27 strikes), 6/0 GO/FO
3. Jose Rosario: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 44 pitches (30 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
4. Ramon Garcia: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 18 pitches (12 strikes)

1. 1B Brandon May - E3 (missed catch on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed base-runner to advance to 2nd base)
2. 2B Vismeldy Bieneme - E4 (dropped pop fly in infield allowing batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
3. C Johan DeJesus - E2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 2nd base alllowed runner on 3rd base to score)
4. C Johan DeJesus - E2 (missed catch on play at the plate on RBI single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
5. LF Dong-Yub Kim - E7 (fielding error on RBI double allowed batter to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
6. SS Marco Hernandez - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
7. 1B Brandon May - E3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Johan DeJesus 3-5 CS, 2 E (see above)


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s



Matt Loosen was called up from extended spring training to Daytona and is having a strong debut today.

With 33 loses we're only two loses behind the Astros for next years #2 draft choice.

It feels like the last days of Lou again, rooting for losses to get a change of regime.

Go coup d'etat Go...

So if Marmol was put on trading block what do you guys thinkm the return
would be ?

Or maybe a package of Fukadome and Marmol.

It's been said before, it deserves to be said again. If any team wants Marmol or Castro, they have to take Soriano off our hands.

If any team wants Castro, they should be laughed at.

You would think a contending team would have a closer.
Should wait until off season

AZ Phil: At this moment, assuming no promotions, the draft, and such, what does the EXST roster look like currently? I'm just thinking about what Boise will look like (excluding the guys drafted beginning on the 6th) and the depth chart associated with it. Thanks for all ya do

Submitted by W Flag on Sat, 06/04/2011 - 11:37pm.

AZ Phil: At this moment, assuming no promotions, the draft, and such, what does the EXST roster look like currently?

I'm just thinking about what Boise will look like (excluding the guys drafted beginning on the 6th) and the depth chart associated with it.


W FLAG: Last year only two draft picks (RHP Joe Zeller and C Jeff Vigurs) signed fast enough to make the Boise Hawks Opening Day roster, so there won't be many guys selected in this week's Rule 4 Draft or Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) signed post-draft who will be on the Boise roster right at the start of the Hawks season a week from Friday.

Most players (including college draft picks) spend a few days with the AZL Cubs before getting moved up to Boise (and some will stay in Mesa for an extended period), so there will be some player movement (both ways) between Boise and AZL Cubs over the first couple or three weeks as the 2011 draft picks and NDFA who sign complete their "Intro to Pro Ball" at Mesa.

But if you just take the Cubs Extended Spring Training Active List the way it was the last day of EXST (yesterday) and split it in half, here is how the squad would probably be divided, at least as things stand right now (very much subject to change).

Note that both Boise and AZL Cubs have a 35-man "RESERVE LIST," and Boise has a 30-man ACTIVE LIST and a five-man INACTIVE LIST (the INACTIVE LIST consisting of injured players and/or recently signed players who will be assigned to Boise but who are not yet ACTIVE). There is no distinction made between the AZL Cubs RESERVE LIST and ACTIVE LIST. In both cases, 25 players are designated ACTIVE for each game, of which ten must be pitchers.

Also note that both Brandon May (Valley Fever rehab) and Jon Nagel (post-2010 elbow surgery rehab) are active but will likely remain in Mesa until they are physically closer to 100% (May is still not back to full-strength, and Nagel needs to build-up stamina).

* bats or throws left
# bats both

SP/PB = Stretched-out as STARTING PITCHER or PIGGY-BACK reliever


* Hunter Ackerman (SP/PB)
* Kyler Burke
Dustin Fitzgerald
Ryan Hartman
Jin-Young Kim (SP/PB)
Luis Liria (SP/PB)
Hector Mayora
Austin Reed (SP/PB)
Colin Richardson
Jose Rosario (SP/PB)
Charles Thomas
Yao-Lin Wang (SP/PB)
Ben Wells (SP/PB)
Joe Zeller (SP/PB)

Yaniel Cabezas
Carlos Romero

Gioskar Amaya
Wilson Contreras
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Geiger

* Pin-Chieh Chen
Reggie Golden
Jesus Morelli
Blair Springfield

Jose Guevara, C
Tarlandus Mitchell, P
Jhon Rodriguez, P
Eric Rice, P
# Jose Valdez


* Willengton Cruz (SP/PB)
Rafael Diplan (SP/PB)
Ramon Garcia (SP/PB)
Alvido Jimenez (SP/PB)
Jon Nagel
Amaury Paulino
Felix Pena
Starling Peralta (SP/PB)
Santo Rodriguez (SP/PB)
Yilver Sanchez (SP/PB)
Jean Sandoval
* Brian Smith (SP/PB)
* Luis Villalba
Tzu-An Wang (was INACTIVE at EXST)

Johan DeJesus
# Brian Inoa

# Vismeldy Bieneme
Gregori Gonzalez
# Marco Hernandez
Max Kwan
Brandon May

* Eduardo Gonzalez
Dong-Yub Kim
# Oliver Zapata

My best-guess about the most-likely Opening Day lineups for Boise and AZL Cubs as things stand right now?


1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF
2. Wes Darvill, SS
3. Jesus Morelli, DH
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B
5. Reggie Golden, RF
6. Yaniel Cabezas, C
7. Dustin Geiger, 1B
8. Blair Springfield, LF
9. Gioskar Amaya, 2B
SP: Luis Liria or Yao-Lin Wang

1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF
3. Marco Hernandez, SS
4. Brandon May, DH
5. Max Kwan, 1B
6. Dong-Yub Kim, LF
7. Johan DeJesus/Brian Inoa, C
8. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B
9. Oliver Zapata, CF
SP: Willengton Cruz or Starling Peralta

Thanks for the breakdown, Arizona Phil. I was hoping Dong-Yub Kim would go to Boise given he seemed to hit well in extended (based off just memory of reading your reports) and since he was a big bonus guy.

Submitted by Raisin101 on Sun, 06/05/2011 - 4:26pm.
Thanks for the breakdown, Arizona Phil. I was hoping Dong-Yub Kim would go to Boise given he seemed to hit well in extended (based off just memory of reading your reports) and since he was a big bonus guy.


RAISIN: There is nothing wrong with Dong-Yub Kim's bat (plus-bat speed, XBH power, and he can hit HR when he elevates his swing), and he has above-average speed, but his defense in LF is bad (he has difficulty tracking fly balls), and he's even worse at 1B (can't catch throws from infielders and doesn't understand how to cut throws from the outfield).

DY Kim missed all of last season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder, but before that he had a gun for an arm, and looked like he could maybe be a five-tool RF if he could learn how to track and catch fly balls. Now he looks more like a DH.

I wonder if Carlos Marmol would be enough to pry Justin Smoak from Seattle?

Can't we just trade the Cubs for the Mariners? I'm talking the entire franchise, team name, etc.

wait, i saw this shit game yesterday.

same ending and everything.

"We played like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing, embarrassing for the team, for the owners, for the fans. Embarrassing. That’s the word for this team. We should know better than this, we should know better than we did on the field. We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter. We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Carlos Zambrano talking about Marmol shaking off a call for a fastball and throwing a slider to Theriot instead.

Good for Z.

Full quotes in Sullivan's story, who tries to suggest it will get Z traded (not gonna happen). Everything Z said was true. The team sucks.

Koyie Hill agreed with Z about Marmol shaking him off, but defended Marmol. Then Hill said this, which I love...

"I don't think he means the guys in here are Triple-A players or dogging it or anything like that. I don't think he means that at all. I think he means that, we put together a string like we have, and you might start thinking that maybe a Triple-A team would give us a run for our money."

Why can't the catcher go out and strongly assert himself in that key moment?

I watched Molina and Carpenter get together multiple times to discuss a specific pitch. It made me think that the Cardinals don't let up for even one pitch. There is no throw away of a pitch - they all count and they all matter.

He should have gone out and discussed it assuming that the team/catcher knew Theriot. Just like they should have walked Pujols two days in a row in extra innings. Don't let arguably the best player in baseball hit a fucking home run in extra innings. Fuckin idiots

Agree with others, this time I'm in Z's corner. He's right, and he deserves to be pissed. This organization is a total embarassment and a non-stop clusterfuck. All for the low, low price of one Beeel-yun dollars (insert Dr. Evil voice here).

Start firing and trading people tomorrow please.

Blah blah. This team gives me a headache.

Wake me when they start firing people


Fuck yeah
This team is balls
Or dildos (hat tip to crunch)

Recent comments

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  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.