Pilgrims Progress at Fitch Park

The off-season is (thankfully!) over and it's time to play baseball again at Fitch Park.

The pitchers & catchers reported last weekend, and a lot of the position players have now arrived, too.

At this point, morning workouts are consisting of half of the pitchers throwing "bullpen" sessions in the ten-mound bullpen each day, Pitchers Fielding Practice (known as "PFP") on Fields #1, #2, and #3, Pitchers Bunting Practice on Field #5 (the half-field infield), catchers fielding practice on Field #5 and catchers early batting practice (before the pitchers throw in the ten-pen) on Field #4, "traditional" BP for the remaining position players (with coaches throwing soft-toss from in front of the mound) on Fields #1 & #2, and then infield & outfield fielding practice for the position players.

Despite the new regime's anticipated increased emphasis on order, discipline, and accountability, everybody seems pretty loose. The workouts are fairly spirited, and the players and coaches all seem to be very positive about their various activities.

FWIW, I think the most-impressive hitter so far in the BP sessions has been Dave Sappelt, the outfielder acquired from the Reds in the Sean Marshall deal. Sappelt is only 5'9, but he really packs a wallop with a short RH stroke with HR power and plus bat speed. I suspect Sappelt will probably start the season at AAA Iowa, but he looks to be (at the very least) the Cubs eventual "4th OF."

Here is the up-to-the-minute Cubs Spring Training Roster with uniform numbers. In addition to the previously-reported uniform number changes that were made during the off-season (Matt Garza switching from #17 to #22, Jeff Baker switching from #28 to #3, Tony Campana switching from #41 to #1, etc), there were also a couple of last-minute number switches/assignments (Alfredo Amezaga switched from #48 to #99, and recently-acquired INF Adrian Cardenas was assigned #45 - Sean Marshall's old number).

1 Tony Campana, OF
2 Ian Stewart, 3B
3 Jeff Baker, IF-OF
4 Pat Listach, 3rd Base Coach
5 Reed Johnson, OF
6 Bryan LaHair, 1B
7 Rudy Jaramillo, Hitting Coach
8 Jamie Quirk, Bench Coach
9 David DeJesus, RF
11 Blake DeWitt, INF
12 Alfonso Soriano, OF
13 Starlin Castro, SS
15 Darwin Barney, INF
16 Joe Mather, OF
17 Dave Sappelt, OF
18 Geovany Soto, C
19 Rodrigo Lopez, RHSP
20 Matt Tolbert, INF
21 Andy Sonnanstine, RHSP
22 Matt Garza, RHSP
24 Marlon Byrd, CF
25 Chris Bosio, Pitching Coach
26 Billy Williams, Spring Training Instructor
27 Casey Coleman, RHSP
28 Paul Maholm, LHSP
29 Jeff Samardzija, RHRP
30 Travis Wood, LHSP
32 Chris Volstad, RHSP
33 Dave Sveum, Manager
34 Kerry Wood, RHRP
35 Lester Strode, Bullpen Coach
36 Randy Wells, RHSP
38 Jason Jaramillo, C
39 Dave McKay, 1st Base Coach
40 James Russell, LHRP
41 Bobby Scales, INF
43 Trever Miller, LHRP
44 Anthony Rizzo, 1B
45 Adrian Cardenas, INF
46 Ryan Dempster, RHSP
47 Blake Lalli, C
49 Carlos Marmol, RHRP
50 Esmailin Caridad, RHRP
51 Steve Clevenger, C
52 Lendy Castillo, RHRP
53 Welington Castillo, C
54 John Gaub, LHRP
55 Edgar Gonzalez, INF
56 Casey Weathers, RHRP
57 Scott Maine, LHRP
58 Mike Borzello, Catching Coach/Bullpen Catcher
59 Brett Jackson, OF
60 Manny Corpas, RHRP
61 Josh Vitters, INF
62 Marcos Mateo, RHRP
63 Jim Adduci, OF
64 Franklin Font, Infield Coach
65 Jay Jackson, RHSP
66 Rafael Dolis, RHRP
67 Blake Parker, RHRP
68 Jeff Beliveau, LHRP
70 Dae-Eun Rhee, RHSP
71 Trey McNutt, RHSP
72 Matt Szczur, OF
73 Junior Lake, INF
74 Marco Carrillo, RHRP
75 Jonathon Mota, INF
76 Alberto Cabrera, RHSP
77 Dave Bialas, Spring Training Instructor (Iowa Manager)
78 Michael Brenly, C
79 Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
80 Carmelo Martinez, Spring Training Instructor (Dominican Academy Coordinator)
81 Brian Harper, Spring Training Instructor (Daytona Manager)
82 James Rowson, Spring Training Instructor (Minor League Hitting Coordinator)
83 Brandon Hyde, Spring Training Instructor (Minor League Field Coordinator)
84 Dave Keller, Spring Training Instructor (Iowa Hitting Coach)
85 Mariano Duncan, Spring Training Instructor (Tennessee Hitting Coach)
86 Mike Mason, Spring Training Instructor (Iowa Pitching Coach)
87 Lee Tinsley, Spring Traiuning Instructor (Minor League Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator)
88 Chris Rusin, LHSP
89 Dennis Lewallyn, Spring Training Instructor (Minor League Pitching Coordinator)
90 Jeff Fassero, Spring Training Instructor (Tennessee Pitching Coach)
91 Marty Pevey, Spring Training Instructor (Minor League Catching Coordinator)
92 Tom Beyers, Spring Training Instructor (Assistant Minor League Hitting Coordinator)
93 Bill Dancy, Spring Training Instructor (Minor League Infield/Bunting Coordinator)
94 Buddy Bailey, Spring Training Instructor (Tennessee Manager)
95 Andy Lane, Bullpen Catcher
99 Alfredo Amezaga, IF-OF
Rick Sutcliffe, Spring Training Instructor

Comments

Arizona Phil, you may think I am crazy, but I see my old friend Edgar Tovar isnt listed. Is he a goner?

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 2:42pm — Hagsag

Arizona Phil, you may think I am crazy, but I see my old friend Edgar Tovar isnt listed. Is he a goner?

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

HAGSAG: I believe he is a goner. At least he's not at Spring Training.

tovar's probably chilling at home in FL...with so many kids and coaches in camp they probably don't need him catching right now.

i can't imagine the cubs giving him up given how much people (players and fans) like him and how small of a role he plays with the club. unless he moved on to another team or retired i can't imagine him being asked to leave.

I was at a Cubs game in Houston (2006 maybe?) and I'll always remember a fan just going nuts trying to get Tovar's auto. I commented on it and the twenty-something young man looks at me and says: "He gets paid league minimum to play catch all day, I love that guy!!"

And I was sold on Tovar ever since.

THANK YOU PHIL! WHOOOOO! First Live Report from the AZ PHIL!

Now...what about the weather , PHIL?

Indeed--like blooms on the trees and birds returning, this is a much-welcomed annual first sign of spring.

Sappelt: The New Reed Johnson.

Or, for short, The New Johnson. As such, he'll be a very popular man over the next few years.

Thank you Arizona Phil. I always look forward to your expert posts. The universe in now in sinc with Campana being #1. There really is no other number for him. I blame last season's dismall performance on him not being #1.

teams with the brightest future for their rotations

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

nope, the Cubs are not listed

DBacks, Braves, Pirates, Mariners, Royals, A's, Padres, Rays, Blue Jays

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-...

seems random...

Beliveau, Lake, Mather, T. Wood are 1 seeds

Dempster a #10 seed, but Garza a #6

Soriano is a #15 seed though

ha...tim buss and SWAIN are participating.

I'm ready to fill out my bracket, my money's ready, but Yahoo and ESPN haven't launched their apps yet. =-\

everyone's favorite topic, lineups!!!

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Sveum not looking to platoon.

~shrug~

about time someone bothered to ask...even if it's too early in spring to nail anything down.

Probably good. Platoons are one of those things that seem to work better in theory than in practice.

Platoons work pretty good until the starting pitcher gets replaced by a guy who pitches from the other side.

2012 cubs...the star of the team doesn't wear a uniform and many fans want that guy to trade the best pitcher (and probably best or 2nd best player) on the team away.

sigh.

it's been a long offseason. someone out there in spring camp please become the face of the club. too bad castro don't give many interviews.

many fans want that guy to trade the best player on the team away.

What fans want Garza traded away?

i can point you to pretty much every blog under the sun that's cubs-related. it's not been a hot topic in here for a while, but there was a good chunk of people here pushing for it, too.

there's enough that i dunno if the "keep him" or "trade him" crowd is actually bigger.

you're confusing "want to trade him" with "trade him if the Cubs get a great package of 2-3 young players that's obviously a good deal for the Cubs".

it's all the same to me in my broad statement.

i was just generally musing about the tone of the offseason in a twitter-sized comment.

When the expected return was Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos, then yes. Otherwise, give him a 4 or 5 year deal.

I think you're confusing the media trying to manufacture news in the offseason for what Cubs fans actually wants. Seamheads know what Garza is worth, and casual fans don't give a fuck about Jacob Who?.

I don't know... there is a big difference between yelling "Trade Garza" and saying, "If you can trade Garza and get 1 stud and 1-2 other impact arms, you should think about it."

I just don't see that many people begging the Cubs to trade Garza. But there are some that say if you can get a great return, you should go for it considering the how unlikely it is for the Cubs to compete this year, and maybe in the 1-3 years beyond that.

I don't want to see Garza traded, but I see the logic behind it and wouldn't be opposed to getting a good package of players in return.

maybe crunch meant Soriano as the Cubs best player :)

i was just making a general comment about the offseason.

castro is arguable the best or 2nd best depending on how you feel about garza. i still think anyone who bought into the j.turner rumors were smoking crack cuz DET would have to be enjoying mad rocks on the daily to trade him for almost anyone. between j.turner and s.miller (unfortunatlely in STL) they're on a tier only over-shaddowed by moore in TB. super-studs...not just "good"

Castro's busy moonlighting here:

http://www.valleysleepcenter.com/vsc_mesa.html

It would probably be best for him to lay low for a while.

another "why hasn't this guy signed yet" goes down...

"Angels signed RHP Jason Isringhausen to a minor league contract."

dlee and j.damon are still waiting around for something...and j.vazquez might have sneaky retired or something...

links in twitter box

teams have agreed on list of 12 players, will settle at end of spring training, low level minor leaguer as mentioned from the beginning.

https://twitter.com/Athletics/status/17273140...

you have to follow his twitter feed, but amusing and relatable guy

bunting tourney has started, follow the updates in the twitter box as best I can keep up

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

For the Millers, it's a daily struggle. Trever's wife, Pari, showed her strength during the 2008 American League Championship Series. While Trever and the Rays were celebrating the win at Tropicana Field, Grace was in the stands, choking on her own mucus. She nearly died. Pari performed a trachea change to clear Grace's airway.

jeebus

dumpster's daughter is eating and talking now...amazing, really.

it helps to have full time nurses, the best medical care available, and a team of therapists.

Sveum for now says DeJesus leadoff man, LaHair cleanup

I presume the rest will look like this
DeJesus, Castro, Soriano, LaHair, Soto, Stewart, Byrd, Barney (maybe flip Soto and Soriano)

Sveum's first test will be if he even thinks about batting Byrd 3rd.

I expect a certain level of awareness from Theocorp. So,He better mean he's batting DeJesus leadoff against right handed starters and somebody else against lefties.

Sveum alleges he doesn't intend to platoon much or change the lineup too frequently.

We'll see of course.

Sveum recants a bit

“Being realistic, I’ll probably start with (David) DeJesus leading off, (Bryan) LaHair hitting fourth, and right now after that I don’t really know right now,” he said. “It might be (Alfonso) Soriano hitting fourth. I’ll sit down and we’ll iron that all out when we get a little closer here in about 4-5 days.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

4-5 days? damn.

someone has a vision set in place.

Gon' be a long season.

by DFA process

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2012/02/23/223-dewi...

probably until his agent said, you either take the $1.1M and play in Iowa or look for another job at $500K or less.

Indeed. And, suffice it to say, baseball players are not typically Rhodes Scholars, either.

suffice it to say, baseball players are not typically Rhodes Scholars, either.

Well, based on the how few people understood it on TCR, I guess TCR readers are not Rhodes Scholars either.

TCR readers are not Rhodes Scholars either.
---
An original Rhodes scholar...
http://tinyurl.com/7d3d48c

The original Cub Rhodes scholar...
http://tinyurl.com/73ocbq9

TCR readers can apply...for 2013
http://www.rhodesscholar.org/

The title of Carrie's blog is interesting. I think they spelled "Bumblings" wrong.

Braun won his appeal.

there goes the Cubs chances at the NL Central :)

That's assuming either:
1. Braun is going to continue to juice.
-or-
2. Braun will be good enough to carry the team even though he's off the juice.

MLB release statement "vehemently disagreeing" with the appeal decision.

So much for strongest drug policy.

Braun won on a technicality.

He was challenging not the result, but how it was done.

Sherman saying the arbitrator was for Braun, because it took too long to ship the sample.

Start looking for the hr's and 45 year old power pitchers to come back, you have your loop hole.

That's still going to result in some really shitty press for Braun. That might affect his season.

Plus, you know, the lower levels of testosterone.

wonder if PECOTA can calculate that?

I think the Cubs are right in this thing, just need to Gillooly a few NL Central pitchers.

+1 Using 'Gillooly' as a verb

Flashback to last spring:

//At the end of last season, Braun was worn down physically, and his weight dropped to around 196 pounds. To combat that, he put on a solid 10-plus pounds of muscle in the offseason and reported to camp this year at 210 pounds. The added weight will help him maintain his strength throughout the season, which should help increase his power numbers back to what he posted earlier in his career.//

And then coincidentally he tests astronomically high testosterone levels the same year
LOFL!

Yeah, Braun really sucked before 2011.

I disagree.

Forgot the sarcasm hash tag

He sure was pretty good before but he sure did have some epic stats last year. Could be a one year blip from natural causes I guess. Not like there aren't people with abnormally good years they never repeat and the Cubs have given contracts to a lot of them.

/me too

I should add that coincidentally, post-somone-else's-testosterone Braun is down from 210 last year to 202 this year.

So did he lose 8 pounds of muscle? or fat? or hot air?

....and
why?

http://fantasynews.cbssports.com/fantasybaseb...

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/28721/ryan...

He shoulda just used the PORN argument, cause we all know that testosterone levels go up when looking at PORN.

I think he lost 8 pounds of eyeball.

brief video of the Cubs bunting contest, including how the infield is marked...kind of like a shuffleboard contest

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?tcid=mm_chc...

Where in the park are your seats?

Sorry, should've said: Bleachers

Can any of you guys help Sullivan determine what the pitch Lopez threw.

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/2/24/2820502/lon...

BP

the infamous gopher ball?

A very, very shitty change. He's got it in the palm. I was watching it compared with the Brett Myers pitch below it. The author says the Myers pitch was a 83mph crap slider. The Lopez "offering" looks slower than that, although gifs aren't exact science.

Thigh-high and middle-in at 80mph to a LH pull hitter. Missed his spot by a foot. HOW IS THIS FUCKING GUY IN THE BIG LEAGUES

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=...

here's the video of it...certainly looks like a change as Wes said.

"That looked like the Terminator, only slower. Maybe it was his out-of-stater, or it could have been the Hibernator--that baby is definitely going away for the winter. Whatever for [Lopez], it might be see-ya-later. He's probably gonna become a spectator."

Recent comments

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 7 hours 13 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 10 hours 10 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 10 hours 23 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 10 hours 32 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 10 hours 37 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 10 hours 55 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 11 hours 32 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 11 hours 49 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 11 hours 51 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 close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 12 hours 9 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 12 hours 16 min 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 13 hours 12 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 13 hours 30 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 13 hours 34 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 14 hours 44 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 15 hours 23 min ago view