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
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible