Jacksonville, Arizona

Joe Mather clubbed a three-run home run, Brett Jackson slugged his second home run in two days, and Jay Jackson threw three perfect innings, as two squads of Cubs played to a 3-3 tie in a five-inning intrasquad game played under sunny skies this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.



After reaching base four times yesterday on a solo a HR, a double, and two walks, B. Jackson picked-up right where he left off, ripping a HR into the upper bullpen beyond the RF fence off LHP Chris Rusin to give the Sveum Squad an early 1-0 lead. (B. Jackson’s HR yesterday also came off a LHP).


Joe Mather took Trey McNutt deep with a three-run dinger off the LF scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th to give the Sutcliffe Squad a 3-1 lead, but B-Jax drew a lead-off walk to spark a two-run rally in the top of the 5th that tied the score. Dave Sappelt (acquired from CIN in the Sean Marshall deal) followed Jackson’s base on balls with a line-drive RBI triple off the CF batter’s eye 410+ feet to straight-away center to score Jackson, and then after Adrian Cardenas walked, Anthony Rizzo lofted a sacrifice fly to left-center to score Sappelt with the tying run.


RHP Jay Jackson got the start for the Sveum Boys, and threw three innings of perfect baseball (1 K and a 4/4 GO/FO), efficiently mowing down the opposition on just 32 pitches (22 strikes).


The Sutcliffe Band of Brothers reversed their fortunes in the bottom of the 4th, however, as Tony Campana ignited the inning with a drag bunt single down the 1st base line. Campana just plain outran the defense, sliding head-first into 1st as 1B Anthony Rizzo made a desperation toss to 2B Bobby Scales covering at 1st base.


Once on base, Campana seemed to rattle pitcher Trey McNutt, eventually stealing 2nd base before Jim Adduci worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Campana was then caught red-handed halfway between 2nd & 3rd, but he somehow managed to survive the “hot box,” getting into a run-down before eventually jitterbugging past a defender and sliding into 3rd base amidst a cloud of dust. (Adduci moved-up to 2nd on the play), After Jae-Hoon Ha was called out on strikes on a close 3-2 pitch, Joe Mather sent a hanging McNutt slider high & far over the LF fence.


Matt Szczur followed up yesterday’s 3-4 six-RBI day by reaching base in both of his two plate appearances today, drawing two walks and showing a lot of patience and a good eye in the process.


No doubt the People’s Choice at HoHoKam Park right now is Tony Campana. The fans absolutely LOVE this guy. Besides his bunt single and the daring base-running, Campana also made a couple of eye-opening plays in the field this afternoon, running a half-mile and making a head-first diving attempt at catching a pop-up in foul territory down the LF line early in the game (a ball that Alfonso Soriano would not even have thought about chasing), and then rescuing CF Jae-Hoon Ha by running full-tilt to catch a fly ball in dead-center that Ha lost in the sun. I suppose it’s just his combination of hustle, spirit, and exuberance, but the fans cheer wildly every time Campana comes to the plate or gets on base.


I wouldn't be surprised if Campana ends up playing CF and hitting lead-off for the Cubs on Opening Day. What will happen to Marlon Byrd I cannot say, but Campana seems to be in the right place at the right time right now.


The Cubs play their first “official” Cactus League Spring Training game against the Oakland A’s in Mesa tomorrow afternoon. Rodrigo Lopez will is reportedly get the start.


There is no official scorer at Spring Training intrasquad games, so here is today’s unofficial box score:


SVEUM SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Dave Sappelt, CF: 1-3 (K, F-9, 3B, R, RBI)
2. Adrian Cardenas, 3B: 0-2 (F-8, L-7, BB)
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, K, F-7 SF, RBI)
4. Steve Clevenger, DH: 1-2 (1B, F-8)
5. Micah Gibbs, C: 1-2 (5-4-3 DP, 2B)
6. Jonathon Mota: SS: 0-1 (BB, L-8)
7. Matt Szczur, LF: 0-0 (BB, BB)
8. Bobby Scales, 2B: 0-2 (K, L-9)
9. Brett Jackson, RF: 1-1 (HR, BB, 2 R, RBI)


SUTCLIFFE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Tony Campana, LF: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R, SB)
2. Jim Adduci, RF: 0-1 (4-3, BB, R)
3. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 0-2 (F-7, K)
4. Joe Mather, 1B: 1-2 (5-3, HR, R, 3 RBI)
5. Welington Castillo, C: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3)
6. Edgar Gonzalez: SS: 1-2 (6-3, 1B)
7. Alfredo Amezaga, 2B: 0-2 (L-8, 4-6-3 DP)
8. Blake Lalli, DH: 0-1 (K)
9. Matt Tolbert, 3B: 0-1 (F-7)


SVEUM SQUAD PITCHERS:
1. Jay Jackson: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 4/4 GO/FO
2. Trey McNutt: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 29 pitches (19 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
NOTE: McNutt’s first inning was stopped with bases empty and one out when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning.


SUTCLIFFE SQUAD PITCHERS:
1. Chris Rusin: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 54 pitches (29 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Alberto Cabrera: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 43 pitches (22 strikes), 0/4 GO/FO
NOTE: Cabrera’s final inning was stopped with runner on 2nd base and one out when he reached his max pitch limit for the game.


SVEUM SQUAD ERRORS: NONE


SUTCLIFFE SQUAD ERRORS: (1)
P Chris Rusin E-1 - errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runners at 1st & 2nd to advance a base.


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Micah Gibbs: 0-1 CS


 

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Comments

ike davis (NYM) doing it all wrong again...

he's contracted "valley fever"...even though his ST camp is in FL.

sigh. wrong coast, buddy.

he probably lives in AZ in the offseason...went to college there. unlucky break. hopefully it doesn't lay him up. it's like "mono" for some people...some can shake it off...some carry the effects for months/year+.

"Unfortunately, the "Moneyball" film came up empty with the Academy Award voters, and the same fate beckons for Beane and Oakland A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher in their determined effort to move to a new stadium in Hi-Tech haven. The latter prospect, in which, for a variety of reasons, MLB is going to uphold the San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights in San Jose, will be especially disheartening for Beane."

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/3/3/2842925/repo...

ow.

it's like a separated couple (fans/ownership) forced to share a house together at this point...and no one's moving out any time soon.

Well Phil, based on the early returns, I think most Cub fans (self included) would be perfectly fine if the Cubs dumped both Soriano and Byrd RIGHT NOW and had Campana and BJax on the opening day roster. Won't happen of course...but it should.

What did you think of Jay Jax, how did he look? Last year was awful for him, can he get back to being a prospect pitcher for us?

Who is Joe Mather?

Beating a dead horse here, but there's no reason to start Jackson on the roster. Give him some additional time in AAA and bring him up when there's no danger in being a super 2.

Sat, 03/03/2012 - 9:21pm — Jim Hickmans Bat

Well Phil, based on the early returns, I think most Cub fans (self included) would be perfectly fine if the Cubs dumped both Soriano and Byrd RIGHT NOW and had Campana and BJax on the opening day roster. Won't happen of course...but it should.

What did you think of Jay Jax, how did he look? Last year was awful for him, can he get back to being a prospect pitcher for us?

Who is Joe Mather?

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

JIM H: Jay Jackson looked very good today. He worked fast and threw strikes, and nobody hit the ball hard off him. Too bad they were using a DH because J-Jax is one of the best-hitting pitchers and best athletes among pitchers in the minors (he played CF at Furman on days he wasn't pitching).

And I certainly think he is still a prospect. Something to remember about Jay Jackson is that he rocketed through the Cubs system and got to AAA Iowa in just his first full season in pro ball, but he was unable to move forward from there and has even regressed some since then. But he just turned 24 last October (he's two years younger than Chris Carpenter), and he does profile as a starting pitcher. He has been pitching in an extreme hitters league (PCL) for the last couple of years so his number probably look worse than they should, but he threw the ball pretty well the second-half of the 2011 PCL season.

Joe Mather is a 29-year old RH hitting 1B-OF. He kind of resembles Richie Sexson, except he never developed into a full-time MLB player. He is tall, lanky, and slow, but he does have HR power. (Jason Dubois might be another comp).

Mather spent most of his lengthy minor league career in the Cardinals organization, and over the years he has managed to accrue about a year-and-a-half of MLB Service Time. By this point in his career, though, he is mostly an intinerant "4-A" player, bouncing from organization to organization (St Louis in 2009, Atlanta in 2010, Colorado in 2011, and now the Cubs in 2012).

Right now I would say he is really just competing for a job at Iowa, but because he got an NRI for signing with the Cubs, he will be at big league camp for a while. The Cubs have so many OF prospects at AA/AAA that I think it's fairly likely that (barring injuries) Mather will probably get released prior to Opening Day. There probably won't be room for him at Iowa.

Fangraphs ranks the Len and Bob broadcast at #6:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/broa...

No shock who's last even with one of the best analyst.

YEEESSSSS!!!!!!!!

Will Carroll has resurfaced over to SI.com. He posted his Green-Yellow-Red health update for the Cubs and head trainer Mark O'Neal was ranked #6 in 2011. His red light's are somewhat predictable: Stewart, Maholm, Wells, Wood and Marmol

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers...

"Volstad is not Carlos Zambrano and that's enough for the Cubs. He's going to top out at around 160 innings and that seems to be a problem for baseball execs."

...and then i quit reading.

...and i probably should have quit reading after the d.barney blurb...even though his "green" rating i don't have an issue with.

...and wtf was up with that byrd blurb? "His playing time was down last year because the franchise was looking at options." I knew it was a conspiracy that he got drilled in the skull.

I got one for Will Carroll....

RED
(Clairvoyant) Will Carroll
Just because you can get 10 patties on a In-and-Out Burger doesn't mean you have to. I saw a video of Carroll eating a couple of 10-patty burgers and noticed his left shoulder isn't raising as high as his right shoulder. This points to a shoulder injury which may prevent him from hitting 300...pounds.

AZ PHIL: Is Campana-Fuld comparison accurate in terms of their role and projection? excepting that Sam is a LH.

Don't know much about Campana's arm, but if he can learn how to walk and hit some singles, he would have ro make the team as a 4th OF?

From many scouting reports I have read, he is one of the fastest guys in the game. But that in itself is not enough except as a pinch runner.

I was wondering the same thing. Does he really have the batting skills needed to start in CF on Opening Day, and remain there, ahead of Marlon Byrd? Or is the Cubs' new braintrust putting so much emphasis on defense that he would start on Opening Day on the basis of his D alone?

Sun, 03/04/2012 - 8:28am — The E-Man New
Re: Jacksonville, Arizona
AZ PHIL: Is Campana-Fuld comparison accurate in terms of their role and projection? excepting that Sam is a LH.

Don't know much about Campana's arm, but if he can learn how to walk and hit some singles, he would have ro make the team as a 4th OF?

From many scouting reports I have read, he is one of the fastest guys in the game. But that in itself is not enough except as a pinch runner.

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

E-MAN: Both Sam Fiuld and Tony Campana are above-average OF defenders, but Campana is faster and more of a disruptive influence on the bases than is Fuld.

Fuld is a better hitter, takes walks, and has occasional power, though, while Campana is mostly a singles hitter.

I would say Campana's eventual role will be that of a "5th OF" (late-inning defensive replacement and PR), but if the Cubs are going to scramble for runs in 2012 (and it appears that might be the case), a lead-off hitter like Campana would seem to be the type of short-term solution who could both single-handedly generate a run in a close game AND give the fans some pleasure in what could be a down year.

I would be very surprised if Campana starts in CF on Opening Day over Byrd. Seems like a huge over-reading of fan reaction to a player on the 2nd day intra-squad games

It's not just from intra squad games, it is also from watching him last year. I can't imagine him starting over Byrd, either. But I don't think people are really basing anything on a couple days of squad play.

I would love it if he turns out to be an impact player, but right now he reminds me of Ced Landrum.

In nearly 3,000 PAs in the minors, Ced had a career line of .280/.343/.365, and stole 267 bases while getting caught 77 times.

In 1991, he played in 50 games in the majors with the Cubs and stole 27 bases while only being caught 5 times. But he also had an OPS of just .592. (Campana was 24/26 in SB with an OPS of .603 last year).

Many thought Ced would be the lead-off man of the future for the Cubs and would steal 50-60 bases a year. But Ced only had 20 more big league PAs in his entire career.

There are certainly differences between the two (age for one) but right now Campana has shown he has speed, but beyond that little else offensively. I am hopeful, but not holding my breath.

http://mobile.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/3/4/...

Cool info graphic on the value of 200 ip per season starters

Sorry, was trying to clean up this thread that had my early (and long) posts that lead to the Theo interview on Bruce Levine's show and it seemed to delete 2 related posts from Rob and E-Man. I don't think it took away any of the posts that were related to Arizona Phil's article or other miscellaneous posts (it went from 19 comments to 13 and I think I used 4 on the Theo interview).

nothing to apologize for, just saying if you're gonna put such effort into a comment, you have the power to make it into a post, especially since it contains a lot of great info.

no worries...

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