Rawhide Keeps Them Doggies Movin' at Fitch Park

Dan Vogelbach and Dustin Geiger slugged back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, and the Chiefs had the tying and winning runs in scoring position with no outs in the bottom of the 9th but could not score, as the South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks Full-Season Class-A affiliate) rode a two-run Jimmy Comerota triple and took advantage of four errors, holding-on to edge Peoria 6-5 on Field #2, while over on Field #3, Ryan Cuneo crashed a three-run home run in the 3rd to stake the Cubs to an early 4-1 lead, but the Visalia Rawhide (D’backs Advanced Class-A affiliate) rallied for two runs in the 8th and three more in the 9th to defeat Daytona 7-5, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


While the Daytona Cubs and Peoria Chiefs were in action at Fitch Park, the AAA Iowa Cubs and AA Tennessee Smokies traveled up the Loop 101 Freeway to play the Arizona Diamondbacks AAA Reno Aces and AA Mobile BayBears squads at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort.


Moved down from the Daytona squad to the Peoria squad prior to the game, Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson got the start for Peoria on Fitch Park Field #2, throwing 2-2/3 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (three singles and two triples) before reaching his pre-planned pitch limit (30). He struck out two and did not issue any walks. His curve ball and change-up were fairly effective, but his fastball was hit hard by several of the Silver Hawks hitters.


Peoria trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, but after Jeimer Candelario drew a lead-off walk, Dan Vogelbach crushed his home run over the RF fence and onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street. Dustin Geiger followed the Vogel-Bomb with his own dinger, launching the solo shot beyond the LF fence and onto Center Street.


The Chiefs had a golden opportunity to tie or win the game in the bottom of the 9th, as catcher (ex-3B) Wilson Contreras laced a lead-off double into the LF corner, and advanced to 3rd base on a Shawon Dunston, Jr line-single to center. Dunston moved up a base on a wild pitch (still with no outs), but Delbis Arcila tapped back to the mound, and Jeimer Candelario and Yasiel Balaguert struck out swinging to extinguish the rally-flame.


Meanwhile over on Field #3, RHP A. J. Morris got the start for the Daytona Cubs and threw one shutout inning (10 pitches - 9 strikes). That might not seem like much, but is is significant because Morris missed the entire 2011 season rehabbing from post-2010 shoulder surgery. (The Cubs obtained Morris from the Washington Nationals in the January 2011 Tom Gorzelanny deal, and they must have thought pretty highly of him at the time, because they acquired him despite knowing that he had just undergone shoulder surgery).


After Morris threw his shutout inning, the D-Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 1st on the strength of a Reggie Golden two-out RBI single that drove-home Pin-Chieh Chen (who drew a walk leading-off the inning, before moving up to 2nd base on a stolen base and to 3rd on a ground out), and then plated three more in the bottom of the 3rd on the Ryan Cuneo three-run HR over the right-centerfield fence.


The D-Cubs held a 4-2 lead after seven, but two pitchers up from the Boise/Mesa squad (Ian Dickson and Tayler Scott) surrendered five runs between them over the last two innings.


Like Peoria, Daytona got the tying runs on base in the bottom of the 9th, but Pin-Chieh Chen and Ronald Torreyes lined out, and 2011 NWL HR champ Paul Hoilman (like the Mighty Casey that he is) struck out (swinging) on three pitches to end the threat and the game.


There are five squads at Minor League Camp, but only four play games, so players assigned to the fifth squad (Boise/Mesa) are dispersed among the four teams that were in action today. (Boise/Mesa will morph into the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad next month).


Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)


FITCH PARK FIELD #2


PEORIA LINEUP:
1a. Trey Martin, CF: 2-3 (1B, 1-3, 2B, R, RBI)
1b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-1 (HBP, 1B)
2a. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3, RBI, SB)
2b. Delbis Arcila, LF: 0-2 (K, 1-2 FC)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-4 (3-2 DP, K, P-5, BB, K, R, SB)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-5 (6-3, 6-3, K, K, K)
5. Dan Vogelbach, DH: 1-4 (K, 5-3, 6-3, HR, R, 2 RBI)
6a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-2 (P-5, F-7)
6b. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)
7a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-1 (BB, 3-U)
7b. Javier Baez, SS: 1-2 (P-4, 1B, CS)
8a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, R)
8b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (K, 3-1)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (L-6, 1B)
9b. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-1 (BB, 2B)


PEORIA PITCHERS:
1. Hayden Simpson: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 30 pitches (24 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
2. Yao-Lin Wang: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Sheldon McDonald: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (12 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 21 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
6. Felix Pena: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO


PEORIA ERRORS: 4
1. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E5 (errant throw with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. SS Danny Lockhart - E6 (fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
3. C Wilson Contreras - E2 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner on 1st base to advance to 2nd base and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
4. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)


FITCH PARK FIELD #3


DAYTONA LINEUP:
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 0-4 (BB, K, F-8, F-7, L-5, R, SB)
2a. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B: 0-2 (K, BB, 3-U, R)
2b. Ronald Torreyes, 2B: 1-2 (2B, L-4)
3a. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, HR, 3-U, R, 3 RBI)
3b. Paul Hoilman, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
4a. Reggie Golden, DH: 1-3 (1B, 2-3, K, RBI)
4b. Brian Inoa, PH: 0-1 (P-4)
5a. Ben Klafczynski, LF: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, 6-3)
5b. Mayke Reyes, LF: 0-1 (F-8)
6a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 0-2 (5-3, 6-3)
6b. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-2 (1B, F-8)
7a. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 6-4 FC)
7b. Luis Acosta, SS: 0-0 (BB, R)
8a. Wes Darvill, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, L-6, PO)
8b. Kenny Socorro, 3B: 1-1 (1B)
9a. Blair Springfield, RF: 1-2 (HBP, 2B, 6-3, R, 2 SB)
9b. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)


DAYTONA PITCHERS:
1. A. J. Morris: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Jose Rosario: 2.2 IP, 3 H 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 36 pitches (27 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Su-Min Jung: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (13 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Brett Wallach: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (13 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
5. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (13 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
6. Tayler Scott: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO


DAYTONA ERRORS: NONE


DAYTONA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Sergio Burruel: 2-2 CS


ATTENDANCE: 94


WEATHER: Temperature in the low 80's, overcast, & VERY breezy (expecting rain tomorrow)

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Comments

AzPhil

Any idea on Hayden's velocity? Curious if he's 100%, or still working his way back from, uh, the fracture (I think).

I just have a hard time getting intrigued with Morris. I mean, he seems like a guy who, if the opportunity came, could perhaps find some role in the bigs, as the stuff from a couple years ago as decent, but he's 25 this year. Seems like a possible power pen arm that could move fast, I guess. I guess I shouldn't rule out his stuff perhaps improving from what I recall.

Any take on how Luis Acosta looked as a shortstop?

Last question - buy or sell Wilson Contreras as a catcher (granted, in the really early stages right now of that process)? It is somewhat intriguing, but then again, I had hopes that Jovan Rosa might be an intriguing move to catcher if he could maintain his offensive production.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 11:47pm — toonsterwu

AzPhil

Any idea on Hayden's velocity? Curious if he's 100%, or still working his way back from, uh, the fracture (I think).

I just have a hard time getting intrigued with Morris. I mean, he seems like a guy who, if the opportunity came, could perhaps find some role in the bigs, as the stuff from a couple years ago as decent, but he's 25 this year. Seems like a possible power pen arm that could move fast, I guess. I guess I shouldn't rule out his stuff perhaps improving from what I recall.

Any take on how Luis Acosta looked as a shortstop?

Last question - buy or sell Wilson Contreras as a catcher (granted, in the really early stages right now of that process)? It is somewhat intriguing, but then again, I had hopes that Jovan Rosa might be an intriguing move to catcher if he could maintain his offensive production.

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

TOONSTER: I don't know what Simpson's velocity was, but he certainly did not blow anybody away. His curve (in particular) was really sharp today, though.

I didn't mention A. J. Morris in the post because he is such a great prospect (he's not), but rather because I know what he went through last year (and how great he must feel just seeing game action again), and that the Cubs acquired him from Washington despite his just having undergone shoulder surgery (which seemed odd to me).

Luis Acosta is a bit stiff at SS. In fact he looks now (at age 17) what Junior Lake looks like at age 21. I find it VERY hard to believe that Acosta will remain at SS. I would think 3B or RF would be his more likely ultimate defensive destination. He is a beast offensively, though. Loads of power.

I think the Cubs moving Wilson Contreras to catcher is a last gasp effort to find some value in him. His bat does not play well enough at either 3B or 1B (plus he is a butcher at both positions), but he might hit enough to be a catcher IF he can be passably-adequate back there. The jury is still out on that, especially if you consider the fact that Contreras WAS a catcher when the Cubs signed him, but they immediatelty moved him to 3B.

Wrongway's Sunday Whispers column:

some speculation on Marlon Byrd trades...

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

wrongway, maybe, but I did enjoy this factoid about Jamie Moyer:

The man is only four degrees of separation away from Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, who made his debut in 1906. Moyer was a teammate of Nolan Ryan, who pitched to Ernie Banks, who faced Vic Raschi, who pitched to Doc Cramer, who was a teammate of Collins

Cafardo's Sunday Baseball Notes:

It has been well-documented that Lucchino has a greater role in baseball operations than he did in the later years of the Theo Epstein regime - though similar to what he had early in Epstein’s tenure - but he contends that he tailors his involvement to the situation.

Dusty still sour on Chicago, he hasn't spent time in Boston it seems...

7. Theo Epstein is going to have to be tough-minded and thick-skinned as he tries to convince Cubs fans that they need to exhibit patience as he rebuilds. Reds manager Dusty Baker, who spent four seasons at the Cubs helm (which included an NLCS appearance), said of Chicago fans, “From my experience, patience wasn’t a real virtue. They’ve been patient for 100 years. That’s a hard sell in Chicago, more patience. They might be patient for a little while, but unlike any other place I’ve been, they count. People count. And they can add real good in Chicago. Everybody - men, women, and children.’’

3. Chris Volstad, RHP, Cubs - The player acquired in the Carlos Zambrano deal with the Marlins has been very impressive in camp. The 6-foot-8-inch righty has exhibited a lot of control and a low-90s fastball that he has been able to get over for strikes. The Cubs feel he may be ready to emerge after a poor season in Florida last year.

and finally...because Az Phil mentioned Andrew Miller or Felix D's name as a possible Cub acquisition in the Theo Comp remaining from Boston (also Franklin Morales). Per Phil, "That makes it sound to me like the PTBNL might be a choice between the three LHRP on the Sox 40-man roster who are out of minor league options"

7. John Lannan, LHP, Nationals - Interest in Lannan has diminished with some teams that feel what they have is just as good (Boston being one, with Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller), and in fact, teams are more interested in lefty Ross Detwiler’s upside. But the Nationals may be leery of dealing either pitcher because of a hamstring injury to Chien-Ming Wang.

8. Felix Doubront, LHP, Red Sox - Scouts really like Doubront’s stuff, but one complaint is that he works very slowly. While Doubront does use a slide-step to hold runners, the feeling is that he is also very slow to the plate.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

Dear Dusty,

If you suck at your job, then Chicago is a tough place to hide.

And sorry we know how to count (whatever that means). It's not very hard actually:

Number of shitty managers named Dusty Baker = 1. Number of resentful people who blame others and cannot take responsibility for his actions named Dusty Baker = 1. Number of people who I am somehow surprised, that despite these traits, are STILL angry and pouting like a child named Dusty Baker = 1.

Next math question?

Cespedes talks about the Cubs (Wittenmeyer, Sun-Times article)...

Cuban superstar Yoenis Cespedes said he was willing to sign with the Cubs and had reason to believe this winter that he might wind up in Chicago. The bottom line, Cespedes told the Sun-Times on Saturday, was that the Cubs offered six years for the same $36 million that the Oakland Athletics offered for four years.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

well, can't blame him for that decision. just hoping we get Soler.

it is nice to see that we put in an aggressive bid. i'm glad we didn't get too aggressive, though. 9 mil per? Eh.

Xavier Nady still hanging on...

https://twitter.com/washingnats/status/181382...

Apparently he has Syracuse in his brackets.

With Peoria Chiefs Pitching Coach Tom Pratt on Extended Medical Leave, ex-MLB LHP Ron Villone is serving as the Pitching Coach for Peoria at Minor League Camp.

CARLOS PENA 1 HIT THIS SPRING MAKES LAHAIR LOOK GOOD.

I have a feeling LaHair's window is going to be pretty short. The underdog fan in me is really rooting for him, even tho it's obvious who will be playing there next year.

Needs less capitals.

via rotowurld, via paul sulivan's twitter:

"Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Rafael Dolis will be a setup man alongside Kerry Wood this season."

"Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Jeff Samardzija is a "near lock" for the team's rotation."

If Ninja makes the rotation, then that leaves 2 spots for Maholm, Wood, Wells, Volstad, and Coleman. Coleman is clearly Iowa-bound. Any educated guesses how the rest fall out?

Wood will start in Iowa, I should think.

maholm pretty much has to have a spot based on what they're paying him...volstad should easily win a slot unless he gets injured.

t.wood has done nothing to impress this spring...no idea wtf their plan with r.wells is even if he's pitching well enough to earn a spot.

I'm pretty much in agreement with this. Wood has an option year left, might as well burn it. Volstad has certainly does enough to get a spot.

One of Dempster, Wells, or Maholm should probably get traded, but I believe Maholm cannot be traded until May-ish under FA rules (the things I might have learned at TCR). EpHoy has preach depth all they want, but it's probably not a bad idea to flip one of these guys for an "asset."

My guess is swingman/bullpen until the staff stretches out more and/or the first inevitable injury to someone in the rotation.

I think Wells is an excellent candidate for starter-turned-reliever project status. Coleman and Wood are headed to Iowa, that is a given at this point. I think Rodrigo Lopez has a decent chance at the long reliever/mop-up man role, it will likely come down to him or Mateo.

i've been a little slow on the cubs news the past couple of weeks, but is r.dollis being a near-sure-thing to make the cubs news? this one got a "woah" out of me. it's not like i don't think he's worthy of a shot at the bigs as much as it is i didn't think he would be seriously considered for breaking with the team opening day.

Only reading the stuff from AZ Phil and the MLB recaps, I don't see anyone has 'out-pitched' Dolis. If Samardzija is going to make the rotation, then having Dolis and K. Wood as RH set up roles makes sense.

I see 2012 as a year (depending on their April-June performance) that Dolis could take over Marmol's closer role, Rizzo moves LaHair to the bench or LF (if they can finally find a taker for Soriano), BJax forces the Byrd trade, and Castillo makes a better value at Catcher than paying Soto $6-8M in 2013.

The off-field moves in 2012 might be a lot more interesting to watch.

cubs-rangers in Vegas, Volstad thru 2 IP very sharp, harmless two out singles in each inning. No score.

Game is on mlb.com website TV, Rangers broadcasters

The Game vs WSox is in a rain delay.

Volstad has pretty much wrapped up a starting spot unless he implodes in the next 10 days. That leaves only one spot left, and since I believe that the Cubs will want a lefty in the rotation, Maholm is likely to get the last spot unless he really stinks up the rest of the month.

Sonnanstine with another horrible outing. 5 runs in the 6th vs WSux.

Maybe he'll just retire.

i had to check my calendar to make sure it's not 2009...fwiw...it's not.

Joe Mather with a solo HR in the top 9th, Dolis pitching the bottom
Cubs 3, Rangers 2

wow...matt kata (last out of the game, TEX) is still out there playing? neat. he's in his mid-30s...must be a AAA "leadership/role" filler.

...evidently he's been AAA fodder for years. good for him. pat borders approves.

Dolis was a little wild but didn't get scored upon in the 9th. Left a runner at 3rd with one out. G0 5-3, F9.

Optioned to AAA to delay his service clock quiet the naysayers?

http://espn.go.com/mlb/spring2012/story/_/id/...

2012 Winner of the Fernando Perez award is...

Muskat writes a human interest story on Adrian Cardenas currently working on his degree with his major in creative writing from NYU.

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

"Plus, you're in situation to be a part of history," he said. "If the Cubs were to win a World Series, you can't ask for too much more."

and Pudge Maddux gets an mlb.com Muskat article too...

Does he feel he's still part of the Cubs?

"Always, always, always," Maddux said. "Chicago's a huge part of my baseball career. Always. We just got a new house last month and redecorated and there's a lot of Cubs stuff there. I have a lot of great memories. Absolutely."

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

Probably more fond memories of being in Atlanta and actually winning. #cubbery

translation: he has a few packs of "vienna beef" brand hotdogs in the fridge.

...and redecorated and there's a lot of Cubs stuff there.
---
translation, v2: photo taken from Maddog's freezer show a few of these boxes

http://legendaryauctions.com/LotImages/67/109...

niiiiiiiiiice.

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