Javier Baez Takes Maholm Deep at Fitch Park

Paul Maholm threw 5-2/3 innings (77 pitches), allowing three runs (all earned), seven hits (including two doubles, a triple, and a Javier Baez tape-measure home run), two walks, and a HBP, with five strikeouts and 5/5 GO/FO, in intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Baez crushed his two-run bomb off a house on the north side of 8th Street, and then later in the game, lined a rope-double off the LF fence, stole 3rd, and scored the tying run on an Oliver Zapata single (Zapata’s third hit of the game, BTW).

Baez also made the defensive play of the day (diving stop behind 2nd base, before getting to his feet and making a strong throw to 1st to nip speedy Trey Martin by less than a step).

The game was extended beyond nine innings to accommodate all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw today.

Here is the abridged box score from the game:

1. Oliver Zapata, CF: 3-5 (1B, 2B, K, P-2, 1B, R, RBI, SB)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-5 (L-8 DP, 1B, F-8, 6-3, 6-4 FC, RBI, PO)
3. Ryan Cuneo, DH #1: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, BB, 1-3, 4-3)
4b. Trevor Gretzky, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, K, K, CS)
5. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 1-4 (5-3, 5-3, HBP, 2B, K, R)
6. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 2-3 (6-3, 2B, BB, 1B, RBI)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-4 (K, F-9, K, 5-4-3 DP)
8. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-4 (6-3, 6-2 FC, 1B, 5-3, R, SB)
9. Javier Baez, SS: 2-4 (K, HR, K, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB)
10. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-4 (K, 3B, 4-3, K)
11b. Luis Acosta, DH #3: 0-2 (F-9, K)

1 Trey Martin, CF: 1-5 (3-U, BB, 1B, 3-U, F-7, 6-3, R)
2a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (P-4, E-6, P-4)
2b. Brian Inoa, 2B: 1-3 (1B, K, K, PO)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-4 (K, 1B, 2B, 4-3, BB, BB, RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-6 (2B, 5-4-3 DP, 4-3, 1B, K, 4-6-3 DP, R)
5a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-3 (F-9, P-6, 2B, RBI)
5b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, LF: 1-2 (1B, P-1, R)
6. Anthony Giansanti, DH: 2-4 (BB, 1B, F-9, 1B, P-6, R, 2 RBI)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B-SS: 1-5 (6-4-3 DP, P-6, P-5, F-9, 1B, SB)
8a. Delbis Arcila, RF: 1-3 (K, 1B, K)
8b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (F-8 SF, K, RBI)
9. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-5 (P-6, K, 6-3, 3-U, 1B)

1. Brooks Raley: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 2 GIDP, 60 pitches (41 strikes), 6/5 GO/FO
2. Frank del Valle: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 44 pitches (31 strikes), 5/5 GO/FO
3. John Gaub: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Starling Peralta: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (13 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
5. James Pugliese: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 15 pitches (9 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

1. Paul Maholm: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 1 PO, 77 pitches (48 strikes), 5/5 GO/FO
2. Gerardo Concepcion: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 38 pitches (26 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
3. Tayler Scott: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 20 pitches (11 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 15 pitches (11 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO

Wilson Contreras: 0-1 CS

Wilfredo Petit: 1-4 CS

SS Javier Baez – E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)



WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70’s


Keith Law: Cubs claim Luis Valbuena


(per mlbtr) Valbuena, 26, was traded from the Indians to the Blue Jays in November. He spent the majority of 2011 with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate where he hit .302/.372/.476 with 17 homers in 472 plate appearances. The infielder played 194 games for the Indians' varsity squad in 2009 and 2010 and saw a good deal of time at second base.

Not sure how he fits in other than Iowa, he's a lefty bat and played 28 games at SS in 2009 (about 25% of his appearances that year)

per Wikipedia...

On November 26, 2011, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations.
On April 4, 2012, Valbuena was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs after being optioned by the Blue Jays.

crappy SS, barely tolerable 2nd...bat seems to be a AAAA mystery so far...pissed off a lot of CLE fans back in 09/10...but they've been pissed since b.phillips left (traded to CIN for eventual cubs headache jeff stevens, fwiw).

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 2:17pm — Cubster

Keith Law: Cubs claim Luis Valbuena

Not sure how he fits in other than Iowa, he's a lefty bat and played 28 games at SS in 2009 (about 25% of his appearances that year)


CUBSTER: Luis Valbuena is out of minor league options, and while he could be placed back on waivers again so that the Cubs can send him to AAA (but that's only if no other teams make a claim), he might have been claimed because the Cubs are planning to put Bryan LaHair on the DL and they want another lefty bat on the bench with some pop (and LaHair not being ready to start the season is probably also why DeWitt has been playing a lot of 1B at the end of Spring Training).

If LaHair was ready to go, he probably would have been playing in intrasquad games at Fitch Park this week (getting six or eight ABs each game to make up for lost time), but he did not.


Whoah. That's a scoop. Thanks AZ . . . Let's see if you are right!

There goes my guess of Kerry Wood being first on DL

"There goes my guess of Kerry Wood being first on DL"

No, because if LaHair is injured he will not be on the opening day roster.

That said, if LaHair is injured it must be seriously to cause him to risk his big break.

what Rob Richardson said, starting the season on the DL wouldn't count.

"Yankees purchased the contract of LHP Clay Rapada from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."


Levine Doug Padilla (ESPN) tweets a quote from Hoyer:

Hoyer: "We will have Marmol, Wood, Dolis, Camp, Lendy Castillo and Russell who will be in the bullpen on opening day."

Lendy is in!

Corpas and Rod Lopez? bub-bye?


I think someone tweeted their theory that Lopez would be added to the staff later, which may mean someone like Valbuena would go.

6-man pen?

I hate you a little less today Sveum.

With all the off days you can probably get away with that until May.

More Padilla twitter...INF Luis Valbuena claimed off waivers. Will make roster. Only 11-man pitching staff to start.

LaHair 50-50 for Opening Day with tight back.

Campana here (at Wrigley). Says he doesn't know about his status yet.

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 3:05pm — Cubster

More Padilla twitter...INF Luis Valbuena claimed off waivers. Will make roster. Only 11-man pitching staff to start.

LaHair 50-50 for Opening Day with tight back.

Campana here (at Wrigley). Says he doesn't know about his status yet.


CUBSTER: So Tony Campana making the Opening Day roster probably hinges on whether LaHair starts the season on the DL.

BTW, if LaHair is placed on the 15-day DL, it can be backdated to March 31st (he last played in a Cactus League game on 3/30), so he could be activated as soon as a week from this Sunday (4/15).

The Bud roof returns, now in RF?


and the RF scoreboard


Padilla article on Valbuena as the Cubs backup at SS.

To make room on the 40-man roster, reliever Frankie De La Cruz was outrighted.


Actually there already was one slot open on the 40-man roster when Valbuena was acquired of waivers.

NOW the 40-man roster is full.

And then outrighting De La Cruz opens up one slot again, although three will be needed for Shawn Camp, Blake DeWitt, and Joe Mather.

Again, I expect Marcos Mateo and Gerardo Concepcion to be placed on the 60-DL to create the two more slots that are needed.

But then a fourth slot will be needed if and when Rodrigo Lopez is added to the 40.

That would probably involve a DFA (possibly Scott Maine), or it could mean working out a trade with the Phillies so that the Cubs can remove Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo from the 40-man roster and outright him to Tennessee or Daytona.

Because he was outrighted previously in his career, Frankie de la Cruz is an Article XX-D player, meaning he has the right to refuse an Outright Assignment to the minors. (Players who have accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time are also Article XX-D players, which is why Blake DeWitt had the right to refuse his Outright Assignment in February despite not having been outrighted previously in his career).

De La Cruz now has three days to decide whether to accept the Outright Assignment.

If he refuses the assignment (as Andy Sonnanstine did a couple of weeks ago), he is an unrestricted free-agent, and he receives no termination pay (his contract is essentially voided).

If he accepts the Outright Assignment, he reports to Iowa, and he can file for free-agency as an Article XX-D minor league free-agent starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (unless he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular season).

BTW, Manny Corpas does NOT have to right to refuse his assignment to Iowa.

He did have that right (as an Article XX-D player) when he was outrighted in January, but he declined to be a free-agent at that time, and so instead he will have the right to be an Article XX-D minor league FA after the conclusion of the 2012 regular season (again, unless he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season).


That is at least a decent asset in the minors in case someone in the pen goes down.

Of course, he certainly will help the team during their September Pennant drive!

25 man based on the above info:

DeJesus, Barney, Castro, Soriano, LaHair, Soriano, Stewart, Byrd, Soto (8)

Bench: Baker, DeWitt, RJohnson, Mather, Clevenger, Valbuena (6)

SP: Dempster, Garza, Samardjiza, Volstad, Maholm (5)

RP: Marmol, Wood, Russell, Camp, Dolis, LCastillo (6)

please, one soriano is plenty.

from rotoworld:

Tony Campana will remain with the team in case LaHair needs to be placed on the disabled list.

(kind of a small target for him to be our replacement at first, or maybe they will let Campy use a really big glove)

At least it isn't Neifi Perez replacing Derrek Lee.

Another thing about the Cubs roster:

Once Joe Mather is added to the 40-man roster, he cannot be sent to the minors unless Outright Waivers are secured. Same goes for Luis Valbuena. And Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson have too much service time to go the minors.

But Blake DeWitt does have one minor league option left, so if the Cubs decide to keep Valbuena on the 25 (mainly because he can play SS), DeWitt could be optioned to the minors later on down the line once the Cubs add a 12th pitcher and if they face a 25-man roster squeeze amongst the position players.

I can kind of understand going with an 11-man pitching staff on Opening Day if your 4th starter isn't needed until Monday and the 5th starter isn't needed until next Wednesday, except 4th starter Chris Volstad threw 67 pitches in an intrasquad game at Fitch Park yesterday, and 5th starter Paul Maholm threw 77 pitches in the intrasquad game today, and so neither will be available tomorrow.

Malholm tweeted today his start will be Tuesday.

F. Pie released by the Tribe. In a related note, my daughter has some sort of food allergy called FPIES. I blame Jim Hendry.

In case anyone thinks the Cubs claimed Luis Valbuena so that he could be flipped to the Phillies in a trade (like for Lendy Castillo), remember...

A club is not permitted to make a waiver claim and then trade the player to another club if the purpose of the claim was to prevent a third club from being awarded the waiver claim. (A waiver claim that is judged to have been made for this purpose will be revoked).

So if any other club with a waiver claim priority between the Cubs and the Phillies claimed Valbuena, and then the Cubs traded Valbuena to the Phillies, the Cubs waiver claim would be revoked (and so would the trade), and the club that put in a claim for Valbuena but lost out to the Cubs would get Valbuena and the Cubs would pay the $50,000 waiver fee.

I learn so much here. Thanks.

"In case anyone thinks the Cubs claimed Luis Valbuena so that he could be flipped to the Phillies in a trade . . ."

I think they claimed Valbuena so they could show DeWitt the door.

(I'd like to be there myself to hold the door for DeWitt and Byrd.)

I also think that what they plan to do with Lendy Castillo is give him the ball.

watch me make A Soriano disappear!

from your lips to theo's ears...

k.lohse (STL) no-hitter through 6...would be perfect if not for a HBP. 70 pitches.

I just picked him up on my fantasy team but did not start him

no worse feeling in fantasy baseball

marlins no hits through 6.


hit reyes 7th

The Cardinals have not allowed one hit through six innings.

Ex-Cub RHP Marco Carrillo is now with Los Sultanes de Monterrey in the Mexican League.

The Cubs sold RHP Oswaldo Martinez to Los Diablos Rojos de Mexico (the Mexico City Red Devils) a couple of weeks ago.

Both Carrillo and O. Martinez could be in the bullpen for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic next Spring.

RHP Hung-Wen Chen (the first Taiwanese player signed by the Cubs) was released, and he will likely be on Team Chinese Taipei in the 2012 WBC. The Cubs loaned Chen to Los Piratas de Campeche in the Mexican League last summer (where he was one of the top closers in the Mexican League), so he could end up back there, or he could go home and pitch in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).

Cubs have officially added RHP Shawn Camp and OF-IF Joe Mather to 40-man roster, and have placed RHP Marcos Mateo (elbow) on 60-day DL.

Camp is eligible to be an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2012. He has no minor league options left, but it doesn't really matter because he has five-plus years of MLB Service Time, so he cannot be sent to minors (by Outrighht or Optional Assignment) unless he gives his permission in advance (which is VERY unlikely).

Mather has no Minor League Options left and can refuse an Outright Assignment if he is outrighted because he was outrighted previously in his career.

Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) is now full, and MLB Active List (25-man roster) is one over limit because LHP Gerardo Concepcion hasn't been officially optioned yet. Concepcion was never in big league camp, and he was left behind when the Daytona Cubs left for Florida last Sunday (he pitched in the Fitch Park intrasquad game this morning), so he could go on 60-day DL to open up another slot on the 40-man roster if he is not optioned by tomorrow.

IF-OF Blake DeWiit and RHP Rodrigo Lopez have NOT yet been added to 40-man roster.

Rodrigo Lopez gets automatic $100K retention bonus if he is not added to Cubs 40-man roster by Opening Day. That's because he was a post-2011 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a minor league contract, and Cubs did not release him by 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day.

So if Cubs plan to add Lopez to 40-man roster (and 25-man roster), they would save $100K by doing it by Opening Day instead of waiting to do it and paying him an extra $100K unnecessarily.

DeWitt cannot refuse to go to Iowa because he was outrighted in February and had his chance to be a free-agent at that time. Now he's stuck.

What do you think the split is on his Minor League contract? 100K now might be less than what his Major League split would be.

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 9:35am — Dr. aaron b

What do you think the split is on his Minor League contract? 100K now might be less than what his Major League split would be.


DR AARON: Bruce Levine reported Rodrigo Lopez's contract as $900K if he was on an MLB 40-man roster, with a $235K minor league split salary to be paid if he is at AAA Iowa. So that's $150K per month if he is in MLB, or about $60K per month if he is at AAA. If he spends a month at Iowa, the Cubs would save about $90K in salary (but offset by paying the $100K Article XX-B retention bonus) versus what they would have had to pay him if he had been in MLB over that period of time.

What I was trying to say about the Article XX-B retention bonus is if Lopez is going to AAA and there is no doubt about that and he's going to be there at least a month, then fine. But if the Cubs are planning to add him to the 40-man roster when they add a 12th pitcher, then waiting a couple of days to do that cost them an extra $100K that they would not have had to pay if he was added to the 40-man roster prior to Opening Day.

Even though I knew the Cubs had cut payroll, I was surprised to read this from @BizballMaury on Twitter:

Everyone talking about Mets' cuts, but Cubs more (-29.47%): $88,197,033 in 2012 compared to $125,047,329 last Opening Day

Who would have thought this would be the result when Epstein and Hoyer took over?

@BizballMaury on Twitter
he's probably not counting the $18M they are paying for Zambrano (minus the Volstad salary); nor the $5M for Pena

It's USA today's number and yeah, seems to be missing Z's go-away money at the very least.

The payroll figures do no include the nearly $17 million of Carlos Zambrano's contract with Miami, which the Cubs are paying, or the $2.7 million for Randy Wells, who was demoted to Triple-A Iowa last week.

so other than about 18% of the actual payroll, it's the Cubs payroll number.

If you exclude Soriano, Garza, and Dempster, it's even lower!

So in a nutshell, the quote above from @bizballmaury was a waste of the time it took Maury to tweet it, the time it took me to re-quote it, and the space it took up on this page. Other than that, it was very worthwhile.

On another note, if you subtract 18% of the Yankees payroll and then claim they have a much lower, fictitious payroll...oh, never mind.

Tom Ricketts opening day message via an article in the Thursday Sun-Times:


"I almost spit up my Fruit Loops when I saw that." Theo Epstein

"And that future starts now."

Deep stuff. Really.


Not really.

Fancam from Sports World is operational with audio this year. You can see new posters of Sveum, Garza, Maholm and Byrd to the right of the Marquee.


Looks like Concepcion is back on Daytona. I don't recall the initial list for Daytona that was put out, so not sure who got sent down. Guessing one of the lefties (Kirk/Jokisch) join Harman in the pen, as it's hard to see Cates/Loosen not in the rotation (and Loosen is starting opening day), and I gotta think Simpson gets a rotation look.

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 6:59am — toonsterwu

Looks like Concepcion is back on Daytona. I don't recall the initial list for Daytona that was put out, so not sure who got sent down. Guessing one of the lefties (Kirk/Jokisch) join Harman in the pen, as it's hard to see Cates/Loosen not in the rotation (and Loosen is starting opening day), and I gotta think Simpson gets a rotation look.


TOONSTER: With Gerardo Concepcion getting optioned to Daytona (and he looked very good in yesterday's intrasquad game, BTW), the Daytona Cubs now have 26 players listed on their 25-man roster, including 14 pitchers.

They could keep 14 pitchers for a while and drop a position player (they use the DH in all "A" ball leagues, so a team could probably operate with a two-man bench), or they could DL or drop one of the other pitchers.

"And that future starts now."
Marty McFly loved that quote

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.