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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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • jacos 37 min 30 sec ago view
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 18 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 8 hours 35 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 30 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 34 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 15 hours 50 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 15 hours 53 min ago view