Cubs Unleash the Wood at Diablo Park

Trey Martin laced a bases-loaded triple to key a six-run 2nd inning, and Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario each blasted a two-run home run to highlight a five-run 9th, as the Cubs rode a 21-hit attack en route to a 14-5 thrashing of the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.

The game was extended an extra inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work.

The Cubs offense was on full display today.

Besides hitting his 6th HR in 22 EXST games, Javier Baez singled and walked (his first walk in 110+ professional PA), Trey Martin added a double to his bases-clearing triple, Jeimer Candelario singled twice and walked in addition to his two-run HR, Kevin Encarnacion had four hits including two RBI singles, and Neftali Rosario singled twice and doubled and scored two runs.

Recently-signed catcher Brian Esposito made his Cub debut in today’s game, catching the first five innings before moving to DH.

Now 33 years old, Esposito was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round of the 2000 draft out of the U. of Connecticut, and had spent the previous 12 seasons playing for a half-dozen different organizations, mostly at the AA level. He also saw a little bit of MLB action with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 and with the Houston Astros in 2010. He is a career 216/254/304 hitter in 724 minor league games.

Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):

1a. Trey Martin, CF-DH: 2-4 (F-8, 3B, 2B, E-5, R, 3 RBI)
1b. Wilson Contreras, PH: 1-1 (1B, R)
2a. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, F-9 SF, F-9, RBI)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 2-4 (1B, K, BB, P-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
4. Brian Esposito, C-DH: 0-4 (5-3, P-6, P-4, 4-3, BB, R)
5. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-5 (K, P-6, 2B, P-5, 1B, 2 R)
6. Xavier Batista, LF-DH: 1-3 (1B, K, F-7 SF, K, F-8 SF, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 4-3, BB, 1B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
8. Neftali Rosario, DH-C: 3-5 (1B, 2B, 1B, F-9, F-8, 2 R)
9. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 4-5 (1B, 1B, 3-U, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
10a. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #2: 2-3 (1B, F-7, 1B, R, RBI)
10b. Garrett Schlecht, CF: 0-2 (4-3, E-5)
11b. Trevor Gretzky, DH-LF: 1-3 (1B, K, P-6)

1. Tayler Scott: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 54 pitches (34 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 33 pitches (23 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Roderik Pichardo: 1.2 IP, 1 H 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. Alvido Jimenez: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1B Dan Vogelbach - E-3 (missed catch on what should have been 1-3 GO allowed batter to reach base safely)

LF Trevor Gretzky - threw out batter 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double


WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90’s


Great stuff!

What are Baez's updated #'s?

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 4:14pm — ahs430

Great stuff!

What are Baez's updated #'s?


AHS: Up-to-the-minute EXST stats:

22 GAMES - 79 PA
5 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 18 R, 1/21 BB/K, 2 HBP, 7 SB (1 CS)

Awesome! Thank you!

Bruce Levine says Steve Clevenger will go out on a rehab assignment on Monday.

Cubs unleash the Wood...thought that was a final Kerry pun.

Bruce Miles‏@BruceMiles2112

Iowa spies say Randy Wells headed to Chicago.

Verlander no-hitter through 6 vs. Pirates. Not sure if that will count.

With a headline like that, no wonder Phil Rogers didn't include an actual link to the site.


Unleash the wood. It could be interpreted in different ways. Get it? Where's your sense of sophomoric humor? It was a low rent joke, not worthy of any further explanation.

verlander about to go into the 9th, still going for the no-hitter

ex-Cub Josh Harrison breaks it up with 1 out in the 9th.

What a dildo. My fantasy team needed the nh just to catch up.

As with Randy Wells last month, Optional Assignment Waivers had to be secured before Chris Volstad could be optioned to the minors (that's because Volstad made his debut on an MLB 25-man roster more than three years ago).

Optional Assignment Waivers are revocable the first time they are requested in a given waiver period, and can be requested at any time in a given waiver period starting on 2/16 up through the conclusion of the MLB regular season. Once secured, the waivers are good for the balance of that waiver period. (EXCEPTION: A player cannot be optioned to the minors and Optional Assignment Waivers cannot be requested or secured during the off-season beginning with the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and all players on Optional Assignment must be recalled no later than the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).

The easiest way for a GM to navigate Optional Assignment Waivers is to place all players on the club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) who require Optional Waivers before they can be optioned to the minors on Optional Waivers at the beginning of each waiver period. (Clubs will often do this with Trade Assignment Waivers after the July 31st trade deadline, too). Seven players can be placed on Assignment Waivers (Trade, Optional, and/or Outright) every day, so the process can be done very quickly. And because Optional Waivers are revocable the first time they are requested in a given waiver period, if a player were to be claimed (which is unlikely), the waiver request can be withdrawn, and the club would know that if that player were to be placed on Optional Assignment Waivers again later in that same waiver period, the waivers would then become irrevocable and could not be withdrawn if a claim was made.

The current waiver period commenced on the 31st day of the MLB regular season (which was May 4th), so the Cubs requested Optional Assignment Waivers on Volstad sometime earlier in the waiver period. If it had not been done this way, the Cubs would have had to DFA Volstad today and wait two days for him to clear waivers before he could have been optioned to Iowa.

The current waiver period runs through July 31st, so if the Cubs were to recall Volstad sometime later in the waiver period, they could option him back to the minors again prior to August 1st without having to secure Optional Assignment Waivers again.

This may be WAY 3/44 (I haven't been here forever), but have we discussed the fact that Phil Rogers' minors source is our own Az Phil?!?!?


Very 3/44, but thanks for noticing

And thanks for keeping me honest :)

Tony S, that is so 3/44 its like...6/88!

Speaking of, I JUST heard the Cubs/Dodgers/whoever offered Jason Schmidt 6/88!!!

....No? Just me? ...... Well then, nevermind....

Hey AZ Phil, just curious, is Frank Batista eligible for Rule V next year?

Yes, Frank Batista should be on the list.

Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Frank Batista, RHP
Justin Bour, 1B
Michael Brenly, C
Michael Burgess, OF
David Cales, RHP
Esmailin Caridad, RHP
Matt Cerda, INF
Hunter Cervenka, LHP
Evan Crawford, OF
Willengton Cruz, LHP
Antonio Encarnacion, RHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Ramon Garcia, RHP
Gregori Gonzalez, IF-OF
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Ty’Relle Harris, RHP
Graham Hicks, LHP
Brett Jackson, OF
Jay Jackson, RHP
Alvido Jimenez, RHP
Richard Jones,1B
Austin Kirk, LHP
Luis Liria, RHP
Jeff Lorick, LHP
David Macias, IF-OF
Nate Maldonado, C
Trey McNutt, RHP
Pedro Medina, RHP (ex-OF)
Jose Montesino, INF
A. J. Morris, RHP
Enyelberth Pena, RHP
Felix Pena, RHP
Starling Peralta, RHP
Nelson Perez, OF
Roderik Pichardo, RHP
Brooks Raley, LHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rebel Ridling, 1B
Greg Rohan, IF-OF
Melvin Rosa, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Chris Rusin, LHP
Julio Sanchez, RHP
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF)
Nick Struck, RHP
Larry Suarez, RHP
Francisco Turbi, RHP
Brett Wallach, RHP
Logan Watkins, INF
Casey Weathers, RHP
Rob Whitenack, RHP
Ty Wright, OF
NOTE: Player not eligible for selection if added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20.


Manny Corpas, RHP
Frankie de la Cruz, RHP
Blake DeWitt, INF
Rodrigo Lopez, RHP


Jim Adduci, OF
Alfredo Amezaga, IF-OF
Juan Apodaca, C
Justin Berg, RHP
Kyler Burke, LHP
Brian Esposito, C
Mike MacDougal, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Nate Robertson, LHP
Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP
Nate Samson, INF
Matt Tolbert, INF
Luis Valbuena, INF

Adrian Aviles, LHP (previously released by LAD)
Michael de la Cruz, RHP (previously released by TEX)



1. A minor league player eligible to be an ARTICLE XX-D FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. A player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th.

2. A minor league player eligible to be an MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by 5 PM (EDT) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.

I didn't realize that. We are in danger of losing Cervanko.

Top 5 most-likely to be added to 40-man roster (all are virtual locks):

1. Brett Jackson
2. Trey McNutt
3. Kyler Burke
4. Chris Rusin
5. Rob Whitenack

Kyler Burke is different than the other four, because with him it's not a matter of taking a chance that he could get selected in the Rule 5 Draft, it's a matter of his being a minor league FA post-2012 if he is not added to the 40.

I'm guessing that Rhee would sort of fall into that next tier for you?


A lot will depend on how the rest of the season goes. If Rhee gets stronger as the year progresses, as he did last year, I think there's a higher chance that a team might take him this time around. With the shoddy shape of the bullpen, if Marcus Hatley finishes strong, I'd want to protect him because I view him as one of the few current pen guys (thus excluding McNutt) with late inning potential (Alberto Cabrera is another). That said, with the shoddy shape of the pen, wouldn't surprise if Hatley saw the bigs this year.

A notch below that, I would wonder about a guy like Logan Watkins. The new regime thinned out the upper level positional depth and lucked into Cardenas/Valbuena to replace the departed. Assuming one or both of Adrian and Luis are in the bigs, having a versatile up-the-middle guy like Logan Watkins could prove nice as depth. I think Watkins would have to show some better offensive consistency, though, to get consideration.

AzPhil, what do you think about the chances of the raw arms figuring into the mix, guys like Peralta and Rosario? I just wonder if a team might Lendy Castillo one of those guys, take a raw arm, see if you can hide him, and then send him to the minors next year.

The Cubs like to use the AFL for "bubble" guys like Dae-Eun Rhee and Logan Watkins, and I would expect both to be there. Either could get added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline with a strong showing in the AFL.

You take a chance by leaving raw arms like Rosario and Peralta off the 40-man roster, and the fact that the Cubs selected Lendy Castillo in last year's Rule 5 Draft means they value that type of pitcher, but yet I would be surprised if either Rosario or Peralta end up on the 40 post-2012.

So need to bring up 2 pitchers

scott maine
randy wells ?

Is Whitenack healthy? Just kidding (sort of).

T. Wood and R. Wells

T. Wood and R. Wells
Hard to recognize the Cubs without a little Wood

AZ Phil's popularity is exploding, got an email from Keith Lockhart looking for Daniel's stats. Has a email, looks like he's an area scout for them.

I've gotten quite a few requests from family members of other players over the last couple of months. So be nice to Rock Shoulders (for example) :)

Here's the thing. I don't know if K Hill's mom is on here. But if she is, it doesn't change anything. He's not a bad person, he's not evil, he simply cannot hit a major league pitch with enough regularity to resemble a middle reliever, and therefore paying him to demonstrate that is a damn stupid baseball move by people who should know better.


Wait, K. Lockhart works for the Cubs, has a son in the Cubs system and he is emailing YOU for his stats? Looks like theo and Co. haven't done all the technology upgrades they were talking about. They should invest in some internets.

Welington Castillo out with a leg issue. Cubs trade cash considerations to CIN for Koyie Hill to plug the gap. I can't imagine for the life of me why we would want Koyie back. CIN undoubtedly made the trade knowing it would make us worse as a team.

ug, at least he knows the staff.

Blake Lalli has to be feeling pretty good about this.

awesome...cubs get a do-over on the season.

it must be April 1st.

I'm trying to muster up some emotions in response to this news, but I got nothing.

I am hoping that this is to allow Koyie Hill to come into the game, catch one batter and then retire as a Cub


*waiting for the "have faith in theocorp" post that tells us k.hill is an obvious smart gamble*

hopefully he'll avoid 200pa...or 150pa...or 100pa.

reality check - what soto was doing k.hill would have a hard time doing worse...sigh...

So the Cubs should have planned for injuries to 3 catchers? Koyie isn't a good hitter but he knows the pitchers and is pretty good defensively. Sure we need something better, but please don't blame Theo for 3 catcher injuries.





Recent comments

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  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.