A's Rally Dooms Cubs at Fitch Park

Neftali Rosario lined an RBI double into the LF corner and Trey Martin clubbed a two-run triple off the CF fence to highlight a four-run Cubs 2nd, but the Athletics rallied to score two in the 6th, two in the 7th, and three in the 8th en route to an 8-6 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

The defensive play of the game was a diving catch by Xavier Batista at the RF foul line.

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

1. Trey Martin, CF: 2-4 (K, 3B, SH-E1, 1B, K, 2 RBI, CS)
2. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-4 (1B, P-5, 1B, 6-4 FC, RBI, PO)
3a. Marco Hernandez, DH #1: 0-3 (K, 3-1, F-7)
3b. Dustin Geiger, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-4 (K, 2B, K, 3B)
5. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-4 (2B, K, F-9, K, R)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-3 (3-U, K, BB, K, R)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (BB, F-8, 2B, F-8, R, RBI)
8a. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-2 (2B, K, R, RBI)
8b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-2 (K, K)
9. Brian Inoa, 2B: 1-4 (K, K, F-7, 1B)
10a. Trevor Gretzky, DH #2: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 R)
10b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH-DH: 1-2 (P-6, 1B)

1. David Henrie: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (24 strikes), 2/6 GO/FO
2. Brian Smith: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 38 pitches (20 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 49 pitches (29 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
4. Roderik Pichardo: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 36 pitches (23 strikes)
5. Matt Spencer: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 9 pitches (6 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO

1. P Carlos Martinez - E-1 (missed catch on what should have been a 3-1 putout at 1st base allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. CF Trey Martin - E-8 (fielding error on single to CF allowed batter to advance to 3rd base)

Sergio Burruel: 1 PB


WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90’s


i'd pay money to see vogel run a triple.

j.moyer (COL) DFA'd.


...but expected.

R. Flaherty with a single in his first AB....raises his BA to .160.

How can a first place team keep a Rule 5 guy?!?!?!??!?!?!
/slashes tires

Well ... I don't think Baltimore expected to be in first place. Now that they are, there seems to be some rumblings that they may cut the cord on him (unless they find a convenient injury to stash him away). A lot may come to a head when Brian Roberts is ready to come back in whatever role they put him in. With some injuries in the early-going, it's been fine keeping two super-util guys on the roster (Betemit being the other).

I know in preseason, the chatter in Baltimore was supposedly that the Cubs were waiting for the Orioles to offer Flaherty back. With the Cubs lucking into Cardenas/Valbuena, I wonder if that is still the case, or if the Orioles flip something to keep Flaherty in the system (if there isn't a convenient injury).

Your usual excellent analysis is completely wrong.

Anyone can see that Brian Roberts is about to be a Cub.

jason schmidt hasn't played in almost 3 years, but i'm pretty sure the cubs are about to pick him up, too.

How much and for how many years do you think they will sign him for?

Garza for Roberts.

it's gonna happen.

Let's see. He has to be on the roster 90 days to be theirs Free and clear next season. They've had 30 days this month. They have tomorrow off. That's 31. They had 25 days in April. That's 56. September has 31 days. 87 total. October has 3 days.

So, if they put him on the DL on the first of June, activating him in September, he can be theirs next season free and clear. No point them letting him go now.

Who do they have better at utility?

Um, Wilson Betemit is the main super-utility guy, but he basically gets regular time these days with the injuries they've had (Reynolds was on the DL for a bit, so Betemit got time there, Reimold is still on the DL, so he's seen time there, and he gets some time at 1st and DH). Andino was the a former utility infielder (not really a super-util guy), but he's taken over at 2nd base, and I question if Roberts can reclaim that spot this year.

My guess is that Flaherty will stay on the roster until Roberts is ready to come back, at which point, he'll come down with some sort of injury if they haven't passed the days requirement yet, and then they'd bring him back in September.

The only other potential squeeze on the 40 would be if they made some moves. They could use a bat (although Chris Davis has hit much better than I ... or many Orioles fans probably ... expected.) The K rate and the high BABIP makes one wonder how sustainable it is, though, and if not, the lineup weakens quite a bit if he isn't providing depth to the lineup. That said, I'm not sure where you place a bat. 3rd base perhaps, but you've got Mark Reynolds hanging around to strike out a ton, hit some homers, and not make a ton of contact (along with Betemit/Flaherty), and it's not like the 3rd base market is exactly teeming with talent that's ready to be moved. Maybe LF, depending on what happens with Reimold, as Avery needed some more time.

That said, their bigger need, if they are hanging around, is probably adding an arm. Hammel/Arrieta/Chen have been a decent trio, but they sure could use an impact starter. Matusz has been decent, and Britton will be back eventually, but hard to see them keep 3 lefties in the rotation. Their bullpen has been superb.

considering he's starting tonight, probably not going to cut the cord anytime soon. Plus he's nearly 2/3 of the way towards the necessary commitment.

mostly I'm making fun of the chicken littles that believe it's not worth keeping a Rule 5 guy unless your in some complete rebuild mode and even then folks were bitching about Lendy.

I always find it odd that the rest of baseball doesn't have to abide to the standards that Cubs management must at times.

They can DL him on Friday until September 1 and meet the specs. You're right, so much angst about Rule 5 guys.

ah, sorry missed the humor angle.

speaking of the O's, hope Adam Jones signed that contract.

Nailed in the hand by a Brandon Morrow fastball, stayed in though, but sure looked painful. Hopefully it hit more of the side/palm area then a finger.

I-Cubs release Nate Robertson.

LINDSAY JOINS I-CUBS: The Chicago Cubs have signed RHP Shane Lindsay and assigned him to Iowa's active roster. Lindsay was a non-roster invitee to spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in eight games with Albuquerque from April 27-May 19 before getting released. In nine innings with the Isotopes, he allowed eight hits, walked 12, and struck out eight. Lindsay was an International League All-Star with Charlotte last season and saw his first major league action with the Chicago White Sox last September. Lindsay hails from Australia and was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Colorado Rockies on August 11, 2003.


Phil, in you opinion after 2 months of seeing these guys in Extended Spring Training, who of the 2011 high school draftees, other than pitchers goes on to Boise. Include Rock Shoulders in the group even though he is JC. It seems as if some of the group are doing pretty well, like Dunston, Trey Martin, and one of the first basemen. Also, Gretsky seems be hitting pretty well.

AZ Phil may have a different opinion now as things change (such as Baez going to Peoria). But you can check his thoughts on the subject from 10 days ago here (in the comments):

Thanks, I hadn't seen that article. It answered my question.

Wed, 05/30/2012 - 7:42pm — Rogers

Phil, in you opinion after 2 months of seeing these guys in Extended Spring Training, who of the 2011 high school draftees, other than pitchers goes on to Boise. Include Rock Shoulders in the group even though he is JC. It seems as if some of the group are doing pretty well, like Dunston, Trey Martin, and one of the first basemen. Also, Gretsky seems be hitting pretty well.


ROGERS: The only changes I would make from the Boise roster I posted a couple of weeks ago would be exchanging Marco Hernandez for Javier Baez at SS and in the #3 slot in the batting order, and I would add RHPs Jose Arias and Tayler Scott to the starting rotation, replacing Starling Peralta (who was moved-up to Peoria) and Willengton Cruz (who has yet to pitch in an EXST game). Arias threw five innings of one-hit shutout ball in an intrasquad game today with no walks and five strikeouts.

I would also add RHPs Rafael Diplan and Amaury Paulino to the Boise bullpen, replacing RHP Felix Pena (who was moved up to Peoria) and LHP Hunter Ackerman (who was injured in a game on Tuesday).

I'm still not sure what the Cubs will do with Dan Vogelbach and Rock Shoulders. If they send only one of them to Boise, it will probably be Shoulders (Vogelbach has really struggled at EXST, both at bat and in the field), but they could send both and alternate them at 1B/DH.

Rizzo was supposed to return to the lineup Wednesday after missing a game with a sore right wrist, but the I-Cubs' game with Omaha was postponed.


Ran into Crane Kenney at Casey Moran's yesterday and Paul Sullivan in Cubs lot.

Sully is about Danny Devito's size.

I may have missed it but do the Cubs still owe compensation to the Padres for hiring away the GM? If so, how likely is it the comp. comes from Ext. Spring Training? I assume those attendance figures at the bottom of your "box scores" are made up of trolling scouts.

As of a couple of weeks ago it still hadn't been resolved. The beat reporters would ask about it. But the responses were more of a brush off than an answer.

Thu, 05/31/2012 - 11:12am — Justin Tyme

I may have missed it but do the Cubs still owe compensation to the Padres for hiring away the GM? If so, how likely is it the comp. comes from Ext. Spring Training? I assume those attendance figures at the bottom of your "box scores" are made up of trolling scouts.


JUSTIN T: There was a Padres scout at Cubs Minor League Camp for about a week at the end of March taking video of various Cubs players (mostly from the Peoria squad), but I haven't seen him since.

Maybe they didn't like what they saw on the video and decided to take cash instead.

There are scouts from various other organizations at the games, usually for a week at a time. A scout from Team X might be assigned to "follow" the Cubs minor leaguers and write up reports in case a trade is made somewhere down the line.

I wonder if Navigator read this and blew a gasket.


I get the point of the article, but it still pisses me off and the Cubs are guilty by association. And a nice, big, hearty fuck you to the supreme court of the united states for selling us out. The republic thanks you with a collective, one-fingered salute.

Jack asses.

The line to punch Joe West in the sack starts behind me


/I know it's not Joe West in this story but I believe with him in charge the umpire being the star bs has gotten worse

""Now, thinking back, I should have shown him the gold Rawlings sign on my glove," Martin said."


Everyone, except Samardzija, available to be traded


Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster are veterans starters who can fill out the top of a rotation for a contender. Shortstop Starlin Castro already is a star at 22 but can be obtained for two impact prospects. First baseman Bryan LaHair, a surprise bright spot with 10 home runs, can be cleared to make room for top prospect Anthony Rizzo.

Link in the twitter box. Probably a bit low on the Castro asking price. Says Samardzija is the only real untouchable according to Nightengale.


Oops missed twitter box

dumpster already knows he's going to be traded, fwiw...already made his peace with it.

it's not like it's imminent, but he knows it's mostly likely going to happen.

given the situation with his kid (which may have compassionately kept him in CHI) it's kinda cool...given that this team isn't going anywhere this year.

Say hi for us next time you talk to him.


“I’m not an idiot. I know how things go,’’ said Dempster, a two-time All-Star and the Cubs’ Opening Day starter the last two seasons. “I know how it goes with players in contract years and the team not necessarily doing like they’re supposed to be doing, there’s always a possibility of things. There’s a possibility of being traded anytime.

“But I don’t really think about it. I don’t really worry about it because I can just control doing my job the best I can.’’

Also, his kid isn't a very publicized issue, but he not only has a health team in CHI, he's got permanent caretakers/nurses in CHI.

His kid didn't swallow solid food on her own til she was almost 2 years old .

If he's willing to stay cheap in order to stay close to that medical support he may even be re-signed.



Samardzija "untouchable" and Castro not? Color me skeptical.

Generally-speaking, if I'm a GM, I'm more interested in LaHair or Samardzija than I am Castro. Of course, if my SS is injured and I'm looking for a backup, I might feel differently.



Generally speaking, it's a good thing you aren't a GM.

Probably is a good thing. I wanted the Cubs to get Schmidt instead of Soriano, after all.

That quote only indicates that he knows he'll be talked about in trades, not that he'll necessarily agree to waive his 10/5 no trade rights.

He certainly might, but it certainly wasn't a clearcut "I won't stand in their way" type of statement.

Also no indication that he's at peace with it.

It may actually weigh quite heavily on him.

i wonder what dave kaplan has to say about it.

i wonder what len kasper has to say about it.

i wonder what more dumpster can say about it.

i imagine the guy will be with the cubs in 2013 whether he's traded or not...but that is more speculation that anything else brought up. he does like his new house.

Cubs beat guy chimes in:

John (Lincolnshire)
DP - Just heard everyone on the Cubs is available to trade except for Shark. How different will this team look come August, and how much would it take for them to move Castro?

Doug Padilla
(2:31 PM)
It'll take a ton to move Castro. Theo basically said so this week, without naming Castro specifically. He said if a proven guy goes in a deal it would take multiple slam-dunk prospects in return. A team would have to blow the front office's doors off for a Castro deal to happen.


heh...george "wtf is sunscreen" brett lost his dog and is using twitter to help look for it.

FIND YOUR OWN LINK. *scoff* lulz...heard it on TV.

it's a labradoodle. more lulz.

He already got the dog back.

go team internet go.

MLB Network did a story on former pre-draft pitching phenom David Clyde (early 70s, Rangers) including interviews with him.

It'll probably end up their website (MLB Tonight show).

Wikipedia for more info on Clyde if you're not familiar.

-edit- wow, pretty emotional ending. brian kenney (the dude who does the sabr/stats-based show in the offseason) did the interview and he's becoming one hell of an on-air personality producing good segments, imo (on both shows).

g.concepcion goes tonight for peoria (A)

i think t.mcnutt goes for AA tomorrow.

Rizzo not playing in game 1 of Iowa's double header.

edit - I always forget to check the twitter box.


6ip 4h 2er 4bb 4k

2nd best start of the season for him (8 games) and a huge improvement over his last time out.

Shit week for baseball.

Kemp, Weaver, Tulo, Markakis all go on the DL (i think I'm missing a few other big names).

in other news, Blue Jays call up Robert Coello, briefly a Cub.

"Starlin Castro is the type of player we're looking to build around," Epstein said Thursday. "There has been no trade consideration with him, whatsoever."


"I never understood why there would ever be an untouchable," Epstein said Monday. "All you're doing is limiting your opportunity. That said, there are core pieces that it's almost impossible to foresee moving. You would have to be completely blown away to even contemplate it.


ESPN Franchise Player Draft

30 media/bloggers make a pick on who they'd start a franchise with...


Kemp #1, Castro #9, Samardzija #26

Castro went ahead of Trout and Stanton which I think is bonkers, but not terrible. Sutcliffe made the Samardzija pick and obviously he started drinking again.

Clayton Kershaw isn't a bad choice.


good compilation of quotes on the draft from Jason McLeod


The talk remains around three: Almora, a toolsy outfielder, Correa, a high school shortstop, and Fried, a prep left-hander.

Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.