Brewers Edge Cubs Split Squad in Mesa

Taylor Green singled, doubled, drove-in a run, and scored another, Carlos Gomez crushed a tape-measure home run, and Marco Estrada tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball and combined with five relievers to throw a two-hitter, as the Milwaukee Brewers edged a Cubs split squad 4-3 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ 

Javier Baez drove-in all three Cubs runs with a two-run HR and a bases-loaded walk.

box score

Edwin Jackson got the start for the Cubs and labored through two innings of work (50 pitches - 27 strikes), allowing two runs on two hits (both singles), two walks, and a HBP, in a 38-pitch 1st inning. E-Jax walked another batter and threw a potential DP ball into CF for an E-1 in a 12-pitch 2nd, but was able to retire the side without any further damage.  

NRI RHP Drew Carpenter entered the game an inning earlier than expected and threw three innings in relief (42 pitches - 27 strikes), allowing two runs on the Gomez HR and two doubles in the 3rd inning (his first inning of work) before settling down and retiring the last seven men he faced in a row (with four strikeouts). Carpenter is an extreme long-shot to make the Cubs MLB bullpen and it would be an even longer shot for him to make the Cubs MLB starting rotation, but he is in contention for a starting rotation slot or relief job at AAA Iowa.

Japanese imports LHP Hisanori Takahashi (battling for a bullpen job) and RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (who will likely be the Cubs primary 8th inning set-up man) each worked an easy 1-2-3 inning in relief.

The Cubs did virtually nothing against Brew Crew SP Marco Estrada.

Luis Valbuena walked to lead-off the bottom of the 1st and stole second before eventually being left-stranded at 3rd, and Nate Schierholtz doubled leading off the 2nd but was immediately picked-off by Estrada, who then retired eight of the last ten men he faced.

The Cubs broke through in the bottom of the 5th against Milwaukee RHRP Brandon Kintzler when Brett Jackson drew his second walk of the day and then scored on a Javier Baez two-run HR over the LF fence.

The Cubs scored another run in the bottom of the 6th when Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston walked and Brett Jackson was hit by a pitch, and Javier Baez drew a two-out walk on a 3-2 pitch to force-in the run. But Dan Vogelbach (up from Minor League Camp) struck out swinging to leave three runners stranded. 

While the Brewers were defeating the Cubs in Mesa, the other squad of Cubs was playing the Angels in Tempe. 

I wasn't at that game, but Brian Bogusevic singled, doubled, and homered, Brad Nelson singled and homered, and SP Nick Struck threw three innings of shutout ball to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory. 

Barring an injury or a trade, there doesn't appear to be room for Bogusevic on the Cubs 2013 Opening Day 25-man roster, but he's had a great start anyway (615/688/1231). It doesn't happen very often, but every now & then you will see an NRI player (a veteran signed to a minor league contract) get traded before Opening Day, and if Bogusevic keeps hitting, he might be one of them. He could be a nice LH PH and/or platoon corner OF for a team in need of such an animal.

box score

Rule 5 Draft pick (and one-time Indians Top 10 Prospect) Hector Rondon threw another 1-2-3 inning, as he tries to cement a spot in the Cubs bullpen.

As I've mentioned here before, Rondon is not your typical Rule 5 Draft pick. He has been outrighted previously in his career so he can elect to be a free-agent if he is outrighted, and he is out of minor league options, so even if waivers are secured and Cleveland declines to re-claim him, the Cubs cannot option him to the minors, and if they outright him, he can be a free-agent. But for that same reason, the Indians are unlikely to re-claim him if given the chance because they probably wouldn't want to spend $25,000 (half the Rule 5 Draft price) to reacquire Rondon if he can elect free-agency (a Rule 5 pick who is re-claimed by the organization from which he was drafted MUST be outrighted to the minor league affiliate from which he was drafted).



Thanks for the report, Phil.

If you honestly believe Steve Clevenger is going to make this team, then there's absolutely room for Bogusevic on the 25-man. Not that they need 6 OFs, but with versatile infielders like Barney, Valbuena, and Lillibridge, it certainly seems possible to me that they'd consider retaining a serviceable MLB backup like Bogusevic and sending Clevenger down.

JOHN B: I can't see the Cubs carrying six outfielders and only five infielders. I'm not saying they should or shouldn't, just that they won't.

If Stewart doesn't get released, Valbuena & Lillibridge are the two utility infielders and Clevenger goes to Iowa. If Stewart does get released and Valbuena is the everyday 3B, I think Clevenger wins the second utility INF job because he can also be the #3 catcher. (Clevenger played 2B his first season in pro ball so he is at least familiar with the position, and he has also played some 1B and 3B in the minors).  

BTW, Clevenger is swinging the bat now like he did pre-oblique injury last May.


Unbelievable. Even now, Lohse likely wouldn't sign with a team for 2/$30M. Dude's pricing himself straight into retirement ... or at least until after the June draft.

Hasn't the issue been the draft pick the signing team would lose?

It's a completely unworkable situation. A team would have to surrender a pick in the 11-40 range, which no one wants to do for a #3-4 starter who's like 33 or 34 years old. You can't give him a long term deal because he's too old and fringish, and you can't give him a short term deal because you can't give up a draft pick for a one year rental. But he likely wouldn't even take a short deal anyways, because his agent is Boras and he still thinks he can get an Edwin Jackson contract. Good luck with that.

Yep...he might be SOL....

CLE has already used this leverage of scaring other teams away to sign n.swisher + m.bourn for less money than they were expected/wanted to snag.

the new system has some flaws that's only hurting the players.

...speaking of CLE...they are killing the cubs today. 12-2 in the top (CLE) 6th. all of the cubs pitchers getting punished are low/no-impact guys, at least (a.cabrera, raley, harris). also, valbuena (SS today) was penciled in as leadoff (vs righty)...and j.lake made a throwing error at 3rd.

Lake has also made a couple of nice defensive efforts today, fwiw.

nice. i didn't listen to the game today, just checked the box score real quick.

JOHN B: Junior Lake made a nice stop & accurate throw to 2nd base to start a nifty 5-4-3 DP today, and he also made an outstanding catch with his back to the infield on a tricky pop fly in LF foul territory, but then there was the horrendous throw to 1st base (E-5) on a routine play leading off the 4th inning (eventually resulted in an unearned run scoring).

Lake needs to play somewhere in the outfield, either CF or RF. And because he can't hit breaking balls from RHP, his future will be as a RH platoon CF or RF. And it probably won't be with the Cubs, either.  

for anyone who has XM radio online access...

The afternoon show, "Inside Pitch" with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern today was 3 hrs of non-stop Cubs from Mesa/HoHo Kam, including an extended interview with Jed Hoyer. There is an area within the XM site where you can listen to that broadcast for the next 3 days (it will probably get pulled after that time). It's their On Demand Show area. Search using Bowden (or Stern). It's labeled "Live from Chicago Cubs Spring Training Camp, Aired: 3/4; 1:00PM; Duration: 2hrs 57 min"

The Hoyer interview included questions/talk about Garza, SBaker, Soriano, Rizzo, Barney, prospects (Soler, Lake) and even a mention of Pie/CPat. Much more depth than some of his other interviews.

in case you missed this, Yankee GM Brian Cashman had surgery to fix an ankle fracture dislocation he sustained skydiving. He was participating (with the Army Golden Knights) in a US Army fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project

While I certainly didn’t intend to raise awareness in exactly this fashion, I’m extremely happy that the Wounded Warrior Project is getting the well-deserved additional attention.

Was Jim Hendry acting GM while Cashman was under anesthesia?

Wind blew Cashman off target which was big cushy landing-Jim Hendry.

That's a mental image I really didn't need to have.

Recent comments

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  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha