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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  • Surprised and bummed that Mark Buehrle is retiring. One of my all-time favorite pitchers. I think he could pitch for 5 more years.

  • Probably going to a bar/restaurant with TBS. Cord-cutting is so over-rated.

  • Thanks for the update on Underwood.

  • I know, man. What a season. 3rd best record in all of baseball, good enough to have won any division other than the one there in.

    With a win tomorrow, the Cubs will match their 2008 record. Bad omen, I know. If they do win, the most recent year in which the Cubs will have won more games would be 1945 (98-56), the last time they went to the World Series.

    I'll take that omen instead...

  • "oh yeah, and get the fuck off my lawn. :D"

    Ok, now that was funny. :)

  • KB 0-5 with 8 LOB. Really? He is torturing me with 99 RBI. He is also a very different hitter at home vs. road. I suspect most young hitters are.

  • Greinke still in for the 8th. 3 up, 3 down. After 8. 108 pitches, ERA still at 1.66 according to mlb boxscore and he's in line for a 19th win.

  • Greinke 95 pitches through 7. Gives up one run (solo HR to Hedges). ERA at 1.66. Doubt that they will let him give up 5 runs in the 8th.

    Dodgers ahead 2-1.

  • 96 wins with one game to go. Who woulda thunk it.

    Cubs 96 wins have clinched a better record than any AL team and the NL West/East division winners too.

  • cubs win, pirates lose...

  • the curse is now yours.

  • cog a HR away from the cycle after a single in the 6th.

  • Hendricks: 15 up, 15 down.

  • he strongly separates his post-playing career from his playing career, though he loves to visit the barrier of player and fan. many ex-players don't put up this barrier.

    he's not interested in going back to the clubhouse or pretty much anything field/game related, but he'll grab a ticket and observe with the fans and visit ex players on "neutral" ground. he's written 3 pieces for the new yorker and other pieces elsewhere. i remember one photo/bio piece he did, but don't remember where i read it (years ago).

  • ?
    I find your comments rather obtuse. He recognized he didn't want to pursue baseball anymore and went back to school to learn how to become a better writer - opening up a new chapter in his life.

    I don't know where you find a "sad disconnection" because he is writing about his experiences? He pursued a ball career for a long time so no doubt there is some meloncholy in his tone, but I just don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

  • he has an almost sad disconnection from the game based on his writings. even though he's "been there" (no matter how much of a minor role) he doesn't seem to feel like he belongs or deserves to belong in the boy's club.

    he seems to go to great lengths to enjoy the game from an arm's length while occasionally getting close enough for a high-5 from those who affirm him that he belongs.