B-Jax, Watkins, and Rusin Lead Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park

Brett Jackson reached base three times on a single, a double, and a HBP, scored a run, and knocked in another, Logan Watkins belted a bases-clearing three-run triple to cap a six-run 5th, and Chris Rusin threw six innings of three-hit ball, leading the Iowa Cubs to a 9-6 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and despite three hits by Rubi Silva and two each by Matt Szczur and Rafael Lopez, five pitchers combined to throw a ten-hit shutout with ten strikeouts, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) blanked the Tennessee Smokies 6-0 on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Getting ready for the PCL season, starting pitcher Chris Rusin was in the I-Cubs lineup and got three ABs, ripping an RBI single through the box in the 4th, and then walking and scoring in the six-run 5th. (Rusin was a DH at the U. of Kentucky on days he wasn't pitching).

"Super-sub" Jonathon Mota played seven innings at 3rd base for Tennessee on Field #2, before moving over to Field #3 and playing two innings at 2nd base for Iowa. It would appear that Mota (who can play any position on the field) might be employed as a player-coach at either Tennessee or Iowa, going on the DL and coaching 1st base when he is not needed (he had TJS in 2012, so the DL excuse will probably be shoulder-related), and then getting reinstated whenever a warm position-player body is needed.

Several players from the Boise/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training) saw action in the later innings of the two games, including Reggie Golden, Xavier Batista, Trevor Gretzky, Garrett Schlecht, Lance Rymel, and Justin Marra.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):


1, Matt Szczur, LF-DH: 2-4 (1B, 6-4 FC, 1B, F-8)
2. Anthony Giansanti, 2B: 0-4 (K, F-8, F-9, 6-3)
3. Rubi Silva, CF: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 2B, 1-3, CS, PO)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-4 (F-7, K, K, K)
5. Christian Villanueva, DH-3B: 0-4 (K, P-3, K, L-8)
6. Rafael Lopez, C: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, K, 2B)
7. Johermyn Chavez, RF: 1-4 (K, F-7, 2B, F-8)
8a. Jonathon Mota, 3B: 0-3 (K, F-7, K)
8b. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-1 (K)
9. Elliot Soto, SS: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 1B)

1. Eric Jokisch: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 87 pitches (60 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. A. J. Morris: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Jeff Lorick: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (11 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Ryan Searle: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (13 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO

1. C Rafael Lopez - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed runner at 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. 3B Christian Villanueva - E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
3. 3B Christian Villanueva - E-5 (fielding error allowed unearned run to score)

Rafael Lopez: 1-3 CS, 1 E (see above)


1a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (BB, 3-U, K, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI)
1b. Jonathon Mota, PH-2B: 1-1 (1B)
2. Brett Jackson, CF: 2-4 (L-8, 1B, 2B, 5-3, HBP, R, RBI)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-5 (K, 1B, 6-3, K, K)
4. Brad Nelson, 1B: 1-3 (2B, F-8 SF, BB, K, K, R, 2 RBI)
5a. Darnell McDonald, LF: 0-1 (F-8, BB)
5b. Trevor Gretzky, PH-LF: 1-2 (2B, BB, K, R, RBI)
6a. Brian Bogusevic, RF: 1-3 (4-3, P-2, 2B, R, RBI)
6b. Garrett Schlecht, PH-DH: 0-1 (K)
6c. Justin Marra, PH: 0-1 (K)
7a. Luis Flores, C: 1-4 (F-7, 2B, F-8, 5-3, R)
7b. Lance Rymel, C: NO AB
8. Tim Torres, SS: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, BB, K, R)
9a. Chris Rusin, P-DH: 1-2 (P-6, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
9b. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-0 (HBP)

1. Chris Rusin: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 85 pitches (55 strikes), 9/3 GO/FO
2. Esmailin Caridad: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes)

1. P Chris Rusin - E-1 (throwing error on sacrifice bunt attempt allowed batter to reach 2nd base - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Josh Vitters - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. P Rafael Dolis - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)


WEATHER: Mostly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 80's



Golden in Mesa? Zowie?

-edit- oops, already covered.

"Padres released OF Kyung-Min Na."

half of the rizzo/cubs trade...a very minor half.

Brett Jackson has looked very good at the plate since coming back from his shoulder injury a few days ago.

He hit three more rockets today. And no strikeouts. 

FWIW, if the Cubs wait until at least June 12th to recall Jackson, he can't be a FA until post-2019. (The Cubs had a similar situation with Anthony Rizzo last season). 

Sounds like they should wait that long anyway, just to keep him comfortable with the new approach he's said to be using at the plate. I've always in my own mind compared him as a prospect to C Pat. C Pat seemed to have absolutely no baseball instincts, but raw talent. B Jackson in my mind has very good baseball instincts out there and I really hope he has turned it around. But I'm also in the mode of, let's see how he does after a sustained number of at bats.

The big league club and organization actually has enough OFs, so it's the best-case scenario on how to handle Jackson this year. If he's thriving, no need to rush him before June. If he's adapting, maybe he'll be ready to come up for good in September. If he's stinking, they can just release him or trade him for spare parts after the season.

Minor League Camp is mostly about downward roster movement, but there were a couple of promotions at Minor League Cap today:

Anthony Giansanti (who can play RF-LF-3B-2B-1B-C) was moved up to Tennessee from Daytona, and C Luis Flores was moved up to Iowa from Tennessee. 

Also, 1B Justin Bour, OF Johermyn Chavez, C Jair Fernandez, and OF-IF Rubi Silva were moved down to Tennessee from Iowa, and SS Javier Baez, 1B-3B Dustin Geiger, and OF Jorge Soler were moved down to Daytona from Tennessee.



Looking at the Iowa pitching staff, there are a bunch of AAAA pitchers that will have to be sorted out real soon. Also, not one loogy in that bullpen group.

Happy Opening Day 2013

Remember Cubs fans, it could always be worse.

Nick Cafardo reviews the NL: Nats, Reds, Giants as first place teams. NL Central has Reds, Brewers, Cards, Pirates, Cubs.
His Boston bias isn't showing in the AL East prediction (except for picking the Yankees 5th)...Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, Yankees. Other AL 1st place teams: Tigers and Angels.

5. Chicago

The rebuilding continues. The Cubs may be able to sell off Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza (on DL), and closer Carlos Marmol. Some of the future — 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Welington Castillo, 2B Darwin Barney, and SS Starlin Castro — is present, as is some of the pitching, with Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, and Travis Wood. The next wave of prospects is about a year or two away.

Chemistry rating: 4 — Good vibe for a transitional team.

per Trib/Sully...

The Cubs won't decide until Monday whether to put second baseman Darwin Barney on the 15-day disabled list.

Alberto Gonzalez, the last infielder sent down to minor league camp, will likely replaced Barney on the roster if Barney is unable to play for an extended period. Brent Lillibridge will start at second on Monday.

The Cubs are also expected to announce Hisanori Takahashi's contract has been purchased, leaving the left-hander as the final addition to the bullpen.


Robinson Crusoe DFA'd by Rays.

...somewhere, Jim Hendry smiles over his plate of pasta.

S.Baker to the 60-day DL...see you in very late May or early June, guy.

doh...and sigh...


"If Florida Gulf Coast's Chris Sale had dropped to the 15th spot, the Cubs would have selected him. But after the White Sox claimed Sale at No. 12, the Cubs selected Simpson, who had agreed to a pre-draft deal."

That draft was odd. Sale clearly was the best bargain and the quickest to the majors. Harper was the obvious #1 pick, Manny Machado was #3. The Cubs now have the #6 pick in that draft in Barret Loux. It's not like there were prospects that have gotten to the majors quickly after the Cubs pick. Not defending Simpson, which was one of those picks that everyone else but the Cubs considered a huge reach. Some bad Cubbery there too since Mononucleosis is one of those illnesses that leaves some residual for a long time. Zack Lee was at the bottom of that 2010 draft (now with Red Sox from Dodgers but was discussed in last years negotiations with LA regarding Dempster).


He would be a perfect cub pitcher, especially with the arm surgery he will be having.

Recent comments

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  • 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

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.