Casper Wells Unfriendly to Guests at Riverview Park

Bryant Flete reached base four times (two singles and two walks), knocked-in two runs, and scored another, and Casper Wells singled twice, walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, leading the Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Nataniel Delgado (2012 NDFA - Dominican Republic - $280K bonus) clubbed a three-run home run to account for three of the four Angels runs.  

Justin Ruggiano (Cubs 15-day DL - hamstring) continued his EXST rehab, serving as a DH and batting three times. He laced a line-drive single to center and then later scored in the bottom of the 1st inning, grounded out 6-3 in his second AB, and flied out to the warning track in dead CF his last time up.  

Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) also continued his EXST rehab, playing RF for seven innings and reaching base in all three of his Plate Appearances (the aforementioned two singles and a walk). He was due to hit a fourth time in the bottom of the 8th, but he had already departed for the clubhouse by that time. He looks to be 100%, and so he may be rejoining Iowa very soon.  

RHP C. J. Edwards (AA Tennessee 7-day DL - shoulder fatigue) is at Riverview Park while awaiting the results of his latest MRI. He can participate in PFP drills, but he is not yet cleared to resume throwing.  

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

1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-4 (1B, HBP, E-1, K, K, 2 R, SB)
2a. Justin Ruggiano, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-8, R)
2b. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-1 (BB, 6-3)
3. Bryant Flete, 2B: 2-2 (1B, 1B, BB, BB, R, 2 RBI)
4a. Casper Wells, RF-DH: 2-2 (BB, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH #2: 0-3 (BB, F-8, F-7, F-9, RBI)
6. Tyler Alamo, C: 0-4 (4-6-3 DP, 4-3, 4-3, 6-3)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 1-4 (P-6, 6-3, 1B, K) 
8. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-4 (K, 5-3, K, E-5, R)
9. Justin Marra, DH #3: 1-4 (3-U, F-8, 3-U, 2B, RBI)
10. Mark Malave, 1B: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, K, 1B, R)
11. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-4 (E-5, 6-3, 2B, K, R)

1. Jeferson Mejia: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 57 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Luis Hernandez: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 2/3 GO/FO, 28 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Zak Hermans: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Josh Davis: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 36 pitches (24 strikes)

3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (fielding error alllowed batter to reach base safely)


WEATHER: Sunny & very breezy with temperatures in the 80's 


AZ Phil: Here's a link for the image that best fits today's article. Note that if it's in your original comic collection, you plunked down ten cents back in the day and probably had it next to your Hot Stuff comic!$T2eC16hHJHEE9ny2tld1BQw679Fp0g~~60_35.JPG

I refuse to watch tonight's game. I have the time, and I won't do it. I'm not going to add a set of eyeballs to the MLB app site, even tho I know it won't make any difference. I don't know what Renteria is thinking with this refusing to play Olt every day, but I'm boycotting the games he doesn't play in if for no other reason that it means one less home run tonight. WTF, not playing him is almost like saying, "we won't need any home runs tonight kids"

EDIT: I will say this, though. I would like to see Olt get a couple regular base hits once in awhile.

Agreed and agreed. Boycotting and hoping he can hit. I was excited about his opposite field blast yesterday and thought he was starting to relax a little.

Btw here is the f'ing litmus test: any doubt that Atlanta was happy as hell Olt was taken out of the lineup for extra innings the other night? Any doubt in your mind that the Cardinals are happy they don't have to face Olt four times tonight? None. No doubt. And it's not even because he's good. It's because he's dangerous and he's fairly hot. What manager doesn't play a player that unnerves the other team? Ever? Maybe an aging veteran who needs rest. That's about it.

First and Third

Barney up
~sad horn~

Haha. Yeah ... I'm pretty sure it effected how Wainwright pitched to Lake too.

Bryant homered again

Too bad Barney and Valbuena are blocking him

he can't stay in AA too much longer performing like he is. sure the Ks aren't ideal, but they're not alarming given what he's doing around those Ks (including the walks). his bat is playing like a guy who's done with AA.

his glove seems like a guy who's ready for LF/RF, though.

Soler doubled again too

AAA by July for Bryant?
Start playing some outfield?

Need to keep Bryant at Tenn so he can win the Southern League Triple Crown -- leads in HR, RBI, 3rd in BA.

Smokies have top 3 in Southern League OPS. Nice.

I like my crow served lukewarm with sprinkles please.

trade valbuena to whoever will play the cardinals in the playoffs

i still like valbuena playing...playing 2nd.

2 more years of club control.

Exactly. I'd really like to see the best team on the field. And I think Sureholds and Barney are on the field for less than honorable reasons! ;)

Somebody woke up Albert Almora tonight...3 doubles, 4 rbi

and Ben Wells had a nice night 6ip, 3 hits, 0 runs, 8K, 0 BB

Arrieta is walking a tightrope over thin ice on the edge of the world, um with no where to turn, well I mean - he's wild tonight.

Yes. That's what I meant.

Can someone tell me what he's talking about? I'm not being facetious. I've never heard a manager talk like this. Is he just saying "we're fucking around for a while"? I mean is there a subtext I'm missing? Is it that he has pressure from the front office to play certain people for trade deadline consideration. I'm totally flummoxed:

It's really really bizarre. I think we've all said it - that it would be understandable if there was an established vet. Half of Olt's hits (very nearly) are home runs, which is also a little bizarre. I'd like to see that change but I also wouldn't want them to mess with his approach just yet. The only way to really see what this kid is about is to play him and give him those ABs. But you nailed it best in a post earlier up the thread. OTHER teams are intimidated by his presence. That walk yesterday? I'm glad he took it. He has eight of them now. Teams are starting to really be careful around the strike zone, and he isn't showing signs yet of reaching out for crappy pitches. When he strikes out, he strikes out Brett Jackson style, just seems to miss the damn thing. Jackson, however, doesn't smash the ball into space the way Olt does when he does connect, so teams aren't afraid of him.

The thing is, even if he goes 0-4, he's a threat to turn a game around at every at bat. Why on earth would you not play him? I loved that post you wrote. It said it a lot better. It's really crazy. I just don't get it at all.

Olt must go into the fetal position in the club house after games.

He's a first round pick and is current rookie leader in hrs and rbi's, and has a good eye for walks.

Stop babying him, Cpt Happy!

He's has had more confidence since he was 14 then you had your whole life Rickey!

even though j.arrieta got to go 96 pitches in his last injury rehab tuneup, he's only been allowed to go 82, 81, and 82 since his return to the bigs.

baez 0-4 with 3Ks.

43K in 102ab. is b.jackson his hitting coach in iowa?

Olt ph BB

Use him early Dicky and make sure he doesn't stay in the game.

AZ Phil, does Wada have an "out clause" in his contract? Thanks.

HAGSAG: I don't know if Tsuyoshi Wada has an opt-out in his contract, but we might be able to deduce some things: 

1. Any international player who was at least 23 years old and who had played all or parts of at least five seasons in a recognized foreign "major" league (NPB, KBO, Serie Nacional, et al) prior to signing his first contract with an MLB club becomes an Article XX-B FA when the player's contract expires, 

Tsuyoshi Wada was an Article XX-B player post-2013. 

2. If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day (Wada's original contract with the Cubs was signed in January), and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date. 

The Cubs released Wada prior to 12 PM on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day.

So because Wada was released by the Cubs prior to 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day, it probably means the Cubs either did not want to pay the $100,000 retention bonus and/or give Wada the right to opt-out of his minor league contract on June 1st if he was not added to the MLB 40-man roster by that date. 

Also, because Wada was released from a minor league contract, Outright Release Waivers were not required, and so no other MLB club would have had an opportunity to claim him at the time the Cubs released him, even if another club was interested.

So the Cubs could have just not released Wada and kept the original minor league contract with the $100K retention bonus and the June 1st opt-out, but they did not. They released him (and then almost immediately re-signed him), obviously to either avoid having to pay the $100K retention bonus and/or to remove the automatic June 1st opt out.

From Wada's POV, he must have received some added benefit that he would not have had in the original contract he signed with the Cubs, or he probably wouldn't have re-signed a week before Opening Day without first testing the market. 

It's very likely that he did not receive an earlier automatic opt out (like May 1st) in his new contract (the one signed in March immediately after he was released) or he probably would have exercised it, or (more likely) the Cubs woud have made sure to add him to their 40-man roster prior to the opt-out date and then option him to Iowa. So even without knowing the particulars of his "second" contract (the one signed in March), I think we can surmise that Wada must have received additional money in exchange for a later opt-out or maybe even no opt-out at all (other than becoming a free-agent after the season if he isn't on an MLB 40-man roster by the 5th day folllowing the conclusion of the 2014 World Series). 

Again, even if Wada does have a right to opt out on a certain date (let's say July 1st), the Cubs can just add him to their 40-man roster by that date and then either place him on the 25-man roster, or else they could option him to Iowa, because he has two minor league options left. It would cost the Cubs a slot on their MLB 40-man roster to do that, but at least they could keep Wada from becoming a free-agent until the end of the season. 

If Wada is on an MLB 40-man roster at the conclusion of the 2014 World Series and he is not signed for 2015, he will automatically become an Article XX-B FA. And if he is on a minor league roster at the conclusion of the World Series, he would automatically become a Article XX-D second-contract minor league FA at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series. The only way the Cubs can be sure to retain Wada for 2015 (if they want to do that) would be to sign him to a 2015 minor league successor contract (but then he would be eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft), or add him to their MLB 40-man roster and sign him to a 2015 MLB contract.

Thanks Phil

Mets Try to Finish Off Job Started in 1984

ryno making more friends on his roster in philly...

Recent comments

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  • Hah which reminds me this is a good article about Ross:

  • Gordo tweeted:

    "I'm pretty comfortable moving all over. I like it that way, too. It keeps me on my toes and ready each and every game.”--Bryant last week.

    So it could be he's just saying the right things, but I believe him.

  • Which means if you shut this place down, and the Cubs go back to their old ways, we will all have to hunt you down, kidnap you, and strap you to a chair to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck repeatedly, with dollops of Hawk Harrelson thrown in for good measure.

  • You got a problem with David Ross?

  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.