Brenly Learns Son Good (So Far)

Newly-signed Michael Brenly wasted no time getting started, as the youngster slammed a line-drive opposite-field RBI single and stole a base, and RHP Chris Huseby threw three shoutout innings in what was definitely his best outing of 2008, as the EXST Cubs played a three-inning intrasquad game on Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

Brenly, the Cubs 36th round draft pick out of UNLV and the son of Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly,reported to Fitch Park yesterday and, after meeting the guys and taking some BP, settled right in. And being one day ahead of the other new arrivals, Brenly became the first of the new Cubs to see game action, serving as a DH in today's game.

This will probably be the last "combined" workout for Boise/Mesa (EXST Cubs), as the Boise Hawks roster was to be posted in the clubhouse after the conclusion of the game and the Hawks will be leaving for Idaho tomorrow (although it's possible that the Hawks will have a workout at Fitch Park before leaving for the airport).

After arrival in Boise, the team will attend a banquet where each Hawk player will be paired with a "host family." The player stays free of charge with his host family, and essentially becomes part of the household for the next 2-1/2 months. Although the host families are not compensated financially for their generosity, they do receive season tickets to Hawks games as part of the deal.

Several other newly-signed Cubs 2008 draft picks reported to Fitch Park for their physicals this morning, after which they got their uniforms (this isn't Mississippi State, you know) and reported to Coach Josh Arteaga on Field #2 for a short work-out (infield & outfield practice, and a BP session).

Among the new arrivals at Fitch Park this morning were RHP Jay Jackson (9th round pick out of Furman), 2B Jake Opitz (12th round pick out of Nebraska), 1B Ryan Keedy (16th round pick out of UAB), and CF David Macias (19th round pick out of Vanderbilt). There were also two or three others on the field I was unable to identify (they apparently weren't told to check-in with me first before taking the field). 

Here is the abridged box score from today's intrasquad game...

NOTE: The lineups were structured based on the players defensive positions, which is why the two first-basemen were the lead-off hitters, and why Starlin Castro batted clean-up for probably the first time in his life.

1. Bryan Jost, 1B: 1-2 (R)
2. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-1 (2 R, BB, SB)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-2 (RBI, R)
4. Michael Brenly, DH #1: 1-2 (RBI, SB)
5. Junior Lake, SS: 0-2 (K)
6. Kevin Soto, LF: 2-2 (2 RBI, 2B)
7. Leon Johnson, CF: 0-1 (BB)
8. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1 (GIDP)
9. Carlos Perez, C: 0-1
10. Jeffrey Rea, DH #2: 0-1

1. Drew Rundle, 1B: 0-2 (GIDP)
2. Marwin Gonzalez, 2B: 1-1 (BB, SB)
3. John Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (2 K)
4. Starlin Castro, SS: 0-1
5. George Matheus, LF: 0-1
6. Cesar Salazar, CF: 0-1
7. Kyler Burke, RF: 1-1 
8. Jose Made, DH: 0-1
9. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-0 (BB)


1. Chris Huseby - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP

1. Carlos Rojas - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP
2. Arik Hempy - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R  (1 ER),  1 BB, 0 K 

Carlos Perez: 0-1 CS
Roberto Sabates: 0-2 CS

ERRORS (5) :
Junior Lake (2) - two E-6, one an overthow at 1st base, and one dropped throw on a 4-6 FC attempt.
Marwin Gonzalez  - one E-4, muffed ground ball allowing batter to reach base. 
Roberto Sabates (2) - two E-2, both errant throws to 2nd base trying to cut-down base-stealers, where ball bounced past middle infielder into CF, allowing runners to advance to 3rd base.

WEATHER: Very hot, with game-time temperature in the the 90's on the way to 110.



Phil, this may be out of your particular bailiwick, but do you have an opinion regarding Randy Wells at this point in his development? Last thread was discussing his prospects for a call - up to the rotation.

Submitted by Dmac on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 2:40pm.

Phil, this may be out of your particular bailiwick, but do you have an opinion regarding Randy Wells at this point in his development?

Last thread was discussing his prospects for a call - up to the rotation.


DMAC: I mentioned Randy Wells here at TCR a couple of months ago when discussing the 2009 Cubs...

Submitted by Arizona Phil on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 5:04pm in response to:

Submitted by Q-Ball on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 1:39pm.

AZ Phil: Great summary as always. Also you said Randy Wells will replace Jon Lieber as the rubber-armed spot starter/long reliever. That's a strong statement on Randy's potential. Thoughts?


Q-BALL: Randy Wells had a very good ST with the Blue Jays after they selected him in the Rule 5 Draft, and the Cubs got him back only because he got caught in a roster numbers crunch in Toronto. But he is the type of "rubber-armed" pitcher who can throw just about every day and pitch two or three innings if needed (he's another converted catcher, BTW).

The Cubs are likely to add Wells to the 40 by the end of the World Series (although he quite possibly could get called up in September for the stretch drive) just to keep him from becoming a minor league FA, but I think he has a very good chance to make the Cubs bullpen next season as the "long-man." If not, he'd be nice to have at Iowa as insurance in '09.

Thanks, Phil - we could use a few more "rubber arms" up here these days.

It's good to know we have some backup options if a starter or long man goes down. Now if Ascanio would only become Marmol Jr., we'd be sitting pretty.

How dare the newbies arrive at Fitch Park without checking in with AZ Phil? Had Fleita been around, I'm sure he would've screamed at them to do so from the watch tower.

Thanks for the update Phil!

Damn, you're good Phil.
I was about to write asking about when you expected the new draftees to start showing up at Fitch. I have not seen ANY news of these players that are already there even signing, let alone already reporting for duty. Folks, this is as fresh a scoop as you're gonna find anywhere! All praise Phil!!!

Yeah, great stuff as always Phil. Do you know, does the team even report signings as they go, or do they just release batches of them from time to time?

Thanks, as always, AZ Phil.

Recent comments

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  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.