cain pitches 5 perfect vs cubs...cubs still win
all the offense was singles and walks...no one got multiple hits, no one got a hit and a walk.
ninja pitched 3 great innings, 2 run 4th...4ip 5h 0bb 5k
rusin picked up the win with 3 innings of no hit, no walk, no K pitchingAuthor: crunch
the joys of spring training.
ATL in next to last place out of all NL teams with STL one place ahead of them (PHI in last)...MIA in 1st.
TEX and BOS bringing up the rear for the AL.Author: crunch
Today is the first day that Draft-Excluded players can be sent to the minors (by outright or optional assignment), and it's also the first day that players selected in the Major League Phase of the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft can be returned to the minor league club from which the player was drafted (presuming Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured) or sent to the minors or released by the drafting club (if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the club from which the player was drafted declines to re-claim the player).
A Draft-Excluded Player is any minor league player eligible for selection in the next Rule 5 Draft whose contract is selected and who is added to an MLB 40-man roster anytime between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs have three Draft-Excluded players on their 40-man roster (Zac Rosscup, Arismendy Alcantara, and Dallas Beeler), but they have no Rule 5 players on their 40-man roster this season (they had Hector Rondon last season). But the organization did lose one player in the Major League Phase of the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft. RHP Marcos Mateo (selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks off the AAA Iowa roster).
If the Diamondbacks decide not to keep Mateo on their MLB 25-man roster (or place him on an MLB DL), he must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where he can be claimed by any other MLB club for the $25,000 Rule 5 player waiver price (the waiver price is $25,000 for Rule 5 and Draft-Excluded players, and it's $20,000 for all others), with the claiming club assuming the Rule 5 obligations.
If Outright Assignment Waivers are secured, the D-backs would next have to offer Mateo back to the minor league club from which he was drafted for half the Rule 5 Draft price ($25,000). If Iowa declines to re-claim the player, Arizona can outright Mateo to the minors or release him.
The problem with the Cubs re-claming Mateo (if they are given the opportunity) is that he has been outrighted previously in his career, so he has the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted. And a Rule 5 player who is re-claimed MUST be sent outright to the minor league club from which he was drafted. So if the Cubs were to re-claim Mateo for $25,000, he MUST be sent outright to Iowa, and then he can elect free-agency (because has been outrighted previously in his career). And the Cubs would be out the $25,000 they spent to re-claim him.Author: Arizona Phil
INF Tim Saunders is also wearing a wrap & pressure sleeve on his right elbow (same as Bruno), and he isn't throwing overhand, either. I don't know what his injury was last season that landed him on the Daytona 60-day DL, but it's pretty obvious that he is rehabbing some kind of significant elbow or triceps injury.
BTW, both Bruno and Saunders can hit just fine. They just can't throw. So I would expect both of them to start the 2014 season at Extended Spring Training.Author: Arizona Phil
Monday news & notes from Minor League Camp...
14 pitchers threw "live" BP this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa:
TWO-INNINGS (50-60 pitches each):
ONE INNING (25-30 pitches each):
Generally speaking, pitchers who have been extended to two innings of "live" BP at this point in Minor League Camp are the ones presently being primed as starters.
The 20 "MIA" from last week are still absent, and the rosters of the four squads are all exactly the same as they were at the first full squad workout last week, with two exceptions:
RHP Pierce Johnson (Tennessee) and RHP Brad Renner (KC) have been shut-down and are restricted to "Limited Activity Only." (That is, they are cleared to participate in Pitchers Fielding Practice only).
So Johnson and Renner join pitchers Josh Conway, Jesus Castillo, Barret Loux, Ryan McNeil, and Trey McNutt, Infielders Zak Blair, Stephen Bruno, and Tim Saunders, and outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha on the "Limited Activity Only" list (which is essentially the Minor League Camp Disabled/Rehab Group).Author: Arizona Phil
Cardinals are being pummeled by the Tigers 17-0.
'Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro will begin fielding and hitting drills Tuesday as he recovers from a right hamstring strain that has kept him out of spring games.
"Let's see this weekend," Castro said Monday morning. "Maybe I can get into a game."
Cubs manager Rick Renteria, however, said later Monday that Castro's return to game action may not occur until next week.'
Any news on when Olt can play thirdAuthor: Rob Richardson
The Rizzo triple should have been scored a double and an E-8 (the CF executed a kick-save while sliding to stop it).
Also Kris Bryant looked bad at 3B again, not being able to reach down and field a routine grounder that was scored an E-5 (maybe he is just too tall & stiff?), and then not being able to come in and field a swinging-bunt-bouncer and make a throw (a play most third-basemen make).
Also RF Casper Wells lost a ball in the sun in the top of the 9th (Grimm gave up a walk, a swinging-bunt infield hit, and a the Wells sun single), and Brian Roberts ranged way too far to his right while trying to field a bouncer, allowing the ball to tip off his glove into right-center. If Roberts had stopped before going that far toward second-base, Barney would have made the play and Roberts could have had time to get back to first-base to receive the throw from Barney.
This is exactly the problem you often will see when a player (especially a guy who has played a lot of 3B) plays 1B the first time in his career. He thinks he has to range as far as he can toward second-base (which is what you are supposed to do at 3B), but a first-baseman just can't do that. He has to stop his pursuit after a step and let the second-baseman make the play.Author: Arizona Phil
E-MAN: Stephen Bruno is wearing a wrap & pressure sleeve on his right elbow, and he isn't throwing overhand at all. He takes fielding practive with everybody else and he either flips the ball with his glove or tosses the ball underhand.
I think he almost certainly will begin the season at Extended Spring training and DH while he continues to rehab the elbow, and he'll probably move up to Tennessee in May or June (presuming there are no setbacks).
The pre-TJS Bruno was a versatile athlete with a plus-bat who was seemingly ticketed to be a multi-positional super-sub with the added possibility that he might even learn to catch, but now he could be limited to playing only 2B or LF for a while. He might even turn into an every-day 2B.Author: Arizona Phil
Lendy Castillo ('cause Lendy's mom and dad still care)Author: Cubster
AZ PHIL: Thanks as always. Another year has passed, and the Cubs will be bringing up the rear once more in the Central. Consistency!
Wondering why the hell TheCorp is keeping Lendy Garcia still?
Secoondly, I have read some positive, pre-TJS stuff on Stephen Bruno from scouts.
I recall you have been on-board with him early on. How is he doing in-camp? Would he get assigned to AA out of the box, or stay in AZ for ExtST?
Thanks and best.Author: The E-Man
The Rizzo triple was extra sweet, because the pitch before it, he nailed a borderline foul-homer that was called foul.
It was also fun to hear Braun get boo'ed. It doesn't fix anything. He's still insanely rich because of his cheating, but at least shame the guy.Author: Ryno
baez double...scores on a RBI single by lake.
get ready for another "bring him up now" twitter/online freakout.
rugs is 3/3 with a HR and 2 singles.
rizzo hit a triple.
r.sweeney pulled from the game with a sore right knee, day-to-day.Author: crunch
We have a keeper league with mainly TCR readers and we're down a few members. If you want to get into a league send me an email.Author: Jumbo
No news there, but I've decided I like Hammel. He seems like a really nice guy.
Also, the Cards signed Aledmys Diaz which means he's going to be awesome.Author: The Joe
Twins option former Cub, Brooks Raley, to AAA RochesterAuthor: Cubster
for those who have BP subscriptions, they reposted a longer article that is a hybrid of a 2004 writeup plus a 2009 interview with the Tommy John surgery originator, Dr. Jobe (in honor of the recent passing of Dr. Frank Jobe). Some interesting stuff about Hendry and Dempster from when Demp was recovering from TJ surgery.
All throughout Dempster's rehab, Dr. Kremchek was in constant communication both with Dempster and with Larry Rothschild, the Cubs pitching coach who was helping to manage Dempster's progress. Available by cell phone, Kremchek could help the team make quick decisions about advancing the hard-tossing righty. Dempster was throwing in extended Spring Training and Class A ball in May; he was in Triple-A in June and July; and on August 1, exactly a year to the day from when was first put on the DL, he was called up to the Cubs' 25-man roster.
and the audio broadcast of the interview with Tommy John and Dr. Frank Jobe:
plus the LA Times article on Jobe's passing:Author: Cubster
Haha! Exactly ...Author: Carlito
I also like Target and weed.Author: Newport
AZ Phil said:
"What I know is that hitters make consistent hard contact (lots of line drives) against him, he has no true "strikeout" pitch, and he has difficulty throwing strikes."
Carlito: what it sounds like to me is he needs to learn how to throw a knuckler.Author: Cubster
HR sureholds, triple boni (playing SS), r.shoulders appears in his 1st ST game of the year and goes 1-1 (single)
another great outing for jokisch in relief (3ip 3h 0bb 4k - through 2 outings 6ip 3h 2bb 5k 0r/er)
n.ramirez throws another solid inning (1ip 0h 0bb 1k)
j.hammels spring debut 3ip 2h 3bb 4k (0r)Author: crunch
AZ Phil said:
"What I know is that hitters make consistent hard contact (lots of line drives) against him, he has no true "strikeout" pitch, and he has difficulty throwing strikes."
So you're saying there's a chance!Author: Carlito
This is fascinating and enlightening. While it seems intuitive on some level, this is the first time I've heard the dichotomy explained so clearly. Thank you.Author: Carlito
I think the key thing for Rock Shoulders (who has a "slider speed" bat that makes it hard for him to do anything with plus-fastballs) or any hitter who has a deficiency is to know what you can't handle, and then learn to recognize those pitches and not swing at them.
For example, it's fairly obvious that Junior Lake murders fastballs and handles breaking balls from LHPs OK, but he can't hit breaking balls thrown by RHPs (unless it's a hanging "spinner"). Unfortunately, he has yet to learn to recognize breaking balls, but if he can do that, he could at least not swing at them and take a chance that the pitch will be out of the strike zone. While he still wouldn't be able to hit RH breaking balls, he would at least be able to cut his strikeouts and increase his walks just by virtue of not swinging at pitches he can't handle.
That's why "pitch recognition" is just as important as "strike zone recognition" (maybe even moreso). If you know what you can't do and then avoid doing it, that's half the battle. So for Shoulders, it would be a matter of recognizing fastballs he can't handle and then not swing at them. It won't make him a better hitter because he still can't handle what he can't handle, but at least it would cut down his strikeouts and increase his walks by virtue of taking more pitches.
The Oakland A's are one organization that teach "pitch recognition" like a religion, which is why A's prospects take a lot of pitches (probably more than any other organization of the ones based in AZ). Young A's hitters are trying to learn to identify pitches they can't handle and then not swing at them, even if the pitch is in the strike zone. That goes against the conventional approach that teaches "strike zone recogntion." (where you try to swing at strikes but lay off of pitches out of the strike zone).
Brett Jackson was like that until last season (which is why he always seemed like an oddball in the Cubs organization), taking lots of pitches (including strikes) and drawing lots of walks but also getting called out on strikes a lot. Then he tried to be more aggressive last year and not take so many pitches, which was a total fiasco because there are a couple of types of pitches he just can't handle (LH breaking balls and high-velocity fastballs). That's why I think the A's are one organization that might want to try and "salvage" Brett Jackson (at least the pre-2013 version).
Zeke DeVoss is another guy like that.Author: Arizona Phil
HAGSAG: I saw quite a but of Gerardo Concepcion at EXST in 2012, a little bit late last season in Mesa while he was rehabbing from back surgery, and one "live" BP session at Riverview yesterday.
What I know is that hitters make consistent hard contact (lots of line drives) against him, he has no true "strikeout" pitch, and he has difficulty throwing strikes.
For him to be successful, he will have to develop a reliable sinker or a cutter, be able to throw a change-up he can command, and throw strikes. And stay healthy.Author: Arizona Phil
CHARLIE: No question Eloy Jimenez will be at Extended Spring Training April-June, but then where he goes will depend on his performance & progress at EXST.
If he struggles at EXST, he will be sent to the DSL Cubs. If he does OK but not great, he'll stay in Mesa and will spend the summer with the AZL Cubs. If he pulls a Baez, he could jump directly to Boise and get fast-tracked. But whatever happens, I'm sure he will be a post-season Instructs to further his baseball education.
I doubt that Eloy will see Kane County in 2014, but if he shows sufficient progress during the upcoming season he could very well be at KC in 2015.Author: Arizona Phil
Colors back to normal now. Bam.Author: Carlito
I live in Washington...LSD isn't my brand of poison.
Plus, I'm a Target man.
 Damn it, the blue is gone. I really liked it.Author: The Joe
What a deal! Can't beat those always low prices, especially on the LSD.Author: Charlie
I saw something on the news about some people in Florida who ate steaks laced with LSD that they bought from Walmart. Have you had a steak lately?Author: Newport
Things is blue now.
Also the site is much faster now. For the past couple months, it was taking a minute to load every page.Author: The Joe
For me, the comment headings are blue text, and there is a light blue background on some parts, but the rest is black text and white background. I think it looks nice this way.
When I LOAD/REFRESH the page, the background is a dark blue, but then once the page finishes loading it ends up white.Author: WISCGRAD
not sure what's happening there...Author: Rob G.
Why is everything blue?Author: Rob G.
I saw Shoulders play LF last year for Kane County in one game, and I agree he looked okay out there. He's a big, strong-looking kid, has had some offensive success, and can draw a walk, but it also seemed to me he has a slow bat. It's be great to see that name in an MLB lineup, but it looks as if a whole lot of people in the Cub organization are ahead of him.Author: fullykräusened
Isn't he 17 years old by now? Bring him up.Author: Old and Blue
What's interesting for me is that the Cubs remind me a bit of the Blackhawks as they emerged and built a core of homegrown talent. The Cubs haven't emerged yet, but it's a lot easier for me to root for these guys than the late Hendry teams that were made of journeymen. This team has too many journeymen, too, but I have a feeling we'll see a kid come up by mid summer.
Castro is a perfect example. I root for him instead of being disgusted by last year's efforts. I don't have that bad taste in my mouth by watching a crappy, mid level journeyman. Instead I'm seeing a 24 year old who's already done quite a bit of good stuff, who evidently worked pretty hard over the winter, and who had a bad year. Same with Rizzo, not as bad a year by any stretch. But a kid who didn't come up through the system but is probably gonna be around awhile, and who overcame cancer.
Even Baez the other day said his best at bat was a strikeout the other day because he worked the count. Is he saying that kind of stuff because he knows Theo wants to hear it? Maybe. Good.
The farm system is getting so packed that they can afford flameouts, whereas before, all our hopes were centered around that year's Gary Scott.Author: Old and Blue
Thanks for the reports, AZ Phil! Any thoughts on where Jimenez ends up playing this year? Does he stay in extended spring training? Will he see any A ball this year, or will it be exclusively Rookie league?Author: Charlie
Puff piece on Bryant.Author: Rob Richardson
Wow. That's even crazier than it sounded on first read! And he's just a kid still. As if Cubs fan need another hitting prospect to get geeked about, but I think I might have just gone there on JImenez.Author: John Beasley
Phil, do you think Concepcion has any chance at all?Author: Hagsag
Memories of Glenallen Hill...Author: QuietMan
Thank you Phil. Reason I asked is because he is from my hometown. As always, I appreciate your insight. I am really hoping that they leave those gates unlocked for extended spring training!Author: bigsky33
CUBSTER: Because of his inability to get a work visa due to birth certificate issues, JCP got a late start on the 2013 season and really didn't get it together until Instructs.
I think he probably projects as a future late-inning power reliever, although he appears to have the stamina to be a starter if he can improve his change-up.
His stuff is really electric and sometimes he has difficulty with command.Author: Arizona Phil
BIG SKY: Anthony Giansanti can play 3B-2B-1B-LF-RF and he also learned to catch a couple of years ago to add to his versatilty (although he does not have the skills to be a frontline catcher).
He is the prototypical minor league "supersub," and he will probably have that role at either Daytona or Tennessee (wherever he is needed) in 2014.
Minor league "full season" teams have 25-man rosters (AA and AAA rosters were expanded from 24 to 25 a couple of years ago), but almost all of them have 13-man pitching staffs. meaning they can carry only four bench guys. That makes a player like Giansanti especially valuable to a minor league team with a "short bench."Author: Arizona Phil
FWIW, the exact same 20 players who were MIA at Minor League Camp on Thursday were also MIA on Friday.Author: Arizona Phil
JOHN B: They don't have the diatances marked on the fences at either the Minor League Camp fields or even at the main stadium (known as "Cubs Park"), but I would say the ball landed at a point about equivalent to maybe the top of a building on the north side of Waveland.
Of course, this was a coach throwing a "BP fastball," but still there is no question that Jimenez has plus-HR power. Hopefully it will translate to games.Author: Arizona Phil
shame vogel isn't seeing LF time rather than rock...but it's most likely because he's not capable.
if he emerges as a legit 1st base candidate he'll make for good trade bait...or maybe even force a.rizzo out in trade if rizzo continues to not have any idea how to handle a LH pitcher. i really hope rizzo figures out lefties at least enough to be respected by lefty pitchers (and the managers who sub them in when rizzo shows up at the plate).Author: crunch
and Paniagua's stuff (slider/fastball combo) was absolutely filthy.
AZ Phil: Glad to hear JCP is looking good. Any thoughts why Paniagua struggled so much last year?Author: Cubster
Thanks Phil. Can't wait to get down there and see the young talent. What is your take on Giansanti?Author: bigsky33