Cubs Spring Training

"A" Team Throws "Live" BP at Fitch

Twelve Cubs pitchers (essentially the "B" team -- Mitch Atkins, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard, Marcos Mateo, J. R. Mathes, Mike Parisi, Blake Parker, David Patton, Vince Perkins, James Russell, and Jeff Stevens) threw their first "live" BP session (25 pitches) at Fitch Park yesterday (six on Field #2 and six on Field #3), and 14 more pitchers (essentially the "A" team) threw their first "live" BP today.


Cubs News from Arizona

I believe today is the first official workout and we're starting to get some much needed Cubs news in our morphine drips.

- Muskat says Ted Lilly was playing catch yesterday and says his shoulder feels strong. Lilly thinks he can be ready by Opening Day. The quotes from Paul Sullivan though are a bit more tempered.


"I expect to be ahead of schedule," Lilly said. "I think the real test, first, is when you get on a mound and start throwing downhill off a slope, and then when you get into a game situation and really try to dial it up. That's when you find out how healthy you really are."

- Some of the early birds among the position players include Marlon Byrd, Tyler Colvin and Andres Blanco.

- Greg Maddux is in camp. Don't get too excited that he'll ever take over pitching coach duties from Larry Rothschild though.

Now entering his ninth season with the Cubs, Rothschild has coached under three managers and will be around as long as Hendry is here.

Rumors have also been that Maddux would want a higher profile gig than pitching coach when he does decide to return full time to the game.

- Z was taking grounders at shortstop today. As one Cubs blogger noted, Z has out OPS'd Theriot over the last two years. Watch your back little man.

Cubs 99% Sure to Stay in Mesa

The Fox TV News affiliate in Phoenix has the infamous "source close to" the Ricketts (an executive apparently) saying the Cubs are likely to stay in Mesa. Apparently Bud Selig has even put in a word to the Cubs that he'd like them to stay there and I'm sure that will carry some weight with the new owners who appear to be the kind that don't want to rock the MLB boat.

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 12 hours 26 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 13 hours 20 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 13 hours 30 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 13 hours 47 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 14 hours 2 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 14 hours 3 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 16 hours 54 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 19 hours 27 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 1 sec ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 21 hours 58 min ago view