Chad Fox

Soriano, Lilly Lead Cubs Over Astros

In Houston, Ted Lilly straightened himself out after a ragged beginning—four-pitch leadoff walk to Kaz Matsui, gopher ball to Miguel Tejada; Miggy's first home run in 116 at-bats this season—as the Cubs beat the Astros, 8-5, to sweep the two-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The Cubs have now won six of seven and have climbed to four games above .500 for the second time this year, heading into a weekend series in Milwaukee.

Cubs Relievers Get Extra Work with I-Cubs

Cubs Manager Lou Pniella generally prefers to delegate pitching matters to his pitching coach (that would be Larry Rothschild), but one aspect of the pitching staff Uncle Lou believes he understands is how to get his bullpen ready for Opening Day.

And a big part of this preparation is Piniella's belief that each of his relievers need to throw on back-to-back days once or twice during the last ten days of Spring Training, and each reliever needs to throw two innings one time, too.   

That's where Minor League Spring Training games can really come in handy. 

While Ryan Dempster, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells, and Kevin Hart made the two-hour bus trip to Tucson to pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Hi Corbett Field, Kevin Gregg, Chad Fox, and Luis Vizcaino took the 20-minute van ride to the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix (a former WWII POW Camp) to get their work in versus the Oakland A's AAA squad in a minor league game.      

You Won't Believe This, But...

The Cubs have re-signed FA RHP Chad Fox to a 2009 minor league contract, and Foxy also gets an NRI to Spring Training. Because he signed his minor league contract prior to December 11th, he will be eligible for selection in next week's Rule 5 Draft, and I'm sure he'll be in great demand.

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs

    link

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 7 hours 36 min ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 7 hours 57 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 8 hours 10 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 8 hours 43 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 8 hours 59 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 9 hours 18 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 9 hours 40 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 12 hours 39 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 52 min ago view