Cubs Batter Rockies at Fitch Park

Junior Lake doubled twice, singled, walked, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jeffrey Baez doubled twice, scored twice, and knocked-in a run, Shawon Dunston Jr belted a two-run triple, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, Brad Zapenas drove-in three runs with a double and two sacrifice flies, and Xavier Batista hammered a solo home run (his third HR in two days), as the Cubs drubbed the Rockies 13-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa,AZ.

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair so that more pitchers could get game work.  

Junior Lake (fractured rib cage rehab) played CF for seven innings and batted five times, going 3-4 with two doubles (both rifled off the LF fence), a line-drive single, and a walk, plus a strikeout (swinging). 

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

X. Junior Lake, CF: 3-4 (2B, 2B, K, BB, 1B, 3 R, SB)
NOTE: Lake batted five times, hitting 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th innings
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 2-5 (3-U, 1B, 4-3, 3B, 3-1, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB)
2a. Steve Clevenger, 1B: 1-2 (1B, F-9, BB, RBI)
2b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-1 (F-8 SF, 4-3, RBI)
3a. Jose Morales, DH #1: 0-4 (5-3, F-9, 4-6-3 DP, K)
3b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-1 (3-U)
4a. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-2 (F-8, BB, HR, 2 R, RBI)
4b. Garrett Schlecht, PH: 0-1 (P-6)
5a. Justin Marra, C: 1-2 (F-9, 3B, R, RBI)
5b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (1B, F-8, R)
6. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 2-3 (F-9, BB, 2B, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, 5-3, BB, BB, R, RBI)
8. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (F-9 SF, 2B, F-9 SF, 5-4 FC, 3 RBI)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-4 (K, F-8, 2B, K, R, RBI)

1. James Pugliese: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 GIDP, 66 pitches (50 strikes), 5/4 GO/FO
2, Armando Rivero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 34 pitches (22 strikes), 0/6 GO/FO
4. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 9 pitches (6 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. David Villegas: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO

1. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. C Wilfredo Petit - E-2 (Catcher's Interference allowed batter to reach base safely)

1. Justin Marra: 0-1 CS
2. Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+



AZ Phil: When management feels that Junior Lake is ready...will he be ready for Iowa? or Chicago? ...and where will he play in the field at that point? I'm expecting Iowa, but to Chicago after the July trade deadline to replace whatever OF(s) gets dealt. Brett Jackson seems to have his feet (and bat) stuck in the mud this year so Lake's bat will carry him ahead of BJax.

CUBSTER: I would expect Junior Lake to go to Iowa when he completes his rehab at EXST, and once there to be moved around between 3B and the three OF positions.

IMO, Lake will eventually end up a RH platoon OF capable of playing all three OF slots, sort of like a Scott Hairston or somebody like that. 

I suppose he could be used as a supersub IF-OF at the MLB level, but he's a bit of a Bull in a China Shop when it comes to playing infield. I would say outfield will be his ultimate destiny, and depending on how well he hits, he could be more than a RH platoon OF. 

Like Josh Vitters, I expect Lake to be traded.

WGN radio says game start now estimated at 8:35 cst

God must hate us Chip Caray doing the game

He did sound a lot like Chip Carey. But it was Justin Kutcher.

he didn't sound like steve jobs to me {{ducks...}}

Correct, I meant to come back to on to say I was wrong when I saw him interview Hoyer. I was thinking before that Chip was putting it together and not being so obnoxious but there you have it.

Two more two baggers for Cubbles for 3-1 lead /cubs lead mlb in doubles //go figure

Joe West is an idiot I know he didnt blow the call but under his leadership umpiring is sloppy and abrasive. He can be thanked when they are replaced by video cameras

carlos marmol's trade value is creeping just above a can of simoniz, but well below an infield rake...forget about the package of both. ...also, zach putnum sucks.

maybe both if we throw in "star"lin castro; anyone remember why he wasn't traded way back when people thought he might be a good SS?

per sun-times/Ginetti: With two days off next week, the Cubs will give left-hander Travis Wood extra time off, skipping him until the home game Friday against the Pirates. ‘‘He’s pitched a lot of innings already [72] and thrown a lot of pitches in those games in a lot of stressful innings,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘And he’s been on the bases a lot in the games he’s pitched.’’ --- Sunday- EJax; Monday-off; Tues/Anaheim-Feldmania; Wed-Garza; Thurs-off. The week with two days off also stretches Shark (actually everyone) out...Ninja won't pitch for a week (saturday to saturday)

Sure hope the Cubs never had an actual chance to get Dominic Brown for Soriano as was briefly rumored.

What I had heard was that the Cubs asked for Brown, but Phillies said no. Many variations out there of the "real" rumor.

c.marmol out for the 8th after throwing 30 (mostly bad) pitches last night. this game sucks, btw...every time it looked promising the cubs screwed it up. marmol walks the leadoff hitter...and the following hitter... bb, bb, K, CS, bb, RBI single, K... 1ip 1h 3bb 2k ...34 pitches

Javier Baez piece: On possible promotions for Baez and Soler: “We haven't had those (promotion) conversations yet,” scouting/player development director Jason McLeod said. “Those are conversations with (the front office) where we're constantly talking about their development, but more so we look at a monthly basis. We'll have a look back at how they performed that month, where they are in their player plans. As of right now, there are no discussions on moving either one of them up.”

more of the future (puts on shades)...Cougars win 3-2 in 10: Kane County Bottom of the 10th Pin-Chieh Chen flies out to left fielder J. D. Williams. Albert Almora doubles (6) on a fly ball to center fielder Jeremias Pineda. Tyler Jones intentionally walks Dan Vogelbach. Jeimer Candelario singles on a line drive to right fielder Adam Walker. Albert Almora to 3rd. Dan Vogelbach to 2nd. Rock Shoulders walks. Albert Almora scores. Dan Vogelbach to 3rd. Jeimer Candelario to 2nd.

the ramon ortiz experiment in TOR may be over...though it probably shouldn't have existed in the first place...he was pitching worse than he was when he was a cub in 2011. 3rd pitch of the 3th inning...he walked behind the mound...spiked his glove down...trainer out...pointing to his pitching tears walking off the mound. though i'm sure he was hurting, it was tears of a game/season/career not ending on his terms more so than pain. it was just 2 weeks ago he got his 1st win as a starter since 2007. 40 years old...sucking before this happened...buh-bye guy.

Where on earth is Michael Jensen???

Five pitchers were shut-down during the course of Minor League camp last March and haven't pitched since:

Marcelo Carreno
Gerardo Concepcion
Michael Jensen
Jin-Young Kim
Casey Weathers

There are a couple of others who were throwing at Minor League Camp, then went active for a while at EXST, and are now shut-down again: 

Dayan Diaz (forearm strain)
Andrew McKirahan (2012 TJS) 

Tthere are those who were active with full-season teams or at EXST and are now shut-down at EXST:

Daniel Adrian (knee)
Josh Conway (fractured elbow)
Ryan McNeil (May TJS)
Starling Peralta (unknown)
Dae-Eun Rhee (unknown)
Ryan Searle (sprained elbow UCL)

These two are throwing "sim" games and could appear in an EXST game this week:

Carlos Gutierrez (2012 shoulder surgery rehab)
Chang-Yong Lim (2012 TJS rehab)

The following position players are at EXST but are not playing in games: 

Stephen Bruno (unknown)
Trey Martin (left shoulder surgery rehab)
Greg Rohan (back surgery rehab)

It is not unusual for pitchers who are diagnosed with elbow or shoulder injuries that do not require surgery or biceps or triceps tendonitis to be shut-down for two or three months, as happened with Ben Wells (sprained elbow UCL) and Zac Rosscup (biceps tendonitis) last season. That coiuld very well be the case with Carreno, Concepcion, Jensen, and/or JY Kim,

casey weathers went home almost immediately this spring...i actually wonder how much time he spent in camp. i think his future plans involve collecting worker's comp from the organization as long as possible and watching the sac. kings play basketball.

I guess we can't know until the year has run its course, but the Castro and Rizzo contracts are going to be significant indicators of the success of the TheoCorp regime and its strategy for building the team. They were both risky maneuvers, in my opinion. Doling out huge wads of cash for unproven players just seems like a risky strategy. Castro for me is the biggest concern. He looks like a singles hitting Vlad Guerrero - swinging at everything near the plate but not having anything to show for it. I don't think it makes sense to give up on a guy who has shown as much hitting potential as he has - this could be just a nasty, protracted slump, but it does make the overall contract strategy pretty interesting. Rizzo, despite his occasional 0 fers, is a lot less of a concern for me. He's got some nice numbers for a 23 year old, especially considering what a terrible start he had to the year and then his post contract slump. I guess for me, the Rizzo contract made a lot more sense than the Castro one did, especially considering all the shortstops bounding about in the Cubs system. On a side note, I kinda wish they'd release Marmol. I doubt the Cubs need any Simoniz.

If this is the new norm for Castro, then the contract will start sucking very soon. If he puts up numbers similar to his 2011 and 2012 seasons, then the contract is just fine. It doesn't reach 8 figure annual salary until 2018. I'm hoping he ends up at 2b. I hope they just cut ties with Marmol too. I think it's time to start throwing shit at the wall in the bullpen to see what sticks. Any random AAA or AA guy can walk the bases loaded too.

Any random AAA or AA guy can walk the bases loaded too. ------------------------------------------------------- So can I. My 42MPH heater puts very little stress on my arm, so I can do it day after day, too. And that's a solid 42...mid-40s on a hot gun.

Cubs Draft... I think I'd like to see the Cubs take one of the third basemen. I don't know anything about them, though, so maybe I'm hoping they are taking another Junior Lake (see AZ's description of his infield skills above) and don't even know it. But top round pitchers make me nervous the way top free agent pitchers do. They are a puffy tendon away from being a total waste. Better to build your staff by picking a bunch of potential guys in the lower rounds and seeing what sticks.

if you're talking about Kris Bryant, I haven't seen any real conviction that he'd stay at 3b. He's probably begin there, but seems like he's destined for the OF or 1B.


moran will most likely stick at 3rd (though there's been some (imo) weird rumblings about him not being able to play well there that seem out of place given his arm...footwork can be improved), but he's more of a gap power guy than a true power hitter...some believe it will develop, though...and he's a good hitter. not many are high on bryant staying at 3rd even if someone lets him try to initially make it there.

Bruce Miles‏@BruceMiles2112 #Cubs say DFA'd reliever Alex Burnett has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Class AAA Iowa.

brewers snag juan francisco, fwiw.

Baez in BA Notebook

Baez has tantalizing bat speed and power potential, but his free-swinging approach has started to eat into his on-base percentage this year. We talked about this on the Prospect Handbook Podcast, but sometimes the best way for an aggressive hitter like Baez to become a more disciplined hitter isn’t by having the organization mandate he start taking the first pitch or emphasizing walks. Sometimes a young hitter just has to swing at bad pitches, then learn that those are the pitches he needs to lay off because he can’t do damage with that slider that dives off the plate or that tempting fastball above the strike zone. Some players never make the adjustment, but the talented ones learn from their mistakes. With Baez, the adjustments are already starting to come as a 20-year-old in high Class A Daytona. On Saturday Baez went 5-for-6 with three doubles and a home run, then followed that up yesterday with a 2-for-4 day to bring him to .281/.322/.519 with nine walks, 56 strikeouts and nine home runs. Baez is going to have to put in major work to clean up his defense, though, as he’s looked out of place at shortstop with 24 errors in 51 games.

Mock Draft at BA

2. CUBS (Jim). You’re not going to draft for need at the top, but the Cubs’ biggest need dovetails nicely with the elite prospects in this year’s draft. They need pitching and there are two obvious frontline starters in this crop. I’m mildly tempted by Bryant, but the choice comes down to Gray and Appel, and the Astros have made it easy here by taking Gray off the board. I like Gray a little more because I think his stuff is more electric when he and Appel are at their best, but I’m happy with Appel at No. 2. He has more polish, a deeper repertoire and a longer track record, and he has dominated this season like scouts always hoped he would: MARK APPEL.

neat-o study on prospect lists and how they perform...

Gray tests positive for Adderall

can't imagine it will change much, but you never know.

be nice if it did...though gray vs appell is as hard hitting as an argument over whether you'd rather have a $100 bill or 5 $20 dollar bills.