Mateo Flips Three at Fitch, Looks Fit to Phil

The EXST Cubs (Boise/Mesa) rallied with four runs in the bottom of the 8th to defeat the EXST Angels 6-4 at Mesa's Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, in a game that featured the second rehab start for RHP Juan Mateo. Mateo, who has been on the Cubs 15-day DL with a sore shoulder since ST, increased his innings to three and his pitch count to 40+, as he threw 41 pitches (29 strikes, 4/2 GB/FB), with his fastball topping out at 92 MPH. He allowed three hits (one HR) and one run, but no walks, with three strikeouts, in his three innings of work. As long as he does not having any significant negative physical symptoms in the aftermath of today's game, Mateo looks fit and ready to leave Mesa and continue his rehab (gradually increasing his pitch count) at Daytona or Tennessee, with a return to the Iowa starting rotation probably by no later than mid-June, possibly even earlier. In today's game, the Cubs trailed the Angels 4-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, but rallied thanks to outstanding execution of offensive fundamentals. (The youngsters at EXST practice this stuff over and over, every day) Carlos Perez worked a walk to lead-off the inning, and advanced to second when Andres Quezada was hit on the foot by a pitch. The tying runs were moved up to second and third thanks to a picture-perfect sac bunt by Gian Guzman, and Steve Clevenger followed with a line single to left, scoring Perez and sending Quezada to third. Mario Mercedes then came through with a game-tying sac fly to CF. Jesus Reyes followed with a walk, and after Clevenger and Reyes moved up on a wild pitch, Cesar Valentin singled through the middle of the diamond, scoring Clevenger and Reyes with the winning runs. It was a very exciting inning in what normally isn't an exciting environment, as the players on the Cub bench were up on their feet en masse yelling and screaming. Side-slingin' RHP Matt Maradeo (signed a year ago as a 2005 NDFA 5th year senior out of Kutztown) worked the 9th inning for the save, striking out the lead-off hitter, and getting a game-ending GIDP after allowing a one-out ground single. I guess I must have missed all of Maradeo's bad outings, because every time I see him throw, he works fast, he throws strikes, and it's either three up and three down, or six up and six down, or nine up and nine down with seven K's, or 1-2-3 strike out the side for the save. In some EXST and Cubs minor league roster news, OF Jeff Culpepper (who has been rehabbing at Fitch after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery) has left for Daytona. Also, Peoria OF D. J. Lewis has been released. (Lewis got released to make room for a position player who is being demoted from Daytona to Peoria to make room for Culpepper, but unfortunately I don't know who that position player is at this point). Here is the abridged box score (that means Cubs players only) from today's EXST Cubs game: LINEUP: 1. Nathan Samson, SS (0-2, HBP, SH) 2. Jovan Rosa, 3B (0-4, K) 3. Nelson Perez, LF (1-3, R, HBP) 4. Carlos Perez, DH-1 (0-3, R, BB) 5-A. Drew Rundle, CF (No AB) 5-B. Andres Quezada, CF (1-3, RBI, R, HBP) 6. Gian Guzman, DH-2 (1-3, 3B, SH, K) 7. Steve Clevenger, 1B (2-2, RBI, R, 2 HBP) 8. Mario Mercedes, C (1-3, SF-RBI) 9. Jesus Reyes, RF (0-3, R, BB, 2 K) 10. Cesar Valentin, 2B (2-2, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB, SB) NOTE: Rundle left game after he became sick in the outfield in the top of the 1st inning (nothing serious, as he walked unaided to the clubhouse). PITCHERS: 1. Juan Mateo - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR 2. Audy Santana - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP 3. Donny Walters - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP 4. Matt Maradeo - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP CATCHER: Mercedes 2-2 CS ATTENDANCE - 5 Weather: Cloudless hot sunny morning with temp in the 90's.

Comments

AZ Phil, With Wade Miller about to be released and Guzman and Marmol in the pen who do you think is the 6th starter in case of injury. I am thinking it would probably be Cotts, but I would rather see Gallagher or Holliman get a chance first. What are your thoughts on the subject. Also are there any type of Craig Hansen type relief prospect that the Cubs can draft at 48 to help the pen this season?

this is about 2 weeks old but from scout.com... http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=304&p=2&c=644285 3. Chicago Cubs - Josh Vitters. Early reads suggested that the Cubs and Matt Wieters would appear to be a match made in heaven, considering the Cubs' willingness to spend. But, it appears that the Cubs may be a little lighter in the pockets after their off-season spending spree. Look for them to take the cheaper route, which is not exactly a drop off talent-wise. Right now, according to several sources, they are trying to decide between Vitters and flame throwing Indiana high school righty, Jarrod Parker. Vitters' near sure thing bat will be tough to pass though. "I think the Cubs are going to surprise," one crosschecker told us. "Remember, they spent a lot of money last year and this year on their big league club. I think great time to get cheap....

http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=304&p=2&c=644765 May 17th date saying the DRays are poised to take Wieters now instead of Price.

chifan3887 — May 29, 2007 @ 3:20 pm AZ Phil, With Wade Miller about to be released and Guzman and Marmol in the pen who do you think is the 6th starter in case of injury. I am thinking it would probably be Cotts, but I would rather see Gallagher or Holliman get a chance first. What are your thoughts on the subject. Also are there any type of Craig Hansen type relief prospect that the Cubs can draft at 48 to help the pen this season? ========================== CHIFAN3778: In case of injury, I believe Neal Cotts would get the next call, and (if 100%) Juan Mateo would be next after that. I think the Cubs will likely leave Gallagher and Holliman at AA for the most of the rest of the season, although an August promotion to AAA for either would be well within reason. But Gallagher has had some mild shoulder stiffness, and Holliman needs to prove his mid-season dead arm of last year isn't going to be an every-year occurrence. Also, Gallagher does not need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2008 season, and Holliman doesn't need to be added to the 40 until after 2009, so there is no reason for the Cubs to rush either of them to the big leagues, unless circumstances unexpectedly warrant otherwise. As far as who the Cubs might take at 48, I don't know. If the Cubs do take a pitcher there, I hope it's a college pitcher, and the most advanced college pitcher available. Somebody who can help them ASAP. I don't know how the first two picks will go, but if (somehow) Price and Wieters go 1-2, I'd actually prefer to see the Cubs take ex-Missouri RHP Max Scherzer (who is throwing 97 MPH and striking everybody out at Ft. Worth) with the #3 pick rather than Vitters or a HS pitcher. A two-pitch pitcher (but both pitches are plus pitches),Scherzer would be a definite MLB closer candidate, and could reach the big leagues in a BIG hurry (he will want--and will almost certainly get--a "Major League" contract, so no reason not to bring him up in September, if not sooner). Of course, Scherzer (a Scott Boras client) will be a "tough sign" (which is why the Diamondbacks couldn't sign him), but the Cubs don't seem to have a problem with dealing with Boras. Heck, Hendry actually seems to like the guy! But again, that's ONLY if Price and Wieters go 1-2. No way will Scherzer last to #48.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/story/2007/5/2... hat tip to Road to Wrigley.... Sickels take on Vitters.

AZ Phil: I noted that the cubs recently promoted recent minor league rule 5 pick, Jim Anderson from AA to Iowa after 18 games/24 IP with an ERA of 0.75. Have you seen him pitch? If he does as well in Iowa is he a candidate for the bullpen or is he just more minor league fodder?

cubster — May 29, 2007 @ 4:23 pm AZ Phil: I noted that the cubs recently promoted recent minor league rule 5 pick, Jim Anderson from AA to Iowa after 18 games/24 IP with an ERA of 0.75. Have you seen him pitch? If he does as well in Iowa is he a candidate for the bullpen or is he just more minor league fodder? ============================== CUBSTER: I saw Jim Henderson pitch three times at Minor League Camp in ST, and I wasn't particularly impressed. He reminds me some of Randy Wells, who pitched great at AA last season but hasn't pitched so well at AAA after getting promoted. But Henderson certainly had a lot of success at AA this season, so we'll see how he does at AAA. But (like Randy Wells) I don't think he is an MLB prospect. I hope I'm wrong.

Wait...is it Anderson or Henderson? Take of the 'der' and you got some muppets...

Whatever happened to Lou's comments regarding Lilly being questionable for his next start? Is that still a possibility?

"ATTENDANCE - 5" Gotta be some kind of record. Were some seats removed?

cubswinthepennant — May 29, 2007 @ 5:10 pm “ATTENDANCE - 5” Gotta be some kind of record. Were some seats removed? ==================== CWtP: Actually we had nine for one of the games over the Memorial Day weekend. We were packed in there like sardines.

A. Soriano lf C. Izturis ss D. Lee 1b A. Ramirez 3b M. Murton rf M. DeRosa 2b M. Barrett c A. Pagan cf

Attendance-5 LOL of the day. Az Phil and friends re-enact "the wave" from Field of Dreams.

lou gives a pregame blah blah media fest talk about baserunning. cubs commit 2 outs on 2 separate plays involving baserunning gaffs in 1 inning. is it the players yet or the elderly fat man dujour?

AZ Phil: How does Mateo stack up against the other Iowa starters and the Guzman/Marmol/Marshalls, stuff-wise and ceiling-wise?

garsky — May 30, 2007 @ 9:17 am AZ Phil: How does Mateo stack up against the other Iowa starters and the Guzman/Marmol/Marshalls, stuff-wise and ceiling-wise? ============================== GARSKY: Mateo's stuff doesn't rate with that of Guzman, Marshall, and Marmol, but I would say he could be a passable MLB #5 starter or right-handed middle-reliever. You have to remember that Mateo has never pitched at AAA. He was promoted from AA straight to the big leagues last summer, so he could probably benefit from some time in the Iowa starting rotation. He's only 24, so it's not like he's past his prime. He WILL be an MLB pitcher. Maybe not with the Cubs, but with somebody.

Good call on Mateo being ready - he's up at Peoria now.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 

     

  • JustSayin' 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 6 days 16 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 6 days 22 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 1 week 37 min ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 1 week 22 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

     

  • jdrnym 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

     

  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    ---