Sosa Sighting at Extended Spring Training

The EXST Angels blanked the EXST Cubs 6-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

Iowa Cubs 1B-OF Jason Dubois (placed on the I-Cubs 7-day DL with back spasms on April 21st) got another rehab start (as a DH) with the Cubs today, and got five Plate Appearances (total). He batted second in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, grounding out to third in the 2nd, grounding into a 6-4-3 DP in the 3rd, doubling off the LF fence in the 5th, striking out (swinging) in the 6th, and lining a single to CF in the 7th (his final AB). In two EXST games, Dubois is 2-7 with a double.

In addition, Peoria RHRP Corey Martin (placed on the Chiefs 7-day DL with a strained calf on May 3rd) made his second rehab appearance, throwing one inning in today’s game. Even though the Angels were leading 4-0 after nine innings were completed, the game was extended one extra inning to allow Martin to get his pre-scheduled work, and he was not impressive. Martin allowed a double off the CF Batter’s Eye and a line-drive RBI single, in addition to two fly balls to the warning track.

While the Angels were whitewashing the Cubs on Field #3, RHP (ex-C) Alvaro Sosa threw a two-inning simulated game on Field #1. The 23-year old 5'11 195 Sosa was converted to pitcher a month ago after hitting a combined .225 in 262 pro games going back to 2005 (and never getting past Boise in five seasons), so he is still in the very early stages of the transformation. The Cubs have an extensive history of converting light-hitting catchers into pitchers, most notably Carlos Marmol, Randy Wells, and Blake Parker. It doesn't always work, and Sosa does not have the ideal body-type for a pitcher, but at least he's getting a chance to show the Cubs what he can do on the mound before he's eligble to be a 6Y Minor League Free-Agent (Rule 55 Minor League FA) post-2011.   

Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins is at Fitch Park this week, so he will get a chance to get a good look at all the Cubs pitchers who are presently at Extended Spring Training.

Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only)

NOTE: DH Jason Dubois batted in five of the first seven innings, getting five Plate Appearances total in the game.

X. Jason Dubois, DH #1: 2-5 (5-3, 6-4-3 GIDP, 2B, K, 1B)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #2: 0-3 (K, F-8, 3-1)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (K, K, F-7)
3. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, 4-3)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, F-8)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, K)
6. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (1-3, 3-1)
7. Runey Davis, LF: 1-2 (1B, 4-3)
8. Blair Springfield, DH #3: 0-2 (K, K)
9. Jose Guevara, C: 0-2 (1-3, 6-3)
10. Rafael Disla, 2B: 0-2 (3-1, K)

1. Frank Batista – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 36 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Eduardo Figueroa – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 1/4 GO/FO, 51 pitches (32 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 8 pitches (5 strikes)
5. Danny Keefe - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
6. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)

1. P Carlos Rojas E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
2. P Carlos Rojas E-1 (errant pick-off throw into CF allowed runner on 2nd base to advance to 3rd and runner on 1st base to advance to 2nd)
3. 3B Charles Thomas E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

Jose Guevara: 1 PB


WEATHER: Sunny and VERY breezy, with temperatures in the 70’s


so Dubois is still with the Cubs just to set the Iowa Cubs HR record, right? or do they put him in Iowa as a cautionary tale to the minor leaguers of what happens if you don't grab hold of your brief major league opportunity?

heh...wells used to catch nolasco in cubs he gets to pitch against him tonight.

Submitted by crunch on Tue, 05/11/2010 - 6:02pm. heh...wells used to catch nolasco in cubs he gets to pitch against him tonight. =========================== CRUNCH: Randy Wells, Carlos Marmol, and Geovany Soto were three 19-year old catchers at Fitch Park in 2002. Marmol was actually the best hitter of the three (at the time) and had really good speed for a catcher. Soto wasn't that impressive ar the time. He had power potential that he hadn't yet fully developed, and his receiving needed a lot of work. Wells just could not hit. You could see even then that he was definitely a pitcher trapped in a catcher's body.

Maybe this is 3/44 or whatever but I actually like the way this dude writes. I'm a sucker for a dude who knows how to shape a sentence.

Carlos A. Silva Updated: Tuesday, 11 May 2010, 11:30 AM EDT Published : Tuesday, 11 May 2010, 11:30 AM EDT (1950 - 2010) - Carlos A. Silva, 59, of Springfield and formerly of Ludlow passed away Friday morning, May 7, 2010, surrounded by his loving family in Baystate Medical Center, Springfield. Carlos, a son of the late Joao and Olinda (Fonseca) Silva was born in Guarda, Portugal on September 28, 1950. He graduated from high school in Portugal and on April 27, 2010 he graduated and received his diploma from Porter Chester Institute for HVAC. He had previously worked for Milton Bradley for 22 years


wrigley is nearly dead-silent as the fans quickly file out. ugg.

I'm bored. The Cubs need to trade somebody or something.

A source tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that either Nolan Reimold or Lou Montanez will be sent to Triple-A Norfolk in order to make room for Corey Patterson on Wednesday.

555. That's the missing piece alright.

hell yeah Blackhawks!!!

"Uh, I mean, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't," Lee said, trying to be diplomatic. "It's just a philosophy. I'm more of a believer of 'be stable.' But obviously Lou likes a change, so, that's what he likes to do."

What position did Castro play in the minors? Catcher? RF? Looks like he's having a tough time making the transition to SS.

Castro is up because he plays better defense than just STFU! (Note: Sarcasm)

The ball he made an error on, Theriot would have watched bounce merrily on it's way to left field yesterday (note: not sarcasm).


I think Castro will be just fine. But he does seem to be a ways away from espn web gems.

Yes, he's also not a guy who's going to make an error a game. It doesn't look like he's much enjoying the cold weather, though, does it? The 3-6-3 double play they turned yesterday, Theriot probably wouldn't have been able to turn, either.

I have trouble justifying Castro's defensive shortcomings so far by saying "well at least he's better than Theriot". It might not be true, but it probably is; Either way I don't find that to be a compelling argument. Jitters? Okay, maybe. What I see, though, is some raw talent and acrobatic abilities, but a young guy who hasn't built the muscle memory to make those consistent throws or field the short hop flawlessly. With enough time and proper direction he should become a nice SS, though. He definitely has the range and arm and I think the Renteria comparisons are well deserved.

Geez - I don't know - we're being really nitpicky about this 20 year old kid. As O & B stated, this season is toast so let him play the rest of the year then we can have a real "sample size" as you stat-heads like to say. Our future at SS is Fidel and Jae Kuk Lee. So in spite of what Ricketts says being "Year 1", we are continuing the (Losing) "Way of Life". If the team manages to win the Wild Card - fine. But I gave up holding my breath a long time ago.

I guess the anti-Castro sentiment with a few of us isn't about us disliking Castro, its just that we think he needs a few more seasons in the minors to work on his overall game. He is by no means a polished prospect and really has no business being in the majors right now, much less starting his service clock. We don't like him on the roster now, because he doesn't make this team any better now. And playing him in the majors isn't some magic elixir that will make him better simply by playing in the majors. It's called prospect development and the Castro call up is just proof this organization has no fucking clue what they are doing, much less how to run a proper farm system.

"It's called prospect development and the Castro call up is just proof this organization has no fucking clue what they are doing, much less how to run a proper farm system." So we'll see who eats crow on October 1, 2010. Not that you would ever admit it, of course.

You guys ate a lot of Crow on the Milton Bradley signing and I went point by point on his eventual meltdown like a playbook. Not that any of you would ever admit it though. Thats a neat game to play, i can play it as well.

Aren't you the one who said he would quit playing as soon as he hit 75 games for his incentive clause? You were dead wrong.

Ohh yeah and i was big fans of Choi, and Murton and Theriot to replace the suck of Cesar Izturis. A man with all the gifts on defense but can't hit his way out of a paper bag. And when his defense started to suck Theriot got his job. I appreciate and admire a solid if unspectacular SS who can hit for average and get on base. I think we have all forgotten what its like to watch all of our past Cub SS's hit .250 with an OBP around .300. So yeah i am a little hit and miss. Hated the DeRosa signing as well, but grew to appreciate his time with the Cubs. Same goes with Marlon Byrd.....Fred McGriff can eternally eat my ass though. See not always right. But I slammed dunked the Milton Bradley fiasco. Some things are just wayyyyyyy to easy to predict.

This player started joined the Cubs in 1965 for the Cubs at 19 years old. It is obvious he needed a few more years in the minors to tune up, Mike C:

Because everyone is the same, call up every 19 year old, since everyone is the same.

This is probably going to sound snarky, but it's not intended to. At his present pace over a full season, Castro is going to commit 162 errors. Saying "well how does this help the defense?" right now is stupid, because 1, he's not going to commit four times as many errors as any shortstop ever, and 2 you're not noticing that he has the tools to make plays that Theriot, as nice and scrappy a guy as he is, just isn't physically capable of doing. Theriot's as likely to hit 75 HR's this year as he is to throw out a runner from the hole, unless the runner pulls a hammy or falls, because he is physically incabable of doing those things.

I know the tools Castro has, but that doesn't mean they are ready for the majors either. There is a difference between a prospect that is highly polished and ready for the majors and Starlin Castro who is a rough diamond. Were gonna lose games with or without Castro, i would rather him work on his defense away from the magnify glass of the majors than to put him in his current position. The move is a desperation move by the franchise that has no plan.

He was going to be in the majors this year, no matter what. It's obvious that his bat is ready, and his glove has been bad. As long as Ramirez and Lee continue to suck, this team is going to lose. All calling Castro up has done was win us a ball game in Cincy and make him an extra $500K.

if they waited another couple months we could keep him for another year.

you're confusing Super Two with free agency... If he doesn't get optioned, he's not a free agent until after 2016, almost 7 full seasons. By not waiting until about June 1st or so, he will very likely be eligible for Super Two after 2012 instead of arb-eligible for the first time in 2013 (again assuming he's not optioned at some point).

You are assuming that Super Two status survives the next collective bargaining agreement.

Being that neither the players or the owners are complaining about it, it's a pretty safe assumption to make. May as well start planning to have Soriano play DH for the Cubs full time if we're doing baseless speculation.

'Future shock: If Stanton were to get called up before Memorial Day, the first reaction of many people in baseball would be shock. No, not that the Marlins were calling up a 20-year-old. That they would be willing to take a chance that Stanton could turn arbitration-eligible a year early (after 2012), as a "super-two" player. But hold those shock waves, says an official of another NL team. "How do we know there will even be a 'super-two' rule three years from now?" he asked. "How do any of us know what the rules will be three years from now? … Trying to predict something like that is ridiculous [when there will be a new labor deal in place by then]."' Maybe that "official of another NL team" is Hendry.

what are the owners planning to give up to get Super 2 to go away? I've heard the whispers myself as well, but I would be surprised if it did happen if there wasn't a stipulation that it wouldn't affect current players.

well whatever, wasn't really getting into that right now. He could be optioned at some point and it becomes a moot point. But his FA clock wasn't really affected by calling him up now versus a month from now. It was his arbitration clock that they possibly fucked up. But at age 20, I don't expect that he'll put up huge numbers that it'll make more than a $2 to $3M difference. That being said, I would imagine any CBA changes wouldn't affect players that started their clocks before the current CBA expired. If they decided, for an extreme example, to go 7 years before free agency, I feel the players would be sure to include something that it only applies to players going forward.

You don't get bonus in arbitration for being a super 2 in year 3+, do you?

sorry, not sure what you're asking

I am saying that super two players don't make $2 to $3 million more in year 3 than non-arb eligible players, and you don't get a bonus from years four to six for being super two, so it's not going to be $2 to $3 million.

it's one extra year of arbitration though... The difference between 500K and 2.5-3.5 million that first year(maybe it's more like 2-3M, who knows right now). And you're pretty much guaranteed some kind of raise after that. If he makes $2.5M as a Super Two, he's probably get $3.5M the next year and so forth down the line. You rarely go backwards or stagnant once you hit arbitration. Not sure where this guy gets his numbers, but he puts out it being worth 31% more to an "ordinary" player if they qualify for Super 2. unless Castro goes nuts over the next couple of years and makes $5M+ right out of the gates. Then the Cubs cost themselves quite a bit, but probably nothing they need to be concerned about with their revenues either.

Are super two players really making $3.5 million? I got the impression it's more like $1.5 million. Isn't Fountainout a super two this year? He's making $1 million. I think those articles people are talking out of their asses. Strasburg is on 4 year contract, super 2 has nothing to do with him.

I wasn't really using Strasburg myself, but his 4-year deal only runs through 2012. by delaying his Super Two they can set his salary for 2013, but it can't be lower than 20% of what he made in 2012, which is $4.875M (factoring in bonuses). So the most they could cut it is $3.9M, although I'm sure they'll just agree to a buyout of his arb-years by that point. Fontenot was a regular for just one of those seasons, so he's a poor example. I'm under the assumption Castro stays a regular if he reaches Super 2 status. If he struggles, he'll just get optioned most likely making this all mostly a moot point. Super 2's can compare themselves to other Super 2's and Year 3's at their position, which then depends on how well he does, awards, being a starter, etc. If Castro puts up Theriot numbers, that's 2.6M there. Let's assume he does better, then he could make Drew'ish money at $3.4M. That's where I got my $2.5 - $3.5M range. Andre Ethier was a Super 2 and made $3.1M with 100K incentives after 2008. H. Pence was a regular and signed for $3.5M. The high end is of course Lincecum, Howard and Hamels (like $4.5M). But assuming Castro stays in the majors, then I assume he stays a regular and is putting up numbers no worse than Theriot did his first 3 years which puts him in the 2.5 - 3.5 range. If he's really good, then possibly even higher. If he really struggles, then maybe it's more like the $2M range, but more likely he's just demoted.

OK, I was thinking that the best players were getting $2 million and that Castro would make $1.5 million as opposed to about $1 million. But, I still think in year 4-6 he would get compared to other players in years 4-6. He's not going to get any benefit as a super 2 - other than the higher starting point. Prior, for example, took a pay cut, despite having qualified as a super 2. If he hits like Theriot did last year in year three, he's likely to get what Theriot got for year 4 (plus a little inflation).

Thank God.

cashner starts tonight @ las vegas [under watchful eye of a local ex-pitcher?]& jay jackson threw an inning of middle relief for the i-cubs last night as his arm is shrunk for his soon-to-be-new role in chicago...season high in hits/runs for iowa; fuld is on a tear; 2 more hits for tracy & a 3 run bomb for hoffpauir...the nd guy ran his record to a mighty misleading 3-0 despite 2 more walks in an inning+

Yeah by the way Mike Wellman, what did jay jackson do last night. Lets see 1 IP, 2 HITS, 1 RUN, 1 ER. Oh wait a minute thats just misleading he really didn't do that or did he. I go to the Iowa Cubs game and you have no idea what you are talking about Mike Wellman.

No need to be an asshole, especially when Mike W did not mislead us about his performance in any way.

Hey Mike Wellman WTF what do you mean misleading 3-0. What is his ERA? If you don't like the guy because he went to ND too bad keep it to yourself and take your big ten crap somewhere else.

.... it is alive....

His record is misleading because he has allowed 7 walks in 8 IP. That is more walks in 8 IP than J.R. Mathes has in 39.2 IP. Those walks might not come back to bite you in AAA as bad as they have and will in the majors. I will leave it at that. I don't have $1 Million to give like some others at this site...:)

I am going to go way out on a limb here and guess that he means misleading because Smardiszja is walking about a batter per inning. He's been lucky so far, eventually that luck will run out unless he learns to throw quality strikes. At least he is also striking out about a batter an inning, that's better than he was doing in Chicago.

I don't think he likes him because he's sucked at pitching so far. and yeah, a 3-0 record as a reliever is pretty much meaningless. As Cubs fans, we all would prefer that he succeed, but most of us know enough that a 1.3-1.5 WHIP he's showing in the minors won't cut it in the majors, unless he starts striking out guys at a Carlos Marmol rate or something.

Get your checkbook ready, RobG....

get a rest today...

really, i just went to the nd shorthand because he hasn't been worth the trouble i went to learning how to spell samardzija...wish i could go to the i-cub games in vegas! finally, god help you jakester if/when samardzija's college comes into the b10 fold...

Sorry Mike Wellman but ND will never come into the big ten. ND does not need the big ten the big ten needs ND.

Which happens first: ND comes to the Big Ten or your boy tries out for the Bears?

Yeah, I can just see NBC itching to give out another 10 year contract so people can watch a 5-7 foootball team. The Big10 should go after Boise State.

"ND will never come into the big ten. ND does not need the big ten the big ten needs ND..." Yep, I guess ND is in a league that suits them in football: "The Little East". They suck, and I hope they continue to suck.

They are not in the Big East for football. And they already play 3-4 Big 10 teams a year.

I know... How have they been doing against the Big Ten, btw? I believe they play 3 every year: Purdue, State, Michigan - and an occasional throw in. They are 4-6 vs. State since 2000

Going through a little rough patch. I didn't go to ND, but grew up a fan.(along with cubs, thanks dad!)here in Chicago. Eman- Did you go to Big 10 school?

Sorry E-Man but the big ten just said no school is going to join them. Because no good school wants to join the big ten. The big ten is full of crap and nobody is buying it.

Jakester... just curious. How old are you?