Dubois Always a Big Hit at Extended Spring Training

Jason Dubois doubled and walked, scored a run, and drove-in another, but the EXST Angels rallied with a run in the 7th and another in the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

Dubois (on the AAA Iowa Cubs DL since April 21st with back spasms) played LF and got four Plate Appearances over the first six innings, striking out swinging in the 2nd, walking on a 3-2 pitch in the 3rd, ripping an RBI double off the LF fence in the 5th (and eventually scoring), and bouncing out 5-3 in the 6th. He is expected to rejoin the I-Cubs at Reno sometime this weekend.

18-year old Taiwanese INF Pin-Chieh Chen (hitting 345/419/382) saw his first action in the field since April 26th, playing 2B for six innings. Chen had been relegated to DH duty for the past couple of weeks while nursing a sore arm, but he looked just fine today (at least he did not appear to have any difficulty making all required throws).

While The Cubs and Angels were playing their game on Field #3, AA Tennessee LHP Casey Lambert (2009 TJS rehab) threw a two-inning simulated game on Field #1 and reported good results. Barring any setbacks, his next step will probably be to throw in an EXST game.

Yesterday was a Camp Day (no EXST game), and so Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins took the opportuntity to spend some time working one-on-one with struggling RHP Chris Huseby on Field #4. In his one and only EXST appearance (before Riggins arrived), Huseby walked all four batters he faced on 16 pitches (no strikes).

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

NOTE: LF Jason Dubois batted third in four of the first six innings, getting four Plate Appearances total in the game. Also, the game was extended one extra half-inning to allow Cubs RHP Tzu-An Wang to get his pre-scheduled work.

X. Jason Dubois, LF: 1-3 (K, BB, 2B, 5-3, R, RBI)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B-DH: 1-4 (5-3, P-6, 1B, K, RBI)
2. Runey Davis, CF: 0-4 (F-8, F-8, F-9, F-9)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (F-9, 2B, K, L-5, R)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 2-4 (F-9, 2B, F-9, 1B, R, RBI)
5. Albert Hernandez, 1B-LF: 1-4 (F-8, K, 3-1, 1B)
6a. Luis Flores, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, RBI)
6b. Carlos Romero, C: 1-2 (1B, K)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-3 (K, L-6, 2-3 SH, 1B, CS)
8a. Cody Shields, DH-LF: 1-3 (P-2, 1B, 1-3, R, 2 SB)
8b. Bobby Wagner, PH-1B: 0-1 (K)
9. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH-2B: 0-2 (BB, P-1, BB, K, SB)

1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/4 GO/FO, 59 pitches (29 strikes)
NOTE: Mitchell’s third inning was terminated (“rolled”) with two outs and runners at 1st & 3rd after Mitchell had thrown 26 pitches in the inning
2. Austin Kirk – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1/4 GO/FO, 39 pitches (23 strikes)
3. Hector Mayora – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
4. Jadel Mendez - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Jesse Ginley - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (7 strikes)
6. Tzu-An Wang - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)

1. C Luis Flores E-2 (errant throw into CF on pickoff attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance from 2nd to 3rd – did not score)
2. SS Wes Darvill E-6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)

Luis Flores: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
Carlos Romero: 1-2 CS

ATTENDANCE: 5 (two Cub fans, one Angels fan on a bicycle, a woman on a cell-phone, and a dog on a leash)

WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 70’s



royals finally win...and manager trey hillman fired...ned yost takes over.

the Cubs must see what executives on other teams see -- namely, that "this guy hasn't pitched like a top-of-the-rotation starter for two years," pointed out one of the executives.
basically says no reliever for the cubs to trade for right now to move Z back and he'll be in the bullpen for awhile longer.

trouble in Cubs whatever-the-opposite-of-paradise is bet Z would waive his NTC now...

How is Z's behavior different in that game than the way he has acted for the last 8 years?

Phil, have the Cubs had any future draft prospects at Fitch for workouts?

Submitted by Hagsag on Thu, 05/13/2010 - 4:25pm. Phil, have the Cubs had any future draft prospects at Fitch for workouts? =================================== HAGSAG: No. Other than 17+ year old international players (who can be signed at any time) and NDFA from the previous Rule 4 draft who are not attending college (who can be signed at any time up until one week before the next Rule 4 Draft), HS and college players who are eligible for selection in the next Rule 4 Draft (June Draft) cannot be worked-out by MLB clubs until one week prior to the draft. So we won't be seeing any HS or college players at Fitch Park until the week of May 31st (the last week of Extended Spring Training).

the FLA bench in the NYM/FLA game are busy making fake binoculars out of paper gatoraide cups with the ends torn off and athletic tape. hanley's got a pair...others are making some... sigh...it's like watching an extra innings college game...or little league...same thing.

Oswalt willing to be traded if Astros go in rebuild mode http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/05/roy-osw...

Berkman said the same thing last week. Made me start thinking about a deal sort of like the Cliff Lee/Halladay one.

Today is Jeff Samardzija's 20th day on Optional Assignment to the minors in 2010, meaning he will definitely be out of minor league options in 2011. In addition to being out of minor league options in 2011, Samardzija will have a $2.8M guaranteed MLB salary and "no trade" rights, meaning he would have to give his permission before he could be traded or before he could be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers. So Samardzija will be essentially a Rule 5 player in 2011 in that he will have to remain on the Cubs 25-man roster for the entire season, unless he waives his NTC, in which case the Cubs could trade him or outright him to the minors. Otherwise the only way the Cubs would be able to remove The Shark from the 25-man roster and 40-man roster prior to the end of the 2011 season (when a club option or mutual option kicks-in, which would eliminate his NTC) is by Outright Release. And if the Cubs were to release Samardzija next season, they would be on the hook for Samardzija's entire 2011 salary ($2.8M), minus the MLB minimum salary (but that's only IF Samardzija is signed to a major league contract by another club). Micah Hoffpauir and Sam Fuld will also be out of minor league options next season among player with five or less years of MLB Service Time, along with the five who are already out of options (Jeff Baker, Tom Gorzelanny, Angel Guzman, Koyie Hill, and Geovany Soto). And Jeff Gray will be out of options in 2011 if he spends at least four more days on Optional Assignment in 2010 (meaning if he is not recalled by next Monday).

So essentially all these players either have to make next year's team out of spring training or are potentially lost through the outrighting-to-minors process? Does Guzman's injury delay his last option year?

Guzman was out of options last year.

One GM went a bit further in a phone call a few minutes later. "I think the Bulls are really going to go for it. Look for them to offer the Cavs Luol Deng in a sign-and-trade for LeBron. That will allow them to retain most of their cap space. Then they'll go after Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh as well." http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/15...

While I think a sign a trade is a good move for the Cavs is LeBron says he is leaving, I am not sure that want to be known as the team that "traded" LeBron.

Better then be known as the team that let LeBron get away and got nothing in return.

I was looking at Cot's and saw a couple things I wasn't aware of previously: Ramirez's no trade clause runs out after the 2010 season. Zambrano's option is only a player option if he is top 2 in 2011 Cy Young vote or top 4 in 2012. Dempster does not have a NTC Silva's contract guarantees him a suite on road trips (like Soriano) Samardzija get $3.5M next year and club option is for $6.5M (!) in 2012 Grabow money split is $2.7M this year and $4.8M (!!) next year Koyie Hill gets paid more than Soto $700k to $575k $103M committed to 2011 already, before arbitration eligible players: Theriot Marmol Fontenot Baker Marshall Guzman Gorzelanny Hill Soto $62.5M committed to 2012 (before arb eligible), mainly to Soriano, Zambrano, Dempster. Cot's has $6.5M listed for Samardzija - I'm assuming that this is an error and he has not caused one of his options to vest and guaranteed his spot on the 2012 roster

I think A Ram has an automatic no trade thing that kicks in. It's something that applies to any guy who's been with the same team x number of years I think.

If a player has 10 years of major league service and 5 with the same team, he has automatic no trade rights. So that applies to guys like Ramirez and Dempster even though their contracts don't explicitly give them those rights.

I think Z has the suite clause also.

JUMBO: Both Ryan Dempster and Aramis Ramirez are 10/5 guys (minimum 10 years MLB Service Time with at least the last five years with the same club) and thus both have automatic "no trade" rights as long asd they remain with the Cubs.

AZ PHIL: I am curious what your take is on Robinson Chirinos. I know he is a converted 2B, old for AA, and an impending Minor League FA....but he is also raking in AA. Is he considered a legit ML prospect (as a backup C perhaps)? What is the take on Wellington Castillo these days? Good arm, some pop, has trouble making contact...kind of like Henry Blanco redux, no? Good contract discussion, I love Cots. The only player we can really trade for salary relief is Carlos Silva, and amazingly, there might even be a few takers (if we foot some of the bill).

I usually suck at prognosticating but I said when the Cubs picked up Silva that if he gets his sinker working he'd be a good fit for Wrigley. I am still a little skeptical he'll stay this good all season, so his trade value is high for a few minutes maybe. I sure wish he'd lay off the fast food, though.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Fri, 05/14/2010 - 7:18am. AZ PHIL: I am curious what your take is on Robinson Chirinos. I know he is a converted 2B, old for AA, and an impending Minor League FA....but he is also raking in AA. Is he considered a legit ML prospect (as a backup C perhaps)? What is the take on Wellington Castillo these days? Good arm, some pop, has trouble making contact...kind of like Henry Blanco redux, no? ============================================== Q-BALL: This is Robinson Chirinos' 10th season in the Cubs organization, and he has yet to get past AA. It's not unusual for very experienced minor league players (Brandon Sing was a good example) to dominate younger AA pitchers, so I wouldn't read too much into what Chirinos is doing at AA this year. Chirinos has failed to launch into AAA over the years, even though he has had oportunities to make the Iowa roster in Minor League Camp every year going back to 2007, but he just couldn't do it. I do know that the Cubs like Robinson Chirinos as as "Crash Davis" type mentor for the younger Latin players coming through the system, and that he will almost certainly remain with the Cubs as a coach or manager once his playing days are over. As for whether he is an MLB prospect, I would say probably not. However, it's always possible that if the stars align just right, he could get some MLB Service Time as a back-up C-IF at some point. As for Welington Castillo, as you may know I rated him as a Cubs Top 10 Prospect again last November, and I haven't changed my mind. Castillo is still raw (his receiving skills need work), but he is THE best throwing catcher in the organization, and he has legit HR power. He strikes out too much and doesn't take many walks, but he is an MLB prospect. He just turned 23 last month.

From Witt: "Who's on third? The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the guy who impersonated Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin last winter to steal a truck from a dealership has been sentenced this week to six months in jail. Authorities are now said to be investigating the guy impersonating Aramis Ramirez trying to make off with more than $15 million of the Cubs' payroll."

Witt makes a funny.

Theriot 4, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Nady 9, Ramirez 5, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Castro 6, Gorzelanny 1 lefty on the mound for Pirates

Thank God Nada is back at clean up. At this point I would prefer Castro at 4th then Nada. Should be Theriot Castro Lee Byrd Sori Soto Aram Gorz Nada

Lineups like these make me wonder if Lou has ever spoken to a pitcher about lineup construction. I'm not going to pretend to personally know, but from watching it sure seems like pitchers are able to get into a grove a lot more easily when they only face guys batting from the same side of the batter's box.

That GIANT RUN-SUCKING VORTEX is back in the middle of the lineup.

Lineup construction doesn't mean squat if you put guys out there that can hit RH and LH pitching. The Cardinals have gone with a mostly right handed lineup for years and didn't stop them from scoring runs.

Mostly is not all.

espn1000 saying today the cub batters will be going o bat with their music. no organ

I'm very surprised to hear that Casey Lambert is already pitching. It sounds as if he is a couple weeks away from being activated! Is that possibly right?