Huseby Has Bat - Will Travel

Chris Huseby singled twice, doubled, walked, and knocked-in three runs, Alvaro Ramirez singled three times, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and George Matheus had three hits and scored twice, leading the EXST Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the EXST A’s in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.


Whether Huseby was put into the batting order as a Designated Hitter just for today as some type of therapy to help him clear his head and deal with his control issues as a pitcher, or whether he will actually be attempting a position move to OF, is not yet clear. But he definitely knows what he’s doing with the bat, and for a 6’7 dude, he showed good speed on the bases, too (sliding head-first into 3rd base, he was thrown out 9-4-5 trying to stretch the double into a triple, but it took a perfect relay to nail him). He also demonstrated a good eye at the plate, working the count in all four AB, and even drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch.


AA Tennessee LHP Casey Lambert (September 2010 TJS) got into his first game action since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last September, and he should have had an easy 1-2-3 inning, except he himself made an errant throw to 1st base on what should have been the 3rd out. This prolonged the inning, and he was eventually relieved with two outs and two men on base (the E-1 was followed by a two-out single) after throwing 18 pitches (13 strikes). The 24-year old Lambert was a closer in college at the U. of Virginia, but the Cubs moved him to the starting rotation at Tennessee last season. However, the move from the bullpen to the rotation and the accompanying increase in the number of pitches he all of sudden was throwing per game is thought to have put too much of a strain on his elbow (he throws mainly breaking balls), so he will supposedly be used exclusively as a reliever (set-up man or closer) when he is returns to Tennessee.


Bobby Wagner once again warmed-up pitchers in the bullpen throughout the game, and he also now has his own catcher’s gear bag, so it seems pretty likely that he is being converted to catcher. One thing that stands out about Wagner is that while he isn’t a particularly good hitter (he strikes out a LOT), he does have plus-power.


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


LINEUP:
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 2-5 (F-7, F-7, 3-U, 2B, 1B, RBI, CS)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-5 (L-8, K, K, 5-3, 3-U)
3. Brandon May, 1B: 0-4 (E-1, L-1, K, L-4)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, F-9, K)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, LF: 3-4 (K, 1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 SB)
6. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-4 (6-3, E-4, E-4, F-7, R)
7. George Matheus, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, F-9, 2 R)
8. Chris Huseby, DH #1: 3-3 (1B, BB, 2B, 1B, 3 RBI)
9a. Rafael Disla, DH #2: 0-1 (F-9 SF, 5-4 FC, RBI)
9b. Blair Springfield, PH-DH: 1-2 (1B, K)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (1B, 1-U, E-1, K, R)


PITCHERS:
1. Casey Lambert – 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3/3, 46 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Frank Batista - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
6. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 10 pitches (6 strikes)


ERRORS: 2
1. P Casey Lambert E-1 (errant throw to 1st base on comebacker to the mound allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
2. SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (dropped two-out pop-up in short CF allowing batter to reach base and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS


ATTENDANCE: 12


WEATHER: Partly cloudy and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s

Comments

Last time I have to link to this.

That's a weird one. Has there ever been a good hitter who was 6'7"? How tall is Sexton? Hey Fukudome, it's OK to advance to third on a fly ball to left, for future reference.

Dunn? He's listed 6'6". Sexon is listed 6'7". There are a number of 6'5" hitters who are decent. How big a difference is two inches? A little less average, a little more power?

i did a search on BR's PI index, using at least 250 Hr's and 6'5" or taller, some guys that came up with were Tony Clark - listed at 6'8" Frank Howard listed at 6'7" Dave Parker, D. Strawberry, A. Dunn, D. Kingman at 6'6"

Dave Winfield came to mind, BR has him at 6'6", as they do for Sexson. D-Lee they have at 6'5".

Frank Howard was a giant. I think he was listed at 6' 8" But looked bigger.

there's so many things wrong with the top of the 8th i don't know where to begin...so i won't. btw, why does Z have an off-day? weird stuff...

I'm just shocked that Grabow sucked balls again. It almost makes you wonder if Lou just pulls names out of a hat at this point.

Here is a player who just cannot get the job done protecting a lead. Why Lou had to bring him out, when the team is TOTALLY struggling for runs, is just inexcusable. "What do you want me to do?" Well for starters, Sean Marshall is lights out, and a lefty. USE HIM FIRST ASSHOLE!

Marshall would've been a much better choice. You have to give Russell a chance in a high leverage situation at some point - he's certainly earned that right more than Grabow this year. A mind boggling move.

im starting to think that aram might be in some kind of slump...maybe...

im starting to think that aram might be out of some kinda slump...maybe... =p

Uh, Lou -- Grabow instead of Marshall? Why? How could you possibly think that was a good idea? Seriously. And that "Z to the pen" move just keeps looking better -- very helpful to have him in the dugout to pinch-run. Lee and A-Ram are complete toast -- 8th inning, crap pitcher throwing straight, 92 mph fastballs down the middle, and both batters are completely over-matched. Not even a loud foul ball. They are scary bad.

I am taking a stand here -- I refuse to give Marmol a blown save for this game. I intend to wake up Bud Selig and file a petition.

HAHA! Seriously, I agree, to place Marmol in a situation with NO bases open, and trying to rely on he - ahem - control to protect a lead the LOOGY asshole really blew for the team, is just completely unfair. I have had it with this manager - and I hope the "owner" can have the stones to start making changes finally. But I doubt it. He just wants to shake hands and spend money on new troughs to pee in. Thanks Tom!

To add insult, the box score shows Grabow being credited with a "Hold", his 5th of the season, with Marmol getting the "Blown Save". Stupid ridiculous.

Fingerbang! A-Ram!

The look of "about fucking time" on Aramis's face just now is something I may never forget.

haha

I hope it shows up on the video highlights. It's about time, indeed. To quote the immortal Ron Santo: "Gosh! Jeez!" [edit] I just saw the video of A-Ram's home run. His body posture right after he hit it was just classic. Real Neal's "about fucking time" describes it perfectly.

Well said! Lou should be fired before tomorrow's game -- just horrible managing.

haha, he did

Lou is announcing post-game that Zambrano will be transitioned to longer relief appearances, and is suggesting that he will be returned to the rotation.

about time.

He certainly did NOT suggest he will be transitioned to the rotation. Read the quotes from the beat writers.

Weirdness. Lou's post-game conference -- he says they are changing Z's role in the bullpen. "We're going to get him some stamina, build up his arm and get him ready to pitch in long relief." He may have also said something about eventually going back into the rotation. I didn't quite catch the last part of his comments. Anyone else hear that?

$ 19 million mop up guy?

A reporter asked, "Is the next step to have him go to the rotation?" Lou: "Probably, down the road, if need be."

I just heard it again on Comcast SN, he said nothing about him returning to the rotation. Zero. He stated that he will be back in the bullpen, and "We'll leave it at that."

Could they have cut off the press conference before it ended? I was only listening on the radio, but the quotes I posted above were just that -- quotes. I heard it on WGN's post-game wrap up show and again during Kaplan's "10th Inning" radio show and I transcribed it word-for-word. [edit] I also heard Lou's "We'll leave it at that" comment. The reporters kept questioning him after that, which is when the quotes I transcribed above occurred.

Lou on post-game: "We are stretching out Zambrano for a different role." Levine asked if he will go back to to the rotation, and Lou did not confirm this. Personally, I do not understand this. The starters are doing a very nice job for the most part - Lou is going to stay with the lefty's for the 8th inning (had he done the right move - Marshall could have finished the game in the 8th, you asshole Lou!)

It may or not be true that Zambrano isn't suited for the role, but to say that just after Grabow's shannigans really makes Lou look stupid.

Santo seemed to think Elgin Baylor was on Rockies bench tonite.

awesome I LOL'd

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  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Dillon Maples does not have the right to elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 9 6YFA at 5 PM Eastern on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he is not added back to the 40 in the meantime. 

     

  • crunch 11 hours 6 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom is the new cubs all-time rookie HR leader.

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 23 min ago (view)

    The Cubs will very likely be splitting the AZIL position players into two 14-man squads (like they did last year), with each squad playng in every other-game, and with the other squad having a Camp Day instructional work-out on a back-field when that squad is not playing in a game. There will also be five combined Camp Days during the course of the four weeks for all players from both squads.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 45 min ago (view)

    DJL: No. Signing a 2022 minor league successor contract would only matter with regard to a player in the Arizona Fall League, because the AFL schedule goes past the date when minor leaguers are declared free-agents. 

    AZ Instructs ends on October 16th, which is about two or three weeks before minor league free-agency, so the three guys at Cubs Instructs who are eligible to be free-agehts after the World Series (Dakota Chalmers. Nicholas Padilla, and Eury Ramos) do not need to sign successor contracts in order to play in AZIL games. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 49 min ago (view)

    Sorry to hear about your dad, Charlie. I lost my father almost 2 years ago now, some of my fondest childhood memories are going to Wrigley with him.

    All the best wishes to you, sir.

     

  • First.Pitch.120 15 hours 3 min ago (view)

    If you had Bote in the '11-'12- '13 Cubs draft dead pool, then you are a winner!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Dakota Chalmers... interesting. He's scheduled to be a MILB FA, correct? Would this be a good sign he has signed a successor deal?

     

  • Cubster 16 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Maples dfa. Double Martini too.  Hoerner and Thompson back and Keegan to start today. Hoerner bats 5th.
    https://www.marqueesportsnetwork.com/cubs-welcome-back-nico-hoerner-and-...

     

  • crunch 16 hours 20 min ago (view)

    it's never a good time to be in the hospital, but things are extra complicated right now.

    hope everything goes well for everyone.

    go cubs

     

  • Charlie 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Listening to this in a hospital room because we are blacked out on MLB.tv. I don't know which surprises me more, that the Cubs haven't beaten the Brewers since April or that the Cubs beat the Brewers in April.

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    m.rodriguez to 10d IL, a.morgan returns.

     

  • Jackstraw 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    I like that the team was absolutely committed to not losing back-to-back games on a walk-off passed ball.

     

  • Eric S 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    And the funny thing is Rucker was the only Cubs pitcher tonight to post 0 runs allowed in the box score. You know things are really out of hand when Ross gives the okay for a Maples appearance.

     

  • George Altman 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil,

    Is there a reason Preciado hasn't been in an ACL game in about a month?

     

  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    i'd like the 2021 version of whatever d.ross is smoking bringing m.rucker into a bases loaded, 2 run lead in the 4th situation.

    dude saw the situation and said "gimmie that guy with the 8.44era 1.59whip" as the first pen option to protect a lead.

    rucker has been in 13 games and given up runs in 8 of them.

     

  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    hendricks last 7 starts...

    9er, 1er, 4er, 8er, 6er, 1er, 7er

    3.68era - 1.29whip ...to... 4.81era - 1.35whip