More Than One High Point for Cubs Today

Jose Guevara bounced a two-run single back through the box past a drawn-in infield, driving-in what proved to be the winning run, as the EXST Cubs scored six runs in the last two innings to blow open a close game and defeat the EXST A’s 7-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

Jesus Morelli extended his hitting streak to 19 games when he beat-out an 8th inning infield single (a dribbler to 3rd base), and RHP Chris Huseby showed no evidence of wildness, throwing two perfect 1-2-3 innings, striking out three (all swinging).

Cubs Player Personnel Director Oneri Fleita, Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller, and about a dozen Cub scouts were at Fitch Park today (and have been there for most of the week), working out high school and college players in preparation for next week’s Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”). One of the players who was at Fitch Park showing his wares was invited to play in today’s game, and he made the most of his opportunity.

High Point U. OF Nate Roberts hit lead-off and played CF for six innings, slashing an RBI single to left to put the Cubs on the board in the 3rd, then stealing two bases, before making a two-out over-the-shoulder running catch in deep right-center with his back to the infield to save a run in the 5th.

After graduating from Richmond Burton HS, the Spring Grove, IL native spent his freshman year at Northwestern University, before transferring to Parkland JC. He was selected by the Tampa Rays Rays in last June’s draft but did not sign, instead opting to transfer to High Point University in High Point, NC, where he was named 2010 Big South Conference Player of the Year after hitting 416/573/746 with 19 HR and 69 RBI and 36 SB (3 CS) in just 59 games. With all that on his resume, Baseball America ranked Roberts as just the 28th best draft prospect in the State of North Carolina.

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

1a. Nate Roberts, CF: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, RBI, 2 SB)
1b. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-1 (6-3)
2. Alvaro Ramirez, DH #1: 1-4 (K, F-8, 1-U, 1B, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (K, 4-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
4. Richard Jones, 1B: 2-4 (4-3, F-7, 1B, 2B, RBI, 2 R)
5a. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-2 (2B, 6-3)
5b. Wes Darvill, PH-DH: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R)
6a. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
6b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
7. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-1 (L-9 DP, 1-3 SH, BB, BB)
8. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (1-3, 4-2 FC, 4-6 FC, BB, RBI, SB)
9. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, F-9, P-4, R)
10. Runey Davis, LF: 0-0 (2-U SH, BB, BB, R)

1. Chris Huseby – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Tarlandus Mitchell – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/1 GO/FO, 52 pitches (38 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 22 pitches (17 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Alvaro Sosa - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 25 strikes (14 strikes)

1. 3B George Matheus – E5 (dropped line drive allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
2. 3B George Matheus - E5 (two-base overthrow error at 1st base allowed batter to reach 2nd base – did not score)
3. SS Arismendy Alcantara - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - did not score)

CF Kyung-Min Na threw out runner 8-6-2 trying to score from 1st base on double to CF


WEATHER: Sunny and hot, with temperatures in the 90’s

The Cubs had a Camp Day yesterday, spending several hours taking BP, fielding practice, baserunning drills, PFP, and pick-off drills, before playing a nine-inning intrasquad game. The game was even more informal than the typical Cactus League Extended Spring Training game so it would be futile to try and make a box score out of it, but I can tell you that RHP (ex-SS & ex-LF) Dylan Johnston (2009 TJS rehab) got into his first game action of 2010, allowing two runs on three hits (two doubles and a triple) and a HBP in 1.1 IP, RHP Juan Yasser Serrano was extended to four innings, allowing four runs—but only one earned—on four hits, while retiring the last ten men he faced, and George Matheus had the big blow on offense, a bases-loaded triple off Serrano after a costly two-out error by 2nd baseman Arismendy Alcantara loaded the bases. In addition to Johnston and Serrano getting work, Austin Kirk threw four innings, Tzu-An Wang and Alvido Jimenez threw two innings a piece, and Danny Keefe, Andres Quezada, Jesse Ginley, and Jadel Mendez threw one inning each.



BR says James Roberts was drafted by the Rays - I assume this is the same cat? Interesting that he found a new college with NU's colors.

Early to mid 90's Cub Kevin Roberson went to Parkland JC.

cf byrd, 2b riot, 1b lee, 3b ramy, rf fuke, lf sori, c soto, ss castro, p big z via muskrat's twitter

How many times will Pinhead screw with 1,2,5,7 and 8 in the lineup before he realizes #3 and #4 are the problem?

also from her... Cubs pitching rotation vs #Astros will be Zambrano Fri, Dempster Sat, & Wells Sun. Silva will go Mon vs #Pirates & Lilly Tues vs #Brewers

Carlos Silva to end the Pirates run of domination.

Lou on Byrd leading off: "Don’t ask me. That’s what we have. Over dinner last night we talked about our lineup and we’ll try this and see."

One pitch, one out. Stop your bitching.

new lineup tomorrow

"Don't ask me." Brilliant. ¿Who the fuck should we ask? Bastard sounds like he literally pulled names out of hat.

Blaming Hendry? "That's what we have." Lou pisses me off more every day.

Probably right. You don't see other managers with shitty teams saying the same. He really does sound like he a) doesn't care, b) doesn't have a clue what to do or c) both. I'm guessing both. [edit] I read it as "this is the lineup that's going out there...don't ask me why I chose it, because I don't know."

That might be worse than blaming his GM. I'm not sure.

looked bad but staying in also obstruction by the catcher to save a run

That was a crap play by the catcher. First, he prevents Castro from getting to third (without the ball), and then he lays on Castro so he can't get up. Appears Castro is okay, but it was a BS play.

out of the leadoff spot BRILLIANT!!!

OK, I humbly ask for some help. Cubs are down 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th. Lou obviously isn't too concerned about winning the game because he puts Howry in. But then Howry lets a guy get to third, and suddenly we can't give up a run so he puts Marmol in. If we can't give up a run, why not just pitch Marmol in the 8th (or leave Cashner in)? Can someone please explain the "logic" that is used here?

He was saving Marmol for the ninth. ; )

that's exactly what he was doing except Howry fucked it up. If I recall this, he spent a lot of time talking to Howry and the ump about a double switch to give Marmol time to warm up.

So he wanted to pitch Marmol, if the Cubs were to score 2+ runs in the top of the 9th, but when he realized that Howry was going to give up 1+ runs in the 8th (something you expect a guy with an 8 ERA to do) then it was important not to give up any runs in the 8th? It doesn't make any sense. If you want to win the game and think that a scoreless 8th is key to doing that, and you want to pitch Marmol, just pitch Marmol in the 8th. Or even turn your brain on and leave Cashner in.

i was flipping through the radio and thought Cashner was still in, so I was a bit surprised, but it's pretty much what most other managers would have done. Well maybe not bring in Howry or Marmol, but save Marmol for the 9th. earlier in the week he wouldn't use Marmol to get 5 outs, just 4, so clearly logic isn't behind most of his decisions.

Back it up right here. Lower the liftgate. Good.

Players to attempt to trade: Lilly Silva Theriot Lee Nady Fukudome Byrd Howry Grabow Soriano Okay, let's' just list who we want to keep: Colvin Castro Dempster Wells Cashner Marmol Marshall Gorz That's about it

Gorz actually might be a pretty nice trade piece. Very cheap, solid numbers, under club control for a couple more years. He might be more attractive in some respects, esp. for a team looking to upgrade without blowing the bank.

I'd like to see Hendry grow some balls and fire Lou today. His refusal to move Lee and Ramirez out of the 3 and 4 holes is reason enough, and then that lame ass proclamation about getting Colvin more at bats and us never seeing him in the lineup is reason enough number two.

and on cue, lou said colvin is in and he " will let the kid play." I' m guessing if hegoes 0-4 lou puts him back in the 2006 theriot box. hill also starting because "he needs someone to stop the other team running ." (sun-times)

One problem with firing Lou is who you're going to replace him with. Trammel probably isn't going to take the job as an interim manager with Sandberg in AAA.

I could see Trammel serving as Sandberg's bench coach. They will want someone with major league managing experience to be his bench coach, but finding someone who has that who is also OK being second in command is not always that easy. Trammel fits that. And his demeanor, view of the game, place in the game as a star 1980s middle-infielder, etc. might meant that they would work well together. It might not, of course, but it's a possibility. So it is possible that Trammel would serve as the interim manager to finish out the season, and then becomes Sandberg's bench coach to start next season. I doubt they move Sandberg up in the middle of the year, he will be given the opportunity to be in place for an entire off-season before he starts so he can shape the roster.

It's possible, but I don't think Trammel is going to be content with being a bench coach. He strikes me more as a guy who wants a chance at managing a team with a chance, instead of the teams he had in Detroit, and he's biding his time for the right spot. If he does as you suggest, that's pretty much going to end his career as a manager, because it will show he doesn't want to be one.


Trammel probably isn't going to take the job as an interim manager with Sandberg in AAA. don't see why not, not a lot of other offers pouring in for him and anything he can do to get the image of his Tigers day pushed to the backburner is probably good for him. Brenly, Sandberg, or Trammell would likely get the interim gig unless Grady Little wanted back in managing and Cubs didn't care about the PR storm. (Little was a coach in the Cubs organization before he took the Dodgers job and is allegedly on good terms with Hendry) of course the folly of letting Hendry pick a 3rd manager is beyond absurdity. Assuming this year ends without a playoff appearance, my guess would be Lou finishes the year and retires gracefully and Hendry is shown the door with the new GM getting to pick his manager.

as if it matters. beyond keeping everyone from killing each other while traveling for 200 days baseball managers do so little besides letting everyone on the team know what their role is without ambiguity. we bring in sandy and he starts bunting everytime...what then? we bring in trammel and the 3/4 slots stay the same...what then? we bring in some other dude and blah blah blah... it's not like these guys show up with their secret playbook of team-specific plays you can football-style exploit. we celebrate the small strategies like shifts and when you can bunt down the line on a pitcher who falls off the mound unready to field or a 3rd baseman who can't throw worth a damn... hell, almost everyone here could do those in-game things we bitch about and the guys closer to the game sure as hell can. the next elderly person out there to take 3+ million from the cubs to pat players on the butt is usually just as good or bad as the one they replaced.

Wait, do you think managers don't matter and are overpaid??

tell us more crunch

you guys just keep looking for that magic elderly fat man to turn things around that we can throw 3-4m at. sunny days! happy times! better batting averages! more wins! butt pats! a land where jack mckeon can go from utter genius to stupid idiot in less and 1 season...

On this issue, you view things in black and white. There is a whole lot of grey area in the world, feel free to come on over. Am I looking for a magic fat man to turn the team around completely? Do I think the manager is more important than the players on the roster? No. I don't. But do I think that managers can make a difference? Yes. I do. Whether Colvin plays a lot or instead 4 games a month, or who (Zambrano) goes to the pen when you have too many starters, or how long Lee, Ramirez, and Soto keep starting and where they bat when struggling, or whether Casher is entrusted with the 8th inning or Howry gets to pitch there just because he is a veteran, etc, etc. are all decisions that can make a difference in wins and losses - whether you want to believe so or not. Again, no one is saying that the Cubs are struggling because Lou keeps hitting Ramirez 4th. MOST of the problem is the fact that Ramirez is struggling. But those small decisions do make a difference, and when there are many of them compounded throughout 162 games, the manager who makes those decisions does make a difference.

This the first I've read of this.

Read post #35, and if you still don't see why not I'll elaborate more in depth for you.

yeah I read it, but Alan Trammell is not in the position to be biding his time cause there's no demand for him. I'm sure if it was offered to him, he'd take in the hope it would lead to another job or if he did well, the Cubs job. If he did do well or an improvement over Lou, and then they decided to still go with Sandberg or someone else, I do doubt he'd go back to being a bench coach. all theory anyway, Hendry didn't fire Dusty in 2006, I have doubts he'll fire Lou mid-season. He's been pretty adamant that he wants Lou as the manager as long as he's GM.

Add Fontenot to the trade list and move Lee to the keep list and I'm good. Byrd is okay, too.

Lee's a FA. Really no reason to keep him unless you think we're not yet done.

Ryno wants to keep Lee until he retires.

You forgot Soto on the want to keep side. I want to keep him at least. And it's not like we have anyone cheap who's going to push him next year or necessarily even the year after. Castillo hasn't proven anything yet--he's all upside.

Castillo has caught 10 of 18 base stealers at Iowa this season, 56%. He also has 7 doubles and 6 home runs in 88 at bats, so he has some pop. Apply the Yadier Molina standard and he's your man. I'm dissatisfied with Soto anyway and would be happy with some combination of Hill, Castillo and Chirinos--Hill for his game-calling, Castillo for his arm, Chirinos for his versatility (can play third or second). What is Soto good at? Hitting? Maybe.

replacing the Steve Goodman song for postgame...

#23 Every thing you state is true but i would not just trade Gorzo, how about throwing Gorzelany into a trade that say includes Fukadome.

2B Theriot, RF Colvin, 1B Lee, CF Byrd, 3B Ramirez, LF Soriano, SS Castro, C Hill, P Dempster so at this point Lou's just putting pennies in the slot machine hoping to hit a jackpot.

Ramirez 158/222/263 .485 OPS Hill 224/255/265 .520 OPS Theriot: 280/308/308 .616 OPS Lee 234/342/365 .707 OPS Castro 301/350/398 .748 OPS Nady 260/333/429 .762 OPS Soto 251/401/405 .805 OPS Fontenot 310/358/460 .818 OPS Byrd 302/341/497 .839 OPS Fukudome 285/383/483 .867 OPS Soriano 298/363/579 .942 OPS Colvin 293/360/600 .960 OPS

so what you're saying is colvin should barely play at all and soriano should hit in the bottom of the lineup? sigh... c'mon cubs...don't make give up on the team before july even rolls around.

stl wins 5-4 with winning run scored by aaron friggin miles who singled to lead off the 11th...reports miles was a double agent last year and was under orders from stl to disrupt the cubs 09 season

Congrats to Ryan Theriot! First walk since may 1.

he has earned the nickname Nefiot! (Nay-fee-oh)

He needs to earn the nickname bat boy. The Fontenaught must be wondering who he's got to screw to get into the lineup.

I see what you did there.

I think crunch is Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. He wakes up every day thinking he's posting his thoughts on managers for the first time.

yeah, the "other side" never repeats itself. at least i'm not here every day picking apart lou's every move as if everything he does is somehow uniquely stupid and not replicated all over baseball. people take baseball managers way too seriously...i blame football, where in-game "managing" is a whole lot more important and costly to screw up. usually the worst thing a baseball fan has to worry about is why player A with a 30% chance of doing something is playing over player B with a 35% chance to do something or where these people bat in the lineup...pitcher substitutions...etc.

I applaud you for not picking apart Lou's every move. But you do still post your anti-managers screed as if we haven't all read it any number of times.

just last night for instance... houston brings in lopez to face swap of myers for lopez with colvin's spot due that AB. lopez vs. lefties this year when entering the game... 5.2ip 10h 3bb 2k ...he got colvin out. no one can bitch. but with 3 rested lefties in the pen... well...meh. it's just so common...there's little to no "magic bullet" managers.

Joe Posnanski on some of the dumb things managers do ( There are a few good ones in the comments too.