Davis Debut Spoiled by Cutspec

Brice Cutspec (2010 NDFA - Azusa Pacific) clouted a three-run HR in the top of the 1st to spoil the Cub debut of newly-signed veteran LHP Doug Davis, as one squad of EXST Giants thumped one squad of EXST Cubs 9-6 on Field #2, while Jesus Morelli ripped a two-run double down the LF line in the bottom of the 6th to get the Cubs within one run and then scored the tying run on a Yaniel Cabezas RBI single, as the other squad of EXST Cubs and the other squad of EXST Giants played to a 4-4 tie on Field #3, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park in Mesa this afternoon

Both games were seven-inning affairs, and the games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields.

The 35-year old Davis (1-4 with a 7.51 ERA and 1.98 WHIP with MIL in 2010) underwent surgery last October to repair an injured elbow flexor tendon and to transposition his ulnar nerve after suffering through much of the 2010 season with elbow tendinitis. The Cubs signed him to a minor league contract yesterday, and wasted no time in getting him to Fitch Park and into a game.  

Davis got off to a rocky start in the top of the 1st inning, allowing a triple and a walk before the Cutspec HR. He settled down nicely in the top of the 2nd, however, mixing a slow curve with an 84 MPH fastball (cutter) to strike out the side on just 12 pitches. No question Davis is the prototypical "soft-tossing lefty."

Iowa Cubs OF Brad Snyder (strained oblique) continued his injury rehab, playing RF for and getting four AB with the EXST Cubs squad on Field #3. Snyder flied out three straight times to the warning track in dead CF, and then drew a walk in his last PA.

Three pitchers who just arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy saw game action today. 20-year old Dominican RHP Starling Peralta (who had an impressive AZ Instructs last Fall when he made his U. S. debut) worked an easy 1-2-3 inning, but 19-year old Venezuelan RHP Ramon Garcia and 18-year old Venezuelan LHP Luis Villalba (both of whom were making their U. S. debuts) did not fare as well, with Villalba hearing the dreaded "Roll It!" when he was unable to get a third out in the top of the 4th after throwing 24 pitches (only 13 strikes). 

In addition to the Cutspec clout off Davis, EXST Giants slugger Leonardo Fuentes slammed a solo HR in the top of the 6th, and EXST Cubs DH Max Kwan mashed a two-run opposite-field HR over the RF fence with two outs in the bottom of the 7th. 

Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):


1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, F-8, BB, 6-3, R)
2. Marco Hernandez, SS: 2-3 (K, 1B, 3B, R, RBI)
3. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 1-3 (4-3, K, 2B, RBI)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, L-8, F-7)
5. Hector Suarez, C: 0-1 (K, BB, BB)
6. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-3 (K, 5-4 FC, K)
7. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 0-3 (P-6, 4-6 FC, K, R)
8. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-2 (1B, BB, K, R)
9. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-1 (5-4 FC, HBP, HBP, R, CS)
10. Max Kwan, DH #2: 1-2 (K-DP, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI)

1. Doug Davis: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 18 pitches (11 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
3. Luis Villalba: 0.2 IP, 2 H 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 24 pitches (13 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 34 pitches (24 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO

C Hector Suarez E2 – overthrow on SB attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance an extra base and eventually score unearned run on WP

Hector Suarez: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)


NOTE: Brad Snyder played RF and was the third batter in the bottom of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th innings

X. Brad Snyder, RF: 0-3 (F-8, F-8, F-8, BB)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (F-8, K, 4-3)
2. Johan DeJesus, DH: 1-3 (6-3, K, 1B)
3. Jesus Morelli, LF: 2-3 (F-9, 1B, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
4. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-3 (F-7, 6-3, 1B, RBI, PO)
5. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3)
6. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (BB, K, P-6, R)
7. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-3 (K, K, 2B)
8. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, 4-6-3 DP, R, RBI, SB)

1. Ramon Garcia: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 20 pitches (10 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Jin-Young Kim: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 56 pitches (36 strikes), 7/0 GO/FO
3. Jose Rosario: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 39 pitches (19 strikes)

1. 3B Dustin Geiger E5 – fielding error allowed batter reach base safely
2. P Jin-Young Kim E1 – errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd base.


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 70’s



Mark Johnson

Juan Cabreja
Frank Castillo
Jason Dubois
Gian Guzman
David Rosario
Min-Kyu Sung
Rick Tronerud
Desi Wilson


* bats or throws left
# bats both

* Hunter Ackerman
* Kyler Burke (ex-OF)
* Doug Davis (ACTIVE REHAB)
Dustin Fitzgerald
Ramon Garcia
Angel Guzman (ACTIVE REHAB)
Ty’Relle Harris (ACTIVE REHAB)
* Casey Harman
Ryan Hartman
Jay Jackson (ACTIVE REHAB)
Alvido Jimenez
Su-Min Jung
Jin-Yeong Kim
Luis Liria
Matt Loosen
Hector Mayora
Tarlandus Mitchell
Jon Nagel
Starling Peralta
Austin Reed
Colin Richardson
Jose Rosario
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Larry Suarez
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
* Luis Villalba
Tzu-An Wang
Yao-Lin Wang
Ben Wells
Joe Zeller

Yaniel Cabezas
Johan DeJesus
# Brian Inoa
Max Kwan
Carlos Romero
# Hector Suarez

Gioskar Amaya
# Vismeldy Bieneme
Wilson Contreras
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Geiger
Gregori Gonzalez
Dustin Harrington
# Marco Hernandez

Xavier Batista
Reggie Golden
* Eduardo Gonzalez
Dong-Yub Kim
Jesus Morelli
* Kyung-Min Na
* Brad Snyder (ACTIVE REHAB)
Blair Springfield
# Oliver Zapata


You have mentioned Hartman (or is it Harman) and Loosen as the first arms to Peoria from Extended Spring Training. I would guess Kwan or Cabezas as the first catchers. Chen would be my guess as the first infielder. Springfield or Morelli would be my guesses as the first outfielder. Sadly, I see two Peoria outfielders that may get a quick bump (Szczur and Silva), but I don't see anybody that appear ready to inherit their at bats. Correct me where I'm wrong. Thanks as always.

Aren't the Cubs being pretty cautious with Szczur early on? Something about a lingering ankle injury? I'm not sure he'll get promoted very quickly if the ankle still isn't 100%. Not real happy to see Kim give up 7 hits and 3 ERs in only 3 IP. But on the other hand, the 7:0 GB/FB ratio is outstanding and the 2:0 K/BB ratio is nice.

Submitted by Hrubes20 on Thu, 04/14/2011 - 10:29am. Aren't the Cubs being pretty cautious with Szczur early on? Something about a lingering ankle injury? I'm not sure he'll get promoted very quickly if the ankle still isn't 100%. Not real happy to see Kim give up 7 hits and 3 ERs in only 3 IP. But on the other hand, the 7:0 GB/FB ratio is outstanding and the 2:0 K/BB ratio is nice. =================================================== HRUBE: Matt Szczur suffered a leg injury (I think it was his ankle) in a game the last week at Minor League Camp, and it was 50-50 iffy whether he would even be able to start the season with Peoria. I doubt that he is 100%, but he has a football player's mentality of trying to play-through an injury, and so I suspect that's why he is in & out of the lineup so much. Jin-Young Kim gave up seven hits (two doubles and five singles) in his three innings, but three of the hits he allowed were back-to-back-to-back ground ball singles in the 5.5 hole between the diving Dustin Geiger and Wes Darvill. JY Kim has an outstanding sinker that he throws 88-89 MPH (tops), but he can throw it (and his curve ball and change-up, too) fairly consistently for strikes. He has tremendous poise for an 18-year old kid (he turns 19 on Saturday), and he also has the stamina to handle the workoad of a starting pitcher. I wouldn't say he is a top pitching prospect at this point, but he has some promise and could get better as he matures.

Thanks for this. I knew Szczur had some kind of leg issue. When speed is a huge part of your game and you have a leg injury, you need to sit out for a bit.

Submitted by tim815 on Thu, 04/14/2011 - 7:00am. You have mentioned Hartman (or is it Harman) and Loosen as the first arms to Peoria from Extended Spring Training. I would guess Kwan or Cabezas as the first catchers. Chen would be my guess as the first infielder. Springfield or Morelli would be my guesses as the first outfielder. Sadly, I see two Peoria outfielders that may get a quick bump (Szczur and Silva), but I don't see anybody that appear ready to inherit their at bats. Correct me where I'm wrong. Thanks as always. ============================================ TIM: As of right now I would say RHP Matt Loosen, LHP Casey Harman, and RHP Luis Liria would be the pitchers most-likely to get moved-up to Peoria if and when there is an opening there. Both Loosen and Liria can either start or relieve (or "piggyback"), while Harman has been primed strictly as a lefty reliever going back to AZ Instructs last fall (when he made his pro debut). Kyung-Min Na and Jesus Morelli are probably the only two OF now at EXST who might get moved up to Peoria. Na is the most improved player at Fitch Park (he's another Tony Campana), and he actually was with the Peoria squad right up until the last day of Minor League Camp, until he got bumped so that Smaily Borges could mentor fellow Cuban defectors Silva and Serrano. Morelli was with the Daytona squad for most of Minor League Camp, but he was bumped by Ha, Crawford, Burgess and N. Perez at Daytona and then by Silva, Szczur, Borges, and Fitzgerald at Peoria, and was ultimately left at EXST as a potential injury replacement for Peoria or Daytona. Morelli is a good hitter and can play all three OF positions, but if he doesn't develop some HR power he probably has little future in pro ball, because he doesn't have much plate discipline, and he isn't particularly fast either. However, OF Jose Valdez is on the Peoria DL (don't know why, though) and is at Fitch Park on INACTIVE REHAB. Once he is healthy he would probably move ahead of both Na and Morelli on the depth chart if there is an opening at Peoria or Daytona. Blair Springfield has been a bust so far and will be lucky to make it to Boise. The Cubs may try moving him back to the infield (he was a SS-CF in HS) before they give up on him, with 2B the most-likely position. Also, 2010 #2 draft pick Reggie Golden is fat and out of shape, and it is a foregone conclusion that he will probably play with a short season team this summer, the only question being whether it will be AZL Cubs (Mesa) or Boise. He really needs to lose some weight. As far as the infielders are concerned, both Pin-Chieh Chen and Wes Darvill spent most of Minor League Camp with the Peoria squad, and so either could get moved up to Peoria if needed. Darvill can play SS-2B and Chen can play 2B-LF-CF. Switch-hitting Vismeldy Bieneme is a versatile player (2B-3B-SS-LF-CF) with plus speed, and guys like that will sometimes get a promotion just because of their versatility. Because he is an older player with college experience (at East Carolina), Dustin Harrington was with the Daytona squad for a while at the beginning of Minor League Camp as the D-Cubs primary utility infielder (2B-3B-SS), before getting moved quickly downward, first to Peoria, and then to Boise/Mesa. Harrington is the type of "A"-ball "roster filler" who could be an injury replacement at either Peoria or Daytona if needed. Brandon May is out with an undisclosed illness, but if and when he returns to action (and gets into playing shape) he would be a very good candidate to eventually become the everyday 3B at Peoria. He was also on the DL two or three times last year. He needs to stay healthy. Max Kwan was signed as a NDFA college senior (U. of Washington) after the 2010 June draft and (like Dustin Harrington) could be an injury replacement at either Peoria or Daytona should the need arise, although I doubt that he will be around this time next year. Kwan was not at all impressive offensively or defensively at AZ Instructs post-2010 (when he made his pro debut), but he has played much better this year. Kwan benefitted from injuries to Jose Guevara and Carlos Romero during Minor League Camp. (Both Guevara and Romero are still out of action, but while Guevara is still on crutches, Romero is healthy enough to be the bullpen catcher at EXST games). It was a battle between Yaniel Cabezas and Sergio Burruel for the #2 catcher job at Peoria for most of Minor League Camp, and I thought that the Cubs might assign Cabezas there with the other Cuban players, but at the end they decided to leave Burruel with Peoria and keep Cabezas at EXST (at least for a while).

http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp... Super Sam Fuld Superhero Cape Day in Tampa.

wow, good for him. it's total hype, but whatever...cash in now, fuld.

I'm shocked they feel strongly enough he's going to be on the roster in two months to schedule a promotion.

You mean he might get promoted?

I'm glad he's found some success. I hope he does it all year.

meh the dog ate my homework, well firefox did. I doubt I'll get to redoing the recap. /flips desk

Offense started well, then went to sleep for 7 innings, and Marmol saved it despite not being very sharp.

I'd say Marshall and Wood did the saving with a 1-run lead, Marmol got the garbage mintues.

...while Len & Bob wondered aloud about the feasibility of relief pitchers dropping onto the field by wire from the top of an adjacent building.

I do miss the bullpen cart

Aroldis Chapman throwing 92 his last outing, shut down for a few days. /ominous bass drum hits

Chris Archer goes against Smokies tonight.

speaking of that trade, from BP's update this morning: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php... Brandon Guyer, OF, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, BB, K, CS. Proving so far that last year's explosion with the Cubs was for real; 10-for-27 in seven games with five extra-base hits. and the Cubs or Cub... Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-3, 3 RBI, RBI, BB, SB. It was surprising to see him not begin the year at Triple-A, and he's now batting .500 (11-for-22), but .625 BABIP says there might be some luck here, no? oh come on now, the guy's hitting .500, I think it's implied that he's on a hot streak.

Another prospect they traded for nothing--or for the equivalent of Fernando Perez--was Tony Thomas, who has two grand slams for Pawtucket (AAA Red Sox) this past week.

Goldstein answering twitter questions No. But he's a potential every day SS, and those are pretty rare. RT @kringente: @Kevin_Goldstein ls Hak Ju Lee a potential impact player?

Here's Goldstein on Sports Central winter of 2009,
Castro was recently named the top prospect of the Cubs' system by Jim Callis at Baseball America, but Goldstein said Josh Vitters is still the best prospect in the Cubs' organization. Goldstein is not sure why Starlin Castro is being "blown up" the way he is this winter. Goldstein explained Castro is a very good prospect but is not the elite-level prospect that many are making him out to be. Goldstein said Castro's range is below average; he is slow on the bases and has no power.
hat tip to ChicagoCubsOnline Castro 562 major league AB's .309 .353 .418 .771 Castro minor league totals .310 .362 .421 .783 Vitters minor league totals .276 .319 .438 .756

you got a link so we can see what you manipulated? that has to be the 2010 lists which Goldstein gave Castro a 5-star rating and 2nd behind Vitters. http://www.thecubreporter.com/2010/03/08/cubs...

Hey, when you're done being a dick, manipulate this ↓ http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2009/11...

You should have just pointed out that thus far, Goldstein was spot on on Castro... is it the 3 HR's or the 12 SB's in 20 attempts that proves him wrong?

Vitters numbers so far, very similar to Colvin's. (and it's interesting that Colvin and Castro both have translated their minor league OPS to the majors at this point) Tyler Colvin minor league totals .277 .320 .465 .785 Tyler Colvin 409 major league AB's .242 .306 .477 .783

Anytime you can put a .783 OPS in a corner OF spot, you gotta do that!!!!

.777 was the league average for an NL right fielder last year, .770 for LF

If you look at who starts in LF and RF for each team you will get a higher number. Better than half the starters in MLB at both positions will out OPS Colvin. Likely puts him the same spot as it puts Fukudome as a lower tier starter or 4th outfielder on a decent ballclub.

2010 OPS by NL RF and most games played or top 2 GP Werth .902 Morse .870 or Bernadina .691 Heyward .845 Stanton .837 or C. Ross .727 Francouer .672 Hart .867 Bruce .853 Colvin .816 (fukudome was .809) Pence .785 Ludwick .744 Jones .720 or Milledge .712 Ethier .863 Upton .790 Hawpe .756 or Spillborghs .797 Venable .711 or Ludwick (see above) Schierholtz .676 still puts him 8th, not going to bother adding LF cause it'll be about the same result. Colvin is also 25 and playing at the league minimum. *note* some of those OPS numbers are what they got playing RF, some were they're overall numbers. I was jumping between ESPN and BR and didn't feel like being perfect about it.

Smokies' team hitting line after six games: .363/.424/.590 (1.014 OPS)

That is sick. Of the eleven hitters last night, Rebel Ridling has the lowest batting average... at .294. Nobody else is below .333.

The Smokies and Daytona both have pretty intimidating lineups for their level.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jays... Zambrano now has a better career home run ratio (one every 28.3 at-bats) than Victor Martinez, Michael Cuddyer, Pudge Rodriguez or Billy Butler. And he's closing in on Shin-Soo Choo (one every 28.1). some other fun Z hitting facts in there

The Cubs have the wrong Carlos playing first base.

in the meantime, option #1 has 4 HR's and .990 OPS right now for the Cards.

The Cubs have the wrong Carlos playing first base. I don't know... it seems that Carlos Delgado wouldn't really be a good choice any more.

There's another ambidextrous pitching prospect http://rivals.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_...

clearly, MLB will never be able to weather the poor April attendance numbers http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com...

bleh...im all for getting it right and im not a ump/human-purist, but c'mon...let's not add a potential 5-15 minutes to non-playoff games.

you're talking once a week maybe, glad they're interested in joining the 21st century

This is not the era of pragmatism.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100... only had through mid-June of 2010, but games were averaging a minute less last year at that point. Safe to say, replay isn't significantly changing the time of a game at this point. Ozzie Guillen and LaRussa trotting out 3-4 relievers in an inning is another story.

I'm in favor of replay, if there is a proper punishment for frivolous challenges, a la the NFL. My idea would be... If the challenge is ruled "Call on the field was correct" (and the challenge was a time-waster), the team has one player from their bench DQd.

kinky /hedley lamarr'd

That's really going to be awful when the guy who pitched 8 innings the night before gets disqualified.

could have still had that drought under 100 years http://www.csnchicago.com/04/13/11/Sox-Drawer... About Cubs throwing 1918 World Series to Red Sox

More like Sox fans have been antagonizing the Cubs for more than 100 years.

carrie's mailbag...why she led with that dumbass first question/answer...yeesh. http://m.mlb.com/chc/news/article/20110414177...

Carrie says Welington has a sore index finger, not a thumb. I thought Len said thumb back in st. I would think it's easier to hit with a sore index finger than thumb. Throwing would still be a problem.

New low. Wouldn't trade Barney straight up for Aaron Hill because on April 14 Barney has a good batting average and Hill has a low batting average?

the past 4 games barney played (3 good ones) have launched d.barney into god-tier. i love him for the bench...don't really mind him as a starter...i don't expect more than 30 doubles and 5-10 homers out of the guy at the plate, though.

I suspect that in a few years, if Barney matures a bit, he'll be capable of 10 homeruns. Right now he seems to have Ryan Theriot power though. The real key to his game offensively will be if he can take some walks--that could make him something more than a decent bench player.

yeah, barney's got room to improve and his swing isn't horrid. it's not like i think his bat is a total power black hole like jonathan herrera in COL or something...herrera will be lucky to hit 5hr a year even playing in COL.

An hour later Herrera hits his first of the year, lol.


Who would you rather have? Hill, you dipshit, it's implied in the question.

ugh... Wow... I wish I had never read that first question and answer.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects... don't think any of that is new... Signed: LHP Doug Davis, LHP Polin Trinidad (re-signed) Released: OF Brandon Watson Placed on restricted list: OF Melvin Camarena Recalled: RHP Casey Coleman, RHP Jeff Stevens Option transferred: C Welington Castillo (Triple-A to Double-A) Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Manolin de Leon, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Gian Carlos Guzman, RHP Ty'Relle Harris, RHP Randy Jackson, RHP Dylan Johnston, RHP Su-Min Jung, RHP Oswaldo Martinez, RHP Trey McNutt, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Todd Wellemeyer, 1B John Urick, 2B Carlos Figueroa, 2B Augie Ojeda, OF Brad Snyder

Still would like to know what is wrong with Su-Min Jung. He was one of my breakout candidates this year, after his great finish in 2010.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600785387/r... Steve Stone has a book coming out. I'm sure it will be very flattering towards the Cubs.

been wondering when he'd get around to writing a book that he didn't work on with another established writer (his harry c. book with rozner). he's not a bad story teller and he's got an education on him.

I thought it was supposed to be more textbook-ish than expose-ish... that's just what I heard. The chapters are broken down by position and are 'able to be read indpendently of one another.'

that seems to be what the description implies

Iowa: already won 10-6 over Albuquerque, F. Perez with 3 runs scored, a SB and 3 BB's. M. Ramirez goes 1/3 with 2 BB. C. Carpenter w/ 2 shutout innings. Smokies: Jackson CF, Flaherty 2B, Ridling 1B, Spencer RF, Vitters 3B, Clevenger C, Adduci LF, Lalli DH, Gonzalez SS Chris Archer vs. Rafel Dolis Daytona: Crawford LF, Watkins 2B, Ha CF, Bour 1B, Castillo DH, Burgess RF, Lake SS, Cerda 3B, Noble C, RHP Kurcz Peoria: Szczur 8, LePage 4, Rohan 3, Jones DH, Borges 9, Fitzgerald 7, Giansanti 5, Burruel 2, Soto 6, Beeler 1 followed by Lopez

Ryan Madson's wife just made his life hell. http://www.almightyphilly.com/archives/1662 “I hate the fans. It is bad enough that they bother us during the season, but they will not leave us alone in December when we go out to eat. We stayed here during the off season last year, but we will be going to California this year. There must be something particularly bad about Phillies fans because all the players leave in the off season.” enjoying sitting out in the bullpen listening to Phillies fans now... the Phillies have since responded saying the comments were taken out of context http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/04/14/...

another grand misuse of the excuse "taken out of context." that's pretty cut/dry stuff. it's just unfortunate she said it.

yeah, seems the person that posted it didn't identify themselves as someone who would be posting such things and Ms. Madson got a little chatty.

Dolis with a 1-2-3 top of 1st... Archer: Jackson FO-8, Flaherty 2B, Ridling K, Spencer 2B, Vitters FO-8 1-0 Smokies

2nd: 2-out double off Dolis but no damage Archer: Clevenger 1B, Adduci bunt 1B, Lalli K, Gonzalez K. Jackson GO-3 still 1-0 Smokies

3rd: Dolis has another 1-2-3 inning Archer Flaherty GO 4-3, Ridling FO-9, Spencer K 1-0 Smokies

4th: Dolis gives up a 2-out single, a wild pitch but gets out of it with a K 55 pitches, 36 strikes, 19 balls Archer: Vitters BB, Clevenger sac bunt, Wild pitch, Adduci RBI GO 6-3, Lalli GO-3 60 pitches, 37 strikes, 23 balls 2-0 Smokies

i wish the cubs didnt have a night off, too.

5th: Dolis gives up a 1-out triple, scores on a groundout Archer: Gonzalez GO-3, Jackson INF 1B, Bunch of pickoff attempts at 1B, but Jackson still steals 2B, but then thrown out trying to steal 3B and Jackson gets ejected, Flaherty BB and steals 2B, Ridling BB and a wild pitch and Archer is done in favor of Neil Schenk Spencer K's but a wild pitch scores Flaherty Archer 76 P, 42 S, 34 B - 6 GO/3 FB 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K 3-1 Smokies

Dolis ends with 6 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 4 H, 1 ER 85/54/31 Vitters 2B's later and Ridling hit a grand slam to blow the game open

We knew about a velocity drop, but is the elbow 3/44? From a Levine article: "Triple-A right-hander Jay Jackson is rehabbing elbow tendinitis" http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Rotoworld stuff... Q-Ball would "love" for Castro/Barney to be the 1-2 combo. Fukudome probably not ready for Friday. Pena still bothered by thumb injury.

Sure, as long as they're both batting over .300. Which will last all season, I'm sure.

You've got to remember this is the guy who secured his managerial job based on a team ERA of 2.18 in his games from last year. He probably thinks luck is his dinvie compensation for losing his hair.

Wasn't he talking about moving Castro in the lineup just a few days ago? I mean if he is this fickle, it sounds like he will run the team like I run my fantasy baseball team- poorly. Either way, you don't mess with the 1-2 guys when they're hitting like this. You just ride it out. If you have to reassess in a month, so be it, but let's not change our minds from series to series.

Well, the other alternatives thus far presented at the top of the lineup are doing as well or better than Barney (Fukudome and Baker). As long as Barney can keep his OBP over .360, I'm cool with it (though it would make more sense to hit him leadoff since he has no power and Castro would get to stay at just one spot).

Cubs one step away from having open auditions for the rotation. Ninja being considered for Tuesday start vs. Padres http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=...

When do they start transforming Koyie Hill into a pitcher?

When he perfects throwing to himself.

He has a good split finger. rimshot

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php... Cubs Rafael Dolis, RHP, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K. No. 15 prospect in the system had mid-90s velocity but needs to deepen the arsenal to avoid a relief profile. Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB. Hitting .360 in three games with three walks; it took him 30 games to draw his third Double-A walk in 2010. and for crunch Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 1-for-2, HR (5), R, RBI, BB, K. Maybe that crazy season in the Cal League was for real after all. At least maybe, don't want to make too many conclusions on his impressive .381/.536/1.143 line in seven games.

Bobby Scales 4th in OPS in the PCL, LaHair 11th, Montanez 16th and Scott Mooore a little behind that Tennessee has 5 of the top 7 in OPS in Southern League (Goldschmidt is 1st) Jackson, Clevenger, Ridling, Vitters, Spencer all over 1.000 with LeMahieu at 929 Cerda and Burgess over 1.000 in FSL and rank #10 and #12. Pierre LePage and Rubi Silva over 1.000 in Midwest League (#2 and #10)

Scales' success is a carryover from spring training. He has a nice approach at the plate and a mechanically-sound swing. He's perfect for a bench spot. I would have preferred Scales over Dewitt.

who is dewitt?

I am almost afraid to ask, but what's wrong with DeWitt's approach and swing?

Honestly, I don't really know much about DeWitt.

Ryno hates crackers!