Morelli Hits, Suarez Fans, Cubs Win at Papago

Jesus Morelli reached base five times on a double, three singles, and a walk, scored twice, and drove-in a run, and Larry Suarez came out of the bullpen to throw 3.1 IP of one hit ball with seven strikeouts, as the EXST Cubs defeated the EXST Athletics 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.

The game was extended an extra half-inning to allow all of the A’s pitchers who were due to throw today to get their scheduled work.

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

1a. Eduardo Gonzalez, CF: 2-4 (K, 2B, 1B, F-7, R, RBI)
1b. Blair Springfield, CF: 0-1 (K, BB, R)
2a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-5 (E-6, K, 1B, F-9, 6-3)
2b. Max Kwan, PH: 0-1 (K)
3a. Rafael Valdes, 2B: 0-4 (4-3, F-8, 5-2 FC, 6-3)
3b. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
4a. Wilson Contreras, DH: 1-4 (6-3, K, 4-3, 1B, R)
4b. Carlos Romero, PH-DH-C: 1-2 (K, 1B, RBI)
5. Jesus Morelli, LF: 4-5 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2B, BB, 5-3, 2 R, RBI)
6. Reggie Golden, RF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, HBP, K, K, 2 R, SB, CS)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-4 (1B, K+WP, 1-4 SH, K, F-9, R, RBI)
8. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-4 (F-8 SF, 6-3, K, 1B, P-5, RBI)
9. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, BB, 6-4 FC, K, SB)

1. Austin Reed: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 68 pitches (36 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Larry Suarez: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 7 K, 2 WP, 51 pitches (34 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Charles Thomas: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 53 pitches (28 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO

CF Eduardo Gonzalez - E8 (throwing error allowed batter who hit RBI double to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)-

Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS


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


naked fan on the field!

Which organization is Dick Pole working for these days or does he just watch Marlin home games?

He's retired. Reds fired him after 2009 season.

Phil, What happened to Ojeda? Though he was playing and all of the sudden hasn't shown up lately?

Two errors in one inning and it's not the Cubs! And I thought we had the market cornered.

and aside from a bad castro throw screwing up a double play the cubs have been playing pretty tight D tonight.

in unlikely team leaders Darwin Barney tied with Pena for team lead in sacrifice flies

my god, he's knocked in more runs than ramirez! oh the shame...

Move Darwin to 3b, we've found ARam's replacement. :)

IMPLOSION! KERPLEWIE! ...featuring more soriano gold glove fielding...

"we're in the production business"

rule/rue the day

reed johnson!!! woo. tie game.

Koyie Hill 3/3, that's good for a two more weeks of starts.

Koyie Hill 3/3, that's good for a two more months of starts. Fixed.

and Campana steals his first base...neat.

melt the fontenot statue, there's a new super midget in town

He'll be Soriano's legs>> “This is the way I see using him right now,” Manager Mike Quade said. “It’s a perfect situation if we get Soriano on late in the game and then why waste a bunt? We put Tony in. Let’s find out if he can steal a base. Then we bunt him to third. It’s a nice tool to have. And he’s a pretty good player.”

soon they'll bring back the bullpen cart to take Soriano out to left field and from the on-deck circle to the batter's box

Maybe he can use that cart to track down fly balls too.

I do hope he's talking beyond just Soriano and his sub .300 OBP, otherwise we may not see Campana for another two weeks.

I was going to say that "if" should be capital letters as big as the Hollywood sign.

Why waste a bunt when we can just lay down a bunt?

Someone should probably explain to our manager who has so many vast years of baseball experience that it's easier to steal third than second.

While there at it, perhaps a batting helmet that fits Campana may be in order too. You seen that monstrosity they've got him wearing?

I'm pretty sure I got an ice cream sundae in one that might fit him...

Still amazed opposing pitchers can throw strikes in that cute little tiny strike zone of his.

Why waste a bunt? Agreed, Q pinch run for Soriano in Campana's first game up, then bunted him to 2b so the pitcher's spot could take a whack at driving him in. Idiotic managing.

oh, what are you starting?

It was either this or keep counting the days until the off season.

Al Yellon settles the debate. I don't think looking back at the trade at any future point tells you who "won" the trade. The Cubs traded two guys who look to be as good as Garza, and two guys who looked like useful pieces for the privilege of having one slightly cost-controlled year of a two or threeish starter when they'll hopefully be competitive. It was a bad deal.

Real Neal settles the debate.

Which of the 2 players the Cubs traded look to be "as good as Garza?" Archer and Guyer? Archer and Lee? Lee and Guyer?

Archer and Lee. "Looked"... Trying to use perfect (ie future) knowledge to judge a decision made in the past is a fool's errand. If that one game Guyer got was the only game any of the four guys get in the majors it was a bad trade. If all four guys wind up in the Hall of Fame, it was a bad trade. Jim Hendry didn't have a suped up Delorean when he made the deal, so why pretend that he did when trying to analyze it?

"The Cubs traded two guys who look to be as good as Garza" That's what I was asking, which 2. I wasn't asking about a time machine. How is this a bad trade, if hypothetically, Guyer, Archer, Chirinos, and Lee only combine for that 1 game? I agree that giving up all 5 players for just Garza is too I am pretty confident in saying that Fernando Perez will not amount to much, and Rosscup is an unknown argument has always been that this is the type of move you make if you're 1 piece away from contending. I'm pretty sure we all knew (know) that the Cubs were not 1 piece from contention.

How is this a bad trade, if hypothetically, Guyer, Archer, Chirinos, and Lee only combine for that 1 game? I guess it's really two different questions. There's the "decision" to make the trade and there's "how did the trade work out"? The decision to make the trade, was and always be a bad decision, because based on the information available at the time, it was a bad decision. Ironically a team in position to make such a trade, where adding a couple of wins for 2010 at the expense of some prospects is probably the Rays. The second question: How did the trade work out? We won't really have an answer for that at least for a couple of years. There's no point reviewing that now, and even if as I mentioned, all the four guys wash out or are hall of famers, it doesn't change the flawed, reactive decision making process that Hendry used in the first place. It was a terribly stupid idea. That will never change. Compare it to the Ramirez/Lofton trade for reference.

ThanksNeal....apparently, I left my brain in "off" mode today.... Derp.... I think the Cubs might have misjudged this trade a bit....

Personally I thought Garza was an unnecessary move, once the Cubs chose Pena instead of Dunn or Berkman. Once the decision was made to let the offense be shitte. Another 3rd starter became redundant. Especially at the expense of Gorzo.

the legend of Adam Dunn grows... Didn't Berkman choose the Cards? Cubs offered him deferred money that he didn't want to do.

Cards offered the same deal. Without deferred money. Cubs could have easily beaten that offer. I still say Adam Dunn was the best chance to add a long term slugger at an acceptable price. Especially considering what Pujols and Fielder will command this offseason.

White Sox DH Adam Dunn saw his average drop to .196 after an 0-for-5 night in a 6-4, 10-inning loss to the Dodgers Friday night. Dunn has struck out 53 times in 138 at-bats. And while Dunn had a grounder against Scott Elbert that produced a run in the 10th, that out made him 0-for-31 against left-handed pitchers.

Dude had an appendectomy the 1st week of the season. A lesser guy would have DL'd it. 10 years of stats say he will still manage an 870 or above Ops. Care to wager who ends up with better #'s between Pena or Dunn?

Matt Holliday's appendectomy really seems to have bothered him. How do we put a # on Dunn's inability to field a possition? And do we factor in the one year committment v. four year committment?

The factor will be the 8 year + commitments that Pujols and Fielder get. At some point this franchise needs to find SOMEONE that can hit on an elite level? Tough to find that if you never draft someone with that kind of projectability.

A trade is based on the value of something at the time the trade is made. Let's look at this in terms of financial transactions. Let's say the market price of gold (per tradeable unit) is $1500. Assume you convince someone to sell you the gold for $1400. If three years from now, the price of gold has dropped to $1200, did you make a bad trade when you purchased it? Of course not. The value of baseball players is much less quantifiable, but the analogy holds. As the goal for a baseball team is to win, the value of Garza will, however, differ for whom he plays. If he were playing for a team in contention, his value would be higher. Likewise, the value of prospects differs for teams that could win now or teams that are rebuilding. Retaining Archer and Lee and holding out for their development would be a choice with more value to the Cubs than for an aging contender like the Yankees, who have a greater chance at immediate "value" in terms of making the playoffs and winning a championship. With (or in my opinion even without) those considerations, the trade is not good for the Cubs. Personally I think the value of the players was greater than that of Garza; after last season, Archer alone could be projected to put up Garza-like numbers by the time he was in his mid 20s. Lee's potential is quite high and could be a key player in a future contender if he develops. Guyer finally had a healthy season and put up exceptional numbers; even if he were only a fourth OF, his speed/power combo would be valuable. And Chirinos showed potential to be a very good backup catcher, if not a starter. In my opinion, in terms of straight up projection of future performance, the Cubs paid too much. When you include the fact that, despite adding Garza, no rational analyst believed the Cubs would be a contender, the value of the trade diminishes even further. If your goal is winning and trading prospects for a veteran is not going to make the Cubs a winning team, the potential upside of the prospects is significantly more valuable to the Cubs than the veteran's skills. While the prospects may never develop, the possibility that they do develop means a higher possibility to become a winning team than the neglible chance of winning brought to the Cubs by Garza. If the traded prospects never become anything of note, that is a judgment on the value of the prospects years later. The value must be judged at the time the trade was made. And at that time, the Cubs paid way too much for Matt Garza.

garza costs 6m this year rather than 10-12m. cubs easily saved 4m+ on a player of similar talent. that's part of the trade for the cubs. this was not a spending year, but they managed to add garza, wood, and pena for under $20m.

Edit* Changed because I realized what I said didn't really make a difference. The Cubs saved no money on Garza this year, he actually costs them $3.8 million, since that what he made over the guy he replaced. The point that the Cubs shouldn't have made this trade, just like the Pirates shouldn't sign Jayson Werth. Adding the player doesn't give you a significant boost to making the playoffs, you don't do it. The Cubs could have made this trade next year, saved $4 million and paid less in prospects, with no real change to their 2011 season. Going from 80 to 83 wins is not going to change their bottom line much at all.

you really need to get the whole "pass/rebuild/etc. year" thing out of your realm of handicapping any of this. they're not doing that. they weren't doing that. they're not even trying to do that. maybe they should have...but they weren't. now that we have a base line...this was a move made based on that along with the crunch of a money concern.

So you think the difference between this being a rebuilding year and the Cubs being in contention is Matt Garza? You have the evidence right in front of you. A losing team, a pitcher with a losing record and a 2.7% chance of making the playoffs 8 weeks into the season, and a bottom half of the league farm system. Hendry not undestanding how poor his team was isn't a defense of his poor decision making. It's not like adding Maddux and Lee to the '03 Cubs.

i don't think i have anything to do with it. that's the point. you have to accept things about the team as it stand. they were not rebuilding, they were not pausing, they were rolling the dice and pushing ahead because they already committed to do so. 2011 was never seen as an off-season or rest/rebuild year. we have nothing to do with that. part of garza's attraction is he was going to cost very little money in 2011 and come with club control for a couple years after 2011.

". . .a bottom half of the league farm system." I don't know where you get that info. In terms of double A and high A won-lost records this season, here are some comparisons: Cubs (Tenn and Daytona), 53-28. Cards (Springfield and Palm Beach), 31-48. Reds (Carolina and Bakersfield), 33-48. Brewers (Huntsville and Brevard County), 34-45. If the Cubs are weak in the minors, where are these other teams hiding their prospects?

While I don't agree with TRN's statement that the Cubs are a bottom half system, an obvious answer to your question is that many teams put prospects in AAA. Tenn and Daytona do look good, but Iowa is mostly full of non-prospects and the Peoria team has one or two gems, but otherwise doesn't look so great. More importantly, wins and losses aren't really the best judge of minor league prospects...would you rather have Chris Archer or a player like Austen Bibens-Dirx, who is 3-1? Perhaps TRN's reference to bottom half minors is figurative, stating that making trades like the Garza trade strips the system while not making the Cubs a contender. That trade is a mistake. And, as Crunch states, if the Cubs believed they would be a contender, that should be evidence for their termination.

Or it could be when the Cubs system got ranked it got ranked 18th. That's what happens when you deal four of your top 16 players away in a trade. The arbitrary nature of Virginia Phils rankings are well... pretty much that's the definition of arbitrary.

"it got ranked 18th" Those are internet rankings. Take them with a grain of salt, along with all the other free advice that may come your way. Professional scouts don't blab their opinions on the internet. Where was Darwin Barney in the prospect rankings just last winter? Where is he today? Tony Campana has been invisible on these lists, and now he's on the 25-man, fighting to stay there. Aren't prospect lists supposed to be predictions about who makes the roster?

Aren't prospect lists supposed to be predictions about who makes the roster? No, they're about which teams have the most players who are likely to make a roster and have impact. A farm system that produces backup infielders and fifth outfielders is nothing to crow about.

I doubt that that's possible, though the idea circulates around here a lot. You draft 40 players every year, plus all the Pacific and Latin players, and your couple out of fifty-odd who make the team are third-stringers, while other teams get first-stringers. Meanwhile, your minor league teams crush theirs. Wouldn't they (the other teams) draft first-stringers PLUS second- and third-stringers, since they are supposed to be better at this drafting business than you are? It makes no sense. It's just fan-Cubbery, or Cub-fannery. Cub fans, heal thyselves.

"would you rather have Chris Archer or a player like Austen Bibens-Dirx, who is 3-1?" I'd rather have Archer, who was 15-3 last year. I'll do the comparison of all four levels one of these days, but I don't think I'm cherry picking by focusing on AA and A-advanced. Nor are wins a bad indicator of talent. Peoria is a pretty good team today and will get better. I also expect Iowa to improve as some of the Smoky talent spills upward. fwiw, Cubs minor league teams have been above .500 all but 3 times over the last 11 years. Last season, was their best overall record.

a month and 1/2 is all it takes to sum this one up, eh? neat.

holy crap what a useless article. summary: the writer looked at 6-7 weeks of stats and determined "winners" and "losers"

somewhat as a side note, but I'm still taking a wait and see on Hak-ju Lee's bat. He had a ridiculous April line (.451/.533/.686), but his May line has come down a lot (.328/.386/.422). He's still sporting a fairly high BABIP, but then again, he should have a higher BABIP. I'm not that sold Lee's hit tool is that good that he's going to be a consistent .300+ hitter, though, and I think the May line is closer to what his power potential is. Chirinos was pressing a bit early, and his approach/discipline got out of whack. I still expect him to rebound and be in the majors at some point, as a backup backstop at the very least. All that said, in regards to the trade - I think trades need to be viewed with a factor of the situation then, and what happens down the line. When the trade was made, I thought it made sense for both sides, and I don't think anything's changed my mind about that. I agree that using statistics now to determine winners or losers is fairly useless. If you liked the trade then, you should like it now, irrespective of how the individual pieces have done so far.

Lee strikes out a more than you'd like from a "slap hitter", but he is a big strong kid. All I have seen is him take batting practice one time, but it would be important to know if he's striking out because he takes two strikes before swinging, trying to be a "proper" leadoff man, or if he is swinging and missing.

He's also continued to make errors at a prodigious pace. 9 so far this year in only 28 games. Yes, minor league error totals can be a bit overrated, but Lee has had some consistently high totals. His hands are soft, but I don't think his arm is very good there. I know he had TJS 2 years ago, but that shouldn't have any effect on his throws right now.

I was concerned about Lee's arm for awhile, but the feedback out of Peoria last year was that there wasn't much to be concerned with. Still viewed as a plus arm.

Strength wise, probably. I don't think he can throw very accurately though.

It's been a mystery to me why Matt Szczur hasn't played since Tuesday the 10th, but I found this in the Peoria Journal-Star today:
Matt Szczur is day-to-day. He missed the weekend series at Kane County for his college graduation and is “not feeling right” according to Kopitzke.
I heard about the graduation, but this is eight games in a row. (Unless he got separate degrees in running, passing and receiving.)

According to Rosenthal tweet, Cubs rotation with worst ERA in NL, not that that should surprise anyone. Here's to bad defense, injuries and Ryan Dempster

That includes Casey Coleman and James Russell. There shouldn't be any surprise there.

Not sure if this link will sort right- but they're not only last, they're last by a wide margin: Over half a run behind KC...

thank god we got rid of Larry Rothschild

Only four pitchers are above the 5.35 team ERA: Mateo (15.2 innings of 5.74), who may not be back; Coleman (34.1 innings of 6.03), who may go down when Wells returns; Dempster (56 innings of 6.91); and Russell (20 innings of 7.20), who will pitch fewer innings as a reliever. Eight pitchers on the staff are under 4.00, while Grabow and Berg (currently at Iowa) are barely over.

echo, echo

Cubs interested in Kevin Millwood? Last I read, he was throwing in the low to mid-80's in the minors before he opted out of his deal with whomever that was.

The Cubs have 4 relief pitchers with ERA's below 3.00 Jeff Samardzija Kerry Wood Sean Marshall Carlos Marmol So which Cub reliever leads the staff with the most appearances? tick tick tick (turn your computer screen/or head upside down to read) oəʇɐɯ soɔɹɐɯ

This has more to do with the Cubs frequently losing by a fair margin, than Quade's mismanagement of the pen. Not to say Quade hasn't channeled his inner Lou every once in awhile, however.

So which Cub reliever leads the staff with the most appearances? --- I'd be interested in some stat as to which relievers are used with a lead, a tie game or one run down and finally, in hopelessly behind games. I'd hope the last category had in order, Grabow and Mateo. Thinking about Q-ball's MO, it probably was Shark who has been surprisingly decent.