Reds Long Balls Doom Cubs at Fitch Park

Carlos Sanchez, Steven Selsky, and Brennan May hit back-to-back-to back home runs in the top of the 8th to put the game away, as the AZL Reds throttled the AZL Cubs 9-1 in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning. 

Selsky (the Reds 2011 33rd round draft pick out of the University of Arizona) also clubbed a solo HR off the LF foul pole to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd.  

The game was a battle for the AZL Wild Card lead, as the Cubs and Reds came into the game tied in the AZL Wild Card standings. (The three division winners and the second-place team with the best record will qualify for the AZL playoffs). By winning today, the Reds take a one-game lead over the Cubs with ten games left to play (and the Reds own the tie-breaker, having defeated the Cubs three out of four times).   

box score

A number of the Cubs recent signees were in attendance at Fitch Park today (and 1B Rock Shoulders and OF John Andreoli were in uniform, although they did not play), getting a chance to partake in what is Arizona League baseball.

Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson (Southern Arkansas U.) got the start for the AZL Cubs, and threw two innings (38 pitches - 22 strikes), allowing one run (the Selsky solo HR leading off the top of the 2nd), a two-out single in the second, and a four-pitch walk with one out in the top of the 1st. He did not strike out any Reds hitters, but he did induce a "room-service" 4-6-3 DP to end the top of the 1st inning. Simpson threw all of his pitches (fastball, curve, and change), but struggled to command his fastball.

Cubs 2010 8th round draft pick LHP Cam Greahouse (Gulf Coast CC) followed Simpson to the mound, and he REALLY struggled to throw strikes. Greathouse worked 1.2 IP (50 pitches - only 25 strikes), laboring through every AB, eventually allowing three runs on three hits, five walks, and two WP. Reds lead-off hitter Brandon Dailey stole three bases off Greathouse (he wasn't paying much attention to the runner, so catcher Neftali Rosario had no chance), although he did manage to pick another baserunner off or the outing would have been even worse than it was.

Greathouse had a fine debut season last year (4-2 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, allowing just 34 hits and only one HR, with 11/50 BB/K in 44.1 IP combined between Mesa and Boise), and he followed that with a solid Minor League Camp this past March that earned him a spot in the Peoria Chiefs 2011 Opening Day starting rotation. But things have gotten increasingly ugly for Greathouse ever since, as he got demoted to Boise in June after going 4-5 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.63 WHIP with 53 BB allowed in just 57.1 IP at Peoria, and then was sent down to Mesa (AZL Cubs) from Boise after going 0-5 with a 7.58 ERA and 2.32 WHIP, allowing 25 BB in just 19 IP in the NWL. No question Greathouse is a major mess right now.

Another pitcher who has struggled with his control this season is Cubs 2010 16th round draft pick RHP Ryan Hartman (Mt. Zion HS - Mt. Zion IL), and he continued to have problems locating the strike zone today. He walked the bases loaded with one out in the 6th before being pulled out of the game, eventually being charged with two runs in 1.2 IP of work (44 pitches but only 22 strikes).  

27-year old Cuban defector RHP Yoannis Negrin (first name sometimes mistakenly spelled "Yoanner") followed Greathouse and Hartman, and displayed the polish and guile one would expect out of a pitcher with extensive experience in the Serie Nacional (the Cuban Major League). Negrin is a little guy and a short-armer (he throws like an infielder) who varies his arm angle from 3/4 to sidearm, throwing just about every pitch in the book. In just 1.2 IP I saw a four seam cutter, a two-seam sinker, a slider, a round-house curve, and a change-up, and I think I saw a srewball, too. Negrin lives on the edges of the plate--nibble, nibble, nibble--but never gives the batter much to hit. I doubt that he will be in Mesa much longer (he is WAY too advanced for rookie ball), but then again it might be gertting kind of late in the season for a promotion to Daytona or Tennessee.     

And finally, AZL Cubs RHP Rafael Diplan did something I have never seen a pitcher do in my 30 years watching baseball at Fitch Park, not even in batting practice. He somehow managed to allow back-to-back-to back home runs.

With the large dimensions of the fields and the 20-ft high OF fence, it is very difficult for even a major leaguer (much less a minor leaguer who has not yet reached physical maturity) to hit a ball over the fence at any of the Fitch Park fields. But for three hitters (and three rookie ball hitters to boot) to do it in successive at-bats is just plain unbelievable.

While the Reds scored nine times, the Cubs offense was mostly quiet today, scoring just one run on seven hits. DH Brian Inoa did reach base four times (three walks and a single), but did not score. The Cubs plated their only run in the bottom of the 5th, as supersub Gregori Gonzalez (who played 3B today) smashed a ball off the left-centerfield fence for a lead-off triple, scoring later in the inning on a 6-4-3 DP.

The Cubs ran themselves out of a couple of other innings, as runners made the third out at 3rd base twice. Brian Inoa made the third out at 3rd base in the bottom of the 2nd trying advance from 2nd to 3rd on a third-strike ball in the dirt, and Garrett Schlecht (in just his second pro game) was thrown out (easily) at 3rd base by Steven Selsky trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a bloop single that fell in front of the Reds LF with two outs in the bottom of the 7th. 

I guess it should have been a precursor of things to come when Schlecht batted out of order in the bottom of the 2nd (he was supposed to hit 8th--after Trey Martin, but batted 7th--after Neftali Rosario--instead). As it turned out it didn't matter, because Schlecht struck out (and Inoa was thrown out at 3rd to end the inning), and Cubs manager Juan "Pee-Pee" Cabreja (who was probably too busy coaching 3rd base to realize the goof at the time it happened) caught the mistake before the next half-inning, as #9 hitter Gregori Gonzalez led-off the bottom of the 3rd and Martin-Schlecht hit 7-8 the rest of the game. But what the mistake did do was cheat Trey Martin out of what should have been his first AB of the game.  


MARMOL FAIL. 400ft+ grand slam for the loss...neat.

Yeah, I was just bitching on the last thread. Why are we so excited to keep him again? Oh, we're waiting for the rest of the team to get good, so we can have a 'lockdown' closer, a 'lights out' kind of guy. 0.1 IP, 3H, 1BB, 4 ER (tonight) (also a WP, I believe) 4.08 ERA for the year

they were not swinging at his slider wasn't close to a strike. that's not alarming, but the fact they can tell his slider from his fastball coming out of his hand is alarming.

Don't remember which batter (it may have been the only one he got out) but he threw like 7 in a row or some shit at one point. I'm no hitting coach, but shouldn't they know it's coming and what it looks like after that? *edit Gameday says it was Downs (BB), and also showed his fastball at 91-92, touching 93 once. Is that a tick down for Marmol? Or have I just missed him losing a little? Thought he was more 92-93-94

he throws the slider a ton...and people usually swing. he actually threw 3 fastballs in a row tonight which is really rare for him. they were seeing the slider that clearly tonight...i dunno what they were seeing in his motion/arm slot/etc, though. ...and yeah, he usually works 93-94mph.


To me he throws three sliders, the really good one with the tight break, and that's the one that get's the most taken strikes. The second is the big sweeping one, almost like a slurve, which gets a lot of swings and misses, and the third is the one that doesn't break at all, which works as a really nice changeup if he was trying to throw #2, or a hit batter if he was trying to throw #1. I am not sure if he has the same grip on all three.

#3 is a hanging slider.

Yeah, I understand what the term means, but for Marmol, when it doesn't hit people, it's an extremely effective pitch.

I'm not arguing this point... but I would like to point out that there are actual good closers in baseball that both throw good stuff and have good control.

Kerry Wood?

Agree, Re: Good Closers. Point two, what good is even a decent closer when the rest of the team isn't worth a damn? Why is everyone so hot and bothered to keep Marmol again??

With any luck, he'll retire tonight. Nice Symmetry, though: The worst closer in MLB blows a 3-run lead to the worst team in MLB.

If only Zambrano was around so he could bitch about losing the win... *ducks

AP--With the polish you speak of and being 27, and seeing him in person, how quickly do you think Negrin will move through the system? Where do you see his ceiling?

Submitted by Tony S. on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 9:16pm. AP--With the polish you speak of and being 27, and seeing him in person, how quickly do you think Negrin will move through the system? Where do you see his ceiling? =============================================== TONY S: I would say AAA is probably his floor and it could be his ceiling, too (he's 27, so what you see now is probably the best you're going to get), but if he can get AAA hitters out he could maybe have a chance to be an MLB middle-reliever, long man, or #5 starter. He has a lot of experience so the Cubs won't have to waste a lot of time evaluating & projecting him.

Thank you Sir!!

With one out and nobody on, Marmol had these counts on the next four batters, 1-2, 0-2, 2-2, and 0-2 and put none of them away. Koyie Hill has to share the blame for that...and he did fail to catch a two strike foul tip for the second out of the inning. FWIW, I was watching the Astros broadcast and they had Marmol's fastball at a steady 91 and his slider at 85-86. What bothers me is how hard he's getting hit since the All Star break (ERA of 8.22, BABIP around .360). The first out of the inning was really squared up. So were the first single and the monster shot home run. It looked like he hung at least three sliders tonight. I agree with everyone who wanted to trade him last winter.

Marmol!!! *fist shake*

you forgot to precede that with --looks to the sky--

Yep, let's get those two premium prospects and a couple other B-C level guys for him now.... I wonder if he'd clear or has cleared waivers.

3/44? Bruce Miles talks with Tim Wilken about the draft. The DeVoss collision with the catcher is at the 1:08 mark


DAAAAAMN! Probably not smart or kosher lowering your head like that, but that was a hell of a hit! Not sure where I typed 3/44... Last thread? Start with comment #5

waiting for PaulNoce to tell us how despicable DeVoss is and how they should throw at him

Very funny. The catcher was standing 6 feet up the line blocking home plate, DeVoss didn't go out of the baseline to hit him, unlike the punk who hit Posey.

there's no definition of "out of the baseline" that the Florida runner ever got near... the catcher was 6 ft up the line just trying to catch the throw and make an out, like Posey was in front of the plate trying to make an out. One though is Buster Posey, the other is a lo-A nobody.

The difference is that the majority of Posey's body wasn't on the line directly between first and home, whereas this guy was smack dab on the baseline.

i think you mean third and home. Posey was set up to block the plate (slightly in front of it which most catchers will tell you is the worst way to set up), the runner did what runners have been doing for years at the risk of his own health as well. As Posey's turning, he's going to end up completely blocking the plate if he caught the ball. you two must be the same guys that are adamant about a flag when a QB gets tapped in the helmet.

You can't tackle a player anywhere else on the field, and you can't block the baseline without the ball anywhere else on the field. It doesn't make sense for home plate to be an exception, but it's really more up to the umpires to call obstruction/interference and for the players to adjust accordingly after that pattern is established. Baseball, especially the umpires, don't seem concerned in the least, though, so the players are going to keep doing what they're doing--catchers and baserunners.

The Florida runner, as the frame by frame pictures show, turned to his left and headed towards the dugout to hit Posey. He turned away from home plate. Posey also was not completely blocking the plate and was actually more in front of the plate and slightly towards the 1b line taking the throw from right field. You can spin it all you want but the pictures show the POS Florida runner avoided scoring so he could run over the catcher. That's not the objective of baseball. Look at the Florida runner's feet. These pictures clearly show the cheap shot the runner took. End of discussion.

but the pictures show the POS Florida runner avoided scoring so he could run over the catcher. That's not the objective of baseball. yes, he avoided scoring, you know by scoring. jeebus. Posey had one leg in front of the plate, turned when he thought he had the ball to make the tag which started to put himself more in front of the plate and then got run over. If Posey catches the ball and the runner goes to the back of the plate he would have been out.

None of your comment refutes the point that the runner could have gotten to the base without tackling Posey. Could DeVoss have done the same?

If Posey is crouching, or standing, does he roll back over his ankle? If he doesn't get hurt, people would have been talking about a"great hard-nosed play" by Cousins. It's a shame Posey got hurt. Unless they change the rules, it was a legal play.


he could have avoided it if he wanted to much like you avoid running over the 2bmen if they're in you're way. No one ever thinks to barrel over that guy. They run around him 99% of the time. The catcher in the DeVoss play had his left foot on the baseline and right foot a little towards first which leaves a little room towards third for DeVoss to try and run around if he wanted to avoid contact and still be within the baseline. Of course I don't care that he ran him over, if the catcher is going to set up like he's going to block you off the plate, he's gonna expect to get hit as well.

It'd be nice for our prospects not to have bone-rattling collisions in A-ball, though, where the games mean absolutely squat.

True, but they play actual games...and keep won-loss records..and have playoffs. It's not so easy to just shut off the competitive fire.

Devoss is lucky he didn't break his neck, lead with the shoulder next time.

No kidding. The helmet can feel safe on a play like that, but it doesn't do much to protect your neck/spine.

Submitted by Charlie on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:47pm. It'd be nice for our prospects not to have bone-rattling collisions in A-ball, though, where the games mean absolutely squat. =================================== CHARLIE: Game results/outcomes have minimal interest to the Player Development people, but the games do matter to the players. The players play hard and they play to win in the minors just like they do in the big leagues. The fact that a suit might look at minor league baseball as a glorified sim game is separate & distinct from a player's view of the same game.

Yeah, I get that--and, generally, I think that is probably good for the player's development. I still don't agree with tackling the catcher (or blocking the plate without possession of the ball) from any point of view. But I also understand than mine is not the only school of thought on the issue.

"End of discussion." we found silent towel. You realize if Posey caught that ball and Cousins goes to slide he's out, right? he took one step towards first base to try and dislodge the ball because that's pretty much an accepted baseball play for anyone not involving pretty boy Posey.

Here's the voice of an authority on the matter: "I teach my kids to stay away from the plate when you don't have the ball so the runner actually sees home plate and his thought is, slide. But Buster is laying in front of home plate, and it's like having a disabled car in the middle of a four-lane highway. You're just going to get smacked. Show them the plate. You can always catch the ball and step, or step and catch the ball, as long as you've got the runner on the ground. And if you have the runner on the ground, there's less chance of any severe collision." -- Johnny Bench

Wilken read is fun. thanks.

I wouldn't have posted the DeVoss link if I knew it was going to bring up the Posey play again.

my bad.

Your suspended for 2 days and fined a days pay. Plus I'm going to bad mouth you in the press. (Even though I should have seen it coming.)

2:05pm EDT (C. Coleman - R) @ Astros (B. Norris - R) 1. Starlin Castro (R) SS 2. Darwin Barney (R) 2B 3. Aramis Ramirez (R) 3B 4. Carlos Pena (L) 1B 5. Geovany Soto (R) C 6. Marlon Byrd (R) CF 7. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF 8. Tyler Colvin (L) RF 9. Casey Coleman (L) P

does any other mlb club have their outfield hitting in the 6-7-8 slots?

25 Million dollars of Outfield no less. (was 37 until less than a month ago)

Paying 84% of Fukudome's remaining contract, I believe. In fact, technically, I think, we still own him and he has to wear a royal blue tee shirt under his Cleveland jersey.

with an article full of innacuracies and outright deceit like his claim that Sam Zell, not Hendry, is to blame for Soriano's 8 year/ $136 million contract. Soriano was signed Nov. 2006. Zell's offer to buy the Trib was accepted in April 2007. He took the company private in December and then became Chairman and CEO.

That bit about the stub hub season tickets must really be infuriating to a ticket holder. "Instead of getting 15% back on your investment, MLB is trying to ensure you can get nothing back."

Levine wrote this with Hendry's scrotum in his mouth

seems he fucked up the Zell timeline, but we knew Tribune was planning to sell by then to someone, orders could have come from then to puff up payroll. Certainly would explain why Hendry still has a job after everyone above and below him gets canned.

If Hendry had built a better team in 2005-2006 he wouldn't have needed to spend all that money.

if Prior and Wood stayed healthy if Sosa kept taking roids if Trib okayed money to spend on Beltran the year before instead of Soriano if pigs could fly woulda, shoulda, coulda anyway, Teflon Hendry has managed to stay on the job despite 2 ownership changes and 3 different presidents and not a particularly great record of achievement. It makes sense to this sucker at least, that some of these stories of things being done against his better judgement to have some validity. no matter how bitter we are as Cubs fans, he's clearly very well-respected by most of his peers and apparently well-liked. I'm more than ready for a GM change, but it's hard to get too excited until you know what philosophy/direction they're headed.

Cubs had the 4th highest NL payroll in 2005 Cubs had the 3rd highest NL payroll in 2006 The notion that Jim Hendry hasn't had the resources to compete each and every year is simply bogus. If he'd gotten around to building a Minor League system when he was the farm director he could have helped Jim Hendry the GM. Bottom line is he's been a failure. He's a nice guy and because of that he's managed to stay around through 3 separate transitions. Doesn't mean he really DESERVED to survive.

The notion that Jim Hendry hasn't had the resources to compete each and every year is simply bogus. I certainly wasn't trying to say that, mostly saying things didn't work out for a variety of reasons, with #1 being injuries in 2004-2006 and #2 being stupidity from 2009-2011. He's a nice guy and because of that he's managed to stay around through 3 separate transitions. I would think it's more than him being a nice guy, but I can't say for sure. He does deserve to fall on the sword by this point and in general I'm not a fan of overall baseball organizational philosophy and crony system. But no guarantee the next guy will be any better or any different.

I guess I'd rather roll the dice with a new guy than to continue with someone we know sucks? Eventually we should find somebody competent to do the job. Especially if we hire a Beane or Epstein to come in and be Club president.

The buck stops anywhere but here.

If you beleive Jayson Starkand his sources, Reed Johnson claimed on waivers and the Cubs pull him back. Wood too. Carlos Pena still hasn't been placed on waivers.

Submitted by QuietMan on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:16am. If you beleive Jayson Starkand his sources, Reed Johnson claimed on waivers and the Cubs pull him back. Wood too. Carlos Pena still hasn't been placed on waivers. ======================================== Q-MAN: If that's true, then Reed Johnson and Kerry Wood cannot be placed back on Trade Waivers again for at least 30 days (taking it past the 8/31 post-season roster eligibility deadline), and if a player is placed on Trade Waivers a second time in the Waiver Period, the waivers become irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn if the player is claimed by another club. So I guess Johnson & Wood will be remaining with the Cubs for the balance of the 2011 season.

Why the hell didn't they just let the guys go? Saving a couple Hundred K would have been better than paying an extra couple hundred K. I HATE THIS MANAGEMENT TEAM

Hendry loves him some Johnson.

claim doesn't mean much at all if they're not willing to trade something in return. r.johnson makes f'n nothing...saving 225K isn't going to effect the cubs. it'd be more like saving 125K after a minimum wage replacement takes a month and 1/2 of roster space.

It's still 225. Plus it opens a 40 man slot and an opportunity for a Brian LaHair or Brett Jackson to see if they can earn a 2012 Cubs job.

LaHair and Jackson in the lineup instead of Soriano and Byrd. What a concept! I think I sort of like the person Marlon Byrd and his blog and his story and all that, but the guy is killing us. He's turning into Milton Bradley with a smile. I remember Bradley nudging his RBI total up to 40 in mid-September. Byrd has 22 RBI in 83 games mostly hitting 3rd and 5th. Brett Jackson has 19 RBI in 31 games batting leadoff. I think Byrd must have played in Atlanta for a while. Where else would he have picked up that tomahawk chop he calls a swing?

Heyman says Hendry "at risk" of losing his job
This just sounds surreal. Of course he's at risk of losing his job. The organization is in shit shape.

stupid Cubbies are just 5.5 out of 3rd place and moved to 6th in the draft, only a game or two from the 9th spot.

may we never see casey coleman again after 2011... btw...soto batting 5th rather than 8th? okay, sure. about time...

and soto produces a lead with a homer...neat.

Coleman can't even get the AAA Astros out... callis post signing draft chat, think this is all the Cub info Mike (Chicago): How would you rate the cubs draft now, since they got a lot of tough signs? Jim Callis: They got the best pure HS hitter in the draft in Baez, and they essentially got an extra pick in the 14th round in Dillon Maples. I've heard very good reports on under-the-radar 13th-rounder Trey Martin. Tony Zych was a steal in the fourth round. I could go on, but in a word, yes, they had a good draft. David Yuen (Portland, OR): Do either Baez or Vogelbach pass Brett Jackson as the Cubs' best power hitter? Jim Callis: Vogelbach has the most pure power among Cubs farmhands now.

Based solely on that HR hitting contest, Vogelbach is probably a top 3 power guy in all of the minors. He hit a ball farther than God (aka Bryce Harper), what more can you ask for?

doing it with a wood bat...hehe. hell, even considering he was using metal, he was smacking the hell out of the ball. hopefully, he's not a fat ryan harvey. harvey could put on a BP clinic on power...never translated.

At least we didn't use a #6 pick on him. I think he only K'd like 8 times this year, so that's promising at least. I think I read somewhere that one of the draftniks said he and Baez had good plate coverage.

Hopefully both guys are patient hitters. Neifi and Vitters both had good plate coverage. All it's help them do is reach out and slap ball 4 into a ground-out.

Still better than striking out 140 times in A ball.

I'd take a guy with 140 strikeouts and 100 walks over a guy with 50 strikeouts and 20 walks any day.

i'd take a guy with 50 homers and 50 doubles over all of that. you guys aim low. i'd also like him to enter the game riding a miniature horse doing breakdance moves on the saddle.

I think I found just the guy!

hell yeah.

"read somewhere . . . [Vogelbach] and Baez had good plate coverage" You're probably remembering the Miles interview of Wilken.
With Vogelbach and Baez, they're mature for their ages at the plate. They've got good hand-eye. There's not a lot of strikeout in either one. They've shown an aptitude to make adjustment in these high-profile showcases and also as they were playing in the state of Florida.

OTOH Jon Heyman didn't rank the Cubs anywhere on his 8 Signing Day Winners list

The Red Sox did good because they drafted Pedroia was particuarily insightful.

3 on the list are agents... worst list? or worst list ever?

It's on my 8 worst lists list. Cubs spent 4th most in draft...WSox dead last.

bases loaded, 0 out...cubs strand em...woo.

Hey Chicago , whaadya say Cubs are gonna....... ...BLECCHCHHHH!!!! Freaking Cubs...

Woo. I mean fart.

That was probably the most likely result, knowing this team.

grabow with his 3rd balk of the eventually stranded, but 3 balks out of a low-use reliever? damn.

i wonder when was the last time Aram broke a bat...his gamer is beat all to hell...been using it a while.

follow up a bases loaded, 0 out failure with men on corners, 0 out, down by 1 in the 9th...also failure. cubs lose. horrible game. many chances to score more than the 3 runs they did score.

loss is for the greater good

Glad to see that we are back on track to be the second worst team in baseball. I was getting worried that the Quade magic would extend this idiocy another year. I hope we can now relax and watch bad baseball the rest of the year and fulfill most our wishes by an early October house cleaning.

I believe they're 4th worst now, 2nd in NL. number in parenthesis is wins, Twins, Mariners and A's at 68 losses, Cubs at 70 losses. Astros (40), O's (47), Royals(50), Cubs (54), Twins (53), Mariners (53), A's (54), Padres (55), Dodgers (55), Rockies (57), Marlins (57), Pirates (58), Nats (58), Reds (59), Mets (59) they could fuck this up all the way to the 15th spot.

I started feeling pretty confident about next year's draft after JH removed Z from the pitching rotation. He had this knack for winning most of the time no matter how much the club behind him sucked. Z: our "ace" is now in the hole

probably 3/44, but Baez's scouting report from, some talk about him being moved to catcher, none of it coming from the Cubs though. The bat is what’s going to make Baez special. He has an advanced feel with the bat and drives the ball with authority to all parts of the park. He’s willing to shoot the ball to right field or spin on an inside fastball. This is as complete a hitter as there is in the 2011 draft class. Baez is mechanically sound and rarely expands the zone. ~snip~ Baez has plus bat speed and good natural lift in his stroke. He has power to the middle part of the field and could be a 25 home run threat at the next level. ~snip~ Baez is athletic, fast, has versatility in the field, and most importantly has a plus bat with plus power potential. He has star quality at the plate, and if he can stick at a premium position his value will continue to rise. says has tools to be a SS with a plus arm, could be a 3bmen and has plus speed.

Can I point out that "the next level" is either college baseball with an aluminum bat, or the AZ Rookie league?

angels call up jerome williams...yes, that one.

Wow! Good for him. He had lots of problems after showing some promise briefly. IIRC he had family issues, weight problems, depression... He must be 30-ish now, CRUNCH?

Nice article on Vitters: "When you know you can hit a pitch, it's hard not to swing at it," Vitters said. "But I need to wait until I get a pitch I can drive. That's something I've been working on, and I think I'm making progress."

It least he knows it is a problem. Hopefully he can fit it.

Wonder if anyone in the Cubs system realized this problem?

I am sure it was pointed out. It might explain why he keeps getting moved up. Maybe they are trying to find a level where his current approach fails him, which would force him to change. If this is the case, it doesn't seem to have had a real positive impact. Sadly, learning strike zone judgement is hard.

I'm certain the MLB level cause failure with his approach. I can't think of any player who had sustained success at the MLB level with that horrid of strike zone judgement. Especially someone who plays an offensive position.

Vlad guerrerro

Agreed, which is why it is nice that Vitters at least says he needs to change his approach. The interesting thing is that it isn't so much a strike zone issue given his low strike out totals (they are low right), it just that he puts balls in play that he would be better off letting go by. From people who have watched him play: is he swinging at pitches way out of the zone and putting them in play, swinging at the first kind of good pitch he sees, or is he swinging at too many borderline strikes?

Remember Randall Simon? Sort of like that. Not quite as good at as Simon was, though.

My guess would be that he's swinging at anything close. First ball fastball hitting. Like a guy who is scared to get 2 strikes on him. The Neifi Perez approach.

As far as I know, nobody around here sees a lot of Tennessee games. Email this guy:

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  • Hagsag 6 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Is AZ Phil okay?


  • crunch 8 hours 35 min ago (view)

    gene clines has died.

    he was with the organization on/off for a notable amount of time as both a player and coach.


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    sammy sosa off the HOF ballot after 10 years.  he finishes up with a 18.5% vote, highest in any year.


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    cubs sign 31 year old eric yardley to a minor league deal.

    he's a 31 year old righty that throws sub-90mph junk.


  • Sonicwind75 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Thank you for sharing Mike.  Sounds like the former owner was a high character human being and should be celebrated.  Haven't had a chance to attend a game there since I moved away from Des Moines in 2007 but recall it being a great ballpark experience.  Has there been any word of the new owners making any major changes?


  • crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    a 22 month old.

    a'ite.  i'm done with Earth.  going to Pluto.  don't bother visiting or calling.  later.


  • JoePepitone 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Ex-Cub Sergio Mitre convicted of rape and murder of a young child, per a news story from SI --


  • Cubster 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Jason Schmidt signs with Dodgers, 3/44.


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    20 year, 800m contract incoming...front loaded 150m over the first 2 years with a player opt out after that...


  • videographer 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    Darth Vader to rescue Carlos Correa's bruised ego. 


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    carlos correa has hired scott boras...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    The IFA market isn't exactly an equal access thing. Not only do the Cubs have a slightly smaller bonus pool than some teams, players are often linked to teams through their trainers well before they are able to sign. It's not like when these kids are 14 that the teams know for sure that they have a top of the class player on their hands two years in the future.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    Cubbies.4ever - I read that the Cubs strategy with international free agents has been to spend most of their bonus money on young, position players and then take chances on cheaper, older pitching prospects who have been late bloomers (taller, stronger, more command of pitches, etc.). They are also grabbing guys at the end of the international signing period and signing them to future service contracts. They have six pitchers that were signed last year to future service contracts, and only one position player.


  • cubbies.4ever 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    Cubs IFA Signings are heavy on SS (given SS usually can play many positions as the develop), but only 1 pitcher.  Given it's still early.  Also disappointing that their best signing is #18.  Gone are the days of Soler, Eloy, Torres, Marquez, Amaya etc.  I believe Christian Hernandez last year was highly rated though.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    One more international free agent signing announced today: Daniel Benschop, OF, Aruba


  • bradsbeard 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    I hope all is well with AZ Phil. Hasn't posted in a few weeks and typically would expect him to have a post up tracking IFA signings. Maybe he's waiting for something official from the Cubs (who don't seem to have announced any of the signings officially)?