Gordon Triple Ignites Dodgers at HoHoKam

Dee Gordon smacked a two-run triple to spark a three-run 7th, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this afternnon in sunny Mesa, AZ.  

Gordon is the son of former MLB RHP (and one-time Cub closer) "Flash" Gordon.


Ryan Dempster got the start for the Cubs, and although he allowed only one run, he labored throughout his 4.1 IP (80 pitches - only 44 strikes). He got behind in the count frequently and had trouble putting hitters away, and through the 3rd inning he had thrown only 50% of his pitches for strikes. He was a little bit better in his last two innings, but overall it was a mediocre performance, coming on the heels of a poor outing at Fitch Park last Sunday, when he got rocked by the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) in a Minor League Spring Training game. 

Battling for a spot in a revamped Cub bullpen, veteran right-hander (and one-time Rockies closer) Manny Corpas worked the 6th and part of the 7th, cruising through his first inning of work before (apparently) running out of gas and getting tagged for three runs in the 7th. Corpas continues to vary his delivery, changing his arm angle from pitch-to-pitch. He has been fairly successful with the smoke-and-mirrors approach so far, at least up until the top of te 7th in today's game.  

Rule 5 RHP Lendy Castillo relieved Corpas and immediately gave-up an inherited run on an RBI single, and then got into his own jam in the top of the 8th, allowing a run on a double, a walk, and a single (and a throwing error on a pick-off attempt at 2nd base). He is a very raw talent who really needs to pitch at AA, or maybe even at Hi-A.

The Cubs offense was mostly dormant today, although Alfonso Soriano did drill an RBI double into the LF corner, and Ian Stewart did whack a towering solo HR over the RF fence and beyond the two bullpens. Stewart has a lot of the same offensive attrributes as Carlos Pena (at least when his wrist isn't bothering him), so now the Cubs just have to find a replacement in the batting order for Aramis Ramirez.and his 26 HR, 35 doubles, and 96 RBI.

The Cubs should have had at least one more run, but David DeJesus continues his long day's journey through Spring Training with weak at bats and base-running gaffes. Yesterday DeJesus was sent to Fitch Park to get as many ABs as possible in two intrasquad games played at Camp Day (going back-and-forth between one field and the other), but he struggled to hit minor league pitchers there. Today he reached base in the bottom of the 1st on an infield hit that bounced off the 1st bag and into the air, barely beating the throw (with the pitcher covering), and then inexplicably taking a step toward 2nd base, subjecting himself to getting tagged out. Fortunately the Dodgers were just as brain-dead as DeJesus, and he was able to get back safely to 1st.

But it didn't end there.

Darwin Barney grounded out 6-3 on a hit & run play, allowing DeJesus to get to 2nd with one out, before Starlin Castro laced a double into the LF corner that certainly should have scored DeJesus easily from 2nd. But DeJesus stumbled around 3rd base before falling on his face, getting back to 3rd just ahead of the throw. Bryan LaHair then struck out and Soriano flied out, leaving DeJesus stranded at 3rd.  

Darwin Barney made the defensive play of the day, ranging into short CF and diving for a ball, and then (from his knees) throwing out the LAD runner at 1st base.   

The Cubs two main problems (and they are major problems) are a leaky bullpen and a lineup that often will struggle to score runs, and I doubt that the Cubs can do much to fix the problems at this time. 


With the Cubs having made a number of roster cuts from big league camp (HoHoKam Park) yesterday, there was a corresponding flurry and cascade of roster moves at Fitch Park today. Among the moves were: IOWA TO TENNESSEE: Pitchers Dallas Beeler, Marcus Hatley, Brooks Raley, Kevin Rhoderick, Ryan Searle, and Casey Weathers, catcher Juan Apodaca, 1B-OF Rebel Ridling, and infielders Jonathon Mota and Nate Samson. IOWA TO DAYTONA: INF Leugim Barroso and RHP Brian Schlitter. TENNESSEE TO DAYTONA: Pitchers Frank del Valle, Casey Harman, Ty'Relle Harris, Eric Jokisch, Matt Loosen, and Larry Suarez, and OF Nelson Perez TENNESSEE TO PEORIA: OF Taiwan Easterling DAYTONA TO PEORIA: Pitchers Kyler Burke, P. J. Francescon, and Jeff Lorick, catcher (ex-OF) Anthony Giansanti, and OF-1B Xavier Batista PEORIA TO BOISE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING): Pitchers Su-Min Jung and Charles Thomas, catcher (ex-3B) Wilson Contreras, INF Wes Darvill, and OF Yasiel Balaguert (rehab) And there were (apparently) also a couple of last-minute promotions: PEORIA TO DAYTONA: INF Arismendy Alcantara BOISE/MESA TO PEORIA: INF Brad Zapenas There will be several more (final) roster adjustments made this weekend as the Cubs finalize their MLB 25-man roster, and the Cubs four full-season minor league affiliates (Iowa, Tennessee, Daytona, and Peoria) do the same. The minor league clubs will be leaving Arizona on Sunday and Monday, and will begin regular season league play next week. The Boise/Mesa squad will morph into the Cubs Extended Spring Training (EXST) team this coming week. ACTIVE ROSTER LIMITS: IOWA: 24 TENNESSEE: 24 DAYTONA: 25 PEORIA: 25 EXST: NO LIMIT NOTE: Minor league teams usually go with two catchers, six infielders, four outfielders, and 12 pitchers (13 pitchers for the teams with 25-man rosters) on their ACTIVE LISTS, and Cubs usually have one older player on each full-season team who is a player-coach, and is activated whenever a position player goes on the minor league 7-day DL. ================================= 2012 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (3/30) * bats or throws left # bats both ("INACTIVE?") indicates player is not on the field and MIGHT have been released IOWA (28) PITCHERS (15): * Jeff Beliveau Alberto Cabrera Esmailin Caridad Marco Carrillo Hung-Wen Chen (INACTIVE?) Casey Coleman Jay Jackson * Scott Maine Blake Parker * Nate Robertson * Ryan Rowland-Smith * Chris Rusin Nick Struck Randy Wells * Travis Wood CATCHERS (2): Welington Castillo * Blake Lalli INFIELDERS (7) * Adrian Cardenas Edgar Gonzalez * Anthony Rizzo # Bobby Scales (player-coach?) Marquez Smith # Matt Tolbert Josh Vitters OUTFIELDERS (4): * Jim Adduci * Brett Jackson Dave Sappelt Ty Wright TENNESSEE (27) PITCHERS (15): * Jeffry Antigua Frank Batista Dallas Beeler Dan Berlind Marcus Hatley * Andrew McKirahan Trey McNutt Yoannis Negrin * Brooks Raley Dae-Eun Rhee Kevin Rhoderick Ryan Searle Juan Serrano Casey Weathers Tony Zych CATCHERS (3) Juan Apodaca Michael Brenly Chad Noble (INACTIVE?) INFIELDERS (6) * Justin Bour * Matt Cerda Junior Lake Jonathon Mota Nate Samson * Logan Watkins OUTFIELDERS (3) * Michael Burgess Jae-Hoon Ha Rebel Ridling DAYTONA (28) PITCHERS (14) Zach Cates * Gerardo Concepcion * Frank del Valle Eduardo Figueroa * Casey Harman Ty’Relle Harris * Eric Jokisch * Austin Kirk Matt Loosen A. J. Morris Brian Schlitter * Matt Spencer (ex-OF) Larry Suarez Brett Wallach CATCHERS (2): Yaniel Cabezas # Micah Gibbs INFIELDERS (7): # Arismendy Alcantara Leugim Barroso Dustin Harrington * Richard Jones Greg Rohan Elliot Soto Ronald Torreyes OUTFIELDERS (5): Abner Abreu (INACTIVE?) Eliecer Bonne * Nelson Perez * Rubi Silva Matt Szczur PEORIA (30) PITCHERS (16) * Hunter Ackerman * Kyler Burke * Willengton Cruz P. J. Francescon Ryan Hartman Michael Jensen Luis Liria * Jeff Lorick Hector Mayora * Sheldon McDonald Jose Rosario Hayden Simpson Yao-Lin Wang Scott Weismann Ben Wells Joe Zeller (INACTIVE?) CATCHERS (3): * Sergio Burruel Anthony Giansanti (ex-OF) * Rafael Lopez INFIELDERS (6): # Zeke DeVoss Paul Hoilman Dustin Geiger # Marco Hernandez Kenny Socorro (player-coach?) Brad Zapenas OUTFIELDERS (5): John Andreoli Xavier Batista * Pin-Chieh Chen Taiwan Easterling Reggie Golden EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING (ACTIVE) (44) PITCHERS (19) Ian Dickson Ethan Elias Ramon Garcia * Cam Greathouse (INACTIVE?) David Henrie Su-Min Jung Jin-Young Kim Pete Levitt Carlos Martinez Felix Pena Starling Peralta Roderik Pichardo James Pugliese Austin Reed Tayler Scott Bryce Shafer * Brian Smith Charles Thomas (ex-3B) Rob Whitenack (ACTIVE REHAB) CATCHERS (6): Wilson Contreras (ex-3B) Taylor Davis Luis Flores (see NOTE) * Justin Marra * Alberto Mineo (INACTIVE?) Neftali Rosario NOTE: Luis Flores is on the RESTRICTED LIST, but he is participating in Extended Spring Training INFIELDERS (11): Luis Acosta Gioskar Amaya Javier Baez # Jeimer Candelario * Wes Darvill Ryan Durrence (INACTIVE?) # Brian Inoa * Danny Lockhart Carlos Penalver # Rock Shoulders * Dan Vogelbach OUTFIELDERS (8): * Delbis Arcila Jeffrey Baez * Shawon Dunston * Eduardo Gonzalez Dong-Yub Kim Trey Martin * Garrett Schlecht # Oliver Zapata FITCH PARK REHAB GROUP (20) PITCHERS (11): Jose Arias Justin Berg David Cales Dustin Fitzgerald * John Gaub * Graham Hicks Arturo Maltos-Garcia Dillon Maples Tarlandus Mitchell (INACTIVE?) * Zac Rosscup Austin Urban CATCHERS (3): Nate Maldonado (player-coach) * Wilfredo Petit Antonio Valerio INFIELDERS (3): * Ryan Cuneo Pierre LePage # David Macias OUTFIELDERS (3): Yasiel Balaguert Evan Crawford (INACTIVE - MEDICAL) * Trevor Gretzky

For those of you who were wondering... yes, Wilfredo Petit has given up switch-hitting, and is now only batting LH.

thanks for the update. A bit disappointed that Ridling was shifted down, but also somewhat understandable. Also somewhat disappointed that Burke/Francescon were sent down, but maybe this gives them a better chance to develop as starters, which would be nice. The Alcantara move sure seems to suggest that Marco has the shortstop job in Peoria. That'll be one of the more intriguing early-season storylines to follow.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:22pm — toonsterwu A bit disappointed that Ridling was shifted down, but also somewhat understandable. Also somewhat disappointed that Burke/Francescon were sent down, but maybe this gives them a better chance to develop as starters, which would be nice. The Alcantara move sure seems to suggest that Marco has the shortstop job in Peoria. That'll be one of the more intriguing early-season storylines to follow. ==================================== TOONSTER: A few more roster moves from today (3/31): IOWA TO TENNESSEE: Pitchers Alberto Cabrera and Nick Struck NOTE: LHP John Gaub is back active again, although I don't know if he will be in shape to start the season on the I-Cubs Active List or if he will begin the season on the Iowa 7-day DL and remain at Fitch Park for a few more days. Also, RHP Marco Carrillo has disappeared and may have been released, or he might have been sold to a team in the Mexican League, as happened with Oswaldo Martinez a few days ago. (Both Carrillo and O. Martinez are Mexican, and both were eligible to be MLB RULE 55 minor league free-agents post-2012). TENNESSEE TO DAYTONA: RHP Tony Zych (may be moved to Peoria tomorrow) TENNESSEE TO PEORIA: LHP Andrew McKirahan DAYTONA TO TENNESSEE: LHP Casey Harman and INF Elliot Soto NOTE: Junior Lake has been off the field for at least three days and it apears he is injured, which (apparently) is why Soto was moved up to Tennessee. Harman was moved down to Daytona from Tennessee a couple of days ago, but he moved back to Tennessee today to replace McKirahan in the Smokies bullpen. It appears that the Cubs are trying to place their Cuban defectors with the Daytona Cubs. If RHPs Juan Serrano and Yoannis Negrin are moved down to Daytona from Tennessee (and that is a distinct possibility), all of the Cuban defectors at Fitch Park who will be assigned to a full-season team at the start of the 2012 season would be assigned to the same squad. (OF Yasiel Balaguert and RHP Carlos Martinez are assigned to Boise/Mesa). It appears that Hayden Simpson will start the season at EXST. Also, IF-OF Greg Rohan has disappeared and may have been released, although it's also possible that he might have left camp after getting moved back to Daytona. If Rohan is gone for good, and with Soto going up to Tennessee, there could be an available roster spot for a back-up infielder at Daytona (possibly Brad Zapenas or Wes Darvill). 1B Jair Bogaerts (acquired from Boston as the PTBNL in the Kurcz/Carpenter compensation deal) has arrived at Fitch Park and took BP in the same group as Rock Shoulders. They have the exact same body type. From a distance, they look like twins.

Hayden in xst again?. oy. To be honest, i'm good with struck going down. He battled in iowa, but he was definitely pushed hard. Cabrera in tenn is interesting. Wonder what intent is. Curious if pen move os coming. Rohan gone isn't a big deal but would be curious why, after a good seaon.

If Lake and Watkins both start the season at Tennessee, do you see Watkins spending most of his time at 2B? Or do you think the Cubs will start moving Lake around to different positions (2B, 3B, OF), giving Watkins a chance to stick at SS?

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 1:04pm — bradsbeard New If Lake and Watkins both start the season at Tennessee, do you see Watkins spending most of his time at 2B? Or do you think the Cubs will start moving Lake around to different positions (2B, 3B, OF), giving Watkins a chance to stick at SS? ============================================ BRADSBEARD: I think both players will get moved around a bit. BTW, Elliot Soto was moved to Tennessee from Daytona today. It appears that Junior Lake is injured, but I don't know if he will start the season on the Smokies DL.

That there is a lot of words, Phil. Thanks. I attempted to win the Mega Millions, then pay off the final two years of Soriano's contract. Phase one of this plan was a total failure. Sorry.


Phil - I have heard that Maples has a sore arm. I have heard he has a sore shoulder. I have heard he has a sore back. Have you heard anything more specific?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 10:32pm — DavidP Phil - I have heard that Maples has a sore arm. I have heard he has a sore shoulder. I have heard he has a sore back. Have you heard anything more specific? =================================== DAVID P: Dillon Maples throwing schedule was pushed back, but I don't know why. I'll try to report when Maples starts throwing "live" BP or in "sim" games. There are about ten pitchers in the Fitch Park Rehab Group, and they each have their own timetable & schedule.

Upper body injury.

Phil- has Frankie De La Cruz reported to Fitch? He needs to go thru waivers to be assigned to Iowa. Right?

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 4:27am — Hagsag Phil- has Frankie De La Cruz reported to Fitch? He needs to go thru waivers to be assigned to Iowa. Right? ============================================ HAGSAG: I did not see Frankie de la Cruz at Fitch Park yesterday. Outright Assignment Waivers will have to be secured before he can be sent to the minors, and it takes two days to get a player through waivers. If waivers are secured and he is outrighted, he has the right to be an Article XX-D free-agent, because he was outrighted previously in his career. Once outrighted, he can either be a free-agent immediately (and receive no termination pay), or defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season (unless he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season). He would have three days to decide.

Phil - Where do you think our compensatory Boegarts ends up?

AZ or DR. I'm expecting as much from his as I got from last night's lottery. No, I didn't get a ticket for it.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 6:02am — Jumbo Phil - Where do you think our compensatory Boegarts ends up? =================================== JUMBO: There is supposed to be a group of players from the DSL Cubs coming to Fitch Park next week for Extended Spring Training, and he could be in that group. Otherwise, I guess he would be spending another year in the DSL. He supposedly is being converted to catcher.

Trib tweets Theo compensation reopen with Carp elbow question. Also Cubs on CSN, MLB Network 3:05pm (your local sports hunt as well?) Question, talk amongst yourselves....Since lineup is the same, will Dale also put boys in dog house with one mistake?

I would assume that if Boston is going to be pissy about this, they are going to give Carp back?

let's give theo back then hire him without compensation after the punt year of 2012. =p

Are the words 'caveat emptor' even remotely in Larry Lucchino's pea-sized brain? Someone needs to seriously bitch slap this little girl, and tell him to go f*** himself. The Cubs owe the Red Sox what the little boy shot at -- nothing.

cubs handed over medical records and BOS checked them out, themselves. it should be moot...at least it seems it should be. it muddles things up a lot that this was selig's decision.

I thought the Cubs and Red Sox worked this out without an official ruling from Herr Bud.

could be, though i thought otherwise...it happened while i was out of town and my news reading was hit/miss...my bad if it is.

Yankees Michael Pineda to DL with shoulder tendonitis. Larry Luccino Brian Cashman demands the Mariners have to give back Jesus Montero.

CHC/LAA supposed to start...now...on MLB Network, but BOS/TB are busy having sucky pitching and it's only bottom 7. boooooooooooooo.

2-0 pujlos

i know it's just spring and all...but between the sketchy D, questionable base running, and the non-existant bat...well, damn...c'mon dejesus.

"no extras" announced for the BOS/TB game...bottom 9th, tie game.

Jerome Williams bating for 5th in rotation for Angels 1-4 is pretty good otherwise

think that's another famous gameday/etc error...v.wells batting 5th. a.soriano was catching 2-3 innings for the cubs last week thanks to gameday...it was soto. OH, I GET IT GAMEDAY...ALL BLACK PEOPLE AND ALL HISPANICS LOOK THE SAME. THAT'S BAD GAME, SON. SHAME, YO.

Did Luccino kidnap Starlin Castro? He's not in the lineup today. I'm just saying'...

Flaherty has hit 245 with one home run for the Orioles this spring. Have the Orioles announced yet that they will keep him on the 25 man roster, and if they do not, should the Cubs take him back, or try to trade him to the Orioles?

he's been getting into a lot of games...seems they're still trying to make up their minds. they've played him 3rd, 2nd, SS, and OF (can't remember LF or RF or both).

Heard Roch Kubatko while passing through Baltimore the other day - his general take (on Flaherty) was that the Cubs FO were pissed/surprised that he was taken (why, I have no idea, many of us thought he would be taken when he was exposed) and that the Cubs have reportedly indicated that Flaherty would be taken back in a heartbeat (paraphrasing, as I was driving). That said, Kubatko thinks Flaherty is a lock to start the year with Baltimore in a utility role and that the Orioles FO has been impressed with him. (Reynolds/Betemit/Davis have the corner IF starting spots, with Reimold/Markakis the corner OF's). They will have a decision IF Brian Roberts makes it back, but the idea is that he'll get spot opportunities at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, LF, RF, and may be utilized as a sub at shortstop. Flaherty had actually been having a decent spring until the last 3 games, when he's gone 0/5. With Andino starting and Betemit getting starting opportunities, Flaherty's the supersub. If Roberts returns, then that would obviously free up a super-sub. ____ Personally, I'd take him back in a heartbeat if they offered. My hunch is that, if some sort of roster crunch occurs for them, Flaherty will suddenly have an injury, so I'm not expecting it. But getting him back would allow us flexibility to move Baker/DeWitt (for all the talk about Cardenas, Cardenas hasn't shown pop off the bench, something Flaherty godes offer) and have a cheap super-util type.

i have no idea why the FO would think he wouldn't be attractive...i believe he was the 1st or 2nd bat selected. he's not masterful, but he profiles as a dewitt-type with better D at 2nd and 3rd, even if not flashy at either. while it's nice to get a full time starter or star out of the draft, you're more likely to find "gold" with a role filling reliever or a good bench guy.

To be fair, that was kubatko's take (that the cubs were disappointed/pissed). while he is solid, do not know if he has cubs source.s

Dan Connolley from the Baltimore Sun wrote yesterday (3/30) about the O's roster and it looks like Flaherty will make the Orioles bench. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-03-30/s...
Showalter said he plans to have 13 hitters and 12 pitchers on his Opening Day roster. That means it looks like, if healthy, Nick Johnson will make the club as a bench player along with Ryan Flaherty, Paulino and Endy Chavez. Showalter isn’t announcing the 13, but the only position player in camp who doesn’t look like he’ll make the club is outfielder Jai Miller.

lol pujols. so much lol. 3 outs in an inning, not 2...that was so awesome for a superstar vet.

4 pinch runners in the top 6th for LAA...woo spring.

Dante Bichette Jr (NYY), 19 years old, comes off the bench for 2ab...invited from minor league camp...2ab, 2hr...after one hell of a rookie ball debut in 2011. if he can stick at 3rd he might be interesting in a few years...a good season in A ball should vault him onto some top prospect lists.

mlbtr has an update on all the rule 5-ers. Note multiple draftees have been injured. Dbacks pick from Pirates (Brett Lorin) is staying with AZ based on a trade announced today. AZ Phil has speculated that it will take a similar trade for the Cubs to keep Lendy Castillo in their system (but not on the 25 man roster). Not sure how they got their take on Lendy making the roster.
Lendy Castillo, RHP, Cubs (from Phillies) -- The Cubs are expected to carry Castillo on their roster to start the season.
Ryan Flaherty, IF, Orioles (from Cubs) -- Flaherty is the favorite for Baltimore's utility infield job.
Marwin Gonzalez, IF, Astros (from Cubs via Red Sox) -- Gonzalez's chances of making the team appear to depend on the health of Jed Lowrie's thumb.

I thought the Cubs and Red Sox worked this out without an official ruling from Herr Bud. --- Correct. Bud has been sleeping through this debacle. Bruce Levine blogged his 2 cents on the matter today and discussed it (with the same message) to open his "Talking Baseball" show this am.
It is time, once and for all, for Bud Selig to put an end to this nonsense. Selig should have the Cubs write a small check and be done with it forever. Compensation of a player for a front-office person never has made sense.
http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i... Nick Cafardo just choked on his chicken when he read that.

Initially didn't see the word "on" there and got confused...

and one more mention of Theo-gate from Cafardo today (in his Extra Bases, RS blog). Getting Boston to let go of this is worse than getting a tasty bone away from a rabid dog...
In other news: *Cherington said Chris Carpenter, the main compensation received for Theo Epstein from the Cubs, had surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow. Cherington said he hadn’t received a timetable for Carpenter’s return but said it’s generally an 8-10 week recovery before being able to throw again. Cherington indicated the Cubs are aware of the situation and that he has talked to Epstein and Jed Hoyer, but wouldn’t comment on whether the Red Sox were pursuing further compensation. The team was aware of Carpenter’s past elbow issues since they have access to his medical records….

Boston has no grounds for wanting more compensation for the Carpenter injury. If the Red Sox had the same information (via the Cubs' and Red Sox' physicals of Carpenter and via the Cubs handing over Carpenter's medical records) that the Cubs did, isn't this just a case of the Red Sox front office embarrassing their medical staff by implying that the staff didn't read Carpenter's records correctly because they should've known Carpenter would come up with an arm injury? The other thing is, why is Boston getting so upset about this injury? Carpenter likely wouldn't have started the season in the majors (I am assuming this, but don't know for sure, so correct me if I'm wrong), and by the time he's needed in the Red Sox pen at whatever point, he'll be healthy again. I don't see how this negatively impacts the Red Sox' bullpen either way.

I guess the Bears should've got their draft pick back when Gaines Adams died.

Cough-Fart-Doo's sunday baseball notes... NC ranks all the managers. Madden/Leland/Scioscia are 1-3. Girardi #5. Bobby Valentine ranked #15, Metheny ranked #28 and Ventura #30.
29. Dale Sveum, Cubs - We all know he lives and breathes baseball, and that dedication should get him far as he helps rebuild this organization.
and from his updates on 9 section:
7. Marlon Byrd, OF, Cubs - Righthanded hitters who can play center field are hard to find. The Cubs may eat some money (Byrd is scheduled to earn $6.5 million this season) to move him, and they may have suitors in the Braves, Phillies, and a few other teams. A National League scout indicated that Byrd’s name is being mentioned more and more as we reach the end of spring training.
and his final paragraph shows he's still Grrrrr-ing over that bone in his teeth (rumor is he's writing a book titled "Kurcz of the Bambino")...
9. Theo Epstein, president, Cubs - It’s amazing how little the Red Sox got for him: a pitcher (Chris Carpenter) who just had elbow surgery and another (Aaron Kurcz) who has put up good numbers in Single A but is hardly considered a top prospect. The Red Sox don’t seem to have any grounds to ask for a player to replace Carpenter, since they had access to all of his medical records.

Reasons no. 29, 7, and 9 why I can't wait until Opening Day.

starter-heavy lineup, minus lahair (dewitt 1st) + soto @DH (clevenger C). chris rusin starting...i guess it's the pitcher's day to play golf.

per various tweets... LaHair out precautionary (including yesterday) due to tightness in his low back

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  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 26 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: That's correct.

    Under the new rules, the 38-man AAA reserve list is now only used beginning on the date reserve lists are filed in November and extending up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Then after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, everybody goes back into the off-season 190-man Domestic Reserve List hopper. 


  • jdrnym 6 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Phil, can you settle a Twitter discussion? A team can only select players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft until its 38-man Triple-A reserve list is full, correct? Don't believe this changed with the latest Major League Rules that introduced the Domestic Reserve List and eliminated individual level reserve lists during the offseason.


  • crunch 10 hours 46 min ago (view)

    "Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Carlos Correa's agent has been contacted by the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.

    It's not clear when the contact took place or what level of interest each club has."

    ...with the yanks and dodgers both with piles of cash and a bit of need, i wouldn't get too stoked...but at least there seems to be some interest in what his market is.


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Stroman's salary escalators apply to 2024, so if Stroman reaches 160 IP in either 2022 or 2023 (but not both) it adds $2M to his 2024 salary, and if he reaches 160 IP in both 2022 and 2023 it would add $4M to his to 2024 salary.

    So he gets $25M in both 2022 and 2023 (that's locked-in), and then either $21M, $23M , or $25M in 2024, depending upon whether he reaches his salary escalators in 2022 and/or 2023. 


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 12 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: I should also mention that the Cubs cannot outright David Bote while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury, except during a window starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the day that off-season reserve lists must be filed (normaly 11/20, but it was 11/19 in 2021 because 11/20 fell on a Saturday, and it will be 11/18 in 2022 because 11/20 will fall on a Sunday). 


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 28 min ago (view)

    W-RAT: The Cubs can outright David Bote (if he is not claimed off waivers) once the transaction freeze is lifted. That's not a problem. 

    If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency, he would forfeit what remains of his contract - AS LONG AS - the contract is not fully guaranteed. 

    If the contract is fully guaranteed he would likely elect free-agency and the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his salary, offset by the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB deal with another club.


  • crunch 19 hours 44 min ago (view)

    kristin call has been named GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  she's been the assistant/associate GM for a few years and was formally a marketing director for the team.

    she's been involved in baseball for a living for 16+ years.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Hey Phil - Could David Bote be outrighted at any point before the start of the season (obviously not now while players are being locked out). I wonder because if someone claimed him, oh well. If he elected free agency, wouldn't that void his contract? These are the thoughts going through my head as I look to open up another 40-man spot, and Bote will be out until at least May.

    I've read your 40-man tag for him, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure this out! :) Thanks!


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have re-signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P.J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts, presumably with an NRI to MLB Spring Training. 

    They will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible, if and when there is a Rule 5 Draft. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 46 min ago (view)

    The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

    Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

    backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...


  • Sonicwind75 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.



  • Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Clint Frazier's 2022 base salary is only $1.5M and he has a minor league option available, so I think it's more likely than not that he opens 2022 at AAA. 

    On the other hand, Harold Ramirez is out of minor league options, and it is unknown at this point what he will get in 2022 as a "super two." 


  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    until clint fraizer came on board i wouldn't have counted bryant out.

    OF is kinda crowded right now, though there's no stars in the mix.  fraizer - happ - ortega - heyward - h.ramirez leading the group...  even if he split time between OF/3rd with wisdom that just makes it more crowded, plus the team allegedly wants hoerner to prepare to be used as a super-utility guy.