Cubs and Rockies Just Split the Difference at Fitch

Eduardo Gonzalez capped a four-run 2nd inning with a three-run inside-the-park HR, leading one squad of EXST Cubs to a 4-2 victory over one squad of EXST Rockies on Field #3, while four pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter as the other squad of EXST Rockies defeated the other squad of EXST Cubs 5-1 on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.

LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke made his third EXST appearance, starting the game on Field #2. Unlike Burke’s previous outings, the lefty struggled with his control throughout his 2.1 IP of work, throwing a first-pitch “ball one” to all seven batters he faced, and throwing only half of his 42 pitches for strikes. However, he also struck out three and allowed just one hit—a lead-off single to the first man he faced (Burke then proceeded to pick the runner off), and the only run charged to him was an inherited run allowed by Santo Rodriguez when the Dominican right-hander surrendered a two-run HR to the first man he faced after relieving Burke with one out and a man on 1st base in the top of the 3rd inning.

Meanwhile, RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas had his finest outing of the year, starting the game on Field #2 and working three shutout innings (38 pitches – 22 strikes). The Lee Smith clone used his 98 MPH fastball to strike out four, while allowing just a single, a walk, and a HBP in his three innings of work. Like Burke, Thomas also picked a runner off 1st base.

In EXST Cubs roster news, 21-year old RHP Felix Pena has arrived at Fitch Park from the Dominican Academy, while 2B-SS Rafael Valdes has been moved up to Daytona.

The 27-year old Valdes is one of four Cuban defectors signed by the Cubs over the past six months (C Yaniel Cabezas, OF Rubi Silva, and OF Mayke Reyes being the other three), and while he may be a bit too old to still be considered a “prospect,” the slick-fielding middle-infielder does bring extensive experience to the Cubs organization, after playing several seasons with Pinar Del Rio in the Cuban National Series (the Cuban “major league”), as well as playing for Team Cuba in various international tournaments. (Valdes was the 2B for Team Cuba at the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam when LHP Aroldis Chapman defected in July 2009).

The Cubs Scouting Department has convened at Fitch Park to prepare for next week’s Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”). Several potential draft picks worked-out for the Cubs scouts on Field #1 early this morning, prior to the EXST doubleheader.

Here are the abridged box scores from today’s games (Cubs players only)

FIELD #2

SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, K, R)
2. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K)
3. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, F-8, RBI)
4. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-2 (F-8, 1B, BB)
5. Reggie Golden, DH #1: 0-2 (BB, 1-3, F-8)
6a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-2 (F-8, 6-3)
6b. Carlos Romero, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (4-3 DP, 6-3, K)
8. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, L-8)
9. Max Kwan, DH #2: 2-2 (1B, 1B)
10. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (3-U, 4-6-3 DP)

SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Charles Thomas: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 PO, 38 pitches (22 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
2. Ramon Garcia: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 30 pitches (22 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
3. Jean Sandoval: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 37 pitches (21 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO

SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Gregori Gonzalez - E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Gregori Gonzalez - E5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely – eventually led to two unearned runs scoring)
3. 3B Gregori Gonzalez - E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS

SQUAD “A” OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Jesus Morelli - batter-runner thrown out at 2nd base

=============================================

FIELD #3

SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-4 (3-1, 1B, F-8, 6-3, R, RBI)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 3-4 (1B, HR, 4-3, 1B, R, 3 RBI, SB, CS)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 2-3 (1B, 4-3 1B, SB)
4. Brian Inoa, DH: 0-3 (K, K, 3-1)
5. Brandon May, 3B: 0-2 (6-3, BB, 4-3)
6. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, P-3, F-8)
7. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, R)
8. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-3 (F-7, 5-4 FC, 4-6-3 DP)
9. Oliver Zapata, CF: 2-3 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, 1B, R)

SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Kyler Burke: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 42 pitches (21 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Santo Rodriguez: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Ryan Hartman: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 13 pitches (10 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Colin Richardson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 1
C Johan DeJesus - E2 (throwing error on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed base-runner to advance to 3rd base)

SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Johan DeJesus: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)

==============================================

ATTENDANCE: 10

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s

Comments

Bour with another HR tonight, #14 Burgess hit #9, don't think he's above the Mendoza Line yet though, he's the minor league version of Pena. J. Jackson goes 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, Rusin and Kirk with decent starts as well. guess Fleita was lying cause Jae Hoon Ha was shipped back to Daytona

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In reply to by Eric S

No. Physically, Lake and Jackson are as good as it gets. If Lake is anything like the 6'3, 215 that Baseball Reference claims he is, then Felix Pie (6'2, 185) is a beanpole compared to him. Fangraphs still has Lake at 6'3, 175, which might have been accurate a couple of years ago or even last year. With Lake replacing LeMahieu at Tennessee, it's still musical chairs with the lineup. Yesterday against a lefty starter, Flaherty and Spencer sat; Flores caught; Lake played short with Marwin G. at second; Clevenger at first, Vitters at third, Ridling in left, Jackson in center; and Nate Samson, whom Brian Harper really seems to like, in right field! When Tennessee had built a decent lead, Samson moved to third and Vitters went to the bench.

I have a question for Arizona Phil or anyone else that has an opinion. Szcur looks like an outstanding prospect so far, but I'm wondering if he is at the right level. Is low A ball equivalent, inferior or superior to big time college ball? Is he playing at, below or above the level of competetion he had in college? Of course, until someone succeds at higher levels we can't get too excited, but I was wondering about his performance so far. We have had a lot of flame outs at higher levels. Brandon Sing, Brain Dopirak, etc.

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In reply to by TJ

Well, big time college baseball is played in the South and West, not in the North-East, at least not for the last 30 years. College players who sign early are typically assigned to Low A (if they're advanced) or Short Season A, if they aren't. That's pretty much what the short-season leagues are for. If they're really advanced, like say Pedro Alvarez (who signed too late to play) and Mark Teixiera (also a late signer if memory serves) they may start in high A. Then very occasionally you get a John Olerud or Mike Leake who go "directly" to the majors, but both those guys had the advantage of spring training I think. I would think Szczur is going to be the first outfielder promoted. Keep in mind too he wasn't 100% focused on baseball in college, whereas a guy like Bryce Harper played baseball in the summer, and worked in a batting cage during the fall and winter, why Szczur was playing football and donating bone marrow. He seems like he's right where he should be.

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In reply to by TJ

Submitted by TJ on Thu, 06/02/2011 - 8:15am. I have a question for Arizona Phil or anyone else that has an opinion. Szcur looks like an outstanding prospect so far, but I'm wondering if he is at the right level. Is low A ball equivalent, inferior or superior to big time college ball? Is he playing at, below or above the level of competetion he had in college? Of course, until someone succeds at higher levels we can't get too excited, but I was wondering about his performance so far. We have had a lot of flame outs at higher levels. Brandon Sing, Brain Dopirak, etc. ========================================== TJ: If at some point Brett Jackson is promoted to Iowa and Jae-Hoon Ha goes back to Tennessee, then I think Matt Szczur will be moved up to Daytona. Szczur missed the last ten days of Minor League Camp with a leg injury, then missed a few more games recently when he went back to Philadelphia for his college graduation and got sick. He alao had his first pro season cut short last year when he returned to Villanova in early August for his senior year and to prep for the college football season, so he did not attend Instructs. Not to mention missing considerable time earlier in the 2010 college baseball season when he donated bone marrow to that one-year old girl. All of that adds up to lots of missed baseball development time in terms of games played. As you know, because the Cubs signed him to a new contract this past March that involved releasing him from his previous contract, he is eligible for selection in next December's Rule 5 Draft. So he is a lock to get added to the Cubs 40-man roster post-2011. To help accelerate his development, I think it's very possible that Szczur will attend Instructs in September-October AND then play in the AFL in October-November.

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

And there's a school of thought that empty seats are the only way to demand change for a front office that cheers first for the bottom line. There's also a school of thought that you shouldn't start a sentence with a conjunction.... That aside, the problem is that the new ownership group hasn't, to this point, shown that they understand what the team's problem is. Changing the front office, and God willing, the manager, isn't going to do any good if it's just a different group of bumblers and cronies. Possibly the worst thing a new managing team can do is just come in, assume they know everything and change everything from day one. I just wish the noises you hear out of the Rickettses were a lot less supportive of a front office that has produced the worst $/Win team in baseball.

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In reply to by The Real Neal

You have to wonder how supposedly smart business people like the Ricketts' can make solving this problem akin to a quantum physics proof. You find a really smart, proven baseball man and have that person replace Kenney. He hires a new GM who hires a new field manager. You then build a successful organization not unlike the Blackhawks, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox, etc. Come on, Joe/Tom! You have a division in your business portfolio not meeting expectations. What do you do? Leave the same group in charge and hope it gets better? Is that what you would do with a division of AmeriTrade? I mean, am I taking crazy pills here or what?

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In reply to by George Altman

A part of me thinks that the Rickett's are just trying to be careful with the organization by not doing what Neal said and cleaning houses top to bottom. They're watching Hendry/Quade knowing that they'll be making a change shortly but are taking their time to make sure they know what the new strategy is and who can make it happen. Another part of me thinks that the know Hendry/Quade suck but are just letting them finish out the next couple years until payroll clears. Yet another part of me thinks that they really do think Hendry is great and he's been the victim of circumstance, be it Zell or injuries or whatever is the real culprit. But your point is right on - if they knew absolutely zero coming in, how long should it take them to figure out that their team/organization is dysfunctional and start fixing it? Who knows what they've done so far - I would think it would take a while for a culture change to permeate the organization. This is too sad. I'm going back to minor league box scores...

I agree with Jumbo. I have been debating those points with my friends. Two of the 3 choices are not good. I've have said that we will find out the answer at the end of this year. Unfortunately, because of the injuries, if the choice is that they are being conservative and bidding their time, it may delay their decision for another year. Clearly that would be the wrong thing to do, but we have to have some hope. If it is the other two choices:(i) to cheap to eat executive contracts or (ii) actually think Hendry and friends are doing a good job - we're screwed.

I think the Cub brass and ownership is doing a pretty good job considering the Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley/Silva contracts--I realize they had something to do with those contracts but those were all pre-Ricketts--and that the pipeline from the minors is functioning but not quite flowing yet, particularly in respect to pitchers. The Cubs seem to have better players than their opponents at the minor-league levels where prospects reside, so it seems like a slam dunk that in a couple of years they will have better major-league players than their rivals. Will they be the best? I have no idea. Will they win the world series? If they're lucky. But I will be contented to have a normal good team on the north side for really the first time in my life (and I'm going to start having grandchildren pretty soon). You guys are trying to fix something that has already been fixed. It was fixed when they hired a scouting director who drafted talented two-way players (read "major leaguers") instead of slugging 1B/LF/DHs like Fox, Dubois, Dopirak, Sing et al.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

You wouldn't like the Cubs chances better if they had Lee, Chirinos, Archer and Guyer still around? I agree that the farm system is in the best shape it's been since the early 2000's, and thoughts of a lineup that features: Szczur Castro Jackson Fielder Vitters Colvin Soto Second Basemen TBA for 2013 is sort of exciting... but the "we're going to build from within, by trading a chunk of our farm system to grab headlines in February" thing smacks of more of the same. Then there's our philosophical differences regarding which prospects and MLB players are doing well and merit promotion... A poor GM can screw up great work by a scouting director and a player development team.

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In reply to by The Real Neal

Totally, Neal. Again, though, the Cubs are going to need a strong Matt Garza moving forward to bring at least some consistency to the staff. Hendry was hedging against what has been incredible escalating prices for pitching. #4-5 starters are receiving outlandish contracts. I think Garzo is a talented pitcher. I just don't know how much a similar player would be offered in 2012 or 2013. As a part of this, it was conceivable that Hendry was told to be competitive to try to avoid what we are experiencing (for those of us in-town), or viewing - lots of empty seats. It hasn't worked out that way, but probably it had something to do with it. I am not gonna lose too much sleep over it until one of the prospects becomes a valuable everyday MLB player. Then, I will come here and bitch about what a shitty trade it was!

[ ]

In reply to by Dr. aaron b

Not sure that's entirely true. Flaherty and Bour both seem to be having breakout seasons, although both also struggle against lefties (which emphasizes how much they have been dominating the right-handers they've faced so far this year). They both show pretty good plate discipline too. It'll be interesting to see what Bour does if the Cubs push him up a level or two where he might be more challenged by the pitchers, but he's shown the ability to make contact, take a walk, and (newly) hit for power. He hit his 14th homerun yesterday. Flaherty is a bit old for his league now (he'll be 25 in two months), but he's done very well in AA this season, hitting for average and power and getting on base. He might be an option at third base soon, possibly in a platoon with Baker or the like. Matt Cerda hasn't shown any power, but he'll turn 21 in a couple of weeks and his numbers suggest that he's a very mature hitter--he walks as much as he strikes out and his OBP is up over .400 so far this season. Matt Sczcur also hasn't shown much power, but he seems to be a very disciplined hitter, and unlike Cerda he appears to have good speed to go with that discipline. Vitters, LeMahieu, Ha, and Lake are the hackers, and they are also the toolsiest prospects. There are others who take a pitch, though. The Cubs just don't have many who do both--partly because toolsy guys who are also polished go early in the first round and/or make it to the majors quickly.

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In reply to by The Real Neal

On June 1, Vitters came out of a game in the bottom of the 5th after being forced at second in the top half. That is a little early for a defensive replacement, but I find nothing about an injury in the two local stories on the game. Please share you source on that. Between May 21 and the 27 (LeMahieu's last week with the team), Vitters didn't play an entire game at third. He sat out the 21st and 24th. The 22nd, he played 1st the whole game. The 23rd, he started at 3rd but came out for a defensive sub in the 9th. That's the double-switch you're referring to. But aren't double switches how Soriano finds his way to the bench in late innings? The 25th, he played the whole game at 1st. The 27th, he moved to 1st in the 6th. On the 19th, he started at 1st but came out in a double switch. I don't want to make too big a deal of this. Maybe I have already. "He comes out of games when they have a lead" was too broad a statement. Partly, Harper is just trying to get Samson involved. Vitters has been hitting, so let's just hope that continues.

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In reply to by big_lowitzki

It's a crowded team with a lot of lineup-juggling. In the late-inning game of musical chairs, Vitters tends to be the one left without a position, simply because he's the weakest infield glove. If he becomes an elite hitter, he'll find a position, but it will probably be first or left, as is usual with Brett Wallace types. Vitters plays one game at first base for every two games at third, so right now he's preparing to compete for those two openings on the Cubs next year. One of the problems with previous Cub prospects is that they were "anointed" early on. I certainly don't mind Vitters' having to worry about whether or where he'll play tomorrow.

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In reply to by Dr. aaron b

"Even the guys showing promise have terrible plate discipline. And we see how that gets exploited going up the ladder (Pie,Patterson,Colvin,Cedeno, etc)" I don't have a clear recollection of Patterson as a hitter, but Pie, Colvin and Cedeno have something in common. It's fine if you call it terrible plate discipline, but it helps me to think of it as a low hitting IQ. To be a good hitter, you have to think like a pitcher, and that takes intelligence. Without it, you're at the pitcher's mercy once you fall behind in the count. It's easier to take a pitch that's diving out of the strike zone if you're expecting that pitch. The expectation has to come from inside your head. The smartest Cub hitter today, by far, is Soto. Fukudome is smart, in a way, but he's really not looking for a pitch to drive (or at least not usually). Soto is not actually looking for a walk, he just knows that 3-2 is a hitter's count. Once you get to 3 and 2, walks are sometimes unavoidable.

Woah, Pittsburgh is kicking the shit out of the Mets, 7-0. Stay tuned for a big long and incredibly condescending, insulting diatribe from TRN about how we should never conclude from two and half innings that one team is going to win...

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

I would have gone with Colvin or Snyder... there's so many injuries that I cannot remember who or when or why guys got called up, and I don't know the 40 man roster rules, and statuses of the players, but in general I am of the opinion that you should wait as long as possible to add someone to it if you can. But was it any surprise to anyone that they called Campana and LeMahieu up? Despite the fact that "advance statistic analysis" showed there were likely guys having "better" seasons available. I have to admit, that since the Cubs are going to lose with any of those three guys (or Byrd for that matter) in center field, Slappy Campana is the most entertaining of the options as he tries to beat out slow rollers to short and has balls bouncing off his shoulder in center, hat askew like Radio, glove windmilling about as he skips towards the ball. It's hard to say he was the best ballplayer available. Slappy's a fifth outfielder - a poor man's Juan Pierre in my mind. Maybe Doug Dascenzo is a good comp for him... can he pitch? Maybe Dopey is a better nickname for him... http://acimg.auctivacommerce.com/imgdata/0/1/1/1/3/8/webimg/2722024.jpg

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In reply to by The Real Neal

Sheesh..what...did he kick your dog or something? Lol.... I thought that there was a time issue on Colvin...that he had to stay down a certain # of days. Agreed on Colvin/Snyder though....I'd like to see Snyder get a couple weeks of steady at bats...he's pretty much proved all he can at AAA. I DO NOT think that Campana can come in and hit .350/.420/.390.....before anyone tells me that I do. Would I consider him a decent player if he could hit .270/.350/.380 and steal some bases? Well yeah...considering the crap that comes from the farm system usually, sure. More a placeholder type until Byrd returns, or until Brett Jackson is ready? Why not? Beats signing some veteran crap to do it.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

You're probably right on Colvin, but didn't he repalce Colvin? Like I said, too many rosters moves to keep track of. Would I consider him a decent player if he could hit .270/.350/.380 and steal some bases. He doesn't have the plate discipline to pull a .080 ISO OBP or the power to slug an ISO .110 (.041 and .100 in AAA this year, career minor career .056 and .050). So, I don't think going to do that. Are you happy with him hitting .275 .325 .310? He's a Cub and I want him to do well, and I was being serious about him being entertaining, but there's nothing in his track record that shows he's a starting caliber player on anything other than a shitty team... which is what the 2011 Cubs are. 100% agreed that it's better than trading for or signing another Reed Johnson.

ha... mlb network had clint hurdle on and they asked him about his "purple face video"...clint blamed it on a camera color being off and had no idea etc etc...the only problem is the video shows multiple angles and another white dude (ump) who has normal coloration. everyone knows hurdle likes the tanning booth (and hair highlights). also, "you guys know all these handshakes, but can't remember the signs." - hurdle joking around about the handshakes the PIT team does in the dugout.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info


40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus three are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST, plus two are on the 15-DAY IL, one is on the 10-DAY IL, and eleven are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors  

Last updated 5-25-2023
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad
Jeremiah Estrada
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Mark Leiter Jr 
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 

CATCHERS: 2
* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 7
Nico Hoerner
* Miles Mastrobuoni 
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
* Edwin Rios 
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 4 
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

OPTIONED: 11
Keven Alcantara, OF 
Miguel Amaya, C
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P  
Nick Madrigal, INF 
Keegan Thompson, P 
Nelson Velazquez, OF
Hayden Wesneski, P

10-DAY IL: 1 
* Cody Bellinger, OF 

15-DAY IL: 2 
Brad Boxberger, P 
Nick Burdi, P  

60-DAY IL: 3 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P
Adrian Sampson, P 

 




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