The most exciting thing around the Cubsverse right now is the minor leagues competing in the playoffs. Meaningless as a victory may be to the big league club down the line, it's fun to follow and have a rooting interest in something, other than the Cubs losing for a better draft pick slot.
Cubs Minor Leagues
Shawon Dunston, Jr drove in three runs with a two-out two-run RBI single that capped a four-run 1st inning and a solo HR leading off the bottom of the 6th, and Dan Vogelbach singled and scored in the 1st and clubbed a tape-measure HR over the RF fence in the bottom of the 7th to put the game away, leading the Cubs to a 10-5 victory over the Brewers in Opening Day AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
According to the Mayan calendar, the Cubs will win the World Series in 2012, causing an apocalypse about six weeks later.
So since it's getting late, here's a look ahead at what the Cubs roster might look like in about six months, and what the player payroll obligations will be going into the historic 2012 season.
This does not address potential free-agents the Cubs might pursue or players the Cubs might target in a trade, although it should give you some idea of how much the Cubs might have available to spend for free-agents.
Minor League Field Coordinator Dave Bialas and the coaching staff at Fitch Park have completed their final observations and evaluations of the newly-signed draft picks, and so here are the rosters for the Boise Hawks ands AZL Cubs as of 7 AM (MST) this morning:
Max Ramirez crushed a two-run HR onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, and Xavier Batista slammed a three-run HR onto the street, leading Boise/Mesa (EXST CUBS) to a 6-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs in a six-inning intra-organization game played at Fitch Park #3 this morning, in what was the official end of Minor League Camp and the beginning of Extended Spring Training for the players remaining in Mesa.
Meanwhile, the Iowa Cubs will be heading to Round Rock, TX, for PCL Opening Day on Thursday.
D. J. Fitzgerald singled, doubled, tripled, stole a base, scored one run, and knocked-in two more, and LHP Austin Kirk threw four shutout innings, as the Peoria Chiefs rallied to tie the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Los Angeles Angels Class “A” affiliate) 3-3 on Field #2, while next-door on Field #3 Michael Burgess clubbed a grand slam HR over the RF fence and Evan Crawford doubled, tripled, walked, stole a base, drove-in two runs, and scored another, as the Daytona Cubs rallied from an early 5-0 hole to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Advanced “A” affiliate) 7-7, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training action at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ, this morning.
This was the “getaway day” game for both Daytona and Peoria, but since the Iowa Cubs will be remaining in Mesa for another day (they open the season Thursday at Round Rock, TX), I-Cubs catcher Welington Castillo stayed at Fitch Park and served as a DH for Daytona while his teammates traveled to Diablo Park in Tempe to face the Angels Salt Lake Bees AAA affiliate.