Chad Fox Rehab Full Speed Ahead
Chad Fox continued his active rehab,,throwing 1.1 IP (four up, four down) in today's Extended Spring Training game versus the Brewers EXST team on Fitch Park Field #3.
Fox looked sharp, striking out the first two men he faced and getting the last two on 5-3 ground-outs.
The 37-year old right-hander was signed to a minor league contract by the Cubs last January and received and NRI to Spring Training, but pitched in only one Cactus League game before being shut-down with a sore elbow.
He had missed most of the previous two seasons after retiring in April 2006 with what he thought was an elbow problem that turned out be just scar tissue from a previous surgery.
While there is clearly no room for him in the Cubs' bullpen (at this time), he is probably getting close to the point where he can be assigned to a full-season club, probably AAA Iowa.
It's also possible that the Cubs have promised Fox that if he is not added to their 25-man roster by a certain date (like maybe May 1st or June 1st), that he will be free to make his own deal elsewhere (see Rod Beck circa 2003).
While Fox was impressive in his outing, the five pitchers who followed Fox to the hill for the EXST Cubs today did not fare as well, as the EXST Brewers drubbed the Cubs 11-5. The youngsters either got hammered and/or could not throw strikes.
On offense, Dominican third-baseman John Contreras continued his hot hitting, going 2-2 with a 420-foot two-run home run over the CF fence in the 6th and a lead-off double roped down the left-field line in the 9th. Contreras has the same body type as Mike Lowell (for example), a thick lower body combined with powerful forearms.
The home run by Contreras was the third four-bagger hammered by a Cubs player in the EXST Cubs first three games, as Josh Vitters hit one over the LF fence and onto the street on Monday, and Roberto Sabates homered down the LF line versus the EXST Giants at Scottsdale yesterday.
Here are a couple of Cubs EXST roster updates:
RHP Audy Santana has been promoted from EXST to Peoria replacing the suspended Robert Hernandez, and LHP Mark Pawelek (who was missing from Fitch Park last week) is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
Also, promising young RHPs Larry Suarez (shoulder) and Oswaldo Martinez (elbow) threw bullpen sessions today as they attempt to return to action.
Here is today's Cubs EXST abridged box score:
1. Leon Johnson, DH #1: 0-4 (6-3, 4-3 RBI, P-6, 4-6-3 GIDP)
2. Gian Guzman, SS: 1-4 (4-3, 2-3, 2B RBI + R, 6-3)
3a. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-2 (L-5, 4-3)
3b. John Contreras, 3B: 2-2 (2-RUN HR, 2B + R)
4. Luke Sommer, RF-LF: 1-4 (4-3, K-S, 2B, L-9)
5. Brandon Guyer, DH #2: 0-4 (P-6, P-6, 6-3, F-8)
6. Andres Quezada, CF: 1-3 (BB, 6-3, F-7, 1B-RBI)
7a. Kevin Soto, LF: 1-2 (1B, L-8)
7b. Nelson Perez, RF 0-2 (F-7, K-S)
8a. Bryan Jost, 1B: 0-2 (K-S, 4-3)
8b. Alvaro Sosa, 1B: 0-1 (P-6)
9. Jose Made, 2B: 1-2 (1B + SB + R, 4-3, BB)
10a. Carlos Guevara, C: 0-1 (6-3)
10b. Carlos Perez, C: 0-0 (HBP + R, BB)
ERRORS: Contreras - 2 (one throwing, one dropped throw)
OF ASSIST - Sommer (at 3rd base from LF)
C. Perez: 2-2 CS
1. Chad Fox - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (15 pitches - 10 strikes)
2. Jose Severino - 2.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K
4. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K
5. Carlos Rojas - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4R, 2 BB, 0 K
6. Miguel Sierra - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
WEATHER: Overcast and unseasonably cold and windy (sweater weather!)
ATTENDANCE: Two (me & some other guy)
vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.
while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.
Carl Jr.! Very nice!
Baez with another "WTF?" play trying a delayed steal with a runner on 3rd and one out.. Remarkable talent, needs to make better decisions.
m.montgomery up in the pen with a man on 2nd, 2 out, and rondon 20 pitches into the inning.
...and rondon ends it 22 pitches in with a popout to RF.
I gotta say with the crappy defense the Brewers have displayed outside of Fowler I'm pretty disappointed the offense hasn't shown more and Rizzo seems to be very swing happy lately. That said my god am I happy Madden has finally given Carl Edwards a chance after multiple times up with nothing. I don't think he could handle a starting role with his body frame but his stuff plays so well in a relief role and he seems to be able to handle high stress situations very well.
2nd at bat. Fowler is good for the Cubs run differential.
welcome back fowler.
More slow news...
Did Davey Martinez have to bring the shotgun?
glad to see almora going to AAA to get work.
.265/.291/.422 through 86PA...2hr, 7 doubles.
i don't expect too much of an improvement when he's taking over CF next year, but the team doesn't really need him right now as much as they need him to get regular work (imo).
CHITOWNMVP01: The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) has had one slot open since 7/6 (when RHRP Joel Peralta was Designated for Assignment).
The problem with the September roster is all of the pitching changes. They should find a way to limit pitchers to twelve except for extra inning games. More pinch hitters or pinch runners do little to slow the game down and are more fun than endless calls to the bullpen. I also think the fans get cheated when they use position players to pitch because employed a half dozen pitchers with righty-lefty switches. Having as few as four positions players on the bench to start a game also leads to some pretty ugly defensive substitutions.
CHITOWNMVP01: Joe Nathan's 30-day Article XIX-C minor league rehab assignment expires tomorrow, but he doesn't have to be reinstated from the 60-day DL tomorrow.
Also, I think 40 man roster should be full, not at 39, unless I counted wrong. I'm in a hurry to leave the house.
Dexter Fowler is back! "You go, we go!"
He's being activated for tonight's game. Almora down and Montgomery replaces Patton.
Also, doesn't Nathan have to be activated tomorrow? Pitchers aren't allowed to spend more than 30 days of rehab and he was sent to rehab assignment on June 23rd. Tomorrow is July 23rd.
Yeah, last night was a bummer. I clicked on the espn Gamecast just in time to see the 5-2 score change to 5-5.
Their next 10 are Dodgers, Mets and Marlins.
Slow news day...