New Blood at the Ranch
There apparently was a change in the itinerary for the Boise Hawks, as the roster will not be announced until after today's workout, and the team will not leave for Idaho until after tomorrow's work-out.
Therefore (naturally), there was another intrasquad game today.
In addition, Cubs 1B Daryle Ward, who is on the 15-day DL with a back problem, has finally arrived at Fitch Park.
The Cubs ace LHPH took about 30-swings in a "standard" early-morning BP session (coach throwing "BP fastballs" from in front of the mound) on Field #4 and he looked OK. (He hit a couple over the fence onto 6th Place). He did not participate in the intrasquad game, however.
Also, the Cubs will be converting still another position player to pitcher, as OF Leon Johnson (2007 10th round pick out of BYU) will become a LHP.
Johnson, who had his collegiate career interrupted for a couple of years while serving on an LDS mission in Siberia, was probably the fastest runner and best bunter in the organization, as well as being a well above-average defensive CF with a plus-arm.
The one thing he just couldn't seem to master was the art of hitting, and apparently he decided to try pitching after being demoted to EXST from Peoria last week while in the midst of a major slump.
There also were still more new-arrivals at Fitch Park today, as several more of the Cubs 2008 draft picks reported for duty.
As of today, the following 2008 Rule 4 Draft picks have physically reported to Fitch Park (others may have signed, but they haven't reported yet):
James Leverton, LHP (8th round pick out of Texas Tech)
Jay Jackson, RHP (9th round pick out of Furman U.)
Josh Whitlock, RHP (26th round pick out of U. of West Virginia)
Tommy Mejia, RHP (NDFA out of Dominican College)
Michael Brenly, C (36th round pick out of UNLV)
Ryan Keedy (16th round pick out of UAB)
Rebel Ridling (25th round pick out of Oklahoma State U.)
Sean Hoorelbeke (33rd round pick out of Western Michigan U.)
Jake Opitz (12th round pick out of U. of Nebraska)
David Macias (19th round pick out of Vanderbilt U.)
TeWayne Willis (28th round pick out of Lincoln Memorial U.)
Kurt Calvert (32nd round pick out of U of Missouri)
Some initial observations about the new recruits...
Ryan Keedy has a nice short line-drive stroke with some power behind it and he drives the ball all over the yard, but he is a VERY slow runner. EXTREMELY slow. He's also very stiff at1st base.
Jake Opitz made a couple of nice plays at 2B, one going to his left, and another going to his right. He also roped an opposite-field RBI double into the LF corner. However, he also struck out (swinging) twice.
Michael Brenly is a solid defensive catcher, but a better hitter than I thought he would be. He's also one big boy. (He looks like he could play left tackle for the Bears!)
David Macias brought both an infielder's glove and an outfielder's glove with him to Fitch Park, and he worked out at 2B, 3B, LF, CF, and RF. He is a versatile defender. And he's a scrapper!.
TeWayne Willis is as fast as Ryan Keedy is slow. Willis is essentially Dwaine Bacon Redux.
Here is the abridged box score from today's intrasquad game...
NOTE: The position players who arrived yesterday (Opitz, Willis, Macias, and Keedy) played in the game, but they were allowed to bat out of turn several times to maximize their ABs.
Also, Nelson Perez played for both squads, as he was "traded" from SQUAD "A" to SQUAD "B" in the middle of the 4th inning.
1. Bryan Jost, 1B 1-2 (3B, R)
2. Dwayne Kemp, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-4 (2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)
4. Junior Lake, SS: 0-4 (2 K)
5a. Kevin Soto, CF: 1-1 (2B, RBI)
5b. Jake Opitz, 2B: 1-3 (2B, RBI, 2 K)
6a. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1 (K)
6b. TeWayne Willis, CF: 0-3 (K)
7. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-3
8a. Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 1-1
8b. David Macias, RF: 0-3
9a. Robinson Chirinos, C: 0-1 (K)
9b. Ryan Keedy, 1B: 0-3 (R, K)
1. Drew Rundle, RF-LF: 0-3 (K)
2. Marwin Gonzalez, DH #1: 0-2 (BB)
3. Starlin Castro, SS: 2-3 (R)
4. John Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (R, CS)
5. George Matheus, LF-DH #3: 0-2 (SF-RBI)
6. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-2
7. Cesar Salazar, CF: 0-3
8. Kyler Burke, 1B: 0-3 (K, CS)
9. Jose Made, 2B: 0-3 (2 K)
10. Roberto Sabates, DH #2: 0-3
11a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-2 (K)
11b. Michael Brenly, C: 1-1 (2B)
1. Miguel Sierra - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
2. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
3. John Muller- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
4. Luke Sommer - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
1. Mark Pawelek - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K
2. Jose Pina - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
3. Michael Bunton - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
4. Manolin DeLeon - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K
Jeffrey Rea - E4, bobbled ground ball, allowing batter to reach base
Ryan Keedy - E3, missed catch on what should have been a 4-3 GO at 1st base allowing batter to reach base and runner at 2nd base to advance one extra base
Jose Made - E4, muffed ground ball allowing batter to reach base
Carlos Perez: 2-2 CS
WEATHER: VERY hot & sunny
I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.
I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.
Cardinals, stop that. Right now.
In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.
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.