I-Cub Jabs Outpoint Round Rock Roundhousers

Tuesday night I endured a local school board meeting. It comes with the territory of my day job. I sat glassy-eyed in the gallery, my mind drifting ahead 48 hours at which point I would be sitting in the stands on Opening Night at Principal Park, cracking open peanut shells instead of stifling yawns.

After work on Wednesday I went to the ballpark to collect my media credential. The I-Cubs were starting to assemble on the field for an informal meet-the-public workout. It was nice out and the diamond sparkled under the hoses and mowers of the grounds crew. It was technicolored and I wanted to hang around but couldn’t.

Then yesterday at lunchtime I parked beneath a flowering crab apple tree to enjoy a sandwich while I listened to the pregame goings-on at Wrigley Field. It was another nice day and a breeze blew a flurry of petals through my downed window like ticker tape about the time Keith Moreland and Dale Sveum were laboring through their interview like a junior high couple at their first dance. They’ll, you know, get, you know, better as the season unfolds. Perhaps their Cubs will too.

As for the ones here in Des Moines…

Last night was a great one for baseball and the I-Cubs played accordingly.

After falling behind early they raced ahead, literally, in the middle innings by which time a full moon was hanging over the park like a fat, hit-me slider.

Wells allowed but two hits in his six frames and both were homers. At one point the game was tied at three and Rolling, I mean Round Rock had landed their two uppercuts while Iowa had jabbed eight singles. I had Wells for first-pitch strikes to 14 of the 22 hitters he faced and a 9:3 GO/FO ratio. In the first inning every ball put in play went to Adrian Cardenas at 2B who had seven assists all told.

Other first impressions of what appears to be, pending call-ups, demotions, etc. a hustling team as per the New & Improved Cub Way:

*Brett Jackson - Made a slick diving catch in center. Fanned on three pitches his first trip before walking on four his second. Later beat out an infield hit and lined a single on a 3-0 pitch. Also stole a base.

*Anthony Rizzo - Singled twice, drove in a run, stole a base and looked very smooth defensively.

*Tony Campana – He looks like a little leaguer and races around the diamond like it was little league-sized. Had to fly to work at the last minute yesterday and never stopped flying all night. Had a bunt single, a stolen base and even muscled up for a sac fly to center, though that poke would not have been deep enough to score anyone other than Dave Sappelt who looks like a black Campana with muscles. In other words, he too is tiny. But the play of the game happened with Campana on second and two out in the fourth. Jackson bounced one to third and while he was beating it out Campana wheeled around third without hesitation and scored rather easily.

*Wellington Castillo – Kept getting in the way of things. Twice hit by pitches, cited for catcher’s interference and also threw out a base stealer who had a great jump on Wells.

*The bullpen – Manny Corpas looked strong in two scoreless innings and Scott Maine fanned two while notching the save.

The only base-running gaffe happened when Josh Vitters belly-flopped around second while going first to third on a single and was erased. Had he not stumbled he would have made it.
Edgar Gonzalez hit third and DH’d for the I-Cubs. Apparently he’s the brother of Adrian. The other notable name of the night was Mark Hamburger, RR’s starting pitcher. I’ll just leave that one to your own imaginations.

Vitters hit eighth, ahead of shortstop Matt Tolbert who also tried to bunt for a hit and was nipped on a close play. In one of his AB’s Jackson too attempted to lay one down in a non-sacrifice situation but fouled it off.

I’m planning to go back tonight. Coleman’s slated to pitch.

Comments

WTF?!?

Thanks, Mike!

btw, one holdover of the OLD cub way is that all of the i-cubs wear their pants tucked just below the knee; rr's were all pj style...

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

“I think he’s a smarter guy than you’d think form across the field,” Epstein said. “And I don’t mean that the wrong way. You watch him and how energetic and extroverted and fidgety he can be looking at him from across the field, you get a certain impression about him that maybe he’s not always thinking things through. But the reality is that he actually has a method to his madness.

“He knows himself really well and he understands the game really well. He knows how to prepare and I think there is a lot more going on upstairs than people give him credit for.”

Because I'm sure people care a great deal about the going-ons in my life, I went to our Fort Wayne Tincaps opener yesterday evening with my two daughters. Baseball is a great sport and a great tradition.

Also, beer and hot dogs.

Nice! And cheap for you! What affiliation are these Hubcaps?

I have never been to a minor league game I am ashamed to say.

Maybe this year.

Hubcaps... hah. San Diego Padres. Had Matt Bush playing here several years ago. :)

Ha! I was also Midwest League-ing it last night, Lansing Lugnuts v. MSU. It is nice out for only being 39 degrees.

I'm hoping to take my two daughters to the Silverhawks when Peoria comes to town for a three game set.

I think my wife works that weekend, so it would be me versus them to be able to actually watch the game (they'll be 6mo and 21mo by then). Wish me luck

Benadryl.

Yikes. My kids are 5 & 6. They are a bit easier to contain and placate at this age.

Beer and hot dogs will do that.

Mike - Thanks for this!

I was hoping to see your wrap last night as I wanted a 1st person account to read, But I'll take what I can get!

As several have said already, the better show may be where you are living this year.

Good work, Mike! Looking forward to your updates this year with the best AAA team Iowa has had in as long as I can remember.

Also, I'm making my first-ever stop at Principal Park in late July. However, I believe a lot of the talent will be in Chicago by then.

walk, K, HR so far today...

lou pinella doing TV for YES Network vs TB...badly

countdown til he quits on that job...

also, lol sabitha....c.pena grand slam.

Dunn and Pena both starting for my fantasy team. I'm just that awesome. Also, I don't have any actual good 1B.

I take back anything nice I said about The brewers. Seem to think batting Alex Gonzalez 6th is a viable option.

m.rivera fail @NY...this game has been good. screw you winter. go spring.

also, c.pena had a great homecoming with a walkoff hit + grandslam for TB.

Thanks Mike. Excited to see the I-Cubs when they arrive here in Austin/Round Rock next weekend. As a former Des Moines resident, I do really miss Sec Taylor/Principal park located downtown. Driving thru traffic all the way out to the edge of Round Rock suburbia is a real pain.

I heard this today, didn't realize it was an interview from last year. It's a long listen, but it's a pretty awesome interview about the art of catching.

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/06/150059218/behin...

It's also worth mentioning that all the sports radio stations today were talking about football ... during opening weekend in early April! Only NPR had my baseball talk hook-up.

I heard that on the radio, too... it was really good.

AA and AAA Active List roster limits have been increased from 24 to 25 this season, and both Tennessee and Iowa have 13-man pitching staffs.

And, Concepcion has been added to Daytona to make 26.

Can Theo Re-write the MiLB rules?

Fri, 04/06/2012 - 7:36pm — Childersb3

And, Concepcion has been added to Daytona to make 26.

Can Theo Re-write the MiLB rules?

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

CHILDERS: Immediately after being optioned to Daytona, Gerardo Concepcion was placed on the D-Cubs 7-day DL. He is still at Fitch Park, and he did throw 3.1 IP in an intrasquad game on Wednesday.

So the Cubs could have placed Concepcion on their MLB 60-day DL instead of trying to sneak John Gaub through waivers. Then Concepcion could have spent a month or two at EXST (which he's going to do anyway), then go on a 30-day "minor league rehab" at Daytona, and then be reactivated from the 60-day DL sometime in June or July (or whenever a 40-man roster slot becomes available later in the season).

Remember, placing a player on the 60-day DL doesn't mean the player has an injury that will sideline him for two months. It just means that the player can't be reinstated to an active list for 60 days. If a player is placed on an MLB 15-day DL or minor league 7-day DL with a sprained hangnail, he can be placed on the 60-day DL with the exact same injury.

It will be interesting to see what corresponding roster move is made when Rodrigo Lopez is added to the Cubs 25-man roster (and 40-man roster). There also is the mystery of why the Cubs did not add Lopez to their 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) prior to Opening Day to avoid paying the $100,000 retention bonus that post-2011 Article XX-B free-agents like Lopez get if they are not released by the 5th day prior to Opening Day or added to the MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day.

Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro, Steve Clevenger, Blake DeWitt, and Ian Stewart are the only position players presently on the Cubs MLB 25-man roster who have options left and who cannot refuse an optional assignment to the minors, so unless Marlon Byrd gets traded, DeWitt will likely be optioned to Iowa to make room for Lopez. And if DeWitt does get optioned to Iowa to make room for Lopez, why was DeWit added to the 40-man roster (instead of Lopez) if DeWitt is only on the 25-man roster for one game?

If DeWitt is optioned to Iowa to make room for Lopez on the 25-man roster, who gets dropped from the 40-man roster to make room for Lopez?

Lendy Castillo could get dropped from the 40 (especially if the Cubs work out a trade with the Phillies to keep L. Castillo), but then who replaces L. Castillo on the 25-man roster? Players on the 40-man roster who are optioned to the minors during Spring Training must remain on Optional Assignent for the first 10 days of the MLB regular season unless the player is recalled to replace another player on the 25-man roster who is placed on an inactive list (Disabled List, Bereavement List, Paternity Leave List, etc), so a pitcher like Scott Maine, Casey Coleman, or Randy Wells cannot be recalled until April 13th unless he replaces a player who is moved to an inactive list.

Bryan LaHair could be placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to last Saturday (meaning he could be reactivated as soon as Sunday April 14th) and go to Mesa and hit in some EXST games next week, and then a pitcher (like Maine, Coleman, Wells, et al) could be recalled, but it sounds like LaHair is ready to return to action tomorrow.

And now, Iowa has 14 pitchers on their roster. Lopez, Caridad, Cruz and Corpas.

At least one of those will go east to CHC. Another will be cut more than likely.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • 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.

    John Beasley 51 min 10 sec ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 10 hours 14 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 10 hours 24 min ago view
  • 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.

    johann 11 hours 27 min ago view
  • 2nd at bat. Fowler is good for the Cubs run differential.

    Cubster 13 hours 3 min ago view
  • welcome back fowler.

    crunch 13 hours 29 min ago view
  • More slow news...

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/07/22/cubs-albert...

    Did Davey Martinez have to bring the shotgun?

    http://www.madcoversite.com/mad104printid.jpg

    Cubster 13 hours 52 min ago view
  • 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).

    crunch 15 hours 49 min ago view
  • 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). 

    Arizona Phil 16 hours 19 min ago view
  • 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.

    Non Roster Invitee 16 hours 30 min ago view
  • 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. 

    Arizona Phil 16 hours 33 min ago view
  • 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.

    chitownmvp01 16 hours 37 min ago view
  • Dexter Fowler is back! "You go, we go!"

    He's being activated for tonight's game. Almora down and Montgomery replaces Patton.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/17126605/chicago...

    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.

    chitownmvp01 16 hours 45 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 19 hours 28 min ago view
  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 9 min ago view