Leaver It to a Beaver to Rally A's to Victory

With his team down 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Ryan Ortiz ripped a two-run HR over the LF fence to give the EXST Athletics the lead and eventually the victory, as the EXST Cubs were edged 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Sports Complex in Phoenix.  

The A’s 2009 6th round draft pick out of Oregon State (where he was a teammate of Cubs infielder Darwin Barney on the 2007 CWS champion Beavers), Ortiz is at Extended Spring Training rehabbing from an injury suffered in Minor League Camp.

The Cubs offensive star of the day was 2B Pin-Chieh Chen, who reached base four times (three singles and a walk) and scored twice.

Conversely, Kyung-Min Na had a bad day all around, striking out four times (that’s the ol’ “Golden Sombrero,” folks) and dropping a fly ball in CF for a two-base error.

Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):

1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-5 (K, 6-4 FC+E-4, K, K, K, R)
2. Dustin Harrington, SS: 0-3 (E-5, 5-3, F-9)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-5 (K, P-3, 6-3, 1B, 6-3, RBI)
4a. Chad Noble, C: 1-4 (6-3, 4-3, 2B, 1-3)
4b. Brian Inoa, C: 0-1 (F-7)
5. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 3-4 (1B, BB, F-7, 1B, 1B, 2 R)
6a. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-4 (1B, E-4, 5-3, 3-6 FC, R)
6b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
7a. Blair Springfield, LF: 1-3 (K, 1B, K, BB, RBI)
7b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-0 (BB)
8. Max Kwan, DH: 2-5 (2B, K, 2B, K, P-3, 2 RBI)
9a. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, K)
9b. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-2 (K, K)

1. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 51 pitches (27 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 54 pitches (26 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Willengton Cruz: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO

CF Kyung-Min Na E8 – dropped fly ball allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely

Chad Noble: 0-1 CS, 1 PO

LF Eduardo Gonzalez threw out batter-runner 7-4 trying to stretch single into a double


WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s



Sam "Superman" Fuld has one hit in his last 25 AB's.....


lies. infidel.

UPDATE now 1/26

At Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill, a popular hangout across the street from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., more than 300 people — six times the normal weeknight crowd with the Rays on the road — turned out Thursday to watch 10 contestants compete in a Sam Fuld lookalike contest, owner Mark Ferguson said. The winner was an 8-year-old girl who darkened her face to simulate the former Cub’s trim beard.


People in Florida have nothing to do since they stopped attacking German tourists.

I was expecting a side by side comparison of Fuld and the winner at the end of that link.

ARam called out at second on a horrible call, meanwhile Quade is caught napping again and doesn't bother to come out of the dugout.

Cubs 4-5-6 hitters 1 hr, that hr was hit one month ago.
Cubs 7-8 hitters 12 hr

/screw quade, f hendry

Cubs 7 hitter 11 HR's.
Other 24 players on the roster 11 HR's.

He looked ridiculous on Either's bloop single.

woah! WSux just got no hit.


Any Augie Ojeda news? With him injured, who do you think they Cubs would call up if anything happened to Castro?

You're the man, AZPhil!

I think you mean bandsaw - not "bansaw" if you are trying to come up with a clever name.


Maybe the "d" was cutoff to represent Koyie's temporariliy missing fingers or his inability to throw runners out.

"Bandsaw"...Bobby Scales looms.

Submitted by Koyies Bansaw on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 9:42pm.

Any Augie Ojeda news? With him injured, who do you think they Cubs would call up if anything happened to Castro?

You're the man, AZPhil!


K BANSAW: I have not seen Augie Ojeda on the field, although that does not mean he isn't involved in a physical therapy & rehab program at Fitch Park.

As for who the Cubs would call up if something happerned to Castro or Barney (the two guys presently on the 25-man roster who can play SS), I would say probably Ryan Flaherty, because he is a "natural" (albeit outgrown) SS who can play 2B-SS-3B-1B-LF.

And since Flaherty will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time post-2011, he probably was a likely candidate to get added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline anyway.

Thanks Phil, you're the best. The XST updates are very much appreciated.

Wow, you know fans are turned off when the team rallies in the 9th for a win and nobody posts a thing on TCR.

4 of us enjoyed the win in parachat.

it was a nice game...for once.

Hi Arizona Phil...

I was wondering what your thought were about Luis Liria. Thanks!

Submitted by Raisin101 on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 12:26am.
Hi Arizona Phil...

I was wondering what your thought were about Luis Liria. Thanks!


RAISIN: Luis Liria throws a full array of pitches, including a couple of different fastballs, a slider, a curve, and a change-up which I have been told is a splitter.

The only negative with Liria is spotty command, but otherwise he looks to be a decent pitching prospect. I think the command issue is probably what kept him from starting the season at Peoria, but I do believe he and Matt Loosen are next in line to get moved-up now that Bristow and Jung have left.

to Carlos Pena's first Cub HR...

went with the family today, so can't say I paid too close attention as getting ice cream was a bigger priority. Crowd seemed significantly larger tonight...

Two decent pitchers, two terrible offenses...goose eggs galore. Byrd's shit arm was on display for the first Dodger run. I guess you need luck as much as skill for a 29-game hitting streak, Ethier sure has been the last two games.

Girls were dozing off by the 8th but I caught Barney's awesome play to end the 8th just as we were walking out and caught the winning rally on radio.

Ice cream (well frozen yogurt) was found and it just tastes better served in a mini-helmet.

Did you wear cub gear?

Did you pay for tickets?

The cheapest $12 ones, knew we would be leaving early

Of course

And no savage beating afterwards. Hooray!

cops everywhere now, shame that it required a savage beating to make it happen.

Been going for 14 years now to Cubs games there, never much a problem for me. If you're not a dick about it, not much to worry about.

Russell back to the pen according to rotoworld blurb/Sullivan.


I'm going to hope that Jay Jackson is coming up...or that because of off days the 5th spot isn't needed for a while...

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 7:15am.
I'm going to hope that Jay Jackson is coming up...or that because of off days the 5th spot isn't needed for a while...


D BAYLOR: A 5th starter will not be needed again until Saturday May 14th.

Starter not needed until the Saturday after this, wells or Davis should be ready by then, possibly even cashner

Then it's LOOK OUT NL!!!!!!!!!!!

Getting those guys back will be like making a mid-season trade!


a timely piece from Chris Cwik at Fangraphs recommending that it might be time to take F. Liriano out of the Twins rotation.

next: Pujols could excel as a utility infielder


the flipside of this is the overly optimistic "timely" piece like the one in today's SunTimes:

Cubs’ Fukudome confident he can keep it going after red-hot April
May 4, 2011 2:13AM

In reality he's 2 for his last 21 and April is a faded rose.....same Fukudome, same as always

Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...

Six walks and two K's in the no-hitter? He probably was right.

The lineup angst raises an interesting question (to me, anyway). Soriano's hitting HRs and driving in runs, but his OBP is terrible. So does his production in those areas outweigh the negatives in others? Should he really be higher up?

If it's Marlon Byrd or Pena as the options then yes move him up.

He'd be a good 5 or 6 hitter right now, preferably with Soto and ARam in front of him. Byrd has no business in the #3 spot, and I'm starting to wonder whether Castro gets a little psyched out by being a #3 hitter at this point in his career (though I would be okay with giving that more time). I'd be happy to go back to something like the following:


It'd be nice to get one of our lefthanders going, though. Maybe Pena is about to go on a hot streak. Colvin seems to have disappeared from the lineup lately. If you're going to slump, I guess you better at least make tons of money while you do it or else you'll ride the pine.

I think Castro is pressing when in the 3 spot. I would leave him at leadoff all year. If he ends up hitting bombs routinely then move him to 3.

I like your lineup at least until Barney turns back into a pumpkin. That and I would switch Soto and Ramirez

I see that we got the "bad" Austin Reed today. Man, I hope the pitching coaches down there in EXST can figure out a way to get his mechanics more consistent.

And that lineup is just awful. Barely one prospect in it that is worth monitoring.

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Baker RF, Soto C, Soriano LF, Peña 1B, Zambrano P

vs. Lilly

I like the idea of Pena hitting 8th. Since one of his main skills is walking (with the occasional HR we hope), we can expect him to do more of that in the 8th hole at least.

Cashner and Wells going to Arizona to continue rehab.

from Sullivan twitter

that can't be good...earlier in the week it was they didn't need to go to Arizona cause they were doing so well.

It's hardly ever mentioned anywhere but Riggins was responsible for preparing these guys to be starters both in AAA and with the Cubs. He didn't do much of a job of that.

I'd like to say something in his defense but he's got the Cubs ranked 30th/30 major league staffs and frankly, this is all I know about him.

but he's not Larry Rothschild, who kicked puppies and practiced satanic witchcraft.

Who are you talking about, beacause Wells seemed pretty prepared when he came to the big leagues, and Cashner got put into a bullpen role... why no one is quite clear on. Are you talking about Coleman? Leo Mazzones and Dave Duncan's love child can make a decent MLB starter a guy with his level of talent.

Seems like Either has a hit in every game against the Cubs this year.

Cubs and Dodgers wearing throw back jerseys today. Tuned in a little late, didn't hear what years they are from.

UPDATE: They're from the 40's. Dodgers apparently will wear these regularly this season on some occasional weekday games.

I'll do my Pat Hughes impression:

The Dodgers are wearing royal blue jerseys with a white "Brooklyn" on the front. A white stripe runs down the sleeve and pant leg. White numbers on the back with no names. Dark blue stirrup socks. Blue hats, blue shoes.

Cubs are in gray jerseys with blue "Chicago" across the front, a red stripe underlines "Chicago". Dark blue pull up sox with red stripes. Blue shoes, blue hats. No names on jerseys. Blue numbers.

Green grass. Few fans. The bleachers are almost completely empty, it looks really odd.

Bud Selig needs to step in and use his best interest of baseball power to ban the Dodgers from wearing these uni's again. Shit ugly is what Pat Hughes should have said.

...soriano should have been on 2nd base.

should have...



between his D and baserunning...man...

damn u dusty and and lou and mike barrett and bin laden's 1/2 of a face...

dodgers playing a diamond defense on c.pena rather than the full shift in an attempt to take away the bunt single.

Wow. Soriano thrown out by 4 feet sliding into second trying to tag up from first on a fly ball to left.

pathetic attempt. actually, no, it's a stupid attempt.

Question: Why does Soto bat 6th?
Answer: Because Soriano, MLB's leading HR hitter bats 7th, and the guy who hit a HR last night bats 8th.

pena hr! solo...

25hr on the year for the team...17 solo.

make that 17 for 26...byrd 3 run homer...a very, very, visually happy byrd.

Lilly seems to have hit a bit of a rough patch in the 6th inning.

No pun intended.

We have the slowest baserunners in history.

wtf was aram doing there anyway? odd.

he hasn't attempted a SB since 2009, btw.

Lilly must have found out he wasn't getting paid this month


someone should have told jay gibbons...who just cashed in a RBI.

he actually plays today because of the begging he did for a minor league deal in 2010 (he was playing indie ball in 2009). he sent out an offer to every team that he'd donate his entire minor league pay if they'd just hire him.

sweet...cubs win.

if they can win 2 more and get to .500 i might start caring more if they win or lose.

Cubs proved today they can hit the crap out of 87 mph fastballs and hanging sliders.

Well done.

Nice when the other team only has 1 guy that should be starting in the majors in the lineup.

Aaron Miles?

That Pena HR was crushed. Hit the facing of the second level in right field, far back of the fence.

Recent comments

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  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 14 min 37 sec ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 15 min 5 sec ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 23 min 54 sec ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 44 min 4 sec ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout)  he was seen as a long-term project.  

    I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • I'm with Rob G and Johann here. It's not about Chapman as a pitcher. I just don't want to have to block out a real problem (the domestic violence) in order to try to enjoy the frivolous ball and stick game.

    Charlie 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • ROB G & BOB R: You're right. The QO can only be extended if the player spends the entire previous season with one club, so only the Yankees could have offered one to Chapman (if he wasn't traded). If an Article XX-B FA is traded during the season, the new club can't offer a QO. .

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 15 min ago view