Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Indians – 03/28/11

Spring Training Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (14-17) vs. Indians (14-13)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Webcast
Location – Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear

Carlos Zambrano (0-1, 4.08/1.47) vs. Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.56/1.92)

Updated – 2:48pm CDTAccording to multiple reports, the Cubs optioned Welington Castillo to Triple-A Iowa MondayKoyie Hill was named the Cubs back-up catcher.

Only two Spring Training games remain for the Chicago Cubs … the first pitch of the Cubs 2011 campaign is just four days away. Camp ‘Q” wraps on Wednesday with an Intrasquad game at HoHoKam Park.

The Cubs have yet to finalize their Opening Day roster but Koyie Hill is expected to be named Geovany Soto’s backup at some point in the next few days. Once the Cubs option Welington Castillo to Iowa, try to send Max Ramirez through waivers and add Reed Johnson to the 40-man roster, Q’s Opening Day squad will be set.

Carlos Zambrano will make his final spring tune-up this afternoon. Z’s last start in a Cactus League game came back on March 18 against the Reds. Zambrano pitched in a minor league game against a D’Backs Triple-A squad last Wednesday so Carlos Silva could start against the Oakland A’s.

Mick Gillispie and Len Kasper will call their final game of the spring this afternoon on The Smokies’ play-by-play man and the television voice of the Cubs have done an excellent job broadcasting the Cubs’ Cactus League action.

Carlos Zambrano has put together a very good spring while handling himself in a different manner. The Reds hit Big Z pretty hard in his last start but Z showed a lot of maturity by not showing the reigning NL Central Champions anything in a meaningless game.

Z has allowed eight runs, all earned, on 20 hits with six walks and 10 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings. Today will be Z’s sixth start of the spring.

Kosuke Fukudome is expected to hit leadoff this afternoon with Marlon Byrd back in the three-hole in Mike Quade’s lineup.

Carlos Carrasco will make his sixth start of the spring. Carrasco has been hit pretty hard. In 16 2/3 innings he’s allowed 16 runs, 14 earned, on 26 hits with six walks and 14 strikeouts.

Carrasco will begin the year as the number two starter in the Indians’ rotation.

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver
  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Fukudome – RF
    Castro – SS
    Byrd – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Barney – 2B
    Hill – C
    Zambrano – P

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    This very well could be the opening day lineup with the exception of Koyie Hill.

  • Dave_in_STL

    FREE KOYIE HILL, Carlos Silva Style…..

  • Dave_in_STL

    Or… better yet, make him “the roving catching instructor” for the organization. JH gets to keep all the things he apparently loves so much about him, yet the team gets a roster spot to use on someone who can actually see the ball from the batters box

  • Neil

    According to multiple reports, the Cubs Optioned Welington Castillo to Triple-A Iowa Monday … And Koyie Hill was named the Cubs back-up catcher.

  • Demitri

    Colvin and Soto in for those clowns that are taking there position and that would be my line up. Theres no speed, but the Cubs haven’t been built for speed anyway

  • Neil

    Carlos Pena with his 3rd homer of the spring in the second …

  • cubs1967

    Soto is tied for 2nd w/ the most DL trips among catchers in the majors at 3 since 2008. Add in the unique schedule a Cubs catcher plays and no Cubs catcher should play in more than 120-125 games max. that leaves about 40 games or 150-160 at-bats for hill to hit .150 OR we could try castillo and see if he hits .270 plus SO the team has an idea in 1-2 yrs to trade Soto before he becomes too expensive thru arb.

    160 at-bats just thrown away; plus a pitcher in those games ; for why???

    Becuz; we as fans should pay the highest price in MLB; we as fans should accept mediocre team,and listen to PK Ricketts have the balls to say there is money if attendance is good???–Really, PK, blame the most loyal fan base while screwing us royally w/ tix prices; yet it’s OK if the team sucks or the management does!

    103rd yr starting…… a few days…….where is Michael J Fox or Christopher Lloyd ‘cuz we’ve gone Back to the Future w/ the new old Ricketts/Wrigley regime????


    cue Huey Lewis……….going back in time………..losing all the time……..screwing time away…………103 yrs back in time!

    • Guest

      Well said, we should trade Soto while he has some value (wouldn’t that be something???) and play Castillo and Ramirez full time to let them develop into players we need for when we actually have a chance to contend again once we shed bad contracts and hopefully get rid of Hendry and send a message to Ricketts… good team = good crowd and more profit.

      Once again, I hope others will join me in not attending any Cub games at Wrigley until things change. Miller Park, here I come.

      • Aaron

        I’ve been saying that for awhile now. It’s time to cut ties with Soto while his value is about at its peak (other than his ROY campaign in 2008). It’s not a matter of “if” he’ll get injured again…it’s a matter of “when”…

        The Cubs would be better served in the long run to deal him at his peak value for a very good return, and try to restock the minor league system at starting pitcher and corner IF/OF.

        I firmly believe a catching tandem of Castillo/Clevenger would be exciting for the Cubs and the fan base. Clevenger is a scrappy hitter that knows how to get on base. He’s also very adept at handling a pitching staff evidently. Castillo has more upside with his power bat and cannon of an arm, so he’d be the logical replacement for Soto.

  • Neil

    Zambrano and Hill with a strike ’em out, throw ’em out to end the third.

    • Tedtop16

      When Hill is catching, it means our pitching staff will have a higher batting average than he. For example today, Zambrano’s batting average is higher than Hill’s. Maybe, we can have him hit 9th. I wonder how many K’s and double plays he has hit into this spring?

  • BosephHeyden

    Koyie Hill might as well just serve as Zambrano’s “personal catcher”. Last year, Hill should have purely served only as Silva’s personal catcher (those were when he had his best games). Just have Hill play every fifth game, have Z bat 8th and Hill bat 9th, and Hill can do all those sac bunts that Z would be wasted on.

  • cubtex

    I know a lot of people on here are bashing Pena and his batting average…Rightfully so, but look at his power numbers the last 4 years. There is absolutely no reason in my eyes that he won’t put up close to 30 HR’s in Wrigley with 90 RBI’s. He won’t have a high average but he walks close to 90 times a year and usually his OBP is 120 points higher than his average. For example last year BA .196 OBP .325

    These are his power numbers for the last 4 years

    46 HR’s 121 RBI
    31 HR’s 102 RBI
    39 HR’s 100 RBI
    28 HR’s 84 RBI

    Will anyone argue that this is not solid??? I am sure fans in Tampa were saying he was in decline after hitting 31 the year after he hit 46 and then he bounced back with 39.

    • Jon

      he will be money this year… lock it up. He needs that one last big contract before he rides off into the sunset and this is his last chance… .265, 35 HRs, 100 RBIs with solid defense and a team leader… ill take it any day

    • Aaron

      28 hr, 97 RBI
      44 hr, 102 RBI
      32 hr, 85 RBI

      Using your logic, this player has solid stats, doesn’t he? His name? Mark Reynolds…..yeah…pretty sure you wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole, would you?

      Ironically, his peripheral numbers aren’t far off from Pena’s either.


      He does strike out about 50+ more than Pena…but he also walks about the same amount of times as Pena does during a given season. He also happens to get more hits and doubles than Pena.

      It’s all in perspective. I’m not trying to be a jerk and poo-poo everything you’re saying, so please don’t misunderstand…I’m just throwing different things out there for you to consider.

      I got slammed on here for wanting the Cubs to get Adam Dunn….I have a HUGE man crush on that guy….but I caught a lot of flak for it, because I was told he strikes out too much….but what people often forgot was that he averages about 40 hr, 100 RBI, and 100 walks. He also averages more than a .385 OBP, and around a .525 SLG

      I’ll take consistency ANYDAY versus a guy that might or might not hit about .200 and might or might not hit 40 hr…or even 30 hr…..and might or might not get more than 84 RBI.

      I want to see the Cubs succeed, but they’re not going to do so when they play games like that where they’re hoping a guy has a career year in order to contend. They desperately need consistency, and it’s NOT a coincidence that their last 2 playoff trips came with DeRosa and ARAM supplying consistency, where you could count on 100+RBI from ARAM and 70+RBI from DeRosa and even Lee got into the act with 80+RBI (even though he was inconsistent otherwise in his game, at leas the gave the Cubs that production while he was with them.)…and the thing about those 3, was they pretty much played in every game for the Cubs during those 2 seasons…also a mark of consistency and health (the health is a MAJOR reason why Soriano has been so wildly inconsistent with the Cubs, having played in 135, 109, 117, and 147 games in the 4 years since he signed the most ridiculous contract in Cubs history…well, Bradley’s is tied with his for the worst, I guess…LOL)

  • Neil

    Cubs have placed Max Ramirez on waivers according to Ken Rosenthal

    • cubtex

      I’m sure someone will claim him. It makes you wonder why they even claimed him off waiver from the Red Sox in the first place?? He had no chance to make the roster no matter what he did this spring!
      Any thoughts?????

      • Tom U

        I would love to have him as part of the organization, but the catcher position has a lot of depth in the minors.

        • Aaron

          Yes and no…The Cubs have Castillo at AAA now, and he’s an everyday guy. Outside of him, the only MLB-ready catcher is Clevenger, and he never has been an everyday catcher and projects more as a back-up (which is fine)…Outside of them, Robinson, Lalli, Flores, Mercedes, and Noble all project as roster fillers and nothing more. As for Brenly, Gibbs, and Burruel, there’s a chance they could develop into everyday players, but nothing to get excited over, except for Gibbs’ offensive potential.

          • cubtex

            Gibbs has a chance. Very good career at LSU and was a 3rd round pick last year.

          • Aaron

            Yeah, that’s what I was saying too…I really liked him out of LSU. Scouts compared him to a slightly lesser version of Wieters. Both are switch hitters with above average power….Gibbs just has yet to show it in the minors. There was never a question of his receiving skills playing out in pro ball, but whether or not his bat would translate. Thus far, it’s been underwhelming, but we’ll see what happens this year.

          • cubtex

            yeah. alot of kids struggle their first year in the minors. Hopefully he will show a little more this year. Like you said…..other than Castillo, I think Gibbs is the one who would most likely translate to an everyday catcher down the road.

      • Neil

        I questioned the decision at the time. Seems Hendry had to have 4 catchers on his 40-man roster throughout the winter. Once he traded Chirinos there was an open spot.

    • Aaron


    • Cheryl

      Well, for his sake I hope he has more of a chance than he did with the Cubs.

  • Aaron

    ….and Koyie Hill rewards the brain dead Chicago Cubs management for their faith in him with an 0-for-3, 2 strikeout performance

    YAY Cubs…60 starts with this fool, yet again….LOL….oh my, this team is going to be unwatchable at times this season, but I’ll still watch the trainwreck happen….it doesn’t mean I have to like it….or support it

    • Aaron

      and…the Indians add insult to injury by intentionally walking the Cubs 7 hole hitter Barney to reach the incapable Hill, who promptly gets hit by a pitch to get on base…LOL….Sadly, and I know it’s awful to think this way, but when I was listening on the radio, I almost hoped I’d hear, “…and it looks like Hill is hurt”….I know, I know….it’s an awful thing to think, but like Aaron Miles, and Milton Bradley from 2 years ago, it seemed like the only way to get them benched/released was for them to go on the DL.

      Other than Aaron Miles, I don’t think the Cubs have seen that automatic of an out from a position player for quite some time. I think you’d have to Augie Ojeda’s first 4 seasons with the Cubs from 2000-2003 to find a player like that. Here were Ojeda’s stats from those seasons:
      .221/.307/.364 28 games
      .201/.269/.271 78 games
      .186/.247/.243 30 games
      .120/.185/.120 12 games

  • Neil

    Pena with a solid at bat in 9th. Worked count to 3-2 before ripping a double to right.

  • Neil

    Chris Perez is leaving hurt.

    Indians kinda pitched around Darwin Barney to face Koyie Hill with tying run on third and 2 outs in the ninth

  • Neil

    Hill was hit by a pitch

    • paulcatanese

      Well Neil,that was a good at bat for him.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost to Indians 4-3 Monday in Goodyear. Carlos Zambrano’s line: 4R, 3ER, 4H, 5BB, 2Ks in 5 IP. Cubs pitching issued 7 walks. Carlos Pena hit 3rd HR of spring, RBI 2B in 9th.

    Reed Johnson struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the game

  • Cheryl

    Will Hill bat above 150? I doubt it.

    • Aaron

      Hill won’t bat above .115… on it!

      • paulcatanese

        But he looks so good striking out,never even changes his stance. He has worked years perfecting that,and now everyone wants more out of him. What is everone doing?Messing with his head?Guys he can take a third stike with the best of them,and erven more often so that makes him the best at what he does.And Barney may lead in intentional walks.

        • Cheryl

          The sad thing is that he willbe blamed for everything. The pitchers may like him, but in time he’ll find himself isolated.

          • paulcatanese

            You know Cheryl,I dont think he will be isolated by teamates at all. One thing about pro athletes is they have a tendacy to take care of what they are doing themselves its there future individualy. They are completly aware of what Hill is doing with the bat and his feelings and while they may sympathize with his ability they have themselves to think about. The other part is you get paid you must be able to take the heat, and people who pay to see the Cubs have their rights as well to express their opinion. It ay be sad,but it is the way of Pro sports.

  • paulcatanese

    I didnt get to post yesterday,internet was down and today also. Just wanted to say after watching the game yesterday and Sorionos attempt to catch that fly ball down the left field line
    that he has now gone from hop skip and jump to a tumbleing tumble weed. Poor guy,his legs are really gone.

    • xaxinho

      I agree. It was really embarrassing. I want to believe that he did this to prevent any chance of injury (ST is only training), but I don’t.

      • paulcatanese

        No,his legs are gone,not his fault,age catches up with all of us. I really didnt mean to make fun of him because its somthing physical with a person and cannnot help that. His time is begining to come rather quickly and as some others smarter than I have felt that the best place for him would be in the AL as a DH and I wish that would happen for his and the Cubs sake. Soriono is a good man,just getting old.

    • Harvschnepper

      How is the Chicago press giving Hendry a pass? This guy is putting a slow, station to station team who has defensive deficiencies as well as a “yesman” for a manager. Remember Jim Essian? The Cubs have his reincarnant.Fire Hendry now. I predict Saturday’s attendance to be under 25,000

      • paulcatanese

        Well number one because of Silva being released. But I agree with you as far as a slow station to station team and the manager. I would think you watched yesterdays game, and to compare speed with the Cubs and Rockies you wouuld have to say NO contest. Their outfield was the fastest I have seen in a long long time, they just flat outran the ball and took a number of hits away with their speed. I assume thats what you are looking for and if so,I totaly agree. The only hope in that direction would be after the Cubs change GMs and bring some kids up who can move,dont look for it until late 2011 and 2012.