Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mark Prior Today

Mark Prior pitching at Fitch Park today

I was out of Arizona for the past week and didn't miss the 100 degree-plus temps for one minute, and summer doesn't officially begin for another 28 days. Mark Prior is scheduled to throw in a Cubs Rookie League game today here in Mesa, I will be there and then give you a report later this afternoon.

This has been one tough stretch for the Cubs and us fans, losing 17 of the last 21 games and being 11.5 games out on May 23d is not how I envisioned this season progressing. My normally optimistic attitude is being put to the test with this club, of course the baseball season is still young. So if Wood, Prior, and D-Lee come back with a vengeance... Well, the odds on the Cubs triumvirate returning and triumphantly leading them to the playoffs are very long at best, so I probably won't put any money down on that. Then again, I guess stranger things have happened.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mark Prior, poor drivers, and 102 degrees

Click to view Mark Prior pics from yesterday
My report on the Mark Prior's pitching session from yesterday will be brief due to the fact I only saw his final inning. On the way to Fitch Park I was involved in a minor fender-bender, someone hit me while I was stopped at a traffic light. Not much damage to my vehicle or me but enough to miss most of Prior's session. Did snap off a few pics while I was there, also noticed Andy MacPhail, Cubs President and CEO was watching from the observation deck. The inning I saw was uneventful and Prior threw very few pitches, he may have reached his limit. Wish I had more info to pass on but that's about it.

It feels like summer is really upon us here in Mesa as we hit 102 degrees yesterday, same expected today. Hope you had a great Mother's day!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mark Prior continues rehab

Just a quick note, Mark Prior is scheduled to pitch a simulated game on Sunday at Fitch Park, I will be there and then write a progress report. Sunday is also Mothers Day, and we want to give all our best to all the wonderful mom's who work so hard each day to help make us better people.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Woody goes 5 in AZ

Just returned from Fitch Park where I watched Kerry Wood pitch 5 innings for the Cubs rookie league team vs the Giants rookie league team. Kerry looked very good but that's to be expected going against youngsters at the lower rungs of the minor leagues. He allowed only one hit, a hard hit double to the gap in right center, he also K'd 8 in 5 innings pitched.

Here is a bat by bat account of Wood's performance today:

1st Inning

1 - Borg hits weak Grounder to 1st base

2 - Schoop hits weak grounder to 1st base

3 - Sosa(not Sammy) K's

2nd Inning

1 - Abreu pops out to Right Field

2 - Thompson K's (swinging)

3 - Creswell K's (swinging)

3rd Inning

1 - Nunez K's (looking)

2 - Sarrento grounds out to Short

3 - Paulino weak grounder to Wood. Paulino swung so hard on the second strike the bat flew out of his hands past 3rd base, landing on the outfield grass

4th Inning

1 - Luster pop foul out to 1st baseman

2 - Borg K's (swinging)

3 - Schoop K-s (swinging) 4 pitches

5th Inning

1 - Sosa on a 2-1 count hits a double to right center gap

2 - Abreu K's (3 pitches)

3 - Thompson pops out to right center advancing Sosa to 3d base

4 - Creswell K-s (looking)

Woody looked to be laboring a little in the 5th inning, making a few grunting noises on some pitches, which I hadn't heard up until that time. Overall today was very successful, if Kerry's arm feels good tomorrow look for him to pitch next in a rehab assignment with one of the Cubs minor league affiliates.

Oneri Fleita, Cubs Director of Player Development and Latin American Operations was on hand today as well as Kerry's wife and baby. Many of the players Wood faced today looked intimidated before even getting into the batters box. Both rookie teams (Cubs and Giants) watched Wood's every move at Fitch. If this was a movie set, Wood was the star, and everyone else an extra.


Kerry Wood today at Fitch Park in Mesa

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tonight Marshall, Tomorrow Wood

Another well-pitched game by Sean Marshall, he seems to be more and more comfortable each outing, tonight was a tough no decision, too bad he couldn't get the victory. With the Cubs bats silent lately it was a nerve racking game to watch, but Matt Murton came up with the big hit and Cubs win, Cubs win! Murton as he has shown since spring training doesn't seem to get rattled in pressure situations, the kid is developing a reputation as a clutch hitter.

I hope to see Kerry Wood pitch tomorrow in a game situation at Fitch Park the Cubs Minor League complex here in Mesa. I will update you on this blog tomorrow afternoon on his progress and how he pitched. Without D Lee's bat and with Rich Hill being called up from Iowa to replace Glendon Rusch in the rotation the Cubs could certainly use some help from the rehab crew here in Mesa. Wood shouldn't have any problem getting his arm warm tomorrow as it's expected to be about 95 degrees here.

Our DVD, Vince Lloyd "The Voice of Summer" was mentioned at the end of Carrie Muskat's mailbag section on the Cubs.com website today. While the interview with Vince Lloyd was recorded in 2002 it has never been seen anywhere until we put it on DVD and released it through our website this spring. If you or any family members are fans of Cubs history, you will love the DVD.

Check back tomorrow for the Kerry Wood report.

Timothy