10/7 Extra bases from Mesa, AZ

* Monday was a big day for Kyuji Fujikawa. The right-hander, who was limited to 12 games with the Cubs because of arm problems that eventually resulted in Tommy John surgery on his elbow, threw a baseball for about five minutes Monday at Fitch Park in Mesa. It may not sound like much, but it was another step in his rehab. He had been able to play catch with a tennis ball, but Monday was the first time he was allowed to throw a baseball. Fujikawa has spent the summer in Mesa rehabbing three to four hours a day. Even though most pitchers need two years to recover from the surgery, Fujikawa said his goal is to be ready for 2014.

* Right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard, claimed off waivers from the Red Sox, is working out at Fitch Park as well as infielder Mat Gamel, whom the Cubs claimed from the Brewers. Bard was expected to throw off the mound Tuesday.

Gamel did not play this season after re-tearing his ACL early in Spring Training. Was he surprised the Brewers put him on waivers?

“As far as a business standpoint, I completely understand where they’re coming from,” Gamel said. “It’s unfortunate. In the same breath, I’m happy for the new opportunity and looking forward to it and am excited about it. It’s new life.”

He can play third and first, and originally came up as a third baseman. He’s been with the Brewers for eight years.

“I don’t know any other organization,” he said. “Maybe this will be a good fresh start for me.”

Gamel planned to train in Mesa this week. He wants to show the Cubs he’s healthy. He re-injured his leg at the eight-month mark of his rehab, which was supposed to take six to nine months.

“I think it worked well this time,” he said. “It feels good, it feels strong and that’s the important thing.”

* The Arizona Fall League gets underway Tuesday with the Mesa Solar Sox playing at Glendale against the Desert Dogs. Expect to see Jorge Soler in right field for most of the AFL games. Cubs prospects Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Wes Darvill, Lendy Castillo, Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, and Armando Rivero also are on the Mesa roster. Beeler and Loosen will start.

* On Tuesday night, the Cubs’ instructional league team will play at 5:30 p.m. Arizona time at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are expected to be in town for the game.

* Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss will spend three weeks in November with Starlin Castro in the Dominican Republic to get the shortstop ready for the 2014 season.

* Cubs coach Franklin Font was headed to Venezuela soon to be a coach on Buddy Bailey’s Winter League team.

— Carrie Muskat


Buss should take a week and work on everything above the neck, for starters.

I honestly despise your constant sarcastic, negative comments. You could be a decent poster if you ever had anything good to say.

I don’t see that as a negative nor sarcastic comment. There have been many discussions this season about Castro’s attention deficit problem which does need to be addressed. Someone needs to work with Castro concerning his lack of concentration but I am not sure whose job that would be – probably not the physical training coach.

White, as usual, you said nothing. You people act like you know more than the people running the team. Castros problems have been written about a few times, do you honestly think they are not trying to find the solution?

A bit off subject but we just watched the RedSox – Tampa Bay game. One of the best off season games so far ! A true nail biter! Fun!

I agree White. Although I was not a big Dejesus fan it was nice to see him get a key double in a meaningful, playoff game considering he SEEMED to be a “pawn” for a few days….good for Dejesus. Maybe the Rays will spank the BoSox? Also, do you find it LOL funny and ironic that Jasper despises ANYBODY’S comments considering what we’ve put up with from HWSRN? And stating that diamondjim23 could be a DECENT poster if he had something good to say? Uh….isn’t that the case for EVERYBODY? Duh. He exudes narcissism. God bless you White entering the off season. At least we have the excitement of the managerial position to get us our fix… for while anyway.

Well joey, I just moored my fishing boat in Boston harbor after getting laryngitis from singing “Take me out to the ball game” all night! :)) Now the big decision – Red Sox or Tampa Bay? So glad to see DeJesus doing well with his new team. So I’ll go for Tampa Bay! Sorry Ted Williams – I watched you play years ago but now it’s time to move on! These play off games have been great fun! Have a great day!

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Maybe Tamba will lose and we can offer Samardzia as the trade for Maddon.They are probably gonna lose Price,the Cubs could save arbitration money and you gotta love the way Maddon manages.Samardzia is no #1 but each year his salary keeps rising.His salary alone would cover the majority of Maddons long term deal.His players believe in him and year in and year out he consistently hangs with the larger market teams!Gotta love the way he goes about business.

Put yourself in Tampa Bay’s shoes for a second. You have one of the best managers in the game today. Would you trade him for a #3 starter who is, at the most, two years away from breaking the bank, which you would not be able to afford? Maddon is not going anywhere, and you aren’t going to trade Samardzija for another team’s manager.

Agree Doug with Samardzija being traded for a manager and also the fact he is a #3. Also agree when he becomes a FA, he will demand big bucks.
Last year I stated that Barney’s value was its highest, hoping they would trade him. I will say the same about Samardzija now, after 200IP and 200 K’s, his value is very high. An arm injury, the Cubs lose and so does he. Get all you can for him now, save his salary next year, and go for prospects.

I agree. I expect Samardzija’s name to come up in trade talk this offseason. With that being said, I wouldn’t just trade him to the first team that makes an offer. I would expect something along the same lines as the Cubs got for Garza. A centerpiece prospect (like CJ Edwards) and a few other prospects with upsides (like Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, and Neil Ramirez). I suspect there will be some talk around the winter meetings, and I know the Diamondbacks expressed some interest near the trading deadline, so we’ll see what develops between now and then.

Well Jasper, as usual you have said nothing new! We have been talking about samardzija and Barney’s trade value umpteen times! I guess we are all prone to repeating ourselves aren’t we! :))

You would have to give them someone of value for Maddon.They will have to replace David Price,Samardzia would be cheaper and under team control for i think 2 more years.Of course that would mean Maddon would want to leave and come to the Cubs.Tampa would just not take anyone and it would have to be someone of value.

First off, the Rays are not trading their manager, period. The Rays are a team that needs to get the most out of their talent every season in order to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees. You get rid of Maddon and that takes away from their ability to do just that. Second, they’ve known that they will eventually have to trade Price away, as he will be out of their price range (no pun intended) soon enough. Replacing him is what guys like Alex Cobb and Chris Archer are there for. Plus, trading Price would net you some pretty good prospects, so they could easily acquire a team’s top pitching prospect for Price. So there’s no need to replace Price with a 29-year old with a career ERA above 4.00. Lastly, if Edwin Jackson got 4 years 52 million, Samardzija is probably asking for at least 5 years and no less than 70 million. There’s no way the Rays will pay that, meaning if they do trade for him, he’d only be a short-term rental. Again, you are not going to trade one of the best managers in the game today for a middle of the rotation starter who will probably be gone in two years anyway. But it’s all a moot point anyway, because the Rays would be absolutely insane to trade away their manager when their whole key to winning 90+ games a season is to play smart and get the most out of the talent that’s there.

Once again Doug is correct on all points. The Rays are using their farm system, as soon as someone starts costing them money, like a soon to be FA, they are traded for more prospects.

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