Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 7
Thanks to freshly minted Arizona Diamondbacks multimillionaire
Justin Upton and a slew of Chicago Cubs prospects, it was an
afternoon for youth at HoHoKam Park.
Upton’s sixth-inning grand slam, his first hit since signing a
$51.25 million, six-year contract, wasn’t enough for the Arizona
Diamondbacks in an 8-7 loss to Chicago on Friday.
Brad Snyder, one of four first-round draft picks to come through
for the Cubs, hit a two-run, ninth-inning double off Esmerling
Vasquez in a game that began with Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano and
Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren each pitching two hitless innings.
Tyler Colvin had a two-run single and a double. That gave the
Cubs’ No. 1 2006 amateur pick three doubles, a homer, a single and
three RBIs in six at-bats.
Upton was an All-Star at age 21 last season, batting .300 with
26 homers and 86 RBIs. On Wednesday, he was rewarded with a $51.25
million, six-year contract, the second-richest in franchise
He had gone 0 for 4 in the first two exhibitions before Friday’s
sixth inning, when he sent a Jeff Stevens pitch high off the
scoreboard beyond the left-field bleachers for a 5-4 lead.
“He reached the upper deck in Florida last year, so I don’t
know if anything will surprise me,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “It
was good to see him get his timing down. He was jammed the first
time up but he made an adjustment and didn’t miss that one, for
Tyler Colvin, the Cubs’ No. 1 draft pick in 2006, had a two-run
single and a double, making him 5 for 6 with four extra-base hits
and three RBIs in two games. Josh Vitters, the 2007 top pick,
singled twice and scored twice. Brett Jackson, last year’s No. 1,
tripled home a run. And heralded 19-year-old shortstop Starlin
Castro doubled and singled.
Snyder, Cleveland’s No. 1 pick in 2003, was claimed off waivers
by the Cubs in 2008.
“The first day we got together I said, `Look, you guys work
hard and get prepared, we’re going to play you, especially
early,”’ said manager Lou Piniella, who rested all of his
regulars. “They’re making good on their opportunities, and we’ll
continue to play them.”
He was especially impressed with Colvin, who has an outside shot
at claiming the fifth outfield spot.
As for the pitchers, Zambrano retired all six batters he faced,
matching what Randy Wells did Thursday.
“When you work harder, you get better results,” said Zambrano,
who reported to camp in great shape after winning only nine games
last year. “This will be my ninth year in the big leagues, and I’m
looking forward to getting better.”
Haren, who like Zambrano is expected to be his team’s
opening-day starter, walked one but faced the minimum six
“I don’t necessarily put in 100 percent effort,” he said.
“I’m working more on mechanics and getting a feel for all my
pitches. I’ve still got a long way to go.”
NOTES: Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes said RHP Brandon Webb could
start the season on the DL after offseason shoulder surgery. Webb,
the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner, has been disappointed with his
progress. “He needs to have four or five spring training starts in
order to be ready,” Byrnes said. … MRI results on Cubs RHP Angel
Guzman’s shoulder weren’t immediately available. When asked about
Guzman’s prospects this season, Piniella said: “It doesn’t look
good.” With RHP Jeff Gray also out, Cubs GM Jim Hendry is looking
for bullpen help. … Diamondbacks 3B Mark Reynolds said the club
will renew his contract at $500,000 this season while the sides try
to work out a long-term deal through 2012. “It’s at a
standstill,” he said. “We still have until opening day. Having
talks during the season would be a distraction.”