White Sox Show No Mercy at HoHoKam Park

Paul Konerko drilled two solo home runs, and Adam Dunn slugged a two-run home run off the White Sox team bus parked next to the Budweiser Party Pavillion beyond the RF fence, as the White Sox defeated the Cubs 8-3 this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park, in what is the Cactus League version of the Crosstown Classic.

box score

The Cubs got on the board first against White Sox LHP Jose Quintana, scoring a run in the bottom of the 1st inning. David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz both ripped line-drive extra-base hits over the head of Sox CF Dewayne Wise (DeJesus a lead-off double and Schierholtz a one-out RBI triple), somewhat surprising because both DeJesus and Schierholtz tend to struggle versus LHPs.

The White Sox came back to score single runs in the 3rd & 4th innings off Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva. Gordon Beckham slugged a one-out RBI double that bounced over the fence in right center to drive-in Jared Mitchell (who had reached base on a lead-off bunt single) for the Sox first run, and then Paul Konerko slugged a lead-off solo HR over the LF fence in the 4th.  

Villanueva worked four innings (53 pitches - 37 strikes, 5/3 GO/FO, 0/3 BB/K) and generally worked fast and threw strikes, but he also surrendered six hits and had runners on base every inning. He fits the profile of a rubber-armed utility pitcher, someone who doesn't exactly shut-down the opposition, but who can keep his team in the game by throwing multiple innings, either as a starter or as a reliever.

RHP Barret Loux took the hill for the Cubs in the 5th and threw a shutout inning and even collected a line-drive single himself in the bottom of the frame, but then he was pulverized for five runs (all earned) in the top of the 6th inning.

Jeff Keppinger laced a line-drive double to CF to lead-off the 6th, and scored on Adam Dunn's two-run dinger. Paul Konerko then went back-to-back with Dunn, hammering his second long fly of the game over the LF fence. Dayan Viciedo struck out, but then Alexei Ramirez bounced a single to center and Tyler Flowers smoked an RBI double off the CF "Green Monster" Batter's Eye to finish Loux's day. Zach Putnam relieved Loux and allowed a single and a sacrifice fly before recording the third out of the inning.

Loux was named the 2012 Texas League Pitcher of the Year after going 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, 41/100 BB/K and 120 hits allowed in 127 IP for Frisco, and was acquired by the Cubs as the replacement for RHP Jacob Brigham, who had been acquired from Texas in the Geovany Soto trade last July. Brigham was found to have a pre-sxisting elbow problem that eventually required Tommy John Surgery, and so after the season Brigham was returned to the Rangers, and the Cubs got Loux instead. He will likely be in the AAA Iowa starting rotation on Opening Day.   

Carlos Marmol entered the game in the top of the 7th, and had control issues. He was all over the place, and allowed an unearned run on one hit and two walks (plus a WP), and was pulled from the game after recording only two outs. If Tiger scouts were watching, they probably weren't impressed.  

The Cubs offense finally woke up and scored two runs in the bottom of the 9th off Leyson Septimo (who left the game with some type of injury with two outs and two strikes on what could have been the game's last hitter) and Jhan Marinez, and actually threatened to score more.

Jorge Soler worked a lead-of walk, and Christian Villanueva followed one out later with a two-run HR over the LF fence (his second homer of the Spring). Then with two outs, Brad Nelson walked and Javier Baez crushed a double (near HR) off the left-center fence, but Steve Clevenger bounced out 3-U to end the game.    

 

 

 

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Comments

This is the second year in a row I've missed this game - spring training was my routine for years. Last year it was a protest vote - they were just too sucky. This year I wanted to see some of these young stud muffins like Baez and Soler. But work got in the way. C'est la vie. Hopefully next year they'll have even more young guys to look at - I especially enjoy early spring training games because of the playing time of the kids.

Thanks for being my eyes and ears, AZ, as always.

Thinking of going to see new facility next year.
It's down the street from my old college drinking hole.

AZ Phil: That generally uninformed idiot Steve Rosenbloom, when talking about the Cubs' hole at 3B, said Christian Villanueva "has trouble hitting." Am wondering what your impressions are of him so far.

TITO: I saw Christian Villanueva play in the AZL back in 2010, and I remember him having an opposite-field line-drive stroke and good actions at 3B. He was the best player on the AZL Rangers that season.


Now he has more of an uppercut pull-power stroke, and I haven't seen line drives as much from him so far. But he looks like he could maybe be a 15-20 HR guy, and he is the best defensive third-baseman in the Cubs minor league system (and there is no close second, because just about all of the other 3B prospects will probably end up at other positions).


I'm very interested to see how Villanueva progresses in 2013 at AA. If he can continue to hit with the power he has shown this Spring while still stroking line drives when he gets a pitch he can't pull, then that would be great. 


Villanueva is definitely one of the Cubs Top 15 Prospects going into the 2013 season, and while I prefer Mike Olt because he is a year more advanced and has the potential to hit 30+ HR while playing solid defense (on a par with Villanueva), the Cubs did not do badly getting Villanueva from Texas. 

Marlins released Michael Wuertz today. I looked it up in Webster's Dictionary and it says that is the definition of "end of the road"

Big line of people waiting to buy Marlins tickets when single game tickets went on sale.

Link to story

And in other timely news, the DeLorean is no longer being made.

Ken Griffey Jr. traded to the reds...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news...

Man bites hot dog.

3 foot tall Easter bunny visits Carlos Marmol (how tall is Paul Sullivan?)

https://twitter.com/PWSullivan/status/310126637431...

"I don't believe in anything"

He is about three feet high, and is dressed in a little red jacket or roundabout, with red breeches buckled at the knee, gray or black stockings, and a hat, cocked in the style of a century ago, over a little, old, withered face. Round his neck is an Elizabethan ruff, and frills of lace are at his wrists.

Jason Schmidt has apparently signed with the Dodgers. No word yet on the contract details.

I wonder how that deal is gonna work out?

Can't turn out anyway but well. He's coming off a great year.

cubs spring training preview...

hopefully ed lynch can continue building a winning club.

http://images.si.com/baseball/mlb/news/1999/03/04/...

Larry Himes still pondering a tough call:

If we sign Maddux...

``No matter what we do-if we sign Maddux or we sign someone else-I still need Mike (Harkey),`` Himes said. ``He`s very important to our team. And Assenmacher. All you have to do is look at his stats before the All-Star break and after. In fact, there were probably five or six games we probably could have won if Paul would have been the same Paul he was in `91.``

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-11-22/spor...

Ok fine, it's just that I bought my tickets a Wrigley field today, I was feeling a bit nostalgic, and I wanted to laugh at the Marlins at the same time. It was pretty easy to get the tickets I wanted, btw.

Without redundancy, we wouldn't have much to talk about around here.

heh...nice one.

this isn't fun anymore :(

Matt Szczur optioned to AA/Tenn per Roto

The not-really-Italian team beats Canada 14-4 and will very likely move to Round 2. Rizzo 0-3 with a 2 bb, 1 k, 2 runs and an RBI. Former Cub farmhand Alex Maestri with the win. I wonder how much coverage this gets in Italy and the Nederlands.

Here's the English version of Italy's leading online sports mag. It's all "football," Formula One, and cycling. Not a single mention of baseball.

http://english.gazzetta.it/

"Mark Rzepczynski (STL) suffered a freak injury on Friday when a golf ball reportedly struck him near his left eye."

he was shut down a few days ago with a biceps injury...evidently you don't use those muscles playing golf. scoff.

...evidently you don't use those muscles playing golf.

Cardinals manager Matheny was told he was playing Scrabble, those tiles can be dangerous.

MEX vs USA...game taking place in phoenix, az...crowd is very heavily MEX favored.

MEX up by 4 in the top 8th...would be a hell of an upset loss for team USA.

alot of DWB's will be pulled over after that game

For anyone who might have missed it, Cubs & Reds were rained out tonight in Goodyear with score tied 1-1 after top of the 2nd.

RHP Nick Struck started for Cubs and LHP Tony Cingrani started for CIN

All nine Cubs got one AB each and Struck threw one (long) inning

CUBS:

Sappelt, LF: 0-1 (P-5)
Barney, 2B: 0-1 (3-U)
Hairston, CF: 1-1 (HR)
Soriano, DH: 1-1 (2B)
Valbuena, SS: 0-0 (BB)
Navarro, C: 0-1 (P-6)
Soler, RF: 0-1 (K)
Lake, 3B: 0-1 (K)
Bogusevic, 1B: 0-1 (4-3)

SP - Struck: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (also E-1 pick-off attempt at 2nd base)

How bad is Darwin Barney's projected offensive outlook? Despite having the job locked up, he couldn't even crack the dreaded "fifth tier" of Yahoo fantasy baseball's ranks of second basemen. This ranking lists the website's top 29 offensive 2B for 2013 but is a Darwin-free zone. Jemile Weeks made the list, and his OPS was .609 last year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/fantasy-roto-arcade/...

June 1st is Darwin Barney Bobblehead day. {So at least he's got that going for him.}

dusty refuses to play adrian cardenas and hendry won't give him a chance.

look at his AAA numbers the past 2 years!

lulz sigh etc. 2013, bobby hill where are you?

E-Man's bad penny...

per Roto...Nationals released LHP Will Ohman.
Ohman was reassigned to minor league camp last week and will be given his unconditional release. The 35-year-old should resurface as a left-handed specialist.

Joe Mather bounced by the Phillies too.

Oh Man!

oops...wrong reply. carry on oh man'ing.

epic Mexico vs. Canada fight...nice.

WW3!!!

Z being Z...mouthing off and showing up the ump over balls/strikes...not enough to get tossed, though.

he's amp'd as hell...catching the ball thrown back to him from the catcher with his bare hand...fuming...etc.

...and he throws a wild pitch allowing runners to advance...classic.

...and he's out of the game after losing all control of his mechanics...with the bases loaded and 2 outs.

3 innings of great work...an emotional 4th...and things start going wrong.

Ah! We can count on some things in this world.

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