Lake & Castro Make the Minor League Scene, Pimentel Fires Goose-Eggs at Riverview
Carlos Pimentel tossed five shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out nine, as the AAA Iowa Cubs throttled the Columbus Clippers (Indians AAA affiliate) 7-2 on Field #6, while on Field #3 the Akron Aeros (CLE AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 5-2, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader game action Monday afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
The 6'3 175 Pimentel was signed by the Cubs as a six-year minor league free-agent after the 2013 season, and after being named the Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year this past off-season, the 24 year old right-hander and former Texas Rangers prospect has been very impressive both in big league camp (where he was initially assigned) and in two outings for the AAA I-Cubs at Minor League Camp. He threw 72% strikes today (anything above 70% is outstanding), and totally dominated the Clippers lineup.
RHP Yoanner Negrin "piggy-backed" with Pimentel (as both pitchers are being primed as rotation starters), and the two hurlers practiced their bunting skill by being inserted into the I-Cubs lineup whenever a sacrifice-bunt situation presented itself.
Starlin Castro (hamstring injury rehab) played shorstop for five innings and got six Plate Appearances (one in each of the first six innings) for Iowa. After flying out F-9 in each of his first two AB, he struck out swinging, and then grounded out, before finishing his day with line-drive singles in consecutive innings, the first of which drove-in the game's first run.
On the heels of his three-HR performance at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Sunday, Junior Lake served as a DH for the Tennessee squad on Monday, and went 1-7. He belted a triple in the 5th inning and scored a run, and he also just missed a monster HR in an earlier AB (ball curved foul at the last second), but he also struck out four times (all four swinging), popped out to the shortstop, and grounded out 5-3 (although to retire Lake required the Aeros third-baseman to make an outstanding diving stop before getting to his feet and making an accurate throw to 1st).
Both Albert Almora and Javier Baez had RBI singles, but Baez also made a careless throwing error that resulted in an unearned run scoring, lolly-popping an easy toss to 1st base (the throw sailed over the first-baseman's head).
Because he was on the Active List for Monday night's MLB Cubs-Padres game at Cubs Park, Jacob Hannemann did not make the trip to Goodyear with the Daytona squad. Instead he remained in Mesa and was temporarily assigned to the Iowa squad, and he got a PH AB (bunt single) and scored a run in the AAA game.
Some of the Latin American players who will be assigned to Extended Spring Training have arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy, and Varonex Cuevas and Dalfis Ortiz (both speedy switch-hitting infielders) made their U. S. game debuts on Monday, pinch-hitting in the AAA contest. Cuevas drew a walk and Ortiz laced a two-run single in a "tack-on" bottom of the 9th.
Here are the abridged box scores from Monday's games (Cubs players only):
X. Junior Lake, DH #1: 1-7 (K, K, P-6, K, 3B, K, 5-3, R)
NOTE: Lake hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
1a. Zeke DeVoss, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-6 FC, CS)
1b. Bijan Rademacher, LF: 1-1 (2B, R)
2. Albert Almora, CF: 1-3 (1-3, K, 1B, RBI)
3. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-2 (K, K, HBP)
4. Dustin Geiger, DH #2: 0-3 (L-4, F-7, P-3)
5. Jonathon Mota, 3B: 0-3 (K, P-3, K)
6a. Willson Contreras, C: 0-1 (6-3)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-2 (F-9, F-8)
7. Anthony Giansanti, RF: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
8. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-2 (P-5, 1B)
9. Walter Ibarra, SS: 1-2 (K, 1B)
10. Chadd Krist, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
1. Lendy Castillo: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 37 pitches (21 strikes)
2. P. J. Francescon: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Starling Peralta: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 43 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Zak Hermans: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Frank del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 20 pitches (13 strikes)
6. Zach Cates: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
TENNESSEE ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Jonathon Mota - E-5 (overthrow at 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
2. 3B Jonathon Mota - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
3. 2B Stephen Bruno - E-4 (dropped throw on attempted 6-4 FC allowed baserunner to reach 2nd base safely)
TENNESSEE OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Zeke DeVoss - threw out baserunner 7-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single
X-1. Starlin Castro, SS-DH: 2-6 (F-9, F-9, K, 5-3, 1B, 1B, RBI)
NOTE: Castro hit 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th innings, and 4th in the bottom of the 5th inning
X-2. Carlos Pimentel, P: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
NOTE: Pimentel hit 3rd in the bottom of the 5th inning
X-3. Yoanner Negrin, P: 0-2 (5-6-3 DP, P-2, 1-3 SH)
NOTE: Negrin hit 2nd in the bottom of the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings
1a. Rubi Silva, CF: 1-2 (BB, F-9, 3B, R, RBI)
1b. Varonex Cuevas, PH: 0-0 (BB)
2a. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, 2 R)
2b. Dalfis Ortiz, PH: 1-1 (1B, 2 RBI)
3. Javier Baez, DH-SS: 1-3 (F-9, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Matt Szczur, LF: 1-2 (L-6, BB, 1B, RBI)
5. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, 6-U FC)
6. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (K, 1B, F-8, R, SB)
7. Rafael Lopez, C-DH: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
8a. Luis Flores, DH #2: 0-2 (K, F-8)
8b. Jacob Hannemann, PH: 1-1 (1B, R)
9. Edgar Gonzalez, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
10. Charlie Cutler, DH-C: 1-3 (K, 1B, P-6, R)
1. Carlos Pimentel: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 57 pitches (41 strikes)
2. Yoanner Negrin: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 6/3 GO/FO, 46 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Marcos Mateo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
IOWA ERRORS: 2
1. C Charlie Cutler - E-2 (overthrow on attempted PO at 1st base allowed runner at 2nd base to score unearned run)
2. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Charlie Cutler: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
Javy's grunge dive into the stands for the popup was awesome - the hitting into the double play not so much
Third time I've tried to post this (forgive me if it winds up appearing three times)
Junior Lake, batting 9th and playing RF for the Blue Jays...
*That was a fun HALF inning.
this game is no longer awesome.
he did...it was awesome.
I'm pretty sure that Len called Bryant's home run a Brexit.
everyone but heyward with a hit and a 3 run lead with coghlan on 3rd through 5 batters. hell yeah.
okay, this is just silly. 19 pitches in, 1 out, 4 runs in, men on 1st and 2nd...hendricks up to bunt.
...and almora contributes the final out. that was a fun inning.
this game is awesome already.
also, there's a lot of cubs fans in the park tonight.
Clearly, Joe Maddon is a Lineup Wizzard.
"Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."
Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.
how many pairs of dice did dusty leave hidden around the park when he left the cubs?
Line-up shakeup, going all-2015 with pitcher batting 8th, Bryant 2nd
J-Hey, Bryant 1B, Zobrist, Willson, Coghlan, Baez 3B, Russell, Hendricks, Almora
The Cubs are currently down Schwarber, Fowler, Soler, and Rizzo and Montero appear to be day-to-day. Maybe not surprising that they are struggling a bit as they rely more than expected on Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, and Szczur to provide offensive value.
Joe: "I loved the way we brought it today, man. We'll take this every night and win a lot of ballgames like that. Losing 4 in a row...that's nothin'."