Giants Sweep Cubs at Fitch Park

Jeffrey Baez rapped out four singles, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in another, and Trevor Gretzky, Luis Acosta, and Francisco Sanchez each hammered an RBI double, but the Giants rallied for three runs over the final two innings to defeat the Cubs 8-5 on Field #2, while on Field #3, Josh Conway tossed three shutout innings for the Cubs, but three Giants pitchers combined to throw a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts, Leonardo Fuentes smacked an RBI triple and Sam Eberle followed with an RBI double to spark a two-run 7th, and Rando Moreno clubbed a bases-clearing three-run triple to cap a three run 8th, as the Giants blanked the Cubs 5-0 and swept the doubleheader, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

The position players were divided up according to where they are projected (as of right now) to be assigned in June, so the squad on Field #2 was essentially the AZL Cubs, and the squad on Field #3 was what will likely eventually be the Boise Hawks (again, at least as things stand right now)

The game on Field #2 was called in the middle of the 7th inning, and the game on Field #3 was called in the middle of the 8th inning.

Jorge Soler batted 3rd and played RF in the game on Field #3, going 0-3 with two ground outs and a called third strike.

David Bote started at 2B for the Cubs squad on Field #3, but was pulled from the game after the 5th inning when Manager Bobby Mitchell was notified that Bote was being promoted and needed to get to Sky Harbor Airport to catch a plane ASAP. As a result, 1B Jose Dore was moved over to 2B for the final three innings, the first time he has played the position in pro ball.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):


1a. Roberto Caro, LF-DH: 1-3 (6-3, P-6, 1B)
1b. Alberto Mineo, PH: 1-1 (1B)
2. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, 1-4 SH, K, RBI)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 4-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
4a. Mark Malave, DH: 0-2 (E-5, F-9 , R)
4b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 1-2 (1B, K)
5. Luis Acosta, 3B: 1-3 (2B, K, K, RBI)
6. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-3 (1B, 2B, K, RBI, SB)
7. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (F-7, L-6, K)
8. Wilfredo Petit, C: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B, PO)
9. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (E-6, 1B, P-5, 2 R)

1. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 32 pitches (21 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Matt Loosen: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 59 pitches (37 strikes), 2/6 GO/FO
3. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Loiger Padron: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (14 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1. 3B Luis Acosta - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Luis Acosta - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
4. C Wilfredo Petit - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd)

Wilfredo Petit: 0-8 CS, 1 E (see above)


1a. David Bote, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3)
1b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (K, P-3, F-9)
3. Jorge Soler, RF: 0-3 (3-1, K, 4-3)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, DH: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, K, CS)
5. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-2 (3-U, L-6, BB)
6. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-3 (5-3, K, K)
7a. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (5-3, K)
7b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Jose Dore, 1B-2B: 0-1 (HBP, K)
9. Jacob Rogers, 3B: 0-1 (BB, K)

1. Josh Conway: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 45 pitches (27 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Hunter Cervenka: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 34 pitches (23 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
4. Chad Martin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (25 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO

1. P Josh Conway - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)
2. 3B Jacob Rogers - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

Justin Marra: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's



Phil-- Yoanner Negrin was a strikeout machine tonight at Des Moines -- had 8 Ks in 3.0 innings and has 13 Ks in 7.2 IP so far this year. Small sample size, sure but quite a good start for him. He's 28 years old but was only signed as a free agent back in June of 2011, the same time as Javier Baez's draft, with no organized ball history before that. They've rocketed him through the system lo A and high A in 2011, AA and AAA (plus 124 IP in the Mexican league) in 2012, now starting him in AAA Iowa this year. What does he throw and how does the front office see him? Is he seen as a AAA filler/organizational man or do they project him as a possible piece for the bullpen with the parent club?

Edit: I see where you mention him being signed as a Cuban defector in the summer of 2011 in your comment at but his birthplace is listed in and the minor league stats page as being Miami, FL. Was he born in Miami, went back to Cuba and later defected back to the US? Sounds highly unusual.

I think the Miami thing's a typo. He's definitely from Cuba.

Here's a link (in Spanish):

"My arm is good and I'm also good at running on pillows"

Love those automatic translation programs. Bing translator is actually pretty good for the most part, but every so often you get a real head-scratcher.

JOE P: Yoanner Negrin (known as "Yoannis" before he defected) was born in Havana, but he currently resides in Miami. 

Negrin throws a boatload of pitches (four-seamer, two-seamer, change, curve, and slider, plus some secret sauce), and he uses various arm-angles, too, which makes his repertoire even more diverse and unpredictable. 

The only velocity reading I ever heard on Negrin was a 90 MPH fastball on his four-seamer and mid-upper 80's on his two-seamer, and that was in a "live" BP session. But since he can cut the four-seamer or throw it straight, he might be able to alter the velo a bit at certain times if he is so inclined. 

He also has a reputation as being "rubbber-armed" and able to throw a lot of pitches per outing and to pitch more-frequently than the average starting pitcher without incurring arm problems. This is fairly consistent with the way Cuban pitchers are trained, so it's not necessarily unique to Negrin. But it also means he would profile as the ideal "12th man" on an MLB pitching staff, able to start a game on a moment's notice, or pitch in long relief or throw multiple innings in an extra-inning game, and not be adversely affected by inconsistent usage. 

The Cubs have released many of the Cuban defectors that they signed over the past couple of years, but they made sure to keep Negrin under club control (despite his age) by "loaning" him to Tabasco in the Mexican League last season. He had a strong post-2012 pitching for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League (he was 4th in ERA among VWL starting pitchers), and he was a starting pitcher for Team Spain in the 2013 WBC. So he has been pitching virtually year-round since signing with the Cubs, but almost none of that time with a Cubs affiliate (until now). I had predicted last fall (while he was pitching well in the VWL) that the Cubs would likely give Negrin an NRI to big league camp, but they did not, possibly because he was set to pitch in the WBC.

A scout once told me the biggest mistake casual observers make when evaluating a player or pitcher is to assume that a player or pitcher gets to a certain age or point in development and then never improves, when it actually is better to just keep an open mind and see what happens. And then there are guys who just never seem to get a chance or opportunity, but once they do, they make the most of it. 

Thanks, AZ Phil -- and John B.

Cubbery: Clevenger out 6 weeks trying to hit the baseball.

I remember Tim Lincecum

Recent comments

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