Baby Jordan Goes Yard at Riverview Park

Rashad Crawford walloped a game-tying solo home run over the RF fence in the bottom of the 6th and Luis Hernandez threw three innings of shutout relief, as the Cubs and Diamondbacks played to a 1-1 tie on Field #5, and Carlos Hernandez tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball and combined with four D'back relievers to blank the Cubs 2-0 on Field #6, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

 
Both games were scheduled to be eight-inning affairs, but the game on Field #5 was called after 7-1/2 innings with the score tied.

RHP Tevor Graham (Cubs 2013 13th round draft pick - Franklin Pierce University) got the start for Squad "A" and threw three perfect innings with six strikeouts on Field #6. Graham has a plus curve, and it was really working for him today.

Five Cub pitchers combined to punch-out 14 Diamondbacks on Field #6, albeit in a losing cause.

Known as "Baby Jordan" in high school because of his basketball prowess, 6'3 Rashad Crawford (Cubs 2012 11th round draft pick out of Mundy's Mill HS in Georgia) is an outstanding defensive CF, but hitting has been a real struggle (just 202/304/256 in 51 games and 197 PA at AZL Cubs 2012-13). He gave up switch-hitting at Extended Spring Training last year and now only hits left-handed, and he has been trying to learn to play "small ball" to take better advantage of his plus-speed, so hitting his first professional HR today was quite a surprise. 

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

FIELD #6:

CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-3 (BB, 6-3, K, F-9)
2. Kevin Brown, LF: 0-2 (F-8, BB, E-4)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, K)
4. Tyler Alamo, DH: 0-3 (6-3, 4-3, F-8)
5. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (F-7, 3-U, P-6)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-3 (P-3, F-9, 6-3)
7. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-3 (K, 3-U, K)
8. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (3-1, 2B, F-7)
9. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, K, L-5)

CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Trevor Graham: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BR, 0 BB, 6 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 33 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Jeferson Mejia: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (21 strikes)
3. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
4, Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Alberto Diaz: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)

CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE

CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 1-1 CS  

FIELD #5:

CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, BB, K)
2. Elliot Soto, SS: 1-3 (F-7, P-3, 1B)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 1-3)
4a. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 0-2 (5-3, P-4)
4b. Dalfis Ortiz, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
5. Rony Rodriguez, 1B: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 5-3, SB)
6. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-2 (BB, K, F-9, PO)
7. Mark Malave, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
8. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-2 (K, HR, R, RBI)

CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Luis Hernandez: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 5/0 GO/FO, 35 pitches (24 strikes) 
3. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Carlos Llano: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)

CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE

CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:  
Mark Malave: 1-2 CS

ATTENDANCE: 16

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Comments

So, he hits like Jordan, too.

stupid rain delay with delayed start...i was timing my dinner to be ready for the 8pm start. /firstworldproblems

I know, right? Now you'll have to watch the game sleepy with a belly full of food and a good rain-delay drunk on.

ha. life = hard.

also, game on.

j.arrieta knocked around a bit in daytona...

5.2ip 5h 2bb 7k, 5r/3er (3hr)

t.wood 3r HR...lulz...ARZ, you suck.

...and he follows it up with a RBI double...ARZ, you suck.

I wonder how Travis Wood feels about playing 2B and leading off during his off days...

it's still really weird seeing wrigley so empty. hopefully it will pick up this summer.

they keep announcing attendance in the 27K-30K+ range...even though most of the time it looks like the "butts in seats" attendance is 10-15K at best. i haven't seen bleacher attendance so low since before the sosa/mcgwire HR chase days back in 98.

one really annoying side effect is (at least on CSN feeds) that they keep the field+crowd mics cranked up in volume...though it does lead to picking up a lot more player cussing/anger for side effect lulz.

The attendance may get a little better as the weather warms up, but get used to the generally sparse crowds until the Cubs as an organization start showing some signs of competitiveness. I think it's the right signal for fans to send to management: we're not going to pay big dollars to come to the park until you put out a product worth paying for.

The attendance may get a little better as the weather warms up, but get used to the generally sparse crowds until the Cubs as an organization start showing some signs of competitiveness. I think it's the right signal for fans to send to management: we're not going to pay big dollars to come to the park until you put out a product worth paying for.

I absolutely agree. And if they're not going to put out a competitive product, at least play the kids pretty much exclusively and abandon that platoon bullshit. Why should fans pay to watch guys like Barney, Valbuena and Schierholtz? There's no excuse, especially, for not playing Olt every day, I don't care if he is hitting a buck ninety. This is the only real opportunity to see what he's got, and figure out if they need Bryant to stay at third or move him to OF.

Junior Lake is a lot more fun to watch than Kalish or Sweeney.

On the other hand, Lake has a steep learning curve, which he might navigate a little more quickly knowing he could be riding the bench tomorrow. While on the bench, he might contemplate what he will do differently the next time the pitcher throws one of those tantalizing-but-high fastballs.

The manager should talk softly but carry a big pencil (for writing the lineup card).

IMO it's the big dollars part of it that's keeping people away. Going out to Wrigley on a whim is fun regardless of how the Cubs are playing, but not if you're spending $70+ for a ticket and $9/beer. That's what 60" HDTVs are for.

I propose this new rule for Cubs' management: The most expensive ticket in the park should be no higher than the total number of wins from the previous season. A Dugout Box for $66 would get some butts in the seats!

Do they still have the stupid f-ing ticket queue on ticket day? That thing has totally turned me off to buying Cubs tickets. Oh, yeah, I know, I could pay more than face value if I purchase from the 'legal' Cubs scalper.

Personally, the drive to Cincy takes just as long for me as the drive to Chicago, so these days I just go to Cincy to watch the Cubs play.

Stub hub you can get in the park for under $10.00

Phil, any fresh observations on Mejia or Luis Hernandez, the giants? Does Hernandez look like he throws hard, or not particularly? Mejia is pretty fast, I think, although obviously control is not so much.

Strange..so platooning Olt and Lake...kinda..Ruggiano against a righty too and hitting second.
Interesting lineup I suppose?

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I think while I get you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.

  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.

  • Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...

  • nice.

    also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.

    also also, the wsox are 19-8.