A's Pummel Pineiro at Papago Park
Gabriel Santana drove-in four runs with two RBI doubles and an RBI single and Scott Masik doubled twice, walked, scored three runs, and knocked in two more, helping the Athletics thrash Joel Pineiro and the Cubs 10-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Park Baseball Facility in Phoenix, AZ.
The 35-year old Pineiro was making his third EXST appearance after signing with the Cubs on March 30th, and it was (by far) his worst outing of the three.
After easily retiring the first six hitters he faced (1-3, 4-3, K, K, P-5, 1-3), the roof caved-in on Pineiro in the 3rd & 4th innings, as the veteran right-hander surrendered seven runs (all earned) on nine hits (five doubles and four singles) plus two walks in just two innings, What seemed to be different was his sudden inability to get ground balls in the 3rd & 4th, and his aging fastball just doesn't have enough juice to get outs if he can't keep it at knee-level or lower.
No question Pineiro got a ton of ground balls in his first two appearances (a combined 15/2 GO/FO), but today was a different story. And his day could have been even worse if not for one A's baserunner being ruled out after getting struck by a rocket grounder headed for RF in the bottom of the 3rd and another being thrown out at the plate trying to score on a line-drive single to left in the bottom of the 4th.
Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Derek Johnson and Player Development Assistant Darnell McDonald were at today's game and were watching Pineiro closely, and I would have to think they were not favorably impressed. While it's true that he has thrown a high percentage of strikes (74% over his three EXST outings), it might be better if he didn't. He just doesn't appear to have much left in the tank. Plus even without Pineiro, the Iowa starting rotation is already crowded.
THE PITCHING LINES FROM JOEL PINEIRO'S THREE EXST OUTINGS:
4/12 - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 8/0 GO/FO, 64 pitches (48 strikes)
4/17 - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 7/2 GO/FO, 66 pitches (43 strikes)
4/22 - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R (7 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 76 pitches (51 strikes)
TOTAL: 12.2 IP, 16 H, 11 R (11 ER), 4 BB, 9 K, 2 WP, 18/5 GO/FO, 74% strikes, 7.80 ERA, 1.58 WHIP
Alberto Mineo provided most of the Cub offense today, contributing an RBI single, a double, and a walk, while also scoring two runs.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 1-5 (4-3, 1B, K, 3-U, F-7)
2. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 0-5 (K, 4-6 FC, 6-4-3 DP, K, K)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (BB, 5-3, F-8, 1B, K, 2 SB)
4a. Rony Rodriguez, DH: 1-3 (F-9, 6-3, 2B, R)
4b. Eufran Vargas, C: NO AB
4c. Jesse Hodges, PH-DH: 0-1 (4-3)
5a. Alberto Mineo, C-DH: 2-2 (BB, 2B, 1B, 2 R, RBI, CS)
5b. Justin Marra, C: 0-0 (BB)
6. Bryant Flete, SS: 0-3 (6-3, BB, F-7, F-9)
7. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 2-4 (1B, F-9, F-9, 1B, R)
8. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-3 (1B, BB, F-9, F-9, RBI)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (4-6 FC, SH-E2, L-7, K, RBI)
1. Joel Pineiro: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R (7 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 76 pitches (51 strikes)
NOTE: Pineiro's fourth inning was stopped with two outs and a runner at 1st base
2. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 26 pitches (10 strikes)
3. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (17 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Varonex Cuevas - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Eufran Vargas: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
LF Arnaldo Calero - threw out baserunner 7-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single to LF
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's
I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.
Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.
I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.
Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.
so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.
paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.
Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!
Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.
jeebus... that's terrible.