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
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soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*
Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.
Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh
And...now that runner scores on a single...
So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?
And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??
Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...
Such is the life of a fatted calf...
fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle
...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.
he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.
...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.
his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.
but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.
I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.
The always combustible Jason Hammel
That was fun.
"home field advantage through the playoffs?"
Except for the away games.