Soler Leads Cubs to Victory at Riverview Park
Jorge Soler drilled an RBI double and later scored on an Oliver Zapata two-run single in the 1st, and singled and subsequently scored on an errant pick-off attempt in the 2nd, as the Cubs took advantage of eight errors to crush the Athletics 11-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Cub relievers retired the last 16 A's in a row to seal the victory.
At Extended Spring Training while rehabbing a right hamstring injury, Soler served as a DH and batted once in each of the first five innings. After the double (line-drive into the LF corner) and the single (hard-hit grounder through the 5.5 hole) in the first two innings, Soler reached base on an HBP in the 3rd (he was hit in the lower left back), and grounded out 5-3 in the 4th and 5th innings.
The A's committed all eight of their errors in the first three innings, and three of the miscues occurred on the same play in the bottom of the 2nd. It began with SS Jesus Lopez dropping a Ricardo Marcano pop fly in short left field for an E-6, then LF Matt Hillsinger made an errant throw trying to nail Marcano at 2nd base, and finally 1B A. J. Kubala airmailed a throw to 3rd base that allowed Marcano to come around to score the classic "Little League Home Run."
Prior to the Cactus League EXST game, RHPs Josh Conway, Greyfer Eregua, and Francisco Carrillo, and LHP Michael Heesch squared off in a three-inning "sim" game on Field #3.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Jorge Soler, DH #1: 2-4 (2B, 1B, HBP, 5-3, 5-3, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Soler batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (BB, 4-6 FC, F-8, 4-3, 2 R, RBI, SB)
2. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-4 (1B, F-7, K, 3-1, R, RBI)
3. Oliver Zapata, RF: 1-3 (1B, E-4, BB, F-7, R, 2 RBI, CS)
4a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
4b. Kevin Brown, DH #2: 0-0 (BB, R)
5. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-4 (6-3, E-5, K, 1-3, R)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-4 (E-4, K, F-8, 1B, RBI)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (E6+E7+E3, BB, K, F-8 SF, R, RBI)
8. Mark Malave, 1B: 0-2 (E-5, F-7 SF, K, BB, R, RBI)
9. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-2 (BB, K, 1B, R)
1. Tyler Ihrig: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 4/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Zak Hermans: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 43 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 13 pitches (9 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (throwing error while attempting to complete DP allowed batter to advance to 2nd base - eventually scored unearned run)
WEATHER: Sunny & very breezy with temperatures in the 80's
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!
So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?
And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.
I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.
What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?
Thanks as always for the info.
back on the Run Differential hunt... (aka The Hunt for Blue October)