Brewers Leave Cubs Offense in a Stupor at Fitch Park
Dustin Houle and Jalen Harris smacked back-to-back RBI doubles in a two run 4th, Francisco Castillo collected three singles (including a run-scoring hit in the 9th), and RHP Zach Quintana tossed five innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts, as the Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs scored their one run in the bottom of the 1st inning, when Albert Almora ripped a two-out triple into the left-centerfield gap, and then scored on a Xavier Batista line-drive double into the LF corner.
Almora was 2-4 for the day, including the 1st inning triple, an L-7 line-out in the 3rd. a strikeout (swinging) in the 6th, and a two-out single in the 8th. In five Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (22 PA), Almora is hitting 273/273/500 with three singles, a double and two triples, no walks, and four strikeouts.
While the Cubs and Brewers were playing their game on Field #3, RHPs Chang-Yong Lim and Daury Torrez and LHPs Angel Mejias and David Villegas faced-off in a "sim" game on Field #2. Among the position players participating was Steve Clevenger, who was seeing his first game action of any kind since being placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL with a strained oblique on April 14th.
Clevenger hit a couple of squared-up rocket line-drives, including one that almost took Daury Torrez's head off. He certainly didn't show any ill effects from the injury, and I would think he will likely get some ABs as a DH in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games beginning sometime next week, before going out on a rehab assignment at either Tennessee or Iowa. (He isn't eligible to be reinstated from the DL until June 13th).
Here is the abridged box score from today's Cactus League Extended Spring Training game (Cubs players only):
1a. Jeffrey Baez: 1-3 (K, 1-3, 1B, SB)
1b. Jose Dore, RF: 1-1 (1B)
2. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-4 (6-3, 5-3, 6-3, 6-4 FC)
3. Albert Almora, CF: 2-4 (3B, L-7, K, 1B, R)
4a. Xavier Batista, LF: 1-3 (2B, K, F-7, RBI)
4b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 0-1 (K)
5a. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH: 0-3 (K, F-8, 1-3)
5b. Garrett Schlecht, PH: 0-1 (K)
6. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-4 (F-7, P-5, K, K)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (L-8, K, F-9, 1B)
8a. Lance Rymel, C: 1-2 (1B, 4-3)
8b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (L-5, F-9)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K)
1. Duane Underwood: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (11 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Larry Suarez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
6. Chad Martin: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Lance Rymel: 1-1 CS
2. Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.
Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...
Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.
The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request
Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"
To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.
HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.
Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.
"they just fade away"
(Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)
Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.
I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.
AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?
He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.
Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.
I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.
I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).
Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.
"What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "
As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.
Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.
Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer