Cubs Celebrate Almora Departure with Laugher at Diablo Park
Steve Clevenger laced an RBI double and a single and scored two runs, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI double and a triple and scored three times, Dong-Yub Kim doubled, singled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Jacob Rogers drove-in three runs with an RBI 6-3 GO, a triple, and a bases-loaded walk, as the Cubs drubbed the Angels 16-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
This was the final Cactus League Extended Spring Training game for Albert Almora (broken hand rehab), as he will be leaving Arizona tomorrow morning, en route to join the Kane County Cougars. In six Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (28 PA), Almora hit 259/286/444, with four singles, one double, and two triples, one walk and four strikeouts, five runs scored. and two RBI. He also stole a base.
The Cubs 2012 1st round pick (6th overall), Almora sustained a broken hamate bone at Minor League Camp on March 14th.
Steve Clevenger (strained oblique rehab) was a DH in today's game, and got four AB. He batted once in each of the first four innings, getting called out on strikes in his first PA, rifling a line-drive single over the pitcher's head his second time up and then scoring later that inning, roping an RBI double off the CF fence in his third AB before scoring another run later in that inning, and finally grounding into a DP his final turn at the bat.
Because Clevenger was placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL on April 14th, he won't be eligible to be reinstated until June 13th. So once Clevenger completes his work at Extended Spring Training, look for him to spend a few more days on a 20-day minor league rehab assignment at Tennessee and/or Iowa.
Cubs 2012 6th round pick RHP Trey Lang got the start for the Cubs and had a poor outing, allowing three runs on three hits, four walks, and a HBP (plus a WP) in just 2.1 IP (63 pitches - only 29 strikes). Four Angel runners were cut-down on the bases in the first two innings of the game (two CS, one catcher PO, and one pitcher PO), or Lang's line could have been even uglier than it was.
17-year old Venezuelan LHP Carlos Rodriguez followed Lang to the mound and threw 2.2 IP of no-run/no-hit ball, allowing a walk to the the first man he faced before retiring the last eight batters in a row (4-3, F-8, K, 4-3, 3-U, L-6, P-3, L-1). Rodriguez will likely be one of the AZL Cubs starting pitchers this summer.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Steve Clevenger, DH #1: 2-4 (K, 1B, 2B, 3-6-3 DP, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Clevenger batted four times, hitting third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Albert Almora, CF: 1-5 (F-8, BB, 1B, E-5, L-6, F-9, 2 R, SB)
2. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-4 (BB, K, BB, 1B, K, 4-3, R)
3. Rony Rodriguez, DH #2: 0-4 (F-8, K, HBP, P-3, E-5, 2 R)
4a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (3B, 2B, FC-E2, K, 3 R, RBI)
4b. Brad Zapenas, PH-3B: 1-1 (3B, R, 2 RBI)
5a. Jacob Rogers, 1B-DH: 1-3 (6-3, 3B, BB, 3-U, R, 3 RBI)
5b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
6b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 1-2 (K, 3B, RBI)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-5 (4-3, 4-3, K, 3-1, 6-3, RBI)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-3 (2B, 4-3, 3-6 FC, 2 RBI)
8b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (E-6, E-6, R)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-4 (L-6, 1B, BB, 1B, F-8, R)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R, RBI)
1. Trey Lang: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 PO, 63 pitches (29 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 2.2 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 29 pitches (19 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
3. Orbandy Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 18 pitches (10 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 2-2 CS, 1 PO
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
Garrett Schlecht - runner thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90's
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.