Pedro Strop Delivers Some Heat at Indian School Park


Johneshwy Fargas singled twice and drove-in the tying and winning runs with a two-run double as the Giants rallied to edge the Cubs 3-2 in 12 innings in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale AZ.

RHRP Pedro Strop (on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL retroactive to 5/6 - groin) started the game for the Cubs and threw one inning (12 pitches - 11 strikes), striking out three. One batter did reach base on a third strike WP, but Strop totally handcuffed the young Giants with his hard slider and mid-90's gas. He looks like he is ready to be reinstated from the DL and maybe provide some misery to big league hitters.    

The Cubs managed only four hits (three singles and a double) and struck out 13 times over the course of the 12 innings, although they did draw six walks.  

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Josh Davis (2013 NDFA - Belmont University) has been moved up to Daytona, and RHP Ben Wells has been sent to Extended Spring Training from Daytona. Davis began the season at Extended Spring Training, and then was moved up to Kane County on April 12th. He was sent back to EXST from KC on May 2nd.   

Also, LHP Michael Heesch (Cubs 2012 8th round draft pick - USCB) has been moved up to Kane County from Extended Spruing Training.

4/9   - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 30 pitches (23 strikes)
4/12 - AT KANE COUNTY thru 5/2
5/5   - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 33 pitches (21 strikes)
5/13 - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 36 pitches (24 strikes)   
5/21 - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 34 pitches (22 strikes)  
TOTAL: 8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 7 K, 2 GIDP, 10/6 GO/FO, 68% strikes, 2.25 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .289 OppBA

5/9   - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)  
5/12 - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
5/14 - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R,0 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
5/20 - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3/1 GO/FO, 42 pitches (27 strikes)
5/23 - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 11 pitches (10 strikes) 
TOTAL: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP, 5/4 GO/FO, 70% strikes, 0.00 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, .227 OppBA 

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs player only):

1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (K, K, 4-3)
1b. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-3 (4-3, 5-3, K)
2a. Oliver Zapata, LF: 0-2  (P-4, P-4, BB)
2b. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K)
3a. Rony Rodriguez, 1B: 0-1 (BB, K, BB)
3b. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R, SB)
4a. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 0-3 (K, P-6, 5-3)
4b. Ricardo Marcano, RF: 0-1 (BB, K)
5a. Tyler Alamo, C: 0-2 (6-3, F-9)
5b. Erick Castillo, PH-C: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, 1-3, RBI)
6a. Elliot Soto, SS: 1-2 (2B, F-7)
6b. Bryant Flete, PH-SS: 0-2 (3-U, K, BB, R, SB)
7a. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-2 (F-7, 3-1)
7b. Varonex Cuevas: PH-2B: 1-3 (K, F-8, 1B, RBI)
8a. Mark Malave, DH: 0-2 (6-3, 1-3)
8b. Justin Marra, PH-DH: 0-2 (F-7, K, BB, SB)
9a. Dalfis Ortiz, 3B: 0-2 (L-7, K)
9b. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-3 (K, F-7, K)

1. Pedro Strop: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (11 strikes)
2. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 26 pitches (16 strikes) 
3. Jose Paulino: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 33 pitches (19 strikes)  
4. Jeferson Mejia: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/FO, 32 pitches (22 strikes)
5. Luis Hernandez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (19 strikes)  
6. Yomar Morel: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 19 pitches (13 strikes)
7. Francisco Carrillo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (11 strikes) 
8. Carlos Llano: 0.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (4 strikes)

C Tyler Alamo - E-2 (missed catch on throw home after single to outfield allowed runner to score from 3rd base) 

1. Tyler Alamo: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
2. Erick Castillo: 1-4 CS


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's 


Dear Captain Happy, I know Mike Olt's batting average is abysmal, but he is an exceptional fielder and still leads the 2014 Chicago Cubs' baseball team outright in both Homeruns and RBI. Letting him bat 5th once, returning him to 8th in the order the next day and then benching him on the 3rd day is basically inexcusable and certainly not allowing him to settle into a role and rhythm. Valbuena just made a throwing error from 3rd, the other day you removed Olt to bring in Barney for late inning defense. Barney of course made an error allowing the game to go to extra innings at which time Olt's bat was not available and we lost in the 13th with virtually no thunder in the lineup for the extra innings. Do you know something we don't regarding Olt's health? Is he a total dick and you can't stand him? Did he insult you or piss you off? I mean what's the deal? Yes I understand not having a player in the lineup for a game is typically not a big deal ... But the fairly deliberate "what have you done for me lately" bullshit that applies to Olt is frankly just ridiculous. It is predictable that you would give him ONE SHOT at batting 5th (and since he had an 0-fer he was bumped back in the lineup THE NEXT DAY then rested) and beyond infuriating. Isn't that sending a pretty cutthroat and inconsistent message to a very productive player when a player like Sureouts is given a long patient leash and Barney is played for almost no good reason at this point. I don't see how a player can thrive under the bizarre coddling/punishment system you apply to Mike Olt. Can you just quit fucking around and put the best players on the field? Love, carlito

Thank you for that. It really is driving me crazy. And, yes, Valbuena hit a big home run yesterday, but having Barney in the lineup, at all, is completely insane at this point. He hits like I did when I tried to play this game. If I see him in the lineup one more time at second instead of Bonifacio or Valbuena, I'm filing a police report.

Whoah, Barney just intentionally walked to get to Travis Wood?!!

Somebody should get fined, even if that was the manager's decision. Especially if that was the manager's decision. Gather the kangaroo court!

If Strop is activated soon I would guess Grimm will get sent down? I assume you keep both lefties, and the veterans Veres and Villuenva will stay. Rondon is the closer. Ramirez has a 0.84 ERA. So between Grimm and Schlitter, Grimm has had a rough month of May and Schlitter has a 1.23 ERA since being recalled in late April. He's the hot hand.

With Rosscup, Rusin, and even Parker in AAA, Vizcaino perhaps on the way, it's turned into a fairly solid and deep bullpen.

Speaking of hot hands, time to trade Shark. Get on the horn, Theo, and start making those calls, because it's pretty damn unlikely the asking price will be better later than it is now. Thanks.

I'm wondering when Armando Rivero is going to get moved up to AAA. Also looking forward to seeing Kyle Hendricks get his crack at the MLB rotation after the inevitable trades go down--his K rate is up a bit in the early going, and his ERA and WHIP are still very solid. He and Travis Wood would make a very scrappy, grinder-y back end of the rotation. I can see them on billboards already.

The Cubs are building what could be a pretty decent homegrown bullpen (Strop, Rondon, Ramirez, along with some decent arms still in minors--Vizcaino, Rosscup, Jokisch, Rivero) just as their young position players should be arriving--I'm optimistic and anticipating the arrivals of Bryant, Alcantara, Baez, Soler (OK, that might be too optimistic given the injuries), Almora in that order to join the resurgent Rizzo, Castro, and Castillo and the intriguing Olt and Lake.

So that leaves the rotation, which seems to be Wood, Jackson, Arrieta, ?, ?. I like Hendricks and I think he should be the #5 by August. Edwards, Blackburn, Johnson, and Underwood are all a good distance away and as pitching prospects not in striking distance of MLB deserve no earnest projection. So where do the Cubs get top of the rotation arms for 2015-ish? Do we really think the Cubs are going to get a potential #1 ready to hit the majors for Samardzija?

"So where do the Cubs get top of the rotation arms for 2015-ish?"

They could always get a nice free agent and do the whole Mike Hampton thing.

Damn. Manny Ramirez is now a player-coach at Iowa. Totally crazy news.

For real? That's totally bizarre and cool.

Call him up!

Can't be worse than Sureouts. Get him in there, and have him sit next to Olt for three months.

i wonder what is so important about manny as a coach that he deserves to take away ABs from developing players?

odd signing. hopefully he's a very part-time player.

I wonder if Manny can help Josh Vitters realize some potential.


"While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he's a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization. Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference."

Baez hits a 2 out Grand Slam for I-Cubs, gives credit to the ManRam signing...


If the Cubs were 18-5 in games where the run differential was 1 or 2 runs instead of 5-18, the trade Shark discussion would be much more interesting. Among the one or two people having it.

Watching Olt I say, sit Manny down next to him for a few months. Mike, stop taking such a hard swing every time. It just makes Capt. Happy look good.

ive never thought of him as more than a .250/.330 avg/ob% type with power + high Ks as a peak...but he really needs to find some consistency aside from the power even if he's going to K a lot while doing it.

as it is he's going to have to have a hell of a hot streak to even see .250/.330.

with his D and ability to stick at 3rd he could make a living being a m.trumbo type, but he's not even at that benchmark yet.

He's also a rookie getting inconsistent ABs. Probably still his ceiling.

I'd say that just based on the way he approaches the plate he can improve. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten better instruction in the minors but it is what it is. I've seen some improvement in the way Junior Lake is approaching his at bats lately, especially when he's down a couple strikes, and I kinda thought he was a lost cause there. Reps would still be nice to see, but maybe there is a method to Capt Happy's madness. He does seem to take the youngin's out if they don't take certain approaches. For the pitchers, he clearly doesn't like walks. That's something I like about Capt Happy. And he doesn't seem to have a high tolerance for the swinging hard at everything approach either. But that doesn't excuse him not playing Olt everyday, if only because of Bryant's progress and the lack of an impact player at third. If his defense was suspect that would make me understand it a bit but it's pretty damn good.

Lake's swing is pretty beautiful when he's under control and keeps his head on the ball.

The thing to be concerned about, of course, is his BB:K. Last year it was a pretty poor 13:68. This year it is an atrocious 7:51. His K rate can't stay over 30% given that he walks about 5% of the time and doesn't have ridiculous power. I'm hoping that eventually those numbers will be more reasonable (at worst a 1:4, closer to what it was last year, rather than 1:7.5) and we'll think of this as just a product of a small sample size.

By the way, this year the NL is averaging 2.95 BBs per game and 8.01 Ks per game, so that provides a sense of what an outlier J. Lake is thus far.

Castro is a badass.

Recent comments

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  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.

  • In the wild card game he mentioned that aram started with the Pirates, then played for the Brewers, and now he's back with the Pirates. Uhhhh, missed a step there, guy.