Venezuelan Trio Plus Alamo Too Much for A's
Arnaldo Calero (solo HR, two walks, and an HBP) reached base four times, Gleyber Torres (two walks and an RBI single), Bryant Flete (RBI triple, RBI double, and a single), and Tyler Alamo (RBI single, a walk, and an HBP) reached base three times a piece, and the foursome combined to collect five RBI and score five runs, leading the Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Seongmin Kim belted a bases-clearing three-run double for the A's.
Tennessee Smokies RHP Matt Loosen (on the Restricted List since 5/22 and hasn't pitched since 5/17) got the start for the Cubs today and worked 3.2 IP (69 pitches), allowing three runs (all ER) on two hits and four walks. He retired 11 of the first 13 men he faced before running out of gas (temperature 100+) in the bottom of the 4th.
RHP Trey Lang (Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick - Gateway CC) walked four consecutive batters in the bottom of the 7th before being relieved. Lang has now appeared in 11 Cactus League EXST games so far in 2014... COMBINED LINE: 16.1 IP, 23 H, 18 R (17 ER), 21 BB, 16 K, 2 HBP, 8 WP, 314 pitches (49% strikes), 9.37 ERA, 2.69 WHIP, .338 OppBA.
In 18 Cactus League EXST games (55 PA), Cubs infielder Bryant Flete is hitting a robust 372/491/442, with one double and one triple, 11/10 BB/K, 8 RUNS, 9 RBI, and two SB (two CS), and has committed four errors (two at SS and two at 2B). The 21-year old Venezuelan has played both 2B and SS at EXST (although 2B is his best position), and he presently leads the team in both AVG and OBP (minimum 48 PA to qualify). So don't be too surprised if Flete wins a spot on the Boise Hawks Opening Day roster, especially if the Cubs opt to keep 17-year old SS Gleyber Torres in Mesa (AZL Cubs) for the summer.
Meanwhile, Torres is hitting a very respectable 272/374/359 in 27 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (108 PA), with 13/20 BB/K, four doubles, two triples, two SB (two CS and two PO), 12 RUNS, and 10 RBI, but he has committed 11 errors.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-3 (BB, K, 5-4 FC, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 3-5 (3B, 6-3, 2B, 1B, K, R, 2 RBI)
3. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-4 (L-8 SF, E-5, K, 6-4 FC, F-8, R, RBI)
4. Tyler Alamo, C: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 4-3, HBP, R, RBI)
5. Mark Malave, DH #1: 1-4 (F-9, 2B, F-8, K, RBI)
6. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-4 (1B, P-3, 4-3, K)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-3 ((K, K, E-5, 5-3, R)
8. Ricardo Marcano, RF: 2-4 (F-8, F-8, 1B, 1B)
9. Eufran Vargas, DH #2: 0-3 (K, BB, 6-4-3 DP, 6-4 FC, R)
10. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 1-1 (HR, HBP, BB, BB, 2 R, RBI)
1. Matt Loosen: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 4 K, 2/5 GO/FO, 69 pitches (40 strikes)
2. Hector Perez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 20 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Trey Lang: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Francisco Carrillo: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (throwing error on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
WEATHER: Mostly sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures 100+
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.