Rockies Rallies Result in a Win and a Tie at Riverview Park

Dillon Thomas blooped a two-out two-run double between three Cub defenders in short right-field in the top of the 5th as the Rockies edged the Cubs 3-2 on Field #5, and Denzel Richardson belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run to help the Rockies rally from a 4-1 deficit to tie the Cubs 4-4 on Field #6, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

In EXST Cubs roster news, Elliot Soto has completed his 50-game "Drug of Abuse" suspension and has been assigned to AA Tennessee. In 18 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (68 PA), Soto hit 333/397/417 with 6/9 BB/K, one double, two triples, 3 SB (0 CS), 12 RUNS, and 5 RBI, while playing outstanding defense at SS. 

Also, INF Giuseppe Papaccio has been sent back to Cubs Extended Spring Training from Daytona, and 1B Danny Canela has been sent to Cubs Extended Spring Training from Kane County. Both players were assigned to Squad "A" in the split squad doubleheader, with INF Varonex Cuevas and OF Shamil Ubiera moving from Squad "A" to Squad "B."    

And LHP Andin Diaz (hasn't pitched in a Cactus League EXST game since April 23rd) has been assigned to the DSL Cubs, who will begin their 2014 season tomorrow morning versus the DSL Marlins. The 21-year old Diaz spent the previous two seasons pitching in the DSL, but had his career sidetracked for a while by a 50-game PED suspension in August 2012 that carried over into 2013.

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):



FIELD #5

SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (L-3, F-7, P-5)
2. Mark Malave, C: 1-3 (1B, F-9, P-4, R)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, 6-3) 
4. Danny Canela, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, F-8, F-7, RBI)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH #1: 1-3 (K, F-7, 2B, R)
6. Justin Marra, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, K, 1-3)
7. Giuseppe Papaccio, SS: 0-3 (6-4-3 DP, K, E-5)
8. Kevin Brown, LF: 1-3 (3B, K, K+WP)
9. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K)
10. Zak Blair, 2B: 1-2 (1-U, 1B)

SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Jose Paulino: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 63 pitches (41 strikes)
2. Luis Hernandez: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 6/0 GO/FO, 53 pitches (31 strikes)
NOTE: Hernandez's third inning was stopped with one out and runner at 3rd base

SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
1. C Mark Malave - E-2 (overthrow at 3rd base on stolen base attempt allowed baserunner to score unearned run)
2. P Luis Hernandez - E-1 (dropped throw on attempted 3-1 putout allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Mark Malave: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above)

SQUAD "A" OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Kevin Brown - batter thrown out 7-6-5 trying to stretch double into triple

FIELD #6:

SQUAD "B" LINEUP
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-3 (5-3, 4-3, 1B)
2. Varonex Cuevas, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K, BB, R)
3. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-3 (2B, L-7, 1-5 FC, R, RBI)
4. Tyler Alamo, DH: 1-2 (1B, K, BB, RBI)
5. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-3 (6-4-3 DP, F-7, F-9)
6. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-3 (2B, 5-3, F-8, R)
7a. Ricardo Marcano, RF: 0-1 (F-7, BB)
7b. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-1 (5-3)
8. Eufran Vargas, C: 1-3 (1B, 5-4-3 DP, L-6, R)
9. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 0-1 (BB, F-8)

SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Jeferson Mejia: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 4/4 GO/FO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
2. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 7 pitches (6 strikes)
3. Adbert Alzolay: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 19 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Victor Salazar: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)

CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE

CUBS SQUAD"B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Eufran Vargas: 0-3 CS

ATTENDANCE: 13

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+ 
  

Comments

I was looking at the tweet about Rizzo above and I realized that if the Cubs tried to move to Rosemont (or wherever) they'd probably get sued by people in Wrigleyville.

Rh hitters w .900 ops vs Estrada

Valbuena batting third
Olt 8th

Click

Yes and Ruggiano is the obvious 5 hitter ... Olt of course walks hus first two times up because pitchers know he's a patsy ... Err I mean.

The rest of the league knows something that Capt Happy doesn't. Everyone is pretty careful with the guy.

it only took 23 minutes for this game to officially suck.

down by 4...1 out in the 1st...man on 1st.

Travis Wood, Have You Met My Friend Regression? She can be a real bitch...

"Hi Ricky, yeah Theo here. I love Valbuena, I do. We re-signed him for a reason. Anyway here's the thing: you play him at 3rd base more than once every two weeks and I'll trade him for a billy goat and a generic Pepsi. Okay, talk to you soon. Bye now."

bryant homered again (17)...1/3, HR, BB, K.

Just. Wow.

Wow.

I hear Captain Happy wants him to go back to A-ball and sleep it off. Just cool down, y'know? Slow his roll.

Rob/phil/crunch

Bryant goes aaa in June does well,

Opening day 2015?

no idea...i occasionally see highlight videos, but not full at bats.

given the 20-25% of his ABs ending in a K it's hard to know just by looking at that number or the highlight swings where he'll hit a wall in pitching talent vs his hitting talent. it's also a bit early to tell if he's capable of swift corrective measures if he does hit a wall.

if he's got any vulnerabilities, so far not many in AA are talented enough to use them against bryant.

Absolutely, hoping by September myself, but probably not because of the 40-man.

Wasn't Bryce Harper in Double A when they brought him up? I'm pretty sure Mark Grace was. Plenty of others, too. He doesn't really need to go to Iowa unless that's a pitchers league (I have no idea).

EDIT: As much as I love to say "bring him up" I think they may have been a little hasty with Harper. His stats weren't like this, either.

I think if there was an injury they might consider it, but this group seems to take it one level at a time. Anyway Bryant still has D and strikeout issues to work on as exciting as he's been.

The pressure on him and Baez when they get called up is going to be pretty immense by the fans and media, doesn't need to be working on major flaws to go along with it and read about it every day in the paper, hopefully just fine tuning at that point and adjusting.

Yeah he isn't going to turn this team into a contender by himself and the strikeouts worry me so I'd much rather see him fix it without the kind of micro scrutiny Castro has gotten.

Giancarlo Stanton strikes out a lot and it doesn't hurt him too much. I'd rather see strikeouts when things aren't going right than the Sureouts approach of hitting into a double play every time there are men on base. I haven't seen him bat much and I'm no expert anyway, but strikeouts don't bother me much. This group will need to weigh putting pressure on the kids against putting pressure on themselves. Joel Sherman had a good article on this slow and steady approach today. Hot prospects don't always pan out. The whole Cubs plan is only as good as the kids they bring up, since they don't want to look at other avenues of obtaining players for some reason. I'm not sure waiting 6 months or even a year is going to make a bit of difference when it comes to Bryant, and he doesn't seem fazed by pressure anyway. I'm not saying they should bring him up now but if he keeps tearing it up they need to think about where to put him, and, especially, are they at all interested in Olt. They don't seem to be.

Depends on the reason for the strikeouts and having not seen Bryant play I can't say one way or another but if he's having problems with something like breaking balls major league pitchers are going to take advantage in a way AA pitchers can't.

We're gonna need multiple prospects to come up plus then spending on FA at the same time to compete so why the urgency? If Bryant has nothing left to learn then great but if he can still work on defense and his approach at the plate re: SOs then why not just use this opportunity of guaranteed suckitude at the Major League level to let him iron it out.

Castro has taken major strides this season but I think he would have been better served without the unforgiving glare of Chicago media and fanship too.

I have no idea if Bryant is missing breaking stuff. I guess I could get myself an MILB tv account and watch a few games. If he is, that's a problem but I haven't read anyone saying he is. I follow that Arguello fellow quite a bit on the Trib's attempt to be trendy blog thing - Chicago Now I believe it's called. He's actually pretty informed and I haven't seen him say anything about it. Doesn't mean it isn't so of course.

The real question for me is where does he fit in because if his defense is really that questionable and they like Olt anyway (another big question based on the way Renteria uses him) then he should be in the outfield right now.

It would be cost ineffective to bring him up and I think that's really the bottom line at this point. They don't have money to spare right now, the team sucks and they're not gonna start that clock. They can say what they want about his development ...

We should hire some Blackhawks as team consultants / psychiatrists. Those guys just never quit.

Not use to this as a Cub fan

/ thought they were done Wednesday

Exactly. I mean time and time again they recover and adjust. They've had goals taken away at key moments and don't lose their cool in those situations. Bartman wouldn't have phased teams like the Hawks, (or the Yankees, etc.). The Kings are outplaying them but they're hanging so tough.

Worse thing Cubs ever did was lose McDonough

/sarcasm font

McD joined Hawks 2007.

Kane and Toews drafted in 2006.

Maybe a little like Krause drafting/building the dynastic Bulls (except for Jordan).

/sarcasm font

Bonafacio @ third
Coughlin baker Barney in line up also

/no hitter alert at level Ryan

Bonifacio at third because? They wanted to get both Coghlan and Barney into the game? WTAF.

Roenicke packs his top five hitters into the top five of the lineup. Based upon your current preference, Renteria leaves two or three of his on the bench.

boni playing as an everyday player (no matter the position) is a bit concerning at this point.

Yeah, I mean what are we learning about this team when we win with a lineup like that? That we win when the pitcher is perfect and Rizzo hits 2 homeruns? Fine we know that. I cannot stand this manager. God, he's infuriating. The only legitimate questions regarding position players are whether Olt is part of the future core and possibly if a couple of these young outfielders are comeback / reclamation projects. Anything else is irrelevant. So what do we get? A painstakingly complete, spare no cost, detailed exploration of our low ceiling, middle aged, light hitting 1.5 tool journeymen. Thanks captain fucky, you're a force to be reckoned with...

I actually understand the showing off Bonifacio thing in the hopes that some team would be stupid enough to give the Cubs more than he's worth, but I don't understand it at the expense of not playing Olt. The window to find out if he can play is getting smaller all the time because Bryant looks like he isn't interested in waiting, MLB clock time or no. For a management team that prides itself on foresight I find it amazing they are not dealing with 1) Getting Olt in the line up every day to see if he's going to be any good (he may not, I'll be the first to admit) and 2) If Olt pans out, they need to get Bryant into the outfield ASAP and time's a wastin'.

My guess is that the plan is to continue as is with intermittent playing while all the other crap builds up trade value.

After the deadline or whenever everything of 'value' can be traded, Olt can play every day. He'll have had the first half of partial play and the second half of regular play.

Hopefully, after the deadline, they'll start playing the guys who might actually have a future with the Cubs.

"they need to get Bryant into the outfield ASAP and time's a wastin'"

Not true. Playing the outfield is child's play compared to second, third or short. They gave Lake six games in the outfield at Iowa before calling him up.

Is Olt better at 3rd than Bryant?

Either way, I agree. There is plenty of time to move someone to LF.

Bryant played RF some in college, didn't he?

Alcantara getting occasional playing time in OF, especially CF, might be good though.

Looks like he got his first start in CF on Wednesday. I like him replacing Barney, though (preferably yesterday).

It's hard to picture a guy that tall--Bryant is listed at 6'5--playing third. And Olt looks pretty good there. So I would guess that Olt is better.

But the only thing I'm really sure of is that Bryant hit another ball out of play today between the foul lines (#18).

seems like the Brewers are in for a sword fight against the Black Knight tonight...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4

rizzo 2-run HR...2 of them. sweet.

Tony Four Sacks

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 16 min 25 sec ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 11 hours 22 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 12 hours 4 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 12 hours 15 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 12 hours 22 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 12 hours 25 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 12 hours 36 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 12 hours 42 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 12 hours 58 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 12 hours 59 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 15 hours 50 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 18 hours 22 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 18 hours 55 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 18 hours 57 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 20 hours 54 min ago view