Torres Collects Four Safeties, Cubs & D'backs Split a Pair at T-Stick
Gleyber Torres drilled four singles, stole a base, and scored three runs as the Cubs edged the Diamondbacks 5-4 on Whirlwind Field, and Fernery Ozuna (RBI single), Jordan Parr (two-run single), Jacob Mayers (two-run double), and Jose Herrera (RBI double) rapped run-scoring hits to highlight an eight-run 3rd and Eric Brooks and five relievers combined to toss a three-hitter, helping the D'backs throttle the Cubs 11-3 on Quail Field, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at Salt Rivers Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
This was the 8th multi-hit game for Torres and his second four-hit game, and he is now hitting 311/388/398 with four doubles and two triples, 14/18 BB/K, one HBP, and four SB (two CS and two PO) in 30 Cactus League EXST games (118 PA). He has committed 13 errors (11 fielding and two throwing) in his 30 games, however his errors tend to come in bunches and seem to result from carelessness, and then he'll play immaculate defense for several games in a row. He has also made a number of highlight-reel plays at SS, and his throws are always plus-strong & almost always accurate.
Eloy Jimenez returned to game action after a week's absence during which he was supposedly en route to the Cubs Dominican Academy. (He was a spectator at yesterday's game). Jimenez served as DH for Squad "B" (he has only played eight games in RF) and went 1-5 in the game on Whirlwind Field, collecting two RBI (one with a 1st inning single, and the other on a 4-3 GO in the 9th that ultimately proved to be the game-winner). While Jimenez is hitting a mediocre 236/266/348 (with 4/22 BB/K) in 25 Cactus Legue EXST games (94 PA), he is hitting a robust 333/355/567 with one HR, two doubles, and a triple, and ten RBI over his last eight games (31 PA) going back to 5/14, and he leads the EXST Cubs team in RBI with 18. (I know it's not a skill, but Jimenez does seem to have a knack for collecting RBI). Though I suspect they won't, I truly hope the Cubs will give Eloy a chance to remain in Mesa (with Gleyber Torres) and play for the AZL Cubs this summer. He does have defensive issues in RF and he did struggle offensively for a while (though certainly not lately), but so do a lot of players in the AZL.
RHP Ben Wells (sent back to Extended Spring Training from Daytona a couple of weeks ago to try and "right the ship") made his 2014 Cactus League EXST game debut today and got rocked, allowing seven runs (all earned) on six hits (two doubles and four singles) and three walks in just 2.0 IP. Extended Spring Training is almost over, so it's difficult to predict what the Rx will be for Wells.
RHP Scott Frazier (who has been unable to throw strikes going back to Minor League Camp) made his Cactus League EXST game debut as well, and threw a shutout inning with one strikeout, although he did walk two batters and threw two WP. There are some in the Cub organization who believe Frazier has the best (and nastiest) stuff in the system, but he just has all kinds of trouble finding the strike zone with it. He got by today, but just barely. Frazier would be the closer at Boise (heck, he'd probably be the closer at Daytona) if he could just throw strikes.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Brown, LF: 0-4 (3-1, P-3, P-1, L-9)
2. Erick Castillo, C: 0-4 (3-U, 1-3, K, F-9)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-4 (5-3, 6-3, K, 3-1)
4. Danny Canela, 1B: 1-4 (1B, 3-U, K, K, R)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH #1: 0-3 (BB, P-4, K, K, R)
6. Alberto Mineo, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, E-4)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (K, BB, 1B, 4-6-3 DP)
8. Giuseppe Papaccio, SS: 0-3 (E-6, P-6, F-7, R)
9. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 6-U FC, P-5, RBI)
10. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-2 (1B, K, BB, 2 RBI)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R (7 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 4/1 GO/FO, 51 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Hector Perez: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 40 pitches (27 strikes)
NOTE: Perez's second inning was stopped with one out and runners at 1st & 3rd
3. Trey Lang: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/FO, 28 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Alberto Diaz: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (15 strikes)
5. Francisco Carrillo: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (15 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 4-5 (1B, F-8, 1B, 1B, 1B, 3 R, SB)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-4 (SH-E1, F-8, 1B, 5-3, E-6)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 1-5 (F-8, 2B, K, 5-3, 6-4 FC)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 1-5 (1B, 1-3, 4-3, 6-3, 6-3, 2 RBI)
5a. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 0-2 (4-6 FC, F-9)
5b. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, F-8, RBI)
6a. Antonio Valerio, C: 1-3 (P-6, 1B, K, R)
6b. Eufran Vargas, C: 1-1 (2B)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, 3B, 5-3, K, R, RBI)
8. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (K, F-8 SF, K, BB, RBI)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-4 (6-3, K, L-9, 6-4 FC)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Tyler Ihrig: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 8/4 GO/FO, 53 pitches (35 strikes)
2. David Garner: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Yomar Morel: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 24 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Carlos Llano: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (5 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 3
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Shamil Ubiera - threw out baserunner 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on a single to RF
WEATHER: Mostly sunny & hot with temperatures 100+
The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.
If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.
The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:
It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.
The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.
Wait...you're flip-flopping again?!
Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?
I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.
Happ signs w Jays
Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay
needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch
As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing
+ Bankruptcy Court
2 spots left on the 40-man...wonder if they're going to play around in the rule-5 market...
A special after day after Thanksgiving thanks to AZ for his insanely detailed posts on all things roster. I don't know how you keep track of all that stuff - I suspect a chip implant, but whatever it is, it's cool.
...the wrong half.
there's nothing like crapping out of the playoffs with a strong/young cheap team after pinching pennies for years then having theo talk about having to be creative with money to make things work for 2016...but hey, baseball isn't baseball without a farmer's market and beer garden plaza with ice rinks.
they can do both...then again, if you want to look at it from a business point of view, they don't have to do both because the team is expected to be competitive and the merch+tickets+eyes-on-team are going to be at a peak unless they fail badly.
They are trying to bring the facility to the 20th century.
I think they know what they are doing.
With the Cubs adding Pierce Johnson to their roster and not exposing/losing him to the Rule 5 Draft keeps the trade ancestry tree alive that started in 1999 with Tom Gordon and undrafted Adam Morrissey and includes 17 players, the trade tree progressed to involve the Hee Sop Choi for Derrek Lee deal and the famous Aramis Ramirez/Kenny Lofton deal..Pierce Johnson is the compensation pick for Aramis Ramirez in 2012