ManRam & Eloy Drop Bombs on Papago Park
Brett Vertigan laced an RBI double and an RBI single, Yairo Munoz ripped an RBI single and a double and scored a run, Joe Bennie drilled an RBI single and a double, and Dayton Alexander smacked a solo HR, as the Athletics drubbed the Cubs 10-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morining on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Eloy Jimenez clobbered a three-run home run, Manny Ramirez celebrated his Cub debut with a tape-measure solo HR, and Gleyber Torres belted an RBI double to account for the five Cub runs.
Signed by the Cubs as a minor league player-coach ten days ago, the 42-year old Ramirez saw his first game action of 2014 today, serving as a DH and hitting 2nd in each of the first four innings. Having last played in August 2013 with AAA Round Rock (Texas Rangers affiliate in the PCL) where he hit a lackluster 259/328/370 with three HR in 30 games, you would think ManRam might be a bit rusty, but he did not appear to be today. The veteran slugger drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch his first time up, flied out to right-center in his second AB (a fly ball that was deep enough to allow a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd after the catch), flied out to the 385 sign in LF his 3rd time up (A's left-fielder caught the ball with his back up against the wall), and blasted a 400+ foot HR (with an accompanying major league bat-flip) over the LF fence and out into the desert in his 4th and final PA in the top of the 4th inning.
Ryan Sweeney (on the Cubs 15-day DL after suffering a hamstring injury on May 2nd) also served as a DH in today's game and (like Manny) batted four times, once in each of the first four innings. He struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the 1st, drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch in the 2nd, and popped out (P-5, and P-6) in his final two AB.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1. Manny Ramirez, DH #1: 1-3 (BB, F-8, F-7, HR, R, RBI)
NOTE: Ramirez batted 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
X-2. Ryan Sweeney,DH #2: 0-3 (K, BB, P-5, P-6, R)
NOTE: Sweeney batted 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-3 (K, 2B, 3-1, RBI)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, E-6, 4-3)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 2-3 (2B, 6-4 FC, 1B, R, SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH #3: 1-3 (HR, 1-3, K, R, 3 RBI)
5. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-3 (3-1, F-9, 4-6-3 DP)
6a. Eufran Vargas, C: 0-2 (F-7, K)
6b. Antonio Valerio, C: 0-1 (4-3)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, K, CS)
8. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 0-3 (F-7, K, K)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, R)
1. Josh Conway: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 37 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Zac Rosscup: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 16 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 0/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
NOTE: McNeil's first inning was stopped with one out and runners at 1st & 3rd
4. Jesus Castillo: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 35 pitches (19 strikes)
5. Victor Salazar: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 22 pitches (10 strikes)
6. Greyfer Eregua: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Eufran Vargas: 2-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Charcer Burks - runner thrown out 8-6-2 trying to score from 1st base on double
WEATHER: Sunny & hot with temperatures 100+
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.