Not Everybody Can Go to Boise
Kevin Encarnacion belted a bases-loaded three-run triple and a double and scored three runs, Yasiel Balaguert singled three times, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Xavier Batista collected three hits including a solo home run and an RBI single, helping one squad of Cubs defeat another squad of Cubs 12-6 in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
Squad "B" pitchers retired 19 of the last 20 men they faced, as Squad "B" rallied from an early 6-1 deficit to win the game.
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that more pitchers could get work.
The players had three days off during the First-Year Player Draft, and the team reconvened in Mesa yesterday. The players came into today's intrasquad game unaware of who would be going to Boise and who will be staying in Mesa. The Boise roster was to be announced by Hawks Manager Gary Van Tol at a team meeting at 2:00 (MST) this afternoon at the Fitch Park clubhouse, and supposedly one or two of the roster slots were still up for grabs going into the game.
Boise's first game is this Friday night at Eugene (first home game is next Monday night), and the AZL Cubs will begin league play on June 20th. All AZL Cubs home games will be night games played at HoHoKam Park (Dwight Patterson Field).
Not related to the battle for Boise roster slots, AA Tennessee OF Jae-Hoon Ha (lower back strain rehab) played CF for five innings and batted five times in the game, going 1-5 with two strikeouts (one swinging & one looking), a FC, a F-9 fly out, and a line-drive opposite-field single. He also stole a base. Ha suffered the back strain during batting practice prior to a Smokies game on May 3rd, and this was his first game action since suffering the injury.
Also, Iowa Cubs RHP Carlos Gutierrez (2012 shoulder surgery rehab) threw one inning and allowed the solo HR to Batista, and switch-hitting ex-Minnesota Twins C-1B-3B Jose Morales (strained hamstring rehab) was the starting catcher for Squad "A" and was behind the dish for seven innings.
The Cubs claimed Gutierrez off waivers from Minnesota last October, and then outrighted him to Iowa in November. He was assigned to the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp, but was left behind at Extended Spring Training to continue his rehab. He got into one Cactus League Extended Spring Training game on April 10th, and then was shut-down for about six weeks. He has been pitching in "sim" games for the past couple of weeks.
Gutierrez was a former Twins 1st round draft pick out of the University of Miami, where he was the Hurricanes closer. He was throwing mostly cutters & sinkers today, topping out at 92 MPH.
The Cubs signed Morales to a minor league contract in April, and he suffered the hamstring injury in his very first Cactus League EXST game on April 19th. He returned to game action on May 30th, and should be about ready to move up to Iowa.
Here is the box score from today's intrasquad game:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
X. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 1-5 (K, FC, K, 1B, F-9, R, SB)
NOTE: Ha batted five times, hitting 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, 4-3, 4-3, L-8, RBI)
2. Jose Morales, C-DH: 1-4 (2B, 3-U, F-7, K, R, RBI)
3. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (BB, K, K, K, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (2B, F-8, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, 5-3, L-5, 2 RBI)
6. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-4 (F-7, F-7, K, K)
7a. Garrett Schlecht, DH #1: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R, SB)
7b. Neftali Rosario, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-1 (K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (3B, K, K, R, RBI)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 2-6 (P-4, 3B+E4, F-8, K, 2B, E-4, 3 R, 3 RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-5 (K, 1B, K, L-8, FC, BB, RBI, SB)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 3-6 (L-4, 1B, 1B+E7, F-9, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Xavier Batista, DH: 3-5 (HR, K, 1B, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
5. Jose Dore, 1B: 1-4 (HBP, P-4, 4-3, 2B, R, RBI)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-5 (E-6, 1B, 6-3, L-8, F-9, R)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 4-6-3 DP, BB, K, 1B, 2 R)
8a. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
8c, Erick Castillo, C: 1-1 (1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-5 (K, K, K, 1B, 6-U FC, 2 R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Carlos Gutierrez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 68 pitches (42 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Bottom of 5th inning was stopped with two outs when Leal reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
3. Armando Rivero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 35 pitches (24 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. David Villegas: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Game was called with one out in bottom of 10th inning after all pitchers completed their scheduled work
SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Loiger Padron: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 78 pitches (48 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 5
1. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (error on relay throw to third base on triple allowed batter to score)
3. LF Trevor Gretzky - E-7 (fielding error allowed batter to take an extra base on single)
4. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error while attempting complete 6-3 DP allowed runner at 3rd base to score)
5. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jose Morales: 0-2 CS
SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures 105+
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.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...