Cubs Pitchers No Match for A's Fast Break Offense

Oakland A's 2012 1st round draft pick (#11 overall) Addison Russell walked, tripled, and belted a two-run home run, Vicmal de la Cruz clobbered a solo home run and an RBI double, Reynaldo Mateo blasted a two-run HR, and Matt Olson singled twice and drove-in two runs, as the Athletics out-slugged the Cubs 13-8 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Meanwhile, Jesse Hodges hammered a two-run home run and a double, Jorge Soler drilled a two-run triple, Marco Hernandez roped an opposite-field two run double, and Tim Saunders doubled, walked, stole a base, and drove-in a run, to help propel the Cub offense.

The 18-year old 6'1 210+ Hodges (2012 NDFA - Victoria, B. C.) was signed by the Cubs last month to a 2013 contract ("Signed for Future Service") after starring for the Canadian Junior National Team at the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championship in South Korea. He was used as a DH in today's game, but he is a third-baseman by trade.   

It was a real slugfest at Fitch Park today, as the A's pounded-out 15 hits, including eight extra-base hits (four doubles, a triple, and three home runs), while the Cubs collected eleven hits, including six extra-base hits (four doubles, a triple, and home run).

Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick RHP Ryan McNeil (Nipomo HS - Nipomo, CA) had an especially poor outing, allowing three home runs in one inning (not easy to do at Fitch Park Caverns), while Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick RHP Trey Lang (Gateway CC) surrendered four doubles in 2.1 IP.

Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras left the game after injuring his right calf while throwing-out a runner at 2nd base on an inning-ending "strike 'em out - throw 'em out" DP in the 5th. He had to be helped off the field and appeared to be in intense pain.

A number of Cub executives were at today's game, including Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, and Randy Bush.

And just to confirm what I mentioned here last week, Tim Cossins has replaced Brandon Hyde as the Cubs Minor League Field Coordinator. (Hyde was promoted to Director of Player Development after Oneri Fleita was fired). Cossins worked with Hyde in Miami, when Hyde was the Marlins bench coach and Cossins was the Marlins minor league catching instruction coordinator. 

Still no word on who will be replacing Dennis Lewallyn as the Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator. (Lewallyn took a minor league coaching position with the Atlanta Braves last week). Ron Villone (peoria), Jeff Fassero (Tennessee), Anderson Tavarez (DSL Cubs #1), and Rick Tronerud (Fitch Park Rehab) have been working as the pitching coaches at Instructs.   

Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only): 

1. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-4 (L-5, F-8, L-3, 2B, R)
2. Albert Almora, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 5-3, E-9, R)
3. Jorge Soler, RF: 1-4 (3-1, K, F-8, 3B, R, 2 RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, P-4, 4-3, RBI)
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, 5-3, 1B, F-9, R)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-4 (4-3, F-8, 1B, P-4, R)
7. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (P-6, K, 2B, 3-1, R, 2 RBI)
8a. Wilson Contreras, C: 0-1 (4-3)
8b. Justin Marra, PH-DH: 1-3 (1B, K, 3-1, R)
9a. Jesse Hodges, DH #1: 2-2 (2B, HR, R, 2 RBI)
9b. Chadd Krist, C: 0-2 (5-3, K)
10. Tim Saunders, DH #2: 1-2 (F-9, BB, 2B, RBI, SB)

1. Trey Lang: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 6/0 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Juan Carlos Paniagua: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 40 pitches (25 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 3 HR, 49 pitches (24 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

CF Albert Almora - E-8 (three-base fielding error on ground single to CF allowed batter to circle the bases and score unearned run)

Wilson Contreras: 1-1 CS

WEATHER: Sunny and hot with temperatures in the 90’s


Recent comments

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  • From Keith Law:

  • This from a Kiley McDaniel chat a couple weeks ago...

    "Comment From Wrenzie
    Who has more ceiling between Yusniel Diaz or Eddy Julio Martinez?

    Kiley McDaniel: Martinez. I have Eddy (20 years old) as a 65 runner with a 55 arm and 50 raw power that profiles as an everyday CF that could be above average depending on if the bat is a 45 or a 55. I have Yusniel (19) as a 60 runner with a 55 arm and 40 raw power that can be an everyday guy if he hits enough (50 or 55)."

  • "Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
    Arizona Phil 7 hours 23 min ago"

  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.