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
CUBS ERRORS: 1
CF Albert Almora - E-8 (three-base fielding error on ground single to CF allowed batter to circle the bases and score unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Contreras: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and hot with temperatures in the 90’s
They've already clinched a minimum winning percentage of .607 for the month, and that's only if they lose the last 2 games. If they win both, they can push that up to .679. So much for "stumbling" in May. When you're winning over 60% of your games, you're doing baseball well.
If the best walk-off hit possible is a solo home run in a zero-zero game--Eloy did it tonight!
(But maybe it's a grand slam when your team is down three? He didn't do that.)
Number eight for Jimenez. His team is 31-17. Yesterday they scored 17 runs against Lansing. Two weeks ago it was 15 runs against the same team. This is a nice team, South Bend. The Cubs must have had a good draft last year.
Tonight the pitchers were Sands, Brooks and Effross.
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.