Martin & Hodges Are Batman 1-A & 1-B in 10-8 Cubs Victory
Trey Martin laced three doubles (one line-drive into the LF corner, one line-drive off the left-field fence, and one line drive into the left-center alley), walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, Jesse Hodges singled twice, doubled, collected two RBI, and scored twice, and Michael Wagner threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs outlasted the Angels 10-8 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
Martin also commited two tactical baserunning gaffes as the result of being over-aggressive, making the third out at 3rd base in the bottom of the 3rd inning while trying to stretch one of his doubles into a triple, and then getting thrown out 6-5 trying to advance from 2nd base to 3rd base on a routine ground ball to the SS in the bottom of the 6th.
The lanky 20-year old from Georgia missed most of the 2013 season after undergoing shoulder surgery (non-throwing shoulder) in April, and he is just now rounding back into playing shape. Known more as a defensive whiz than an offensive force, Martin has been driving the ball with authority throughout Instructs, a possible indication that the chronic shoulder problem he had may have kept him from reaching his full potential as a hitter.
Cubs 2013 19th round draft pick Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina U.) made his professional game debut today, serving as a DH and going 1-3 with a single and an HBP. Remillard signed with the Cubs right at the July deadline (receiving a $150K "overslot" bonus), but was unable to play during the minor league regular season because of a back injury. FWIW, Remillard was Josh Conway's catcher in college (Conway was the Cubs 4th round draft pick in 2012, and is presently rehabbing from a fractured elbow suffered in an EXST game last May).
RHP (ex-OF) Johermyn Chavez got hammered in his one inning of work, allowing three runs on two doubles, a triple, a single, and a walk. Chavez was converted to a pitcher this past Summer and will be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") after the World Series, unless he & the Cubs agree to a 2014 minor league successor contract in the meantime.
Kirby Pellant tripled, singled, walked, and scored two runs for the Angels in a losing cause.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-4 (K, 2B, 3-U, 4-3, R)
2. Will Remillard, DH #1: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, HBP, K)
3. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, F-9, L-6, BB, R, SB)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (E-5, 6-4 FC, F-9, P-3, 2 R, RBI)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 6-4 FC, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
6. Trey Martin, LF: 3-3 (2B, 2B, 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jordan Hankins, DH #2: 1-3 (F-7 SF, 1B, K, K, R, RBI)
8. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, 6-5 FC, L-9, R)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (1B, F-9 SF, BB, E-6, R, 2 RBI, SB)
10a. Mark Malave, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
10b. Erick Castillo, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 RBI, CS)
1. Michael Wagner: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 36 pitches (25 strikes)
2. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1/0 GO/FO, 41 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 4/3 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Johermyn Chavez: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (two-base throwing error on relay throw to 2nd base on RBI double allowed batter to score unearned run)
2. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Mark Malave: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 1-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out baserunner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
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.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?