Cintron Gets Nailed by Line Drive to Face

A day after he drove in the winning run with a PH single in the bottom of the 9th, Alex Cintron apparently escaped serious injury when he was struck in the face by a line-drive off the bat of Mark DeRosa while standing in the on deck circle in the bottom of the 6th inning of this afternoon's game between the Angels and the Cubs at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

Upon seeing what had happened, DeRosa jumped into the air and then went to his knees with his face buried briefly in his hands.

Cintron lay motionless on his stomach for a couple of minutes before finally rolling over and sitting up, and being helped to his feet by the Cubs training staff. He walked into the clubhouse under his own power, and DeRosa was able to resume his AB, relieved that his teammate was apparently not seriously injured.

I couldn't help but be reminded of the possible career-ending eye injury suffered by Cardinals outfielder Juan Encarnacion last year, an injury that occurred under almost identical circumstances (struck by line drive while standing in on-deck circle)..  

As for the game, the Cubs scored three quick runs in the bottom of the 1st off Angels starter Ervin Santana to take a 3-0 lead. 

Eric Patterson, who played the entire game in CF (one fly ball, one nice running catch), led off by working an eight-pitch walk. E-Pat then stole second, and came around to score on a double ripped into the LF corner by Alfonso Soriano. 

Derrek Lee then lofted a high fly into right-center that resulted in a double, taking advantage of the wind taking the ball to the fence and the centerfielder failing to get a good read on the ball. 

Because it looked like the ball would be caught,.Soriano tagged up at 2nd, and was only able to advance to 3rd.

Aramis Ramirez followed with a ground single between short and third into LF that scored Soriano and sent D-Lee to 3rd.

Kosuke Fukudome then hit what looked like a certain DP grounder, but he hustled to beat the throw to first and thus was able to net a FC RBI in the process.

With the Cubs up 3-0, starter Ryan Dempster took the hill in the top of the second, hoping to shut-down the Angels as he did in the top of the first, when he retired the Halos 1-2-3 on just six pitches (two grounders and a fly out). But it sure didn't work out that way.

Casey Kotchman led-off the 2nd with a weak dribbler down the 1st base line. Dempster sort of laziily loitered over to the ball, and then realizing "Oh, shit! I better hurry," he groped for the ball while off-balance, and then threw the ball not to Derrek Lee at 1st base, but rather like a drunken sailor to a surprised Mark DeRosa, who was located somewhere between 1st and 2nd. .   

So with a runner at first thanks his own error and no outs, Dempster imploded, allowing six runs on five hits (two doubles, two triples, a home run). 

Finally after he had thrown 40 pitches in the inning (that's right, 40 pitches in just 2/3 of an inning), and with Angels runners on 1st and 3rd, Manager Lou Piniella decided Demp had had probably enough work for the day--or at least for the inning, anyway--and replaced him with Michael Wuertz. And Wuertz did what Wuertz does best... stop the bleeding with a strikeout 

And then Wuertz and every pitcher who followed pitched great.

Wuertz had four strikeouts in 1.1 IP. Kerry Wood had a 1-2-3 FIVE-pitch 4th inning (making me think Uncle Lou might want to try Woody's first "back-to-back" relief outing tomorrow), Jon Lieber threw four shutout innings (5th through the 8th - 58 pitches, 39 strikes, 6/3 GB/FB), allowing just two hits and a walk,with three K's, and Jose Ascanio worked a shutout 9th and looked OK. 

The Cubs were able to score a couple of single runs to make the score closer, one in the 5th on a triple banged off the centerfield hitting background by Derrek Lee followed by a wild pitch, and another in the 6th on a HR over the LF fence by Henry Blanco

But they could get no further, and lost 6-5.

I think the big problem with Dempster as a starter will be pitch counts, not so much the game pitch count (although that, too), but he has already made three starts where he has thrown anywhere from 30-40 pitches in a single inning, and that just isn't going to cut it. And if I remember correctly, throwing too many pitches per inning is one of the main reasons the Cubs decided to move him from the starting rotation to the bullpen (and the closer spot) a month into the 2005 season, wasn't it?  

box score

Comments

Phil,

What in the name of holy hell will they do with Dempster? We've already got three guys vying for the closers job, we seem to have a surplus of decent arms in the middle and if Dempster is tossing 40-pitch innings, no one is going to want him in trade. He bats righty. Can he play all three outfield positions?

I don't understand why he wasn't happy closing. He actually got the job done a large percentage of the time. Why mess with a good thing? ... or, eh, why mess with a decent thing?

He's a free agent, probably would make more money as a starter.

He ain't making Carlos Silva money as a closer. Guaranteed.

I think somebody asked John Smoltz that same question.

RYNO: I think Dempster would like to sup at the table of starting pitcher free-agency post-2008, and he can only do that if he can re-establish himself as a starter in 2008.

But I really don't see him as a good fit with the Cubs in that role. Either you use him as a closer (which isn't going to happen), or you try to move him him.

Personally, as of right now I'd go with Lieber and Marquis as the final two members of the rotation to start the season, with Marshall at AAA if Lieber or Marquis falter or if Marquis gets traded.

Dempster should probably be starting someplace where the expectations are much lower (like TEX, KC, BAL, PIT, WAS, or FLA), but naturally those clubs probably aren't going to want to pay him $5M just so he can showcase himself for a POSSIBLE big FA pay-out post-2008 or just so the club MIGHT be able to swing a 7/31 deadline deal with a contender, at least unless the Cubs take back an equal-amount albatross contract in the deal. Jay Payton (BAL) makes about the same salary as Dempster in 2008, but otherwise that's about it.

So like Cubnut says, it's a dilemma...

What to do with Ryan Dempster?

Indeed, sir!

He pitched like shiiite today. But Dempster WAS 3rd in NL Save percentage last year. He did convert better than 90%. Call him the Anti-Latroy Hawkins.

Please please please please please add his four run blown save to his stats.

This is a recording.

I see, it's a financial thing. *sigh*

the idea of putting the dumpster back in the rotation didnt just start this past offseason, though the financial thing has to play into it on dumpster's end.

more than that, though...i believe that he believes (and the cubs brass believes) that he can start.

he's been there before and its not a longshot.

sigh my ass. he sucks.

Being that two players have been hit in the face in the las year in the on-deck circle the only reasonable thing to do is pass a rule that requires all batters to be wearing catcher's masks while on deck or facing the playing field in the dugout.

I don't know if I'd go that far, but something needs to be put in place to keep this from being a tragic event.

Larger bylines, particularly in the comments. The quicklinks menu up top is now collapsible.

I like it.

awesome

Padres, Dodgers tie in MLB's first Chinese exhibition.

Welcome to Bud's game. =)

They interviewed some people on NPR about this and they were all like "Yeah, they're playing baseball or something. Whatever."

I thought it was pretty amusing.

They actually mistranslated the Chinese. What they actually said was "Home run is King! We love all things American."

Apparently, the MLB Trade Rumors guy has "sources" that say Ceda was not added to any Robert's proposal.

Yea, I know.....

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/03/cubs-add-ced...

I cant believe Mets are not going for Roberts, don't they have like 5 hurt 2nd basemen?

Who do propose they trade from baseball's worst farm system?

Well it did get them Santana.

wanted Zito money and only 3 teams were going to offer it. What it came down to for the Twins was that they were better off moving him to the NL than take Ellsbury and a few B-/C+ level guys from from the Sox or Hughes and a few B-/C+ guys from the Yanks. Humber has had on the best springs this year out of any pitcher in MLB and Gomez was a huge CF upgrade for them long term over what they had in their system.

Dont know but they have cash I'm sure that Angelo would like to have

and Bruce Levine on his saturday am gabfest (Talking Baseball on AM 1000) said Hendry was quite upset with the sun-times article because it again named cub players including new ones (ie. Ceda) which brings on a new round of phone calls from their agents asking what is going on and is their player getting moved. The longer this drags on the more problematic it gets, time to do it or don't do it, but please never deal with the Orioles again.

and don't ever deal with andy macphai again, should he leave baltimore. Wasn't macphail around when the sosa to yankees trade almost went down? The guy has no ability to make a deal without it looking like gigantic clusterf#ck

Two quick questions for Arizona Phil:

Andres Blanco was just sent to Minor League camp. Campusano, Closser and Figueroa were sent as well. Are they camping with AAA or AA?

Also, with the major league club sending people down, are the minor clubs sending people down the line as well?

http://cubs.scout.com/2/737697.html

Chris Walker, Tim Layden and Miguel Cuevas.

Cubs release 3 minor leaguers

Submitted by Rob G. on Sat, 03/15/2008 - 12:17pm.

http://cubs.scout.com/2/737697.html

Chris Walker, Tim Layden and Miguel Cuevas.

=======================

ROB G: Actually, the Cubs released six minor leaguers prior to the first minor league Spring Training games yesterday, as the rosters of the five "groups" were reorganized.

Besides OF Chris Walker, LHP Tim Layden, and RHP Miguel Cuevas, the Cubs also released OF Brian Leclerc (2007 31st Round pick out of U. of Florida), 3B Billy Mottram (2007 36th Round pick out of Dowling College), and catcher Matt Hudgins (2007 NDFA out of Virginia Weslyan).

I had my eye on Mottram he put up some nice stats in college. Are the releases of the guys drafted last year 'mutually agreed' or guys the Cubs don't want to waste roster slots on?

Recent comments

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  • 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.

    Charlie 8 min 16 sec ago view
  • 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?

    QuietMan 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    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.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • 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.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • 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?

    The E-Man 4 hours 23 min ago view