Camp Day at Fitch Park
As many of you probably know by now, Thursday is "Camp Day" at Extended Spring Training. This usually means an intrasquad game, and sometimes a pre-game "live" BP session or simulated game involving rehabbing pitchers.
And such was the case today.
The Cubs did play a five-inning intrasquad game this morning on Fitch Park Field #2 (which ended in a 3-3 tie), but prior to the game, LHP Mark Pawelek (ankle) and RHP Jim Henderson (shoulder) squared off in a two inning (30-pitches per pitcher) simulated game on Field #1.
Each pitcher threw 15 pitches per "inning," with the hitters (Bryan Jost, Kevin Soto, and Elvis Lara) remaining at the plate until they either walked, struck out, or hit a fair ball. Then after the pitcher finished his "inning," he would go sit on the bench and talk to EXST Cubs pitching coach Rick Tronerud while the other pitcher threw his 15 pitches.
Henderson (relief pitcher at AA Tennessee in 2007) looked very sharp, with good sinking action on his two-seamer and excellent boring action on his slider. How he felt afterward, I do not know. But he looked good.
Pawelek was a different story, though.
In his first inning, he could not command his hard stuff (fastball and slider) and threw ten balls and only five strikes. But in his second inning, he was at least able to throw his fastball over the plate (somewhat), and threw five balls and ten strikes. (He does not have control issues with his curve or change-up).
So just how wild is Pawelek? When left-handed hitting Bryan Jost stepped up to the plate to hit against Pawelek, Boise Pitching Coach Tom Pratt yelled to Jost: "What's the matter, big guy? You're looking kinda wobbly-kneed up there!"
And he did, too!
One thing for sure... Nobody is comfortable hitting against Pawelek. Not when even he doesn't know where the ball is going.
As for the EXST intrasquad game, rehabbing RHP Jon Mueller (not to be confused with fellow EXST RHP John Muller) got the start for Squad "B" and worked three strong innings. Mueller was a middle-reliever for Daytona last year before he went down with an arm injury,
Then LHP Arik Hempy (2007 17th round draft pick out of the U. of South Carolina) threw a couple of innings, and while his outing was not quite as strong as Mueller's, at least he didn't seem to have any trouble getting his arm loose. His breaking ball looked pretty good.
18-year old Australian LHP Cody Hams worked just one inning, and struggled with his control.
On offense, RF Nelson Perez (who hit the game-winning HR yesterday) had another big day, slamming an RBI double and an RBI triple, while also scoring a run.
2B Dwayne Kemp (hero of the Aruban Little League World Series team a few years ago) was also 2-3, with a triple and a run scored and an RBI single, and Leon Johnson tripled and scored and made a nice running catch in CF.
Here is the abridged box score for the five inning EXST intrasquad game
1. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 2-3 (3B, RBI, R)
2. Alvaro Sosa, C: 1-3 (RBI, R, SB)
3. John Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (2 SB)
4. Bryan Jost, 1B: 0-2 (BB, 2 K)
5. Brandon Guyer, DH #1: 1-2
6. Elvis Lara, LF: 0-2
7. Gian Guzman, SS: 1-2
8. Kevin Soto, RF: 0-2 (2 K)
9. Leon Johnson, CF: 1-2 (3B, R)
10. Jose Guevara, DH #2: 0-1 (BB)
11. Jose Made, DH #3: 0-2 (GIDP)
1. Jeffrey Rea, DH: 1-3 (SB)
2. Roberto Sabates, C: 0-2 (R, BB)
3. Junior Lake, SS: 1-2 (R, BB, SB)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 2-3 (2B, 3B, 2 RBI, R)
5. Luis Bautista, 1B: 1-2 (2B, RBI)
6. Luke Sommer, LF: 1-2
7. Starlin Castro, 2B: 1-1 (SH)
8. Andres Quezada, CF: 0-1 (BB)
9. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-2
1. Johan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K
2. Cody Hams - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP
1. Jon Mueller - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K
2. Arik Hempy - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP
3. Jose Severino - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Vitters - 1 (bad throw to 1st)
Lake - 3 (two bad throws to 1st, one misplayed groundball)
G. Guzman - 1 (bobbled ground ball)
Sabates (0-3 CS - bounced every throw)
Sosa (0-2 CS)
WEATHER: Cool with temp around 70, and VERY breezy
Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.