Carpenter Gets Rehab Start at Extended Spring Training
The Cubs managed only six hits while committing six errors in the field, as the EXST Angels defeated the EXST Cubs 4-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Considered by most observers to be the Cubs #3 best pitching prospect coming into the season, RHP Chris Carpenter made his first appearance of the year after nursing a sore shoulder throughout Minor League Camp and after starting the 2010 regular season on the AA Tennessee Smokies 7-day DL. Carpenter was the Cubs 3rd round pick in 2008 out of Kent State, and went a combined 6-7 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP and 52/118 BB/K in 130.2 IP at Peoria/Daytona/Tennessee in 2009.
Carpenter got through the top of the 1st inning, stranding a runner at 3rd by getting a strikeout (swinging) and a 5-3 ground out to end the inning. But the Angels scored in the top of the 2nd, thanks to a lead-off triple and a one-out RBI single. Carpenter was pulled after getting a strikeout for the 2nd out of the inning. For the day, Carpenter threw 36 pitches (23 strikes) in 1.2 IP, allowing just the one run (and it was earned) on three hits (two singles and a triple), with three strikeouts (one swinging and two looking) and no walks. Carpenter did throw a Wild Pitch, and he also committed a throwing error while trying to pick a runner of 1st base.
AA Tennessee 1B-OF Matt Spencer (at Extended Spring Training while rehabbing from a broken toe suffered in Minor League Camp last month) got nine ABs in today’s game, leading off each inning. He reached base twice, once on a double leading off the bottom of the 2nd inning (and he eventually scored what would be the Cubs only run of the day), and on a walk leading off the bottom of the 8th. When a player gets this many plate appearances in one game, it usually means he is nearing the end of his rehab assignment, so expect to see Spencer back in the Tennessee Smokies lineup very soon.
In addition to Carpenter getting into his first game of the season, 20-year old 6’4 260+ Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez saw his first Extended Spring Training game action today, as did 19-year old 6’6 Taiwanese RHP Tzu-An Wang. Suarez relieved Carpenter and allowed one hit but no runs, and after retiring the side 1-2-3 on just 10 pitches in his first inning of work, Wang allowed two unearned runs on two hits and a walk in his second inning. (NOTE: There is another pitcher from Taiwan named Yao-Lin Wang at Cubs Extended Spring Training, but it’s easy to tell the difference between the two Wangs because while Tzu-An is a lanky 6’6, Yao-Lin is a stocky 6’0).
It had to be discouraging for the Cubs coaches to watch the players get only six hits (including just one XBH) while committing six errors one day after “Camp Day,” when hitting and fielding are practiced and drilled for several hours.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP David Patton completed his rehab assignment and was assigned to Daytona (and in fact he got into last night’s D-Cubs game), and RHP Chris Huseby (the Cubs 2006 10th round pick who got “1st round money” to give up his scholarship at Auburn) has arrived at Extended Spring Training from Daytona after struggling with his control. He had a similar problem in 2008 (17 walks in just 15 IP at Mesa), but it appeared that he had overcome it after allowing only 10 walks in 54 IP (while striking out 73 and saving 18 games) at Peoria last season.
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
NOTE: DH #1 Matt Spencer led-off all nine innings, getting nine plate appearances total in the game.
X. Matt Spencer, DH #1: 1-8 (F-9, 2B, 1-6-3, K, F-7, 4-3, 4-3, BB, F-8, R)
1. Francisco Guzman, CF: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, K, CS)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (F-9, F-7, P-6)
3. D. J. Fitzgerald, RF: 0-3 (K, K, K)
4. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 2-3 (1B, P-5, 1B)
5. Brandon May, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, K, RBI)
6a. Jonathan Mota, C: 0-2 (L-5, 5-3)
6b. Carlos Romero, C: 0-1 (6-3)
7. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 0-2 (L-6, F-8)
8. Cody Shields, LF: 1-2 (P-4, 1B, SB)
9. Wes Darvill, 2B: 0-1 (6-3, BB)
1. Chris Carpenter – 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 36 pitches (23 strikes)
2. Larry Suarez – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Tzu-An Wang – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 27 pitches (16 strikes)
5. Rogelio Carmona – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
6. Danny Keefe – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 31 pitches (21 strikes)
P Chris Carpenter E-1 (errant throw attempting to pick runner off 1st base with one out in the top of the 1st inning allowed runner to advance to 2nd base – did not score)
2B Wes Darvill E-4 (throwing error with no outs in the top of the 3rd inning allowed batter to reach 1st base – did not score)
CF Francisco Guzman E-8 (fielding error on line single to CF with runner on 1st base and no outs in the top of the 4th allowed batter to advance to 2nd base and runner on 1st base to score an unearned run)
2B Wes Darvill E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base with one in the 6th - eventually scored unearned run)
C Carlos Romero E-2 (Catcher’s Interference allowed batter to reach base with two outs in the top of the 7th – did not score)
P Danny Keefe E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base with two outs in the top of the 8th – did not score)
Carlos Romero: 1 E (see above)
RF D. J. Fitzgerald threw out runner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on ground single to RF with two outs in the top of the 3rd
WEATHER: Overcast with temperatures in the 70’s