Caridad & Sanchez Get Rehab Work in Extended Spring Training Twin-Bill
Bobby Wagner drove-in three runs with a solo home run and a two-run double and Albert Hernandez had two hits and two RBI, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the EXST Giants in an abbreviated eight-inning game on Field #2, while over on Field #1, Austin Kirk struck out six (including Freddy Sanchez twice) in three innings of work, but the other squad of EXST Giants rallied late to defeat the other squad of EXST Cubs 7-5 in a game that was stopped after seven innings, as the Cubs and Giants played an Extended Spring Training doubleheader at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. As per usual, the games were played simultaneously.
Cubs RHP Esmailin Caridad saw his first game action since being placed on the 15-day DL with a strained forearm on April 12th, working 1.2 IP on Field #2. Caridad threw 19 pitches (11 strikes) and allowed no runs or hits, but he did walk two. He struck out one Giants hitter (swinging), while getting another three outs on a pop-up to the catcher in foul territory, a fly-out to deep CF, and a ground-out to SS. (The 5th out was a CS). Caridad continued to pitch even after he recorded the third out (getting five outs total in the inning), because he had thrown only 11 pitches up to that point, and the Cubs wanted him to throw at least 15-20 pitches, but only pitch one inning. Caridad appeared to have good velocity on his fastball, but his control was spotty.
The Giants also had a big leaguer on a rehab assignment playing in one of the games, as 2B Freddy Sanchez (who is at Extended Spring Training rehabbing from shoulder and knee surgeries) played 2nd base and hit third in every inning on Field #1. Sanchez struck out twice against Cubs 2009 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk, once in the 1st inning (on three pitches) and then again in the 3rd. He lined a single to CF off Kirk in the 2nd. Then in three AB against RHP Jose Rosario, Sanchez walked, grounded out to SS, and lined out to third, before completing his day by stroking an F-7 SF against RHP Tzu-An Wang in the 7th (the game continued after the Giants had scored the winning run in the 7th, in order to give Sanchez another AB).
Cubs OF Runey Davis left the game on Field #2 after getting hit flush on the knee with a pitch. He stayed in the game initially and ran the bases (more like limped around the bases), but he was replaced in the field at the start of the next inning.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH: 0-2 (F-8, F-7, BB, BB, R)
2a. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-2 (1B, P-5, CS)
2b. Blair Springfield, 2B: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, R)
3. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-3 (1B, K, 6-3, BB, R)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-4 (K, L-8, 1B, P-4, R)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 2-3 (4-3, HBP, 2B, 1B, RBI, SB)
6. Cody Shields, LF: 1-3 (4-3, 6-3, 1B, BB, RBI)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-3 (K, 1B+E5, L-8 SF, K, R, RBI)
8. Jose Guevara, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, HBP, RBI)
9. Rafael Disla, 2B-SS: 0-2 (5-3 SH, 4-6-3 GIDP, K)
1. Austin Kirk – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP, 1/2 GO/FO, 54 pitches (34 strikes)
2. Jose Rosario – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, (4 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 6/1 GO/FO, 51 pitches (31 strikes)
3. Tzu-An Wang – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS
1a. Runey Davis, CF-DH: 0-2 (K, BB, E-8, HBP, R)
1b. SLOT SKIPPED AFTER DAVIS LEFT GAME DUE TO INJURY
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-3 (4-3, 4-3, BB, 1B, BB, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF-CF: 1-4 (3B, F-9, K, F-8 SF, K, RBI)
4. Brandon May, 2B: 0-5 (4-3, F-9, E-5, 4-6-3 GIDP, 1-3, R)
5. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 2-4 (HR, F-8, 2B, K, 2 R, 3 RBI)
6a. Jae-Hoon Ha, C-DH-RF: 0-3 (F-7, F-9, 6-3)
6b. SLOT SKIPPED AFTER HA MOVED TO RF
7a. SLOT SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THROUGH BATTING ORDER
7b. Luis Flores, DH-C: 0-2 (K, K)
8. Albert Hernandez, LF: 2-4 (F-9, K, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
9. Carlos Romero, 1B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, HBP, K, 2 R)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 2/4 GO/FO, 50 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Esmailin Caridad – 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Drew Rundle – 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 3/0 GO/FO, 40 pitches (27 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
C Jae-Hoon Ha E-2 (overthow at 2nd base on SB attempt allowed runner to advance to 3rd base – did not score)
C Luis Flores E-2 (overthrow at 3rd base on SB attempt allowed the runner to score unearned run and the trailing runner to advance from 2nd base to 3rd)
RF Jesus Morelli E-9 (dropped fly ball on what would have been a SF anyway, but the drop allowed the batter to reach base safely – did not score)
C Luis Flores E-2 (overthrow at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd base, and runner eventually scored an unearned run)
Jae-Hoon Ha: 1-2 CS, 1 PB, 1 E (see above)
Luis Flores: 0-3 CS, 2 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70’s
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.