It's May Day in Maryvale
Brandon May had a double and two singles, three RBI, and a run scored, and Arismendy Alcantara cranked a solo home run, leading the EXST Cubs to a 9-2 drubbing of the EXST Brewers in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Maryvale Park Field #7 in Phoenix this morning.
While Brandon May had a big day at the plate, he had a bad day in the field, committing errors on consecutive at bats resulting in an unearned run scoring against John Mincone in the 5th. (Mincone surrendered just a bunt single in three innings of work). The two errors were May’s first of the year, ending his consecutive-games errorless streak at 17. May has been (and remains) the EXST Cubs most-reliable and versatile infield defender, capable of playing 1B, 2B, and 3B equally well (he also has played LF).
Bobby Wagner has been donning the “tools of ignorance” in recent days, warming up pitchers in the bullpen when he isn’t playing 1B or 3B. (In fact his slot in today’s lineup was skipped in the 9th inning because he was busy warming up Carlos Rojas in the bullpen). This could be a pre-cursor to Wagner making the full conversion to catcher, since he has yet to find a permanent defensive position (he played 3B in college, mostly LF last year at Boise, and mostly 1B so far this year at Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training). Wagner is presently tied with Arismendy Alcantara for the EXST Cubs team lead in home runs (both have two).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-4 (F-7, BB, 1B, 4-3, 6-3, RBI)
2. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 3-5 (1B, 1B, 1B, K, E-4, R)
3a. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-2 (1B, HBP, HBP, 4-3, 2 R, SB)
3b. Carlos Romero, 1B: 0-1 (K)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 3-5 (2B, K, 4-6-3 GIDP, 1B, 1B, R , 3 RBI)
5. Runey Davis, LF-RF: 1-3 (F-8 SF, BB, 1B, F-9, F-7, R, RBI)
6a. Bobby Wagner, DH #1: 1-3 (F-8, P-2, 3B, RBI)
6b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED IN THE TOP OF THE 9th
7. Luis Flores, C: 0-3 (P-2, F-9, BB, F-9)
8. Albert Hernandez, 1B-LF: 0-4 (K+WP, 6-3, F-9, 6-3, R, SB)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-4 (1B, K, 4-3, K, RBI)
10. Arismendy Alcantara, DH #2: 1-4 (HR, E-3, K, E-1, 3 R, RBI)
1. Marcus Hatley – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
2. Luis Liria – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 46 pitches (32 strikes)
3. John Mincone - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2/4 GO/FO, 30 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Jose Rosario - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Carlos Rojas - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
1. 3B Brandon May E-5 (overthrow at 1st base on bunt single allowed batter to reach 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Brandon May E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
Luis Flores: 1-1 CS
BASERUNNING MISADVDENTURES: Wes Darvill was thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double, and Vismeldy Bieneme was thrown out 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a two-out single to CF.
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.
Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.
I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.