Rockie Road for Cubs at Fitch Park
The EXST Cubs managed just four hits, as the EXST Rockies blanked the Cubs 7-0 in Opening Day Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon in Mesa.
On a rehab assignment at Fitch Park believed to be related to arm fatigue first detected in Spring Training, Iowa Cubs RHP Jay Jackson got the start for the Cubs and threw 2.1 IP (44 pitches), allowing one unearned run on four singles, while striking out four (one looking and three swinging). He had good velocity on his fastball, and he threw strikes.
I-Cubs RF Brad Snyder (strained oblique) is also on a rehab assignment at Fitch, and he played RF and hit third in each of the first three innings, lining out to left in the bottom of the 1st, doubling off the LF fence with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd, and grounding into a 4-6-3 DP to end the 3rd.
RHP Ty’Relle Harris (acquired from ATL in the Derrek Lee trade last summer) had stamina and velocity issues at Minor League Camp, and so he was assigned to Fitch Park to work on strengthening his arm. Like J. Jackson and Snyder, Harris saw game action today, and while he was a bit wild (throwing only only 50% strikes), he did retire all five men he faced (a swinging strikeout, followed by a 4-3, a 6-3, a P-3, and an L-7).
Cubs 2010 7th round draft pick HHP Ben Wells threw two innings today, allowing a single and a two-run HR before retiring the side in his first inning of work, and a triple and an RBI single before completing his second inning.
Several players have arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica since the end of Minor League Camp, but only one (19-year old OF Eduardo Gonzalez) got into today’s game. The new arrivals join catchers Johan DeJesus, Brian Inoa, and Hector Suarez, who made their U. S. debut at Minor League Camp. (Cuban defectors OF Rubi Silva and C Yaniel Cabezas are also making their U. S. debut in 2011, with Silva assigned to Peoria and Cabezas presently at Extended Spring Training).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: Brad Snyder played RF and was the third batter in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings
X. Brad Snyder, RF: 1-3 (L-7, 2B, 4-6-3 DP)
1a. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3)
1b. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-0 (BB, BB)
2a. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
2b. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 4-6 FC)
3a. Reggie Golden, DH-RF: 0-1 (K)
3b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH-DH: 1-2 (1B, 5-4 FC)
4a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-2 (3-U, F-9)
4b. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-1 (5-4-3 DP)
5. Xavier Batista, DH-RF-1B: 0-3 (6-3, K, 5-3)
6a. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-1 (5-3, BB)
6b. Max Kwan, C: 0-1 (K)
7a. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-1 (1B, BB)
7b. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 0-1 (4-3)
8a. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-5 FC)
8b. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-1 (4-3)
9a. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (F-8, 4-6-3 DP)
9b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-1 (F-7)
1. Jay Jackson: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 44 pitches (31 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
2. Ty’Relle Harris: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 24 pitches (12 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 32 pitches (21 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Yao-Lin Wang: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (24 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SS Wes Darvill E-6 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
1. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-2 CS
2. Max Kwan: 1-1 CS
OUTFIELD ASSISTS: 1
CF Oliver Zapata: Batter-runner thrown out 8-2-4 trying advance to 2nd base on play at the plate.
WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 70’s
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.
Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.
Fully agree on Addy -- hope he is our SS for a long time. I'm just surprised he has 4 errors already -- the last 2 on routine plays.
Guess how many Carlos Correa has?
I would still rather have Russell, right now, than any shortstop the team has had in many years. The future is bright enough to wear shades.
EDIT: Gonzo WOULD have been my favorite, 'cepting a certain error of a double-play ball...
Hi Phil, made it home tonight safely. Looks like Cease is getting better each outing. I see Crow did ok today too. I will be reading your write_ups everyday. Great seeing you while there!