Luis Mops the Flores at Fitch Park
Luis Flores drilled two doubles and scored two runs, leading one squad of EXST Cubs to a 3-0 shutout of the other squad of EXST Cubs in a six-inning Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.
One of the better defensive catchers in the Cubs minor league system, Flores is on an injury rehab assignment at Fitch Park after suffering a conscussion at Minor League Camp last month, and he looks to be about ready to rejoin the Daytona Cubs whenever the Cubs decide to move him up. He certainly is a man among boys at Fitch Park.
Today’s intrasquad game featured the U. S. debut of five more Dominican pitchers who were called up to Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica, including 20-year old 6’2 lanky LHP Willengton Cruz, 19-year old stocky RHP Rafael Diplan, 21-year old RHP Santo Rodriguez, 22-year old RHP Jean Sandoval, and 20-year old RHP Yilver Sanchez.
The five newbees join RHP Ramon Garcia, LHP Luis Villalba, and RHP Starling Peralta, INF Gregori Gonzalez, and OF Eduardo Gonzalez, who arrived last week, and catchers Johan DeJesus, Brian Inoa, and Hector Suarez who reported to Minor League Camp in March. Peralta, INF Gioskar Amaya, 3B-1B Wilson Contreras, SS Marco Hernandez, and OF Oliver Zapata are back at Fitch Park after making their U. S. debuts at AZ Instructs last year, while all of the others are making their U. S. debuts this year.
Peralta, W. Cruz, Y. Sanchez, Sandoval, and Villalba were the “Big 5” starting rotation for the Dominican Summer League Baseball City Division Champion DSL Cubs #1 last season (the 2010 DSL Cubs #1 had the best record of the 34 teams that play in the DSL, while DSL Cubs #2 AKA "Bad News Cubs" had the worst record), and of the five Dominican hurlers who threw today, W. Cruz really stood out. He has some nasty stuff.
Here is today’s abridged box score:
NOTE: Luis Flores was SQUAD “B” DH #1 and batted 1st in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH #1: 0-2 (K, K)
2. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-2 (K, P-1)
3. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-2 (P-4, 1B)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, 1B: 0-2 (1-3, 5-3)
5. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-1 (K, BB, PO)
6. Johan DeJesus, C: 1-2 (1B, F-8)
7. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-2 (1-3, P-2)
8. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 1-2 (5-3, 1B)
9. Gregori Gonzalez, 2B: 0-2 (L-6, 6-4-3 DP)
10. Hector Suarez, DH #2: 0-1 (K)
11. Max Kwan, DH #3: 0-1 (F-9)
SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
X. Luis Flores, DH #1: 2-3 (2B, 2B, K, 2 R)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-2 (1B, 4-3, CS)
2. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
3. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-1 (FC, BB, SB)
4. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, SB)
5. Jesus Morelli, DH #2: 0-2 (K, L-4)
6. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-2 (5-3, F-8)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-1 (5-3 SH, F-8, RBI)
8. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 0-1 (5-3)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-1 (L-7)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Santo Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
2. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Jean Sandoval: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (14 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Luis Liria: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (21 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Willengton Cruz: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Yilver Sanchez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 1 PO, 22 pitches (13 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Johan DeJesus: 1-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.