Inoa Hits for the Cycle at Talking Stick
Brian Inoa hit for the cycle and Dustin Geiger ripped two RBI doubles, leading a split squad of EXST Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the EXST Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Justin Hilt and Wagner Mateo homered for the Diamondbacks.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow all of the pitchers who were due to throw today to get their scheduled work.
I can’t remember the last time I saw somebody hit for the cycle in an Extended Spring Training game, so what Brian Inoa did today is quite rare. The 20-year old switch-hitting Dominican catcher tripled to right-center in the top of the 2nd inning, smacked a solo home run over the right-centerfield fence in the 4th, executed a picture-perfect hit & run single into the vacant "four-hole" in the 6th, and smoked a double off the LF fence in the 8th. On the negative side, Inoa also committed two errors (an overthrow on a stolen base attempt that led directly to an unearned run scoring, and a dropped foul pop-up).
This is Inoa’s first season in the U. S. after making his pro debut last year in the Dominican Summer League with DSL Cubs #2 (AKA the “Bad News Cubs”), where he hit 279/356/369 in 60 games (203 PA), mostly as a DH. In just 26 games behind the plate for DSL Cubs #2 in 2010, Inoa committed a whopping 11 errors and allowed ten passed balls. (He is what I guess you might call an "offensive-first" catcher).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-4 (3-U, F-7, F-7, 5-3 SH, K)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 1-5 (K, 6-3, K, F-7, 2B, R)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (3-U, 1B, 4-3, BB, P-1, SB)
4. Brandon May, 3B; 2-5 (P-4, K, 1B, 1B, 4-3, RBI)
5. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-5 (K, 5-3, 4-6 FC, F-9, 1B, RBI)
6. Brian Inoa, C: 4-5 (3B, HR, 1B, 2B, 4-6 FC, 3 R, RBI)
7. Dustin Geiger, DH: 2-3 (2B, P-4, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-4 (1B, 5-3, F-9, 5-3, RBI)
9. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-3 (P-6, K, BB, 1B, R, SB)
1. Austin Reed: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 42 pitches (29 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Colin Richardson: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Ramon Garcia: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 17 pitches (13 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Larry Suarez: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 18 pitches (15 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
1. C Brian Inoa - E2 (overthrow at 3rd base on stolen base allowed the runner to score an earned run)
2. C Brian Inoa - E2 (dropped pop fly in foul territory extending batter’s AB)
Brian Inoa: 0-2 CS, 2 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.