The "Other" Baez a Big Hit at Papago
Jeffrey Baez had three hits including a two-run triple that drove-in the go-ahead run in the top of the 6th, Micah Gibbs laced a two-run double, and Jeimer Candelario had two RBI doubles, as the Cubs outslugged the Athletics 12-8 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix.
The Cubs took a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st, as Reggie Golden (two-run single to left) and Jeimer Candelario (double off CF Batter’s Eye) collected two-out RBI, and Micah Gibbs (batting RH) made it 5-0 in the 4th when he hooked a double into the LF corner to drive-in two more runs.
The A's came back with three in the 4th and two unearned runs in the 5th (thanks to three errors by 2B Zeke DeVoss), however, to tie the game at 5-5.
And then it was Jeffrey Baez who got the big clutch hit in the top of the 6th to give the Cubs back the lead, as the 17-year old Venezuelan clubbed a two-run two out triple over the centerfielder’s head.
Baez received a reported $350K bonus when he signed with the Cubs as a 16-year old in the first days of the International Signing Period in 2010, and he hit 282/353/408 with 32 SB in 68 DSL games in his rookie year this season. He is built like a running back or an outside linebacker, and in fact he plays OF and runs the bases like a football player. Which is to say he’s going to need a lot of polish.
The Cubs added a five-spot in the 9th to take a 12-5 lead, as Justin Marra ripped an RBI double into the left-center alley, Rafael Lopez doubled to drive-in Marra, Garrett Schlecht ripped a two-out two run RBI single, and sweet-swingin’ Jeimer Candelario roped another two-out RBI double (his second of the day) to knock-in Schlecht.
Cubs MLB Hitting Instructor Rudy Jaramillo is at Fitch Park this week working with the young Cubs hitters, and he had to be happy with today’s results (12 runs on 13 hits, seven walks, and an HBP, with eight of the 12 RBI coming with two outs).
25-year old LHP (ex-OF) Matt Spencer made his Instructs game debut, throwing 1.1 IP of perfect four up/four down ball (strikeout-swinging, F-8, F-8, strikeout-swinging). Although this was his Instructs game debut, it was not his pro debut as a pitcher, because he has thrown an occasional AA and AAA inning in blow-outs.
Spencer is no stranger to the mound, having been a two-way player (LHP/OF) in HS and at the U. of North Carolina prior to transferring to Arizona State.
In AZIL Cubs roster news, OF Trey Martin (Cubs 2011 13th round draft pick out of Brookwood HS - Snellville, GA) has been placed on the Active List after missing the first couple of weeks of Instructs with a left shoulder strain. He was in uniform today, but did not play. (Martin hit 243/289/357 in 18 AZL Cubs games after signing).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B-CF: 1-5 (K, K, F-9, 1B, 3-1)
2. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-4 (E-3, F-8, 4-3, 4-6-3 DP, HBP, 2 R)
3. Rafael Lopez, 1B: 1-2 (BB, BB, P-5, BB, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 0-5 (K, K, P-3, E-6, P-5)
5a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (1B, 6-4 FC, 6-3, R, 2 RBI, CS)
5b. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-2 (5-3, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
6. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-4 (2B, E-5, 3-1, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
7a. Taiwan Easterling, CF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, BB, 2 R, SB)
7b. Carlos Penalver, 2B: 0-2 (5-4 FC, 5-3)
8a. Micah Gibbs, C: 1-2 (3-6 FC, 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI)
8b. Mark Malave, C: 0-1 (6-3 DP)
9. Jeffrey Baez, LF: 3-4 (1B, K, 3B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
10. Justin Marra, DH #2: 1-3 (BB, K, F-8, 2B, R, RBI)
1. Ian Dickson: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 34 pitches (15 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Matt Spencer: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (9 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. David Henrie: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 27 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (15 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
6. Scott Weismann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 26 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
7. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
1. 2B Zeke DeVoss - E-4 (errant throw attempting to turn a potential 6-4-3 DP allowed batter-runner to advance to 2nd base)
2. 2B Zeke DeVoss - E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and runner who was on 1st base to advance to 3rd base)
3. 2B Zeke DeVoss - E-4 (bobbled relay throw after double into RF corner - allowed runner who had stopped at 3rd base to score)
4. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Mark Malave: 1-1 CS, 1 PB
ATTENDANCE: 94 (mostly students & instructors from MLB Scout School)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 90’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.