Matt Garza Stones Bees at Fitch Park
Matt Garza threw four innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and no walks with six strikeouts, Adrian Cardenas slugged a 420+ foot three-run HR over the CF fence, Welington Castillo drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly, and Blake Lalli had four hits, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and Casey Coleman threw four innings of one-run ball, but knuckleballer Joe Zeller was tagged for four runs, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies 5-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League minor league game action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ
Because Garza started the AAA game, Casey Coleman (who was supposed to start for Iowa today) was moved over to Field #2 and started in the AA game instead.
This was “getaway day” for the Cubs four full-season minor league teams, so game time was 9 AM. The Cubs other two full-season squads (Daytona and Peoria) played their games on the road versus Angels affiliates at Diablo Park in Tempe.
A fleet of rental trucks packed with gear stood ready-to-roll in the parking lot, and both games were played at a faster pace than is typical of Spring Training games at Minor League Camp. The players, managers, coaches, and trainers all seemed anxious to get out of Arizona and get going with the regular season, but the start of the game on Field #3 was delayed a few minutes because Matt Garza arrived late.
The one squad from Minor League Camp that won't be leaving town is the Boise/Mesa group, which morphs into the Cubs Extended Spring Training (EXST) team this week.
The EXST squad will consist of about 60 players, including players who failed to make the Peoria Chiefs' final roster cut but who will stay ready to replace any injured players at Peoria or Daytona, younger and less-experienced players who are expected to play at Boise or for the AZL Cubs when the short-season leagues begin play in June, and injured players who are in various stages of rehab.
Several Boise/Mesa (EXST) players saw game action for Iowa or Tennessee in today's games.
In roster news involving the Iowa Cubs, OF Jim Adduci was moved down to Tennessee from Iowa and (somewhat surprisingly) 3B Marquez Smith was released, as the I-Cubs got down to the AAA 24 player-limit. Also, it appears likely that SS Junior Lake (strained back) will open the Southern League season on the Tennessee 7-day DL. If so, he will probably remain at Fitch Park until he is ready to play again.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
1. Jim Adduci, LF: 0-4 (F-8, L-8, F-8, E-5)
2a. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (E-9, F-9, 1-3, R)
2b. Javier Baez, SS: 1-1 (1B)
3a. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K, RBI)
3b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 0-1 (4-3)
4a. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, 3-U)
4b. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-0 (BB)
5. Matt Cerda, 3B-DH: 0-4 (P-3, K, K, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Jonathon Mota, DH: 0-3 ( F-7, F-9, 4-3)
6b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
7a. Michael Burgess, RF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, 4-3)
7b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (6-4 FC)
8a. Michael Brenly, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
8b. Luis Flores, C: 0-1 (6-3)
9. Nate Samson, 2B: 0-3 (L-7, 4-3, 6-3)
1. Casey Coleman: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 55 pitches (40 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
2. Brian Schlitter: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Joe Zeller: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Marcus Hatley: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
TENNESSEE ERRORS: 1
SS Elliot Soto - E6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Luis Flores: 1 PB
TENNESSEE BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Michael Burgess was thrown out 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to RF with no outs in the bottom of the 5th
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
1a. Dave Sappelt, RF: 2-4 (F-8, 1B, F-7, 1B, R, CS)
1b. Delbis Arcila, RF: 0-0 (BB)
2a. Adrian Cardenas, 2B: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, K, HR, R, 3 RBI)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-1 (P-6)
3a. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 0-1 (BB, K, SB)
3b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 2-3 (1B, E-6, 1B, R)
4. Blake Lalli, DH: 4-5 (K, 1B, 1B, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
5a. Edgar Gonzalez, SS: 2-2 (3B, 1B, 2 R)
5b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (4-6 FC, BB, 4-6 FC)
6a. Welington Castillo, C: 1-1 (F-7 SF, 2B, 2B, 3 RBI)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-2 (F-9, 5-3)
7. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-4 (2B, 1B, E-4, K)
8. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, 1B, 4-3, R, SB)
9. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
1. Matt Garza: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 49 pitches (32 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Nate Robertson: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. John Gaub: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (5 strikes)
4. Ryan Rowland-Smith: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches (9 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Ryan Searle: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 28 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Searle inning was stopped with one out & bases-loaded after he reached max pre-planned pitch limit
6. Ramon Garcia: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 8 pitches (3 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
IOWA ERRORS: 2
1. LF Eduardo Gonzalez - E-7 (fielding error on single to LF allowed batter to advance an extra base)
2. P John Gaub - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed base-runner to advance to 2nd
IOWA BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Josh Vitters was thrown out 4-6 trying to take an extra base on a dropped pop fly in short CF
WEATHER: Sunny, cool, and VERY breezy, with temperatures in the 60’s
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!