Dong Dinger Slams Door on Angel Comeback Bid
Dong-Yub Kim blasted a grand slam to cap at five-run 8th, as the Cubs outlasted the Angels 11-8 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ
DY Kim was one of seven highly-regarded Korean teenagers signed by the Cubs during the years 2007-10 (RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, OF Jae-Hoon Ha, SS Hak-Ju Lee, OF Kyung-Min Na, RHP Su-Min Jung, and RHP Jin-Young Kim were the others), receiving a $550K bonus as an 18-year old in February 2009. (The Cubs spent a total of $4M+ worth of signing bonuses on the Korean prospects).
Kim made his U. S. debut at AZ Instructs post-2009 as a raw, multi-tool outfielder, showing plus-speed, HR power, and a RF cannon-arm. He reminded me of a young, teenaged, Korean Jose Canseco. However, he sustained a torn labrum in his right shoulder at Instructs, causing him to miss the 2010 season, before finally returning to full active status in 2011.
Because of his shoulder injury, he no longer has a RF arm, and so he has been relegated to playing LF and occasionally 1st base. Although he has improved some defensively over the past couple of years, he still struggles to track high fly balls and hard-hit liners, and his outfield defense can best be described as below-average.
While his arm is not what it was when he signed, he still has plus-speed and is a good base stealer, and he will occasionally show-off his BP HR power (as he did today), although he does not hit as many home runs in games as he probably should because he is not a good hitter (he struggles to hit breaking balls, he strikes out a ton, and he rarely walks).
Cub fans will sometimes talk about this prospect or that prospect being at the crossroads and that this is a make-or-break year, but for Dong-Yub Kim, it probably is.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-4 (K, 1B, 1-3, 4-3, R)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (K, 1B, 6-3, 4-3, R)
3a. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (4-3, E-5, 1B, RBI)
3b. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-1 (1B, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-4 (2B, 3-6-3 DP, K, K, R)
5a. Gioskar Amaya, DH #1: 1-2 (F-9, 2B, BB, R)
5b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-0 (BB, R)
6. Trey Martin, CF-DH: 1-3 (P-4, L-4, 1B, F-9 SF, RBI)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-2 (2B, BB, L-8, BB, 2 R, RBI)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Trevor Gretzky, DH #2: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-4 (6-3, K+WP, F-8, HR, R, 4 RBI, SB)
10. Wilson Contreras, C-DH: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, E-6, 2 RBI)
11. Garrett Schlecht, DH-CF: 0-2 (HBP, K, P-5, R)
1. Ian Dickson: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 50 pitches (33 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 23 pitches (19 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 26 pitches (19 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
4. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 39 pitches (23 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (errant throw on attempted force play at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd base - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Contreras: 1-1 CS, 1 PB
Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Xavier Batista - threw out batter-runner 9-6 trying to stretch single into double
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy at times with temperatures in the 80’s
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.