Diamondbacks Take Advantage of Cub Miscues at Talking Stick
Taking advantage of four errors to score four unearned runs, the Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 8-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
21-year old 6’5 RHP Jose Arias got the start for the Cubs and worked three innings, and although he did allow two runs on four hits and a walk, he also struck out seven. Arias was considered the Cubs #1 pitching prospect in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) last season, and will likely be a rotation starter at AZL Cubs this year. He was throwing gas today.
In EXST Cubs roster news, Cuban LHP Gerardo Concepcion and fellow Cuban catcher Yaniel Cabezas have been moved-up to Peoria.
The 20-year old Concepcion was signed by the Cubs last month, receiving a five-year $6M major league contract. In three EXST games prior to getting promoted, Concepcion threw 11.1 IP, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits and four walks, while striking out 11. He also threw three wild pitches and committed a balk.
In his last outing last Thursday at Indian School Park in Scottsdale versus the Giants, Concepcion threw five innings (88 pitches), allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. So he is stretched-out and ready to be a starting pitcher for the Chiefs.
Concepcion signed with the Cubs after defecting last year at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands while a member of Team Cuba. Prior to defecting he pitched for Industriales in Serie Nacional (the Cuban major league), and was named the league’s Rookie of Year for the 2010-11 season.
Cabezas signed with the Cubs in December 2010 for a reported $500K bonus. He played for Los Vaqueros de la Habana in Serie Nacional prior to defecting, and split the 2011 season between AZL Cubs (Mesa) and Boise, hitting a combined 202/284/260 between the two stops. Cabezas turned 23 last Thursday
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (2B, F-7, L-4, 1B)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-DH: 0-4 (K, F-8, F-9, K)
3. Anthony Giansanti, DH-C: 0-3 (4-3, K, BB, L-7, R)
4. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, BB, K, R)
5. Neftali Rosario, C-DH: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, F-8, R, 2 RBI)
6. Brian Inoa, DH-2B: 0-4 (F-8, K, E-6, 4-3, R)
7. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, BB, F-7)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (5-3, BB, 1B, 6-3, RBI, SB)
9. Garrett Schlecht, LF-DH: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
10. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Jair Bogaerts, LF: 0-1 (E-5)
1. Jose Arias: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 61 pitches (44 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 40 pitches (24 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 34 pitches (22 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Rafael Diplan: 1.0 IP, 1 H 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 16 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 4
1. P Ethan Elias - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
2. C Neftali Rasario - E-2 (overthrow on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
3. C Anthony Giansanti - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score unearned run)
4. 2B Brian Inoa - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
Anthony Giansanti: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
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?