Rockies Take Road to Victory at Fitch Park
Shawon Dunston Jr ripped a solo home run and Pierre LePage reached base three times, but the Cubs left six runners stranded over the final three innings, allowing the Rockies to escape with a 4-2 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra inning so that all of the Cubs and Rockies pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
Starling Peralta got the start for the Cubs and had another strong outing, retiring nine of the first 11 men he faced (including four on strikeouts). He should be close to being ready to move up to Peoria.
With a number of pitchers having arrived over the past week or two from the Cubs Dominican Academy, there are hardly enough innings available for all of the pitchers at Extended Spring Training to get enough game work. Besides Peralta, RHRPs Roderik Pichardo and Pete Levitt and LHRP Sheldon McDonald appear to be ready to move up to Peoria (or possibly even Daytona), so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs release some pitchers from their four full-season affiliates over the next week, if nothing else to relieve some of the congestion at EXST.
2B Pierre LePage (hamstring rehab) has been playing very well and appears to be 100%, and so he could be moved up at any time. But where would he go? He really doesn’t have the versatility to play multiple positions, and there is no opening for an everyday 2nd baseman (or even part-time 2B) at Peoria or Daytona at this time, unless the Cubs want to give Zeke DeVoss some OF reps at Peoria.
OF Xavier Batista probably should be at Peoria, too.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (L-6, HR, 1B, 4-3, R, RBI)
2. Pierre LePage, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, F-9, HBP, R, PO)
3a. Javier Baez, DH #1: 1-3 (FC+E4, 1B, F-9, SB)
3b. Wilfredo Petit, PH: 1-1 (1B)
4a. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-3 (F-8, K, 6-3)
4b. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
5a. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-3 (6-3, 3-U, 4-3)
5b. Anthony Giansanti, PH: 0-0 (BB)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-4 (F-8, K, 3B, K)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B-DH: 0-4 (K, 3-U, 3-U, K)
8. Ryan Durrence, 1B: 1-4 (4-3, P-6, 1B, L-7)
9. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-4 (K, K, 3-6 FC, 1B)
10. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-4 (5-3, F-8, 5-4 FC, K)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (E-4, K)
1. Starling Peralta: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 45 pitches (34 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 36 pitches (25 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Brian Smith: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (12 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (7 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 2-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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