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
"The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."
The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.
Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.
Thanks for the reporting Phil.
He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.
Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.
And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.
I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.
Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.
Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.
I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.
The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.
I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable
Did you expect anything different?
Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?
men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.
cubs lose :(
UH OH! RALLY TIME!
Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce
Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.
The use of Peralta in any
semblance of a high leveragesituation is questionable at best.
fixed that for ya.
The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.