Trey Doubles the Fun at HoHoKam Park
Trey Martin doubled twice, the second one a laser-shot off the RF fence that drove-in the go-ahead run and capped a four-run 7th, as the AZL Cubs rallied to edge the AZL Indians 6-5 in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
In addition to Martin's heroics, 1B Jacob Rogers (2012 40th round draft pick out of Mt Olive College) pulled two hard-hit ground RBI singles into the 3.5 hole, one in the 2nd and one in the 7th, to the aid the Cubs offense. (Rogers was 6th in NCAA Division II in HR in 2012).
And DH Dan Vogelbach belted his 4th double in three AZL games--a line shot down the RF line--and then came around to score the Cubs first run of the evening on Rogers' first RBI single.
Vogelbach's approach at the plate was way out of kilter at Extended Spring Training (189/306/379 in 111 PA) and he displayed a lot of visible frustration with how things were going (not to mention the ten errors at 1st base), but it looks like he's got the old Vogelbomb swing back now. Hopefully it's just matter of time before he starts depositing baseballs over the fence.
RHP David Cales (2011 shoulder surgery rehab) saw his first game action in over a year (not including a couple of Extended Spring Training "sim" games and an intrasquad game), and he did not look good. He allowed a run on two hits (a lead-off double and an RBI single) and two walks in just 2/3 of an inning (26 pitches), and he kept pinwheeling his arm like he couldn't get it loose. That's never a good sign for a guy coming back from a shoulder injury.
Another rehab hurler had a different problem, as veteran RHP Shane Lindsay (sent down from AAA Iowa to iron-out some "mechanical issues") continually fell behind in the count over the course of his 2.1 IP. The Australian fireballer did throw shutout ball (allowing a single and two walks) and got lots of swings & misses at his extreme heat, but he also needed 49 pitches (only 25 strikes) to get his seven outs. He threw seven consecutive balls when he entered the game with one out and a runner at 1st in the top of the 3rd, and then he threw seven consecutive balls again to open the 4th.
20-year old RHP Jin Young Kim threw two no-hit innings for the save, as the one-time Korean bonus baby ($850K signing bonus in 2010) is apparently being tracked into the closer role in Mesa. One unearned run did score off Kim, but that was thanks to a two-base error that put a Tribe runner on 2nd base with no outs in the top of the 9th (with the runner eventually scoring after a couple of 6-3 ground outs).
RHP Tony York (2012 NDFA - UCSD) made his pro debut tonight and threw a 1-2-3 12-pitch 6th. York was UCSD's closer in 2012, and indeed he does look like your typical RH college reliever (warms-up quickly, works fast, throws strikes).
RF Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) also made his pro debut in tonight's game, and went 1-4 with a double and a run scored. He has a nice line-drive stroke and sprays the ball all over the yard. He looks like he might be a decent hitter (although HR power is always preferred in a corner OF), and he displayed a plus-arm in RF.
Rademacher was recruited by perennial D-1 baseball powerhouse Cal State - Fullerton out of HS and spent his freshman year there, before transferring to Orange Coast CC. He was set to transfer to Oral Roberts University if he hadn't signed with Cubs.
Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot
That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.