Cashner Right On the Money at Fitch
Cubs 2008 #1 draft pick RHP Andrew Cashner (TCU) made his professional debut today, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL A's 6-5 this morning at Fitch Park Field #3.
Cashner got the start and threw one inning, allowing one broken-bat opposite field single and one unearned run (the runner who reached base on the single came around to score on a stolen base, a passed ball, and an opposite field sac fly).
Cashner mixed a high-octane heater and biting slider in his one inning of work, striking out the first hitter he faced (looking) on an unhittable slider that crossed the outside corner, and the last hitter in the inning (swinging) on high heat. None of the A's hitters could get around on his pitches. They were behind on every swing.
All in all and probably not too surprisingly, I would say Cashner acquitted himself quite well in his pro debut (to say the least), and he is probably not too long for Fitch Park. He should be in Boise in very short order.
He looks to be every bit as good as advertised. He reminds me somewhat of Max Scherzer, although Scherzer is more advanced at this point. .
Offensively, the AZL Cubs juggernaut continued their offensive onslaught, as John Contreras, Nelson Perez, and Sean Hoorelbeke slammed back-to-back-to back solo home runs in the bottom of the 2nd, giving the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish.
In their next ABs, both Contreras and Perez were plunked in the back with pitches (apparently A's starter Anvioris Ramirez was none too pleased about the AZL Cubs three long flies the first time up) Fortunately the Cubs pitchers kept their cool and did not retaliate (at least not today...).
And so why do I call the AZL Cubs lineup a :"juggernaut"? I don't know. Maybe it's because Hoorelbeke, Perez, Contreras, and fellow AZL Cub Jericho Jones are now 1-2-3-4 in the AZL in OPS, Perez, Contreras, Hoorelbeke, and Jones are 1-2-3-4 in SLG %, Jones (hitting .409) and Hoorelbeke (hitting .403) are 1-2 in the AZL in BA, Perez and Contreras are tied for the AZL lead in HR with eight, Hoorelebeke is tied for 3rd with five, and Jones is tied for 5th with four, Perez and Contreras are 1-2 in RBI (Perez has 30 in 24 games played and Contreras has 25 in 23 games), Contreras leads the AZL in runs scored with 27, and Perez leads the AZL in triples with eight (in just 24 games!) and fellow AZL Cub Junior Lake is tied for 3rd in triples with four.
As a team, the AZL Cubs lead the league in HR with 30 (the second best team has 15 HR), BA, SLG, OPS, runs scored, and hits, and the team is second in the league in doubles, triples, and OBP.
Other than that, the AZL Cubs offense just plain sucks.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.