Let's Play Twelve!
The EXST Giants defeated the EXST Cubs 4-1 in a pre-planned 12 inning Extended Spring Training game at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
Prior to this season, the EXST Cubs had one "Camp Day" per week (usually on Thursday), where the team would have a special workout to practice various drills, followed by an intrasquad game. This gave pitchers needing work an opportunity to throw as many innings in a game setting as deemed necessary.
But there are no "Camp Days" this season (EXST games are now scheduled every day Monday through Saturday, and players get Sundays off), so it's been a bit of a struggle to get all 24 of the EXST pitchers (plus rehab guys) enough opportunities for game action. Therefore, we have seen such things as simultaneous double-headers played on adjoining fields, or games extended beyond nine innings to allow a pitcher from one of the two teams to get an inning of work, or (like today) a pre-planned "extra inning" game.
Among the pitchers getting work today were two position players turned pitchers, RHP (ex-3B) Josh Lansford and LHP (ex-OF) Ryan Sontag. Also, RHP Julio Pena threw two inning of relief, since he was working on only three days rest after starting one of the games in Scottsdale last Monday. (So that means Su-Min Jung will probably get the start tomorrow).
Dwayne Kemp got a start at 3B today (the third different position he has played in his last three games), an indication that he is likely being groomed as a "super-sub" utility guy. Unfazed by constantly getting moved around in the field, Kempy continued his hot hitting, smashing a triple off the right-centerfield fence, although he followed that with a brain-fart baserunning gaffe, getting thrown out at the plate 4-2 trying to score on a grounder to 2B with no outs.
And Iowa Cubs RHP Justin Berg (at Fitch Park rehabbing from a sore shoulder the last couple of weeks) left EXST today, presumably en route to rejoin the I-Cubs. Berg looked good throwing an inning yesterday in Phoenix, getting four ground balls (his bread & butter).
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Hak-Ju Lee, DH #1: 1-5 (4-3, F-7, 2B, 1-3, K)
2. Jose Valdez, LF: 1-5 (5-3, 1B, F-7, 4-3, K - 1 R)
3. Matt Cerda, DH-C-2B: 1-4 (K, E-7 SF, 1B, F-9, F-8 - 1 RBI, 1 CS)
4. Jericho Jones, 1B: 0-5 (K, 6-5 FC, K-DP, F-9, K)
5. Logan Watkins, 2B-SS: 1-3 (E-4, 1B, BB, BB, 4-3)
6. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 2-5 (1B, 6-4 FC, 1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, 3-U - 1 SB)
7a. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-2 (1-3, BB, K)
7b. Sean Williams, RF: 0-1 (K)
8. Alvaro Sosa, C-DH: 0-4 (3-U, 4-3, K, 4-3)
9a. Dwayne Kemp, 3B: 1-3 (3B, F-9, E-5)
9b. Jose Made, 3B: 0-0
9c. Juan Medina, C: 1-1 (1B)
10a. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-2 (4-2 FC, F-8 - 1 CS)
10b. George Matheus, SS-3B: 0-2 (K, 1-3)
1. Jeffry Antigua - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/4 GO/FO
2. Josh Lansford - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 GIDP, 4/1 GO/FO
3. Ryan Sontag - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/FO
4. Cody Hams - 1.0 IP, 0 H,0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO
5. Julio Pena - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO
6. Rogelio Carmona - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO
7. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO
1. C Alvaro Sosa threw ball into CF (E-2) while trying to nab runner advancing to 2nd base on Passed Ball in top of the 5th allowing runner to advance to 3rd base, and runner eventually scored unearned run on SF.
2. 3B George Matheus made errant throw to 1st base allowing batter to reach safely with two outs and bases empty in the top of the 9th, and runner scored unearned run on RBI double by next batterr.
1. Alvaro Sosa - 1-1 CS, 1 PB, 1 E-2
2. Matt Cerda - 1-1 CS
3. Juan Medina - 0-4 CS
1. Dwayne Kemp led off bottom of the 3rd with a triple, and then was thrown out on a 4-2 FC trying to score on ground ball to 2B with no outs. Kemp also was thrown out at 2B trying to take an extra base after reaching on an E-5 throwing error with one out in the bottom of the 7th.
2. Matt Cerda was thrown out on a 6-5 FC while trying to advance trom 2nd base to 3rd base on a ground ball to SS with no outs in the bottom of the 4th.
La Stella at 2B...Baez at 3B, or vice versa. Zobrist in RF, Bryant in LF No one gets bumped.
If Coghlan is leading off, I assume Fowler is getting the day off. Who is supposed to lead off, then? Someone has to get on base for Bryant and Rizzo. Coghlan's OBP is .346 with the Cubs. Jackson's was .304. LaStella can lead off, but then he has to play second or third, and bump Zobrist or Baez.
Unless he gets hot, Coghlan will likely change places with Soler soon.
I suspect the Cubs asked Chris Coghlan if he would accept an Optional Assignment to the minors and he refused (Coghlan has one minor league option left), so either you keep LaStella on the 25 and release Coghlan, or option LaStella to AAA for about a month and have both LaStella and Coghlan available in September-October. (As an Article XIX-A player, Coghlan must give his permission before he can be optioned to the minors, while LaStella has not accrued enough MLB Service Time to refuse an optional assignment).
Given today's lineup -- maybe they just wanted an extra OF to give Dexter a few days off (i.e. day game after a night game).
Tommy LaStella has three minor leaue options left so it's no big deal to send him to Iowa, but as of right now he projects to be at 2+124 MLB Service Time by the end of the of the 2016 MLB regular season, which will place him "on the bubble" as far as being eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2016.
But if he spends at least twenty days on optional assignment this season (anything less than twenty days and he will accrue a full season of MLB Service Time), he will not have enough MLB Service Time to have a chance to be a "Super Two."
this will be his 4th time leading off for the cubs this season...WITH A .500 OB%! HAIL MADDON! THE PLAN (c)2016! HE HAS RISEN! #YOLO #SWAG! KONY 2012!
I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.
TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.
Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.