Cubs Dump A's 7-5 at Fitch Park

Matt Cerda drove in three runs on an RBI single and two sacrifice flies, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-5 victory over the EXST A's in Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.

In addition to Cerda's contributions to the offense, Logan Watkins reached base three times on two walks and an RBI triple, Alvaro Sosa had four singles, and Jose Valdez had two hits and stole three bases. 

RHP Josh Whitlock (2008 26th round draft pick out of the U. of West Virginia) made his first appearance with the EXST Cubs after getting demoted from Peoria yesterday, allowing two runs in two innings of work. He labored a bit and struggled with his command, essentially the same problem he had at Peoria.   

Also, RHP Robert Hernandez was virtually unhittable in his two innings, retiring all six hitters he faced on four strikeouts, an infield pop up, and a weak ground ball to 2B. Hernandez is at EXST rehabbing from a sprained ankle suffered while pitching for Daytona during the last week of Minor League Camp 

And RHP Cedric Redmond (rehabbing from broken finger) finally made his first game appearance of 2009, tossing a scoreless extra half-inning that was tacked onto the end of the contest after the Cubs had already won the game. 

While the Cubs and A's played on Field #3, six Cubs pitchers needing work (Yohan Gonzalez, Gian Guzman, Cody Hams, Marcos Perez, George Pineda, and Ryan Sontag) threw two innings a piece (15 pitches each inning) in a six-inning simulated game on Field #2, facing John Contreras, Sean Hoorelbeke, Jose Made, and Chris Weimer.

Hot-hitting INF Dwayne Kemp is out of action for a few days with a quad injury.    

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only)...

LINEUP:
1. Jose Valdez, CF:  2-4  (4-3, 1B, 1B, K - 2 R, 3 SB)
2. Logan Watkins, DH #1:  1-2  (BB, 3B, BB, L-7 - 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 CS)
3. Matt Cerda, 2B:  1-1  (BB, F-7 SF, F-7 SF, 1B - 1 R, 3 RBI)
4. Jericho Jones, DH #2:  2-4  (1B, 6-3, 1B, 5-3 - 1 RBI)
5. Jesus Morelli, RF:  0-3  (F-9, HBP, F-8, 4-3 - 1 R, 1 SB)
6. Juan Medina, C-1B:  1-4  (1B, P-4, 4-3, K - 1 R)
7. Alvaro Sosa, 1B-C:  4-4  (1B, 1B, 1B, 1B)
8. George Matheus, 3B:  1-4  (6-4 FC, 6-3, 6-4 FC, 1B - 2 RBI)
9. Sean Williams, LF:  0-4  (6-3 GIDP, 6-3, 6-3, 1-3)
10. Robert Bautista, SS:  1-3  (1-3, K, 1B - 1 R, 1 SB)

PITCHERS:  
1. Jon Nagel - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 5/0 GO/FO
2. Josh Whitlock - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/FO
3. Josh Lansford - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 4/1 GO/FO
4. Robert Hernandez - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO
5. Cedric Redmond - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO

ERRORS (2):
1. SS Robert Bautista - errant throw to 1st base (E-6) allowed batter to reach base safely with one out and nobody on base in the top of the 2nd inning.
2. 3B George Matheus - easy one hopper bounced off glove (E-5) allowing batter to reach base safely with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the 10th inning.

OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Jesus Morelli threw out baserunner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on line-drive base hit to RF with two outs in the top of the 7th inning.

Comments

Thanks Phil -

Great as always. Question for you - did you get to see Starlin Castro last year in Arizona and if so, give us your impressions as he is really starting to perform well in A Ball. Also, I'm interested in your thoughts on our prospects with a month of the year under our belts. I've been pleasantly surprised by Vitters, Thomas, Jay Jackson and a few others recently. I'd love to get your thoughts on the top 10 or so since you know the system so well.

Thanks, Arizona Phil!

I'm disappointed to see Hernandez seems stuck as a reliever these days.

are they gonna give lansford all year to attempt this pitching thing?

his numbers look criz-appy so far...how he look in person?

Kevin Goldstein from baseball prospectus on Vitters:

Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Single-A Peoria)
It's not easy being the only premium prospect in the system, but with three hits each game on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Vitters is hitting .407 in 16 games this year, and the power is beginning to show up in a major way, as the 2007 first-rounder hit his fourth home run of the year on Friday, and added a pair of doubles and his fifth homer on Sunday. Early on, scouts were calling Brett Lawrie the best young hitter in the Midwest League, but a few trips to Peoria have changed that assessment, and Vitters now holds the title.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

Nice.

And add to that Vitters just had his FOURTH straight 3-hit game, which included a double and his fifth HR this season.

The dude is strokin' it right now.

PHIL-- should we expect to see Vitters move up to Daytona? There's not really a Third Sacker there anyway, unless Jovan Rosa is considered one.

Once again, no attendance figures. How does Rob G tolerate these detail-less posts?????????? Is he getting paid off by Google? I'm flummoxed. Is detail-less a word? Or is it detailess? Is AZ Phil the Bizarro world of reporting?

AZ Phil....... I know we have a lot of pitchers, and in order to get them all some innings we have been sending out 5-6 pitchers per game. I assume that the other teams are doing the same thing so I guess it's unusual for our batters to face the same pitcher more than once in a game. I think that once these guys start playing in Boise and get to bat against a starting pitcher for 5-7 innings, we will see more power numbers (extra base hits & HRs )Is the biggest concern with this group in Mesa the poor defense that they have been playing? Thanks for your daily reports

Quick question, but can someone remind me what Carlos Perez is doing? I can't seem to remember.

Perez was released.

I forgot all about that - was rather intrigued by him.

Phil, thanks for all the reports and observations.

I know you mentioned Antigua pitching the other day, but he's appeared in many of your game reports. Does he look any bigger or faster than you've seen him in the past?

Do you know who went up to Peoria when Whitlock went down?

Also, are there any convert guys who throw notably hard? I'm recalling it didn't take long for some guys like Marmol and Dolis to stand out for their velocity. And I can recall some other converts who never turned into anything, but I recall reports on Oscar Bernard and Andy Mejia throwing very fast at times, even though they never went anywhere as pitchers.

You've mentioned that Quezada has looked good, and he had really nice numbers in DSL last year. Does he have a big fastball?

Submitted by crunch on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 7:00pm.
are they gonna give lansford all year to attempt this pitching thing?

his numbers look criz-appy so far...how he look in person?

==================================

CRUNCH: Josh Lansford has struggled in his last two or three outings at EXST, but I believe he will (like Jake Muyco last year) get assigned to Peoria in mid-June when EXST is over, and he will likely get invited to the AZ Instructional League post-season. Then it will be up to Lansford to show he has the talent to follow in the footsteps of Marmol, Wells, Parker, and Muyco. The Cubs will probably give him another year to prove it.

Submitted by craig on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 9:22am.

Phil, thanks for all the reports and observations.

I know you mentioned Antigua pitching the other day, but he's appeared in many of your game reports. Does he look any bigger or faster than you've seen him in the past?

Do you know who went up to Peoria when Whitlock went down?

Also, are there any convert guys who throw notably hard? I'm recalling it didn't take long for some guys like Marmol and Dolis to stand out for their velocity. And I can recall some other converts who never turned into anything, but I recall reports on Oscar Bernard and Andy Mejia throwing very fast at times, even though they never went anywhere as pitchers.

You've mentioned that Quezada has looked good, and he had really nice numbers in DSL last year. Does he have a big fastball?

========================================

CRAIG: Jeffry Antigua seems to have put on some bulk since last season, and he still looks like a decent prospect to me. He's in a two-inning slot right now, which means the Cubs are probably projecting him as a "piggyback" middle-reliever at this time, although he could get stretched-out to start, too. 

Kevin Kreier got reactivated from the Peoria DL when Josh Whitlock was sent down.

Andres Quezada throws hard and he also has a curve and a change-up that he can throw for strikes. The Cubs are slotting him as a rotation starter at EXST, and I would think (because of his age) that he will likely get moved up to Peoria or Daytona when EXST is over in mid-June.

Submitted by Romero on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 12:11am.
And add to that Vitters just had his FOURTH straight 3-hit game, which included a double and his fifth HR this season.

The dude is strokin' it right now.

PHIL-- should we expect to see Vitters move up to Daytona? There's not really a Third Sacker there anyway, unless Jovan Rosa is considered one.

================================

ROMERO: I would not be surprised if the Cubs move Josh Vitters up to Daytona after the MWL All-Star Game.

I would project Jovan Rosa as a corner 1B-3B or possibly even a corner IF-OF (LF & RF, too). He is not blocking Vitters at 3B. Nobody will block Vitters.

Phil, has Francisco Guzman been returned to Fitch with Tyler Colvin playing again at Daytona?

Yes has has been returned to EST.

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  • barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.

    crunch 16 min 24 sec ago view
  • Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?

    Brick 25 min 23 sec ago view
  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • Sure, its not about his record.

    jacos 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • Do you start him Sunday or not?

    @jonmorosi Pitchers w/ sub-2.00 ERA in year of 185+ IP this century: Pedro ’00, Clemens ’05, Kershaw ’13/’14, Arrieta ’15, Greinke ’15, Hendricks ’16.

    Rob G. 5 hours 35 min ago view
  • Yeah -- that would be rough for him. But, Monty is getting people out, he's a lefty and he has experience working out of the bullpen. Hammel? None of the above.

    billybucks 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • even if he's not starting, abandoning hammel would be a bit of a 'screw you.' i think it might be -monty +hammel, but it's speculation.

    either way, someone's gonna be disappointed.

    crunch 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • Joe said he is leaning towards 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

    - 4 starters, Chapman, Rondon, Strop, CJ, Wood, Grimm, Monty. No dice for Cahill or Smith.
    - 3 catchers, Rizz, Zo, Addy, KB, Javy, Heyward, Fowler, Soler, Coghlan, TLS and then Sczcur over Almora?

    billybucks 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • Cubs 3B Jason Vosler made two really bad throws on consecutive AB in the 8th. Fortunately the game was no longer in doubt at the time  

    The first one was a one-hop lob that allowed the batter to reach base on an infield single, and the second was air-mailed so far over the first-baseman's head that it went over the fence and landed in Field #4.

    Arizona Phil 8 hours 16 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Despite the HR, Donnie Dewees is really more of a slash hitter (the HR was an opposite-field line-drive) who can accumulate lots of doubles & triples. He's also a good bunter and can get on base that way, too. Although he was thrown out trying to steal in the game, he's actually a good base-stealer and baserunner.

    Defensively he has plus-range and tracks fly balls OK, so he can play CF, but he has a rag arm that requires the middle infielders to go out further into CF to make relays.

    Arizona Phil 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • I don't know how many of you remember Bobby Knoop, who played 2B for the Angels, White Sox, and Royals back in the day, but he is a coach-emeritus for the Angels, and works with the infielders at Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs. He's pretty spry for a 77-year old, and he really knows his shit.

    Arizona Phil 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • With a big lead, Chapman was throwing sliders and changeups, something he's reluctant to do in a save situation. (Len and Jim covered this.)

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 54 min ago view