Cubs & Giants Share Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat
18-year old Taiwanese infielder Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits, knocked-in two runs, and stole a base, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory on Field #1, while the Giants rallied with five runs in the 7th to win the other game 5-1 on Field #2, as the EXST Cubs and the EXST Giants split a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. Both games were pre-planned to be eight-inning affairs, and the two games were played simultaneously with split squads.
Rebel Ridling (appendectomy rehab) played 1B today (he had been restricted to DH in his previous EXST games), and got a total of seven Plate Appearances in the first seven innings of the game on Field #1. He grounded out to second, lined out to CF, and flied out to CF in his first three at bats, before rapping singles in three of his last four ABs. The HR power might not be there yet, but in most other ways he looks like he might be just about ready to move up to Daytona.
20-year old LHP John Mincone (2009 11th round pick out of Suffolk County CC) had a good day on the mound after having poor outings in his previous two EXST appearances, throwing three hitless innings on Field #2, and 20-year old Dominican LHRP Marcos Perez had another perfect outing, mowing down the Giants six up & six down. In four Extended Spring Training appearances, Perez has thrown 7.1 IP of shoutout ball, allowing just one hit (a bunt single) and no walks, while striking out eight.
20-year old lanky 6’5 Australian LHP Cody Hams really struggled, though, getting ripped for five runs on four hits (two singles and two doubles) and two walks while getting just two outs in the bottom of the 7th, as he took the loss on Field #2. Hams has revamped his delivery this year, as he now throws from a near-sidearm arm slot. Some of you may remember Hams as the former cricket bowler who received a $150K bonus from the Cubs in 2008 after paying his own way to the MLB Australian Baseball Academy the previous year to try his hand at baseball. (He had never actually seen a baseball game until he got to the academy, and the second game he ever saw was one where he was the pitcher!).
Two of the recent arrivals from the Cubs Dominican Academy got into their first U. S. game action, as 18-year old 6’1 160 RHP Alvido Jimenez (who had the second-most strikeouts among the pitchers on the Cubs two DSL teams last year) threw a shutout inning of relief (albeit only after walking the bases loaded!) in the game on Field #1, and 21-year old 6’2 170 RHP Jadel Mendez threw a perfect five-pitch 1-2-3 inning (F-9, F-7, 6-3) on Field #2.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Larry Suarez (3.0 IP, 5 H, 3.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP 1/2 BB/K, 39 pitches - 31 strikes, in two appearances at EXST) and outfielders Francisco Guzman (471/500/588 with 7 R, 5 RBI, and 3 SB in five games at EXST) and D. J. Fitzgerald (267/353/400 with 3 R and 4 RBI in five games at EXST) have been promoted to Peoria, and outfielders Jesus Morelli and Alvaro Ramirez have been sent to Fitch Park (Extended Spring Training) from Peoria.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (EXST Cubs players only):
NOTE: 1B Rebel Ridling batted in seven of the eight innings, getting seven Plate Appearances total in the game.
X. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 3-7 (4-3, L-8, F-8, 1B, 1B, K, 1B)
1. Rafael Disla, 2B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, 2B, 4-3, CS, R)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (L-7, 5-3, BB, 4-3, R)
3. Charles Thomas, 3B: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
4. Xavier Batista, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-4 (K, F-7, 1-2-3 GIDP, K)
6. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI, SB)
7. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-3 (K, F-7, P-6)
8. Melvin Camarena, RF: 0-3 (K, L-8, K)
1. Luis Liria – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP, 5/1 GO/FO, 48 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Alvido Jimenez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (6 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3/1 GO/FO, 37 pitches (21 strikes)
4. Marcos Perez – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
2B Rafael Disla E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
Sergio Burruel: 2-3 CS
LF Blair Springfield threw out runner at plate 7-2 as runner was trying to score from 2nd base on ground ball single to LF with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning.
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-4 (K, 6-4 FC, 4-3, K)
2. Runey Davis, RF: 2-3 (5-3, 1B, 1B, SB, CS)
3. Albert Hernandez, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, 5-3)
4. Brandon May, 1B: 1-3 (6-4 FC, 4-3, 2B, R)
5. Jonathan Mota, C: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, 1-3 SH)
6. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 1-1 (BB, BB, 1B, RBI)
7. Carlos Romero, DH #1: 0-3 (K, 6-4 FC, K)
8. Cody Shields, CF: 0-3 (6-3 GIDP, 4-3, F-8)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (5-3, 3-U, F-7)
10. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, K)
1. John Mincone – 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/3 GO/FO, 29 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Jadel Mendez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
3. Danny Keefe – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (19 strikes)
4. Cody Hams – 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
Jonathan Mota: 1-2 CS
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy and windy, with temperatures in the 60’s
Sorry typing too fast.
I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.