Cubs Say No to Winning Record
I think that was the first game I got to watch in its near entirety in about 2 weeks. My apologies for the outcome.
The Good: After Gorzelanny finished his warm-ups, he mowed the Nationals down through 7 innings. The problem was it took him 3 batters into the game to finish loosening up. Geovany Soto went 2/4 and Kosuke Fukudome reached base 3 times, twice on walks to set-up getting stranded by Lee, Byrd and Ramirez. Soto also gunned down two very capable baserunners in Wily Taveras and Justin Maxwell.
The Bad: Gorz is now 0-3 despite a 2.45 ERA and as mentioned, took 3 batters to get going. Those 3 batters included a stand-up triple by Nyjer Morgan to leadoff the game that he hit to left center. I didn't even know that was possible. Then Ian Desmond singled Morgan in, and stole off the lefty Gorz. Christian Guzman launched a ball into centerfield into the teeth of the wind that Marlon Byrd completely lost track of leading to the second triple of the inning. Gorz settled in and stranded Guzman and didn't run into much trouble the rest of the night. The bullpen gave up another run in the 8th, with Grab-Ass being the culprit thanks to his own throwing error. The 3 through 6 hitters went a combined 2/16 including Lee, Byrd and Ramirez all getting a crack with 2 runners on in the bottom of the 8th. Matt 'Could've Been a Cub' Capps nailed down his 9th save in 9 opportunities.
The Minors: Iowa picked up the 4-3 win in a shortened double-header in the first game.. Thomas Diamond throws 5 scoreless with 5 K's and Jeff Samardzija got the win with 1.2 scoreless innings and no walks with a K. Brad Snyder went 2/4 and Sam Fuld got on-base twice out of the leadoff spot. They won 4-2 in the 2nd game with Casey Coleman throwing 6 innings and giving up 2 runs. Mitch Atkins picked up the save in the 7th in that one. The white hot Smokies take a rare loss but Starlin Castro went 3/5 with a double. Ryan Flaherty, who is off to a poor start, did go 1/2 with 2 walks. Daytona won 3-1 with Alberto Cabrera throwing 5.2 scoreless innings with 6 K's. Aaron Shafer extended his scoreless streak to 16 innings in relief. Matt Spencer and Rebel Ridling homered, but B. Jackson, Vitters, LeMahieu and Burke were a combined 0/12. Peoria won 5-4 with Trey McNutt going 5 innings, giving up a run and striking out 5. Larry Suarez threw 2 scoreless innings. Greg Rohan homered and Hak-Ju Lee went 1/4 with a run scored and a double out of the leadoff spot.
KKVG: Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive of the 2015-16 IFA. He has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely 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 2015-16 IFA position players who could. To accommodate Paredes at SS, the Cubs have been moving Andruw Monasterio (who was the #1 SS at AZL Cubs in 2015 and the presumptive Eugene SS going into Minor League Camp) around the infield (SS-2B-3B) at EXST.
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.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.
Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.