Angels Withstand Cub Comeback at Extended Spring Training
Runey Davis reached base three times, scored two runs, knocked-in another, and stole a base, but the EXST Angels scored two runs in the 8th to take the lead after the EXST Cubs had clawed their way back from a 6-0 deficit to tie the game in the 6th, and held-on to defeat the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
With two hits today, Davis raised his EXST batting average to .353 (.450 OBP), and with his speed and the ability to play all three OF positions, I would think Davis (the Cubs 2009 12th round pick out of JUCO World Series champion Howard JC) is a strong candidate to get promoted to Peoria.
RHP Eduardo Figueroa got the start today for the Cubs and had a very poor outing, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks (plus a WP) in just 1.0+ IP. But RHP Yohan Gonzalez threw three innings of shutout relief (lowering his ERA to 1.29 and his WHIP to 0.86) and RHP Jadel Mendez followed Gonzo with two innings of shutout relief to keep the Cubs in the game. Mendez allowed three hits in his two innings of work, inducing two timely double plays to get out of jams.
EXST Cubs co-closer Rogelio Carmona entered the game with the score tied, and picked-up the loss after allowing two runs on a double, a triple, and two walks.
2009 5th round draft pick Wes Darvill (Langley, BC) committed his team-leading 5th error (two errors so far at SS, and three at 2B), leading to two unearned runs (although he did go 1-3 to raise his BA to .200), and Jae-Hoon Ha was charged with his 5th Passed Ball. (Ha was a catcher in HS in Korea, then was moved to RF after he signed with the Cubs in 2008, and then was moved back to catcher last September in the AZ Instructional League)
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (F-9, BB, 5-3, K, R, SB)
2. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH-2B: 0-3 (K, BB, K, 4-3, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (L-9, 2B, 1-3, F-7, RBI)
4. Brandon May, 1B: 0-2 (BB, L-8 SF, K, 4-3, R, RBI)
5. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-4 (E-6, 3-U, 1-3, 1B)
6. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH-C: 1-4 (4-6-3 GIDP, 1B, F-7, 6-4-3 GIDP, PO)
7. Runey Davis, CF: 2-2 (1B, BB, 1B, 2 R, RBI, SB, CS)
8a. Carlos Romero, C: 1-2 (1B, 1-3, RBI)
8b. Bobby Wagner, PH: 0-0 (BB, R)
9. Wes Darvill, 2B-DH: 1-3 (1B, E-6, 6-3)
10a. Cody Shields, LF: 1-2 (1B, F-9, PO)
10b. Albert Hernandez, LF: 0-1 (K)
1. Eduardo Figueroa – 1.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/FO, 48 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Yohan Gonzalez – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 46 pitches (27 strikes)
3. Jadel Mendez – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Rogelio Carmona – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 43 pitches (27 strikes)
2B Wes Darvill E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base and runner on 1st base to advance to 3rd base – both subsequently scored unearned runs)
Carlos Romero: 0-1 CS
Jae-Hoon Ha: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and VERY breezy with winds gusting up to 30 MPH, with temperatures in the 60’s
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.