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
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!