Caridad Rehab Moves Up to Iowa from Extended Spring Training
LHP Marcos Perez threw four shutout innings and DH Jae-Hoon Ha homered and doubled, but the EXST Angels scored two in the 5th, three in the 7th, and two more in the 8th, to defeat the EXST Cubs 7-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
With four more shutout innings today, Perez has now thrown 14-1/3 innings of shutout ball in six Extended Spring Training outings (2 GS), allowing just five hits and one walk in those 14.1 IP, while striking out 15. He also has a 17/10 GO/FO ratio, has averaged just 11.5 Pitches-Per-Inning, and has thrown 73% of his pitches strikes. I would say the Cubs pitching prospect Perez most-closely resembles is Peoria LHSP Jeffry Antigua, except Perez has better control.
19-year old Jae-Hoon Ha was a DH today, and he appears to finally be healthy after playing most of last season with a sore wrist. The power that he displayed at Minor League Camp in 2009 is slowly returning (he homered over the LF fence onto 8th Street today), and he’s finally able to turn on the ball and drive it. The only negative with Ha is that his catching has not progressed as well as was hoped, and I’m not sure he will remain behind the plate. While you do see some infielders or outfielders take to the position (most-notably Steve Clevenger and Robinson Chirinos), others (like Matt Cerda and Brandon May) just don’t seem to adapt very well. In the case of Ha, he was a catcher in high school in South Korea, but you wouldn’t know it by watching him operate behind the plate. He needs a LOT of work. (20% CS and 6 PB in six games at catcher so far at EXST). It’s no wonder the Cubs moved him to RF after they signed him (although they moved him back to catcher in the AZ Instructional League last September).
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Esmailin Caridad (on the Cubs 15-day DL since April 12th with a strained right forearm) has completed the Fitch Park portion of his injury rehab and will be joining the Iowa Cubs in New Orleans tonight, where he will be continuing his minor league rehab assignment. Caridad was at Extended Spring Training for a couple of weeks, but only appeared in one game (this past Saturday at Indian School Park in Scottsdale versus the EXST Giants, where he threw 19 pitches in 1.1 IP, allowing no hits or runs, while walking two and striking out one). He had good zip on his fastball, but his control was a bit off.
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (1B, 2-3, 6-3, 4-3)
2. Runey Davis, CF: 1-4 (6-4-3 GIDP, F-8, L-6, 1B)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 2-3 (1B, 2B, BB, K)
4. Brandon May, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, K, BB, 6-3)
5. Charles Thomas, 3B: 0-3 (C-INT, K, P-4, K)
6. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 1-4 (K, F-7, 2B, K, R)
7. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 2-3 (K, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
8a. Carlos Romero, C: 0-3 (F-7, K, 4-3, RBI)
8b. Luis Flores, C: ---
9. Wes Darvill, 2B: 1-3 (P-5, K, 1B, RBI, CS)
10a. Cody Shields, LF: 0-2 (K, F-9)
10b. Albert Hernandez, LF: 0-1 (K)
1. Marcos Perez – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 49 pitches (36 strikes)
2. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, (5 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 BALK, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/FO, 52 pitches (36 strikes)
3. Gian Guzman – 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
4. Carlos Rojas - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
2B Wes Darvill E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
Luis Flores: 0-1 CS, 1 PO (runner at 3rd base)
CF Runey Davis threw out runner 8-6 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single
Runey Davis was thrown out 8-6 trying to stretch a single into a double with one out and the bases empty in the 7th
WEATHER: Sunny, breezy and cloudless, with temperatures in the 70’s
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?