Cubs Bats Observe Two-Hour Moment of Silence at Extended Spring Training
The Cubs managed only four hits (all singles), as the EXST A’s nipped the EXST Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
The Cubs lack of offense wasted some fine pitching performances by EXST Cubs hurlers.
20-year old 6’1 215 LHP John Mincone (Cubs 2009 11th round pick out of Suffolk County CC by way of James Madison U.) got the start for the EXST Cubs today, and threw three innings of one run ball. Over his last three EXST outings covering 9.0 IP (104 pitches – 67 strikes), Mincone has allowed just two runs (one ER) on four hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.
20-year old 6’4 220 RHRP Yohan Gonzalez struck out three A’s hitters while working two shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.00 and his WHIP to 0.67. He also has fanned nine while walking only two with a .161 OBA in 9.0 IP so far at Extended Spring Training. In three seasons in the Cubs system (2007 at DSL Cubs, 2008 at AZL Cubs, and 2009 at Boise), Gonzalez has a composite 3.14 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 30/75 BB/K in 109.0 IP.
20-year old 6’2 190 RHRP Rogelio Carmona threw one shutout inning, lowering his EXST ERA to 2.89 (he has a 0.96 WHIP, with 3/8 BB/K and a .176 OBA in 9.1 IP). Carmona seems to be at his best when he throws just one inning.
And finally, 22-year old 6’4 185 RHP Danny Keefe (Cubs 2009 16th round draft pick out of the U. of Tampa) struck out the side in the 9th, giving him a team-leading 14 strikeouts in just 10.1 IP. While Keefe’s EXST ERA is a bit ugly (it’s 6.09), his WHIP is only 1.06, because he has yet to issue a walk in seven EXST appearances. Keefe really struggled at Boise after signing last year (7.71 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in 35 IP), although he was one of the last two pitchers cut from the Peoria roster at the end of Minor League Camp last month (Larry Suarez was the other one, and he has already been promoted from Extended Spring Training to Peoria).
Along with LHP Marcos Perez (who has yet to give up a run in 14.1 IP), I would say Mincone, Gonzalez, Carmona, and Keefe are the EXST Cubs pitchers most-likely to get a promotion to Peoria in the near future.
While the Cubs played the A’s on Field #3, LHP Casey Lambert and RHP Marcus Hatley (both rehabbing from 2009 TJS) faced-off in a two inning "sim game" on Field #2, with Brandon May, Bobby Wagner, Arismendy Alcantara, and Rafael Disla providing the “opposition.” It’s been eight months since Lambert and Hatley had their TJS, so both are about where they would be expected to be at this time. I have not seen RHP Dylan Johnston (the other 2009 TJS rehabber) throw a sim game yet, however.
RHPs Angel Guzman (March 2010 shoulder surgery), Melvin Rosa (April 2010 TJS), and Manolin DeLeon (knee surgery) are at Fitch Park but are inactive, and I do not know the current status of RHP Justin Bristow or RHP Adam Spencer, both of whom were shut-down early in Minor League Camp.
Among the position players at Extended Spring Training, OF Dong-Yub Kim (unknown-type injury incurred six weeks ago in Minor League Camp), OF Manuel Pestana (shoulder injury suffered while sliding into 3rd base a couple of weeks ago) and OF Kyung-Min Na (left game with unknown-type injury a week ago) are at Fitch Park but are not active at this time.
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 0-3 (F-9, 6-3, BB, 6-3, R)
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (P-3, BB, BB, K)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (F-8, 1-3, BB, K)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, K, L-8 SF, RBI)
5. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, F-8, K)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, 4-3)
7a. Luis Flores, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, SB)
7b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-1 (1B)
8. Runey Davis, LF: 0-3 (K, K, 6-4 FC)
9. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-3 (K, K, 1B)
10. Blair Springfield, 2B: 0-3 (5-3, K, 5-3)
1. John Mincone – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 5/1 GO/FO, 39 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Luis Liria – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 4/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Rogelio Carmona – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Yohan Gonzalez – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (19 strikes)
5. Danny Keefe - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.