Sanchez Continues Rehab as Giants Sweep Cubs at Fitch Park
The EXST Cubs dropped both games in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader at Fitch Park this morning, as one EXST Giants squad won 6-0 on Field #2, while the other squad won 8-4 on Field #3. Both games were pre-scheduled six-inning affairs, and the games were played simultaneously.
Freddy Sanchez (knee & shoulder surgeries) continued his rehab assignment with the EXST Giants, playing 2B and batting four times in the game on Field #2. Facing RHP Jesse Ginley, Sanchez lined into a 6-4 DP (near triple play) with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs in the top of the 1st, ripped a single with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the 3rd against RHP Jadel Mendez and then scored one batter later on an RBI triple (and Sanchez appeared to be a bit gimpy as he rounded 3rd headed for home), and flied out to CF in the 5th and lined out to LF in the 6th against RHP Alvido Jimenez.
Jae-Hoon Ha continued his hot hitting on Field #3 (he’s now hitting 320/333/480), reaching base three times on two singles and a walk, but he had a bad game behind the plate, committing two costly throwing errors on consecutive plays.
With RHP Frank Batista on the mound, Ha threw a one-bouncer off-line to the 1st baseman on a dropped third strike leading off the 4th that allowed the batter to reach base safely (I can’t remember seeing one of those too often lately), and then on the very next pitch, Ha fielded what should have been a 2-3 sacrifice bunt in front of home plate, before proceeding to air-mail his throw over the 1st baseman’s head and into RF for a two-base error. (Both runners ended up scoring unearned runs). Ha also made wild throws (some bounced, some sailed) to 2nd base before the start of each inning (after the pitcher completed his warm-up pitches).
When you add Ha’s throwing issues to his previously-known receiving problems (six PB in seven EXST games behind the plate), it might equal a move back to the outfield. Ha was a catcher in HS in South Korea, but the Cubs moved him to RF after they signed him in 2008, and then he was moved back to catcher in the AZ Instructional League last September. And while he would certainly be a more-valuable prospect as a catcher than he would be as a RF, his defense behind the plate is just not improving. He tries hard, but I suspect the Cubs might just be considering a permanent move back to the OF for the 19-year old South Korean.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, 4-3, SB)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-1 (HBP, BB, K, SB)
3. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-3 (K, K, 1B)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-3 (5-3, F-8, 1B)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 0-3 (5-3, L-8, K)
6. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (E-6, F-7, L-4)
7. Blair Springfield, LF: 1-2 (6-4-3 GIDP, 1B)
8. Jose Guevara, 1B: 0-2 (K, 1-U)
9. Rafael Disla, 2B: 0-2 (K, F-9)
1. Jesse Ginley – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 2/4 GO/FO, 34 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Jadel Mendez – 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Alvido Jimenez – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 20 pitches (16 strikes)
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS, 1 PB (led to unearned run scoring)
1. Runey Davis, LF: 0-4 (F-9, F-9, 4-3, L-8)
2. Jae-Hoon Ha, C: 2-3 (1B, K, BB, 1B, R, CS)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, 2B, F-9, 2 R)
4. Brandon May, 2B: 0-3 (F-8, BB, K, K)
5. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, BB, K, 2 RBI)
6a. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 1-2 (2B, K)
6b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 5th
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (6-3, 4-1, K)
8. Cody Shields, CF: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
9. SLOT WAS SKIPPED - NO DH
1. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 49 pitches (36 strikes)
2. Frank Batista – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 42 pitches (31 strikes)
P Eduardo Figueroa E-1 (throwing error on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
3B Bobby Wagner E-5 (missed catch on infield pop-up allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
C Jae-Hoon Ha E-2 (errant throw to 1st base after dropped third strike allowed batter reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
C Jae-Hoon Ha E-2 (two-base throwing error over 1st baseman’s head on sacrifice bunt allowed batter to reach 2nd and runner at 1st base to advance to 3rd – eventually scored unearned run)
Jae-Hoon Ha: 2 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and cloudless with temperatures in the 80’s
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.