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
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.