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
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.