Ramirez Three-Run Blast Can't Save Cub Bullpen from Imploding Late
Alvaro Ramirez smashed a three-run home run and Yao-Lin Wang and Marcos Perez each threw three innings of shutout ball, but the EXST A’s rallied from a four-run 7th inning deficit and played the EXST Cubs to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.
The 24-year old 5’8 lefty swinging Ramirez is in his second season in the Cubs organization, after spending three seasons in the Yankees system (he was with DSL Yankees #1 in 2006, DSL Yankees #2 in 2007, and GCL Yankees in 2008, hitting a combined .289 in 161 games at the three stops, with 21 doubles, 13 triples, five HR, and 42 SB, with a 48/85 BB/K). Ramirez was signed by the Cubs as a Minor League Free-Agent last June after he was released by the Yankees, and hit .372 with 24 SB in 58 games for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009. He made the 2010 Peoria Opening Day roster as their “4th OF” out of Minor League Camp, but was sent to Extended Spring Training with fellow Chiefs OF Jesus Morelli about ten days ago when outfielders Francisco Guzman and D. J. Fitzgerald were moved up to Peoria from EXST. (Ramirez hit 244/279/268 in 12 games at Peoria). So far at Extended Spring Training, Ramirez is hitting 276/303/483 in nine EXST games, while playing a stellar CF. And because he was previously released by another organization, he is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA post-2010.
With three more shutout innings today, LHP Marcos Perez has now thrown 17-1/3 innings at Extended Spring Training, allowing no runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out 16. It would seem likely that Perez is in-line for a promotion to Peoria in the near future, but that all depends on whether there is room for him on the Chiefs roster.
Side-armin' Peoria RHRP Corey Martin (presently on a rehab assignment at Extended Spring Training) threw 1.1 IP in relief today, preserving the tie with an easy 4-up/4-down outing (22 pitches – 14 strikes). Based upon his performance today, Martin (the Cubs 2009 27th round draft pick out of Western Carolina) would appear to be ready to return to Peoria whenever there is room for him on the Chiefs roster, although he was not exactly pitching effectively before he went on the DL (10.38 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP in 8.2 IP).
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 0-1 (BB, BB, 3-U, BB, 2 R)
2. Rafael Disla, SS: 1-4 (2B, K, 3-1, E-4, RBI, SB)
3. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (6-5 FC, 1B, K, P-4, SB)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, BB, 6-3, R, PO)
5. Brandon May, 1B: 2-3 (K, HBP, 1B, 1B, R,)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 2-4 (1B, F-8, HR, F-7, R, 3 RBI, SB, CS)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-4 (K, 5-4-3 GIDP, K, K)
8a. Blair Springfield, 2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B+E6)
8b. Arismendy Alcantara, PR-2B: --- (R)
9a. Jose Guevara, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, 1-3)
9b. Sergio Burruel, C: ---
10. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3)
1. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Marcos Perez – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
3. Alvido Jimenez – 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 1/3 GO/FO, 40 pitches (21 strikes)
5. Corey Martin – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80’s
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Castro, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?