More Than One High Point for Cubs Today
Jose Guevara bounced a two-run single back through the box past a drawn-in infield, driving-in what proved to be the winning run, as the EXST Cubs scored six runs in the last two innings to blow open a close game and defeat the EXST A’s 7-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Jesus Morelli extended his hitting streak to 19 games when he beat-out an 8th inning infield single (a dribbler to 3rd base), and RHP Chris Huseby showed no evidence of wildness, throwing two perfect 1-2-3 innings, striking out three (all swinging).
Cubs Player Personnel Director Oneri Fleita, Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller, and about a dozen Cub scouts were at Fitch Park today (and have been there for most of the week), working out high school and college players in preparation for next week’s Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”). One of the players who was at Fitch Park showing his wares was invited to play in today’s game, and he made the most of his opportunity.
High Point U. OF Nate Roberts hit lead-off and played CF for six innings, slashing an RBI single to left to put the Cubs on the board in the 3rd, then stealing two bases, before making a two-out over-the-shoulder running catch in deep right-center with his back to the infield to save a run in the 5th.
After graduating from Richmond Burton HS, the Spring Grove, IL native spent his freshman year at Northwestern University, before transferring to Parkland JC. He was selected by the Tampa Rays Rays in last June’s draft but did not sign, instead opting to transfer to High Point University in High Point, NC, where he was named 2010 Big South Conference Player of the Year after hitting 416/573/746 with 19 HR and 69 RBI and 36 SB (3 CS) in just 59 games. With all that on his resume, Baseball America ranked Roberts as just the 28th best draft prospect in the State of North Carolina.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Nate Roberts, CF: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, RBI, 2 SB)
1b. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-1 (6-3)
2. Alvaro Ramirez, DH #1: 1-4 (K, F-8, 1-U, 1B, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (K, 4-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
4. Richard Jones, 1B: 2-4 (4-3, F-7, 1B, 2B, RBI, 2 R)
5a. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-2 (2B, 6-3)
5b. Wes Darvill, PH-DH: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R)
6a. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
6b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
7. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-1 (L-9 DP, 1-3 SH, BB, BB)
8. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (1-3, 4-2 FC, 4-6 FC, BB, RBI, SB)
9. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, F-9, P-4, R)
10. Runey Davis, LF: 0-0 (2-U SH, BB, BB, R)
1. Chris Huseby – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Tarlandus Mitchell – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/1 GO/FO, 52 pitches (38 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 22 pitches (17 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Alvaro Sosa - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 25 strikes (14 strikes)
1. 3B George Matheus – E5 (dropped line drive allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
2. 3B George Matheus - E5 (two-base overthrow error at 1st base allowed batter to reach 2nd base – did not score)
3. SS Arismendy Alcantara - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - did not score)
CF Kyung-Min Na threw out runner 8-6-2 trying to score from 1st base on double to CF
WEATHER: Sunny and hot, with temperatures in the 90’s
The Cubs had a Camp Day yesterday, spending several hours taking BP, fielding practice, baserunning drills, PFP, and pick-off drills, before playing a nine-inning intrasquad game. The game was even more informal than the typical Cactus League Extended Spring Training game so it would be futile to try and make a box score out of it, but I can tell you that RHP (ex-SS & ex-LF) Dylan Johnston (2009 TJS rehab) got into his first game action of 2010, allowing two runs on three hits (two doubles and a triple) and a HBP in 1.1 IP, RHP Juan Yasser Serrano was extended to four innings, allowing four runs—but only one earned—on four hits, while retiring the last ten men he faced, and George Matheus had the big blow on offense, a bases-loaded triple off Serrano after a costly two-out error by 2nd baseman Arismendy Alcantara loaded the bases. In addition to Johnston and Serrano getting work, Austin Kirk threw four innings, Tzu-An Wang and Alvido Jimenez threw two innings a piece, and Danny Keefe, Andres Quezada, Jesse Ginley, and Jadel Mendez threw one inning each.
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump