Giant Bats Quiet Cubs at Fitch Park
Tommy Joseph cracked a two-run home run to lead the Giants to a 12-1 drubbing of the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #1 in Mesa this afternoon. (Field #3 remains unplayable in the aftermath of the torrential rain and flash flood that hit Mesa Tuesday afternoon).
18-year old Korean bonus baby Jin-Yeong Kim got the start for the Cubs today, and was “lights out” through the first two innings, retiring the side in order in both innings, and striking out the side in the 2nd. But the youngster hit a wall in the top of the 3rd, walking the lead-off hitter on four pitches before allowing two singles and a double that ended his day. Kim also suffered some type of right leg injury while backing up 3rd base just before he was relieved, and was last seen limping to the Cubs bench before getting a ride to the clubhouse on a golf cart. Whether it was a groin, quad, knee, or ankle, I don’t know, but I have a feeling we have seen the last of Kim until next March.
2B Logan Watkins had to leave the game after colliding with RF Xavier Batista while going after a pop fly in short right in the top of the 5th. Watkins initially remained in the game and he did take his AB in the bottom of the inning, but then he was sent to the clubhouse for further evaluation. Hopefully he did not sustain a concussion, but it was a fairly violent collision (X. Batista is a big dude), and Watkins did lay motionless for a few seconds afterward.
Because Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya had morning workouts and were not dressed for the game, and with Pin-Chieh Chen out with a rib injury and Wes Darvill having been sent home, 3B Willson Contreras was moved over to 2B for the final four innings. A converted catcher, Contreras had not previously played 2B in his pro career, but he handled his only two chances flawlessly.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Evan Crawford, RF: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 3B, R)
1b. Engel Santana, C: 0-1 (4-3)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 4-3, RBI, SB)
3. Sergio Burruel, C-DH: 0-1 (4-6-3 GIDP, BB, BB)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-3 (F-7, 6-4-3 GIDP, 6-4-3 GIDP)
5. Xavier Batista, DH-RF: 0-3 (F-9, K, P-3)
6a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
6b. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-1 (F-9)
7. Micah Gibbs, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, K)
8. Reggie Golden, CF: 1-3 (P-4, 1B, K, CS)
9. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
10a. Willson Contreras, 3B-2B: 0-2 (6-3, L-7)
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THRU ORDER
1. Jin-Yeong Kim: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (27 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Jhon Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 46 pitches (30 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Tarlandus Mitchell: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 BALK, 43 pitches (23 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
4. Ryan Hartman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Amaury Paulino: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 21 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
2B Logan Watkins E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base and unearned run to score from 2nd base)
ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
I think while I get you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.