MaxRam Celebrates End of Minor League Camp
Max Ramirez crushed a two-run HR onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, and Xavier Batista slammed a three-run HR onto the street, leading Boise/Mesa (EXST CUBS) to a 6-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs in a six-inning intra-organization game played at Fitch Park #3 this morning, in what was the official end of Minor League Camp and the beginning of Extended Spring Training for the players remaining in Mesa.
Meanwhile, the Iowa Cubs will be heading to Round Rock, TX, for PCL Opening Day on Thursday.
Iowa provided all four of the pitchers who threw in this morning’s game, and Max Ramirez was “loaned” to the Boise/Mesa squad, partly so that an Iowa catcher would catch the Iowa pitchers throwing for Boise/Mesa, and also because the I-Cubs had too many position players and not enough at bats to go around.
In Iowa Cubs roster news, RHP Jay Jackson (shoulder fatigue?) will be remaining at Fitch Park, joining fellow I-Cubs DF Brad Snyder (oblique), INF Augie Ojeda (back), RHP Todd Wellemeyer (hip), and RHP Angel Guzman (2010 shoulder surgery rehab) on the 7-day day DL. While the other four are limited as to what they can do, Angel Guzman is progressing very well, and is on a rehab pitching schedule where he throws sim games at Fitch Park every 5th day. Over the weekend Gooz threw especially well, getting his fastball velocity up to 92 MPH for the first time since his surgery (he threw consistently 94-96 in 2009).
LHP Ryan Buchter, RHP Hung-Wen Chen, RHP Blake Parker, LHP Polin Trinidad, and OF Brandon Watson were not in uniform with the Iowa Cubs today at Fitch Park, and so it is possible that one or all of them may have been moved down to AA Tennessee (and a couple may have been released), while RHP Chris Carpenter (who was pitching with the Tennessee squad last week) has been moved back up to the Iowa squad (and in fact he threw an inning today).
Also, Daytona RHP Ty’Relle Harris (acquired from Atlanta in last year’s Derrek Lee trade) was left behind when the D-Cubs left for Florida, and will probably start the 2011 season on the 7-day DL. Although he is not exactly injured, Harris is beginning an arm strengthening program at Fitch Park to improve his stamina and velocity, which the Cubs player development & training staffs apparently felt was not where it needed to be.
Here is today’s box score (and I have no idea why light-hitting INF Marco Hernandez hit clean-up for Boise/Mesa... perhaps he is this month's car-pool contest winner):
FIELD #3: Boise/Mesa (EXST Cubs) vs Iowa Cubs
BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) LINEUP:
1. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-4 (1-3, 6-3, L-6, K)
2. Kyung-Min Na, LF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 4-3, R, RBI)
3. Max Ramirez, C: 1-3 (HR, 6-4-3 DP, K, R, 2 RBI)
4. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 1-3 (6-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 2-3 (1B, 6-3, 1B, R)
6. Xavier Batista, 1B: 2-3 (K, 1B, HR, R, 3 RBI)
7. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 2-3 (6-3, 1B, 1B)
8. Yaniel Cabeza, DH #1: 0-3 (1-3, 5-3, F-7)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, P-6)
10. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 0-3 (E-6, 6-3, K, R)
1. Fernando Perez, CF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, L-5, R)
2. Tony Campana, RF: 1-3 (1B, F-7, K, R)
3. Lou Montanez, DH #1: 2-2 (2B, 1B, RBI)
4. Bryan Lahair, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
5. Bobby Scales, 2B: 0-2 (E-6, K, R, SB)
6. Ty Wright, LF: 0-2 (K, L-8)
7. Matt Camp, SS: 1-2 (1B, L-3, R, RBI)
8. Chris Robinson, C: 1-2 (3B, F-7, R, RBI)
9. Jonathan Mota, 3B: 1-2 (1B, F-9, RBI)
10. Marquez Smith, DH #2: 0-1 (F-8, BB, SB)
11. Scott Moore, DH #3: 0-2 (3-U, K)
BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) PITCHERS:
1. Robert Coello: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 79 pitches (51 strikes), 1/6 GO/FO
2. Chris Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
1. J. R. Mathes: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 1 GIDP, 63 pitches (41 strikes), 14/2 GO/FO
2. Jeff Stevens: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) ERRORS: 2
1. SS Wes Darvill E-6 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
2. C Max Ramirez E-2 – throwing error on pick-off attempt allowed runner to advance a base
IOWA ERRORS: 1
SS Matt Camp E-6 – two-base throwing error allowed batter-runner to reach 2nd base safely
BOISE/MESA (EXST CUBS) CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Max Ramirez: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Warm & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
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.