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
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.