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
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
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 ...
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?