Rockie Road for Cubs at Fitch Park
The EXST Cubs managed just four hits, as the EXST Rockies blanked the Cubs 7-0 in Opening Day Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon in Mesa.
On a rehab assignment at Fitch Park believed to be related to arm fatigue first detected in Spring Training, Iowa Cubs RHP Jay Jackson got the start for the Cubs and threw 2.1 IP (44 pitches), allowing one unearned run on four singles, while striking out four (one looking and three swinging). He had good velocity on his fastball, and he threw strikes.
I-Cubs RF Brad Snyder (strained oblique) is also on a rehab assignment at Fitch, and he played RF and hit third in each of the first three innings, lining out to left in the bottom of the 1st, doubling off the LF fence with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd, and grounding into a 4-6-3 DP to end the 3rd.
RHP Ty’Relle Harris (acquired from ATL in the Derrek Lee trade last summer) had stamina and velocity issues at Minor League Camp, and so he was assigned to Fitch Park to work on strengthening his arm. Like J. Jackson and Snyder, Harris saw game action today, and while he was a bit wild (throwing only only 50% strikes), he did retire all five men he faced (a swinging strikeout, followed by a 4-3, a 6-3, a P-3, and an L-7).
Cubs 2010 7th round draft pick HHP Ben Wells threw two innings today, allowing a single and a two-run HR before retiring the side in his first inning of work, and a triple and an RBI single before completing his second inning.
Several players have arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica since the end of Minor League Camp, but only one (19-year old OF Eduardo Gonzalez) got into today’s game. The new arrivals join catchers Johan DeJesus, Brian Inoa, and Hector Suarez, who made their U. S. debut at Minor League Camp. (Cuban defectors OF Rubi Silva and C Yaniel Cabezas are also making their U. S. debut in 2011, with Silva assigned to Peoria and Cabezas presently at Extended Spring Training).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: Brad Snyder played RF and was the third batter in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings
X. Brad Snyder, RF: 1-3 (L-7, 2B, 4-6-3 DP)
1a. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3)
1b. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-0 (BB, BB)
2a. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
2b. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 4-6 FC)
3a. Reggie Golden, DH-RF: 0-1 (K)
3b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH-DH: 1-2 (1B, 5-4 FC)
4a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-2 (3-U, F-9)
4b. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-1 (5-4-3 DP)
5. Xavier Batista, DH-RF-1B: 0-3 (6-3, K, 5-3)
6a. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-1 (5-3, BB)
6b. Max Kwan, C: 0-1 (K)
7a. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-1 (1B, BB)
7b. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 0-1 (4-3)
8a. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-5 FC)
8b. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-1 (4-3)
9a. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (F-8, 4-6-3 DP)
9b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-1 (F-7)
1. Jay Jackson: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 44 pitches (31 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
2. Ty’Relle Harris: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 24 pitches (12 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 32 pitches (21 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Yao-Lin Wang: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (24 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SS Wes Darvill E-6 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
1. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-2 CS
2. Max Kwan: 1-1 CS
OUTFIELD ASSISTS: 1
CF Oliver Zapata: Batter-runner thrown out 8-2-4 trying advance to 2nd base on play at the plate.
WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 70’s
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?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.