Long Balls & Stolen Bases Lead Cubs to Victory over Brew Crew
Reggie Golden and Marco Hernandez ripped home runs and the EXST Cubs stole five bases en route to a 7-4 victory over the EXST Brewers in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Paul Molitor Field at the Maryvale Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.
Doug Davis (2010 elbow surgery rehab) got the start for the Cubs and threw four innings (62 pitches – 44 strikes), allowing one run on four hits (a triple, two doubles, and a single) and a walk, with five strikeouts (four swinging) and one WP (and a nifty pick-off, too). Davis mixed a slow fastball with a slower curve and a really slow change-up to generally keep the young Brewers hitters off-stride, although when they hit the ball, it was hit with authority. Besides the four hits (three XBH) allowed by Davis, the veteran soft-tossing lefty’s day also featured three “loud” hard-hit line drive outs (one of which required an inning-ending run-saving spectacular diving catch by LF Jose Valdez).
Angel Guzman threw an 11-pitch 1-2-3 5th inning (6-3, P-5, 2-3) in relief of Davis, as the right-hander continues his rehab from 2010 shoulder surgery.
Mixing a 91 MPH fastball with a slow curve, a change-up, and a wipe-out hard slider, Matt Loosen (Cubs 2010 23rd round draft pick out of U. of Jacksonville) followed-up his eight-strikeout performance (over 2.2 IP) versus the EXST Rockies last week with four more strikeouts in two innings of work (40 pitches) today. The 22-year old 6'2 right-hander did struggle a bit with his control, however, throwing only 53% strikes and walking two.
The Cubs took the lead in the top of the 1st inning, as Marco Hernandez (batting LH) cracked a two-run home run (his second EXST HR) over the RF fence, driving-in Jose Valdez who had reached base on a one-out opposite-field line-drive single to left. Hernandez has some pop when he hits left-handed, but is a "slap hitter" when batting from the right side. (A natural lefty swinger, Hernandez learned to switch-hit at AZ Instructs last fall).
Cubs 2010 #2 draft pick Reggie Golden clubbed a solo HR over the LF fence to lead-off the top of the 2nd, and the Cubs took a 4-0 lead after Dong-Yub Kim drew a walk, was moved up to 2nd base on a Doug Davis sac-bunt, and scored on a Wes Darvill line-drive RBI single to CF.
After the Brewers tied the score at four with a three-spot off RHP Justin Bristow (2010 non-TJS elbow surgery rehab) in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs came right back in the top of the 8th with three runs of their own. Wes Darvill singled to open the inning, and after PH Vismeldy Bieneme and Kyung-Min Na drew one-out walks to load the bases, speedy Jose Valdez drove-in the go-ahead run with a FC, just barely beating the relay to 1st base on what otherwise could have been an inning-ending (and rally-killing) 6-4-3 DP. Valdez and Vismeldy Bieneme then pulled off a double-steal (with Bieneme scoring and Valdez taking 2nd base, and then Valdez advancing to 3rd base on an overthrow), and Valdez scored when Marco Hernandez reached base on an E-6.
In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP Casey Harman (2010 29th round draft pick - Clemson) has been promoted to Peoria, and catcher Chad Noble (Cubs 2010 37th round draft pick - Northwestern) has been sent to Extended Spring Taining from Peoria. Harman was the #1 starter (Friday night starter) at Clemson, but the Cubs have worked him exclusively as a lefty reliever going back to his pro debut at AZ Instructs last fall (8.64 ERA – 2.04 WHIP - .359 Opp BA - 8.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R (8 ER), 3 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 2 PO, 3/7 GO/FO, 7 GAMES at AZ Instructs) and at Minor League Camp and EXST this season (8.31 ERA - 1.61 WHIP - .350 Opp BA - 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 10 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3 GAMES at EXST). He racked-up nine strikeouts over his last two EXST games (three innings).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: To practice his bunting, Doug Davis took an insert-AB in the top of the 1st, 2nd, and 5th innings, striking out (foul bunt) batting fifth with a runner on 1st base and one out in the 1st inning, laying down a sacrifice bunt batting third with a runner on 1st base and no outs in the 2nd inning, and striking out (bunted through pitch) batting third with a runner at 1st base and one out in the 5th inning.
X. Doug Davis, P: 0-2 (K, 3-4 SH, K)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, BB)
2. Jose Valdez, LF: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, 5-3 SH, 6-4 FC, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (HR, F-7, F-7, E-6, R, 2 RBI)
4. Jesus Morelli, DH-RF: 1-4 (1B, K, 6-3, 6-3, 2 SB)
5. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 1B, K, F-9, 2 CS)
6. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 2-4 (HR, K, 1B, L-9, R, RBI)
7. Dong-Yub Kim, 1B: 1-3 (BB, P-2, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, R)
8. Wes Darvill, 2B: 2-3 (1B, BB, 1B, F-7, R, RBI)
9a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-2 (5-3, 1B)
9b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (4-3)
10a. Oliver Zapata, RF-DH: 0-2 (K, K)
10b. Vismeldy Bieneme, PH: 0-0 (BB, R, SB)
1. Doug Davis: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 62 pitches (44 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
2. Angel Guzman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 B, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
3. Justin Bristow: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2 BALKS, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Bristow’s second inning was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit
4. Matt Loosen: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 40 pitches (21 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
1. 1B Dong-Yub Kim E3 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely
2. CF Kyung-Min Na E8 – fielding error allowed batter to advance an extra base on a single to CF
3. C Johan DeJesus E2 – throwing error (overthrow) on stolen base at 3rd base allowed runner to score
Johan DeJesus: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.