Leaver It to a Beaver to Rally A's to Victory
With his team down 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Ryan Ortiz ripped a two-run HR over the LF fence to give the EXST Athletics the lead and eventually the victory, as the EXST Cubs were edged 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Sports Complex in Phoenix.
The A’s 2009 6th round draft pick out of Oregon State (where he was a teammate of Cubs infielder Darwin Barney on the 2007 CWS champion Beavers), Ortiz is at Extended Spring Training rehabbing from an injury suffered in Minor League Camp.
The Cubs offensive star of the day was 2B Pin-Chieh Chen, who reached base four times (three singles and a walk) and scored twice.
Conversely, Kyung-Min Na had a bad day all around, striking out four times (that’s the ol’ “Golden Sombrero,” folks) and dropping a fly ball in CF for a two-base error.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-5 (K, 6-4 FC+E-4, K, K, K, R)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED 2nd TIME THROUGH BATTING ORDER
2. Dustin Harrington, SS: 0-3 (E-5, 5-3, F-9)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd and 5th TIMES THROUGH BATTING ORDER
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-5 (K, P-3, 6-3, 1B, 6-3, RBI)
4a. Chad Noble, C: 1-4 (6-3, 4-3, 2B, 1-3)
4b. Brian Inoa, C: 0-1 (F-7)
5. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 3-4 (1B, BB, F-7, 1B, 1B, 2 R)
6a. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-4 (1B, E-4, 5-3, 3-6 FC, R)
6b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
7a. Blair Springfield, LF: 1-3 (K, 1B, K, BB, RBI)
7b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-0 (BB)
8. Max Kwan, DH: 2-5 (2B, K, 2B, K, P-3, 2 RBI)
9a. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, K)
9b. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-2 (K, K)
1. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 51 pitches (27 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 54 pitches (26 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Willengton Cruz: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
CF Kyung-Min Na E8 – dropped fly ball allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely
Chad Noble: 0-1 CS, 1 PO
LF Eduardo Gonzalez threw out batter-runner 7-4 trying to stretch single into a double
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
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.