A's Roll Past Cubs at Fitch Park
Diomendes Lopez slugged a three-run home run to cap a four-run 7th inning, and the EXST A’s cruised to an 8-2 victory over the EXST Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Oakland closer Andrew Bailey (15-day DL - forearm strain) started the game for the EXST A’s, working 1.1 IP (18 pitches), and allowing one run (earned) on two hits, with no walks and no strikeouts. Although he did not record any strikeouts, his fastball was topping out at 94 MPH.
And after missing a couple of games after being hit on the foot by an Andrew Cashner fastball in a “live” pre-game BP session on Thursday, Iowa Cubs SS Augie Ojeda (DL rehab assignment - back injured during Spring Training) returned to the EXST Cubs lineup today, playing shortstop for six innings and getting three AB. Once again, Augie went hitless, flying out to CF in the bottom of the 1st inning, grounding out to 2B in the 3rd inning, and bouncing-out to the pitcher in the 6th. So far, Ojeda has gone 0-13 in three EXST games, although he appears to be moving around with no difficulty, both at-bat and in the field.
In EXST Cubs roster news, speedy 19-year old Korean OF Kyung-Min Na has been promoted to AA Tennessee from Extended Spring Training. In the 16 Extended Spring Training games that I saw him play, Na hit 327/397/385 in 58 PA, with three doubles, 6/9 BB/K, two GIDP, and five SB (one CS). He also made a number of outstanding defensive plays in CF. I doubt very much that this move is permanent (Tennessee outfielders Jim Adduci and Brett Jackson both went on the 7-day DL recently), but it is an indication that the Cubs player development staff believe Na is ready to be challenged.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-4 (1B, P-4, K, K+PB, R, SB)
2a. Augie Ojeda, SS-DH: 0-3 (F-8, 4-3, 1-3)
2b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FINAL TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
3. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 1-4 (2B, 4-3, K, F-8, RBI)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (5-3, F-8, K, 1B)
5a. Chad Noble, C-DH: 0-1 (F-9, BB)
5b. Yaniel Cabezas, PH-DH: 0-2 (4-3, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Marcos Hernandez, 2B: 0-1 (3-1)
6b. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K)
7. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (K, P-5, 5-3)
8. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, 3-U)
9. Dustin Geiger, DH #1: 0-3 (4-3 DP, 1-3, 5-3)
10. Johan DeJesus, DH-C: 1-3 (L-4, K, 1B, R)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Wes Darvill, DH-SS: 2-2 (1B, 1B, RBI)
1. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 55 pitches (28 strikes), 2/6 GO/FO
2. Alvido Jimenez: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 26 pitches (21 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Diplan: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K,32 pitches (19 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Santo Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
5. Manolin DeLeon: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and two unearned runs to score)
2. LF Eduardo Gonzalez - E7 (fielding error allowed batter and runner to advance an extra base)
3. P Santo Rodriguez - E1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
1. Chad Noble: 3-3 CS
2. Johan DeJesus: 1 PB
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.