Cashner First Rehab Start Stillborn at Salt River Fields
Stephen Cardullo ripped a two-run walk-off double to cap a three-run 9th, as the EXST Diamondbacks rallied to edge the EXST Cubs 3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Resort, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Andrew Cashner was scheduled to make his first Extended Spring Training rehab start in today’s game at Talking Stick, but was scratched after warming in the bullpen before the game. Whether this latest setback will significantly delay his return to the mound is not clear at this time, but it certainly is not good news for Cashner or for the Cubs.
With Cashner unavailable, RHP Matt Loosen got the emergency start (he was supposed to “piggyback” with Cashner) and had another fine outing, working three shutout innings, and allowing three hits (two by Diamondbacks IF-OF Wille Bloomquist, who is at Extended Spring Training rehabbing from a hamstring injury) and no walks, while striking out three. RHPs Yao-Lin Wang and Jin-Young Kim followed Loosen and were just as good, as the three Cubs pitchers combined to shut-out the D’backs on six hits and one walk (and 11 strikeouts) through the first eight innings. But RHP Dustin Fitzgerald could not convert the save in the bottom of the 9th, allowing a lead-off four pitch walk, a single, a SH-FC, a WP, and the game-winning two-run double, all without retiring a batter.
The Cubs offense did score two runs, but should have had more. The Cubs loaded ther bases with one out in the top of the 1st but could only score one run (on a ground out), Wes Darvill led-off the top of the 2nd inning with a triple but did not score, and Pin-Chieh Chen led-off the top of the 3rd with a single, and after stealing 2nd base, was thrown-out at the plate trying to score from 2nd on a wild pitch... with no outs. The entire Cubs Player Development staff (Minor League Field Coordinator Dave Bialas and all of the coordinators and instructors) is at Fitch Park this week, so hopefully they can address some of the mental mistakes the EXST Cubs have been making all too frequently lately, on the mound, on the bases, at the plate, and in the field. Cubbery must be nipped in the bud!
Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick Reggie Golden went hitless again today (with two strikeouts), and is now 0-20 (with eight strikeouts) since hitting a home run last Tuesday.
With CF Kyung-Min Na having been moved up to Peoria (after a brief emergency two-game stop this past weekend at AA Tennessee), Pin-Chieh Chen got a chance to play CF today. While Chen struggles defensively in the infield (especially when he played SS for a while last year, but even after moving to 2B), he looks perfectly at home in CF. With his speed and athleticism, playing CF and hitting lead-off could be his future full-time gig. Unfortunately, he is blocked by several more highly-regarded Cub prospects at that position (Na, Szczur, Silva, Ha, and B. Jackson).
And speaking of Peoria, yesterday’s Midwest League transactions listed 1B Ryan Cuneo as being assigned to Peoria from Extended Spring Training (with OF Rubi Silva moving up to Daytona from Peoria, and OF Jae-Hoon Ha getting promoted to AA Tennessee from Daytona), but Cuneo was in the EXST Cubs lineup today (he went 1-4). Perhaps the news of Cuneo’s promotion has not yet reached Mesa.
While rehabbin’ Willie Bloomquist was having a great time, going 3-4 with three singles and a walk in his five plate appearances for the EXST Diamondbacks, Iowa Cubs SS Augie Ojeda continued his rehab with the EXST Cubs, playing 2B for six innings and going 1-3 with a single (ending an 14 PA hitless streak) and two strikeouts (both swinging). So far in four Extended Spring Training games (16 PA), Ojeda has exactly one hit. Ojeda was heard to remark (joking, I think), “This is a tough league!”… WelI, maybe it is when you are Augie Ojeda.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 2-3 (BB, 1B, F-7, 3B, SB, 2 R)
2a. Augie Ojeda, 2B: 1-3 (K, 1B, K)
2b. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-0 (F-8 SF, RBI)
3. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 1-4 (1B, L-4, K, F-8)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (E-6, F-7, 6-3, 1B)
5. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-3 (5-3, HBP, 6-3, F-9, RBI)
6. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-4 (P-2, K, K, 5-3)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-4 (3B, K, 6-3, K)
8. Jesus Morelli, DH: 0-3 (6-3, 4-6 FC, BB, 1-3)
9a. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-3 (5-2 FC, K, F-9, CS)
9b. Gregori Gonzalez, LF: NO AB
1. Matt Loosen: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 40 pitches (32 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
2. Yao-Lin Wang: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 45 pitches (33 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Jin-Young Kim: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 29 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Dustin Fitzgerald, 0.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
KKVG: Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive of the 2015-16 IFA. He has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the 2015-16 IFA position players who could. To accommodate Paredes at SS, the Cubs have been moving Andruw Monasterio (who was the #1 SS at AZL Cubs in 2015 and the presumptive Eugene SS going into Minor League Camp) around the infield (SS-2B-3B) at EXST.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.
Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.