Inoa Hits for the Cycle at Talking Stick
Brian Inoa hit for the cycle and Dustin Geiger ripped two RBI doubles, leading a split squad of EXST Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the EXST Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Justin Hilt and Wagner Mateo homered for the Diamondbacks.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow all of the pitchers who were due to throw today to get their scheduled work.
I can’t remember the last time I saw somebody hit for the cycle in an Extended Spring Training game, so what Brian Inoa did today is quite rare. The 20-year old switch-hitting Dominican catcher tripled to right-center in the top of the 2nd inning, smacked a solo home run over the right-centerfield fence in the 4th, executed a picture-perfect hit & run single into the vacant "four-hole" in the 6th, and smoked a double off the LF fence in the 8th. On the negative side, Inoa also committed two errors (an overthrow on a stolen base attempt that led directly to an unearned run scoring, and a dropped foul pop-up).
This is Inoa’s first season in the U. S. after making his pro debut last year in the Dominican Summer League with DSL Cubs #2 (AKA the “Bad News Cubs”), where he hit 279/356/369 in 60 games (203 PA), mostly as a DH. In just 26 games behind the plate for DSL Cubs #2 in 2010, Inoa committed a whopping 11 errors and allowed ten passed balls. (He is what I guess you might call an "offensive-first" catcher).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-4 (3-U, F-7, F-7, 5-3 SH, K)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 1-5 (K, 6-3, K, F-7, 2B, R)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (3-U, 1B, 4-3, BB, P-1, SB)
4. Brandon May, 3B; 2-5 (P-4, K, 1B, 1B, 4-3, RBI)
5. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-5 (K, 5-3, 4-6 FC, F-9, 1B, RBI)
6. Brian Inoa, C: 4-5 (3B, HR, 1B, 2B, 4-6 FC, 3 R, RBI)
7. Dustin Geiger, DH: 2-3 (2B, P-4, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-4 (1B, 5-3, F-9, 5-3, RBI)
9. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-3 (P-6, K, BB, 1B, R, SB)
1. Austin Reed: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 42 pitches (29 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Colin Richardson: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Ramon Garcia: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 17 pitches (13 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Larry Suarez: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 18 pitches (15 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
1. C Brian Inoa - E2 (overthrow at 3rd base on stolen base allowed the runner to score an earned run)
2. C Brian Inoa - E2 (dropped pop fly in foul territory extending batter’s AB)
Brian Inoa: 0-2 CS, 2 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Now we're all Theo-believers, where were you when he signed Edwin Jackson? Or how about trading away DJ Lemehaiu? And not signing Samardzija to an extension? Or not pursuing Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols? Or signing Lester? Or trading away Cashner, Dempster, Feldman, etc?...I think I'm losing the narrative here.
So his deal runs through 2021? Which pretty much coincides when all these guys are due to hit free agency.
"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?