Geo Back in Action at Fitch Park
On an injury rehab assignment in Mesa, AZ, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto went hitless in five plate appearances this morning in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played at Fitch Park.
Soto, who was seeing his first game action in two weeks after suffering a groin strain in a game on May 10th, was the starting catcher and got five at bats in the game played on Field #2 (there was another game played simultaneously on Field #3), batting third in each of the first five innings. He looked a bit rusty at the plate, bouncing out 5-3 in the 1st inning, popping out to the first-baseman in foul territory in the 2nd, flying out to the warning track in CF in the 3rd, getting called out on strikes in the 4th, and striking out swinging in the bottom of the 5th. Also two Rockies base-runners stole 2nd base while Soto was behind the plate.
As far as the games were concerned, one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Rockies played to a 1-1 tie on Field #2, while the other squad of Rockies defeated the other squad of Cubs 5-2 on Field #3.
The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.
Here are the abridged box scores from today’s games (Cubs players only)
NOTE: Geovany Soto batted third in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
X. Geovany Soto, C: 0-5 (5-3, P-3, F-8, K, K)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 1-3 (K, 3B, K, R)
2. Gregori Gonzalez, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, P-3, RBI)
3a. Jesus Morelli, DH: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
3b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (F-9)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
6. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, 4-6 FC)
7. Max Kwan, 1B: 0-2 (F-8, F-9)
8. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (K, P-4)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Willengton Cruz: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 60 pitches (41 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 23 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Larry Suarez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Gregori Gonzalez - E4 (missed catch allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely on what should have been a 5-4 FC)
SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Geovany Soto: 0-2 CS
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS
SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, CF: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, K, R)
2. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 3-U, 4-3)
3. Brian Inoa, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, L-4)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, L-3)
5. Rafael Valdes, SS: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 1-3)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 0-3 (5-3, 4-3, 5-3)
7. Dustin Geiger, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-7)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-2 (1B, E-6, R, SB)
10. Carlos Romero, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Joe Zeller: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 65 pitches (43 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Manolin DeLeon: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 1
3B Brandon May - E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Brian Inoa: 1-2 CS, 2 PB
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.