Cubs Fit to Be Tied at Fitch Park
Max Kwan laced a line-drive single through a drawn-in infield to score Reggie Golden from 3rd base, as EXST Cubs Squad “A” rallied for a run in the bottom of the 9th to tie EXST Cubs Squad “B” 6-6 in an Extended Spring Training intra-squad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Daytona IF-OF-C David Macias (on a rehab assignment at Fitch Park) was a DH for Squad “A” and got five at bats, going 1-5 with a single, two ground outs, and two strikeouts (one looking and one swinging). Macias was placed on the D-Cubs 7-day DL on May 10th.
Hunter Ackerman, Austin Reed, and Ben Wells all pitched multiple innings in the game, with mixed results. Ackerman struggled through his four innings (two of the innings were stopped early--“ROLL-IT!”--when the lefty reached his max pitch limit for that inning), allowing four runs on six hits and three walks (and a WP) in 3.1 IP, Reed allowed four runs (one earned) on two triples, three singles, and a walk in four innings of work (Reed also committed a costly error that led to three unearned runs scoring)), and Wells tossed three innings of one-hit ball, allowing one unearned run (Cub Squad “A” defenders committed four errors while Wells was on the hill).
RHP Dustin Fitzgerald had his best outing of the spring, throwing two innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts.
21-year old Dominican RHP Felix Pena made his U. S. debut, and was the victim of the Squad “A” 9th inning rally that tied the game. While F. Pena did allow one run on two hits and a walk, he also induced a timely DP ball with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs to help ease the pressure, and then struck out Wilson Contreras (swinging) with high gas for the final out.
Cubs GM Jim Hendry, Player Personnel Director Oneri Fleita, Scouting Director Tim Wilken, and a number of members of the Cubs Scouting & Player Development departments are spending the week at Fitch Park, with the scouts evaluating potential draft picks in pre-game morning work-outs, and the minor league instructors and coordinators evaluating the players who are assigned to the squad at Extended Spring Training in preparation for the start of the short-season leagues later this month. (Perhaps having so many eyes of importance watching was the reason Cubs players committed eight errors in the intra-squad game).
In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP Jeffry Antigua has been moved up to Daytona.
Here is the box score from today’s intra-squad game:
NOTE: David Macias was DH #1 for SQUAD “A” and batted 1st in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 8th innings
SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-5 (L-1, F-7, F-7, 1B, L-4, R)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 1-5 (4-3, 1B, E-1, 4-3, E-6, 2 R, 2 SB)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 2-5 (K, 1B, 3B, E-4, E-6, R, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Brandon May, 1B: 0-3 (BB, 5-3, F-8, P-4)
5. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-4 (2B, 6-3, 6-3, K, R)
6. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-4 (4-3, 4-3, 1B, E-6, R, SB)
7. Brian Inoa, C: 2-3 (1B, BB, 3B, 4-3, 2 RBI, SB, 2 CS)
8. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-4 (K, P-4, K, 4-3)
9. Johan DeJesus, DH: 0-4 (5-3, 4-3, F-8, P-6)
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
X. David Macias, DH #1: 1-5 (1B, 6-3, K, K, 4-3, R)
1. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-3 (4-3, 6-3, BB, 1B, SB)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 2-4 (1-3, 2B, 1B, K, RBI)
3. Reggie Golden, RF: 2-4 (1B, 1-3, P-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
4. Max Kwan, LF: 2-4 (1B, K, 1-3, 1B, 2 RBI)
5. Blair Springfield, CF: 1-1 (BB, BB, 1B, BB, R, CS)
6. Carlos Romero, C: 1-4 (1B, K, 5-3, 5-4 DP, R)
7. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 0-3 (BB, F-8, K, K)
8. Jesus Morelli, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, 2 RBI)
9. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 1-3 (K, 1B, K, R, SB)
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Hunter Ackerman: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 63 pitches (38 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
NOTE: 1st and 2nd innings were stopped with two outs when Ackerman reached max pitch limit
2. Brian Smith: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 38 pitches (23 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
NOTE: 5th inning was stopped with two outs when B. Smith reached max pitch limit
3. Dustin Fitzgerald: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 30 pitches (22 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Felix Pena: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Willengton Cruz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 36 pitches (21 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 64 pitches (43 strikes), 6/4 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 33 pitches (24 strikes), 4/4 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 1
C Brian Inoa - E2 (throwing error on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed base-runner to advance to 3rd base)
SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 7
1. 1B Wilson Contreras - E3 (throwing error allowed runner at 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. P Austin Reed - E1 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
3. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E4 (errant relay throw to 3rd base on an RBI triple allowed batter-runner to score)
4. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
5. SS Wes Darvill - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
6. SS Wes Darvill - E6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
7. SS Wes Darvill - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE
Brian Inoa: 1-4 CS, 2 PB, 1 E (see above)
SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Carlos Romero: 2-7 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’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
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?