Cub Juggernaut Alive & Well at Fitch Park
Marco Hernandez singled, doubled, tripled, and drove-in four runs, and Gioskar Amaya had two singles and a triple and drove-in three runs, leading the AZL Cubs to a 15-7 thrashing of the AZL Diamondbacks in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternon in Mesa, AZ.
All of the Cubs players in the starting lineup had at least one hit except clean-up hitter Ryan Durrence, who went 0-5, including two DP grounders and a strikeout looking.
But otherwise it was Full Speed Ahead for the AZL Cubs offense.
Los Tres Amigos (Oliver Zapata, Marco Hernandez, and Gioskar Amaya) hit 1-2-3 and had another big day today, reaching base a combined nine times and driving-in eight runs, while scoring four more
Zapata reached base three times (1B, HBP, IBB), stole a base, scored two runs, and knocked-in another with an RBI GO, Hernandez amassed his four RBI on an F-9 SF and a bases-loaded triple, and Amaya collected two of his RBI on a two-out two-run triple in 6th, and then another on an RBI single in the 7th.
18-year old Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick - Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) was the DH today, and ripped a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 1st inning, tripled and scored in the 3rd, and walked and scored to lead-off a six-run 7th.
LF Dong-Yub Kim had two hits (a double and a single) and scored two runs, 2B Brian Inoa walked and scored in the 7th and doubled in the 8th, catcher Taylor Davis (2011 NDFA - Morehead State) reached base three times (two walks and a triple) and scored three runs, and supersub Gregori Gonzalez (who played RF today) smashed an RBI triple and then scored in the 2nd, reached base on an HBP and scored in the 6th, and blooped a bases-loaded RBI single into CF in the 7th.
And speaking of Gregori Gonzalez, there is one very obvious mistake in the "official" box score from milb.com (see above link).
And that is that Gregori Gonzalez (not Eduardo Gonzalez) played RF and batted 9th today.
Other than last their names both being "Gonzalez," there really isn't much similarity between them. Gregori bats & throws RH, and Eduardo bats & throws LH. And they actually wear different uniform numbers, too.
But apparently as far as milb.com (and now posterity) is concerned, Eduardo Gonzalez went 2-3 with a triple, a single, an HBP, and a K, three runs scored, two RBI, an outfield assist, and a fielding error today, when actually it was Gregori Gonzalez doing all that.
Of course, it's not like this is the first time milb.com has screwed up a box score.
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?
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.