Angels Bedevil Cubs at Diablo
The Angels shutout the Cubs 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Angels Minor League Complex Field #3 at Diablo Park in Tempe this afternoon.
While the Cubs hitters looked like they needed a wake-up call, four of the five Cubs pitchers threw the ball very well.
19-year old Dominican RHP Alberto Cabrera (2008 sore shoulder) got the start and looked very sharp over his two innings of work, throwing a four-seam heater together with an outstanding slider and change-up. When healthy, Cabrera is the Cubs best Dominican pitching prospect .
Mexican RHP Oswaldo Martinez (who celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday) followed and he was also sharp over his two innings (although he appeared to tire a bit at pitch #22), and then RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (2008 22nd round draft pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX) had an easy eight-pitch 5th inning that he topped-off with a knee buckling curve that frroze an Angels hitter for an inning-ending "strike three called."
Ex-OF RHP Andres Quezada (up at Instructs from the DSL) had an easy bottom of the 6th, but then began to struggle in the bottom of the 7th before totally losing control right around pitch #24, at which point he threw two four-pitch walks and a wild pitch, committed a balk, and hit a batter. Quezada played OF for the AZL Cubs in 2007 before being converted to a RHP at Extended Spring Training at Fitch Park this past April.
DSL Cubs RHP Diego Encarnacion made his U. S. debut in relief of Quezada, and retired all four men he faced (5-3, P-4, P-5, and Kc) on just 11 pitches. Nothing special about Encarnacion, but there is certainly nothing wrong with a young pitcher making his first appearance in the U. S. who comes out throwing strikes.
The Cubs had a scare when CF Tony Campana (2008 13th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati) and RF Brandon Guyer (the team's best player) collided going after a pop up in right-center on Alberto Cabrera's very first pitch in the bottom of the 1st inning (Campana and Guyer are both normally centerfielders, so that might be why neither backed-off). The ball fell for a triple, and Guyer and Campana both lay motionless on the field for a minute or two before regaining their bearings. But both players did stay in the game, and Campana even threw the runner out at the plate two batters later!
Not much to report offensively for the Cubs other than a Brandon Guyer 5th inning triple (near HR) off the right-center field fence, a beautiful bunt single by Starlin Castro, and a Tony Campana infield hit where the hyperactive lead-off man beat-out a routine ground ball to SS (Campana can REALLY fly, folks!).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-4 (K)
2. Josh Harrison, 2B: 0-4
3. Robinson Chirinos, C-DH: 0-3 (BB)
4. Brandon Guyer, RF: 1-3 (3B, K)
5. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-2 (BB)
6. Starlin Castro, 3B: 1-3 (K, GIDP)
7. Junior Lake, SS: 0-3
8. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-2 (BB)
9. Jericho Jones, DH #2: 0-3 (GIDP)
10. Carlos Morales, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
1. Alberto Cabrera - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (0/3 GO/FO) - 23 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Oswaldo Martinez - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (2/1 GO/FO) - 29 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Tarlandus Mitchell - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK (1/1 GO/FO) - 8 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Andres Quezada - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 BALK (1/3 GO/FO) - 32 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Diego Encarnacion - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/2 GO/FO) - 11 pitches (8 strikes)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell, E-1, overthrew 2nd base on pick-off attempt allowing runner to advance to 3rd base
2. Andres Quezada, E-1, overthrew 2nd base on pick-off attempt allowing runner to advance to 3rd base
Carlos Perez: 1-1 CS
Tony Campana threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 3rd base on fly ball hit to medium-deep CF
WEATHER: 100+, hot & breezy
ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)
Oh, no. "Now the benchmark is quickly shifting to whether they [the Cubs] can become one of the best teams in baseball history."
Lester should try that for pickoff throws.
any other unemployed on parrot chat?
Please be Noah Syndergaard and Andrew McCutchen...
Joking. I really like Andrew McCutchen. ...
Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.
"OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"
Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!
Sorry typing too fast.
I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually 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 Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
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.