Dunston & Vogelbach Lead Cubs to Victory
Shawon Dunston, Jr drove in three runs with a two-out two-run RBI single that capped a four-run 1st inning and a solo HR leading off the bottom of the 6th, and Dan Vogelbach singled and scored in the 1st and clubbed a tape-measure HR over the RF fence in the bottom of the 7th to put the game away, leading the Cubs to a 10-5 victory over the Brewers in Opening Day AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
The Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Cubs starter Felix Pena, as Brew Crew clean-up hitter Ben McMahan cracked a two-run double off the LF fence.
But the Cubs offense came right back in the bottom of the first, scoring four times,and giving the Cubs a lead they held for the balance of the game.
After Zeke DeVoss was called out on strikes, Javier Baez ripped a single to center, and then stole 2nd. Rafael Lopez followed with a laser-double into the RF corner, scoring Baez, and then Dan Vogelbach lined a single over the shortstop’s head, moving Lopez to 3rd. Reggie Golden reached base on an infield single, scoring Lopez, with Vogelbach advancing to 3rd on a throwing error. Golden then stole 2nd base, giving the Cubs runners at 2nd & 3rd with just one out. After Dustin Geiger bounced out to 3rd (both runners held their base), Shawon Dunston, Jr (who was making his professional debut) lined the first pitch he saw into right-center to score Vogelbach and Golden with the third and fourth runs of the inning.
The Cubs plated two more runs in the bottom of the second inning, as Neftali Rosario singled, and advanced to 3rd as Garrett Schlecht clobbered a double off the top of the RF fence (near HR). 17-year old Italian Alberto Mineo (making his U. S. debut after spending the summer at the MLB Australian Academy) lined a single to RF to score Rosario, and then Zeke DeVoss drove-in Schlecht with a single, giving the Cubs a 6-2 lead.
The Brewers narrowed the lead to 6-5 before the Cubs scored an unearned run in the 5th, and then Shawon Dunston, Jr blasted his HR off Brewers RHP Tommy Toledo over the RF fence to give the Cubs a 8-5 lead in the 6th.
Dan Vogelbach made it 9-5 Cubs with his solo shot off RHP Carlos Sosa in the 7th, and the Cubs finished their scoring in the 8th as Javier Baez reached base on a two-out RBI infield single, scoring Yaniel Cabezas from 3rd base.
What was especially noteworthy about the Cubs six-run explosion in the first two innings was that four of the key hits (and none of them were cheapies, either) were by Cub left-handed hitters (Lopez, Vogelbach, Dunston, and Schlecht) off a Brewer LHP (Will West).
The Cubs employed seven pitchers today, partly to get more pitchers work (there are 24 pitchers at Instructs and there is only one game per day) and partly to allow the pitchers to get a bit of game action after not seeing any for a couple of weeks.
Luis Liria had a particularly poor outing as he struggled to find the strike zone (31 pitches - only 14 strikes), walking three and throwing two wild pitches in his two innings of work. If it wasn't for Cubs catcher Rafael Lopez throwing out two Brewer baserunners in a row trying to steal 2nd base in the top of the 4th, Liria's final line could have been a lot worse.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, RBI, SB)
1b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3)
2. Javier Baez, SS: 2-5 (1B, L-7, 5-4 FC, K, 1B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
3a. Rafael Lopez, C: 2-3 (2B, F-9, 1B, R, RBI)
3b. SEE SLOT #10a
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-4 (1B, K, K, HR, 2 R, RBI)
5a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (1B+E5, 5-3, E-6, R, RBI, SB)
5b. Eliecer Bonne, RF: 1-1 (1B, SB)
6a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, F-7, K)
6b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-1 (4-3)
7. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 2-4 (1B, 6-3, HR, 4-3, R, 3 RBI)
8a. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, L-5, R)
8b. Yaniel Cabezas, PH-DH: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R)
9. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-4 (2B, K, 1-3, 4-3, R)
10a. Alberto Mineo, DH-C: 2-5 (1B, K, 1B, 3-1, K, RBI)
NOTE: Mineo was moved to #3 slot in batting order after Lopez left game
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
2. Luis Liria: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 31 pitches (14 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. Charles Thomas: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 23 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Austin Reed: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 14 pitches (7 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
5. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (14 strikes)
6. Kyler Burke: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
7. Jose Rosario: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
1. Rafael Lopez: 2-2 CS, 1 PB
2. Alberto Mineo: 1-1 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Calm wind, sunny, and very hot (107)
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.
Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.
so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.
paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.
Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!
Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.
jeebus... that's terrible.
*clap* *clap* *clap*
Thanks AZ. If you like him, I like him.
Awesome report, and good to see Beeler on his way back.
I'm also very happy to hear about the bi-level bump for Daniel Lewis. In the Name of Theo, he was the Last of the Full-Season Cuts, and There Will Be Blood for those who unnecessarily slow his development. Sure, he might end up in independent ball pitching for Lincoln. But if everything breaks right, he may even have a shot at joining up with the Gangs of Chicago. I wouldn't bet My Left Foot on it, though.
CHARLIE: The Cubs did the same thing with LHSP Eric Jokisch last month, and it has nothing to do with needing the player's 40-man roster slot.
The hope is that another MLB club will claim the player, so that you aren't on the hook for any termination pay (which you would be if you release him) AND you pick up $20,000 from the claiming team, all for a guy you don't want going forward anyway.
Moosetacos, I like it. All I can think of is a bearded lumberjack dude operating a Mexican style taco truck with a Canadian accent.
How strange is this for May? Is it insignificant, or does it suggest some sort of trade might be in the works?