Cub Rally Falls Short at Papago Park
Sean Jamieson and Max Stassi rapped RBI triples to highlight a three-run 1st inning and RBI singles to key a four-run 2nd, and Jordan Tripp and A. J. Kirby-Jones slugged solo home runs to provide the eventual margin of victory, as the Athletics withstood a late rally to edge the Cubs 10-9 in AZ Instructional League action at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.
The Cubs took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning, as lead-off man Rubi Silva lined a single over the shortstop's head, advanced to second on a sac bunt, and scored when the catcher threw the ball into the LF corner on a delayed steal where the third-baseman forgot to cover 3rd.
But Cubs starter Amaury Paulino was battered in the bottom of the 1st, as four of the first five men he faced ripped hits (two singles and two triples) before the young Dominican right-hander settled-down and struck out the last two A’s hitters to strand a runner at 3rd.
Tarlandus Mitchell made his first mound appearance in about five months, taking the hill for the Cubs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Mitchell induced the first A’s batter he faced to hit a routine two-hopper to 3rd, but third-baseman Jeimer Candelario fumbled the ball for an error. Then after the next two batters were retired (a 5-4 FC and a K), Mitchell fell apart and surrendered four unearned runs on two hits, a walk, and a HBP, while also throwing two wild pitches that moved runners up into scoring position.
LHP Zac Rosscup (on the Daytona Cubs DL since June) pitched the third inning and two outs into the 4th, allowing two runs, including a Jordan Tripp solo HR. Rosscup also pulled the bonehead play of the day, allowing a run to score from 3rd base on a foul pop up out to the first-baseman. The ball came down near the Cubs on deck circle (first-base side) as both 1st baseman Dan Vogelbach and catcher Yaniel Cabezas chased the pop up, but Rosscup forgot to cover home as Sean Jamieson scored easily from 3B. Rosscup was then immediately pulled from the game.
Down 9-3 (with a Micah Gibbs double and a Shawon Dunston, Jr RBI single in the 2nd having plated the Cubs second run, and a Gibbs RBI single following consecutive singles by Yaniel Cabezas and Dan Vogelbach having knocked-in the third run in the 4th), the Cubs mounted a comeback with a five-run 6th off RHP Ryan Doolittle.
Rubi Silva (who had three hits today) roped a single through the box and into CF to lead off the inning, stole 2nd base (his second SB of the day), and, after Yaniel Cabezas walked, scored on a Dan Vogelbach RBI ground single to right. Taiwan Easterling then lined a one-out two-run triple over the centerfielder’s head to drive-in Cabezas and Vogelbach, before scoring on a Micah Gibbs sacrifice fly. Jeimer Candelario kept the inning alive with a two-out opposite-field hump-back single to left, and scored on a line-drive RBI single to right-center by Jeffrey Baez (in what was his U. S. debut). Down 10-8 after A. J. Kirby-Jones took Frank Del Valle deep in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs scored what would be their final run of the day in the 8th to narrow the deficit to 10-9.
Javier Baez sliced an opposite field double into the RF corner to lead-off the inning, and took third when the A’s second-baseman fumbled the relay throw for an error. After Justin Marra (making his pro debut) struck out swinging (and looked over-matched doing it), Baez raced home on a Carlos Penalver 1-3 ground out (high chopper fielded by the pitcher, with the only play at 1st base). The Cubs then went down 1-2-3 in the 9th.
The defensive gem of the day for the Cubs was a sliding run-saving catch in short left-center (in traffic) by LF Taiwan Easterling. I've seen him make catches like this before, and it's the type of move a punt returner will make when fair-catching a short punt. It's probably fairly easy and comfortable for Easterling to make catches this way, since he did return punts when he played football at Florida State.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, 2B: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 SB, PO)
2. Javier Baez, DH #1: 1-3 (2-3 SH, K, K, 2B, R)
3a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, 2 R)
3b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
4a. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
4b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (1-3, RBI)
5. Taiwan Easterling, LF: 1-4 (6-3, K, 3B, 2-3, R, 2 RBI)
6. Micah Gibbs, DH #2: 2-3 (2B, 1B, F-9 SF, 1-3, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B-1B: 1-4 (3-1, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, P-6, R)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1st TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Jeffrey Baez, DH-RF: 1-2 (1B, F-9, RBI)
9. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF-DH: 1-3 (1B, 3-1, K, RBI, PO)
10. Eliecer Bonne, RF-CF: 0-3 (K, F-9, F-9)
11. Danny Lockhart, SS-3B: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, 5-3)
1. Amaury Paulino: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
2. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
3. Zac Rosscup: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 30 pitches (17 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Jose Arias: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 19 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Frank Del Valle: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
6. Andrew McKirahan: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
1. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Rubi Silva - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Yaniel Cabezas 0-2 CS
ATTENDANCE: 19 (including Shawon Dunston, Sr)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy, with temperatures in the 90’s
I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.
Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.
I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
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.