Cubs Pitching & Defense Frustrates A's at Fitch Park
Micah Gibbs ripped a solo home run and an RBI single, Danny Lockhart had three hits including an RBI double, and six pitchers combined to throw a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs whitewashed the Athletics 6-0 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
20-year old RHP Ian Dickson (Cubs 2011 35th round draft pick out of Lafayette College) made his pro debut today, getting the start and throwing one inning. Dickson pitched-around a first-pitch lead-off double, retiring the next three A’s hitters on a strikeout (swinging) and two 6-3 GO. Dickson missed the 2011 college baseball season after suffering a torn ACL in 2010, but Cubs scouts apparently had seen enough of him in previous years to offer him a contract at the 8/15 deadline once he proved he was 100%.
Besides the Gibbs HR and Lockhart’s three hits, today’s game featured two excellent defensive plays by Cubs players.
Reggie Golden showed-off his plus arm, making an outstanding pinpoint throw from CF to nail an A’s runner trying to score from 2nd base on a line-drive single to CF with two outs in the top of the 2nd inning, and 2B Rubi Silva made a terrific turn on a 6-4-3 DP in the 5th.
Although he played mostly OF this past season at Peoria and Daytona, Silva looks very comfortable at 2B, making four other nice plays on grounders to retire A’s hitters today (each play harder than the previous one), and showing off his plus-arm on two of them. Scouts in attendance were impressed (and apparently surprised) with Silva’s play-making skills at 2B.
While Cubs 2011 3rd round draft pick 2B-LF Zeke DeVoss (U. of Miami) is probably better-suited to play LF, it would appear that Silva does have the skills required to play 2B. So don’t be surprised if the Daytona Cubs 2012 Opening Day lineup features Rubi Silva at 2B.
Silva played for the Cuban Junior National Team and then later for Havana in Serie Nacional (the Cuban major league) prior to defecting, and received a reported $1M bonus when he signed with the Cubs last December.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, 2B-DH: 0-4 (1-3, K, 3-U, 4-3)
2. Danny Lockhart, SS-2B: 3-4 (1B, K, 2B, 1B, R, RBI)
3a. Rafael Lopez, C: 1-2 (1B, 5-3)
3b. Alberto Mineo, PH: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
3c. Mark Malave, C: 0-1 (K)
4. Reggie Golden, CF: 0-3 (K, 1-3, 6-3, BB, R)
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-4 (K, 1B, 3-1, 1B, 2 R)
6. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-4 (1B, K, F-7, 4-3)
7. Micah Gibbs, DH #1: 2-3 (HBP, HR, 4-3, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
8a. Yaniel Cabezas, DH #2: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 5-3)
8b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (4-3)
9. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-3 (1-3, 1-3, K)
10. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-2 (K, BB, L-5, R)
1. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
2. Frank Del Valle: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 30 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Dustin Fitzgerald: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 25 pitches (12 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
4. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (11 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
5. Luis Liria: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
6. Andrew McKirahan: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 16 pitches (11 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
Rafael Lopez: 0-2 CS
CF Reggie Golden threw out base-runner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd base on a line drive single to CF
ATTENDANCE: 18 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.