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
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.