The "Other" Baez a Big Hit at Papago
Jeffrey Baez had three hits including a two-run triple that drove-in the go-ahead run in the top of the 6th, Micah Gibbs laced a two-run double, and Jeimer Candelario had two RBI doubles, as the Cubs outslugged the Athletics 12-8 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix.
The Cubs took a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st, as Reggie Golden (two-run single to left) and Jeimer Candelario (double off CF Batter’s Eye) collected two-out RBI, and Micah Gibbs (batting RH) made it 5-0 in the 4th when he hooked a double into the LF corner to drive-in two more runs.
The A's came back with three in the 4th and two unearned runs in the 5th (thanks to three errors by 2B Zeke DeVoss), however, to tie the game at 5-5.
And then it was Jeffrey Baez who got the big clutch hit in the top of the 6th to give the Cubs back the lead, as the 17-year old Venezuelan clubbed a two-run two out triple over the centerfielder’s head.
Baez received a reported $350K bonus when he signed with the Cubs as a 16-year old in the first days of the International Signing Period in 2010, and he hit 282/353/408 with 32 SB in 68 DSL games in his rookie year this season. He is built like a running back or an outside linebacker, and in fact he plays OF and runs the bases like a football player. Which is to say he’s going to need a lot of polish.
The Cubs added a five-spot in the 9th to take a 12-5 lead, as Justin Marra ripped an RBI double into the left-center alley, Rafael Lopez doubled to drive-in Marra, Garrett Schlecht ripped a two-out two run RBI single, and sweet-swingin’ Jeimer Candelario roped another two-out RBI double (his second of the day) to knock-in Schlecht.
Cubs MLB Hitting Instructor Rudy Jaramillo is at Fitch Park this week working with the young Cubs hitters, and he had to be happy with today’s results (12 runs on 13 hits, seven walks, and an HBP, with eight of the 12 RBI coming with two outs).
25-year old LHP (ex-OF) Matt Spencer made his Instructs game debut, throwing 1.1 IP of perfect four up/four down ball (strikeout-swinging, F-8, F-8, strikeout-swinging). Although this was his Instructs game debut, it was not his pro debut as a pitcher, because he has thrown an occasional AA and AAA inning in blow-outs.
Spencer is no stranger to the mound, having been a two-way player (LHP/OF) in HS and at the U. of North Carolina prior to transferring to Arizona State.
In AZIL Cubs roster news, OF Trey Martin (Cubs 2011 13th round draft pick out of Brookwood HS - Snellville, GA) has been placed on the Active List after missing the first couple of weeks of Instructs with a left shoulder strain. He was in uniform today, but did not play. (Martin hit 243/289/357 in 18 AZL Cubs games after signing).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B-CF: 1-5 (K, K, F-9, 1B, 3-1)
2. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-4 (E-3, F-8, 4-3, 4-6-3 DP, HBP, 2 R)
3. Rafael Lopez, 1B: 1-2 (BB, BB, P-5, BB, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 0-5 (K, K, P-3, E-6, P-5)
5a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (1B, 6-4 FC, 6-3, R, 2 RBI, CS)
5b. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-2 (5-3, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
6. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-4 (2B, E-5, 3-1, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
7a. Taiwan Easterling, CF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, BB, 2 R, SB)
7b. Carlos Penalver, 2B: 0-2 (5-4 FC, 5-3)
8a. Micah Gibbs, C: 1-2 (3-6 FC, 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI)
8b. Mark Malave, C: 0-1 (6-3 DP)
9. Jeffrey Baez, LF: 3-4 (1B, K, 3B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
10. Justin Marra, DH #2: 1-3 (BB, K, F-8, 2B, R, RBI)
1. Ian Dickson: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 34 pitches (15 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Matt Spencer: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (9 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. David Henrie: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 27 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (15 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
6. Scott Weismann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 26 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
7. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
1. 2B Zeke DeVoss - E-4 (errant throw attempting to turn a potential 6-4-3 DP allowed batter-runner to advance to 2nd base)
2. 2B Zeke DeVoss - E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and runner who was on 1st base to advance to 3rd base)
3. 2B Zeke DeVoss - E-4 (bobbled relay throw after double into RF corner - allowed runner who had stopped at 3rd base to score)
4. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Mark Malave: 1-1 CS, 1 PB
ATTENDANCE: 94 (mostly students & instructors from MLB Scout School)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & 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.