Solid Goldschmidt Slam Helps D'backs Demolish Cubs at HoHoKam

Paul Goldschmidt blasted a grand slam home run, Henry Blanco and Alfredo Marte slugged solo shots, and Ian Kennedy threw four shutout innings, as the Arizona Diamondbacks coasted to an 12-2 victory over a split squad of Cubs in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.

Ryan Dempster got the start for the Cubs, and was not particularly effective, allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits (including one double and one HR) and a walk in 3.2 IP (3/1 GO/FO). He struck out three. The best part of Dempster’s outing was that he was stretched-out to 68 pitches (38 strikes), but otherwise the outing was mediocre at best.

Cubs #1 LHRP James Russell relieved Dempster with two outs in the 4th, retiring LH hitting Gerardo Parra on an inning-ending ground out. Russell then allowed a run on one hit in the 5th. However, the one hit allowed was a lead-off routine pop-up in medium deep CF that Marlon Byrd lost in the sun for a gift double, and then the D’backs moved the runner around on a couple of fly outs to plate the run. But the fact is, Russell looked VERY good today, throwing 31 pitches (21 strikes) with a 1/2 GO/FO and one strikeout (Geoff Blum).

Cub closer Carlos Marmol worked the 6th inning, and he threw a shoutout inning, allowing a walk and a single. But he also had control issues, laboring through a long inning of work (29 pitches – only 14 strikes) before finally retiring the side and leaving a runner stranded at 3rd base.

8th inning set-up man & back-up closer RHP Kerry Wood took the mound in the 7th, and was unable to retire the side. He was pulled from the game after striking out David Winfree (looking) with the bases loaded (for the first out of the frame), 27 pitches deep into the inning. LHP and Cubs 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Jeff Beliveau (who was optioned to AAA Iowa earlier in the day) relieved Woody, and could not find home plate, walking in two runs before allowing the Goldschmidt grand slam that landed in the parking lot beyond the LF fence.

Beliveau had big-time control problems in college and in his first couple of seasons in pro ball, before making an adjustment in his delivery and becoming a control pitcher and definite MLB LH relief prospect. But other than a dominating outing at Camelback Ranch versus the Dodgers last Sunday (five strikeouts in two innings) he has reverted to his old form this spring.

The Cub home team offense was once again mostly silent today, scoring one run in the 7th on three singles, and a another on a Michael Brenly solo HR in the 8th.

The other squad of Cubs traveled up the Loop 101 Freeway to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, losing to the Rockies 7-5. I was not at that game, but Junior Lake did hit a three-run HR in the 6th to give the Cubs a temporary 4-3 lead, and Bryan LaHair apparently began to break out his Spring Training-long slump, collecting three hits, including a double.

Marcos Mateo threw a 1-2-3 8th (striking out Brandon Wood and Tyler Colvin and retiring Jordan Pacheco on an infield pop-up) to help advance his cause to make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster (Mateo is out of minor league options and so irrevocable Outright Waivers would have to be secured before he can be sent to the minors).

Prior to the two games, the Cubs optioned pitchers Alberto Cabrera, Jeff Beliveau, and John Gaub (who did not pitch in a Cactus League game) and infielder Josh Vitters to AAA Iowa, and infielder Junior Lake and outfielder Matt Szczur to AA Tennessee. Also NRI catcher Jason Jaramillo (who has been sidelined with a leg injury since last month) was reassigned to Minor League Camp.

You might have noticed that there was an inordinate number of transactions around MLB today. That’s because today was the first day Draft-Excluded Players (any minor leaguer eligible for selection in the 2011 December Rule 5 Draft who was added to an MLB 40-man roster after 8-15-2011) could be sent to the minors, plus minor league Spring Training games start tomorrow.

Comments

I wouldn't mind catching a minor league game on Saturday before I go over to watch Royals/Padres in the evening.

Unrelated to anything, this is a good one from Al Yellon:

The Miami Marlins are looking forward to lefty slugger Giancarlo Stanton taking aim at the home-run structure in left-center field at Marlins Park. Maybe he’ll hit a ball into it and it will burst into fireworks like the light tower did in “The Natural”!

Andy Petitie signs a minor league contract with the Yankees.

https://twitter.com/JackCurryYES/status/18069...

I guess sitting at home with your family all of the time isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Heard.

I mean, hahha... funny.

DeJesus 9, Byrd 8, Castro 6, Rizzo 3, Mather 5, Clevenger 2, Sappelt 7, Cardenas 4, Garza 1.

Byrd seems to be an early favorite for the #2 spot.

RHP Frankie De La Cruz from Brewers aka Eulogio De La Cruz

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

~shrug~

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:18pm — Rob G.

Cubs claim
RHP Frankie De La Cruz from Brewers aka Eulogio De La Cruz

=====================================

ROB G: Frankie de la Cruz is out of minor league options, and he has been outrighted previously in his career so he can refuse an Outright Assignment should that come to pass.

Looks a lot like a two-week try-out to me, and if he does not impress, then it'll be bye-bye Frankie.

Cubs Claim...RHP Frankie De La Cruz from Brewers aka Eulogio De La Cruz
---
Here's the connection: Chris Bosio was the one on the current Cub staff who saw the most of De La Cruz' last year because he was the pitching coach last year in Nashville. Less of a connection was Sveum seeing him in his brief 11 games (13 IP) while in the Brewers bullpen last year. Three of the 4 runs he gave up last season were against the Pirates (3 IP), no runs in 5 IP vs Cards.

Coleman over Maholm to win Pitcher's Bracket
DeJesus over W. Castillo to win Hitter's Bracket

DeJesus beats Coleman to win it all.

Always bet on The Jesus.

The guy who is slated to bat leadoff is the best bunter in the org. That's ... nice.

Rizzo hits 2nd homefizrunshizzo

also CS at third base, Castro thrown out at 3B as well, both by Whiteside

Sveum baserunning school paying off early.

The guy with the 35% career SB%?

Garza:
4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Dolis:
1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Rusin:
2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
L. Castillo
1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Cubs down 3-1 heading to bottom of 8th.

Lalli went yard off Ramon Ortiz, but Cubs fall 3-2.

T. Miller with a scoreless 9th to complete the pitching rotation.

0/2 today...0/spring so far.

0/2 today...0/spring so far.
---
Looks like he's bucking for the 'Juan Pierre Trophy' for speedy little guy that makes more outs than you can shake a bat at (except that Pierre could bunt...so he probably won't win it).

There's a lot not to like about Juan Pierre, but dude had at least 170 hits for 7 straight seasons. Campana will be hard-pressed to get that many hits in 2 straight seasons.

As the kids might say, EPIC FAIL.

Recent comments

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 5 hours 8 sec ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 5 hours 20 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 5 hours 21 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 5 hours 58 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 7 hours 40 sec ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 11 hours 16 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 11 hours 58 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 12 hours 2 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 13 hours 56 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 15 hours 44 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 16 hours 19 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 16 hours 32 min ago view