Cubs Err on the Side of Defeat at HoHoKam

Anthony Rizzo and Blake Lalli hammered solo home runs, and Matt Garza threw four innings and allowed two runs, but the Giants took advantage of two costly Cub fielding errors and a 9th inning base-running gaffe to edge the Cubs 3-2 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.

NOTE: Scroll down for the updated CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (effective 3/16)

The Cubs scored the first run of the day in the bottom of the 2nd, when Anthony Rizzo clubbed an opposite-field lead-off home run over the left-centerfield fence (just to the left of the “Green Monster” Batter’s Eye) off Giants LHSP Eric Surkamp.

Meanwhile, Cub starter Matt Garza was breezing through the first three innings, before running into trouble in the top of the 4th. Melky Cabrera walked and Pablo Sandoval singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Garza then threw a ball in the dirt that was blocked nicely by catcher Steve Clevenger, but then Clevenger tried to pick-off Sandoval (who had strayed a bit off 1st base when the ball hit the dirt) and made a wild throw past 1st base and into RF, allowing Cabrera to score from 2nd and Sandoval to move up a base. Sandoval scored later in the inning on an Aubrey Huff RBI single.

LHP Chris Rusin threw two solid shutout & hitless innings (the 6th & 7th), allowing just a walk while striking out two (29 pitches – 18 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO). Rusin will probably be in competition with Jay Jackson for the honor of starting for the Iowa Cubs on PCL Opening Day.

The game remained a 2-1 battle going into the 8th, when Rule 5 RHP Lendy Castillo took the mound for the Cubs. Emmanuel Burriss led-off the inning with a single and immediately stole 2nd base (very bad throw by catcher Blake Lalli), but L. Castillo fanned Brett Pill and Eli Whiteside (both swinging) and got Tyler Graham to tap weakly to the mound. Unfortunately, Castillo (an ex-shortstop of all things) inexplicably tossed a rainbow far over the 1st baseman’s head for an error, allowing Graham to reach base safely and Burriss to score from 2nd.

But the Cubs weren’t finished.

Facing ex-Cub RHP Ramon Ortiz, Blake Lalli lofted a one-out solo moon-shot HR over the RF fence in the bottom of the 8th, and after Trever Miller had an easy top of the 9th, Joe Mather (representing the tying run) grounded a lead-off single down the LF line (an outstanding defensive play by SF LF Justin Christian kept Mather from taking 2nd). Brett Jackson then laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to the third-baseman that should have advanced Mather into scoring position, but Mather saw that 3rd base was uncovered and tried to take the extra base on the bunt and get to 3rd base with one out. But SS Joaquin Arias outraced Mather to the bag, tagging him out after taking the throw (on the run) from 1B Brett Pill. (I guess this is why taking infield practice matters).

Joe Mather played 3B once again today (all nine innings this time), and handled two chances and a couple of throw-cuts flawlessly.

While the Cubs were playing the Giants at HoHoKam Park, Minor League Cactus League play got underway, with the Cubs minor leaguers (the Iowa and Tennessee squads) playing two games at Fitch Park. (Daytona and Peoria were on the road).

With yesterday’s roster cuts and the arrival of three more players (SS Luis Acosta, OF Jeffrey Baez, and INF Carlos Penalver) from the Dominican Academy, the Cubs Minor League Camp rosters were adjusted prior to the games.

Some of the moves (and corresponding changes) were made to cover for a couple of injuries on the Iowa squad, but what’s most notable in today’s roster transfers is that several of the Cubs young stud prospects who had been assigned to Boise/Mesa earlier in the week were back with the Peoria squad today. Also, LHP Gerardo Concepcion (the Cuban bonus baby signed by the Cubs earlier this month) was moved down to Hi-A Daytona from AA Tennessee.

UPDATED CUBS 2012 MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (3/16)

* bats or throws left
# bats both

IOWA (39)

PITCHERS (21):
Frank Batista
Dallas Beeler
* Jeff Beliveau
Justin Berg (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Alberto Cabrera
Esmailin Caridad
Marco Carrillo
Hung-Wen Chen
* John Gaub
Marcus Hatley
Jordan Latham
Oswaldo Martinez
Trey McNutt
* Brooks Raley
Kevin Rhoderick
* Nate Robertson
* Ryan Rowland-Smith
Brian Schlitter
Ryan Searle
Nick Struck
Casey Weathers

CATCHERS (4):
Juan Apodaca
# Micah Gibbs
# Jason Jaramillo
Mario Mercedes

INFIELDERS (9):
Leugim Barroso (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
# David Macias
Jonathon Mota
* Jake Opitz
Rebel Ridling (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Greg Rohan
Nate Samson
Marquez Smith
Josh Vitters

OUTFIELDERS (5):
Abner Abreu
* Michael Burgess
Evan Crawford
Jae-Hoon Ha
Ty Wright

TENNESSEE (33)

PITCHERS (17):
* Jeffry Antigua
Dan Berlind
David Cales (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Frank Del Valle (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Brent Ebinger
Ricardo Estevez (see NOTE)
* Casey Harman
Ty’Relle Harris
* Eric Jokisch
Matt Loosen
* Andrew McKirahan
Yoannis Negrin
Juan Serrano
* Matt Spencer (ex-OF)
Larry Suarez
Rob Whitenack (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Tony Zych
NOTE: Ricardo Estevez is on the RESTRICTED LIST while serving a 50-game Prohibited Substance suspension, but he is participating in Minor League Camp activities

CATCHERS (4):
Luis Flores (see NOTE)
* Rafael Lopez
Nate Maldonado (player-coach)
Chad Noble
NOTE: Luis Flores is on the RESTRICTED LIST while serving a 50-game Prohibited Substance suspension, but he is participating in Minor League Camp activities

INFIELDERS (8):
* Justin Bour
* Matt Cerda
# Zeke DeVoss
* Richard Jones
Junior Lake
Pierre LePage
Rafael Valdes
* Logan Watkins

OUTFIELDERS (4):
John Andreoli
Eliecer Bonne
Taiwan Easterling
Matt Szczur

DAYTONA (34)

PITCHERS (17):
* Kyler Burke (ex-OF)
Zach Cates
* Gerardo Concepcion
Eduardo Figueroa
Dustin Fitzgerald
P. J. Francescon
Su-Min Jung
* Austin Kirk
Luis Liria
* Jeff Lorick
A. J. Morris
Starling Peralta
Jose Rosario
* Zac Rosscup
Bryce Shafer
Hayden Simpson
Brett Wallach

CATCHERS (3):
* Sergio Burruel
Taylor Davis
Anthony Giansanti (ex-OF)

INFIELDERS (9):
# Arismendy Alcantara
Xavier Batista
* Ryan Cuneo (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Harrington
Paul Hoilman
* Rubi Silva
Elliot Soto
Ronald Torreyes

OUTFIELDERS (5):
* Pin-Chieh Chen
Reggie Golden
* Ben Klafczynski
Mayke Reyes
Blair Springfield

PEORIA (34)

PITCHERS (18):
* Hunter Ackerman
Jose Arias
* Willengton Cruz
Ramon Garcia
Ryan Hartman
Michael Jensen
Pete Levitt
Dillon Maples (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Carlos Martinez
Hector Mayora
* Sheldon McDonald
Tarlandus Mitchell
Roderik Pichardo
* Brian Smith
Charles Thomas (ex3B)
Yao-Lin Wang
Ben Wells
Joe Zeller

CATCHERS (3):
Wilson Contreras (ex-3B)
# Wilfredo Petit
Neftali Rosario

INFIELDERS (8):
Gioskar Amaya
Javier Baez
# Jeimer Candelario
Dustin Geiger
# Marco Hernandez
* Danny Lockhart
# Rock Shoulders
* Dan Vogelbach

OUTFIELDERS (5):
Yasiel Balaguert
* Shawon Dunston, Jr
* Eduardo Gonzalez
Trey Martin
# Oliver Zapata

BOISE/MESA (27)

PITCHERS (12):
Ian Dickson
Ethan Elias (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
David Henrie
* Graham Hicks (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Jin-Young Kim
Felix Pena
James Pugliese
Austin Reed
Colin Richardson
Tayler Scott
Austin Urban (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Scott Weismann

CATCHERS (4):
Yaniel Cabezas (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Justin Marra
* Alberto Mineo
Antonio Valerio (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)

INFIELDERS (6):
Luis Acosta
Ryan Durrence
# Brian Inoa
Carlos Penalver
Kenny Socorro
Brad Zapenas

OUTFIELDERS (5):
* Delbis Arcila
Jeffrey Baez
* Trevor Gretzky (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Dong-Yub Kim
* Garrett Schlecht (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)

NOT ON FIELD - WHEREABOUTS STILL UNKNOWN (by me):
Gregori Gonzalez, IF-OF (?)
Yohan Gonzalez, P (?)
* Cam Greathouse, P (supposedly will report to EXST)
Alvido Jimenez, P (?)
Arturo Maltos-Garcia, P (2011 TJS rehab)
Amaury Paulino, P (?)
* Nelson Perez, OF

Comments

I am glad to see that some of the young Latinos ( Penalver, Acosta, and Baez) are now in camp. Anybody else on board that I didnt see?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 4:38am — Hagsag New
Re: Cubs Err on the Side of Defeat at HoHoKam
I am glad to see that some of the young Latinos ( Penalver, Acosta, and Baez) are now in camp. Anybody else on board that I didnt see?

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

HAGSAG: Not that I know of.

Baez, Penalver, and Acosta just arrived, and I'm sure there will be a few others arriving later.

Az Phil: Have you watched Hayden Simpson this spring? Is he still a lost little puppy?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 4:52am — Cubster New
Re: Cubs Err on the Side of Defeat at HoHoKam
Az Phil: Have you watched Hayden Simpson this spring? Is he still a lost little puppy?

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

CUBSTER: I saw Simpson throw a 25-pitch "live" BP session at Fitch Park Field #2 early one morning last week, and he looked OK (at least he didn't appear to be holding anything back).

And he remains with the Daytons squad (for now), which is a good sign. For example, it would be a bad sign if he were to get moved down to Boise/Mesa.

Rotoworld blurb says he's the favorite for starting LF job at the moment for Indians.

Nice header...

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 18 hours 43 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 18 hours 48 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 18 hours 53 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 19 hours 5 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 19 hours 16 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 19 hours 41 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 20 hours 22 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 34 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 21 hours 51 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 21 hours 55 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 22 hours 40 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 6 hours ago view