Matt Garza Stones Bees at Fitch Park
Matt Garza threw four innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and no walks with six strikeouts, Adrian Cardenas slugged a 420+ foot three-run HR over the CF fence, Welington Castillo drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly, and Blake Lalli had four hits, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and Casey Coleman threw four innings of one-run ball, but knuckleballer Joe Zeller was tagged for four runs, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies 5-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League minor league game action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ
Because Garza started the AAA game, Casey Coleman (who was supposed to start for Iowa today) was moved over to Field #2 and started in the AA game instead.
This was “getaway day” for the Cubs four full-season minor league teams, so game time was 9 AM. The Cubs other two full-season squads (Daytona and Peoria) played their games on the road versus Angels affiliates at Diablo Park in Tempe.
A fleet of rental trucks packed with gear stood ready-to-roll in the parking lot, and both games were played at a faster pace than is typical of Spring Training games at Minor League Camp. The players, managers, coaches, and trainers all seemed anxious to get out of Arizona and get going with the regular season, but the start of the game on Field #3 was delayed a few minutes because Matt Garza arrived late.
The one squad from Minor League Camp that won't be leaving town is the Boise/Mesa group, which morphs into the Cubs Extended Spring Training (EXST) team this week.
The EXST squad will consist of about 60 players, including players who failed to make the Peoria Chiefs' final roster cut but who will stay ready to replace any injured players at Peoria or Daytona, younger and less-experienced players who are expected to play at Boise or for the AZL Cubs when the short-season leagues begin play in June, and injured players who are in various stages of rehab.
Several Boise/Mesa (EXST) players saw game action for Iowa or Tennessee in today's games.
In roster news involving the Iowa Cubs, OF Jim Adduci was moved down to Tennessee from Iowa and (somewhat surprisingly) 3B Marquez Smith was released, as the I-Cubs got down to the AAA 24 player-limit. Also, it appears likely that SS Junior Lake (strained back) will open the Southern League season on the Tennessee 7-day DL. If so, he will probably remain at Fitch Park until he is ready to play again.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
1. Jim Adduci, LF: 0-4 (F-8, L-8, F-8, E-5)
2a. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (E-9, F-9, 1-3, R)
2b. Javier Baez, SS: 1-1 (1B)
3a. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K, RBI)
3b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 0-1 (4-3)
4a. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, 3-U)
4b. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-0 (BB)
5. Matt Cerda, 3B-DH: 0-4 (P-3, K, K, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Jonathon Mota, DH: 0-3 ( F-7, F-9, 4-3)
6b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
7a. Michael Burgess, RF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, 4-3)
7b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (6-4 FC)
8a. Michael Brenly, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
8b. Luis Flores, C: 0-1 (6-3)
9. Nate Samson, 2B: 0-3 (L-7, 4-3, 6-3)
1. Casey Coleman: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 55 pitches (40 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
2. Brian Schlitter: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Joe Zeller: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Marcus Hatley: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
TENNESSEE ERRORS: 1
SS Elliot Soto - E6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Luis Flores: 1 PB
TENNESSEE BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Michael Burgess was thrown out 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to RF with no outs in the bottom of the 5th
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
1a. Dave Sappelt, RF: 2-4 (F-8, 1B, F-7, 1B, R, CS)
1b. Delbis Arcila, RF: 0-0 (BB)
2a. Adrian Cardenas, 2B: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, K, HR, R, 3 RBI)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-1 (P-6)
3a. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 0-1 (BB, K, SB)
3b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 2-3 (1B, E-6, 1B, R)
4. Blake Lalli, DH: 4-5 (K, 1B, 1B, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
5a. Edgar Gonzalez, SS: 2-2 (3B, 1B, 2 R)
5b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (4-6 FC, BB, 4-6 FC)
6a. Welington Castillo, C: 1-1 (F-7 SF, 2B, 2B, 3 RBI)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-2 (F-9, 5-3)
7. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-4 (2B, 1B, E-4, K)
8. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, 1B, 4-3, R, SB)
9. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
1. Matt Garza: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 49 pitches (32 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Nate Robertson: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. John Gaub: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (5 strikes)
4. Ryan Rowland-Smith: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches (9 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Ryan Searle: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 28 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Searle inning was stopped with one out & bases-loaded after he reached max pre-planned pitch limit
6. Ramon Garcia: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 8 pitches (3 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
IOWA ERRORS: 2
1. LF Eduardo Gonzalez - E-7 (fielding error on single to LF allowed batter to advance an extra base)
2. P John Gaub - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed base-runner to advance to 2nd
IOWA BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Josh Vitters was thrown out 4-6 trying to take an extra base on a dropped pop fly in short CF
WEATHER: Sunny, cool, and VERY breezy, with temperatures in the 60’s
I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.
I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.
Cardinals, stop that. Right now.
In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.
vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.
while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.
Carl Jr.! Very nice!
Baez with another "WTF?" play trying a delayed steal with a runner on 3rd and one out.. Remarkable talent, needs to make better decisions.
m.montgomery up in the pen with a man on 2nd, 2 out, and rondon 20 pitches into the inning.
...and rondon ends it 22 pitches in with a popout to RF.
I gotta say with the crappy defense the Brewers have displayed outside of Fowler I'm pretty disappointed the offense hasn't shown more and Rizzo seems to be very swing happy lately. That said my god am I happy Madden has finally given Carl Edwards a chance after multiple times up with nothing. I don't think he could handle a starting role with his body frame but his stuff plays so well in a relief role and he seems to be able to handle high stress situations very well.
2nd at bat. Fowler is good for the Cubs run differential.
welcome back fowler.
More slow news...
Did Davey Martinez have to bring the shotgun?
glad to see almora going to AAA to get work.
.265/.291/.422 through 86PA...2hr, 7 doubles.
i don't expect too much of an improvement when he's taking over CF next year, but the team doesn't really need him right now as much as they need him to get regular work (imo).
CHITOWNMVP01: The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) has had one slot open since 7/6 (when RHRP Joel Peralta was Designated for Assignment).
The problem with the September roster is all of the pitching changes. They should find a way to limit pitchers to twelve except for extra inning games. More pinch hitters or pinch runners do little to slow the game down and are more fun than endless calls to the bullpen. I also think the fans get cheated when they use position players to pitch because employed a half dozen pitchers with righty-lefty switches. Having as few as four positions players on the bench to start a game also leads to some pretty ugly defensive substitutions.
CHITOWNMVP01: Joe Nathan's 30-day Article XIX-C minor league rehab assignment expires tomorrow, but he doesn't have to be reinstated from the 60-day DL tomorrow.
Also, I think 40 man roster should be full, not at 39, unless I counted wrong. I'm in a hurry to leave the house.