Cubs Rally to Avoid Double-Dip Sweep at Fitch Park

Neftali Rosario had three hits including a solo home run and a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 7th, as one squad of Cubs and one squad of Diamondbacks played to a 3-3 tie on Field #2, and Wilson Contreras singled, doubled, and tripled, scored a run, and drove-in another, but the other squad of D’backs clubbed Frank del Valle for six runs on nine hits en route to a 6-4 victory on Field #3, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Both games were seven-inning affairs.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

FITCH PARK FIELD #2

CUBS SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, 6-3)
2. Carlos Penalver, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, 3-1, 6-3)
3a. Dan Vogelbach, 1B-DH: 0-2 (F-9, 4-3)
3b. Luis Acosta, PH: 0-1 (K)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (BB, K, 1-3)
5. Trevor Gretzky, DH-1B: 2-3 (6-4-3 DP, 1B, 2B, R)
6. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 0-3 (K+WP, 3-U, L-8, R)
7. Neftali Rosario, C: 3-3 (1B, HR, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
8. Jair Bogaerts, LF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, BB)
9. Garrett Schlecht, CF: 0-3 (K, K, 6-4-3 DP)
10. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (K, K)

CUBS SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. David Henrie: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 43 pitches (30 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO)
2. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 28 pitches (19 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 39 pitches (23 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

CUBS SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 3:
1. SS Danny Lockhart - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Carlos Penalver - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Danny Lockhart - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)

CUBS SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-1 CS

FITCH PARK FIELD #3

CUBS SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Gioskar Amaya, DH-2B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, K, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (F-8, K, K)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 0-3 (6-3, K, P-2)
4. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, K, K)
5. Xavier Batista, RF-DH: 2-3 (K, 2B, 2B)
6. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
7. Trey Martin, CF: 1-2 (HBP, 1B, K, 2 R)
8. Wilson Contreras, C: 3-3 (2B, 3B, 1B, R, RBI)
9. Kevin Encarnacion, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, P-4, SB)
10a. Pierre LePage, 2B: 0-0 (BB, R)
10b. Delbis Arcila, RF: 0-0 (BB)
11. Yaniel Cabezas, DH #3: 0-2 (3-1, 6-3 DP)

CUBS SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Rob Whitenack: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Frank del Valle: 3.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 1 PO, 74 pitches (46 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Del Valle’s final inning was stopped with one out when he reached his pre-planned max pitch limit
3. Rafael Diplan: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (14 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO

CUBS SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 2
1. P Rob Whitenack – E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)
2. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (overthrow at 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)

CUBS SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Contreras: 1-4 CS, 1 PB

CUBS SQUAD “B” OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Xavier Batista threw out baserunner 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on line-drive single to RF

ATTENDANCE: 10

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s

Comments

AzPhil

Hope you are enjoying the talent there now. Seeing what's there at the AA and A+ squads can be quite disappointing at times. If you have time ...

How did the catchers look behind the plate? IIRC, you seemed to be a bit disappointed with Rosario's defensive work in the fall (if my memory is failing, I apologize).

They seem to be moving Bogaerts around quite a bit. Thoughts on his ability at 3rd and corner OF?

Your thoughts on Gioskar Amaya's power potential? 2nd still sounds like his best spot, but I'm just curious about him at 3rd. After Vitters, 3rd base is a black hole until XST, and unless Candelario sticks, if they plan on keeping Baez at short for the near future, someone else will likely get reps there.

Thoughts on Carlos Martinez? I recall hearing a lot of gaudy things about his stuff, and he seems off the top, the most intriguing raw arm there (well, maybe Peralta or Arias, did Paulino ever show up, sorry been a bit busy so haven't followed your updates as frequently). (and one more if you get the chance ... for the life of me, I can't recall a dang thing about Rafael Diplan right now).

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 3:41pm — toonsterwu

AzPhil

Hope you are enjoying the talent there now. Seeing what's there at the AA and A+ squads can be quite disappointing at times. If you have time ...

How did the catchers look behind the plate? IIRC, you seemed to be a bit disappointed with Rosario's defensive work in the fall (if my memory is failing, I apologize).

They seem to be moving Bogaerts around quite a bit. Thoughts on his ability at 3rd and corner OF?

Your thoughts on Gioskar Amaya's power potential? 2nd still sounds like his best spot, but I'm just curious about him at 3rd. After Vitters, 3rd base is a black hole until XST, and unless Candelario sticks, if they plan on keeping Baez at short for the near future, someone else will likely get reps there.

Thoughts on Carlos Martinez? I recall hearing a lot of gaudy things about his stuff, and he seems off the top, the most intriguing raw arm there (well, maybe Peralta or Arias, did Paulino ever show up, sorry been a bit busy so haven't followed your updates as frequently). (and one more if you get the chance ... for the life of me, I can't recall a dang thing about Rafael Diplan right now).

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

TOONSTER: Neftali Rosario is a raw talent with HR power and a plus arm, but his receiving skills need work, although he has shown some improvement. He also strikes out a LOT. In a way he's a lot like Welington Castillo at a similar age.

Anthony Giansanti and Wilson Contreras are the two guys who were moved to catcher this year.

Giansanti has taken to the position change very well, showing a strong & accurate arm and some decent athlecticism behind the plate. He just needs reps, which is now a problem because he suffered a facial fracture the other day.

Contreras was a catcher in Venezuela when the Cubs signed him, but he was immediately moved to 3rd base. He struggled both offensively and defensively (big time) last year, and I can see why the Cubs decided to try him at catcher. (I guess it was either do that or release him). He actually has responded well to the move (he looks like he prefers catcher to 3B), and he has been hitting better this year since the move (still waiting to see some game HR power, though). But he is a below-average defensive catcher in all phases of the game. He will be an "offensive-first" catcher if he progresses through the system.

Yaniel Cabezas is a good receiver but has a somewhat below-average arm. He is a singles hitter with no HR power. He runs well for a catcher and he has a short stroke and is very good at handing the bat (including bunting), so he hit 2nd in the order quite a bit last year at EXST. He had an injury at Minor League Camp this year and was able to catch OK but not hit until just a few days ago.

Wilfredo Petit would appear to be the best all-around defensive catcher among the guys who were assigned to Boise/Mesa at end of Minor League Camp. Like Brian Inoa, Petit gave up switch-hitting this year (both Inoa and Petit now bat only LH), and he has looked better at the plate since making that change. However, Petit suffered a shoulder injury after making a throw in a game the other day. I don't know the severity of the injury.

Justin Marra suffered some kind of injury at Minor League Camp where he can catch but can't hit. (He is one of the bullpen catchers most days). Cabezas had a similar situation, but he did play in games (where he would play defense only but not hit), but Marra has not seen any EXST game action.

Alberto Mineo was at Minor League Camp for a while, but left to join Team Italy at the MLB Academies Tournament in Germany last month. As far as I know he hasn't returned to Arizona, but the Cubs are running out of healthy catchers, so I suppose he would get some PT in games once he does get back here.

Antonio Valerio was another catcher who was brought up to Minor League Camp from the Cubs Dominican Academy, but he got hurt early on.

Jair Bogaerts bears a physical resemblance to Rock Shoulders. Both are big guys and slow runners with HR power, except Shoulders is a switch-hitter and Bogaerts bats RH. Bogaerts (like Shoulders) looks like a typical 1st baseman, but he has a strong arm and has played mostly 3B so far since arriving at Fitch Park. He was out in LF today (first time I've seen him there), probably so Mark Malave could get the start at 3B. (BTW, Malave has played ONLY 3B so far... looks like that's going to be his primary position, and Luis Acosta has apparently been moved to 2B).

Gioskar Amaya is a hitter in search of a position. He probably looks best at 3rd base mainly because he can't screw-up the DP turn there, but he's not a good 3B either. I think he will play mostly 2B for the immediate future with the hope that he can at least improve enough to become passably-mediocre. He's a gap hitter (and a good one, too), but he hasn't developed any HR power. There is nothing to suggest he will, but I guess it's possible. He runs well and is a savvy baserunner, although he is not a speedster.

When watching pitchers warm-up from a distance I have mistaken Carlos Martinez for Charles Thomas (and vice-versa) more than once. Both are Lee Smith clones. But while Thomas throws 96-98 and struggles to command his secondary stuff, Martinez is more of a finesse pitcher. He throws a low-90's sinker and he pounds the lower part of the strike zone with it and moves the ball in & out. He probably nibbles too much. His curve has been very good so far and when he gets a strikeout it's usually with the curve. Martinez has not been stretched-out to start, and he looks like he would probably be a RH middle reliever at the higher levels.

Rafael Diplan is a RH reliever who throws a mid-90's fastball, but he needs to develop at least one reliable second pitch because hitters sit on his fastball.

Any word on Junior Lake or Micah Gibbs????

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 3:37pm — skokiejoe

Any word on Junior Lake or Micah Gibbs????

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

SKOKIE JOE: Nothing new on either.

Z pitches well tonight after Volstad implodes today

1 ER in 7 IP, a solo shot to Ankiel, 6 K, 0 BB, 2 H

is losing 1-0 though headed to the 8th.

He might blow Volstad out of the water, but I must admit I'm relieved to not be watching Z. My eyes are just tired of his hulking torso and face. Nothing personal, Z!

It was very strange to see him high-five Hanley after a homerun in Miami. It was like he'd gotten confused and wandered into the wrong dugout and didn't realize it.

Hello Phil,

Just wanted to hear your thoughts over south african tayler scott? Velocity, feel for pitching, boise/peoria this year etc etc...? Thanks.

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 9:30pm — brentcarmona

Hello Phil,

Just wanted to hear your thoughts over south african tayler scott? Velocity, feel for pitching, boise/peoria this year etc etc...? Thanks.

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

BRENT: Tayler Scott throws a 91 MPH four-seamer and a mid-80's two-seamer. A scout (from another organization) I talked to last year said that the 5-6 MPH velocity disparity betwen Scott's four-seamer and two-seamer is unusual, so that the two-seamer almost functions like a change-up, though it's not.

He also has an OK curve ball (needs work). I don't know if he is trying to throw a straight-change.

He projects as a starting pitcher, although he is on a slower track than some of the other 2011 draft picks.

Team Leaders
Wins
1. Samardzija 2
2. Garza 1
3. 11 players tied 0

wwoo hoo I have samardzija in wins pool

/its the little things

@JimDayTV: #Cubs lineup
DeJesus 9
Barney 4
Castro 6
LaHair 3
Stewart 5
Clevenger 2
DeWitt 7
Mather 8
Maholm 1

@sahadevsharma: Dempster to DL retroactive to April 18th w/ a right quad strain, Campana recalled. Wells starts tomorrow, corresponding move to come. #Cubs

Bye bye Byrdie?

Gotta be either Byrd or Johnson. You're probably right about Byrd.

Byrd to Red Sox in the works according to Cafardo.

Levine confirming.

2 players coming back. LH reliever and a minor leaguer.

Recent comments

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  • That's a hell of a first impression by Montgomery. Brian Cashman having a good laugh on that debut.

    Eric S 10 hours 50 min ago view
  • ...and it's a 3 run homer.

    hey, vogelbomb had a HR on his 1st game with SEA AAA, too!

    crunch 11 hours 10 min ago view
  • montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, in the 8th.

    crunch 11 hours 12 min ago view
  • from rotoworld...

    "Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.

    crunch 11 hours 19 min ago view
  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 13 hours 2 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?

    :(

    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 13 hours 36 min ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 14 hours 11 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 14 hours 15 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 14 hours 20 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 14 hours 25 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 15 hours 28 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 17 hours 23 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 17 hours 36 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 18 hours 7 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 18 hours 23 min ago view
  • 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.

    Charlie 22 hours 17 min ago view