Diamondbacks Take Advantage of Cub Miscues at Talking Stick
Taking advantage of four errors to score four unearned runs, the Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 8-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
21-year old 6’5 RHP Jose Arias got the start for the Cubs and worked three innings, and although he did allow two runs on four hits and a walk, he also struck out seven. Arias was considered the Cubs #1 pitching prospect in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) last season, and will likely be a rotation starter at AZL Cubs this year. He was throwing gas today.
In EXST Cubs roster news, Cuban LHP Gerardo Concepcion and fellow Cuban catcher Yaniel Cabezas have been moved-up to Peoria.
The 20-year old Concepcion was signed by the Cubs last month, receiving a five-year $6M major league contract. In three EXST games prior to getting promoted, Concepcion threw 11.1 IP, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits and four walks, while striking out 11. He also threw three wild pitches and committed a balk.
In his last outing last Thursday at Indian School Park in Scottsdale versus the Giants, Concepcion threw five innings (88 pitches), allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. So he is stretched-out and ready to be a starting pitcher for the Chiefs.
Concepcion signed with the Cubs after defecting last year at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands while a member of Team Cuba. Prior to defecting he pitched for Industriales in Serie Nacional (the Cuban major league), and was named the league’s Rookie of Year for the 2010-11 season.
Cabezas signed with the Cubs in December 2010 for a reported $500K bonus. He played for Los Vaqueros de la Habana in Serie Nacional prior to defecting, and split the 2011 season between AZL Cubs (Mesa) and Boise, hitting a combined 202/284/260 between the two stops. Cabezas turned 23 last Thursday
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (2B, F-7, L-4, 1B)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-DH: 0-4 (K, F-8, F-9, K)
3. Anthony Giansanti, DH-C: 0-3 (4-3, K, BB, L-7, R)
4. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, BB, K, R)
5. Neftali Rosario, C-DH: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, F-8, R, 2 RBI)
6. Brian Inoa, DH-2B: 0-4 (F-8, K, E-6, 4-3, R)
7. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, BB, F-7)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (5-3, BB, 1B, 6-3, RBI, SB)
9. Garrett Schlecht, LF-DH: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
10. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Jair Bogaerts, LF: 0-1 (E-5)
1. Jose Arias: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 61 pitches (44 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 40 pitches (24 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 34 pitches (22 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Rafael Diplan: 1.0 IP, 1 H 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 16 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 4
1. P Ethan Elias - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
2. C Neftali Rasario - E-2 (overthrow on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
3. C Anthony Giansanti - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score unearned run)
4. 2B Brian Inoa - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
Anthony Giansanti: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
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?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
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.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible