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
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.
video of Maddon.
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.
#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
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.
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.