Angels Cruise Past Cubs at Fitch Park
Aided by 12 walks, a HBP, a balk, four wild pitches, two passed balls, and two errors, the Angels defeated the Cubs 8-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs managed only four hits, but one of them was a Dan Vogelbach solo home run that gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.
Cubs 2011 1st round draft pick Javier Baez broke a lengthy slump with a 9th inning ground single to left. Prior to the 9th inning hit, Baez had gone 0-20 with ten strikeouts since hitting for the cycle last week versus the Angels in Tempe.
Even with the recent batting skid, Baez is hitting 278/278/750 with three HR, three triples, two doubles, and 12 RBI in ten EXST games (36 PA). He also has no walks and 11 strikeouts (all swinging), two stolen bases (no CS), and he has committed six errors in the field (four throwing, two fielding).
While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, RHP Su-Min Jung and LHP Brian Smith squared-off in a two-inning "sim" game on Field #2, facing some of the Cub position players who were not in the lineup on Field #3. Both Jung and Smith have had control issues going back to Minor League Camp in March, and so they are being held out of EXST games until they show that they can throw strikes more consistently. (And the way Ryan Hartman and Alvido Jimenez threw the ball today, they might be joining Jung and Smith in the "sim" game plan very soon).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, 1B, 6-3, F-8)
2a. Pierre LePage, 2B-DH: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, K, SB)
2b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FINAL TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
3. Javier Baez, SS: 1-4 (K, K, 6-3, 1B)
4. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-4 (1-3, 6-3, K, 5-4-3 DP)
5. Dan Vogelbach, DH-1B: 1-2 (HR, K+PB, HBP, R, RBI)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-3 (E-6, K, 4-3)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (F-8, 1-3, K)
8a. Ryan Durrence, 1B: 0-1 (K)
8b. Trevor Gretzky, PH-DH: 0-1 (3-U, BB, R)
9. Gioskar Amaya, DH-2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, RBI)
10. Wilson Contreras, C-DH: 0-3 (F-8, K, 6-3)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Anthony Giansanti, DH-C: 0-2 (F-9, F-9)
1. Carlos Martinez: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 2 GIDP, 52 pitches (23 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3 WP, 35 pitches (15 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 37 pitches (19 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 32 pitches (17 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. C Wilson Contreras - E-2 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd base)
2. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and baserunner to score unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Contreras: 1-3 CS, 1 PO, 1 E (see above)
Anthony Giansanti: 2 PB
WEATHER: Overcast and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.