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
~shrug~ he's CB Bucknor, he's usually awful.
But today he called 2 pitches balls that really looked like strikes, one looked particularly obvious. Even Arrieta jawed at him and that's rare for Arrieta. He also didn't bother to ask anyone or notice Molina clearly reaching his arm out to get hit intentionally.
Lastella not having much of one either (diving stop notwithstanding but should have been unnecessary if he made earlier play).
What's wrong with his strike zone? Just inconsistent?
CB Bucknor not having a good day....
Jesse Rogers [email protected] Yeah, there was plenty of chatter before the game about home plate ump today. Knew he would be a factor.
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.