Cubs Rally to Edge A's at Fitch Park
Javier Baez slugged a solo home run, singled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jeimer Candelario ripped a pair of RBI doubles, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, Eduardo Gonzalez singled and tripled, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Garrett Schlecht reached base four times on three walks and an RBI single, as the Cubs rallied for a run in the 8th and one in the 9th to edge the Athletics 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra half-inning so that Pete Levitt could throw a second inning.
Manny Ramirez was the DH for the A’s, and made four Plate Appearances (batting once in each of the first four innings).
Facing Tayler Scott, ManRam grounded out in the top of the 1st, popped out to 1st baseman Trevor Gretzky in the 2nd, and walked on a 3-2 pitch in the top of the 3rd, and then he grounded out 4-3 versus James Pugliese in the top of the 4th.
Scott started the game for the Cubs and did not have a good outing, allowing three runs on two hits (an RBI double and an RBI triple) and two walks in three innings of work.
Pugliese followed Scott to the mound and he was “lights-out,” tossing three no-hit shutout innings with five strikeouts. He also picked a runner off 1st base.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 2B Pierre LePage has been given his unconditional release. The 23-year old LePage was the Cubs 13th round draft pick out of the University of Connecticut in 2010, and he hit a combined 303/350/414 with 37 doubles and 19 SB in 134 minor league games (combined) at AZL Cubs, Boise, and Peoria 2010-11.
Despite hitting 375/527/562 in seven EXST games (21 PA) while rehabbing from a hamstring injury suffered at Minor League Camp in March, LePage really doesn’t have the versatility to play multiple positions, and with Logan Watkins the second-baseman at Tennessee, Ronald Torreyes and Rubi Silva sharing 2B duties at Daytona, and Zeke DeVoss firmly ensconsed at 2B in Peoria, there was just no place in the Cubs organization for LePage to go where he could get playing time.
But LePage should have no trouble scoring a starting 2B job in Independent baseball, perhaps with Bridgeport in the Atlantic League or Worcester in the Can Am League, both located in close proximity to LePage’s home in Connecticut. Players can make as much or sometimes more money playing independent ball than they can playing “A” ball for an MLB organization, but the bad part about Indy ball is that it doesn’t provide much opportunity for advancement.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Trey Martin, CF: 0-4 (K, K, F-9, P-2, BB)
2. Carlos Penalver, DH #1: 0-4 (P-5, L-8, K, 6-3, BB)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 2-5 (K, E-6, 1B, HR, L-1 DP, 3 R, RBI, SB)
4. Wilson Contreras, DH-C: 0-4 (K, P-3, 1-3, BB, 6-3)
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-3 (K, 2B, 2B, HBP, R, 2 RBI, SB)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 2-4 (K, 3B, 1B, K, R, RBI)
7a. Neftali Rosario, C-DH: 0-2 (K, E-5, RBI)
7b. Ryan Durrence, PH-DH: 0-1 (K, HBP)
8. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-4 (P-6, 1B, F-7, K)
9a. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-2 (K, K)
9b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, 2 R, SB)
10. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-1 (BB, BB, 1B, BB, RBI, CS)
1. Tayler Scott: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 41 pitches (24 strikes), 5/3 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 PO, 36 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Loiger Padron: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Sheldon McDonald: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (11 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 21 pitches (13 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. P Loiger Padron - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd base and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 1-1 CS
CF Trey Martin - batter thrown out 8-6-5 trying to stretch a double into a triple
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Over/under on HBP tonight?
Yes, I know KB played LF and Szczur played RF last night, but there's a legit case that RF is the easier draw at PNC.
Seems an odd lineup -- Soler in LF and Bryant in RF? Two guys out of position? I guess Fed has to catch tonight so All Star Gramps can catch Lester tomorrow. Or maybe Joe just wants somebody else to catch a no-hitter. Would love to see KB get the power turned on. C'mon Jorge -- channel your playoff self!
All it took was Schwarber, Heyward, and Szczur getting hurt for him to get to play again. Let's go ahead and call this little stretch your last real chance to prove you belong on this team, Jorge.
soler hitting 2nd...didn't expect that one.
tonight: Fowler, Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrisjt, Baez, Russell, Federowicz, Arrieta
roster shuffle official per Sun Times, Gordon Wittenmeyer on twitter...Szczur to DL with minor hamstring strain, Chris Villanueva to 60 day DL, Ryan Kalish to 40 man roster and gets the call-up.
There's an interview with Heyward up on ESPN where he says the wrist thing has been lingering and he just brought it up with the team as it didn't go away. So that could very well explain why he hasn't had the same hard contact recently.
Ryan Kalish writeup (by Peter Gammons last November):
Villanueva goes to the 60 day DL.
Peter Gammons just tweeted that teammates are tweeting Kalish is getting recalled. Not sure which ones and what they'll do with the 40 man but there we go.
Jesee Rogers just said he thought Ryan Kalish would be the call up.
Ryan Kalish is not on the 40-man either.
Schwarber hurt, Heyward hurt, Szczur hurt. Let's see how many guys have to go down before Soler gets his job back.
RHP Jake Arrieta (5-0, 1.00)
Neat. This ought to be a good game.
Unless somebody goes on the 60-DL or ouright them they can't call up Shane he's not on the 40 man roster, he still on a minor league contract