Rock Shoulders the Load at Fitch Park
Rock Shoulders ripped a two-run double, walked twice, and scored a run, Trey Martin drilled a two-run single, and Danny Lockhart laced an RBI triple, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Micah Gibbs continued his rehab assignment, catching for the first seven innings and then switching to DH. He got six Plate Appearances today, and although he went hitless, he walked and scored three times. He also stole a base.
Gibbs is just 1-11 in his three EXST games, but with six walks and four runs scored, and only one strikeout (looking).
While the Cubs were playing the Diamondbacks on Field #3, Amaury Paulino, Justin Berg, David Henrie, and Ryan Rowland-Smith squared-off in a four-inning "sim" game on Field #2, facing EXST Cubs position players who weren't in the starting lineup on Field #3. Berg is rehabbing from September 2011 TJS, and Rowland-Smith was placed on the Iowa DL with a back strain about three weeks ago.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 2B Gioskar Amaya has been temporarily moved up to AAA Iowa to provide some bench depth while the I-Cubs are on their PCL “California Swing,” and as the world waits to find out what will happen with Blake DeWitt.
DeWitt was Designated for Assignment a week ago yesterday, and so the Cubs have until Wednesday 5/16 to either trade him, release him, or send him to the minors by outright or optional assignment. (NOTE: DeWitt can refuse an Outright Assignment and elect to be a FA immediately, but he can't refuse an Optional Assignmment).
The 19-year old Amaya was hitting 245/359/321 with two doubles and a triple, nine runs scored, three RBI, two stolen bases, and 10/13 BB/K in 19 EXST games (64 PA) prior to his promotion to Iowa. Although he played 2B-SS-3B his first two seasons in pro ball (2010-11) and at Minor League Camp this past March, he has settled-in at 2B and in the #2 spot in the batting order at EXST. Finally allowed to play just one position, he has begun to show some improvement defensively, and he has also shown a good eye and outstanding patience at the plate (he is tied with Anthony Giansanti for the team-lead in walks). Obviously the Cubs felt Amaya had the maturity to handle a promotion to AAA, albeit just for a couple or three days.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
X. Micah Gibbs, C-DH: 0-3 (BB, BB, K, 6-3 DP, BB, F-8, 3 R, SB)
NOTE: Gibbs batted six times - once in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (P-3, 3-1, K)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF-LF: 1-3 (1B, BB, F-9, E-5, 2 R)
3. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 2B, 4-3, BB, R, 2 RBI)
4. Ryan Durrence, DH #1: 1-4 (P-6, K, 1B, K, R)
5a. Trey Martin, CF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, F-9, 2 RBI)
5b. Justin Marra, PH: 0-1 (K)
6a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 1-3 (E-6, E-6, 3B, RBI)
6b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (1-3)
7. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-3 (6-4 FC, L-8, 3-U)
8. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-3 (F-8, F-7, P-4)
9. Garrett Schlecht, DH #2: 0-2 (6-3, F-8, BB)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-1 (P-3)
1. Starling Peralta: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 58 pitches (36 strikes), 3/5 GO/FO
2. Tayler Scott: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 1 PO, 24 pitches (20 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
Very nice. I saw him in Lansing in May. I'm still stunned that he hit a 400-foot foul ball onto Larch Street ... which is going the other way for a right-handed batter. It was perhaps the most amazing swing I've ever seen a minor league player take. I should also mention that it was about 40 degrees out at the time. Not that it's evidence of anything per se, but I feel his plate approach is way more advanced than Soler was at this stage in his development and that the comparisons aren't really fair to Jimenez. 50/50 chance I'll go to Midland tonight for the low-A debut of Oscar de la Cruz.
Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.
Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick
Meanwhile, out West:
SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.
Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.
The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).
A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was.
Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.
ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)
Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.
Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.
Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
Hope they can sustain it.
Don't sell yourself short, Judge.
I love this team.
Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.
Hey! I remember this team!
The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...
I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!
I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.
Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.
Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.
Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.
I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....