Bogaerts Knows How to Whistle, Blows Out Three-Run Blast at Fitch Park
Jair Bogaerts crushed a 420-ft HR over the CF fence to cap a four-run 5th inning and James Pugliese (four innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts) and three relievers combined to throw a three-hit shutout, as one squad of Cubs blanked one squad of Giants 4-0 on Field #2, and Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario each doubled and drove-in two runs, Dong-Yub Kim doubled and tripled and scored two runs, Brian Inoa doubled and tripled and knocked-in two runs, and Wilson Contreras belted a solo HR, but Stephen Yarrow blasted a solo home run and Hector Mercedes hammered a three-run shot to propel the other squad of Giants to victory over the other squad of Cubs by a score of 11-9 on Field #3, in a Memorial Day Weekend Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader extravaganza played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Both games were seven-inning affairs.
Jair Bogaerts was the PTBNL in (what turned-out to be) the rather convoluted Theo Epstein compensation trade that saw the Cubs send RHRPs Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz to the BoSox, and is the brother of Boston's #2 rated prospect, SS Xander Bogaerts. But unlike his brother, Jair is a big dude (6'2 240+) who could be Rock Shoulders' twin brother, a lumbering corner INF who has played mostly 3B (and none too well, either) since joining the Cubs, while hitting 189/302/243 with only two XBH (both doubles) and just one RBI through 17 EXST games (43 PA) coming into today's action.
Meanwhile over on Fitch Park Field #1, five Cub pitchers (Bryce Shafer, Amaury Paulino, Roderik Pichardo, Loiger Padron, and Ramon Garcia) threw an early-morning four-inning “sim” game prior to the EXST twin-bill.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Felix Pena and OF Yasiel Balaguert have been promoted to Peoria, and RHP Rob Whitenack (June 2011 TJS rehab) has been moved-up to Daytona.
Cubs VP of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita has been at Fitch Park all week, getting a first-hand look at the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad, so it probably didn’t hurt Balaguert’s cause that he went 5-7 with a HR and five RBI in EXST games this past Monday and Wednesday. He was hitting 338/384/492 in 23 EXST games (73 PA). Some of you may remember that the 19-year old Balaguert as one of two Cuban defectors signed by the Cubs last December 7th (RHP Carlos Martinez was the other one).
The solidly-built Balaguert has played mostly RF and LF at EXST (he has a decent arm but doesnt have the range to play CF), and shows occasional power but with a body & a swing that should produce home runs at a more substantial rate as he matures. He was a teammate of highly-regarded Cuban OF prospect Jorge Soler on the Cuban Junior National Team.
RHP Felix Pena put up a 5.68 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 6/11 BB/K in 19.0 IP (10 games) at Extended Spring Training prior to getting the call-up to Peoria.
Fleita also had a chance to watch Rob Whitenack throw “lights out” at Maryvale on Tuesday, when the right-hander tossed six innings of three hit ball at the Brewers, throwing 56 pitches (45 for strikes)
Here are the abridged box scores from the two EXST games played at Fitch Park today (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1. Trey Martin, CF: 0-3 (5-3, F-8, K)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (L-6, F-8, K)
3. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-3 (K, E-6, F-9, SB)
4. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-2 (1B, K, BB)
5. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (BB, L-7, F-7)
6. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, R)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-3 (P-6, 1-3, 6-3)
8. Wilfredo Petit, C-DH: 1-3 (4-3, 2B, K, R, RBI).
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Justin Marra, C: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
10. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, HR, F-9, R, 3 RBI)
11. Trevor Gretzky, DH #3: 1-1 (BB, 1B, SB, CS)
CUBS SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. James Pugliese: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 GIDP, 54 pitches (34 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO
2. Brian Smith: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 13 pitches (7 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches (6 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
4. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 20 pitches (15 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 1:
1B Rock Shoulders - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS
CUBS SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (3B, 1B, P-4, 4-3, 2 R, RBI)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-3 (6-3, BB, K+WP, 1B, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 1-4 (5-3, F-9, 5-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, 2B, BB, K, 2 RBI)
5. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-4 (5-3, 5-3, 1B, P-6)
6. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, 4-3, CS)
7. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-3 (F-7, HR, K, R, RBI)
8. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-3 (2B, K, F-7, R)
9a. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-0 (HBP)
9b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH-DH: 2-2 (2B, 3B, 2 R)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 2-2 (3B, 2B, 2 RBI)
CUBS SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Jose Arias: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 63 pitches (43 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 25 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Ryan Hartman: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 7 pitches (5 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 23 pitches (14 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 2
1. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. P David Henrie - E-1 (errant throw on what should have a 1-6 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS SQUAD “B” OUTFIELD DEFENSE:
CF Shawon Dunston Jr - runner thrown out 8-4-2 trying to score from 1st base on a double
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 70’s
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.