Trey Doubles the Fun at HoHoKam Park
Trey Martin doubled twice, the second one a laser-shot off the RF fence that drove-in the go-ahead run and capped a four-run 7th, as the AZL Cubs rallied to edge the AZL Indians 6-5 in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
In addition to Martin's heroics, 1B Jacob Rogers (2012 40th round draft pick out of Mt Olive College) pulled two hard-hit ground RBI singles into the 3.5 hole, one in the 2nd and one in the 7th, to the aid the Cubs offense. (Rogers was 6th in NCAA Division II in HR in 2012).
And DH Dan Vogelbach belted his 4th double in three AZL games--a line shot down the RF line--and then came around to score the Cubs first run of the evening on Rogers' first RBI single.
Vogelbach's approach at the plate was way out of kilter at Extended Spring Training (189/306/379 in 111 PA) and he displayed a lot of visible frustration with how things were going (not to mention the ten errors at 1st base), but it looks like he's got the old Vogelbomb swing back now. Hopefully it's just matter of time before he starts depositing baseballs over the fence.
RHP David Cales (2011 shoulder surgery rehab) saw his first game action in over a year (not including a couple of Extended Spring Training "sim" games and an intrasquad game), and he did not look good. He allowed a run on two hits (a lead-off double and an RBI single) and two walks in just 2/3 of an inning (26 pitches), and he kept pinwheeling his arm like he couldn't get it loose. That's never a good sign for a guy coming back from a shoulder injury.
Another rehab hurler had a different problem, as veteran RHP Shane Lindsay (sent down from AAA Iowa to iron-out some "mechanical issues") continually fell behind in the count over the course of his 2.1 IP. The Australian fireballer did throw shutout ball (allowing a single and two walks) and got lots of swings & misses at his extreme heat, but he also needed 49 pitches (only 25 strikes) to get his seven outs. He threw seven consecutive balls when he entered the game with one out and a runner at 1st in the top of the 3rd, and then he threw seven consecutive balls again to open the 4th.
20-year old RHP Jin Young Kim threw two no-hit innings for the save, as the one-time Korean bonus baby ($850K signing bonus in 2010) is apparently being tracked into the closer role in Mesa. One unearned run did score off Kim, but that was thanks to a two-base error that put a Tribe runner on 2nd base with no outs in the top of the 9th (with the runner eventually scoring after a couple of 6-3 ground outs).
RHP Tony York (2012 NDFA - UCSD) made his pro debut tonight and threw a 1-2-3 12-pitch 6th. York was UCSD's closer in 2012, and indeed he does look like your typical RH college reliever (warms-up quickly, works fast, throws strikes).
RF Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) also made his pro debut in tonight's game, and went 1-4 with a double and a run scored. He has a nice line-drive stroke and sprays the ball all over the yard. He looks like he might be a decent hitter (although HR power is always preferred in a corner OF), and he displayed a plus-arm in RF.
Rademacher was recruited by perennial D-1 baseball powerhouse Cal State - Fullerton out of HS and spent his freshman year there, before transferring to Orange Coast CC. He was set to transfer to Oral Roberts University if he hadn't signed with Cubs.
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
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?
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.