Cubs Play Long Ball with Themselves
Starlin Castro had three hits (two singles and a double) and scored three runs, and Jorge Soler, Nate Schierholtz, and Brian Bogusevic slugged solo home runs, as the White Squad defeated the Blue Squad 7-3 in a five-inning intrasquad game played this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Nick Struck got the start for the White Squad and had an easy eight-pitch 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning (P-5, 6-3, K-swinging), before his teammates plated three in the bottom of the 1st against Chris Rusin to take a 3-0 lead.
Starlin Castro roped a one-out double into the LF gap, and after Anthony Rizzo walked, Alfonso Soriano drove-in Castro with a single that bounced off Javier Baez’s glove and into CF. Dioner Navarro singled to load the bases, and then Ian Stewart smacked a two-out opposite-field line-drive two-run double into the left-center alley to score Rizzo and Soriano, before Navarro was thrown-out (by a mile) trying to score from 1st base to end the inning.
Jorge Soler put the Blue Squad on the board in the top of 2nd, drilling a one-out solo HR off Nick Struck on a 2-2 pitch, blasting the ball over the left-field fence and high onto the berm. Junior Lake ripped a two-out triple off the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”), but was left-stranded when Brett Jackson grounded out 4-3. (B. Jax did not show any positive effects from his new swing today, rolling-over and grounding out weakly to 2nd base twice).
Javier Baez made an outstanding diving catch to rob David DeJesus of a hit with one-out in the bottom of the second, turning it into an inning ending DP as Darwin Barney was doubled-off 1st base.
The White Squad tacked-on two more runs off Cory Wade in the bottom of the third, as Castro and Rizzo led-off the inning with singles, and Castro scored on a Soriano 6-4-3 DP. Nate Schierholtz then hammered a two-out moon-shot solo HR off the RF foul pole to give the Whites a 5-1 lead.
The Blue Squad scored single runs in the 4th & 5th, cutting the White lead to 5-3.
Welington Castillo roped a lead-off double down the LF line in the 4th off Rob Whitenack, and scored after Brad Nelson and Jorge Soler walked to load the bases (Whitenack lost the strike zone in his second inning of work) and Javier Baez grounded into an RBI 6-4 FC (outstanding play by Castro going into the hole, backhanding the ball, and then without missing a beat, throwing a strike to Darwin Barney to force Soler at 2nd base on a "bang-bang" play). Baez was then doubled-off 1st base to kill the rally as Starlin Castro caught a Junior Lake line drive and fired the ball to 1st.
Brian Bogusevic cracked a one-out solo HR over the fence in right-center off Rafael Dolis in the top of the 5th to complete the Blue scoring.
The White Squad scored their final two runs of the game off Trey McNutt in the bottom of the 5th. David DeJesus and Starlin Castro singled and Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases with no outs. DeJesus scored on a Soriano 6-3 RBI ground out (double-clutch by Baez or it would have been an easy 6-4-3 DP), and Castro scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly (diving catch by Jorge Soler in left).
Here is the unofficial box score from today‘s game:
BLUE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Luis Valbuena, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, F-7, F-7)
2. Dave Sappelt, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 6-3)
3. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
4. Brad Nelson, 1B: 0-1 (L-7, BB)
5. Jorge Soler, LF: 1-1 (HR, BB, R, RBI)
6. Javier Baez, SS: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC, RBI)
7. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-2 (3B, L-6 DP)
8. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
9. Brian Bogusevic, DH: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)
WHITE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. David DeJesus, CF: 1-3 (3-1, L-6 DP, 1B, R)
2. Starlin Castro, SS: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, 3 R)
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, R)
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 DP, 6-3, R, 2 RBI)
5. Nate Schierholtz, RF: 1-2 (P-6, HR, L-7 SF, R, 2 RBI)
6. Dioner Navarro, C: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 4-3)
7a. Ian Stewart, 3B: 1-1 (2B, 2 RBI)
7b. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Darwin Barney, 2B: 0-1 (E2-CI, K)
9. Scott Hairston, DH: 0-2 (K, P-5)
BLUE SQUAD PITCHERS
1. Chris Rusin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Cory Wade: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
WHITE SQUAD PITCHERS
1. Nick Struck: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Rob Whitenack: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 32 pitches (15 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 15 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
BLUE SQUAD ERRORS: (1)
Welington Castillo - E-2 - Catcher’s Interference (CI) allowed batter to reach base safely
WHITE SQUAD ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & cool with temperatures in the 50’s
best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...
also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.
Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.