Villanueva & Sappelt Go Deep at HoHoKam

Christian Villanueva and Dave Sappelt drilled solo home runs to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies this afternoon in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.



box score


Jhoulys Chacin and Edwin Jackson were the starting pitchers, and both threw two innings of shutout ball. Chacin retired all six men he faced, while Jackson (making his Cub debut) allowed back-to-back two-out singles in the top of the 1st inning. Jackson really had his sinker working today (5/1 GO/FO), and after struggling a bit with his control in the 1st (although he did not issue any walks), he got into a groove and fired 12 out of 14 pitches for strikes in the 2nd (30 total pitches over the two innings - 21 strikes).


After the first eight Cubs hitters were retired, Christian Villanueva took Jorge de la Rosa deep with a towering home run over the LF fence and onto to the berm just to the right of the scoreboard. The Cubs added another run off de la Rosa in the 4th as Starlin Castro ripped a lead-off double into the left-center alley, advanced to 3rd on an Anthony Rizzo 4-3 GO, before scoring on a Brett Jackson sacrifice fly (on a two strike pitch against a LHP). Including an intrasquad game last week, B-Jax has struck out only once in four games (8 PA).  


The Rockies plated a run off Drew Carpenter in the 4th (Carlos Gonzalez singled, stole 2nd, and scored on a Ben Paulsen RBI single), but the Cubs responded in the 6th when Dave Sappelt slugged a HR over the fence and to the base of the scoreboard in left off Edgmer Escalona to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead. 


Chris Rusin followed Carpenter and threw two impressive & efficient shutout innings (30 pitches - 22 strikes), allowing a single in one inning and a double in the other, while inducing five ground outs. Rusin recorded another out when he showed a nifty pick-off move and caught Tyler Colvin leaning the wrong way off 1st base.   


Ex-Rockie Zach Putnam threw a 1-2-3 7th (P-4, 1-3, F-9) at his former teammates, but Nick Struck gave up a lead-off triple to ex-Cub D. J. LeMahieu in the 8th, and LeMahieu scored on a sacrifice fly as the Rockies closed to the score to 3-2.


The Cubs added an insurance run in the 8th, as Brad Nelson, Welington Castillo, and Matt Szczur drew consecutive two-out walks off Adam Ottovino following a Dave Sappelt one-out single. Struck then recovered to throw a rocking-chair 1-2-3 9th (P-4, F-9, K-looking) to record the save.


Another sparse crowd at HoHoKam today (just over 4,000). The ticket scalpers working Center Street are on suicide watch. 


 

Comments

Very encouraged by BJax and now EJax too. Thanks for the great coverage APhil!

AZ Phil: I haven't heard much about Johermyn Chavez but he seems to be getting some playing time this early spring. All I recall is he was a throw in in the Brandon League for Brandon Morrow trade in 2009. Can you give us some insight as to where he fits in the organizational scheme? Is he still somewhat of a prospect or just filler (which is what it seems)?

CUBSTER: I have mentioned Johermyn Chavez a couple of times so far, mostly negative.


He was the last player to report to camp, he made two errors on one play (one fielding & one throwing) in one of the intrasquad games. and he struck out (looking) after swinging at what should have been "ball four" in the dirt (it ended up being a wild pitch) with no outs and the potential wnning run at 3rd in the last inning of the second intrasquad game. One the positive side, he absolutely crushed a line-drive double to the LF fence on Sunday that almost took Cole Gillespie's face off. 


Chavez reminds me a lot of Nelson Perez, sort of the proverbial Bull in a China Shop. He has plus-power, an above average arm, he takes a lot of walks, and he has the physique of a body-builder, He also is a lousy hitter (discounting the power) and streuggles to recognize and hit breaking balls, he's a lumbering & erratic baserunner, and he's a below-average fielder who has difficulty tracking fly balls. 


If I didn't know better i would say he has never played baseball before, but he was actually rated one of the Seattle Mariners Top 10 Prospects (#7) by Baseball America post-2010. 


It's unusual to find a Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (a guy who has spent the previous seven seasons playing in the minor leagues--including the last two seasons drowning in AA) who is this raw.  


Unlike guys like Brad Nelson, Brian Bogusevic, Alberto Gonzalez, et al, I wouldn't describe Chavez as "filler." He's more of a prospect than he is 4-A, but he is also probably down to his last chance this season, and I'm not so sure he realizes that. Spending a third season in AA wouldn't be a good thing for his career. He needs to play well in Spring Traning (or at least at Minor League Camp after he gets cut) and make the Iowa roster.  

"Injured pitcher Matt Garza is scheduled to begin throwing again on Thursday but must first be cleared by the Chicago Cubs medical staff before he can get back to work."

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/151...

re: Garza...

"He has gone through all the lower body (tests) and that went really well," Sveum said. "Today it will be more upper body (tests) and we will see how he responds to that. He is getting really close."

Sounds like they will use a doctor fluent in Hockey/NHL speak to clear him.

aaron harang fail...cubs taking an early 1st inning lead, 4-1.

through the lineup 1-9 in the 1st to get 3 outs.

b.raley + t.mcnutt combining for a top 2nd mess...dodgers lead 5-4.

...add j.chapman to the "today's suck" list...dodgers lead 8-4, top 3.

8-7 after 4...shaping up to be a long game.

Theo admits Colvin trade was a mistake

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-26/spor...

Apparently trading for Rizzo, a former Red Sox draft pick, represented one of two things every new executive does after taking over a team.

"Typically, they make a pretty good trade with a player they're familiar with (Rizzo) and, two, they'll screw up a trade because they won't have the first-hand knowledge you need with some players in their own organization,'' Epstein said. "We definitely did that.''

The rare mistake Epstein admitted came in December 2011 when the Cubs traded outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu to the Rockies. Another happened when the Cubs left Ryan Flaherty unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and the Orioles signed the second baseman, who started in the playoffs.

and a handful on the Internet feel validated....nice bone for Theo to throw them.

t.wood/sappelt/torreyes have a bit to prove, themselves. torreyes is still years away from even being able to make a judgement call, though.

CIN looks to have quite a deal on marshall's quality returned for 4/$19.6m

That's not entirely fair, because they paid fair market value, even if they did have the exclusive negotiating window.

if that's fair market value then they should have kept marshall, imo.

it's not like he's old or only effective vs lefties or something.

cubs just gave k.fujikawa 2/$9.5m (possible 3/$15m if option vests) and he's never thrown a pitch vs MLB batters.

i don't hate the k.fuji signing...but if the target is high end relievers who can throw to R+L on the cheap, marshall fit the bill.

Present value v Future value was the name of the trade. It was probably a very fair trade between a rebuild team and a win-now team.

As for the extension, if Marshall remains as effective for the next 3 years as he had been for the last 3, then it's a steal. If he exhibits some decline at the end or misses a year due to injury, then it's fair value. That's the result of the negotiating window they bought.

The extension was actually $5.5M a year for 3 years beginning in 2013. Ages 30-32. So yes, I think that's actually just about right. It's hard to imagine him crushing that number on the free market this last winter.

given what wood/sapplett were going into the trade they must think a lot of torreyes, then.

torr is still way too young to know what he's capable of...hope he becomes something.

I would prefer cash.

Great comeback! Too bad you have to scroll way up to see the comments it responds to. AZ Phil was on top of this issue from the beginning.

Castro leaves game, after pulling up lame on ground out

"left hamstring tightness"

taka gives up the 1st cubs pitcher HR of the spring...last team left without a pitcher giving up a HR this spring.

top 7, 11-7 lad/chc

The Matheny article quotes the STL manager saying, "it's a tag play. Nobody would run over the third baseman. Why is it different?"
Because you don't score at third base, dipshit

Because you don't score at third base, dipshit

you and your details...

What about breaking up double plays?

"Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday that Luis Valbuena is a candidate to hit leadoff some against left-handed pitching."

okay, then.

"[He's a possibility] because he gives you great at-bats, he sees a lot of pitches, he can score first with a home run once in a while, he drives the ball," Sveum said. "He's got all the things you want in a leadoff hitter."

.196/.303/.321 vs lefties last year in case anyone's wondering...though, career he's .247/.326/.399

Jeebus...is Sveum going to pull off his mask...and it's really Dusty Baker? Valbuena hitting lead off...awesome.

if it was really dusty this comment/quote would have pushed this thread to 100 replies by now.

it's an odd one to me...performance issues + giving the leadoff slot to a lefty vs lefties...kinda odd. the only part that makes total sense is keeping dejesus away from lefties as much as possible. you'd think that s.harriston's name would be thrown around for the leadoff slot vs lefties, but it seems like quade's not ready to commit to him as a starter vs lefties.

it's a shame d.barney is such a see-ball-swing hacker that he doesn't even get a substantial R/L split.

overall, it's just talk for now...but this could cost the cubs a shot at the post-season. hahahahaha...sigh...sigh...

"quade's not ready to commit to him as a starter vs lefties."

Careful, you seem to be having an acid flashback there.

lulz...quade, sveum, dusty, charlie grimm, cap anson...same thing...or not...mostly or not.

Recent comments

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  • good...he's been stinking up the durham bulls for a couple years now.

  • Rays DFA Hak-Ju Lee.

    Olt for Lee and the circle of life is complete

  • obviously....

    dusty would have to start baez because both lastella + castro would be pitching because all the other pitcher's arms would have fallen off months ago. it would piss dusty off because baez is a rookie and theo couldn't go out and get him a 39 year old DH to play 2nd. i imagine it would be a 2-box-of-toothpicks night.

    lou would have quit his job already, so that's irrelevant and a trick question.

  • just a theoretical thought...if Dusty was manager (WWDD) or if Lou (WWLD) was manager...

    would Javy Baez be in tonight's lineup?

    my thought is:

    Dusty... Bonifacio would have been brought up and started at 2B
    Lou..."I like playing the kids, really I do, but but but Jonathan Herrera really needs to play to stay sharp."

  • He was replying to tweet who said error should have been hit

  • Added a 'recent comments' block to the bottom of every 'story' page. Thought it might be helpful. Comments welcome

  • Jeff Russell and Rafael Soriano DFA's to make room for the callups (Berry and Cahill)

  • The next 4 weeks should answer this for us. If Castro starts hitting again and neither Baez or La Stella perform, he'd be on a playoff roster. If not, and one of those other two guys does well, I wouldn't be surprised if he was left off. A key error or mental lapse in a one game playoff would be killer and he is too prone to them.

  • To put a finer point on it, Baez playing second and hitting 7th tonight.

  • "This is the show. We have certain expectations here. That's why you don't play." from a Tweet from Arrieta. I who do you think he is talking about.

  • "This is the show. We have certain expectations here. That's why you don't play." --Jake Arrieta on Twitter.

    Whoa!

  • I'll check back in on a day that Starlin doesn't make three errors. But for now I would say him not making the playoff roster is a stretch. Who do you trust more than Starlin to be a RH backup middle infielder? Herrera has no bat at all, and Baez has been in AAA all season and may be as error prone as Castro and may strike out a giant proportion of the time he's at the plate. I'm also less than convinced that La Stella will step in and be a significant contributor. Starlin is at least a big part of the 2B picture for the remainder of the year.

  • Sadly, nothing is sticking to the wall. The only thing still lingering is the smell from their pitching outings.

  • i think they were just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.

    they wanted to push for the post-season without giving up anything. thank gawd for the cubs winning tear and SF's failure tear...hopefully that holds up until the season ends.

    once we're into the post-season (if that happens) then it doesn't matter about the 4-5 slot pitchers. arguably, the pen is much more important at that point when it comes to anyone but the top-3 starters.

  • Signing Haren was very curious, at best. An over-the-hill fly ball pitcher can survive at Wrigley in April, May & June, when it's cold and the wind tends to blow in (i.e. the ballpark plays "big"). But, signing him to pitch at Wrigley in July, August & Sept., when it's warm and the wind tends to blow out...well, Theo, what did you expect? Gotta believe the Reds will be running up to the plate to get their swings against Haren tonight.

    Come on, offense -- we're gonna need another 6-7 runs tonight!

  • ...or they could wait until tomorrow and haren can be DFA'd...maybe...probably not...sigh.

    gotta imagine j.russell is on his way out at the very least.