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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  • Cards already whining

    Cardinals look a little road-weary on getaway day http://espn.go.com/blog/st-louis-cardinals//post/_...
     -via ESPN http://es.pn/app

  • dee gordon (MIA) suspended 80 days for PEDs. wow.

    "excessive testosterone and Clostebol"

    hell of a late-night news flash.

  • [Terrified emoji]

  • Seems like a bizarre pick -- they moved up 2 spots to pick up a guy who was not dominant in college. According to the talking heads, supposedly a great athlete (but an unpolished football player). So was Alonzo Spellman. And the guy who could jump out of a pool. Bears have missed the playoffs 5 straight years and 8 of the last 9. And they made Marc Trestman an NFL head coach. Maybe they can hire Theo in his free time. Sheesh.

  • And then the Bears pick an undersized linebacker with very few sacks in his college career and very little ability to shed blocks and the draft becomes less of a joy.

  • Watching the NFL Draft on ESPN with the mute on is one of the greatest joys in my small life. Being able to not hear Roger Goodell, Chris Berman, Jon Gruden, and Mel Kiper in quick order is just somehow immensely satisfying. I hope by the time the Bears pick they have Steven AAAAAAAAAAAAA Smith and Skip Bayless on so I can not hear them too.

  • even if the cubs lose feder, he's easily replaceable with a cash/low-end-ptbnl trade...plus, taylor davis is wasting time down in AA and he could pop up to AAA to back up w.conteras.

  • Tim Federowicz is out of minor league options, so Outright Assignment Waivers would be needed before he can be sent back to Iowa. He also has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, but he probably wouldn't elect to be a FA if outrighted unless the Cubs shit on him somehow while he's up with the big club (not likely). 

    But it is possible that another MLB club could claim Federowicz if the Cubs place him on waivers, which would leave Willson Contreras as pretty much the only other option if a catcher goes on the DL again later in the season. 

  • CRAIG: D. J. Wilson is hitting 083/115/167 in six Cactus League EXST games (26 PA), but his K-rate is only 11.5% and he has somehow managed to drive-in five runs along the way (he's tied for second on the team in RBI), so it's not like he's swinging & missing a lot. He does seem to be feeling for the ball a bit, however, which has resulted in too much weak contact and not enough line drives.  

  • Bryant sprained ankle MRI tomorrow

  • Cubs did a lot of that today: 2-for-17 with RISP.

    Man, what an ugly baseball game - Cubs receive 11 walks and Bryant reached twice by HBP, the Brewers pitchers threw almost 200 pitches (199 pitches...in 8 innings!), they even walked Baez (first one of the year), Cubs scored twice when Brewers botched routine DP balls, Cahill walks three guys with a 6-run lead, forcing Maddon to waste Strop, the weather sucked again, etc. Happy with the win, but that was really tough to watch.

  • "Some of the most racist things I've ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN," Schilling said Wednesday on "Breitbart News Patriot Forum." He was fired by ESPN last week.

    “In the end for me it felt like that rule applied to me and me alone because I was conservative … Bigots are calling me a bigot. A bigot is someone who refuses to accept a different opinion. I will accept anyone’s opinion.”

    ---

  • Rolled scoring on Rizzo double

  • Re ZOBRIST -

    Today's game is what I was referring to re Zobrist and RISP struggles. He did come through with his patented single to drive in a run - but also left the bases loaded, and two men on, no outs (called 3rd).

    So, I hope he can pick that part of his game up when they start playing the better teams...

  • Don't see anything on the replay showing where he rolled it and he played for 2 more innings after so at first glance it so doesn't seem major. Very cold today so any discomfort is probably amplified.

  • How bad was Bryant's ankle sprain?