Brewers Edge Cubs Split Squad in Mesa

Taylor Green singled, doubled, drove-in a run, and scored another, Carlos Gomez crushed a tape-measure home run, and Marco Estrada tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball and combined with five relievers to throw a two-hitter, as the Milwaukee Brewers edged a Cubs split squad 4-3 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ 


Javier Baez drove-in all three Cubs runs with a two-run HR and a bases-loaded walk.



box score


Edwin Jackson got the start for the Cubs and labored through two innings of work (50 pitches - 27 strikes), allowing two runs on two hits (both singles), two walks, and a HBP, in a 38-pitch 1st inning. E-Jax walked another batter and threw a potential DP ball into CF for an E-1 in a 12-pitch 2nd, but was able to retire the side without any further damage.  


NRI RHP Drew Carpenter entered the game an inning earlier than expected and threw three innings in relief (42 pitches - 27 strikes), allowing two runs on the Gomez HR and two doubles in the 3rd inning (his first inning of work) before settling down and retiring the last seven men he faced in a row (with four strikeouts). Carpenter is an extreme long-shot to make the Cubs MLB bullpen and it would be an even longer shot for him to make the Cubs MLB starting rotation, but he is in contention for a starting rotation slot or relief job at AAA Iowa.


Japanese imports LHP Hisanori Takahashi (battling for a bullpen job) and RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (who will likely be the Cubs primary 8th inning set-up man) each worked an easy 1-2-3 inning in relief.


The Cubs did virtually nothing against Brew Crew SP Marco Estrada.


Luis Valbuena walked to lead-off the bottom of the 1st and stole second before eventually being left-stranded at 3rd, and Nate Schierholtz doubled leading off the 2nd but was immediately picked-off by Estrada, who then retired eight of the last ten men he faced.


The Cubs broke through in the bottom of the 5th against Milwaukee RHRP Brandon Kintzler when Brett Jackson drew his second walk of the day and then scored on a Javier Baez two-run HR over the LF fence.


The Cubs scored another run in the bottom of the 6th when Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston walked and Brett Jackson was hit by a pitch, and Javier Baez drew a two-out walk on a 3-2 pitch to force-in the run. But Dan Vogelbach (up from Minor League Camp) struck out swinging to leave three runners stranded. 


While the Brewers were defeating the Cubs in Mesa, the other squad of Cubs was playing the Angels in Tempe. 


I wasn't at that game, but Brian Bogusevic singled, doubled, and homered, Brad Nelson singled and homered, and SP Nick Struck threw three innings of shutout ball to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory. 


Barring an injury or a trade, there doesn't appear to be room for Bogusevic on the Cubs 2013 Opening Day 25-man roster, but he's had a great start anyway (615/688/1231). It doesn't happen very often, but every now & then you will see an NRI player (a veteran signed to a minor league contract) get traded before Opening Day, and if Bogusevic keeps hitting, he might be one of them. He could be a nice LH PH and/or platoon corner OF for a team in need of such an animal.


box score


Rule 5 Draft pick (and one-time Indians Top 10 Prospect) Hector Rondon threw another 1-2-3 inning, as he tries to cement a spot in the Cubs bullpen.


As I've mentioned here before, Rondon is not your typical Rule 5 Draft pick. He has been outrighted previously in his career so he can elect to be a free-agent if he is outrighted, and he is out of minor league options, so even if waivers are secured and Cleveland declines to re-claim him, the Cubs cannot option him to the minors, and if they outright him, he can be a free-agent. But for that same reason, the Indians are unlikely to re-claim him if given the chance because they probably wouldn't want to spend $25,000 (half the Rule 5 Draft price) to reacquire Rondon if he can elect free-agency (a Rule 5 pick who is re-claimed by the organization from which he was drafted MUST be outrighted to the minor league affiliate from which he was drafted).


 

Comments

Thanks for the report, Phil.

If you honestly believe Steve Clevenger is going to make this team, then there's absolutely room for Bogusevic on the 25-man. Not that they need 6 OFs, but with versatile infielders like Barney, Valbuena, and Lillibridge, it certainly seems possible to me that they'd consider retaining a serviceable MLB backup like Bogusevic and sending Clevenger down.

JOHN B: I can't see the Cubs carrying six outfielders and only five infielders. I'm not saying they should or shouldn't, just that they won't.


If Stewart doesn't get released, Valbuena & Lillibridge are the two utility infielders and Clevenger goes to Iowa. If Stewart does get released and Valbuena is the everyday 3B, I think Clevenger wins the second utility INF job because he can also be the #3 catcher. (Clevenger played 2B his first season in pro ball so he is at least familiar with the position, and he has also played some 1B and 3B in the minors).  


BTW, Clevenger is swinging the bat now like he did pre-oblique injury last May.


 

Unbelievable. Even now, Lohse likely wouldn't sign with a team for 2/$30M. Dude's pricing himself straight into retirement ... or at least until after the June draft.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/kyle-lohse-texa...

Hasn't the issue been the draft pick the signing team would lose?

It's a completely unworkable situation. A team would have to surrender a pick in the 11-40 range, which no one wants to do for a #3-4 starter who's like 33 or 34 years old. You can't give him a long term deal because he's too old and fringish, and you can't give him a short term deal because you can't give up a draft pick for a one year rental. But he likely wouldn't even take a short deal anyways, because his agent is Boras and he still thinks he can get an Edwin Jackson contract. Good luck with that.

Yep...he might be SOL....

CLE has already used this leverage of scaring other teams away to sign n.swisher + m.bourn for less money than they were expected/wanted to snag.

the new system has some flaws that's only hurting the players.

...speaking of CLE...they are killing the cubs today. 12-2 in the top (CLE) 6th. all of the cubs pitchers getting punished are low/no-impact guys, at least (a.cabrera, raley, harris). also, valbuena (SS today) was penciled in as leadoff (vs righty)...and j.lake made a throwing error at 3rd.

Lake has also made a couple of nice defensive efforts today, fwiw.

nice. i didn't listen to the game today, just checked the box score real quick.

JOHN B: Junior Lake made a nice stop & accurate throw to 2nd base to start a nifty 5-4-3 DP today, and he also made an outstanding catch with his back to the infield on a tricky pop fly in LF foul territory, but then there was the horrendous throw to 1st base (E-5) on a routine play leading off the 4th inning (eventually resulted in an unearned run scoring).


Lake needs to play somewhere in the outfield, either CF or RF. And because he can't hit breaking balls from RHP, his future will be as a RH platoon CF or RF. And it probably won't be with the Cubs, either.  

for anyone who has XM radio online access...

The afternoon show, "Inside Pitch" with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern today was 3 hrs of non-stop Cubs from Mesa/HoHo Kam, including an extended interview with Jed Hoyer. There is an area within the XM site where you can listen to that broadcast for the next 3 days (it will probably get pulled after that time). It's their On Demand Show area. Search using Bowden (or Stern). It's labeled "Live from Chicago Cubs Spring Training Camp, Aired: 3/4; 1:00PM; Duration: 2hrs 57 min"

The Hoyer interview included questions/talk about Garza, SBaker, Soriano, Rizzo, Barney, prospects (Soler, Lake) and even a mention of Pie/CPat. Much more depth than some of his other interviews.

https://www.siriusxm.com/player/#view=show&showId=...

in case you missed this, Yankee GM Brian Cashman had surgery to fix an ankle fracture dislocation he sustained skydiving. He was participating (with the Army Golden Knights) in a US Army fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project

While I certainly didn’t intend to raise awareness in exactly this fashion, I’m extremely happy that the Wounded Warrior Project is getting the well-deserved additional attention.

Was Jim Hendry acting GM while Cashman was under anesthesia?

Wind blew Cashman off target which was big cushy landing-Jim Hendry.

That's a mental image I really didn't need to have.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 54 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 22 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 7 hours 23 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 17 hours 4 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 20 hours 2 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 20 hours 14 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 20 hours 23 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 20 hours 29 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 47 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 21 hours 23 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 41 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 43 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 22 hours 1 min ago view