Tribe Blasts Raley & Cabrera for eight runs in 5th & 6th

Cedric Hunter smacked a three-run home run to cap a five-run 6th, and Zach McAlister threw four shutout innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-2 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League action this afternoon at cold & dreary Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.


Javier Baez produced both of the Cub runs with a two-run HR just to the left of the CF Batter's Eye ("Green Monster") with no outs in the top of the 1st. Baez also fisted an opposite-field bloop single into right-center in his second AB.


David DeJesus collected two hits, including a lead-off bounding double down the RF line off LHP David Huff that preceded Baez's HR in the 1st. (DeJesus hit only 149/289/149 with no extra-base hits in 113 PA vs LHP in 2012, so it's big news anytime he does anything against a lefty).



box score


LHP Chris Rusin got the start for the Cubs and threw three shutout innings (48 pitches - 34 strikes, 4/3 GO/FO), allowing three harmless singles in the 3.0 IP. Rusin threw strikes and mostly stayed ahead in the count throughout his outing. He faced only ten batters (one over the minimum) in his three innings of work, nailing one baserunner at 1st base with a nifty pick-off move that froze the runner, and erasing another runner by inducing a timely 6-4-3 DP.   


LHP Brooks Raley and RHP Alberto Cabrera followed Rusin to the hill, and both had poor outings, Raley allowing three runs (all earned) on four hits (including a solo HR by LH hitting Jason Kipnis) and a walk in 1.1 IP (32 pitches - 18 strikes), and Cabrera surrendering five runs (all earned) on three hits (including Hunter's three-run dinger) and three walks (with no strikeouts) in 1.1 IP.


Cabrera's outing featured a 30-pitch 6th inning where he was relieved after retiring only two hitters, and he wouldn't have retired anybody in the inning if not for a spectacular back-handed diving catch near the LF foul line by Johermyn Chavez, and a laser-throw by Welington Castillo to 2nd that nabbed a basrunner trying to steal.  


Cubs #1 LHRP James Russell surrendered a run on two hits (a double and a single) and a walk in 1.2 IP, Shawn Camp threw a shutout 8th inning (allowing one hit), and Kyuji Fujikawa had a VERY impressive inning of work, racking up two strikeouts (both swinging) and a pop fly in the 9th. 


Fujikawa has an excellent splitter as his strikeout pitch that he sets up with a lively fastball he throws for strikes. He should be the Cubs closer, and certainly will be when & if the Cubs trade Carlos Marmol


Of the five likely Iowa Cubs starting pitchers at Big League Camp right now (Rusin, Raley, Cabrera, Nick Struck and Barret Loux), there is no question that Chris Rusin is the only one of the five anywhere near MLB-ready anytime soon. Rusin works fast and throws strikes, and although his stuff is somewhat pedestrian, he is polished, and generally makes the most of what he has.


Raley and Cabrera have been nothing short of abysmal, and I would think their futures as starting pitchers are definitely in doubt at this time. Cabrera is especially frustrating because he actually has electric stuff (including a mid-90's fastball and a wipe-out slider), but he also has virtually zero command, and so he is constantly pitching from behind in the count and hitters are able to sit on his fastball (which he will sometimes try to throw BP-style over the plate just to avoid walking the hitter).


The Cub offense has been misfiring over the past few days, although it would probably aid the cause a bit if Starlin Castro (out with a hamstring issue) and Anthony Rizzo (playing in the WBC) were in the lineup.

Comments

I tend to confuse Rusin and Raley because they were both Siamese lefties separated at birth.

Rusin = He's IN

Raley = He's no-OUT's. Pitcher's name is Sally?

Is there a better way to fix this confusion? Soon they may be separated by route 80 from Chicago to Des Moines

Arizona Phil ten letter word of the day: Pedestrian

Arizona Phil ten letter word of the week: Lugubrious

Raley and Cabrera have been nothing short of abysmal...
That's too bad...I don't know that much about Cabrera other than his touted "electric" stuff, as AZ PHIL mentions, but as I said earlier in the week, Raley can have a nice Minor League career - and then coach - or work at a Target. He soils himself anywhere near MLB-caliber players.

Slow day, just realized that Rickets looks like the actor who plays the Governor on AMC's "Walking Dead"

http://www.trbimg.com/img-513bb08b/turbine/chi-vot...

The Governor

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...

both trying to maintain and improve their overwhelmed locations.

the bobby v/cbs commercial is gold...especially the mets/boston parts...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmUJxNqQdZ4

On the DDubCub twitter thing: Why wouldn't the Cubs DL Stewart instead of trying to save the $1.5 million by cutting him? The other options are Valbuena, Lillibridge, Maysonet, and Vitters--and Vitters is going to be out longer than Stewart.

As far as I can tell, 3B is the location where the Cubs have the most room for improvement from 2012-2013. Nobody other than Stewart has much shot at providing some of that improvement, though.

Garsh I hope Stewart either rebounds or the Cubs manage a trade for a useful youngster.

fwiw...via Rotoworld, via the trib...

"The Chicago Tribune reports that Ian Stewart (quad) is likely to make the Cubs even if he starts the season on the disabled list."

Recent comments

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 35 min 44 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 36 min 45 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 17 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 13 hours 15 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 13 hours 28 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 13 hours 36 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 13 hours 42 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 14 hours 43 sec 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 14 hours 36 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 14 hours 54 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 14 hours 56 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 15 hours 14 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 21 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 16 hours 17 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 16 hours 34 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 16 hours 39 min ago view