Shoulders Rocks Baker at Fitch Park
Rock Shoulders homered, singled and walked, and Garrett Schlecht ripped a two-out two-run double and walked, in a Minor League Camp intra-squad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Because the Cubs had a day off from their MLB Cactus League schedule, Carlos Villanueva and Scott Baker traveled a half-mile down Center Street to Fitch Park and were the starting pitchers in the game. Villanueva threw three shutout innings (46 pitches - 29 strikes) and struck out five, and Baker allowed one run on four hits (the Shoulders HR the only run) in his three innings of work (36 pitches - 25 strikes).
Baker threw strikes but didn't fool the kids, however this was just his first actual game action (not including "sim" games) since having Tommy John Surgery on his elbow last April.
Barret Loux (who is technically still on the Cubs MLB Spring Training roster) made the trip to Fitch with Villanueva and Baker and threw a couple of innings, although he was not effective, allowing three runs on five hits and a HBP in 2.0 IP.
Rob Whitenack (optioned to AA Tennessee yesterday) had control issues in his two innings of work (31 pitches - only 14 strikes, with three walks). He also allowed two hits and commited a throwing error on a pick-off attempt.
William Hill (2012 NDFA - Chicago State) and Bobby Buckner (2012 NDFA Texas A&M - Corpus Cristi) played in the game. Hill is the grandson of Cub great Billy Williams, and Buckner is the son of ex-Cub (and current Boise Hitting Coach) Bill Buckner.
Here is the unofficial box score:
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1a. Taiwan Easterling, CF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 6-4 FC)
1b. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 0-2 (F-8, F-8)
2a. David Bote, 2B: 1-3 (K, 6-3, 1B, R)
2b. Steve Bruno, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
3a. Paul Hoilman, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, K, 1B)
3b. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-1 (F-8)
4a. Tim Torres, SS: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3, F-9 SF, RBI)
4b. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-1 (1B, R)
5a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (2B, K, 6-4-3 DP)
5b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-1 (1B)
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 1B, R)
6b. John Andreoli, LF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
7a. Bobby Buckner, RF: 1-3 (K, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
7b. Rubi Silva, RF: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
8a. Garrett Schlecht, DH: 1-2 (K+WP, 2B, BB, 2 RBI)
8b, Ben Carhart, PH: 0-1 (F-9)
9a. Michael Brenly, C: 0-2 (P-4, HBP, 1-3)
9b. Chad Noble, C: 0-1 (6-3)
SQUAD ”B” LINEUP:
1a. Evan Crawford, CF: 0-3 (F-9, 5-3, 6-4-3 DP)
1b. Albert Almora, CF: 1-1 (2B)
2a. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (P-3, 3-1, BB)
2b. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-1 (K)
3a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 2-2 (HR, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
3b. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-1 (K)
4a. Eliecer Bonne, RF: 1-3 (1B, K, 6-3, 2 SB)
4b. Trey Martin, RF: 1-1 (2B)
5a. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3)
5b. Tim Saunders, 3B: 0-2 (F-8, L-9 DP)
6a. Anthony Giansanti, DH: 0-1 (P-4, BB)
6b. Yasiel Balaguert, PH-DH: 0-2 (F-7, E-6)
7a. William Hill, LF: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
7b. Oliver Zapata, LF: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
8a. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 2-2 (1B, 1B)
8b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
9a. Micah Gibbs, C: 1-2 (3-U, 1B)
9b. Jair Fernandez, C: 0-2 (5-4-3 DP, K)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Scott Baker: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 36 pitches (25 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Rob Whitenack: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (14 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
3. Kevin Rhoderick: 2.0 IP, 1 H,. 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 29 pitches (21 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Marcus Hatley: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 30 pitches (20 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Carlos Villanueva: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 46 pitches (29 strikes) 2/3 GO/FO
2. Barret Loux: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 36 pitches (22 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Jason Berken: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 33 pitches (22 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Jay Jackson: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 33 pitches (21 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Jackson’s second inning was terminated ("Roll it!") with two outs and a runner at 1st base after he reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the day.
SQUAD “A" ERRORS: 2
1. P Rob Whitenack - E-1 - errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd base.
2. SS Marco Hernandez - E-6 - throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely
SQUAD “B” ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Michael Brenly: 0-2 CS
SQUAD " A" OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. LF Dong-Yub Kim threw out Rock Shoulders 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double
NOTE: DY Kim suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder in 2009 and never was able to rehab it, so he learned to throw LH at Extended Spring Training last year
2. RF Rubi Silva made a spectacular diving catch and then doubled Trey Martin off 2nd base 9-6
3. LF John Andreoli threw out Yasiel Balaguert 7-2 trying to score from 2nd base on a single to left.
WEATHER Sunny with temperatures in the 70's
Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.
"OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"
Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!
Sorry typing too fast.
I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?