Brett Jackson Gets Back into Action at Fitch Park
Brett Jackson singled twice, walked, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Zeke DeVoss smacked a solo HR, but it wasn't enough as the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) defeated the Daytona Cubs 5-3 on Field #3, and Oliver Zapata knocked-in three runs with two run-scoring triples, Yasiel Balaguert doubled twice, Carlos Penalver walked and tripled, scored two runs, and kocked-in one, and Gioskar Amaya singled, tripled, stole a base, scored a run, and collected an RBI, helping the Kane County Cougars beat the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) 6-3 on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Jackson saw his first game action since being sidelined with a sore shoulder ten days ago, and worked as a DH in the Daytona game. He went 2-5 with two singles, a walk, a ground out, and two fly outs in six Plate Appearances, batting once in each of the first six innings. It's still possible that B-Jax could start the season on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL, but he didn't show any difficulty swinging the bat today. Of course whether he can throw without pain is another issue altogether.
Iowa SP Nick Struck was left behind at Fitch Park while his I-Cubs teammates traveled to Tempe to play Salt Lake (the Angels AAA affiliate in the PCL), and the right-hander got four AB between the two games. His job was to lay down a bunt in a sacrifice situation, and he was successful all four times. (The DH is used at all times in "A" ball, Short-season, Rookie, and Latin Rookie leagues, but the AA and AAA leagues use the DH only when an American League affiliate is playing a home game, so I-Cubs and Tennessee Smokies pitchers have to be able to handle the bat).
Erick Castillo, Ethan Elias, James Pugliese, and Jasvir Rakkar were temporarily moved-up from the Boise/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training), and each of them saw action (E. Castillo, Elias, and Pugliese with Kane County, and Rakkar with Daytona).
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
KANE COUNTY LINEUP:
1. Oliver Zapata, CF: 2-4 (3-U, 3B, 3B, K, R, 3 RBI)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 1-3, 2B, K, R, RBI, SB)
3. Marco Hernandez, DH #1: 2-4 (1B, 3-U, 6-5 FC, 1B, RBI, SB, PO)
4. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, F-9, BB)
5a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-3 (F-8, F-7, 1-3)
5b. Justin Marra, 1B: 0-1 (K)
6a. Willson Contreras, C: 0-3 (F-7, P-6, 1-3)
6b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (6-3)
7. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, 3-U, 1-3, R)
8. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 2-3 (F-8, 2B, 2B, R)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Nick Struck, DH #2: 0-0 (1-3 SH)
9c. Lance Rymel, PH: 0-1 (1-3)
10. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (BB, 3B, 6-3, 2 R, RBI)
KANE COUNTY PITCHERS:
1. Brian Smith: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 45 pitches (27 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 46 pitches (28 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 43 pitches (29 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 32 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Game was stopped with two outs in top of 9th when Elias reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the inning
KANE COUNTY ERRORS: 1
1B Justin Marra - E-3 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)
KANE COUNTY CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Willson Contreras: 2-2 CS
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
X-1. Brett Jackson, DH #1; 2-5 (1B, 3-1, 1B, F-7, F-9, BB, R, RBI)
NOTE: Jackson batted six times, hitting third in the 1st & 4th innings, and first in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th innings
X-2 Nick Struck, DH #2: 0-0 (5-4 SH, 3-4 SH, 3-U SH)
NOTE: Struck batted three times, hitting fifth in the 1st inning, and second in the 3rd & 6th innings
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF-DH: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, CI-E2, 4-3)
2. Tim Saunders, 3B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, BB, L-7, R, SB)
3a. Steve Bruno, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 5-3 DP)
3b. Anthony Giansanti, 2B: 0-2 (5-3, 1-3)
4a. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-2 (5-3, K)
4b. Ben Carhart, 1B: 0-1 (L-8)
5. Taiwan Easterling, RF: 1-3 (1-3, 1B, K)
6a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, PO)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-1 (5-3)
7a. Bijan Rademacher, LF: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3)
7b. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-1 (K)
8. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (F-9, F-8, K)
9. Zeke DeVoss, DH-CF: 2-3 (HR, 1B+E5, 6-3, R, RBI)
1. Ben Wells: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 56 pitches (39 strikes), 7/1 GO/FO
2. Sheldon McDonald: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 38 pitches (25 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. Joe Zeller: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Larry Suarez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (10 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
DAYTONA ERRORS: NONE
DAYTONA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yaniel Cabezas: 0-3 CS
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
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.
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.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
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.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
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.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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