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
deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.
Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?
NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.
If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.