B-Jax, Watkins, and Rusin Lead Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park

Brett Jackson reached base three times on a single, a double, and a HBP, scored a run, and knocked in another, Logan Watkins belted a bases-clearing three-run triple to cap a six-run 5th, and Chris Rusin threw six innings of three-hit ball, leading the Iowa Cubs to a 9-6 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and despite three hits by Rubi Silva and two each by Matt Szczur and Rafael Lopez, five pitchers combined to throw a ten-hit shutout with ten strikeouts, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) blanked the Tennessee Smokies 6-0 on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Getting ready for the PCL season, starting pitcher Chris Rusin was in the I-Cubs lineup and got three ABs, ripping an RBI single through the box in the 4th, and then walking and scoring in the six-run 5th. (Rusin was a DH at the U. of Kentucky on days he wasn't pitching).

"Super-sub" Jonathon Mota played seven innings at 3rd base for Tennessee on Field #2, before moving over to Field #3 and playing two innings at 2nd base for Iowa. It would appear that Mota (who can play any position on the field) might be employed as a player-coach at either Tennessee or Iowa, going on the DL and coaching 1st base when he is not needed (he had TJS in 2012, so the DL excuse will probably be shoulder-related), and then getting reinstated whenever a warm position-player body is needed.

Several players from the Boise/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training) saw action in the later innings of the two games, including Reggie Golden, Xavier Batista, Trevor Gretzky, Garrett Schlecht, Lance Rymel, and Justin Marra.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

FITCH PARK FIELD #2

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1, Matt Szczur, LF-DH: 2-4 (1B, 6-4 FC, 1B, F-8)
2. Anthony Giansanti, 2B: 0-4 (K, F-8, F-9, 6-3)
3. Rubi Silva, CF: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 2B, 1-3, CS, PO)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-4 (F-7, K, K, K)
5. Christian Villanueva, DH-3B: 0-4 (K, P-3, K, L-8)
6. Rafael Lopez, C: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, K, 2B)
7. Johermyn Chavez, RF: 1-4 (K, F-7, 2B, F-8)
8a. Jonathon Mota, 3B: 0-3 (K, F-7, K)
8b. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-1 (K)
9. Elliot Soto, SS: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 1B)

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Eric Jokisch: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 87 pitches (60 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. A. J. Morris: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Jeff Lorick: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (11 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Ryan Searle: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (13 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 3
1. C Rafael Lopez - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed runner at 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. 3B Christian Villanueva - E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
3. 3B Christian Villanueva - E-5 (fielding error allowed unearned run to score)

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Rafael Lopez: 1-3 CS, 1 E (see above)

FITCH PARK FIELD #3

IOWA LINEUP:
1a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (BB, 3-U, K, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI)
1b. Jonathon Mota, PH-2B: 1-1 (1B)
2. Brett Jackson, CF: 2-4 (L-8, 1B, 2B, 5-3, HBP, R, RBI)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-5 (K, 1B, 6-3, K, K)
4. Brad Nelson, 1B: 1-3 (2B, F-8 SF, BB, K, K, R, 2 RBI)
5a. Darnell McDonald, LF: 0-1 (F-8, BB)
5b. Trevor Gretzky, PH-LF: 1-2 (2B, BB, K, R, RBI)
6a. Brian Bogusevic, RF: 1-3 (4-3, P-2, 2B, R, RBI)
6b. Garrett Schlecht, PH-DH: 0-1 (K)
6c. Justin Marra, PH: 0-1 (K)
7a. Luis Flores, C: 1-4 (F-7, 2B, F-8, 5-3, R)
7b. Lance Rymel, C: NO AB
8. Tim Torres, SS: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, BB, K, R)
9a. Chris Rusin, P-DH: 1-2 (P-6, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
9b. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-0 (HBP)

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Chris Rusin: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 85 pitches (55 strikes), 9/3 GO/FO
2. Esmailin Caridad: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: 3
1. P Chris Rusin - E-1 (throwing error on sacrifice bunt attempt allowed batter to reach 2nd base - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Josh Vitters - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. P Rafael Dolis - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)

ATTENDANCE: 41

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 80's

 

Comments

Golden in Mesa? Zowie?

-edit- oops, already covered.

"Padres released OF Kyung-Min Na."

half of the rizzo/cubs trade...a very minor half.

Brett Jackson has looked very good at the plate since coming back from his shoulder injury a few days ago.

He hit three more rockets today. And no strikeouts. 

FWIW, if the Cubs wait until at least June 12th to recall Jackson, he can't be a FA until post-2019. (The Cubs had a similar situation with Anthony Rizzo last season). 

Sounds like they should wait that long anyway, just to keep him comfortable with the new approach he's said to be using at the plate. I've always in my own mind compared him as a prospect to C Pat. C Pat seemed to have absolutely no baseball instincts, but raw talent. B Jackson in my mind has very good baseball instincts out there and I really hope he has turned it around. But I'm also in the mode of, let's see how he does after a sustained number of at bats.

The big league club and organization actually has enough OFs, so it's the best-case scenario on how to handle Jackson this year. If he's thriving, no need to rush him before June. If he's adapting, maybe he'll be ready to come up for good in September. If he's stinking, they can just release him or trade him for spare parts after the season.

Minor League Camp is mostly about downward roster movement, but there were a couple of promotions at Minor League Cap today:

Anthony Giansanti (who can play RF-LF-3B-2B-1B-C) was moved up to Tennessee from Daytona, and C Luis Flores was moved up to Iowa from Tennessee. 

Also, 1B Justin Bour, OF Johermyn Chavez, C Jair Fernandez, and OF-IF Rubi Silva were moved down to Tennessee from Iowa, and SS Javier Baez, 1B-3B Dustin Geiger, and OF Jorge Soler were moved down to Daytona from Tennessee.

 

 

Looking at the Iowa pitching staff, there are a bunch of AAAA pitchers that will have to be sorted out real soon. Also, not one loogy in that bullpen group.

Happy Opening Day 2013

Remember Cubs fans, it could always be worse.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/31/3315626/the-...

Nick Cafardo reviews the NL: Nats, Reds, Giants as first place teams. NL Central has Reds, Brewers, Cards, Pirates, Cubs.
His Boston bias isn't showing in the AL East prediction (except for picking the Yankees 5th)...Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, Yankees. Other AL 1st place teams: Tigers and Angels.
http://www.boston.com/2013/03/31/nlpreview/3FSGw19...

5. Chicago

The rebuilding continues. The Cubs may be able to sell off Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza (on DL), and closer Carlos Marmol. Some of the future — 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Welington Castillo, 2B Darwin Barney, and SS Starlin Castro — is present, as is some of the pitching, with Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, and Travis Wood. The next wave of prospects is about a year or two away.

Chemistry rating: 4 — Good vibe for a transitional team.

per Trib/Sully...

The Cubs won't decide until Monday whether to put second baseman Darwin Barney on the 15-day disabled list.

Alberto Gonzalez, the last infielder sent down to minor league camp, will likely replaced Barney on the roster if Barney is unable to play for an extended period. Brent Lillibridge will start at second on Monday.

The Cubs are also expected to announce Hisanori Takahashi's contract has been purchased, leaving the left-hander as the final addition to the bullpen.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Robinson Crusoe DFA'd by Rays.

...somewhere, Jim Hendry smiles over his plate of pasta.

S.Baker to the 60-day DL...see you in very late May or early June, guy.

doh...and sigh...

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-30/spor...

"If Florida Gulf Coast's Chris Sale had dropped to the 15th spot, the Cubs would have selected him. But after the White Sox claimed Sale at No. 12, the Cubs selected Simpson, who had agreed to a pre-draft deal."

That draft was odd. Sale clearly was the best bargain and the quickest to the majors. Harper was the obvious #1 pick, Manny Machado was #3. The Cubs now have the #6 pick in that draft in Barret Loux. It's not like there were prospects that have gotten to the majors quickly after the Cubs pick. Not defending Simpson, which was one of those picks that everyone else but the Cubs considered a huge reach. Some bad Cubbery there too since Mononucleosis is one of those illnesses that leaves some residual for a long time. Zack Lee was at the bottom of that 2010 draft (now with Red Sox from Dodgers but was discussed in last years negotiations with LA regarding Dempster).

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2010/drafttra...

He would be a perfect cub pitcher, especially with the arm surgery he will be having.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • 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 29 min 4 sec ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 5 hours 14 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 5 hours 15 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 14 hours 56 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 17 hours 54 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 18 hours 6 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 18 hours 15 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 18 hours 21 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 18 hours 39 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 19 hours 15 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 19 hours 33 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 19 hours 34 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 19 hours 52 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 20 hours 8 sec 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 20 hours 55 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 21 hours 13 min ago view