2013 Cubs Minor League Camp - Last Day
2013 Chicago Cubs Minor League Camp drew to a close this morning, as the Iowa Cubs completed their final Spring Training work-out before flying to Albuquerque this afternnon. They willl open their PCL season versus the Isotopes Thursday night.
Most of the I-Cubs participated in traditional Spring Training drills and B-P on Field #2, while rotation-starter Drew Carpenter threw a bullpen session. (Matt Garza participated in the PFPs).
Meanwhile, three members of the Iowa bullpen threw in the 11-inning intrasquad-"sim" game on Field #3.
The game cannot be box scored because players sometimes traded places in the field mid-inning, players hit for both "teams," and a pitcher's "inning" was sometimes stopped mid-AB when the pitcher reached the 15-pitch mark. It was really more of a hybrid scrimmage than either a "sim" game or an intrasquad game.
Each of the pitchers who worked on Field #3 threw 15 pitches per inning, and each pitcher threw anywhere from one to four innings (depending on the pitcher): The pitchers themselves were a Motley Crew, some being Iowa relievers getting work, some were pitchers from the Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad, and others were rehab guys.
FOUR INNINGS: Josh Conway
THREE INNINGS: Jose Rosario
TWO INNINGS: Hunter Cervenka, Loiger Padron, and Larry Suarez
ONE INNING: Daniel Adrian, Kyler Burke, David Cales, Esmailin Caridad, Casey Coleman, Carlos Guerrero, Matt Iannazzo, and Cory Wade,
Rosario and Conway (Cubs 2012 4th round draft pick out of Coastal Carolina) were especially good, both cruising effortlessly through their mulitple innings with minimum stress. Conway has made a remarkable recovery from 2012 TJS and almost made the Kane County starting rotation, throwing a 92-94 MPH fastball, a hard slider, and a decent change-up.
David Cales (2011 shoulder surgery) was the most-impressive pitcher today, striking out all four hitters he faced (all four swinging) in his 15-pitch inning. Cales has a nasty slider, and he almost made the Tennessee bullpen, but was left behind at Extended Spring Training to get innings.
The Boise/Mesa position players traded places with their "mirror" periodically, switching back & forth between defense and offense. (The five catchers alternated between warming up pitchers in the bullpen, catching in the game, and hitting).
C: Erick Castillo, Justin Marra, Wilfredo Petit, Neftali Rosario, and Lance Rymel
1B: Xavier Batista and Jose Dore
2B: Roni Torreyes and Danny Lockhart
3B: Mark Malave and Jacob Rogers
SS: Carlos Penalver and Danny Lockhart
LF: Trevor Gretzky, Dong-Yub Kim, and Garrett Schlecht
CF: Rashad Crawford and Shawon Dunston Jr
RF: Reggie Golden and Jeffrey Baez
There wasn't much hitting in the game (the pitchers mostly dominated), although Reggie Golden did rip a triple off lefty side-armer Matt Iannazzo, and looked just fine hustling around the bases (he had surgery for torn knee ligaments just about this time last year).
RHP Larry Suarez hit Jeffrey Baez with a pitch on the upper left shoulder (almost hit him in the head), as Suarez continues to battle "Steve Blass Disease."
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.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.