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."
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!