Baez Long Ball Propels Cubs to Victory
Jeffrey Baez smacked a three-run home run onto 8th Street, Danny Lockhart singled twice and drove-in three runs, and Ryan McNeil (Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick) threw three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, leading the Cubs to a 12-7 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Ian Stewart continued his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment, batting five times (once in each of the first five innings) and going 1-4, reaching base on an RBI single and an HBP. He also flied out, lined out, and grounded out.
The defensive gem of the game was a run-saving inning-ending diving catch in right-centerfield by Cubs CF Rashad Crawford. A star basketball player at Mundy's Mill HS in Jonesboro, GA (where he was known as "Baby Jordan"), the 6'4 switch-hitting Crawford is one of the fastest and most athletic players in the Cubs system.
Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick RHP Trey Lang struggled with his control today (throwing 30 pitches but only 11 strikes), and was pulled from the game after walking the bases loaded in the top of the 5th.
The Cubs managed to score their 12 runs on only eight hits, but they drew nine walks and seven of them scored
The game was called in the top of the 9th after all of the pitchers scheduled to throw in the game has completed their work.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Ian Stewart, DH #1: 1-4 (F-7, L-7, 1B, HBP, 3-1, RBI)
NOTE: Stewart batted five times, hitting 3rd in each of the first five innings
1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (6-3, K, BB, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-2 (HR, E-6, R, 3 RBI, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, SS: 2-5 (K, 1B, 1B, F-7, FC+E3, R, 3 RBI, SB)
3a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
3b. Wilfredo Petit, DH #2: 0-1 (6-3, BB)
4a. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-3 (K, L-8, 1B)
4b. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (BB, 6-3)
5. Roni Torreyes, 2B: 0-4 (F-9, L-6, F-7, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-1 (4-3, BB, BB, 2 R)
6b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-1 (K)
7a. Lance Rymel, C: 1-1 (2B, BB, 2 R)
7b. Erick Castillo, PH-C: 1-2 (2B, F-8, R, RBI)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (6-3, F-7 SF, F-8, BB, R, RBI)
9a. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-1 (3-U, BB, R)
9b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 1-1 (BB, 1B, 2 R)
1. Ryan McNeil: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. Trey Lang: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 30 pitches (11 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Loiger Padron: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Hunter Ackerman: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 39 pitches (25 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Mark Malave - E-5 (throwing error on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base and baserunner to score unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Lance Rymel: 2-3 CS
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy, with temperatures in the 70's
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.