Giants Sweep Cubs at Fitch Park

Jeffrey Baez rapped out four singles, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in another, and Trevor Gretzky, Luis Acosta, and Francisco Sanchez each hammered an RBI double, but the Giants rallied for three runs over the final two innings to defeat the Cubs 8-5 on Field #2, while on Field #3, Josh Conway tossed three shutout innings for the Cubs, but three Giants pitchers combined to throw a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts, Leonardo Fuentes smacked an RBI triple and Sam Eberle followed with an RBI double to spark a two-run 7th, and Rando Moreno clubbed a bases-clearing three-run triple to cap a three run 8th, as the Giants blanked the Cubs 5-0 and swept the doubleheader, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

The position players were divided up according to where they are projected (as of right now) to be assigned in June, so the squad on Field #2 was essentially the AZL Cubs, and the squad on Field #3 was what will likely eventually be the Boise Hawks (again, at least as things stand right now)

The game on Field #2 was called in the middle of the 7th inning, and the game on Field #3 was called in the middle of the 8th inning.

Jorge Soler batted 3rd and played RF in the game on Field #3, going 0-3 with two ground outs and a called third strike.

David Bote started at 2B for the Cubs squad on Field #3, but was pulled from the game after the 5th inning when Manager Bobby Mitchell was notified that Bote was being promoted and needed to get to Sky Harbor Airport to catch a plane ASAP. As a result, 1B Jose Dore was moved over to 2B for the final three innings, the first time he has played the position in pro ball.

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

FITCH PARK FIELD #2

SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1a. Roberto Caro, LF-DH: 1-3 (6-3, P-6, 1B)
1b. Alberto Mineo, PH: 1-1 (1B)
2. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, 1-4 SH, K, RBI)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 4-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
4a. Mark Malave, DH: 0-2 (E-5, F-9 , R)
4b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 1-2 (1B, K)
5. Luis Acosta, 3B: 1-3 (2B, K, K, RBI)
6. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-3 (1B, 2B, K, RBI, SB)
7. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (F-7, L-6, K)
8. Wilfredo Petit, C: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B, PO)
9. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (E-6, 1B, P-5, 2 R)

SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 32 pitches (21 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Matt Loosen: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 59 pitches (37 strikes), 2/6 GO/FO
3. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Loiger Padron: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (14 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 4
1. 3B Luis Acosta - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Luis Acosta - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
4. C Wilfredo Petit - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd)

SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 0-8 CS, 1 E (see above)

FITCH PARK FIELD #3

SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1a. David Bote, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3)
1b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (K, P-3, F-9)
3. Jorge Soler, RF: 0-3 (3-1, K, 4-3)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, DH: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, K, CS)
5. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-2 (3-U, L-6, BB)
6. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-3 (5-3, K, K)
7a. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (5-3, K)
7b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Jose Dore, 1B-2B: 0-1 (HBP, K)
9. Jacob Rogers, 3B: 0-1 (BB, K)

SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Josh Conway: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 45 pitches (27 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Hunter Cervenka: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 34 pitches (23 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
4. Chad Martin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (25 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO

SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
1. P Josh Conway - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)
2. 3B Jacob Rogers - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 14

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's

 

Comments

Phil-- Yoanner Negrin was a strikeout machine tonight at Des Moines -- had 8 Ks in 3.0 innings and has 13 Ks in 7.2 IP so far this year. Small sample size, sure but quite a good start for him. He's 28 years old but was only signed as a free agent back in June of 2011, the same time as Javier Baez's draft, with no organized ball history before that. They've rocketed him through the system lo A and high A in 2011, AA and AAA (plus 124 IP in the Mexican league) in 2012, now starting him in AAA Iowa this year. What does he throw and how does the front office see him? Is he seen as a AAA filler/organizational man or do they project him as a possible piece for the bullpen with the parent club?

Edit: I see where you mention him being signed as a Cuban defector in the summer of 2011 in your comment at http://www.thecubreporter.com/2011/07/28/cub-jugge... but his birthplace is listed in Baseball-Reference.com and the Cubs.com minor league stats page as being Miami, FL. Was he born in Miami, went back to Cuba and later defected back to the US? Sounds highly unusual.

I think the Miami thing's a typo. He's definitely from Cuba.

Here's a link (in Spanish):
http://deportesencuba.blogspot.com/2009/12/tres-pe...

"My arm is good and I'm also good at running on pillows"

Love those automatic translation programs. Bing translator is actually pretty good for the most part, but every so often you get a real head-scratcher.

JOE P: Yoanner Negrin (known as "Yoannis" before he defected) was born in Havana, but he currently resides in Miami. 


Negrin throws a boatload of pitches (four-seamer, two-seamer, change, curve, and slider, plus some secret sauce), and he uses various arm-angles, too, which makes his repertoire even more diverse and unpredictable. 


The only velocity reading I ever heard on Negrin was a 90 MPH fastball on his four-seamer and mid-upper 80's on his two-seamer, and that was in a "live" BP session. But since he can cut the four-seamer or throw it straight, he might be able to alter the velo a bit at certain times if he is so inclined. 


He also has a reputation as being "rubbber-armed" and able to throw a lot of pitches per outing and to pitch more-frequently than the average starting pitcher without incurring arm problems. This is fairly consistent with the way Cuban pitchers are trained, so it's not necessarily unique to Negrin. But it also means he would profile as the ideal "12th man" on an MLB pitching staff, able to start a game on a moment's notice, or pitch in long relief or throw multiple innings in an extra-inning game, and not be adversely affected by inconsistent usage. 


The Cubs have released many of the Cuban defectors that they signed over the past couple of years, but they made sure to keep Negrin under club control (despite his age) by "loaning" him to Tabasco in the Mexican League last season. He had a strong post-2012 pitching for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League (he was 4th in ERA among VWL starting pitchers), and he was a starting pitcher for Team Spain in the 2013 WBC. So he has been pitching virtually year-round since signing with the Cubs, but almost none of that time with a Cubs affiliate (until now). I had predicted last fall (while he was pitching well in the VWL) that the Cubs would likely give Negrin an NRI to big league camp, but they did not, possibly because he was set to pitch in the WBC.


A scout once told me the biggest mistake casual observers make when evaluating a player or pitcher is to assume that a player or pitcher gets to a certain age or point in development and then never improves, when it actually is better to just keep an open mind and see what happens. And then there are guys who just never seem to get a chance or opportunity, but once they do, they make the most of it. 

Thanks, AZ Phil -- and John B.

Cubbery: Clevenger out 6 weeks trying to hit the baseball.

I remember Tim Lincecum

Recent comments

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 51 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 19 hours 2 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 19 hours 7 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 19 hours 13 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 19 hours 24 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 19 hours 35 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 20 hours 41 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 53 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 22 hours 10 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 22 hours 14 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 22 hours 59 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 6 hours ago view