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

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  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 5 hours 57 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 14 hours 48 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 15 hours 19 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 15 hours 41 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 16 hours 13 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 16 hours 23 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 16 hours 34 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 16 hours 43 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 16 hours 49 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 16 hours 58 min ago view