A's Keep Soler In Check at Papago Park

Matt Hillsinger and Daniel Robertson each smacked a two-run home run, leading the Athletics to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Sports Complex Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

Kevin Encarnacion roped a two-run double down the RF line and Wilfredo Petit followed with an RBI single one out later to key a Cub rally in the top of the 9th, but it fell short and the A's hung-on to win the game.

RHP Ryan McNeil (Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick) threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball in a losing cause.   

Jorge Soler played CF and hit 3rd in the Cub lineup, going 1-5. He lined out sharply to left in the top of the 1st (outstanding diving catcher by A's LF Hillsinger), hammered a single through the 5.5 hole in the 4th, bounced out 6-3 in the 6th, and struck out (swinging) in his last two AB. Soler is now 1-8 (with three strikeouts) in two EXST games since arriving in Mesa last Thursday. (He took BP on Friday, played in a game at Fitch Park on Saturday, and the EXST Cubs have Sundays off).

RHP Guillermo Moscoso got the start for the Cubs, his first game action since being claimed off waivers last month. He threw two innings, allowing just one single while striking out two.

Moscoso had a fine rookie season as a rotation starter with Oakland in 2011,  going 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. allowing just 102 hits with 38/74 BB/K in 128 IP. He was then traded to Colorado after the season for OF Seth Smith, and had a very poor year with the Rockies in 2012, posting a 6.12 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in 50 MLB IP, and a 6.13 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 98.1 AAA innings at Colorado Springs. He was claimed off waivers by both KC and Toronto during the 2012-13 off-season, before ending up with the Cubs in March. The Cubs put Moscoso back onto waivers immediately after claiming him, and were able to outright him to the minors when no teams put in a claim. He will probably eventually end up at AAA Iowa.

Today's game was continued into the 10th inning to allow all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw for the two squads to get their work.

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):    

1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-5 (4-3, 6-U FC, 3-U, 4-3, P-6)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-3 (6-3, K, K)
2b. Roberto  Caro, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
3. Jorge Soler, CF: 1-5 (L-7, 1B, 6-3, K, K)
4a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-2 (4-1, HBP, K)
4b. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-0 (BB, R)
5a. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (1-3, HBP)
5b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R)
6a. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
6b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 1-2 (P-1, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (1B, 4-3 DP, K, 6-3)
8a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-2 (F-8, F-8)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (P-6, 1B, RBI)
9. Alberto Mineo, DH: 1-4 (K, 6-3, F-7, 1B)

1. Guillermo Moscoso: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Ryan McNeil: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 40 pitches (30 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Trey Lang: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 44 pitches (27 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 11 pitches (8 strikies)
5. David Cales: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 17 pitches (14 strikes)

2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS, 1 PO

RF Kevin Encarnacion - threw out runner 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on line single


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's



AAA news...

d.barney goes 4-5 today (5-10, 3 games)

i.stewart 0-4 (0-7 w/ 4Ks, 2 games)

barney probably back tomorrow...i.stewart should be back in a week or 2.

Ouch - Stewart crunch'd!

stewart doesn't need any help...real or mystical...to screw up his playing ability.

at least he's got some more hacks to get in before he joins the cubs for the quest to the trade deadline...fun times. i wonder what slew of 18-20 year old Rookie/A-ball dominicans are in the cubs future.

wow...ben revere (PHI) throws his hat in the ring for an early nod on defensive play of the year.


Wow. He could've hyper-extended his spine with a dive like that. Reminds me of some of those Reed Johnson plays back in 2008.

Wow, this Cincy/Phillies game is good. It's fun to watch good teams for a change. Relievers are throwing strikes. Batters are waiting to swing at strikes.

In Dusty We Trusty.

Javier Baez not off to a great start. 49 PAs, 170/216/383, 8/47, 3 2B, 1 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 14 K. How can a guy hit in the AFL and not hi-A? Sample size notwithstanding.

Lance Berkman won't play the field at all in this series.


neither will the Cubs for the most part...

The return of Darwin Barney = the return of better-than-the-worst infield defense? There aren't many teams where Barney is both an offensive and defensive upgrade.

Chicago is no Waco, Lance, but we get by-


rays snag another ex-cub...

"Rays acquired LHP Jeff Beliveau from the Rangers for cash considerations; optioned him to Triple-A Durham."

"Chicago's one of the worst places for baseball ... really for anything." - Lance Berkman

lol trolled.

Brett Lillibridge sent back to Middle Earth.

Nightmare fuel Kevin Gregg on 40 man.

Cody friggin' Ransom got Bridged?

By Tim Dierkes...
The Cubs claimed infielder Cody Ransom off waivers from the Padres, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.  The team also purchased the contract of Kevin Gregg.  Sunday's waiver claim, Kameron Loe, is also joining the Cubs' bullpen, while reliever Hisanori Takahashi and infielder Brent Lillibridge were designated for assignment.  Second baseman Darwin Barney has been reinstated from the DL, as expected.

Ransom had been designated for assignment by the Padres on Friday.  The 37-year-old had the most exposure of his big league career last year, racking up a .220/.312/.411 line in 282 plate appearances for the Brewers and Diamondbacks.

an expendable/DFA'd padres hitter...always a good sign.

Lilibridge got Bridged.

Takahashi got Loe-balled

Recent comments

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  • That's great, Kris -- prove it with some hits!

  • ill Lou Malnati.

  • Hah which reminds me this is a good article about Ross:


  • Gordo tweeted:

    "I'm pretty comfortable moving all over. I like it that way, too. It keeps me on my toes and ready each and every game.”--Bryant last week.

    So it could be he's just saying the right things, but I believe him.

  • Which means if you shut this place down, and the Cubs go back to their old ways, we will all have to hunt you down, kidnap you, and strap you to a chair to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck repeatedly, with dollops of Hawk Harrelson thrown in for good measure.

  • You got a problem with David Ross?

  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.