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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  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?