Rogers Righteous Rip & Long Dong Dinger Lead Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park

Jacob Rogers blasted a three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning, Dong-Yub Kim belted a solo HR over the LF fence and off the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, singled, and walked, and Shawon Dunston Jr laced an RBI triple, singled, and scored two runs, leading the Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.  

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only)

1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-3 (1B, K, 3B, 2 R, RBI)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, PH-CF: 0-2 (K, K)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, F-9 SF, 1B, K, R, RBI, PO)
3a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-4 (F-8, K, 1B, K)
3b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (K)
4a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-3 (HR, L-8, 1-3, R, 3 RBI)
4b. Mark Malave, PH-1B: 1-1 (1B)
4c. Alberto Mineo, PH: 0-1 (P-6)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-4 (K, P-3, E-5, K, R)
6. Carlos Penalver, SS-DH: 0-4 (F-8, L-6, 6-3, K)
7a. Justin Marra, DH: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, 6-3, R, RBI)
7b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (K)
8. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-3 (1B, HR, P-6, BB, R, RBI)
9a. Lance Rymel, C: 1-2 (1B, BB, P-2, R, RBI)
9b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-1 (F-7)

1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 40 pitches (27 strikes), 7/1 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (17 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 40 pitches (22 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
4. Dayan Diaz: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 9 pitches (8 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Jeff Lorick: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 15 pitches (11 strikes)

1. CF Shawon Dunston Jr - E-8 (two-base fielding error on line-drive single allowed batter to reach 3rd base safely)
2. C Rony Rodriguez - E-2 (two-base throwing error on infield single allowed batter to reach 3rd base safely)

1. Lance Rymel: 1-1 CS
2. Rony Rodriguez: 1 E (see above)


WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 80's


AZ Phil wins the Daily Double for successfully working two player references into the Headline Wordplay Bingo competition.

i can't wait til reggie golden showers hits all over the field.

In related news, I think I love Anthony Rizzo.

Phil- Is vizcaino doing anything as of yet?

Also, is it safe to assume pitching is the strength of what is left in Mesa? I could be wrong but it seems like the offense has ranged from inconsistent to nonexistent.

Thanks as always!

KREH23: I personally have not seen Arodys Vizcaino since February. Because he's on the MLB club's 40-man roster (and MLB 60-day DL), he isn't required to do the drills that the minor league rehabbers do every day, so he is probably at Fitch Park but doing his rehab work independently. Likewise Scott Baker.     

The 2013 EXST Cubs are more pitching-heavy than in years-past, and the offense sputters a lot, especially when compared to the 2012 version that featured the likes of Javier Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Dan Vogelbach, Gioskar Amaya, Willson Contreras, et al.

I think as of right now, the likely AZL Cubs and Boise starting rotations should be very interesting (probably Leal, Santana, Torrez, C. Rodriguez, and Mejias at AZL Cubs, and Conway, Maples, Blackburn, Underwood, and McNeil at Boise), although Josh Conway's recent injury is a big concern (it didn't look good), as is Ryan McNeil getting shut down a couple of weeks ago (although he supposedly will be active again soon). 

If Conway is shut-down for a lengthy period of time, expect Trey Lang (who is stretched-out as a starter) to take his spot in the Boise proto-rotation (which probably would have happened anyway since Conway was apparently destined for either Kane County or Daytona). It was pretty obvious that Conway was on the "fast-track" at EXST (at least until last Saturday).

Hey AZ PHIL: Thanks for the update. OF the above pitchers you reference, any of them throw serious heat - 95+?

I understand TheorCorp is putting an emphasis on this.

E-MAN: The hardest throwers among the projected AZL Cubs and Boise starters (Maples, Underwood, and Lang) have fastballs that generally top-out at 94 MPH (although Maples and Underwood were clocked at 96-98 in HS), but all three have command issues.    

The pitcher at EXST who can really dial it up is 21-year old Dominican RJP Juan Francisco, but he has no secondary pitches and virtually zero command.

Looks like the hitting is starting to come around. Good to see Golden finally starting to hit. Dunston is looking really good and improved.

BOB: The attendance has really taken a hit since you left.

Recent comments

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  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'