The Other Baez Helps Cubs Sweep Giants at Fitch Park

Jeffey Baez belted an inside-the-park HR off the CF "Batter's Eye," drilled an RBI single, and walked, Justin Marra hammered a three-run triple, singled, walked, and scored a run, Kevin Encarnacion laced a bases-loaded three-run double, and Yasiel Balaguert blasted a solo HR, as the Cubs swept a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader from the Giants by scores of 6-3 and 10-7 this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Joey Rapp (on an EXST rehab) walloped a two-run HR for the Giants in a losing cause.

In 16 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (43 PA), Jeffrey Baez is hitting 342/419/684 with a team-leading four HR. The 19-year old right-handed hitting Venezuelan OF signed with the Cubs for a reported $350K bonus in July 2010 as a 16-year old, at the beginning of the 2010 International Signing Period. Baez went hitless in seven PA at Extended Spring Training last season before breaking his wrist diving for a ball in right field, and then was sent back to the Cubs Dominican Academy where he hit 291/378/448 in 48 games (202 PA) for DSL Cubs #1. 

In two DSL seasons (2011-12), Baez hit a combined 286/363/424, with 8 HR & 64 RBI, 22 doubles, 60 SB (19 CS), 97 runs scored, and 17 outfield assists (playing all three OF slots, but mainly CF) in 116 games (497 PA). He had a brief six-game trial with the AZL Cubs after the conclusion of the DSL season last August, and was likely ticketed for the AZL Cubs this season. But don't be surprised if the "other" Baez skips the AZL, joining fellow Venezuelan teenaged hot-shot Carlos Penalver on what should be a very interesting Boise Hawks team.  

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


1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 2-3 (HR, BB, 1B, 2-3, R, 2 RBI)
2a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 1B) 
2b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-1 (F-9)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, DH #1: 1-4 (F-8, F-8, F-9, HR, R, RBI)
4. Reggie Golden, LF: 1-4 (P-5, F-8, 1B, K)
5. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-2 (K, BB, 4-6-3 DP)
6. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-3 (K, K, F-7)
7. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, BB, 3 R)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 2B, R, RBI)
9. Erick Castillo, C-DH: 2-2 (F-7 SF, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
10b. Frandy de la Rosa, DH-SS: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)

1. Erick Leal: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 55 pitches (31 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of 3rd inning was stopped with one out when Leal reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
2. Larry Suarez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 8 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 41 pitches (19 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (15 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO

P Erick Leal - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)

Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS


1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 1-3 (K, 2B, F-8, 3 RBI)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (BB, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-2 (HBP, 6-3, F-9, R)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, K, R, RBI)
5. Rony Rodriguez, C: 1-2 (2B, HBP, 5-3, 2 RBI)
6. Xavier Batista, LF-DH: 0-2 (K, F-9, HBP, R)
7. Jose Dore, RF: 0-1 (BB, P-5, BB, 2 R)
8. Dong-Yub Kim, DH-LF: 0-2 (E-5, P-6, BB, 2 R)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-2 (K, P-6, BB, R, RBI)
10. Justin Marra, DH #2: 2-2 (BB, 1B, 3B, R, 3 RBI) 

1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 57 pitches (36 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 36 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 39 pitches (26 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO

1. CF Kevin Encarnacion, - E-8 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. C Rony Rodriguez - E-2 (overthrow on SB attempt at 2nd base allowed runner at 3rd base to score)

Rony Rodriguez: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's  


Per the Tribune: "Pitching in an extended spring game in poor conditions at the Brewers' Maryvale, Ariz., complex, the Cubs’ Josh Conway was lost for the season with a stress fracture in his elbow."

JOE P: Josh Conway has a cast on his right arm, from shoulder to finger-tips. 

Also, OF Trey Martin has his left arm immobilized in some kind of sling-contraption after undergoing left (non-throwing) shoulder surgery for chronic shoulder instability.

Thanks, AZ Phil.

Stupid, stupid, stupid incompetent/cheap Brewers -- skimping on the grounds keeping crew because it's the weekend? Oh, you mean you might still need the same effort to maintain a safe playing surface on a weekend game as you do during the week? Who knew? No reason to protect the investment teams make in their players on the weekend too, y'know. ~sarcasm font~

Did I mention stupid?

garza goes 66 pitches through 3.1ip for AA Tenn

3.1ip 3h 2bb 2k (0er)

The Cubs have traded AAA Iowa RHSP Drew Carpenter to the Colorado Rockies for a PTBNL or cash.

Carpenter was an NRI with the Cubs in Spring Training, and had a 1-4 record with a 7.33 ERA & 1.78 WHIP at Iowa.  

wow Brendan Harris is still in league

They continue to hit. That is a good thing. Didn't see much of that in April!

i.stewart finally gets a start in iowa...

0-3 (2k), 1bb

Paging Crunch

Gio perfect thru 5 vs Cubs

Dinner serves first hit in 6

Somewhere Sandy smiles

Maples starting for Kane County - 1 K in scoreless in 1st inning.

I have no idea how the Cubs managed to win that game. Wow.

It's like the Bizarro World Cubs - Cubs are third in the league in stolen bases. THIRD. CUBS. IN THE LEAGUE. IN STOLEN BASES.

I'm not making this up.

O & B, are you tricking us? Seems impossible. Although, I have seen Fonzie swipe a couple recently. I think Rizzo, however, should leave the SB attempts to others.

they've been stealing a lot more once the early losses started piling up...especially with guys you don't expect to attempt steals. so far, only rizzo has been "paying" for it negatively. the fact he has 7 steal attempts is kinda crazy.

And Cardinals are last with 11. Now compare their records. Despite the double steal attempt today leading to a run, steals are really overrated.

cubs have won at least 2 of their 15 wins in this short season because of what the steal set up adding runs by my might be 3 or more, but i know of at least 2.

OAK is stealing a lot of bases this year, too...sending more than a few guys that have "no business" trying to steal bases.

it seems more than a few teams are trying to take advantage of pitchers not paying attention to the runner. if you're good at noticing it (y.molina) then it can pay off if things go right afterwards.

...i dunno about keeping a.rizzo's pace of stealing, though...more than a few, even successful steals, have been ill advised even if they caught the pitcher/catcher/manager off guard.

And how many were lost due to CSs? Impossible to know but it's a real issue. You can't say SBs won games without taking into account that CSs could have lost them.

one you can quantify, the other you can't...

technically, you can't quantify either, but one has a known outcome.

taking a chance to steal a base when compared to the world at large may point to one direction, a negative, but technically no one should ever play the lottery or gamble a single cent in a casino because you probably won't get a positive outcome.

Well people have quantified steals and shown that for the most part they are a waste unless you have a very good % in terms of chance to score a run in any given situation. Gambling is a pretty good comparison because if you really need money you're a moron to gamble or play the lottery. Just take out a lighter and burn the money.

Stealing has a lot of variables but for the times when it both works AND actually leads to a run you can point to a ton of instances when it removes someone from scoring position and gives an out. There's really only a few people I want stealing (Rizzo isn't one of them).

We have an abnormally low avg with RISP and Cardinals have an abnormally large one. That means a lot more than steals.

I don't see how sabremetrics play a role in this at all. Overall, I'll take a running team any day over a station to station team. You answered your own argument with your RISP comparison. If the Cubs' RISP was even close to normal, they'd have a considerably better record than they do. Stolen bases has nothing to do with RISP. They are in completely different silos.

beyond that, the game changes for the hitter, the pitcher, and defensive alignment if the opposing team(s) know you might have steal in play.

when you're opening up gaps in the infield in order to hold a runner there's a better chance good things can happen whether someone actually steals or not.

this is before getting "into the pitcher's head" or other more vague variables.

the threat of a steal changes how the opposing team plays the game beyond the sb/cs...even if there's no sb attempted.

i.stewart gets his first hit since april 29th (though he didn't play may 2-8)...pinch hit 2rbi triple.

Chris Sale perfect thru six...and Sox have given him no support.

mike trout single up the middle one out 7

Crunch'd, Jacos with the assist.

Hi Phil, ever since I left these guys are hitting. I am sure your enjoying that. Your updates have been great!

a.rizzo gets a 7 year $41m extension (through 2019)


" The Cubs have reached agreement with Rizzo on a seven-year, $41 million contract through 2019, according to major-league sources. The deal also includes two $14.5 million club options, sources said.

Thus, the total value over nine years could be $68 million; Rizzo would not receive a $2 million buyout if both options are exercised. Escalators could further increase the size of the package to $73 million, sources said."

fwiw, he was easily gonna be a "super-two" guy for arb purposes.

If he becomes a consistent 30 HR guy with solid defense, I won't mind at all.

You know, as long as his other stats aren't Carlos Pena-esque.

I like. This is the new standard operating procedure since Longo. Now Castro, Soler, Rizzo signed through 2020. Nobody else is close to an extension other than Samardzija.

In a way, it's the new free agency. It's crazy to pay a guy with virtually no track record that kind of money, but it is going to be how it's done for awhile. Instead of risking a monster year, the Cubs are wrapping him up at a reasonable rate and hoping he pans out. Seems kind of crazy, but it's going to be the norm, if it already isn't.

CRUNCH: Prior to the contract extension, Rizzo was in-line to be "Super Two" eligible, but not until after the 2014 season. Then he would have been aribtration eligible again post-2015-17, and would have been eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B free-agent post-2018.

Recent comments

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  • Would hope so. Don't think the Cards can activate a retired player for the playoffs.

  • I'm curious. In your experience watching prospects at the lowest and more instructional level, what do teams teach their young players regarding takeout slides (for instance, would they teach guys to do the Coghlan/Kang type slide, discourage late slides like Utley's and Holliday's, etc.), and has what they teach changed at all in recent years?

  • Phil, now that instructs are over, did you see any players worthy of the title of breakout?

  • Yeah Schwarber would have still gone out I think. Fowler's was aided but hey if the wind is blowing out nothing wrong with just trying to get the ball in the air.

  • Schwarber's was hit hard, into cross wind

    Fowler's was straight up, heyward followed it until it went out

  • Mama Schwarber wants to have a word with you.

  • Mrs Fowler would like a word with you.

  • It seems to be blowing a bit out to right but far less than yesterday and much cooler so shouldn't be too much of an effect.

    Only one of our hrs last night was out because of the wind though I think.

  • Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.

  • I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.

  • Benji Molina is out of lineup

  • Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.

    Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.

    If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.

  • No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.

    I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.

  • Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!

  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep