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):
FITCH PARK FIELD #3:
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
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)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Frandy de la Rosa, DH-SS: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
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
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 1
P Erick Leal - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS
FITCH PARK FIELD #4:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
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)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
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
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
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)
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Rony Rodriguez: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.