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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  • 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. 

  • 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?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.