Cubs Celebrate Almora Departure with Laugher at Diablo Park
Steve Clevenger laced an RBI double and a single and scored two runs, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI double and a triple and scored three times, Dong-Yub Kim doubled, singled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Jacob Rogers drove-in three runs with an RBI 6-3 GO, a triple, and a bases-loaded walk, as the Cubs drubbed the Angels 16-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
This was the final Cactus League Extended Spring Training game for Albert Almora (broken hand rehab), as he will be leaving Arizona tomorrow morning, en route to join the Kane County Cougars. In six Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (28 PA), Almora hit 259/286/444, with four singles, one double, and two triples, one walk and four strikeouts, five runs scored. and two RBI. He also stole a base.
The Cubs 2012 1st round pick (6th overall), Almora sustained a broken hamate bone at Minor League Camp on March 14th.
Steve Clevenger (strained oblique rehab) was a DH in today's game, and got four AB. He batted once in each of the first four innings, getting called out on strikes in his first PA, rifling a line-drive single over the pitcher's head his second time up and then scoring later that inning, roping an RBI double off the CF fence in his third AB before scoring another run later in that inning, and finally grounding into a DP his final turn at the bat.
Because Clevenger was placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL on April 14th, he won't be eligible to be reinstated until June 13th. So once Clevenger completes his work at Extended Spring Training, look for him to spend a few more days on a 20-day minor league rehab assignment at Tennessee and/or Iowa.
Cubs 2012 6th round pick RHP Trey Lang got the start for the Cubs and had a poor outing, allowing three runs on three hits, four walks, and a HBP (plus a WP) in just 2.1 IP (63 pitches - only 29 strikes). Four Angel runners were cut-down on the bases in the first two innings of the game (two CS, one catcher PO, and one pitcher PO), or Lang's line could have been even uglier than it was.
17-year old Venezuelan LHP Carlos Rodriguez followed Lang to the mound and threw 2.2 IP of no-run/no-hit ball, allowing a walk to the the first man he faced before retiring the last eight batters in a row (4-3, F-8, K, 4-3, 3-U, L-6, P-3, L-1). Rodriguez will likely be one of the AZL Cubs starting pitchers this summer.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Steve Clevenger, DH #1: 2-4 (K, 1B, 2B, 3-6-3 DP, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Clevenger batted four times, hitting third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Albert Almora, CF: 1-5 (F-8, BB, 1B, E-5, L-6, F-9, 2 R, SB)
2. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-4 (BB, K, BB, 1B, K, 4-3, R)
3. Rony Rodriguez, DH #2: 0-4 (F-8, K, HBP, P-3, E-5, 2 R)
4a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (3B, 2B, FC-E2, K, 3 R, RBI)
4b. Brad Zapenas, PH-3B: 1-1 (3B, R, 2 RBI)
5a. Jacob Rogers, 1B-DH: 1-3 (6-3, 3B, BB, 3-U, R, 3 RBI)
5b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
6b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 1-2 (K, 3B, RBI)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-5 (4-3, 4-3, K, 3-1, 6-3, RBI)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-3 (2B, 4-3, 3-6 FC, 2 RBI)
8b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (E-6, E-6, R)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-4 (L-6, 1B, BB, 1B, F-8, R)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R, RBI)
1. Trey Lang: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 PO, 63 pitches (29 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 2.2 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 29 pitches (19 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
3. Orbandy Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 18 pitches (10 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 2-2 CS, 1 PO
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
Garrett Schlecht - runner thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90's
The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...