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
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.