Golden to Kane County as Cubs Edge A's at Fitch Park
Shawon Dunston Jr and Brad Zapenas collected three hits a piece, Francisco Sanchez stroked a two-run single and a double, and Loiger Padron tossed three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs edged the Athletics 4-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that all of the A's and Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Reggie Golden has been promoted to Kane County.
The Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick out of Wetumpka, AL, Golden suffered two torn knee ligaments while running the bases as a member of the Peoria Chiefs in April 2012, and missed the balance of the 2012 season. He looked rusty at Minor League Camp this past March, and so he was left behind at Extended Spring Training to get into better playing shape.
Golden was mired in a 1-22 slump through his first 11 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, but turned things around beginning on April 30th. He ended up hitting 250/384/400 in 24 Cactus League EXST games (73 PA), with four doubles, one triple, one HR & 12 RBI, 12/19 BB/K, and two SB (no CS), but he was especially hot over his last ten games (35 PA), hitting 400/486/533 with two doubles, a triple, and eight RBI over that span.
Also, RHRP Larry Suarez has been moved-up to Daytona.
In five Cactus League EXST games (7.0 IP), Suarez allowed one run (earned) on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts (1.29 ERA & 1.00 WHIP). Suarez struggled to throw strikes in Minor League Camp, and was left behind at Extended Spring Training to build up arm strength and work on his mechanics.
Now 23, the 6'4 270 Suarez was signed as a 16-year old "bonus baby" out of Venezuela on July 2, 2006 (the first day of the 2006 International Signing Period). He has occasionally shown flashes of talent (he was the closer for a while at Peoria last season), but has mostly been a disapointment. He is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (AKA "six-year free-agent") post-2013 if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster or agrees to a 2014 minor league successor contract by the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2013 World Series.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #1: 3-5 (1B, 3-U, 1B, K, 1B, R)
2a. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-3 (1B, K, K, R)
2b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (F-8, 4-6-3 DP)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-4 (1B, K, F-9, 5-3)
4. Steve Clevenger, 1B-DH: 1-3 (BB, F-7, 1B, F-7)
5. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (L-8, 6-3, F-9, 6-3)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI)
7. Jose Dore, LF: 1-4 (4-6-3 DP, 2B, P-6, 4-1, R)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-4 (K, K, L-6, K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-4 (P-3, 1B, 2B, K, 2 RBI, PO)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
1. Loiger Padron: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 41 pitches (23 strikes), 3/5 GO/FO
2. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 44 pitches (27 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 37 pitches (20 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 8 pitches (6 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Angel Mejias: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (11 strikes), 1/1 GO/GO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 1-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
LF Jose Dore - runner thrown out 7-2 attempting to score from 2nd base on two-out single
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 90's
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
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.