Cubs and Angels Tie One On at Diablo Park
Xavier Batista blasted his fourth home run in four games (a solo shot in the top of the 6th that put him into a tie for the team-lead in HR with Jeffrey Baez), Jose Morales hammered an RBI triple, scored a run, and drew a walk, and Carlos Penalver doubled, walked, and scored two runs, as the Cubs and Angels played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #6 in Tempe, AZ.
Junior Lake played six innings at 3B and batted six times, going 1-6. He drove-in a run with an RBI 5-3 GO in the 1st, reached base on an RBI infield single, stole a base, and scored a run in the 2nd, struck out swinging in the 3rd, reached base on a 5-4 FC and stole a base in the 5th, was called out on strikes in the 6th, and struck out swinging in the 7th.
In five Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (26 PA), Lake is hitting 409/500/682 with six doubles, seven runs scored, three RBI, 3/6 BB/K, and 3 SB (1 CS). He has played three of the five EXST games at 3B and two in CF, and he has not commited an error at either position.
RHP Paul Blackburn got the start for the Cubs and was roughed-up in the bottom of the 1st inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (four singles and a triple). Bit then he got into a groove and retired nine in a row.
RHP Armando Rivero relieved Blackburn and was hit hard, allowing three runs on five hits (four singles and a triple) in 1.2 IP. He struck out three (all three swinging).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1. Jose Morales, DH #1: 1-4 (3B, F-8, F-8, 4-3, BB, R, RBI)
NOTE: Morales batted five times, hitting 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
X-2. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-6 (5-3, 1B, K, 5-4 FC, K, K, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, hitting third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 3-1, 3-U, R, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 1-4 (1B, K, P-6, K)
3. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (E-9, K, HR, 1B, R, RBI)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-2 (BB, BB, K, 4-6-3 DP)
5. Jose Dore, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, F-9)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (L-7, 1B, 5-3 SH)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (2B, BB, L-4, 2 R)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (P-3, P-5)
8b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (5-3)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
1. Paul Blackburn: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 74 pitches (46 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO
2. Armando Rivero: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 41 pitches (30 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
2B Brad Zapenas - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+
KKVG: Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive of the 2015-16 IFA. He has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the 2015-16 IFA position players who could. To accommodate Paredes at SS, the Cubs have been moving Andruw Monasterio (who was the #1 SS at AZL Cubs in 2015 and the presumptive Eugene SS going into Minor League Camp) around the infield (SS-2B-3B) at EXST.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.
Win tomorrow, and the Cubs would have a 6-game lead. On May 4.