Not Everybody Can Go to Boise
Kevin Encarnacion belted a bases-loaded three-run triple and a double and scored three runs, Yasiel Balaguert singled three times, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Xavier Batista collected three hits including a solo home run and an RBI single, helping one squad of Cubs defeat another squad of Cubs 12-6 in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
Squad "B" pitchers retired 19 of the last 20 men they faced, as Squad "B" rallied from an early 6-1 deficit to win the game.
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that more pitchers could get work.
The players had three days off during the First-Year Player Draft, and the team reconvened in Mesa yesterday. The players came into today's intrasquad game unaware of who would be going to Boise and who will be staying in Mesa. The Boise roster was to be announced by Hawks Manager Gary Van Tol at a team meeting at 2:00 (MST) this afternoon at the Fitch Park clubhouse, and supposedly one or two of the roster slots were still up for grabs going into the game.
Boise's first game is this Friday night at Eugene (first home game is next Monday night), and the AZL Cubs will begin league play on June 20th. All AZL Cubs home games will be night games played at HoHoKam Park (Dwight Patterson Field).
Not related to the battle for Boise roster slots, AA Tennessee OF Jae-Hoon Ha (lower back strain rehab) played CF for five innings and batted five times in the game, going 1-5 with two strikeouts (one swinging & one looking), a FC, a F-9 fly out, and a line-drive opposite-field single. He also stole a base. Ha suffered the back strain during batting practice prior to a Smokies game on May 3rd, and this was his first game action since suffering the injury.
Also, Iowa Cubs RHP Carlos Gutierrez (2012 shoulder surgery rehab) threw one inning and allowed the solo HR to Batista, and switch-hitting ex-Minnesota Twins C-1B-3B Jose Morales (strained hamstring rehab) was the starting catcher for Squad "A" and was behind the dish for seven innings.
The Cubs claimed Gutierrez off waivers from Minnesota last October, and then outrighted him to Iowa in November. He was assigned to the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp, but was left behind at Extended Spring Training to continue his rehab. He got into one Cactus League Extended Spring Training game on April 10th, and then was shut-down for about six weeks. He has been pitching in "sim" games for the past couple of weeks.
Gutierrez was a former Twins 1st round draft pick out of the University of Miami, where he was the Hurricanes closer. He was throwing mostly cutters & sinkers today, topping out at 92 MPH.
The Cubs signed Morales to a minor league contract in April, and he suffered the hamstring injury in his very first Cactus League EXST game on April 19th. He returned to game action on May 30th, and should be about ready to move up to Iowa.
Here is the box score from today's intrasquad game:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
X. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 1-5 (K, FC, K, 1B, F-9, R, SB)
NOTE: Ha batted five times, hitting 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, 4-3, 4-3, L-8, RBI)
2. Jose Morales, C-DH: 1-4 (2B, 3-U, F-7, K, R, RBI)
3. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (BB, K, K, K, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (2B, F-8, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, 5-3, L-5, 2 RBI)
6. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-4 (F-7, F-7, K, K)
7a. Garrett Schlecht, DH #1: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R, SB)
7b. Neftali Rosario, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-1 (K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (3B, K, K, R, RBI)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 2-6 (P-4, 3B+E4, F-8, K, 2B, E-4, 3 R, 3 RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-5 (K, 1B, K, L-8, FC, BB, RBI, SB)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 3-6 (L-4, 1B, 1B+E7, F-9, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Xavier Batista, DH: 3-5 (HR, K, 1B, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
5. Jose Dore, 1B: 1-4 (HBP, P-4, 4-3, 2B, R, RBI)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-5 (E-6, 1B, 6-3, L-8, F-9, R)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 4-6-3 DP, BB, K, 1B, 2 R)
8a. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
8c, Erick Castillo, C: 1-1 (1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-5 (K, K, K, 1B, 6-U FC, 2 R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Carlos Gutierrez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 68 pitches (42 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Bottom of 5th inning was stopped with two outs when Leal reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
3. Armando Rivero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 35 pitches (24 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. David Villegas: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Game was called with one out in bottom of 10th inning after all pitchers completed their scheduled work
SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Loiger Padron: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 78 pitches (48 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 5
1. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (error on relay throw to third base on triple allowed batter to score)
3. LF Trevor Gretzky - E-7 (fielding error allowed batter to take an extra base on single)
4. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error while attempting complete 6-3 DP allowed runner at 3rd base to score)
5. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jose Morales: 0-2 CS
SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures 105+
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.
Now looming VERY large. Game tied.
That Braves TOOTBLAN trying to stretch a double into a triple is looming very large.
Phil, do you know if Victorino has an opt out date approaching? Thanks.
Maybe he can even fall asleep/passout at a red light. #cardinalway
hopefully he has enough time to pound 6-10 beers before the drive back home.
: / )
Yeah, there's that....
CTSteve -- have they decided to skip tomorrow's game...? (I keed)
Not a bad thing -- Bryant and Miggy are hurt, and Ross could use a day off.