Martin & Hodges Are Batman 1-A & 1-B in 10-8 Cubs Victory
Trey Martin laced three doubles (one line-drive into the LF corner, one line-drive off the left-field fence, and one line drive into the left-center alley), walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, Jesse Hodges singled twice, doubled, collected two RBI, and scored twice, and Michael Wagner threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs outlasted the Angels 10-8 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
Martin also commited two tactical baserunning gaffes as the result of being over-aggressive, making the third out at 3rd base in the bottom of the 3rd inning while trying to stretch one of his doubles into a triple, and then getting thrown out 6-5 trying to advance from 2nd base to 3rd base on a routine ground ball to the SS in the bottom of the 6th.
The lanky 20-year old from Georgia missed most of the 2013 season after undergoing shoulder surgery (non-throwing shoulder) in April, and he is just now rounding back into playing shape. Known more as a defensive whiz than an offensive force, Martin has been driving the ball with authority throughout Instructs, a possible indication that the chronic shoulder problem he had may have kept him from reaching his full potential as a hitter.
Cubs 2013 19th round draft pick Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina U.) made his professional game debut today, serving as a DH and going 1-3 with a single and an HBP. Remillard signed with the Cubs right at the July deadline (receiving a $150K "overslot" bonus), but was unable to play during the minor league regular season because of a back injury. FWIW, Remillard was Josh Conway's catcher in college (Conway was the Cubs 4th round draft pick in 2012, and is presently rehabbing from a fractured elbow suffered in an EXST game last May).
RHP (ex-OF) Johermyn Chavez got hammered in his one inning of work, allowing three runs on two doubles, a triple, a single, and a walk. Chavez was converted to a pitcher this past Summer and will be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") after the World Series, unless he & the Cubs agree to a 2014 minor league successor contract in the meantime.
Kirby Pellant tripled, singled, walked, and scored two runs for the Angels in a losing cause.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-4 (K, 2B, 3-U, 4-3, R)
2. Will Remillard, DH #1: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, HBP, K)
3. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, F-9, L-6, BB, R, SB)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (E-5, 6-4 FC, F-9, P-3, 2 R, RBI)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 6-4 FC, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
6. Trey Martin, LF: 3-3 (2B, 2B, 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jordan Hankins, DH #2: 1-3 (F-7 SF, 1B, K, K, R, RBI)
8. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, 6-5 FC, L-9, R)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (1B, F-9 SF, BB, E-6, R, 2 RBI, SB)
10a. Mark Malave, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
10b. Erick Castillo, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 RBI, CS)
1. Michael Wagner: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 36 pitches (25 strikes)
2. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1/0 GO/FO, 41 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 4/3 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Johermyn Chavez: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (two-base throwing error on relay throw to 2nd base on RBI double allowed batter to score unearned run)
2. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Mark Malave: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 1-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out baserunner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers.
Tony Four Sacks # 27
Hammel has k'd Votto twice.
Sore Ribs doesn't worry me too much. Getting a "precautionary MRI" has me assuming he is going to be out at least a few days, possibly more.
Maybe he got injured diving for the ball in LF? I really hope it's not code for a "strained oblique"....
Our starting pitching kinda sucks for #3-5.
Schwarber out with "sore ribs"
/sorry to interrupt the magic number talk
JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates ( I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings. Guys who have been pitching regularly as starters have thrown too many innings to be considered, so it probably came down to Johnson, Zastryzny, and Duane Underwood Jr, with Underwood odd man out because he hasn't pitched above Hi-A.
Schwarber stays back and hammers a 3-2 change-up that was down and away. Very impressive.
And a good job to drive the ball to RF to advance the runner in the 8th. Encouraging.
It looks like the Cubs "post-season clinch number" is 25 right now: http://lyle.smu.edu/~olinick/riot/national_league.html
Is the magic number 25 or 26?
Agreed, to my untrained eyes he does look better than last season. Not a finished product yet and hopefully he will continue to improve, but if he plays solid middle infield defense he will stick in the majors.
Phillips smiled at Strop and gave him a thumbs up.
That pitch Schwarber hit is the kind he's been missing a lot of lately. When Schwarber struggles it reminds me of how hard it is to hit baseballs at that level. It doesn't seem like they've found a weakness, just that he isn't seeing the ball that great and just missing. Same with Rizzo the last few days.
I missed it. What did he do?