Welly Goes A-Ballin' at Riverview Park
Welington Castillo homered, doubled, and singled, Jesse Hodges doubled twice and walked, and Duane Underwood tossed four innings of no run/no hit ball, as the Kane County Cougars rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 9th to edge the Burlingtom Bees (Los Angeles Angels Lo-A affiliate) 7-6 on Field #3, while the Inland Empire 66ers (the LAA Hi-A affiliate) drubbed the Daytona Cubs 12-3 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Castillo was "visiting" from MLB Camp, getting six Plate Appearances total between the two games. He moved back & forth between the two adjacent fields, serving as an extra DH and getting a PA whenever the opportunity presented itself. The HR was a line drive-blast over the LF fence in the Hi-A game on Field #6, the double one-hopped the CF fence (also on Field #6), and the single was drilled through the 5.5 hole on Field #3. After bouncing out 3-1 and going down on strikes (swinging), Castillo flied out to the warning track in RF in his last AB of the day.
Dillon Maples got the start for the D-Cubs in Field #6, and immediately threw 10 consecutive balls to start the game. Before he was relieved with one out in the top of the 3rd inning, Maples had allowed five runs on two hits (a triple and a single), six walks, an HBP, and two WP.
Duane Underwood on the other hand was absolutely masterful on Field #3, setting down the Bees with minimum difficulty. He mixed his fastball, change-up, and curve very effectively, and never was in trouble in any of his four frames.
The defensive gems of the day were turned-in on Field #3, as CF Rashad Crawford made a spectacular diving catch in left-center after a long run, and then 2B David Bote made a two-out run-saving leaping catch to snare a screaming line-drive seemingly headed for CF (as he jumped higher than he knew how). Both Crawford (who was an outstanding HS basketball player with the nickname "Baby Jordan") and Bote are super-athlectic, and so it's not surprising that they were today's Dynamic Duo of Defense.
Here are the abridged box scores from today's Minor League games at Riverview Park (Cubs player only)
KANE COUNTY LINEUP:
X. Welington Castillo, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, F-9)
NOTE: W. Castillo hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st & 5th
1a. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-1 (BB, F-9, R)
1b. Alex Sanchez, SS: 1-2 (BB, L-3, 1B. R)
2a. Kevin Brown, RF: 1-2 (6-3 DP, 1B, PO)
2b. Trevor Gretzky, RF: 1-3 (1B, P-3, 6-4 FC, R, RBI)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (2B, BB, 2B, P-4, F-7, R, RBI, PO)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH #2: 0-4 (3-U, P-4, K, K)
5. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, L-6, 1B, K, 2 RBI)
6. David Bote, 2B: 1-2 (BB, 1B, HBP, E-6)
7a. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (1-4 FC, 1-6-3 DP, R)
7b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-2 (P-4, 1-4 FC, R)
8. Charcer Burks, LF: 1-3 (BB, F-8, F-9, 1B, R)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-4 (1B, 3-1, P-4, 1B, 2 RBI)
KANE COUNTY PITCHERS:
1. Duane Underwood: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 5/5 GO/FO, 53 pitches (34 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 47 pitches (23 strikes)
3. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (7 strikes)
5. Tyler Bremer: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 8 pitches (4 strikes)
KANE COUNTY ERRORS (1):
3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
X. Welington Castillo, DH #1: 2-4 (2B, 3-1, HR, K, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: W. Castillo hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF-LF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 1-3, RBI)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, K, 5-3, RBI, CS)
3a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
3b. Ben Carhart, PH: 0-1 (K)
4a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (5-3, P-4)
4b. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-2 (2-5-3 DP, E-6)
5a. Danny Canela, DH #2: 0-1 (F-8, BB)
5b. Zak Blair, PH: 0-1 (K)
6a. Cael Brockmeyer, C: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC)
6b. Justin Marra, C: (0-1 (F-8)
7. Jordan Hankins, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, F-8, 1B)
8. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (5-3, F-8, 1B)
9. Trey Martin, LF-CF: 0-2 (P-3, BB, K, R)
1. Dillon Maples: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R (5 ER), 6 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 3/2 GO/FO, 66 pitches (29 strikes)
2. Jose Arias: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Justin Amlung: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 23 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 35 pitches (23 strikes)
NOTE: Rakkar's first inning was stopped with no outs and runner at 2nd base (after five runs had scored)
5. Hector Perez: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
NOTE: H. Perez's inning was stopped with two outs and bases loaded after second HBP of inning
DAYTONA ERRORS (1):
SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
DAYTONA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Cael Brockmeyer: 0-2 CS
Justin Marra: 1-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & cloudless with temperatures in the 80's
I think while I get you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually 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 Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
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.