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
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.