Cubs & Snakes Split a Pair at Riverview Park

Rony Rodriguez and Eloy Jimenez belted back-to-back RBI doubles, Ricardo Marcano followed with an RBI single, and Tyler Alamo capped the inning with a two-run home run over the LF fence, as the Cubs plated five runs in the 5th en route to a 7-3 victory over the Diamondbacks on Field #5, and Cesar Carrasco doubled twice and reached base on an error and scored three runs, and Dane McFarland and Sergio Alcantara laced two RBI singles a piece to drive-in a combined four runs, as the D'backs defeated the Cubs 5-1 on Field #6, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.  


SS Elliot Soto (serving a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension) collected three hits (all three hits were singles) and scored a run in the game on Field #5.

Four Cub pitchers on Field #5 combined to strike out 14 Diamondbacks.

The game on Field #6 was called after eight innings.  

RHP Dallas Beeler got the start on Field #5, and he labored through 2.2 IP (41 pitches - 31 strikes), allowing two runs on five hits (including three doubles and a triple). He did strike out four, however, and did not issue any walks. Beeler has been battling a "dead arm" since Spring Training, and with a couple of exceptions, has not been able to get his fastball velocity over 89 MPH. 

RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa saw his first game action since undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery (TJS) last May. The veteran closer started the game on Field #6, and was only able to retire one batter (F-8) before leaving the game in the middle of an AB (3-2 count) on the fourth hitter he faced. (He allowed a single and surrendered a walk to the other two hitters). Fujikawa called the trainer, the pitching coach, and his translator out to the mound after his 18th pitch of the inning (a wild pitch), and then after a short discussion, he left the game.   

17-year old SS Gleyber Torres had a bad game defensively on Field #6, committing three errors. He muffed two ground balls and dropped a pop fly in shallow CF, the three errors resulting in three unearned runs eventually scoring.  

Here is the abridged box score from the two games (Cubs players only):

FIELD #5:

CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, P-6, BB, R, CS)
2. Elliot Soto, SS: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, K, R)
3. Rony Rodriguez, RF: 1-4 (F-8, F-7, 2B, F-9, R, RBI)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 1-2 (F-9 SF, K, 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI)
5. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 1-4 (F-8, 3-1, 1B, K, R, RBI)
6. Tyler Alamo, C: 1-3 (HBP, 1-3, HR, 6-3, 2 R, 2 RBI)
7. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 1-2 (BB, BB, F-8, 1B, CS)
8. Mark Malave, 1B: 1-4 (K, F-8, 1B, 5-4 FC)
9. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, 6-4 FC, K, RBI, 2 PO)

CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Dallas Beeler: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (31 strikes)
NOTE: Beeler's first inning was stopped with two outs and a runner at 3rd base
2. David Garner: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (17 strikes)
3. Jasvir Rakkar: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 28 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 24 pitches (15 strikes)

SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE

SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Tyler Alamo: 1-4 CS, 1 PB

FIELD #6:

CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Charcer Burks, LF: 1-3 (1B, F-8, BB, L-8 DP, SB)
2. Kevin Brown, DH: 1-3 (F-7, BB, 3-U, 1B, R)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 2-4 (K, 1B, L-3, 1B)
4. Justin Marra, C: 0-4 (K, F-8, K, 4-6-3 DP)
5. Arnaldo  Calero, RF: 0-3 (5-3, K, BB, 1-3)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-2 (3-1, 4-3, BB)
7. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-3 (K, 4-3, 4-3)
8. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (K, P-6, 1B)
9. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (K, 1B, K)

SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Kyuji Fujikawa: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)  
2. Erick Leal: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 1 GIDP, 5/2 GO/FO, 41 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Trey Lang: 2.0 IP. 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 26 pitches (17 strikes)
4. Corbin Hoffner: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (27 strikes)
NOTE: Hoffner's third inning was stopped with two outs and a runner at 3rd base

SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 3  
1. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (dropped pop fly allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)  

SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 0-1 CS

SQUAD "A" OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Arnaldo Calero - threw out batter 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double

ATTENDANCE: 21

WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's


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Comments

AzPhil

I'm curious how you feel Gleyber compares, off of what little you've seen so far, to Carlos Penalver and Marco Hernandez, first, at the same stages in their careers (in Arizona, XST), and second in general. I've read/seen all the reports, just curious about your gut feeling so far. (it's possible you answered this in a comment before, if so, sorry).

TOONSTER: When Marco Hernandez first arrived at Fitch Park (Instructs 2010) as an 18-year old he had good range at SS, but he threw sidearm (sort of the "sidearm sling" second-basemen use) and so his throws would sometimes bounce to 1st. He also was a switch-hitter back then, and he just could not hit with any authority RH. But then he changed his arm slot and stopped switch-hitting, and his two main problems disappeared overnight and he had an outstanding 2011 season with the AZL Cubs.  

Carlos Penalver has plus-range, plus-arm, and plus-speed (all three superior to Hernandez) and I think he will eventually be a better hitter and base-runner than Hernandez, too. He does have a tendency to play "too fast," however, and that's when he makes mistakes (as he did in Minor League Camp this year). He's kind of like a point guard who sometimes tries to make the low-percentage pass or a defensive back who gambles for an interception but ends up getting burned and giving up an easy score.   

I saw Gleyber Torres at Instructs last year (when he was 16) and he struggled offensively, but you could see his superior athleticism defensively in infield drills (where you can gauge a player's range, arm strength, and sure-handedness). The key of couse is to play the same way in games as you do in infield practice (some guys can't), and up until yesterday Torres was not only capable of making the impossible WTF? play, but he also played with a steadiness and poise you don't see very often in a 17-year old.

I still like Penalver best, but only because he has advanced to Lo-A without missing a beat, and Torres is only at Extended Spring Training. But I also think Torres has the highest celing and could eventually surpass Penalver. 

 

cj edwards - 5ip 5h 1bb 7k, 3 r/er (80 pitches)

dustin geiger (AA, 1st) hit his 4th HR on the year...bryant 1-4 with a double

A (kane) and AAA rained out.

Sometimes as a Cubs fan I forget how bad it really is. I tend to think it's not so bad, that all those years of mediocrity is just that. Mere mediocrity. Then reality hits me on the head when I read an article like the NYT link today in the twitter feed. "In the 68 seasons since, the team has finished above .500 only 19 times.". That's not mediocrity. It's pure, unfiltered shit.

I've been a Cubs fan for a long time, and sometimes people rightly get annoyed when I complain about what I see as a slow pace with TheoCorp, but this is why:

"In the 68 seasons since, the team has finished above .500 only 19 times."

The last two seasons? More shit.

I see promise with the kids, but I look around the majors and I see a lot of teams with prospects that are as good. So, yeah, a third season of shit is not gonna make me happy.

I don't want to hear about how Castro and Rizzo are "looking better". I want the team to win. I'm sick of giving up on the season in May year after year.

We all knew rebuilding would be painful, but it has to happen, mostly because of the shitstorm Hendry left behind. The guy should have been axed on Ricketts first day as owner. Yes, there are a lot of good prospects around the league, but for the first time in a long time, the Cubs organization actually has a number of good prospects. Not just "Cub good", but actually good. Good organizations aren't built in one year, it takes time.

In summary- come down off the ledge.

That said, I do think it is unacceptable for the Chicago Cubs to have the 8th lowest payroll in baseball. That's including a lot of money still being paid to Soriano.

"it is unacceptable for the Chicago Cubs to have the 8th lowest payroll"

A team committed to a serious rebuild should spend less money, not more, in order not to fill positions with veteran free agents who are slightly on the plus side of mediocre. Olt is having enough trouble displacing a guy making $1.7 million. Would you prefer that the team won more games but Lake and Olt were in Iowa?

There just aren't enough bullets now, but the slots are there for the taking in the outfield and middle infield and the competition will be fierce among the obvious prospects and the more serendipitous ones like Olt and Lake.

O&B is mixing mediocrity with shittiness. Shittiness is often temporary, while mediocrity tends to go on and on.

"O&B is mixing mediocrity with shittiness. "

I'm not mixing them up at all. The Cubs have had both, in abundance. They've never had greatness. Just shittiness, mediocrity, and shitty mediocrity.

When Theo changes that, and I'm at least thinking there's a 50% chance he will, I'll be the first to praise him. He has stuff going against him (see comments on ownership by others) that aren 't going to help him at all.

We shall see. I'm a Cubs fan and their history justifies my skepticism. It has nothing to do with Theo, really.

setting up for 5 seasons in a row of getting top-tier draft picks (2011-2015 draft classes) along with the recent slew of trading away the roster + signing then trading almost everyone they get on 1-2 year contracts goes a long way in collecting youth.

it'd be hard to not screw that up. the downside is sitting through this many years of trash, though...especially considering the 2010 season preceding all of this was a crap season, too.

2007 and 2008 seem so far away. that was fun...until the LDS.

I think they have been investing in the organization and minor league system. I posted a week back, in a drunken rage, when Theo came on the scouts didn't know what excl was and there were feral cats roaming the scout office. (only one is a joke)

I believe why you see the influx of kids because someone with a clue is in there now and not basing players on their looks or how their girlfriend is.

That being said I will be disappointed if they spend on some pitching this offseason.

One thing that is always overlooked when complaining about Cub mediocrity is ownership. Without good ownership, a team will languish. The Cub's ownership history is indicative of the won-loss record posted by Cubs' teams over the past many decades. Mr. Wrigley was not an owner that wanted to spend too much to procure or develop players to win consistently. This was no secret. The Tribune Company was most happy with bottom-dollar profits - Harry Carey being the best acquisition they ever made. Again, this was no secret. The worst owner also was the least tenured, Sam Zell. He is the current culprit of the wreckage currently seen at Wrigley Field. He instructed Hendry to sign players at top dollar (or beyond) to create a quick fix at the ML level, while staving player development all to enhance his desire to flip the Cubs at the best price. Then, as a poison pill, he saddles the Ricketts with unnecessary structured debt to close the deal all for his fat wallet, unrepentant to the long-term costs to Ricketts' ownership and success.

For all the belly-aching we fans lament about players and management, the real "suck" for Cubs fans is the history of ownership. Although the jury is still out on Ricketts ownership, I see a different level of commitment from this group. I have suffered decades of being a Cubs fan (why didn't mom move to Hawaii when she had a chance before I was born) and I am hardened to the current dread that plays 9 innings everyday for 6 months and calls it major league. I will be patient and wait for another "plan" to unfold. In those many years of disappoint, there has not been a management team like the current. I don't think success will happen until our core "kids" have played 2-3 years at Wrigley. But, I do believe success will come, with or without the kids. Jed/Theo/Jason will find away to turn the Cubs into consistent winners.

If it doesn't happen, I will most likely have passed on like the rest of the cub hopefuls.

It's hard to get a real gauge on this ownership. They seem committed in many ways, and it's not really sensible to complain about their lack of making an impact in an insane free agent market. The real test is wins and losses for me as a fan. So far, that hasn't gone well at all under this ownership.

I may not be as Old or Blue as Old & Blue (maybe approaching this)...but I marvel at the Tampa Rays.

They don't spend - except wisely, have an incredible scouting and development machine - and a fucking smart MLB Manager - and when they sucked, they sucked ass for long enough to make their draft choices really count.

However, much of their foundation building came before the latest CBA.

It is plainly obvious (and we have been discussing such here for a couple years) Theo did not know the double shit-storms he got himself into of the finances, and bereft farm system.

It seems as if this front office is infinitely more prepared to build a strong organization than at anytime I can remember since Dallas Green.

But the Cubs are SO far the Cardinals (for over 50 years, in fact) that I just don't know how much of a dent they are going to make in the years to come.

In the short term - I just am not as optimistic as I once was.

All told - it is just such a fucking mess...

Nice summary. Overall, given the current conditions, I'd still say that in Theo they are in as about a capable a group of hands as they can be. I'm like you. I'm not sure that's enough.

KC boxscore, Arias 1.0 IP, 4 K's

Blackburn also had a strong night.

http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2014_...

How?

Dropped 3rd strike?

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