Soler Collects an O-fer & Beeler Throws 6-Plus at Riverview Park

Nataniel Delgado belted an RBI triple and a double and scored a run, Brandon Bayardi stroked two RBI singles, and veteran MLB LHP Sean Burnett (2013 elbow surgery rehab) and five relievers combined to toss a three-hitter with ten strikeouts, as the Angels defeated the Cubs 4-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

Jorge Soler (hamstring injury rehab) played RF for five innings (first time he has played in the outfield in about a month) and batted once in each of the first five innings, going 0-5 with five ground outs.

RHP Dallas Beeler continued his EXST rehab assignment, throwing 6.1 IP (60 pitches - 44 strikes) and allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits (five singles and a triple) and a walk, while striking out two and (once again) getting a ton of ground balls (12/3 GO/FO, plus another grounder that turned into an error). 

THE PITCHING LINES FROM DALLAS BEELER'S FOUR EXST OUTINGS
4/14 - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (31 strikes) 
4/19 - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 7/1 GO/FO, 63 pitches (44 strikes)
4/25 - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 9/2 GO/FO, 68 pitches (45 strikes)  
4/30 - 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 12/3 GO/FO, 60 pitches (44 strikes) 
TOTAL: 18.0 IP, 21 H, 9 R (9 ER), 4 BB, 11 K, 1 PO, 30/6 GO/FO, 71% strikes, 4.50 ERA, 1.39 WHIP


In EXST player news, Cubs 2012 5th round draft pick LHP Anthony Prieto (Americas HS - El Paso,TX) has undergone "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery (TJS) on his left elbow and will miss the 2014 season. The 20-year old lefty threw only 40 innings (combined) for the AZL Cubs over his first two seasons in the Cub organization.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

CUBS LINEUP:
X. Jorge Soler, RF: 0-5 (6-3, 1-3, 5-3, 5-3, 6-3)
NOTE  Soler batted third in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-4 (L-7, K, 1B, P-3, R)
2. Justin Marra, C: 1-3 (K, F-7, BB, 3B)
3a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
3b. Arnaldo Calero, RF: 0-1 (F-8 SF, K, RBI)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 1-4 (2B, F-9, K, K)
5. Roney Alcala, 3B: 0-3 (K, 3-U, 6-3)
6. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
7. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 0-2 (K, 4-3, BB)
8. Varonex Cuevas, 2B: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3, BB)
9. Charcer Burks, LF: 0-2 (6-3, HBP, K, R)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Dallas Beeler: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 12/3 GO/FO, 60 pitches (44 strikes)
2. David Garner: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/0 GO/FO, 24 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 21 pitches (14 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. C Justin Marra - E-2 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. P David Garner - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 1-3 CS, 1 E (see above)

ATTENDANCE: 12

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

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Comments

iowa (AAA) postponed again.

rizzo HR off a lefty...aww yeah.

he's killing lefties this year...small sample size and all, but legit smackdown style numbers.

ejax takes a 2-0 lead and turns it into a 2-2 tie.

awesome.

Anthony "Barry Bonds" Rizzo. Gets pitched around in the fifth.

slide of the year by rizzo.....skills.

cubs lead by 2.

It will probably stay as slide of the year

can capt happy keep this 2-3-4-5 for a while?

He can, yes.

this is an odd pitcher replacement.

2 out, none on, 7 hole hitter due up, ejax with 88 pitches in 5.2ip...no injury concern.

alright, then. time to burn some pen.

wow ramirez

93-96mph heat.

2ip 0h 1bb 3k in his 2 outing career so far. he'll got as far as his control will let him as a pen guy.

nothing says your fans are hip and cosmopolitan then doing the Ric Flair "Whoo" scream

redneck mating call, bro.

s.marshall getting spanked. b.price let marshall throw 30 pitches of really sub-par no-movement stuff before yanking him. he didn't "have it" from pitch 1 tonight.

4 runs in.

if you're out there Phil, someone on our Facebook page is asking if you know when Joel Pineiro's next start would be?

I remember that most everyone here groaned every time Rondon came out to pitch, but it looks like TheoCorp knew what it was doing with that little project. And wasn't Ramirez a last minute throw in for Garza? I could look that up I guess. If those guys keep the ball in the strike zone, that could actually make things interesting because then you have to beat the Cubs in the first 6 innings if you throw in a strike throwing Strope (still uncertain).

Every 5 days or so I get to be an optimist after a win, but it does seem like Mueller is having an impact. JD has been saying how Castro and Castillo are both following through more on their swings and that Mueller has been working with Castillo on that. Everyone seems to be getting the working the count thing, too.

I love these occasional wins and the short lived optimism it gives my bipolar Cubs fan mind.

it was known the cubs were getting another prospect of value in the garza deal...n.ramirez was one they could pick from.

I'd really like to see Olt get the vast majority of ABs at third. I know what he's hitting average wise, but every time he comes to the plate he's a potential game changer at the plate. He seems to swing and miss a lot, sort of like Brett Jackson, but he's got more power and can crank to the opposite field, and maybe if he is playing every day they can work with him a bit.

Agreed. He needs consistent playing time so we can see how he settles in, and because a small sample size could be especially skewed for a guy whose game is largely HRs and SOs. We haven't yet see his discipline, which I think will show, since he averaged a 13% or so walk rate in the minors.

I'd also like to see someone more threatening in the lineup behind Rizzo. I'm not a true believer in "protection," but this lineup is so weak I think it is actually causing Riz not to get pitches to hit, as crunch has pointed out (though I, like crunch, am happy with the way Rizzo has responded to that).

"And wasn't Ramirez a last minute throw in for Garza?"

Yes, Rangers pulled back on stud SS (Fafar?) so they threw in Ramirez.

Olt needs to play everyday, because if he makes it then you tell Bryant to buy OF glove.

Valbuena and Barney can platoon.

Are you talking about Profar? doubt the #1 prospect in baseball that was on the major league roster was ever part of the deal.

Cubs had a choice of either Ramirez or two other pitchers as the PTBNL, but wanted Ramirez all along, think he was on DL at time of trade and Cubs wanted medicals to check out.

 

maybe it was olt instead of Profar.

Thought Rangers almost sent Profar but pulled him out and replaced with someone else.

I'm probably wrong.

I think that was rumored early, but it was received as wild and sourceless speculation engineered to produce clicks by most writers/non-MLB.com commenters.

You Guys Didn't Sniff It Out

The player they wanted was Odor.

Rangers would not give him up.

NOT Profar.

http://www.chicagonow.com/world-series-dreaming/20...

Yeah, in this case, Rizzo needs protection. I think Renteria sort of gets that, and putting Castro behind Rizzo is helping a lot more than I thought it would. Castro is really getting around on the ball lately. Luckily Rizzo is taking those walks they are giving him. The way teams are pitching to him makes me think this is a guy who is going to break out in a very big way someday in the not too distant future. If other teams are pitching around him in the fifth inning, this is quite a show of respect for a guy whose numbers are not yet mind boggling. I don't think Olt is the guy you want behind him right yet, especially with Castro doing well. I liked Thursday's lineup for a change. I'm sure Happy will throw a completely different one out there Friday.

Lineup construction is way overblown and although it's an easy thing to pick at during the season, generally it has little effect.

But I will say, the 2 keys should always be, get your best hitters the most PA's and put your best hitters together, hits in bunches is usually the key. Left-right handedness, protection, speed, all B.S.  Edmonds, Pujols, Rolen batting in a row though, that's important.

I don't really believe that protection matters when it's a case of we-need-the-perfect-five-hole-hitter. I do believe it could matter when it's a case of we-have-only-two-major-league-hitters.

So, it isn't that overblown, based on your second statement. Junior Lake batting second, for example (as noted in a separate comment), isn't a very good idea, at least at this juncture in his career. I think it's almost impossible to provide empirical evidence either way, so it's a matter of opinion, but I think lineup construction matters a lot, especially on a weaker team like this. Not so much on a team with some quality hitters all over the place.

not the way I'd go for sure, although Lake batting 2nd vs. a lefty probably isn't a terrible idea. Haven't paid enough attention though this season...

as for lack of evidence, I don't think that's true, but not going to mine the Internet right now for links.

When I look at Lake, I think he could be more than he is somehow. He's almost really good.

he looks the part for sure and takes some good hacks.

late top 150 list by Sickels

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/5/1/5640414/top-150-prospects-for-20...

Baez #10, Bryant #12, Almora #32, Edwards #42, Soler #62, Alcantara #87, Johnson #114,

Keith Law chat

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/50508

Junior Lake has an OBP of .254 and is is striking out every 2.26 ABs, which would be a major league record among qualified hitters. Where'd your haters go?

Klaw
  (1:08 PM)



Same place as the Matt Szczur fan club, probably. Why on earth is Lake hitting second, by the way? Are the Cubs trying to lose as much as possible?

-----

If Aiken, Kolek, and Rodon are off the board, who would you take at number 4?

Klaw
  (1:11 PM)



Today, Erick Fedde and Nick Gordon would probably be my next two names. That's with Hoffman (and Finnegan) on the shelf, though.

----

Is Alex Jackson going to end up in the outfield or is there a chance he can stay at c/3b?

Klaw
  (1:12 PM)



I believe he'll end up at 3b/rf. I think he could catch, but the team that drafts him will likely take the Myers/Harper route.

------

How worried are you that Albert Almora has yet to take a walk in 94 PA's?

Klaw
  (1:14 PM)



I'm not worried. Then again, it doesn't really affect my life, does it?

-----

Would I be crazy to say Anthony Rizzo is creeping into Votto territory as far as plate discipline goes? Has his success so far been an improved approach or mechanical adjustment?

Klaw
  (1:31 PM)



I don't think you're crazy. Approach looks like it has legitimately improved. I've heard some off-record explanations, but enough for me to say that I believe he'll sustain this improvement.

Nice stuff there. Regarding Lake, it's the bottom of the ninth in the they adjust/he adjusts game.

adjust to lake? don't throw him a fastball...don't hang anything offspeed if he's not expecting a fastball.

there's the book on him. he can take some absolutely silly hacks at offspeed stuff and miss badly.

Right but a lot of times a young hitter will also adjust. Not happening here.

"don't throw him a fastball"

Okay, that's one theory. "Lake can't hit a breaking pitch." Heard that a lot, haven't actually seen it.

Problems I see with Lake:

Has trouble laying off high fastballs. Lake already has a bit of an uppercut swing, so can't do much with high pitches anyway.

Tries to pull everything. Hits a lot of balls just to the shortstop side of second, but those are outside pitches.

Overswings.

(Lake does look great at times. He absolutely killed two balls against Cincy on Wednesday, not even counting the warning-track shot to center in the first inning.)

Those are nice stats, thanks for pointing them out. I'll get a better idea what they mean when I've used them a little more.

I guess you're pointing to the -2.1 in wSL (Slider runs above average) in 2014. In 254 plate appearances last year, Lake's number in that column was +2.8, which doesn't say to me, Can't hit a breaking ball.

#1) If you haven't actually seen it, you've obviously missed it then

#2) scouting report on Lake has always been that he has trouble with breaking stuff, if you think 254 major league PA's trumps 2468 minor league ones, godspeed. Also his curveball numbers are bad this year and last year.

My guess for Lake is still a decent short-side platoon player, but with this current crap team, he should probably play most everday because he does have some talent in there somewhere that occasionally shows itself.

 

 

Not sure what a curveball is--something lefties throw? Most pitchers are righty, and most breaking balls are sliders. Since many if not most sliders break low and outside to a righty hitter, "trouble with breaking stuff" usually means you're like Soriano: easily tempted by low, outside pitches.

I don't really see Lake having that problem--and I've been interested in Lake for a long time and tried to watch most of his at-bats last year and many of them this year.

But this year I'm getting tired of seeing Lake swinging at high fast balls--as, for example, yesterday, when he struck out on a high hard one in his only at bat in the eighth inning, stranding a runner at second. Olt doesn't swing at that pitch, and so he looks better than Lake even while striking out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curveball

the guy that pitched for the Cards yesterday has one of the best in baseball

One hitter can have both problems (high fastballs and soft stuff down and/or away). Corey Patterson comes to mind.

I like Lake, but I do think he's going to SO a lot and his success is going to depend on if he can combine enough extra base hits/ on base ability to make up for it, as is true with all hitters with some contact issues. But Lake is still a big "?" in terms of just how much he'll strike out, just how much his power will play in games, just how often he'll reach base, etc.

neat...

CBS Sports signs deal with minor leagues to air game of the week through August. Thursday nights, I'm guessing they have a cable channel?

some were looking for this feature, think they just added it yesterday on mlbfarm.com

click on Player Bookmarks and add the players you want to keep track of, has options for daily or last 10 days, last 30 days, etc...neat.

Beautiful. My life is again complete.

Edit: I have to have a Twitter account?! I hate everything.

is that how it works? I thought the twitter thing was just to access it via multiple devices, but I was probably already logged in or something.

I'm exploring--looks like the "direct link to these bookmarks" means you don't even have to have an account, which is preferable, really. I'm just really stressed and emotionally fragile right now.

Javier Baez walks twice in the first game of the DH. What's that about?

Hopefully he is adjusting.

did he double his season total?

Strange, but true

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10862828/strange-true-mlb-feats-april

Cliff Lee gave up eight earned runs to the Rangers on Opening Day -- and still got a win out of it. Jeff Samardzija gave up six earned runs in his first five starts combined for the Cubs -- and got zero wins out of it.


• Cubs pitcher Travis Wood hit his fourth homer in the past two seasons last month -- and completed his own personal home run cycle (solo, two-run, three-run, slam). He'll be fascinated to know that Mark Grace played 13 seasons for the Cubs (and three more for the Diamondbacks) and never did hit for one of those HR cycles over any four-homer span in his career. (Neither, for that matter, have noted non-Cubs Josh Hamilton or Prince Fielder.)

captain happy doesn't like runs

Valbuana, Sweeney, Scherholtz playing today.

Can't wait for Baez and Bryant to come up so they can sit next to Lake and Olt to watch Valbuena, Sweeny and Scherhltoz.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/blogs/the-rundown/jays-bullpen-woes-a-blip-or-a-...

A side note, and this may be little more than due diligence on the part of the Chicago Cubs, but major-league scout Dave Littlefield was among those watching Stroman. The Blue Jays have a longstanding interest in Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija, but the apparent asking price of Stroman and Aaron Sanchez has been a total non-starter.

leadoff single, double and 2-RBI single by Rizzo breaks Wainwright's 25 IP scoreless streak

Tony Four Sacks

Bonafacio's helmet designed by Brunswick

Any thoughts on who gets called up to replace Sweeney? Szczur?

Szczur or Coghlan would be my guess...

Watkins has been playing some OF lately. Coghlan would need to be added to the 40 man roster.

granted all the All-stars-in-waiting the Cubs have, but I don't think the 40-man will be much of a detriment

Twitter says Szczur's been banged up a little lately. If Watkins has played some OF and they're comfortable with that, he'd certainly make a lot of sense then.

Twitter box line up had Coghlan in CF tonight with Watkins in RF. Iowa Cubs page now has Watkins in CF and Mota in RF. So Coghlan could be headed to the airport.

Muskat mentions Coghlan as well, also Arrieta set to come off DL tomorrow

If Chris Coghlan is added to the MLB 40-man roster, the Cubs could make room for him by moving Kyuji Fujikawa to the 60-day DL (and then Fujikawa would be eligible to be reinstated on May 20th), or they could recall Brett Jackson from his minor league Optional Assignment and place him on the MLB 60-day DL (Jackson is presently on the AAA Iowa 7-day DL with an oblique injury).

Also, although Coghlan has three-plus years of MLB Service Time and thus can elect free-agency if outrighted, he also has one minor league option left, so the Cubs can send him back & forth to the minors this season if he proves useful. Optional Assignment Waivers would have to be secured before Coghlan could be optioned, but Optional Assignment Waivers are revocavble if the player is claimed so players are almost never claimed off Optional Waivers.

Additionally, although he is mainly an outfielder now, Coghlan played 2B in college (at Ole Miss) and also for several seasons in the minors, and he has also played 1B-3B, too.

Coghlan is 28 (he'll be 29 in June) and he was N. L. Rookie of the Year in 2009 with the Marlins (he hit 321/390/460), but his career has been sidetracked in recent years with back problems. It appears he is healthy now, though.

 

They could get away with supplementing the bullpen instead, depending how much longer Ruggiano / Sweeney will be out. Bonifacio, Schierholtz, Lake, and Kalish can start, and Olt or Valbuena could serve in LF in a pinch.

Stupid hamstrings. I've had mine removed, of course, to avoid problems like these. Awaiting your call, MLB.

Logan Watkins was a SS in HS, but the Cubs played him at both 2B & LF after he arrived at Fitch Park in 2008, and he's been playing OF off & on ever since. He has the athleticism to play just about anywhere.

it's going to be more interesting on it's impact on the minors (well, not highly interesting). AAA Iowa has been without a solid 4th/5th OF for a while...they only have 3 true OF'rs since b.jackson went down a few weeks ago.

no-power speedster j.andreoli might finally get a shot at AAA since j.ha is scuffling in AA.

Hawks!!!!
Drunk heading to game

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