Casper Wells Unfriendly to Guests at Riverview Park
Bryant Flete reached base four times (two singles and two walks), knocked-in two runs, and scored another, and Casper Wells singled twice, walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, leading the Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Nataniel Delgado (2012 NDFA - Dominican Republic - $280K bonus) clubbed a three-run home run to account for three of the four Angels runs.
Justin Ruggiano (Cubs 15-day DL - hamstring) continued his EXST rehab, serving as a DH and batting three times. He laced a line-drive single to center and then later scored in the bottom of the 1st inning, grounded out 6-3 in his second AB, and flied out to the warning track in dead CF his last time up.
Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) also continued his EXST rehab, playing RF for seven innings and reaching base in all three of his Plate Appearances (the aforementioned two singles and a walk). He was due to hit a fourth time in the bottom of the 8th, but he had already departed for the clubhouse by that time. He looks to be 100%, and so he may be rejoining Iowa very soon.
RHP C. J. Edwards (AA Tennessee 7-day DL - shoulder fatigue) is at Riverview Park while awaiting the results of his latest MRI. He can participate in PFP drills, but he is not yet cleared to resume throwing.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-4 (1B, HBP, E-1, K, K, 2 R, SB)
2a. Justin Ruggiano, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-8, R)
2b. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-1 (BB, 6-3)
3. Bryant Flete, 2B: 2-2 (1B, 1B, BB, BB, R, 2 RBI)
4a. Casper Wells, RF-DH: 2-2 (BB, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
4b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH #2: 0-3 (BB, F-8, F-7, F-9, RBI)
6. Tyler Alamo, C: 0-4 (4-6-3 DP, 4-3, 4-3, 6-3)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 1-4 (P-6, 6-3, 1B, K)
8. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-4 (K, 5-3, K, E-5, R)
9. Justin Marra, DH #3: 1-4 (3-U, F-8, 3-U, 2B, RBI)
10. Mark Malave, 1B: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, K, 1B, R)
11. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-4 (E-5, 6-3, 2B, K, R)
1. Jeferson Mejia: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 57 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Luis Hernandez: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 2/3 GO/FO, 28 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Zak Hermans: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Josh Davis: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 36 pitches (24 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (fielding error alllowed batter to reach base safely)
WEATHER: Sunny & very breezy with temperatures in the 80's
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.