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
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.