Hops Go Brew Crew's Way, Barley Defeat Cubs at Riverview Park

Jorge Ortega tossed six shutout innings, Tucker Neuhaus (Brewers 2013 Supplemental 2nd round draft pick - Wharton HS - Tampa, FL) drilled two RBI doubles, singled, and scored a run, Edgardo Rivera reached base four times (a single and three walks), stole a base, and scored three runs, and Luis Aviles smacked a three-run home run, as the Brewers outlasted the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Jeffrey Baez walked twice, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run and Eloy Jimenez singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Cubs. In 17 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (67 PA), Baez is hitting 345/433/500, with two doubles, two triples, one HR, 5 RBI, 8 RUNS, 9/8 BB/K, and 12 SB (0 CS), and he leads the team in OBP, SLG, SB, BB, and RUNS, is second only to the departed Matt Scioscia in AVG (Scioscia hit 348 in 26 PA), and is one of only three EXST Cubs players to hit a HR (Tyler Alamo and Rashad Crawford are the other two).    

Justin Ruggiano (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) and Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) continued their EXST rehab assignments in today's game, going a collective 0-8.

Ruggiano popped-out to short and flied out three times (including two near-HR hit to the warning track, one in left and the other in right-center), and Wells tapped back to the pitcher on a check-swing, popped out to the shortstop, lined-out to CF, and reached base on an E-5 (dropped infield pop fly).   

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


CUBS LINEUP:
1. Jeffrey Baez, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, P-6, BB, BB, R, SB)
2. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-3 (F-7, K, BB, P-6, R, SB)
3. Justin Ruggiano, DH #2: 0-4 (F-7, F-8, P-4, F-9)
4. Casper Wells, RF: 0-4 (1-3, P-6, E-5, L-8)
5. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 2-4 (1-3, K, 1B, 2B, R)
6. Antonio Valerio, C: 1-4 (E-5, 5-3, 5-4 FC, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, HBP, F-9, R)
8. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (6-4-3 DP, K, 2B, BB, R, RBI)
9. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, E-4, HBP)
10. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 0-4 (4-6 FC, K, 4-U FC, FC. 2 RBI, 3 SB)  
11. Arnaldo Calero, DH #3: 0-3 (HBP, F-9, E-6, K)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Michael Heesch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 8/1 GO/FO, 60 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Trey Lang: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Francisco Carrillo: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1/3 GO/FO, 27 pitches (22 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Dalfis Ortiz - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Antonio  Valerio: 0-2 CS

CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. CF Oliver Zapata - threw out baserunner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single to CF
2. CF Oliver Zapata - threw out baserunner 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single to CF

ATTENDANCE: 12

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

Comments

cubs/cards postponed because of rain and obama.

Captain Happy: "We won't be able to have Olt in the lineup because we need to bring him along slowly, and a rain delay will throw him off because he was expecting some at bats today. Hopefully next week we can start easing him back into the lineup."

Did he really say that? Jesus, he's not some finely-calibrated piece of space travel equipment or something, he's a professional athlete. I'm trying to cut the manager some slack, and get that not playing Olt isn't really the problem, but yikes, what's with the odd rambling about Olt.

The real problem with this team is the players are not good enough. Think about it, put Rizzo, arguably the best Cubs hitter, in the Yankees lineup, where does he hit? 6th? 7th?

His OPS puts him 3rd among regular yankee players and Mark Teixeira has only been in 25 games. His OWAR puts him behind only Yangervis Solarte.

the 2014 yanks are batting jacoby "why the hell is this guy hitting 3rd" ellsbury 3rd...and the slow, elderly, almost-extinct dinosaur jeter 2nd in almost every lineup...because jeter is jeter or some crap. managers, go figure.

their power guys occupy the 4-5-6-7 slots...and of course soriano is hitting before solarte (which made sense early, but keeping it up seems kinda odd).

quite honestly...on girardi's 2014 yanks...rizzo might actually be hitting 6th =p

I think Rizzo's numbers would be ginormous in a real lineup. Right now, pitchers simply walk around him for the most part. I just hope he hangs in there and doesn't start giving in. It's gotta be frustrating.

Sorry, Ryno, I was hoping it was such a ludicrous statement, even for Captain Happy, that you guys would recognize the satire. And although I did make that up, I did borrow heavily from RenteriaSpeak.

I'm not sure what that says about Renteria that we can't discern what's real and what isn't.

Veres up. Rosscup to DL (we hardly knew ya).

4ip 1h 2bb 5k... 0.00era 0.75whip

short sample size (of course), but he was getting some absolutely silly swing/miss and frozen strikes on guys. come back soon, guy.

Did I hear a crunch heartbreak?

looks like TEX is having pitchers drop like flies (harrison/perez...both expected to miss significant time).

too bad the cubs minor league system is the former TEX minor league system because otherwise they might have something to trade for ninja.

How about a deal that centers around Hammel for the injured Perez himself? I know it would be unusual to trade for a player about to have TJ surgery but . . . Perez should be healthy again by the time, if not before, the Cubs might actually start fielding a competitive team. Plus he would have the now requisite TJ surgery out of the way. Have TEX throw in a young high risk/reward prospect to help mitigate the health risk. Might be a chance to get a future middle of the rotation starter that would be under club control for the proverbial pennies on the dollar.

Edit: Forgot Perez already signed an extension, believe through 2020.

well I'm sure that extension would be quite valuable to Cubs, think they tried to get him in Garza deal last year but were rebuked. But I have doubts Rangers will dip back into the Cubs waters after Dempster and Garza did nothing for them. Of course you never know...

HOU wins...CHC now with the least amount of wins in MLB (13).

they're still better than HOU by win%, though...by 0.01 (13-25 / 14-27)

Yeah, take that Houston bitches...

this was posted in the twitter feed side-bar, but it's rather on-point and worth a read. my experience with minor leaguers is mostly AAA guys, but these experiences are often reflected upon.

i don't know how Hayhurst was living without a refrigerator or went through so many tough times through all his levels, though...most minor leaguers have a roommate or 2...or 3...or living in "sponsor housing" though the lower levels (kinda like a foreign exchange student)...which gives them at least a "college kid dweller" level of living...but whatever, i'm not gonna pick apart the whole article.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2062307-an-insi...

Trib/Mark Gonzo on Gerardo Concepcion, I wasn't aware of him having back problems (article includes a few other topics, Baez, Rosscup, Grimm)...
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Hoyer has been encouraged with the recent development of Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion, who struggled after signing a five-year, $6 million contract before the 2012 season and was sidelined for most of 2013 because of back issues.

Concepcion, 22, has a 3.20 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 192/3 innings at Class A Kane County.

"He was a guy who a lot of our scouts thought really highly of out of Cuba and dealt with some back injuries and issues that slowed him up," Hoyer said. "He's throwing well and hopefully he can keep that going.

"It's a hard transition (coming from Cuba). Some guys make it seamlessly. With some guys, it takes a long time, and some guys never make it. Hopefully Concepcion is starting to make that adjustment, and it's nice to see.''

Denver Post article proposing Shark for Gray

http://www.denverpost.com/kiszla/ci_25757152/kiszl...

Clearly the trade idea is made up out of whole cloth, but it is an interesting one. I guess I'm hoping they get more, like Gray and a low-A power arm, but maybe I am being unrealistic.

Cubs are always looking for quality and depth in these deals. Gray and something would definitely be part of the deal and probably a few other parts.

The Rockies have a tradeable competitive balance draft pick (#35 overall). Getting that added to a deal would be nice. But that may not fit the timeline for a Samardzija trade.

I thought trading draft picks wasn't allowed in MLB. Has that changed, or are competitive balance picks treated differently?

From AZ Phil's Corner:

Rule 4 Competitive Balance Draft Picks

Beginning in 2012, six "Competitive Balance" Rule 4 Draft picks will be awarded by lottery between the 1st and 2nd round, and six more will be awarded by lottery between the 2nd and 3rd round. The lottery will take place on the Monday following the Rule 4 Draft signing deadline. Only MLB clubs that receive revenue sharing and clubs from the ten smallest markets will be eligible to participate in the lottery for Competitive Balance picks.

Once awarded, these draft picks can be traded, but only during the MLB regular season, and the pick cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. Also, a Competitive Balance draft pick can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the pick cannot be "flipped" to a third club.

If a player selected with a Competitive Balance Draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower between the 1st or 2nd round than where the club selected the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with a Competitive Balance compensation draft pick does not sign.

http://www.thecubreporter.com/rule-4-competitive-b...

My brain says no, but my heart says yes.

"A high school baseball player in Washington State threw 194 pitches over 14 innings Tuesday before being removed in the 15th inning of his team's eventual 1-0 victory in its district tournament."

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10935698/dylan-f...

The coach ought to be fired immediately.

"People just don't understand. I'm not a ace pitcher, I'm a infielder who pitches every now and then. Not a prospect ruining there career

— Dylan Fosnacht (@DFosnacht5) May 15, 2014"

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/47297/...

he's not going to be an english major in college, either.

Is he tossing underhand? Because that is the only way I can imagine 194 pitches in one outing would not constitute a significant injury risk, infielder or otherwise. Throwing overhand is bad for your shoulder, regardless of who you are and what position you play.

Rizzo bunts twice to beat shift

Like it, but does it play into other teams hand by not giving up extra base hits?

I'm OK with it in these circumstances. Bases empty, Cubs not hitting Wacha much up to that point. It's a good time to demonstrate he can do it and also get himself on base. Maybe it makes someone rethink shifting on him some other time.

Screws up the spray charts. Take that stat heads managers.

No shift third ab...flyout

backup catcher d.butera pitched last night for LAD...

1ip 0h 0b 1k...hit 94mph.

Reminds me of the Michael Barrett days whose throws to 2B seemed about twice as fast as Maddux's best fastball.

Can't remember last time so many fielders pitching

Recent comments

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  • 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.

    Charlie 25 min 59 sec ago view
  • 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.

    Charlie 39 min 26 sec ago view
  • 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?

    QuietMan 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    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.)

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • 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.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 42 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 35 min ago view