Cubs Romp over Angels at Riverview Park
Kevin Brown ripped an RBI triple and two singles and scored a run, Varonex Cuevas drilled a two-run triple and an RBI single, Jesse Hodges reached base four times (HBP, 2B, 2B, and BB), scored two runs, and drove-in another, Alberto Mineo collected three singles and scored a run, and five pitchers combined to throw a three-hitter, as the Cubs overwhelmed the Angels 10-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
19-year old 6'2 Dominican stringbean LHP Jose Paulino was the most-impressive Cub hurler today, tossing four innings of one-hit shutout ball. If any of the Cubs teenaged Latin pitchers making their U. S. debut in 2014 make the Boise Opening Day roster, it would probably be Paulino. (I'm not counting RHSP Erick Leal because he was in the U. S. last year at AZL Cubs, and although RHRP Francisco Carrillo and LHRP Alberto Diaz will be making their U. S. debut this season, both pitchers are in their 20's).
Manny Ramirez served as a DH and batted five times in the game (once in each of the first five innings), going 1-5 with three ground outs, a fly out to RF, and a single off the LF wall (ManRam can still hit, but he just doesn't run as well as he once did).
Ryan Sweeney (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) played CF for five innings and batted four times, going 1-3 with a walk, a single and a run scored. Sweeney seems to be running just fine, so I would think he will probably get moved-up to AAA Iowa very soon to continue his rehab (just like Justin Ruggiano did a couple of weeks ago), before being reinstated from the DL sometime next week (barring any setbacks).
RHRP Kyuiji Fujikawa (Cubs MLB 60-day DL - 2013 TJS rehab) threw an inning and allowed one run on a HBP and an RBI double. He did strike out two batters, however (both swinging). His rehab has gone kind of slow, but he really needs to get out of here ASAP, even if it's just a minor league rehab assignment at Kane County or Daytona.
In EXST Cubs roster news, INF Tim Saunders has been sent to Extended Spring Training from Daytona and he played 2B in today's game, so expect Saunders to be on the Boise Hawks Opening Day roster. RHP Trevor Graham also was returned to Extended Spring Training from Daytona, so he should join LHP Tyler Ihrig, RHP Erick Leal, and RHP Trevor Clifton (plus one more starter TBA, could be Jose Paulino) in the Boise starting rotation. And RHP Josh Davis has been moved up to Kane County from Extended Spring Training, in what will be his second tour with the Cougars this season. (Davis has logged some time with the Daytona Cubs in 2014, too).
Additionally, 2013 28th round draft pick RHP Brad Renner has had a UCL elbow ligament transplant (TJS), so he will miss the 2014 season. (2012 5th round draft pick LHP Anthony Prieto had TJS last month).
Today's game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get enough innings, but the game was called by mutual agreement with two outs in the top of the 10th after the Angels ran out of pitchers (the Cub attack was relentless) and all of the Cub pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game completed their work.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1 Manny Ramirez, DH #1: 1-5 (6-3, 6-4-3 DP, F-9, 1B, 5-3, R)
NOTE: Ramirez batted 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
X-2 Ryan Sweeney, CF: 1-3 (BB, 4-3, 3-6 FC, 1B, R)
NOTE: Sweeney batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Tim Saunders, 2B: 1-3 (HBP, F-9 SF, K, 1B, F-8, 2 RBI, SB)
2. Giuseppe Papaccio, SS: 0-4 (P-4, F-9, K, F-9)
3. Danny Canela, 1B: 1-3 (1-U, 2B, BB, F-7, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-2 (HBP, 2B, 2B, BB, 2 R, RBI)
5. Alberto Mineo, C: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, R)
6. Kevin Brown, LF: 3-4 (K, 1B, 3B, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Rashad Crawford, RF-CF: 0-3 (K, F-9, BB, K, R)
8. Varonex Cuevas, DH #2: 2-3 (3B, BB, P-3, 1B, R, 3 RBI)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Oliver Zapata, RF: 1-2 (2B, K, R, RBI)
1. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Kyuji Fujikawa: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 7/3 GO/FO, 49 pitches (28 strikes)
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Luis Hernandez: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
P Jose Paulino - E-1 (missed 1st base on attempted 3-1 put-out allowing batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.