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+
if they dont win at least 130 games this season they can pack it all up, turn wrigley into a concert venue, and move the damn team to san jose.
I see where catcher Cael Brockmeyer was promoted to Tennessee a couple of days ago, to fill a roster spot vacated by David Freitas, recently promoted to Iowa. Caratini is the other catcher at Tennessee.
They've already clinched a minimum winning percentage of .607 for the month, and that's only if they lose the last 2 games. If they win both, they can push that up to .679. So much for "stumbling" in May. When you're winning over 60% of your games, you're doing baseball well.
If the best walk-off hit possible is a solo home run in a zero-zero game--Eloy did it tonight!
(But maybe it's a grand slam when your team is down three? He didn't do that.)
Number eight for Jimenez. His team is 31-17. Yesterday they scored 17 runs against Lansing. Two weeks ago it was 15 runs against the same team. This is a nice team, South Bend. The Cubs must have had a good draft last year.
Tonight the pitchers were Sands, Brooks and Effross.
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.