Cubs Minor League Spring Training Recap

Ha Gets Last Laugh at Fitch Park

Matt Loosen retired the first ten men he faced and combined with three relievers to throw a four hitter and Jae-Hoon Ha reached base five times on two walks and three singles (including the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 9th), as the Tennessee Smokies edged the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics AA affiliate) 4-3 on Field #2, and Barret Loux threw five shutout innings and Scott Hairston singled twice, walked, and smacked a solo HR, helping the Iowa Cubs defeat the Sacramento River Cats (A's AAA affiliate) 3-1 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 


Cubs Extinguish Blaze, but Dragons Burn Cougars at Fitch Park

Darnell McDonald singled twice, doubled, walked, scored twice, and knocked-in a run, Taiwan Easterling singled, doubled, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, drove-in two runs, and made two outstanding catches, Jeffrey Baez drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a bases-loaded HBP, and Dan Vogelbach crushed a tape-measure two-run home run, leading the Daytona Cubs to a 10-7 victory over the Bakerfield Blaze (Cincinnati Reds Hi-A affiliate) on Field #3, and Starling Peralta celebrated his return to the Cubs organization with 3.1 IP of one-hit shutout ball, Gioskar Amaya singled and tripled, and Dong-Yub Kim singled twice, stole a base, and scored a run, but it wasn't enough as Joe Hudson (Reds 2012 6th round draft pick - Notre Dame) slugged a HR over the LF fence and onto Center Street to lead the Dayton Dragons (Reds Low-A affiliate) to a 3-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 


Travis Wood Cracks Nuts at Fitch Park

Travis Wood threw five innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts, Steve Bruno singled and doubled, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Wes Darvill tripled, walked twice, drove-in a run, and scored a run, leading the Daytona Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the Modesto Nuts (Colorado Rockies Hi-A affiliate) on Field #3, and Gioskar Amaya singled, doubled, tripled, and scored three runs, Marco Hernandez drove-in two runs with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, and Rony Rodriguez slugged a solo home run over the LF fence and onto Center Street, as the Kane County Cougars and the Asheville Tourists (Rockies Lo-A affiliate) played to a ten-inning 6-6 tie on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


Shoulders Rocks Baker at Fitch Park

Rock Shoulders homered, singled and walked, and Garrett Schlecht ripped a two-out two-run double and walked, in a Minor League Camp intra-squad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


Because the Cubs had a day off from their MLB Cactus League schedule, Carlos Villanueva and Scott Baker traveled a half-mile down Center Street to Fitch Park and were the starting pitchers in the game. Villanueva threw three shutout innings (46 pitches - 29 strikes) and struck out five, and Baker allowed one run on four hits (the Shoulders HR the only run) in his three innings of work (36 pitches - 25 strikes).


Baker threw strikes but didn't fool the kids, however this was just his first actual game action (not including "sim" games) since having Tommy John Surgery on his elbow last April.   


Barret Loux (who is technically still on the Cubs MLB Spring Training roster) made the trip to Fitch with Villanueva and Baker and threw a couple of innings, although he was not effective, allowing three runs on five hits and a HBP in 2.0 IP.


Rob Whitenack (optioned to AA Tennessee yesterday) had control issues in his two innings of work (31 pitches - only 14 strikes, with three walks). He also allowed two hits and commited a throwing error on a pick-off attempt.


William Hill (2012 NDFA - Chicago State) and Bobby Buckner (2012 NDFA Texas A&M - Corpus Cristi) played in the game. Hill is the grandson of Cub great Billy Williams, and Buckner is the son of ex-Cub (and current Boise Hitting Coach) Bill Buckner.


Here is the unofficial box score:


Javier Baez Takes Maholm Deep at Fitch Park

Paul Maholm threw 5-2/3 innings (77 pitches), allowing three runs (all earned), seven hits (including two doubles, a triple, and a Javier Baez tape-measure home run), two walks, and a HBP, with five strikeouts and 5/5 GO/FO, in intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


Volstad Goes Four at Fitch & Castro Leads Cubs to Victory at HoHoKam

Chris Volstad threw four innings (67 pitches), allowing two runs (only one earned) on six hits (all singles), with no walks and eight strikeouts, and Jeffrey Baez singled twice, tripled, drove-in a run, and stole a base, in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Samardzija throws 4-2/3 of a No-No at Fitch Park

Jeff Samardzija threw 4-2/3 innings of no hit ball, Luis Flores clubbed a solo home run, Shawon Dunston, Jr hammered a two-run homer, and Carlos Penalver had three hits, scored a run, and drove-in another, in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


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  • This game is already bumming me out. Hope the Cubs brought their bats.

  • Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot

    That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.

  • I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.

  • I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.

  • Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.

  • CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.   

  • Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.

    Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
    Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.

  • I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.

    I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.

    Weird.

  • It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.

  • Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.

  • My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.

  • In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.

    One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.

    I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.

  • Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.

    What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?

  • A-Team

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