Several Cubs minor leaguers who can be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (6YMiLFA) or who are eligible for selection in next month’s MLB Rule 5 draft are making noise in the Venezuelan Winter League (VWL).
Sergio Burruel ripped an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to tie one game, while LHP Marcos Perez allowed his first runs in 17+ innings in the other, as one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Giants played to a 1-1 tie on Field #1 and the other squad of EXST Giants defeated the other squad of EXST Cubs 4-1 on Field #3 in a split squad Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played at Fitch Park in Mesa this morning. Both games were pre-scheduled to go seven innings, although the game on Field #1 was extended an extra half-inning to allow Rogelio Carmona to get an additional inning of work.
Jason Dubois doubled and walked, scored a run, and drove-in another, but the EXST Angels rallied with a run in the 7th and another in the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits and scored a run, Rafael Disla reached base twice and scored two runs, and Sergio Burruel drove-in two runs with a sacrifice fly and a double, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough offense as one squad of EXST Giants defeated one squad of EXST Cubs 6-3 on Field #1, while over on Field #2, the other squad of EXST Cubs managed only one run on two hits against the other squad of EXST Giants in a game that finished in a 1-1 tie, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. Both games were stopped after seven innings, and the games were played simultaneously.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)