Rockies Stone Cubs with Long Ball Bonanza
Jaron Shepherd and Correlle Prime smacked solo home runs to highlight a three-run 1st inning, 2012 1st round pick David Dahl blasted a two-run HR to key a three-run 4th, Jared Simon singled, tripled, walked twice, and scored two runs, and Jeff Popick singled twice, doubled, and drove-in a run, leading the Rockies to an 8-2 victory over the Cubs in Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 (formerly known as "Field #3") in Mesa, AZ.
Garrett Schlecht drilled a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd inning and Trevor Gretzky crushed a 420+ ft solo HR over the right-centerfield fence with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to account for the two Cub runs.
The defensive play of the day was a run-saving diving catch of a sinking line-drive by Rashad Crawford in short CF.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1a. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, P-6, SB)
1b. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (2B)
2. Justin Marra, DH #1: 0-2 (K, BB, F-7, BB)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-4 (5-3, 1B, P-4, L-8)
4a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (4-3, BB)
4b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (K, P-6)
5. Carlos Escobar, DH #2: 1-4 (2B, K, K, P-3, R)
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (5-3, K)
6b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 1-2 (K, HR, R, RBI)
7. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-4 (K, K, P-2, K)
8. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-3 (1B, L-9, 1-3, RBI)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 1B, PO)
10. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, 6-4 FC, K)
1. Paul Blackburn: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HR, 1 PO, 53 pitches (28 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 43 pitches (20 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of the 4th inning was stopped with two outs when Hoffner reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the day
3. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 26 pitches (16 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4, Chad Martin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (23 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely & unearned run to score from 3rd)
2. C Erick Castillo - E-2 (overthrow at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
2. Neftali Rosario: 1-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. RF Garrett Schlecht - batter thrown out 9-4-5 trying to strectch double into triple
2. RF Garrett Schlecht - batter thrown out 9-4 trying to stretch single into double
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 31 min ago (view)
I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.
However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team
crunch 2 hours 8 min ago (view)
is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021? ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 38 min ago (view)
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!
(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)
Hagsag 6 hours 2 min ago (view)
Wrigley Rat 11 hours 30 min ago (view)
Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.
Charlie 15 hours 46 min ago (view)
I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.
Arizona Phil 23 hours 49 min ago (view)
DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?).
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 32 min ago (view)
I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point
waveland 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS.
bradsbeard 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH.
Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).
Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option
bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose.
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward.
BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021).
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft).
Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.