Rockies Cruise Past Cubs As Victorino Bids Aloha to Extended Spring Training
Cole Anderson (RBI single), Wilson Soriano (RBI single), and Antony Brito (two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 8th, Brian Carroll belted a solo HR and a two-run single, Daniel Suero drilled an RBI double and a single, and RHSP Michael Zimmerman tossed five innings of two-run ball, leading the Rockies to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
RHSP Jesus Castillo tossed three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts for the Cubs.
Castillo is (at this point) battling Erling Moreno, Jose Paulino, and Manny Rondon for one of three open slots in the Eugene rotation (Dylan Cease and Bryan Hudson are virtual locks for the other two slots), and today's outing certainly won't hurt his cause. Now 20, Castillo was one of the two pitchers acquired by the Cubs from the Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Tony Campana in February 2013, and while the other pitcher (RHSP Erick Leal) has advanced steadily (if not spectacularly) through the Cubs system (Leal is presently a starting pitcher at Hi-A Myrtle Beach), Castillo has been stalled in Mesa.
Castillo is what's known in scouting circles as "projectable," meaning he has a long & lean body that should (hopefully) produce greater fastball velocity as he matures and fills out. However, Castillo's fastballl (to this day) sits at 86-87, and hasn't picked up as much as one MPH of velocity in the three years since the trade. But Castillo does have one of the best curve balls in the Cubs system, and when he spots his fastball on the corners and changes eye levels and doesn't walk anybody and uses his curve as a strikeout pitch (as was the case today), he can be effective.
In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Shane Victorino (the "Flyin' Hawaiian") has completed his rehab at Extended Spring Training (finally!) and will be joining the AAA Iowa Cubs in Omaha. Victorino suffered a left calf strain the second week of Spring Training and has been working to get back to full strength ever since. In twelve Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, Victorino played LF (but no CF or RF) and occasionally served as a DH, hitting 371/450/486 with a 13% walk-rate and an 8% K-rate in 40 PA.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Robert Garcia, RF: 1-4 (6-3, 5-3, 1B, F-9, CS)
2. D. J. Wilson, CF-DH: 1-4 (K, 2B, K, P-5, R)
3. Kevonte Mitchell, LF: 1-3 (5-3, 5-3, 1B, BB, R, SB)
4. Isaac Paredes, SS: 1-4 (6-3, 4-3, K, 1B, R, RBI)
5. Chris Pieters, 1B: 1-4 (3-U, 3-U, 4-3, 1B, RBI)
6a. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 1-2 (2B, BB, L-9, R, SB)
6b. Andruw Monasterio, 3B: 0-1 (K)
7. Jhonny Pereda, C-DH: 1-4 (1B, F-9, 4-3, K)
8. Roberto Caro, DH-CF: 1-4 (1-3, 5-3, K+WP, 1B, RBI)
9. Rafael Narea, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, BB, K, RBI)
10. Alberto Mineo, DH-C: 0-3 (K, 3-1, K)
1. Jesus Castillo: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 39 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Luis Aquino: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1/2 GO/AO, 34 pitches (23 strikes)
3. Pedro Araujo: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R ( 2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/AO, 30 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Hector Garcia: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HBP, 1 GIDP, 1/2 GO/AO, 26 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Jared Cheek: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/AO, 20 pitches (11 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
LF Kevonte Mitchell: E-7 (dropped pop fly allowing batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Jhonny Pereda: 0-2 CS
2. Alberto Mineo: 1-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
LF Kevonte Mitchell - batter thrown out 7-5 attempting to advance to 3rd on E-7 missed catch (see above)
WEATHER: Partly cl;oudy & breezy with temperatures in the 70's
Arizona Phil 5 hours 11 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).
crunch 8 hours 38 min ago (view)
rizzo takes another day off (lower back). ross says the club is "exercising caution."
klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.
Ryno 9 hours 15 min ago (view)
Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"? Isn't it just a sinker?
Ryno 9 hours 23 min ago (view)
In other words: This lineup sucks.
Arizona Phil 9 hours 40 min ago (view)
Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).
Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23.
Eric S 9 hours 45 min ago (view)
There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.
July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually.
Cubster 9 hours 51 min ago (view)
On the bright side regarding Kimbrel. It doesn't have the lasting bad side as the Mets arrangement with Bobby Bonilla. Unless they want to re-negotiate Kimbrel's terms.
Eric S 11 hours 18 min ago (view)
Watching the last night's highlight clip was not encouraging either as discussed here: https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/07/08/craig-kimbrels-intrasquad-performance-is-a-reminder-of-the-concerns-that-already-existed/
crunch 15 hours 54 min ago (view)
i still can't believe this front office paid anyone 16m a year to throw 60-70ip...
Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Unfortunately, Kimbrel in Cub mid season form as well, giving up a two out, two run oppo homer to Willson.
Kimbrel Cub stats which I tried to bury but were dug up again: gave up a career high 9 home runs in only 20 2/3 inning, averaged a career high 9.1 hits allowed per 9 innings and served up a 6.53 ERA for his troubles. And no full spring training build up period again. Still hopeful he's got something left in the tank this year and next but man, he's got my full attention going into the season
BobbyD 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Maybe it is a very stable genius?
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
maybe he's hoping it'll be bad enough to flip the population odometer over to 0 after humanity is wiped from the planet. let's give him more time to see if he's right before we get too down on him.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
"Shohei Ohtani threw just 15 of his 50 pitches for strikes in an intrasquad game Tuesday. Trent Rush had him at eight walks, a hit by pitch and six wild pitches before he was shut down for a day. "
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
anthony rizzo is in mid-season form.
he sat out today with lower back tightness.
BobbyD 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
Well, back in February (I think; that was about 17 years ago now), our diaper staining commander in his own mind declared we had 15 cases in the U.S. and that would quickly go to zero. 130k dead and rapidly rising now 4 months later I still have brain dead neighbors in SoCal saying if Biden gets elected we're screwed. I wonder what they think screwed looks like.
crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
cubs taking full advantage of that "night games deal" with the wrigleyville neighborhood...almost all the home games will be night games.
8 home day games, 6 on the weekend.