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 12 hours 56 min ago (view)
AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August.
Mike Wellman 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.
This team has no direction at the moment.
Sonicwind75 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer. Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague. Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio. I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.
Cubster 2 days 23 hours ago (view)
Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!
Mornington Crescent 3 days 1 hour ago (view)
They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.
crunch 3 days 17 hours ago (view)
alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.
marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd
Hagsag 3 days 19 hours ago (view)
Yes they did.
crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)
welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).
billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.
Mike Wellman 3 days 20 hours ago (view)
Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?
Craig A. 3 days 22 hours ago (view)
Could have an option year remaining. Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.
Hagsag 3 days 22 hours ago (view)
Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.
CubbyBlue 3 days 23 hours ago (view)
CTSteve 4 days 8 min ago (view)
It was time.
Hagsag 4 days 7 hours ago (view)
Love it Jackstraw.
Arizona Phil 4 days 14 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have signed OF Cameron Maybin to a 2021 minor league contract.
Because he was an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2020, he gets the automatic $100K retention bonus and June 1st player opt-out if he is not released or added to the MLB 40-man roster by MLB Opening Day.