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
Hagsag 3 hours 20 min ago (view)
Predictions on the Rule 5 draft this morning?
Hagsag 3 hours 38 min ago (view)
Very, very interesting Phil. Thanks for the post.
Arizona Phil 7 hours 49 min ago (view)
What was the stated purpose of the 1953 Bonus Rule?
COMMISSIONER FORD FRICK: "We want the kind of bonus rule that will discourage the Majors from paying out big bonuses, and encourage the little fellows (he is referring here to the minor leagues) to sign these youngsters and then sell them to clubs of a higher classification."
crunch 10 hours 18 min ago (view)
g.cole - yanks - 9/324m
s.strasburg - nats - 7/245m
a.rendon - angels - 7/245m
boras has signed $814m of contracts for his guys this week. not bad.
crunch 10 hours 25 min ago (view)
still waiting for rich hill to happen over here...i promise to be totally not impressed or happy about it. not a tj guy, but he's injured as hell and not expected to show up until mid-season at best.
whoever they pick to give a few million dollars over a couple seasons to not pitch for the cubs in any of them, i welcome them.
on a serious tip, there are rumors of a minor league deal for b.morrow.
bradsbeard 10 hours 59 min ago (view)
Taijuan Walker is a good candidate.
cubbies.4ever 12 hours 25 min ago (view)
So who is left in the free Agent market that has had Tommy John surgery? That seems to be a Prerequisite for Theo. Cotton and Winkler both did adding to all the other signings of Theo. I would love to see how many people Theo has signed or drafted who has had TJS.
Charlie 21 hours 7 min ago (view)
I hope "isn't happening" was more like, "we'd love to continue to discuss this soon"--after extensions/trades of younger players are a bit more sorted.
Charlie 21 hours 10 min ago (view)
If only they had revenue from having recently won the World Series and a string of playoff appearances along with a new TV contract! Then they could really spend.
crunch 21 hours 27 min ago (view)
i wish this team was owned by billionaires rather than these...oh, nevermind.
Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 4 min ago (view)
Apparently Cubs were approached by Rizzo's agent about an extension. They told him it wasn't happening.
Cubs organization is performing a master class in how to burn good will among fans!
Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
jdlym: The contract Brad Brach signed with the Mets includes a $850K base salary for 2020, a $1.25M club option for 2021, $400K in potential performance bonuses in 2020, potentially $2.25M in 2021 salary accelerators, and $500K in potential performance bonuses in 2021, so ordinarily the Cubs salary obligation to Brach would be the difference between Brach's new 2020 base salary ($850K) and what would have been his 2020 player option salary ($1.35M) if he hadn't been released by the Cubs.
jdrnym 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
Hey AZPhil, when a player is released with money/years still remaining on his contract, does his next team *have* to give him the prorated major league minimum or can they offer more (meaning the original club owes less) to "outbid" other teams that may have had interest? I'm assuming that's what happened with Brad Brach, where the Mets signed him for 2020 at $850,000.
crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
jeremy jeffress agrees.
Rob Richardson 1 day 23 hours ago (view)
It's high time if you ask me.