Gloomy Skies Produce Sunny Result for Cubs at Riverview Park
LHP Jose Paulino tossed three innings of no-run/no-hit ball, Ho-Young Son belted an RBI triple, an RBI double, and a single, Tim Saunders reached base three times (a walk, an RBI single, and a triple) and scored two runs, Ricardo Marcano hammered a solo home run and an RBI single and scored twice, and Andrew Ely stroked an RBI double and a single, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
In EXST Cubs roster news, Jordan Hankins has completed the Catcher Conversion Program course at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park and has been assigned to Hi-A Myrtle Beach. Hankins takes the place of C-1B Alberto Mineo, who moves down to Extended Spring Training from Myrtle Beach.
The left-handed swinging Hankins was drafted by the Cubs as an infielder in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) out of Austin Peay University, and after playing 3B-2B with the AZL Cubs and Boise his first year of pro ball, he received initial catcher training at Instructs post-2013, and then again at Minor League Camp in 2014. But he was moved back to 3B once the 2014 minor league regular season started, and was good enough to be selected to the Midwest League All-Star game as a third-baseman while assigned to Kane County (he hit 322/361/461 in 50 MWL games). That earned Hankins a June promotion to Daytona (he and a struggling Jeimer Candelario changed places), but he was unable to find the same success at Daytona that he had found at KC (218/323/318 in 33 games at Daytona). He got a second opportunity to try catching at Instructs last fall, continuing the process into this season, first at Minor League Camp, and then at Extended Spring Training.
The 23-year old Hankins has been the best hitter on the 2015 EXST Cubs squad, putting up a 462/481/654 line (plus an eight-game hitting streak) with three doubles and a triple, four RBI, five runs scored, and only one strikeout in nine Cactus League EXST games (27 PA), while simultaneously learning the finer points of the receiving arts. (He also hit two home runs in EXST intrasquad games). Hankins likely projects as an "offense-first" left-handed hitting 3B-2B-1B-C bench guy at the higher levels (sort of a left-handed hitting version of Ben Carhart), but adding catcher to his "tool box" should make him more valuable as he moves up through the pipeline.
Also, 24-year old RHP Jose Rosario underwent an elbow UCL transplant ("Tommy John surgery") last month and will miss the 2015 season. Rosario is the second Cub minor leaguer to undergo TJS since the start of Spring Training (catcher Will Remillard was other one).
Born in New York City, Rosario was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old international free-agent out of the Dominican Republic in April 2008. He was eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") after the 2014 World Series, but he signed a 2015 minor league successor contract with the Cubs before being declared a free-agent. In 115 career minor league games 2008-14, Rosario has compiled a rather ugly 5.06 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, while allowing 489 hits (including 32 HR) and 192 walks in 437.2 IP, with 378 strikeouts.
Although he has plus-stuff, Rosario has been unable to harness it and has battled command issues throughout his career, He failed to reach AA in seven minor league seasons, and yet the Cubs saw enough in him to offer him a 2015 contract rather than allowing him to walk away as a free-agent. But he continued to struggle with his control at Minor League Camp this season, before being shut-down with a sore elbow the last week of Spring Training. Rosario is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA again post-2015, but since the TJS rehab process takes at least a year, I would not be surprised if he signs another minor league successor contract for 2016 so that he can continue his rehab with the same training staff.
It wasn't a Cactus League EXST game, but the Cubs did play an EXST intrasquad game on Field #5 yesterday (Thursday). 29-year old veteran MLB and ex-Red Sox RHRP Daniel Bard threw an inning in the game, and while he continues to have difficulty throwing strikes (24 pitches - only 9 strikes, with one walk and two WP in the one IP), he did manage to retire the side without allowing a hit or a run. Known as a hard-throwing late-inning reliever, Bard didn't show it yesterday. His fastball consistently sat at 91-92 MPH, and touched 93 only once.
Cubs Minor League Infield Coordinator Jose Flores is at Extended Spring Training this week, working with the young Cub infielders on the finer points of infield play. (He also throws a mean BP).
Here is the abridged box score from today's Cactus League EXST game (Cubs players only), followed by the box score from yesterday's EXST Cubs intrasquad game.
1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 0-3 (BB, 5-3, F-7, 4-3, SB)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
2. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 0-5 (P-4, L-4, K, K, 4-3)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-3 (BB, 6-3, 1B, K, 2 SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 1-4 (P-4, F-8, K, 1B)
5a. Tyler Alamo, C: 0-3 (F-9, 6-3, F-8)
5b. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-1 (2B, R)
6. Andrew Ely, 3B: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, P-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, HR, 3-U, 2 R, 2 RBI)
8. Tim Saunders, DH #1: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 3B, F-9, 2 R, RBI, CS)
9. Ho-Young Son, SS: 3-3 (3B, 1B, 2B, 2 RBI, CS)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10. Varonex Cuevas, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, K, K)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Jose Paulino: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 43 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (7 strikes)
3. John Michael Knighton:1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (5 strikes)
4. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Andin Diaz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 2/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
6. Daniel Lewis: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 2 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 44 pitches (19 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Andrew Ely - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 1B Alberto Mineo - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Tyler Alamo: 1-2 CS
2. Tyler Pearson: 1 PB
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy and very breezy with temperatures in the 70's
THURSDAY (5-7-2015) - INTRASQUAD GAME ON FIELD #5
Adonis Paula belted a solo HR and Kevin Encarnacion drilled a double and an RBI single.
The game was called after 6-1/2 innings.
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Roberto Caro, CF:1-2 (4-3, 1B, BB, R, SB)
2. Andrew Ely, 2B: 0-1 (F-9, BB, BB, R, RBI)
3. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 2-3 (2B, 1B, 4-3 DP, RBI, CS)
4. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-3 (K, HR, 6-3, R, RBI)
5. Yohan Matos, C: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
6. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K)
7. Carlos Jimenez, DH: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, F-8, PO)
8. Miguel Rico, 1B; 0-2 (F-8, BB, F-8, R)
9. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-3 (F-8, 2B, F-9, R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, R)
2. Frandy de la Rosa, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, 4-3, RBI, CS)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 2B, 2 SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 0-2 (4-3, F-8)
5. Tyler Alamo, 1B-DH: 0-2 (6-3, 5-3)
6. Jose Paniagua, DH #2: 0-2 (F-9, K)
7. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-2 (1B, K)
8. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-2 (K, L-9)
9a. Tim Saunders, DH #3: 0-1 (F-9)
9b. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: NO AB
10. Roney Alcala, DH-1B: 0-1 (BB, 5-3)
11. Robert Garcia, DH #5: 0-1 (4-3)
12. Varonex Cuevas, 3B-DH: 0-1 (6-2 FC)
13. Jenner Emeterio, RF: 0-1 (K)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Mark Malave: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 41 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Daniel Bard: 1.0 IP, 0H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 24 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Santiago Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Yomar Morel: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 BALK, 2/4 GO/FO, 45 pitches (28 strikes)
2. Enrique de los Rios: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Sam Wilson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Greyfer Eregua: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 1
P Adbert Alzolay - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd and a runner to score from 3rd)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yohan Matos: 1-4 CS
CUBS SQUAD "A: CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Tyler Pearson: 1-2 CS
crunch 25 min 11 sec ago (view)
icing on the cake...
k.schwarber hits a walk-off 2nd deck homer to win it for WAS in the bottom 9th tonight.
crunch 2 hours 42 min ago (view)
yeah, he's def setting himself in a bad place to get something wild and inside.
i'm glad everyone is getting hit and we're not seeing a slew of suspensions for fighting or DL trips.
bradsbeard 2 hours 54 min ago (view)
I think he actually is really close to the plate, it just might be a little harder to see in the RH box, but his elbow hangs out over the batter's box chalk, so anything up and in is going to be close or hit him.
crunch 3 hours 17 min ago (view)
i wasn't impressed with the pitching going into 2021, and this epic bat drought isn't helping.
i was expecting to get to the playoffs or really damn close. i kinda still am. it's not like i'd be shocked if we're trading away guys in a few months for "the future" at this point, though.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 27 min ago (view)
Spring training stud Joc Pederson!
Anyone else get the sense we've seen .500 for the last time in 2021?
crunch 3 hours 48 min ago (view)
5 singles, 1 solo homer, and 12 Ks later...sigh
at least they managed to get 6bb (3 in the 9th to load the bases for j.pederson to K vs a lefty closer) and 4 HBP (wtf).
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 16 min ago (view)
Fully agree with the lack of flexibility hindering bullpen construction. the only worry I have is even though most of our top 12 RPs are free agents after the year, Wieck and Steele (potentially Holder too) will join Brothers, Maples, and Mills as RP without options. Provided they're all tendered contracts, of course, that's already six spots taken. I do hope we start to see more guys we can move to and from Iowa easily over the coming seasons.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 23 min ago (view)
Same, gotta try to find positives in the situation.
Sonicwind75 6 hours 17 min ago (view)
How often in a weeks time are there multiple games with a team getting HBP more than hits. Cubs today and the Carlos Rodon no hitter this week.
crunch 6 hours 36 min ago (view)
the zach davies era isn't going so well through 3 games...
also, cubs getting HBP...so hot right now. contreras, 2x baez, and welcome back matt duffy.
Sonicwind75 6 hours 49 min ago (view)
@DLJ: Feel a little guilty myself streaming pitchers who are facing Cubs but at least there is something positive to come from watching the game. Grabbed Ynoa tomorrow in a couple of leagues.
crunch 7 hours 59 min ago (view)
contreras HBP thing getting kinda weird...just picked up 5th on the season. it's not like he's leaning into them or sets up like rizzo making him prone to them. almost all, if not all, don't seem to be on purpose.
he got a lot of this last year, too. it's tough enough being a catcher.
crunch 9 hours 40 min ago (view)
freddie freeman could be pitching and the cubs would only manage a solo homer and a few singles while K'ing 10+ times.
Dolorous Jon Lester 11 hours 14 min ago (view)
Smyly placed on IL, Kyle Wright to start. Don't know if that benefits the Cubs (would prob benefit most teams), but it surely hurts my fantasy team as I was looking forward to the K total and low WHIP Smyly was sure to get today.
crunch 11 hours 24 min ago (view)
m.duffy activated, i.vargas to alternate site.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
r.tepera suspended 3 games for throwing at b.woodruff (appealing). d.ross gets 1 game and will miss friday's game.