Hops Go Brew Crew's Way, Barley Defeat Cubs at Riverview Park
Jorge Ortega tossed six shutout innings, Tucker Neuhaus (Brewers 2013 Supplemental 2nd round draft pick - Wharton HS - Tampa, FL) drilled two RBI doubles, singled, and scored a run, Edgardo Rivera reached base four times (a single and three walks), stole a base, and scored three runs, and Luis Aviles smacked a three-run home run, as the Brewers outlasted the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Jeffrey Baez walked twice, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run and Eloy Jimenez singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Cubs. In 17 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (67 PA), Baez is hitting 345/433/500, with two doubles, two triples, one HR, 5 RBI, 8 RUNS, 9/8 BB/K, and 12 SB (0 CS), and he leads the team in OBP, SLG, SB, BB, and RUNS, is second only to the departed Matt Scioscia in AVG (Scioscia hit 348 in 26 PA), and is one of only three EXST Cubs players to hit a HR (Tyler Alamo and Rashad Crawford are the other two).
Justin Ruggiano (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) and Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) continued their EXST rehab assignments in today's game, going a collective 0-8.
Ruggiano popped-out to short and flied out three times (including two near-HR hit to the warning track, one in left and the other in right-center), and Wells tapped back to the pitcher on a check-swing, popped out to the shortstop, lined-out to CF, and reached base on an E-5 (dropped infield pop fly).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Jeffrey Baez, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, P-6, BB, BB, R, SB)
2. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-3 (F-7, K, BB, P-6, R, SB)
3. Justin Ruggiano, DH #2: 0-4 (F-7, F-8, P-4, F-9)
4. Casper Wells, RF: 0-4 (1-3, P-6, E-5, L-8)
5. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 2-4 (1-3, K, 1B, 2B, R)
6. Antonio Valerio, C: 1-4 (E-5, 5-3, 5-4 FC, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, HBP, F-9, R)
8. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (6-4-3 DP, K, 2B, BB, R, RBI)
9. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, E-4, HBP)
10. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 0-4 (4-6 FC, K, 4-U FC, FC. 2 RBI, 3 SB)
11. Arnaldo Calero, DH #3: 0-3 (HBP, F-9, E-6, K)
1. Michael Heesch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 8/1 GO/FO, 60 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Trey Lang: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Francisco Carrillo: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1/3 GO/FO, 27 pitches (22 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Dalfis Ortiz - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Antonio Valerio: 0-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. CF Oliver Zapata - threw out baserunner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single to CF
2. CF Oliver Zapata - threw out baserunner 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single to CF
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Dolorous Jon Lester 54 min 58 sec 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 1 hour 31 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 2 min ago (view)
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!
(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)
Hagsag 5 hours 25 min ago (view)
Wrigley Rat 10 hours 53 min ago (view)
Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.
Charlie 15 hours 10 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 13 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 23 hours 56 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 8 hours ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 1 day 10 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 11 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 12 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.