Rockies Shad Have Known Better Than to Play So Shallow
Rashad Crawford belted an inside-the-park two-run home run (opposite-field line-drive smoked over the left-fielder's head) to highlight a three-run third, and the bullpen tossed 7.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball, helping the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
The home run was Crawford's second in Cactus League EXST game action (his first HR was hit over the RF fence on Field #5 at Riverview Park on April 21st), so Crawford has now tied Erick Castillo for the team-lead in HR with two (six others--Tyler Alamo, Jeffrey Baez, Zak Blair, Kevin Brown, Varonex Cuevas, and Rony Rodriguez--have one HR a piece). And the Cubs (as a team) have hit seven of their ten home runs in their last five games.
Five Cub "rehab" pitchers saw work in today's game (including four who threw in the intrasquad game last Saturday), so Rehab Pitching Coordinator Rick Tronerud and Rehab Athletic Trainer Chuck Baughman made the trip up to Salt River Fields from Riverview Park (they did not bring their golf cart, however).
* Cubs 2012 4th round draft pick RHP Josh Conway (2012 pre-draft TJS & May 2013 elbow stress fracture) got the start and breezed through the bottom of the 1st inning (allowing just a two-out single) before surrendering a run on two hits (including an RBI triple) and a walk in the bottom of the 2nd. The 23-year old needed 37 pitches to get four outs.
* Veteran NPB & MLB RH reliever Kyuji Fujikawa (May 2013 TJS) retired all three men he faced (K-swinging, F-8, 3-1), although he was continually shaking and stretching his arm during the outing.
* 20-year old 2012 3rd round draft pick 6'3 RHP Ryan McNeil (May 2013 TJS) made his first Cactus League EXST game appearance since April 15, 2013, and retired all five hitters he faced (F-8, 6-3, L-8, P-1, 3-U) on just 13 pitches (10 strikes), He looked very good in a two-inning stint in last Saturday's intrasquad game, too. For those of you who haven't seen McNeil this year, he is sporting the popular Jeff Samardzija look (they could be brothers).
* 24-year old 6'5 240+ LHP Michael Heesch (Cubs 2012 8th round draft pick) had another fine outing (he's been throwing in Cactus League EXST games for about the last ten days, so he should be about ready to move up to the KC or Daytona bullpen), allowing a two-out single while striking out two (both swinging) and doing it all on just 11 pitches (10 for strikes), and lots of grunts.
* 18-year old RHP Jesus Castillo (the other pitcher acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with RHP Erick Leal in exchange for OF Tony Campana in February 2013) made his U. S. game debut and punched-out two in his one innng of work. Unlike Leal (a "curve-ball first" pitcher who uses his 88 MPH fastball to set-up his excellent breaking ball), Castillo has a "lively" fastball that rides 92-93 MPH and a decent change-up (especially for such a young guy) but no breaking ball. And, just like C. J. Edwards, Jose Paulino, and Hector Perez, Castillo is an all-legs "stringbean" (6'2 165). Castillo probably has a higher ceiling than fellow-Venezuelan Leal, but he is also clearly not anywhere near as polished, and so he will very likely be assigned to the AZL Cubs next month, while Leal will almost certainly be in the Boise starting rotation.
With today's victory, the Cubs have won three in a row and are closing-in on the .500 mark (they are now 19-21-4 in 2014 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Rashad Crawford, DH: 2-5 (F-7, HR, 4-3, 1B, 3-U, R, 2 RBI)
2. Elliot Soto, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 3-U, K, R, SB)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-4 (L-3 DP, 1B+E7, K, K, RBI)
4. Kevin Brown, 1B: 0-4 (3-U, F-9, K, F-7)
5. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-4 (F-9, 5-3, E-5, P-2)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-3 (K, BB, 6-3, F-8)
7. Mark Malave, C: 1-4 (K, FC, 6-3, 1B)
8. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (1B, 5-4-3 DP, 4-3, 1B, R)
9. Charcer Burks, LF: 0-4 (P-3, 2-3, E-6, F-8)
1. Josh Conway: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 37 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Kyuji Fujikawa: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 14 pitches (7 strikes)
3. Ryan McNeil: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Michael Heesch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 11 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Jesus Castillo: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GO/FO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
6. Hector Perez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 34 pitches (20 strikes)
7. Alberto Diaz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/FO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
crunch 6 hours 13 min ago (view)
69 (nice) pitches...goes 4.2ip and leaves with a man on 1st
4.2ip 3h 1bb 5k, 3r/er (2hr)
alzolay continues to have the HR screw him over. 12 given up in 62.1ip
crunch 6 hours 25 min ago (view)
d.ross pulls baez for alcantara for what was either a mental mistake forgetting the outs or totally not hustling by baez in the bottom 4th running the bases.
cubs are down by 1.
hell of manager power play. hope this plays out well...expect it will.
crunch 7 hours 6 min ago (view)
nico expected back in early july...duffy had a "setback" and is in limbo...bote has started baseball activities, but nowhere near a return time.
crunch 7 hours 22 min ago (view)
haha. ump checked alzolay's hat and glove between innings and declared it all clear.
stuff so nasty they wanna make sure you're not on that "sticky fingers" bandwagon.
crunch 7 hours 24 min ago (view)
11 pitches, 2 Ks and a hard ground out to start things for alzolay.
i wonder how many pitches he'll be allowed to throw if he can keep the game under control. velocity and movement looks great.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 42 min ago (view)
CRUNCH: The only way this makes sense is if the Cubs promised Ryan when they outrighted him in May that he would be added back to the MLB 40-man roster within a certain number of days or by a certain date (June 20th). Otherwise, it makes no sense.
Ryan did have the right to elect free-agency when he was outrighted, but he accepted the assignment.
crunch 9 hours 33 min ago (view)
alzolay activated, k.ryan down. ryan was brought up less than 24 hours ago and not used yesterday. he was already earlier optioned to AAA and the cubs DFA'd r.stock to add ryan to the 40-man yesterday. odd use of the roster, kinda...
Wrigley Rat 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Exactly what I needed - thanks AZPhil!
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
I doubt that whatever changes are made in the new CBA regarding compensation draft picks for losing a Qualified Player will be implemented in the 2022 draft. They might, however, remove the penalty of losing a draft pick after signing a qualified player, and that could easily be implemented in the 2022 draft. That would seem to be a demand the MLBPA would make that the MLB owners could accept.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
W-RAT: Going over the CBT threshhold in 2020 but not in 2021 will not affect which draft pick a club receives if it loses a player who receives a Qualifying Offer post-2021 World Series and that player subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club prior to the 2022 MLB Rule 4 Draft (MLB First-Year Player Draft).
crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
w.franco getting called up by TB. he's amazing. check him out. agressive at the plate and on the bases (and gets away with it)...rather decent in the field. javy baez meets ronald acuna type stuff...
tim815 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
With the CBA expiring in the off-season, nobody has any idea what will happen in 2022, if there's an MLB season in 2022.
crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
kinda crazy cubs even matter in 2021 this late in june...also, that the cards are barely playing .500 ball.
cubs were supposed to be "competitive" going into the season, but we were hearing a lot more about who's going to be traded mid-season than how competitive they were/are expected to be.
also, the dbacks are down by 8 runs on their way to their 17th loss in a row. they've only won 20 games this year. AZ games are my go-to late night (east coast over here) preferred viewing and it's been some terrible baseball to watch.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
Sorry if this is explained somewhere and I missed it, but who knows the exact compensation the Cubs would get if they made qualifying offers to Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez after the season, all three turned them down and they each signed with different teams? I read that the Cubs exceeded the Luxury Tax in 2020, so apparently that changes the draft pick value. Thanks in advance!
Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
Rockies tie game w 6-spot vs Brewers
crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
schwarber has 5HR in the last 2 days (3 games) and 9 homers in his last 10 games.
also, t.chatwood picked up a spot save for TOR today.