Ademan Blast Leads Cubs to Victory
Aramis Ademan (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $2M bonus) blasted a three-run home run high over the RF fence and onto the south bank of the Red Mountain Freeway to cap a four-run sixth inning, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the Diamondbacks 5-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Acquired by the Cubs from the Oakland A's for OF Chris Coghlan after the Cubs re-signed CF Dexter Fowler in February, RHSP Aaron Brooks (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with a hip contusion) made his first Cactus League EXST game appearance, throwing one inning (12 pitches - 8 strikes), and allowing no runs on two hits (a single and a double). His fastball velocity was 91-92 MPH, and he displayed a hard breaking ball.
RHP Dylan Cease followed Brooks to the hill and worked three innings (63 pitches - 63% strikes), allowing three runs (all three earned) on five hits (two doubles and three singles) and two walks, with four strikeouts, and a 2/3 GO/AO. He also committed a two-base throwing error attempting to pick a runner off 1st base.
Cease's fastball velocity sat consistently at 96-98 MPH, but he touched 99 twice and 100 once in the top of the third when he struck out the side (his only 1-2-3 inning). He also threw about a dozen curves (79-81 MPH) and about a half-dozen change-ups (82-84 MPH). He had trouble commanding his change-up (he bounced most of them), he hung a couple of curves that were hammered for line-drive hits, and he had trouble keeping his fastball at knee level (which is when it's virtually unhittable), leaving too many of his high-velocity offerings belt-high.
Dylan Cease combined 2016 Cactus League EXST line (thru 5/23):
2.95 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, .246 OppBA
18.1 IP, 16 H, 6 R (6 ER), 9 BB, 25 K, 1 HBP, 0 HR, 2 WP, 2 PO, 1 BALK, 2 GIDP, 17/7 GO/AO, 307 pitches (61% strikes), 16.7 PITCHES-PER-INNING
Prior to the EXST game on Field #5, RHSP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with right shoulder inflammation) and RHRP P. J. Francescon threw "live" BP on Field #4 (one inning and 25 pitches each).
Beeler was throwing in Cactus League EXST games last month and appeared to be close to moving-up to AAA Iowa, but then he was shut-down (mid-AB) in what was supposed to be his next-to-last rehab start on April 30th. So now it's back to square-one, with today's "live" BP outing his first step to get back to where he was last month. Barring any further medical setbacks, Beeler and Brooks should be in the Iowa starting rotation within about three weeks.
Francescon was the closer at AA Tennessee last year and it looked like he would get a shot at advancing to AAA Iowa in 2016, but then he received a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension from MLB last January that has left him throwing "live" BP, "sim" games, and intrasquad games at Extended Spring Training while he completes his "sentence." Francescon reminds me a bit of Rod Beck, with a pedestrian 88-90 MPH fastball used to set-up a dive-bomb splitter (his "swing & miss" pitch).
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1. D. J. Wilson, CF: 1-4 (K, F-8, 1B, F-8, R)
2a. Aramis Ademan, SS: 2-3 (F-7, 1B, HR, R, 3 RBI)
2b. Jhonny Bethencourt, 3B: 0-1 (K)
3. Chris Pieters, 1B: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, L-4, HBP, RBI, SB)
4. Wladimir Galindo, DH #1: 0-3 (K, 6-3, BB, L-5)
5. Alex Bautista, DH #2: 1-3 (K, 1B, K, HBP, PO)
6. Ricardo Marcano, RF: 0-4 (6-3, F-9, K, K)
7. Yonathan Perlaza, 2B: 0-3 (F-8, F-8, BB, 4-3)
8. Andruw Monasterio, 3B-SS: 2-3 (4-3, 2B, BB, 1B, R)
9a. Tyler Pearson, C: 0-1 (F-8)
9b. Gustavo Polanco, PH-C: 0-3 (6-3, K, F-8, RBI)
10. Luis Ayala, LF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, 5-3, 2 R)
1. Aaron Brooks: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
2. Dylan Cease: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 63 pitches (40 strikes)
3. Jared Cheek: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 20 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Enrique de los Rios: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 27 pitches (18 strikes)
5. Yapson Gomez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 10 pitches (9 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
P Dylan Cease: E-1 (two-base throwing error on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Tyler Pearson: 1-3 CS
CUBS BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Aramis Ademan - thrown-out 9-5 attempting to advance from 1st to 3rd on ground single to RF with one out in 4th
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Hagsag 10 hours 21 min ago (view)
The Cubs have no starting pitching right now with Carl in a funk.
Eric S 17 hours 11 min ago (view)
Cubs were Nootbaar'ed to the tune of 12-4 in Game 2
Cubster 18 hours 12 min ago (view)
With a Doubleheader loss, the Cubs are back on track for a better draft choice. Right now at 67 wins they pick #7, just ahead of KC and Minnesota who have 68-69 wins.
crunch 19 hours 41 min ago (view)
the shit sandwich that is zach davies is a 6 foot party sub.
Dolorous Jon Lester 19 hours 44 min ago (view)
I am celebrating the day he signs with another team this offseason. I didn't know I could hate him more than I did when he was in Milwaukee but here we are!
crunch 20 hours 4 min ago (view)
wisdom can hit some bombs when he does connect..wow.
also davies still sucks.
tim815 20 hours 39 min ago (view)
McAvene is struggling against hitters in Instructs. He's not ready for the AZ Fall League. I'd expect to see Juan Gamez otr Aneuris Rosario first. Vazquez, I agree with, entirely.
bradsbeard 22 hours 29 min ago (view)
On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.
Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate.
First.Pitch.120 23 hours 47 min ago (view)
Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Cubs select contract of RHRP Jason Adam from AAA Iowa and he will be the "29th man" in today's DH with STL. Also,.C Robinson Chirinos to 10-day IL with oblique strain, and OF Greg Deichmann has been recalled from Iowa.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right?
First.Pitch.120 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?
Arizona Phil 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster).
Arizona Phil 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault).
Arizona Phil 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five sing
crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
chris clarke could use the work.
brennen davis...bryce ball and casey opitz, maybe. *shrug*
i'd like to see ethan roberts in the mix.