Brooks Looking Good at Diablo

Sam McDonnell drilled two RBI singles including one that drove-in the tying run, as the Angels rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 9th to upend the Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, AZ. 

Rafael Mejia belted a two-run double and a single, scored a run, and knocked-in a third run with a 6-3 GO and Alberto Mineo tripled, walked twice, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause.

RHSP Aaron Brooks (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with a hip contusion) made a rehab start for the Cubs and tossed three shutout innings (32 pitches), allowing a lead-off single in the bottom of the 1st (erased on a CS) before easily retiring the next eight in a row (3-U, K, K, L-8, P-3, 4-3, 1-3, K). A healthy Brooks (and hopefully a healthy Pierce Johnson and a healthy Dallas Beeler) should help upgrade the Iowa starting rotation once the trio have completed their rehab work at EXST within the next week or two.

LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) continued his EXST game rehab work, following Brooks to the hill and hurling a scoreless inning (1B, K, F-7, 6-3). The ex-NYM lefthander who was claimed by the Cubs off waivers last November looked a lot better today than he did in his first rehab outing last week, needing 15 pitches (11 strikes) to record three outs. (He struggled to throw strikes and could not complete his assigned inning in his previous outing). The Cubs are hoping Leathersich can rehab successfully from the TJS and offer some lefty relief help down the stretch drive, and today's outing certainly provides some reason for optimism.

6'8 LHP Bryan Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS - Alton, IL) got "piggy-back" duty today, following Brooks and Leathersich to the mound. Like Dylan Cease yesterday, Hudson was supposed to stretch-out a bit today and throw five innings and/or about 75 pitches (whichever came first), but he hit 71 pitches after only 2.0 IP, and so I guess he'll have to try and make it through five innings next time out. The 19-year old lefthander allowed three runs on six hits (two doubles and four singles) and four walks (and a WP) and was lucky to surrender only three runs given the ten baserunners he allowed, but he benefited from four well-timed strikeouts (his stuff wasn't all bad, he just couldn't command it) and an Angel batter thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple. This was definitely Hudson's worst outing as a pro.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Roberto Caro, CF: 1-4 (E-6, 3B, 3-U, K, SB)
2. Robert Garcia, DH #1: 1-4 (K, P-5, 2B, 4-3, R)
3. Kevonte Mitchell, RF: 1-4 (K, F-9, 1B, K, R, SB)
4. Isaac Paredes, SS: 0-4 (6-3, F-8, L-7, K)
5. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-2 (3B, BB, K, BB, R)
6. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 2-4 (6-3, 4-3, 2B, 1B, R, 3 RBI)
7. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-4 (3-U, 3-1, 1B, F-8, RBI)
8. Vimael Machin, 2B: 0-3 (HBP, K, 4-3, 4-6-3 DP)
9. Ruben Reyes, LF: 0-3 (F-7, L-5, K)
10. Eric Gonzalez, DH #2: 1-3 (L-8, 1B, K)

CUBS PITCHERS
1. Aaron Brooks: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 B, 3 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 32 pitches (24 strikes) 
2. Jack Leathersich: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 15 pitches (11 strikes) 
3. Bryan Hudson: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1/0 GO/AO, 71 pitches (37 strikes) 
4. Andry Rondon: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 36 pitches (21 strikes) 

CUBS ERRORS: 1 
P Andry Rondon - E-1 (dropped catch attempting 3-1 put-out allowed batter to reach base safely) 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Jhonny Pereda: 2-4 CS, 1 PO 

CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS
LF Ruben Reyes - batter thrown out 7-6-5 attempting to stretch double into triple

ATTENDANCE: 8 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Comments

Looks like Bryan Hudson is the new Randy Johnson: his height will always be part of his name.

Phil, I think I read an earlier take that you don't see much of an ML career for Brooks? I kinda thought when he was acquired it was as depth for this year, but with an eye on the Cahill type swing role next year? Then again he did get hit around pretty bad in his big league time last year.

KOYIES BANSAW: I would say Aaron Brooks is comparable to Dallas Beeler. When healthy, they both provide AAA starting pitcher depth until somethng better comes up through the pipeline. Maybe the "26th man" when the Cubs need a 6th starter for a doubleheader. 

Probably best case scenario is that Brooks could ultimately be included as part of a package of players used to acquire missing parts at the trade deadline or next off-season, but I don't think there is a long-term future for Brooks with the Cubs. Same goes for Beeler. Both will be out of minor league options in 2017, and once that happens whatever value they may have now will be diminished.  

One of the potential problems the Cubs have is the lack of quality starting pitching depth at AAA in 2016. As long as Arrieta-Lester-Lackey-Hammel-Hendricks remain healthy the lack of AAA starting pitching depth isn't noticed and doesn't matter much, but it might be a lot to ask that the five starters all stay healthy for the entire season with no DL stints. I would think that if a starter goes down, that either Trevor Cahill, Travis Wood, or Adam Warren will be temporarily moved to the starting rotation (at least until the Cubs can acquire another starter via trade), because the Cubs aren't likely to get much SP help from the minors this year or maybe even next year. 

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  • Hagsag 11 hours 57 min ago (view)

    $$$$ for trump's defense fund.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 30 sec ago (view)

    But they got $600 a few months back. Each! That was an unexpected windfall.

    Can't wait to see us acquire a 17 year old, 16 year old, 11 year old (all in the 15-30 range of Blue Jays prospects) and one of the shitty Jays surplus OFs. Randal Grichuk jerseys will be the new hot item among Cubs fans.

     

  • crunch 12 hours 52 min ago (view)

    things are a little tight, we have to be patient with the ricketts family finances.

    when TD Ameritrade was fully/completely sold in october they expected to get 26 billion dollars of value on the transaction, but it only got 22 billion dollars.  the massive slew of millions that didn't fully come to realization on the ricketts side of that sale stings.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Trade Hendricks? Cant be true. We're "going to be competitive this year."

    Sell the team, Ricketts family.

     

  • crunch 13 hours 25 min ago (view)

    "Scott Mitchell of TSN reports that the Blue Jays have discussed a potential trade with the Cubs involving Kris Bryant and Kyle Hendricks.

    Mitchell was responding to a question on Twitter asking whether there was any truth to the rumor that the Jays had talked with the Cubs about a deal for both players, and he answered in the affirmative."

    this timeline sucks.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    International Scouting Director Louie Eljaua was just on The Score and he mentioned that COVID is causing issues with completing physicals and officially signing guys, but he said they have 24 guys unufficially signed right now.

     

  • KingKongvsGodzilla 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    These guys are a year apart in age and Miller's easily had the stronger career to date. While I'm not big on Miller, much prefer his more standard injury (TJ) than whatever it is that sapped Foltynewicz's velocity. Folty without velocity just isn't interesting and is likely a much bigger injury risk

     

  • Cubster 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    from an mlb.com article by Jordan Bastian...excerpt on Cubs free agent starting pitching options:

    "Still, the Cubs need some more experienced Major League innings.

    Given the way the offseason has played out for the North Siders, free-agent possibilities could include Chris Archer. Archer missed all of 2020 due to thoracic outlet syndrome, but he hopes to be ready to go by Spring Training. Free agents Mike Foltynewicz, Carlos Rodón, Rick Porcello and Trevor Williams are coming off forgettable '20 seasons but might benefit from the Cubs' analytics team.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    At this rate, they will need 11 starters in 2021 but like 6 of them will be more or less Alec Mills. The defense will get plenty of practice, at least.

     

  • crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    i wouldn't be surprised to see jake arrieta come on board since no one else seems to want him and he'll probably have to take a 1yr deal...

     

  • crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    cubs get their backup catcher...hopefully not their main catcher...

    austin romine 1yr/1.5m

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Look no further than Shelby Miller!

     

  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    hank aaron has died.  passed away in his sleep.

    we've lost a lot of HOF'rs and other notables in the past many months.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs are now the "Little Sisters of the Poor".

     

  • crunch 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    given what little we're supposed to expect out of this offseason that would have been a nice gamble.

    at this point i wonder if they're going to snag someone to put in between the 2 current staff aces that throw 88mph on a good day, or if they're just gonna toss one of the kids in there to break up the slow-tossers.

    i mean, there's gotta be something more than hendricks/davies/mills/alzolay/???...i hope.

     

  • springs 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    That sucks...I wanted to sign Q to a one year deal and see if he could right the ship.  At a minimum I hoped we'd get a draft pick when he left as a free agent and thought we could roll the dice to try and get that.  That trade....man.