ManRam & Eloy Drop Bombs on Papago Park
Brett Vertigan laced an RBI double and an RBI single, Yairo Munoz ripped an RBI single and a double and scored a run, Joe Bennie drilled an RBI single and a double, and Dayton Alexander smacked a solo HR, as the Athletics drubbed the Cubs 10-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morining on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Eloy Jimenez clobbered a three-run home run, Manny Ramirez celebrated his Cub debut with a tape-measure solo HR, and Gleyber Torres belted an RBI double to account for the five Cub runs.
Signed by the Cubs as a minor league player-coach ten days ago, the 42-year old Ramirez saw his first game action of 2014 today, serving as a DH and hitting 2nd in each of the first four innings. Having last played in August 2013 with AAA Round Rock (Texas Rangers affiliate in the PCL) where he hit a lackluster 259/328/370 with three HR in 30 games, you would think ManRam might be a bit rusty, but he did not appear to be today. The veteran slugger drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch his first time up, flied out to right-center in his second AB (a fly ball that was deep enough to allow a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd after the catch), flied out to the 385 sign in LF his 3rd time up (A's left-fielder caught the ball with his back up against the wall), and blasted a 400+ foot HR (with an accompanying major league bat-flip) over the LF fence and out into the desert in his 4th and final PA in the top of the 4th inning.
Ryan Sweeney (on the Cubs 15-day DL after suffering a hamstring injury on May 2nd) also served as a DH in today's game and (like Manny) batted four times, once in each of the first four innings. He struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the 1st, drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch in the 2nd, and popped out (P-5, and P-6) in his final two AB.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1. Manny Ramirez, DH #1: 1-3 (BB, F-8, F-7, HR, R, RBI)
NOTE: Ramirez batted 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
X-2. Ryan Sweeney,DH #2: 0-3 (K, BB, P-5, P-6, R)
NOTE: Sweeney batted 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-3 (K, 2B, 3-1, RBI)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, E-6, 4-3)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 2-3 (2B, 6-4 FC, 1B, R, SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH #3: 1-3 (HR, 1-3, K, R, 3 RBI)
5. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-3 (3-1, F-9, 4-6-3 DP)
6a. Eufran Vargas, C: 0-2 (F-7, K)
6b. Antonio Valerio, C: 0-1 (4-3)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, K, CS)
8. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 0-3 (F-7, K, K)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, R)
1. Josh Conway: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 37 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Zac Rosscup: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 16 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 0/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
NOTE: McNeil's first inning was stopped with one out and runners at 1st & 3rd
4. Jesus Castillo: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 35 pitches (19 strikes)
5. Victor Salazar: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 22 pitches (10 strikes)
6. Greyfer Eregua: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Eufran Vargas: 2-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Charcer Burks - runner thrown out 8-6-2 trying to score from 1st base on double
WEATHER: Sunny & hot with temperatures 100+
Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 5 min ago (view)
I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.
That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.
crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
i wonder where the cubs will go with things.
there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone. as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team. the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.
bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...
Hagsag 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
"According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."
by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him. i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.
Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.
Cubster 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office, as GM
Charlie 3 days 15 hours ago (view)
For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.
crunch 4 days 3 hours ago (view)
rev up those off-season rumor fryers...
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.
crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)
former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.
green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.
Arizona Phil 4 days 14 hours ago (view)
Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters.
crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)
chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)
mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...
crunch 5 days 11 hours ago (view)
t.clifton straight up falling off a cliff sucked to watch happen last year.
i had a lot of faith in the guy to at least hold his own in AAA, even if he needed another season or 2 after to get ready for prime time.
he ended up giving out homers like candy on halloween while retaining his high walk and injury rate.
that said, his career is far from done. most likely many other teams willing to give him a minor league deal.
Arizona Phil 5 days 16 hours ago (view)
Keep in mind that most free-agents who sign a 2020 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection. (The only exception would be a free-agent who is not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, such as a player whose only previous pro experience was in a foreign major league or in an independent minor league, or a player who was released by another MLB organization but is still not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft).
Arizona Phil 5 days 16 hours ago (view)
If you're wondering if players who sign minor league successor contracts ever get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, the answer is most definitely - YES -.
The Cubs selected RHP Hector Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft after the Indians signed him to a minor league successor contract, and the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Pedro Araujo in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft after the Cubs signed him to a minor league successor contract.
Hagsag 5 days 16 hours ago (view)
Got to get Taylor Davis back.
Arizona Phil 5 days 16 hours ago (view)
So the Cubs were ultimately able to retain five of their seven most-valuable post-2019 minor league free-agent eligibles (Rea, Pereda, de la Cruz, Lugo, and Burks), losing only Clifton and Leal (both of whom are probably looking for a fresh start in another organization after maybe feeling stalled in the Cubs system).