Shelby Miller a Mystery to Cubs Hitters
RHSP Shelby Miller (on Arizona Diamondbacks MLB 15-day DL retro to May 25th with a sprained/bruised right index finger) hurled five innings of shutout ball and Max Brown (RBI double) and Gerard Hernandez (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a two-run first inning, as the Diamondbacks made the two runs stand and edged the Cubs 2-1 at Sloan Park, and Joey Armstrong laced a two-run single to cap a three-run second-inning and Marcus Wilson walked twice, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, leading the D'backs over the Cubs 5-2 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
With local Phoenix TV crews recording every pitch, Miller breezed-through his five innings (55 pitches), allowing just three singles and no walks, with two strikeouts and an 8/5 GO/AO.
D. J. Wilson belted an RBI double and a single and Wladimir Galindo singled twice and drove-in a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1.
RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) and LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) continued their EXST rehab, working in the game played at Sloan Park.
Tseng started the game and worked four innings (48 pitches - 73% strikes) and allowed two runs on four hits (three singles and a double), but he struck out five, did not issue any walks, and he retired the last eight hitters he faced (K, 4-3, 4-3, 3-1, K, L-9. K, 6-3).
Leathersich followed Tseng to the hill and worked a 1-2-3 5th inning (4-3, F-9, K). While he's still in "rehab mode," Leathersich is increasing his velocity & command with each EXST outing, and he could ultimately replace Clayton Richard as the Cubs second LHRP option (perhaps sooner rather than later).
In EXST Cubs roster news, SS Ho-Young Son (2014 IFA - South Korea) is being converted to pitcher, but he is not ready to throw in games yet (just bullpen side-sessions and PFP drills so far). The 21-year old Son hit just 238/310/295 in 65 career minor league games (AZL Cubs & Eugene) 2014-15, but he has a rifle for an arm.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Roberto Caro, CF: 1-4 (1B, 6-3, F-7, 3-U, RBI, SB)
2. Michael Foster, RF: 0-3 (L-4, 4-3, 6-3, BB, SB)
3. Vimael Machin, 2B: 1-4 (6-3, 1B, 1-3, F-7)
4. Jose Paniagua, 1B-DH: 2-3 (5-3, 1B, 2B)
5. Isaac Paredes, 3B: 0-3 (K, 5-3, F-9)
6. Rafael Mejia, DH #1: 0-3 (K, 5-3, F-7)
7. Kwang-Min Kwon, LF: 0-3 (F-7, F-8, F-9)
8. Jhonny Pereda, C-1B: 0-3 (4-3, L-6, F-7)
9. Yeiler Peguero, SS: 1-3 (4-3, P-5, 3B, R)
10. Eric Gonzalez, DH-C: 0-3 (L-8, L-8, L-7)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Jen-Ho Tseng: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 5/1 GO/AO, 48 pitches (35 strikes)
2. Jack Leathersich: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
3. John Michael Knighton: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/AO, 22 pitches (17 strikes)
4. M. T. Minacci: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Jared Cheek: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 15 pitches (12 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. D. J. Wilson, CF: 2-4 (1B, P-5, 2B, P-6, RBI)
2. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-4 (6-4-3 DP, 3-1, 1-3, 1B, R)
3. Chris Pieters, 1B: 1-4 (1B, K, 4-3, K)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 2-4 (1B, F-9, F-8, 1B, RBI)
5. Gustavo Polanco, DH-C: 1-4 (5-4 FC, 3-U, 6-3, 1B)
6. Ricardo Marcano, RF: 0-3 (L-7, BB, K, F-7)
7. Jhonny Bethencourt, 2B: 0-2 (F-9, L-7, BB, BB)
8. Tyler Payne, C-DH: 2-4 (2B, 1B, F-8, 1-3, R)
9a. Jose Gonzalez, LF: 0-2 (P-2, F-9)
9b. Yohan Matos, LF: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
10. Luis Ayala, DH #2: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 4-3, K)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Manny Rondon: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 8/1 GO/AO, 77 pitches (47 strikes)
2. Nick Sarianides: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Tommy Nance: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 35 pitches (25 strikes)
4. Jose Leidenz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 3 WP, 1/3 GO/AO, 40 pitches (24 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 2
1. SS Andruw Monasterio: E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 1B Chris Pieters: E-3 (erant throw on attempted 3-2 FC at home allowed runner to score)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Tyler Payne: 0-1 CS
2. Gustavo Polanco: 1-2 CS
ATTENDANCE: 15 (combined - some of the spectators moved back & forth between the two venues)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 110+
crunch 1 hour 6 min ago (view)
3 dot crew represent. i didn't have an opinion, but now i'm 100% on board.
Charlie 1 hour 14 min ago (view)
I agree on most of this, but I especially support three fillable dots for the outs--and fill in the third before cutting to a commercial!
Not doing homework on the players in a Spring Training broadcast is pretty forgiveable, but ESPN is really bad about it pretty much all year. It would be nice if they made a habit of picking up a local color commentator and sort of interviewing them throughout games.
George Altman 5 hours 17 min ago (view)
The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport, to learn something from the broadcast crew.
Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't, and I know about NOTHING about football.
First.Pitch.120 7 hours 37 min ago (view)
Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3. If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #. eg - OUTS: 1 It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.
crunch 8 hours 8 min ago (view)
tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.
First.Pitch.120 8 hours 30 min ago (view)
General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.
crunch 9 hours 54 min ago (view)
brews sign j.bradley 2/24m...decent deal for a quality CF'r. he can opt out of the 2nd year.
crunch 10 hours 34 min ago (view)
the national broadcasts on ESPN suffer badly from a lack of "homework" on the teams they're covering.
yesterday i heard more riffing between the announcers about each other more than the players. the only thing that saved them from more of that and dead air was in-progress action and player interviews (too many player interviews, but it's spring so whatever).
Hagsag 13 hours 9 min ago (view)
Not impressed with ESPN's broadcast. I like Mendoza's work, but how many kids did we have to see rolling around the grass. Good day to see some young players ,but half the time you had no idea who was batting or pitching.
crunch 22 hours 1 min ago (view)
cubs game totally not a delay broadcast for ESPN...thanks for that gem heyward.
dunno if they'll be printing up any "You better have your shit in line" t-shirts, but it's as least as good as "Try not to suck"
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 min ago (view)
Jason Adam is another who throws short arm. I don't think he was a position player, but maybe falls into the arm injury category?
Sonicwind75 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Thanks Phil, these pitching summaries are great!
Eric S 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Thanks, AZ Phil. Looks like a better use of the off-season by Maples than Carl Jr's hop-in-delivery was a few years ago - and not against the rules either.
Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Even though he is signed to a minor lesague contract and is not on the MLB 40-man roster right now, I would think Eric Sogard is a virtual lock to make the Cubs Opening Day Active List 26-man roster.
The Cubs were reportedly looking to sign a left-handed hitting second-baseman, and Sogard certainly fits that description. And unlike Jason Kipnis, Sogard has the versatility to play 3B and SS as well as 2B.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
ERIC: Just as you said, the short-arm technique can improve command, hopefully without impacting the quality of a pitcher's stuff.
Based on what I saw yesterday, Maples' stuff is as good as ever, and his command was better, too. Hopefully it will continue, because he probably has the best pure stuff on the staff. Command has always been the problem.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
CUBSTER: Unless there is a wave of pitcher injuries in Spring Training I would think Shelby Miller will probably begin the season at AAA (or at the ATS, since the start of the AAA season is supposely going to be delayed) where he can get stretched out.