A's 4th Inning Explosion Too Much for Cubs at Fitch Park

Alexander Campos (RBI double), Jorge Romero (RBI double), and Marcos Betancourt (RBI single) contributed back-to-back-to-back run-scoring hits in a five-run 4th, propelling the Athletics to a 9-2 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Thursday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Owen Caissie blasted a solo HR (his third in his last two games) and Ismael Mena tripled and scored to account for the two Cub runs. Caissie also singled, so he has now reached base in 15 of his 21 EXST PA (three HR, four doubles, five singles, and three walks, in just seven games).  

Cubs SP Tyler Schlaffer easily retired the first ten A's in order (F-9, K, L-7 / K, 5-3, K / L-9, F-7, K / 5-3...) before the roof fell-in -- starting with a walk -- with one out in the 4th.  

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

CUBS LINEUP:
1a. Ezequiel Pagan, LF: 0-2 (F-9, 4-6 FC) 
1b. Yovanny Cuevas, PH-LF: 0-1 (K, BB) 
2a. Reggie Preciado, SS-DH: 1-2 (F-8, 2B, BB) 
2b. Edgar Gamargo, PH: 1-1 (1B) 
3a. Jared Young, 1B: 0-2 (BB, 3-U, 4-3)
3b. Shendrik Apostel, 1B: 0-0 (BB) 
4a. Owen Caissie, DH #1: 2-3 (1B, HR, K, R, RBI, PO) 
4b. Juan Mora, 3B: 0-1 (K) 
5. Rafael Morel, 3B-SS: 0-2 (K, 4-3, HBP)
6a. Ronnier Quintero, C: 1-2 (L-7, 1B)
6b. Miguel Fabrizio, C: 1-1 (1B) 
7a. Felix Stevens, RF: 0-2 (5-3, K)
7b. Rafael Herrera, RF: 0-0 (BB) 
8a. Ismael Mena, CF: 1-2 (3B, P-5, R)
8b. Jose O. Lopez, CF: 0-1 (P-3 DP) 
9a. Widimer Joaquin, 2B: 0-2 (5-3, K, RBI)
9b. Oswaldo Pina, 2B: 0-1 (4-3) . 
10. Wally Soto, DH #2: 2-3 (1B, 1B, P-3, SB) 

CUBS PITCHERS
1. Tyler Schlaffer: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2/4 GO/AO, 60 pitches (35 strikes)
2. Angel Gonzalez-Martinez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1/0 GO/AO, 24 pitches (13 strtkes) 
3. Alberto Sojo: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 4/1 GO/AO, 30 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Elian Almanzar: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/1 GO/AO, 36 pitches (16 strikes) 

CUBS ERRORS: 1 
CF Jose O. Lopez: E-8 (fielding error on bloop single to CF allowed batter to advance to 2nd base) 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Ronnier Quintero: 1 PB 
2. Miguel Fabrizio: 1-2 CS 

ATTENDANCE: N/A 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+ 

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 

Comments

AZPhil! Any impressions of Ronnier Quintero?

KKvG: Just from watching Ronnier Quintero take BP, offensively he reminds me a bit of a very young Carlos Delgado, who started at catcher and then was moved to 1B / DH. Quintero clearly has plus-power in BP, but I don't know yet if it will play in games. That is the $2.9M question.  

Defensively he clearly needs work on his receiving. The Cubs worked very hard with him last fall at AZ Instructs on his defense (most days he wasn't even taking BP). His arm is solid but I haven't seen yet how accurate it is, especially under pressure. I remember when the Cubs signed Mark Malave a few years ago and then found out he wasn't suited to be a catcher, or much of anything else for that matter.   

And no way Quintero weighs 175. Maybe 215 would be more like it. He is in better shape now than he was last year at Instructs, however, but he is still a VERY slow runner. 

So if I had to make a bet right now on Ronnier Quintero's future defensive home, I would put my money on him moving eventually to 1B or maybe even DH. But he will have to hit a LOT to play there. Hopefully he can remain at catcher. By all appearances he is a hard worker and he seems to be popular with his teammates and coaches, so if he doesn't make it at catcher it won't be for lack of effort and opportunity. 

Man, I remember being pretty interested in Malave after his age 18 as a switch hitter, but he stopped almost immediately after. Thanks for the feedback.

Quintero's MLB.com's scouting report had alot of praise for his makeup, describing him as vocal and a field leader type. Between that, his age, and the Cubs' growing track record developing catchers even as young as Quintero, and other stuff, I see him as possibly their best catching prospect as soon as this summer or next. I'm a big fan of the physicality, actually much prefer 215 to 175. Here's hoping he's the next Brian McCann!

Is Cassie the real deal, the best of the 4 youngsters we got for Yu?

reggie preciado, most likely.

3rd is probably his future rather than SS, though.  power potential, but still a ways to go growing into his body.  at best he'd rank in the 5-10 range on the most optomistic team rankings, but it wouldn't take too much to vault him into top team prospect status.

Here's what AZPhil wrote a week or so ago:

Of the four prospects the Cubs got from SD in the Darvish trade, I would rate them this way: 

Owen Caissie (LH power-hitting RF) and Reggie Preciado (a raw five-tool SS) have the highest ceilings, Yeison Santana (bat-first middle-unfielder) has the next highest-ceiling, and then Ismael Mena (plus defender and base-runner, but questionable hit tool and power) would have the lowest ceiling.of the four

Caissiie and Santana have the highest floors, and Preciado and Mena not so much.

So Caissie is clearly a legit MLB prospect (I would rate him in the Cubs Top 10 right now), Santana should progress steadily through the minors and has a good chance to play in MLB but he probably is more 2B than SS, Preciado is a boom or bust type (the classic "lottery ticket" who could be a superstar or he might not ever get out of A-ball)), and Mena would seem to project more as a defense-first CF where his bat is the big question as he moves up.