Rock Shoulders the Load at Fitch Park
Rock Shoulders ripped a two-run double, walked twice, and scored a run, Trey Martin drilled a two-run single, and Danny Lockhart laced an RBI triple, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Micah Gibbs continued his rehab assignment, catching for the first seven innings and then switching to DH. He got six Plate Appearances today, and although he went hitless, he walked and scored three times. He also stole a base.
Gibbs is just 1-11 in his three EXST games, but with six walks and four runs scored, and only one strikeout (looking).
While the Cubs were playing the Diamondbacks on Field #3, Amaury Paulino, Justin Berg, David Henrie, and Ryan Rowland-Smith squared-off in a four-inning "sim" game on Field #2, facing EXST Cubs position players who weren't in the starting lineup on Field #3. Berg is rehabbing from September 2011 TJS, and Rowland-Smith was placed on the Iowa DL with a back strain about three weeks ago.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 2B Gioskar Amaya has been temporarily moved up to AAA Iowa to provide some bench depth while the I-Cubs are on their PCL “California Swing,” and as the world waits to find out what will happen with Blake DeWitt.
DeWitt was Designated for Assignment a week ago yesterday, and so the Cubs have until Wednesday 5/16 to either trade him, release him, or send him to the minors by outright or optional assignment. (NOTE: DeWitt can refuse an Outright Assignment and elect to be a FA immediately, but he can't refuse an Optional Assignmment).
The 19-year old Amaya was hitting 245/359/321 with two doubles and a triple, nine runs scored, three RBI, two stolen bases, and 10/13 BB/K in 19 EXST games (64 PA) prior to his promotion to Iowa. Although he played 2B-SS-3B his first two seasons in pro ball (2010-11) and at Minor League Camp this past March, he has settled-in at 2B and in the #2 spot in the batting order at EXST. Finally allowed to play just one position, he has begun to show some improvement defensively, and he has also shown a good eye and outstanding patience at the plate (he is tied with Anthony Giansanti for the team-lead in walks). Obviously the Cubs felt Amaya had the maturity to handle a promotion to AAA, albeit just for a couple or three days.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
X. Micah Gibbs, C-DH: 0-3 (BB, BB, K, 6-3 DP, BB, F-8, 3 R, SB)
NOTE: Gibbs batted six times - once in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (P-3, 3-1, K)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF-LF: 1-3 (1B, BB, F-9, E-5, 2 R)
3. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 2B, 4-3, BB, R, 2 RBI)
4. Ryan Durrence, DH #1: 1-4 (P-6, K, 1B, K, R)
5a. Trey Martin, CF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, F-9, 2 RBI)
5b. Justin Marra, PH: 0-1 (K)
6a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 1-3 (E-6, E-6, 3B, RBI)
6b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (1-3)
7. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-3 (6-4 FC, L-8, 3-U)
8. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-3 (F-8, F-7, P-4)
9. Garrett Schlecht, DH #2: 0-2 (6-3, F-8, BB)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-1 (P-3)
1. Starling Peralta: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 58 pitches (36 strikes), 3/5 GO/FO
2. Tayler Scott: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 1 PO, 24 pitches (20 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
Arizona Phil 7 hours 16 min ago (view)
For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.
As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 7 min ago (view)
In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:
RHP Josh Burgmann
RHP Chris Clarke
LHP D. J. Herz
RHP Michael McAvene
Charlie 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.
bradsbeard 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump.
crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)
iapoce expected to stay. i'm surprised. i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.
crunch 2 days 24 min ago (view)
i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 34 min ago (view)
In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 41 min ago (view)
Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!
crunch 2 days 41 min ago (view)
shout out to 1999 1st base gold glove winner rafael palmeiro. 25 starts (28 games total) at 1st...128 starts at DH.
Charlie 3 days 2 hours ago (view)
Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.
crunch 3 days 4 hours ago (view)
RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists
bradsbeard 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure.
Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games.
Arizona Phil 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.
He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls.
bradsbeard 3 days 23 hours ago (view)
Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me.
KingKongvsGodzilla 5 days 21 hours ago (view)
AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!