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
crunch 5 hours 33 min ago (view)
* except for playing 1st base
crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...
Cubster 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?
crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.
crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.
both are/were catcher organizational depth.
crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.
mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.
Arizona Phil 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021
Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far.
crunch 3 days 2 hours ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 3 days 11 hours ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 4 days 41 min ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 4 days 4 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 4 days 6 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).