Angels Can't Even Contain Baez, Much Less Stop Him

Javier Baez drove-in six runs with a two-run HR and a grand slam, Yasiel Balaguert knocked-in four runs with a three-run home run and a sacrifice fly, Dong-Yub Kim drove-in two runs with an RBI single and a solo HR, and Wilson Contreras ripped a two-run double, leading the Cubs to a 14-4 demolition of the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

Both of Baez's home runs were hit 420+ feet over the right-centerfield fence, landing on Field #5 (the "half-field" infield located north of the clubhouse).

Baez now has eight home runs and 26 RBI in 24 EXST games, and he has saved his best work for games against the Angels. In six EXST games (24 AB) versus the Halos, Baez is hitting .468 with two doubles, a triple, five home runs and 16 RBI. Apparently he can do whatever he wants when he faces the Angels.

RHP Jose Arias got the start for the Cubs today and threw four innings (55 pitches), allowing two runs (only one earned) on four hits (all four singles) and a walk, with seven strikeouts. Arias now leads the EXST Cubs pitchers in strikeouts with 26 (in 21.0 IP)

While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, RHP Marcos Mateo (on the Cubs 60-day DL with a sore elbow), RHP Justin Berg (2011 TJS rehab), LHP Luis Villalba, RHP Loiger Padron, RHP Ramon Garcia (broken hand rehab), and RHP Ethan Elias threw a five-inning “sim” game on Field #2, facing Cubs players who were not in the lineup on Field #3. Mateo looks to be close to returning to full-scale game action, and a healthy Marcos Mateo could possibly help the beleaguered Chicago Cubs bullpen.

RHP Su-MIn Jung --who has been throwing in "sim" games for the past month while trying to resolve major control issues--got into a Cactus League EXST game for the first time since April 18th. Jung got only one out, and allowed two runs on a single, two walks, and two HBP (including one that hit an Angels hitter in the head, knocking him out of the game), before getting pulled out of the game after throwing 24 oitches (only nine strikes).

In EXST roster news, 1B Ryan Durrence has been released. Durrence was signed by the Cubs after the 2011 June draft as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) out of Bethune-Cookman, and he hit 247/314/406 with a team-leading three HR for the AZL Cubs in 2011. But he has struggled this year, hitting just .120 with no XBH in nine EXST games (26 PA). He was also blocked at 1B by Dan Vogelbach, Rock Shoulders, Ryan Cuneo, Paul Hoilman, Justin Bour, and Anthony Rizzo in the Cubs farm system, so he would have had to really light it up at Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training to get any consideration for advancement.

Veteran LHRP Ryan Rowland-Smith (on the Iowa Cubs DL since April 19th with a sore back) has completed his EXST rehab and has returned to the I-Cubs. He threw in two EXST games (1.2 IP) last week and allowed no runs on one hit and a walk, with three strikeouts. 

Also, Peoria Chiefs RF Reggie Golden (Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick) has undergone season-ending surgery for a torn ACL. He injured his knee while running the bases in a MWL game last month. He will be out of action until Minor League Camp (Spring Training) 2013.

Cubs VP of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita was at the game today.

Here is the box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):

1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (K, 4-3, 1B, 1B)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-2 (1B, BB, 6-4 FC, BB, 2 R)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 2-4 (6-4-3 DP, HR, HR, 7-4 FC, 2 R, 6 RBI)
4. Xavier Batista, LF-DH: 0-4 (6-3, F-9, F-7, P-2 DP)
5. Jeimer Candelario, DH-3B: 0-3 (5-3, BB, F-8, F-7, R)
6. Dustin Geiger, 3B-DH: 2-4 (5-3, 1B, 1B, 4-3, 2 R)
7. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-3 (K, HBP, FC, K, R)
8a. Wilson Contreras, C: 2-3 (1B, 2B, 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI)
8b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-0 (BB)
9. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 2-3 (1B, HR, F-8 SF, K, 2 R, 4 RBI)
10a Dong-Yub Kim, DH #2: 2-3 (1B, HR, 5-3, 2 R, 2 RBI)
10b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-1 (F-7)
11b. Brian Inoa, DH #3: 0-1 (K)

1. Jose Arias: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 1 GIDP, 55 pitches (36 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
2. Su-Min Jung: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HBP, 24 pitches (9 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. James Pugliese: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 4/4 GO/FO
4. Roderik Pichardo: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches (5 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 15 pitches (10 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error on run-down between 1st & 2nd allowed runner at 3rd base to score unearned run)

1. Wilson Contreras: 0-1 CS
2. Neftali Rosario: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+


so much for the lineup as usual tonight. also, c'mon vogel...

woah...d.young sold his baseball card collection off for $2.5m (to fund his own non-profit) for those that don't know...but can probably tell from the sell price...he had an -epic- collection. it was so epic that grading/authenification service PSA gave him his own collection status "The Dimitri Young Collection." PSA has used his collection as a museum/showcase piece at their own shows in the past. before sale - after sale -

didn't he pay a lot more for the collection when he bought it? I thought I had heard on the radio while driving in the rain that he had paid around 5 mil for it.

no idea how he got the was a much healthier market for this kind of stuff pre-2007 for obvious reasons. hell, the market really started to tank years before that. in the late 90s/early 00s card companies were crapping out dozens of issues per company, per year, saturating the market with so many "rookie cards" under so many different issues that it became kinda silly outside obvious slam-dunk rookie cards like the Bowman Chrome Autograph series of limited edition RCs. they peak market of the mid-80s to early-90s are long gone, but once the market rebounded in the late 90s the card companies ruined the whole thing except for those that like to break open high-$$ packs (some of these packs guaranteed game used and autos in packs costing $20-$100 a pack straight from manufacturer).

Jason Marquis has been DFA'd, might as well get the band back together. Also, part of me thinks Javier Baez could walk into Wrigley right now and be more productive than I_Stewart or Barwin Darney.

He does have the historic Cubbie plate discipline already down.

Wow...Marquis is only 33?

Ian Stewart has been decent of late. Not great, but .246/.338/.456 in May.

John Gaub DFA'd by the Rays today.

I wouldn't mind bringing him back to the organization. His BB rate is still awful, and he still atruggles with righties, but he was solid against lefties. John Gaub or Nate Robertson? Not a hard call for me if we have the option.

"he's a very good bunter and can flat-out fly." - astros announcer well, it's 1/2 right.

227ab without a homer...until the cubs roll into town... j.castro, HOU up 0-3, end of 2

Keep talking baseball cards, the team and this game really blows chunks 0-3

what the suck?

anyone else watching the HOU feed? they haven't gone to commercial between innings yet. it's a weird mix of silence and guys filling time with recaps while between-inning field work gets taken care of.

...and the grounds crew run on the field after the 1st out....then realizes 1/2 way into the invasion that there's 3 outs in an inning. okay, then.

Kaplan tweets that Chirinos (concussion) and Guyer (shoulder) could miss the whole season. Fuld already out for most of, if not all of season with wrist injury. Archer with a better May: (2-0, 3.18 ERA, 22.2 IP, 20 H, 1 HR, 11 BB, 20 K) Hak-Ju Lee not improved: .569 OPS in May after .642 OPS in April and striking out a ton

Shame on Chirinos. He really had a shot to take that catching job this year. Hope he can rebound. He was an easy guy to root for, based on everything known out there on his work ethic and leadership. If Archer had passable command, he'd be an interesting SP prospect. Passable. It's not there, though. People always got on me for not liking Hak-ju Lee as much as others, particularly after the trade. Had nothing to do with him not being a Cubs prospect anymore, though. Since Peoria, I've just never seen the bat that would produce enough. Always said, offensively, he reminded me a lot Che-Hsuan Lin. I think Lee makes it to the bigs, but I've never been sold that he was going to be this star that people thought.

chin couldn't take a catching job from k.hill...meh. /hating-on-chin's-lack-of-D fwiw, 21sb/2cs last year in the 19 games, only 15 started

As I have noted several times previously as well: we have Baez now. I'd rather have him than Lee as a prospect. Not much of a "loss", imo.

he had just hit AAA, and was still developing behind the plate. He might never be a major league catcher (again, since he did get up last year), but it was understandable why they wouldn't push Koyie Hill aside for a AA, just hit AAA catcher, still learning the position. Realistically, Chirinos/Clevenger/Castillo are all probably backup backstops unless they develop some more.

Cubs worst record in NL, 2nd worst in majors. presuming they don't come back tonight, half game out of the #1 spot behind Twins. presuming that loss tonight, on pace for 57/58 wins.

I said on another site that I thought the Cubs were a 60-72 win range team, and I got hammered by some for setting such a low number. There's definitely some intrigue, and I would venture to guess that they probably end up closer to 72 than 60, but this just wasn't that good of a team, on paper, entering the year. I hope to heck they over-achieve. Losing seasons are long and frustrating to follow (although part of me thinks that a piss-poor season and the top pick (and the enhanced budget that comes with it) would be nice).

Draft doesn't look too strong this year, especially in terms of top prospects (praying we don't get another pick like Montanez!) Strategically, IMO, the best move is trade Garza (and whoever else not named Castro that other teams want) for prospects and hopefully be high enough in the draft next year to get a #1 starter/impact everyday player.

Again....if they can't resign Garza, then trading him for prospects is a good idea. Seeing how the prospects panned out in the Cliff Lee, Halladay, etc trades...doesn't make me think much of that idea.

Would be bigger stretch as Garza is not as good as those two.

I'd listen on Castro if it gets you a major haul. Especially if the front office/ ownership plan is to suck at the big league level until a system of kids is here. They sure as heck haven't shown any indication that they plan on going the free agent route to fix things.

Hmm... Castro? Do we really want to watch him bite the Cubs in the ass for the next decade?

You only have him under control for 4 more seasons. His glove is still likely to force him to second base. What is it going to cost to keep him? Is he worth 8/160? Especially on what looks like a mid market payroll team going forward.

Well...if he doesn't progress, no...not worth 8/160 mill. Who's to say that's what it would take to keep him? How good will he be? Will his power develop? I would guess that this team won't be mid-market, once Dempster and Soriano's contracts come off the books..and when the team has fewer than 4 or 5 holes to fix before becoming a contender.

So you think we are going to be back to spending 150 a year in payroll? I think the talk and actions of the Ricketts clan since they took over, show us that they would much rather be in the 85-100 range. We haven't seen them spend more than 5 million a season on a guy since they bought the team.

$150 Million? Probably not. $120 million? If it put the Cubs into contention? I could see that. Coming into this season, there were too many holes to try to plug with free agents. I could see in a couple of seasons, again when the Dempster and Soriano contracts are off the books, when there is a better talent base to work with (hopefully) spending money on bigger ticket free agents. I'm not ready this early on into the new ownership, new GM/Team President etc, to predict that the Cubs will spend one way or another.

No team with a top-five payroll has a winning record and four are in last place

Wow...interesting. I'm pretty interested in the next couple of drafts to see what the Cubs come up with for future see how much better they are than the Hendry regime. (or if they are at all)

In my opinion, once tne Cubs ink a new un-sweetheart TV deal, or launch their own network, they will spend whatever they need to.

I sure hope so. My only worry is that they have 5 owners to support and they leveraged 85% of the purchase with bank financing. I think Chuck at Ivy Chat speculated that the note on that would be 40-45 million per year once it kicked in. So there is some overhead.

Honestly, I don't think that the Cubs are putting food in their mouths necessarily. They have so much ,oney from lther sources - I can only dream of... I believe that Ricketts just wants to be the guy who does it. He's put a pretty reasoned approach to things with the hiring of HoyStein. There is no way in hell that those Boston lifers would have come here to collect a paycheck and have suck-ass teams their entire tenure. It is pure misery watching them now, however.

With the way Manny and Francona were slammed on the way out the door. It's possible to likely that Theo got out just before the axe fell on him. He left a Hendry-esque payroll mess in Boston on the way out the door. So his rope wasn't nearly as long as you might be thinking. And Hoyer came here because we were going to hire either him or Byrnes for the GM job. Moorad chose to hire Byrnes and let us have Hoyer. So that wasn't a strong arm type of situation either. Both guys are upgrades over the previous staff. However lets not act like we hired John Shaft in his prime to whip these honkeys into shape over here.

You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother-- (Shut your mouth!)

It's not the best draft, but we should either get a nice college arm or a good upside chip at 6, maybe an Almora or a Correa. There's certainly a chance they go the way of Montanez, but I don't think this draft is considered as bad as the Montanez year (at the top). Could be wrong, but it doesn't feel that way.

Iowa game stinking too, 0-6 JJax on the brink of being converted to an OF?

I've tried to defend BJax's K's before, but whatever is going on with him ... it's hard to defend the ridiculous amount of K's. 0/5 and 4 K's. Ouch.

0-7, bottom 3, 2 outs. sigh. why do i even bother watching?

moyer's throwing 78mph fastballs. his entire game at this point relies on whether the batter is standing crowding the plate or stepped back from the plate...and he pounds the ball accordingly inside or away. he's throwing a lot of stuff outside the zone hoping (and getting) people to swing at it since it seems so hittable. bases loaded, 3-2 count...might as well not even throw the ball if you're moyer.

bwhahaha. also, fwiw, this is moyer's 50th different park/stadium/field he's played on the MLB level. HE OLD.

WTF castro? is this team even capable of turning a DP?

i'm pretty sure this is dusty's know, because it involves a pitcher "Aroldis Chapman was arrested Monday in Grove City, Ohio after driving 93 mph on a suspended license."

Dusty told him to keep on driving though everyone else knew he should have stopped

he would be okay if he would have kept it at 90mph, imo.

I thought he kept his fastball around 102 mph, lol. And how the hell does this guy already have a suspended license?

even weirder...i that it's suspended out of Kentucky.

Having lived there for three years (surprisingly), many people who work in Cincinnati live across the river in towns like Ft. Mitchell, Florence, etc. I always thought your IQ dropped 10 points when you crossed the Ohio into Kentucky, but that could just be me.

When the policeman asked him if he knew how fast he was going, he said, "Slider."

Too bad the speed limit was change up.

k.hill 4/12 (.333) lulz

But he's no longer able to add 5 mph to a fastball.

Jeff Baker getting dumped to bring up Travis Wood would make my tuesday, we can only hope.

Interesting....Junior Lake at AA so far this year, very small sample size: .283/.397/.453 10BB/11K.....10 walks to 11 K's? That's a new wrinkle in his game....I hope it lasts.

What position is he currently butchering? Still SS?

I think he's gotten in some time at 3rd in the early-goings. His future is probably 3rd or corner OF ... assuming the bat legitimately progresses and he can sustain the development in discipline.

since vitters is showing he's all about spending 2013 in AAA (at least so far) it's nice to see j.lake getting work at 3rd. yeah, the cubs could sign i.stewart for another year, but well, I HAVE OPINIONS. lulz.

I've always been a big fan of Junior. Hopefully he's taken that next step in his game.

Houston is a bad ball club. Cubs even worse. Last night at Minute Maid it was 50-50 Cub fans/Astros but Cubs fans were long gone before the 9th inning "rally." Reason? Dale Swain gave up. A new chapter in The Cubs Way manual? Down 7-0 with one out, Randy Wells steps into the batters box. Way to tell your boys it ain't over 'til it's over, Yogi. Way to juggle the top of the order, Dr Doom. DO YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO SHAKE UP THIS TEAM, Q-BALL II?

I'm not sure what you'd rather he do in this situation. Wells had pitched 3 innings to that point, and with nobody on base and one out the game is not hinging on getting Reed Johnson to the plate sooner. I would like to see more out of Sveum, but to condemn him for this specific act doesn't make much sense to me.

Rizzo hit #15, Valbuena with 1 HR/3 RBI Volstad 5 IP, 6 K, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 H (70 pitches, 41 strikes). Clevenger got a few rehab AB's, imagine him and Welington should be available around the same time (the weekend).

line looks good on volstad, but a 41/70 split isn't MLB stuff given what's in his arm. c'mon guy. also, woo clev is close...even though k.hill is hitting .333 (lulz)

Please, please when the two young catchers come back split the time between them. If the brass is true to building for the future, Hill will be launced (once again) by the weekend.

I know you meant launched but I was hoping it might be lanced, like a boil.

I don't think Shaft has a bad mother? Oh, never mind. (emily litella)

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