Chad Hockin

Cubs Rehabbers Shut-Down D'backs at Riverview

SP Erick Leal tossed five innings of one-run ball and four relievers combined to hurl five shutout innings, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest. 

At one point Cub pitchers retired 14 D'backs in a row. 

Four Cubs pitchers on Active Rehab at EXST saw action in the game: 

1. Erick Leal: FB 89-90 - CV 76-78 (62 pitches - 15 swings & misses)   
2. Tony Barnette: FB 90-91 - SL 81-84 
3. Danny Hultzen: FB 94-97 - SL 85-86 (12 pitches - seven swings & misses) 
4. Chad Hockin: FB 90 - SL 84-86 

In his three EXST game outings Hultzen has been unhittable. He has thrown three shutout innings (75% strikes) with eight strikeouts while allowing no walks and just an infield single and a weak P-6. His max FB velo has increased from 92 to 96 to 97 and his SL velo increased from 84 to 86 in a span of eight days. The difference seems to be that he has changed to a lower arm-slot (a lot like Andrew Miller circa 2015-16) which apparently puts less-stress on his shoulder and has led to a stunning uptick in his velo.

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

Brendon Little Throws "Live" BP & Danny Hultzen gets Game Work at EXST

Jorge Barrosa belted a two-run triple and singled twice, Jose Corpa drilled a two-run triple and scored a run, and Luvin Valbuena doubled, walked, and scored two runs, leading the Diamondbacks past the Cubs "A" team 6-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

Jake Slaughter laced an RBI double and a single, Edmond Americaan singled, doubled, walked, and scored a run, and Marcus Mastrobuoni drove-in two runs with an RBI single and an RBI FC, stole a base, and threw out a runner attempting to steal a base, to aid the Cubs in a losing cause. 

LHP Danny Hultzen (on AAA Iowa 60-day IL - 2016 shoulder surgery rehab) saw his first game action of 2019, getting the start and striking out the side (all three swinging, and he threw 83% strikes) in the top of the 1st inning, and RHRP Chad Hockin (on Myrtle Beach 7-day IL - May 2018 TJS) threw a 1-2-3 2nd inning (4-3, 6-3, K-swinging) as he continues to look sharp while rehabbing from May 2018 TJS.

Once one of the top pitching prospects in baseball (he was the Seattle Mariners 1st round pick and the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UVA), the 29-year old Hultzen still has a plus-CH and a very solid breaking ball and he runs his cutter at a respectable 88-90 MPH, and he has outstanding command of all of his pitches, too, but the problem he had last year (and it remains to be seen if the issue has been resolved) was that he was unable to throw more than one inning per appearance and he was also unable to throw two days in a row. If he is going to be an MLB lefty reliever he will need to be able to either throw multiple innings or pitch at least two days in a row.    

Prior to the game on Field #5, LHP Brendon Little (Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick) and RHP John Pomeroy (ex-PIT) threw "live" BP on Field #6. This was the first time Little has faced hitters since straining his lat in his first "live" BP session of Minor League Camp the first week of March.   
 
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Giants Orange Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Cubs Expense

Cody Brickhouse and John Polonius drilled back-to-back RBI doubles to spark a four-run 4th inning and Robinson Medrano belted a solo HR in the 6th, leading the Giants orange squad to a 6-3 victory over the Cubs in Cinco de Mayo Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #2 (AKA "Jim Davenpost Field") at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Luis Ayala tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Fernando Kelli drove-in Ayala with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 1st, laced a two-run inside-the-park HR into the right-centerfield gap in the 3rd (he did a face-burger pratfall rounding 3rd base but still scored standing-up anyway), and singled and stole a base in the 6th, to provide what there was of Cub offense. 

In EXST Cubs medical news, RHRP Chad Hockin (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL with a right elbow sprain) underwent TJS earlier this week and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season while rehabbing at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa. Hockin is the second Cubs pitcher to undergo TJS in the last month (AZL Cubs LHRP Pablo Ochoa was the other one). 

Hockin was the Cubs 6th round draft pick (Cal State - Fullerton) in 2016, and he is the brother of Cleveland Indians minor league RHP Grant Hockin. And the Hockin brothers are the grandsons of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.  

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