Starter Dae-Eun Rhee tossed three perfect innings and Dong-Yub Kim ripped an RBI double and an RBI triple, but it wasn't enough to overcome a nine-run Angels 4th, as the Halos drubbed the Cubs 10-5 in Arizona Instructional League action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this afternoon.
Although he did not throw his killer splitter-change today, Rhee had good movement on his fast ball and was also able to throw his breaking ball for strikes. He has struggled in his rehab the past couple of months (combined 9.35 ERA and 2.08 WHIP at Mesa and Boise in 2009 while attempting to return to action from 2008 TJS), having lots of difficulty throwing strikes and then getting hammered when he was able to find the strike zone. But he really threw the ball well today, and presuming he adds the splitter back to his bag of tricks after his arm is stronger next seaon, Rhee should be able to regain his rating as one of the Cubs top pitching prospects.
Fellow rehabbers RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (lingering intercostal strain) and LHP John Mincone (June 2009 shoulder surgery) followed Rhee to the mound, and they had considerably less success than their 20-year old Korean teammate.
Mitchell was the Cubs 22nd round pick in the 2008 draft out of Alto HS (Alto, TX) where was the star QB and CB on the 1-A State champ Alto High football team, and the ace pitcher and DH on the baseball team. He gave up a chance to play college football ("cover corner") to try his hand at pro baseball.
Mitchell struggled from the outset this afternoon. He kept bouncing his breaking ball and saw his fastball rocked when he did get it over the plate, allowing five runs on a walk, a HBP, a single, and two triples in just 1/3 of an inning. Mitchell is only 5'8, but he can really pack a wallop with his mid-90's fastball, but only if he can throw it over the plate and mix it a bit with a breaking ball and/or change.
Mincone was the Cubs 2009 11th round draft pick out of Suffolk County CC in NY. (He spent his freshman year at James Madison University, before deciding to transfer back home to SCCC). Prior to June 2009 surgery to clean some "debris" out of his left shoulder, Mincone was throwing a hard sinker that topped out at 93 MPH,
Mincone threw lots of strikes tiday, including some nice breaking balls, but the top velocity on his fastball was down 5 MPH, from 93 pre-surgery to 88 today, and he just could not put the opposing hitters away once he got to two strikes, allowing four more 4th inning runs on four hits (two singles and two doubles). . .
19-year old RHP Nick Struck had a very nice stint, throwing three shutout innings (frames 5-6-7) on just 32 pitches (21 strikes). Struck was the Cubs 39th round draft pick this past June out of Mt. Hood CC in Oregon, and he signed just before the August 17th deadline, giving up a full-ride scholarship to play Division 1 college baseball at the University of Hawaii (which is where he had planned to transfer if he hadn't signed with the Cubs) to swelter in the desert heat of Arizona Struck was thought to be a "tough sign" because of his commitment to pitch for the Rainbows, which is why he fell to the 39th round.
The Cubs offense had its moments today, too. The Cubs got off to 2-0 lead in the 2nd when Michael Brenly walked to lead-off the inning, and then scored (huffing & puffing) all the way from 1st base on a towering one-out double banged off the CF fence (417 feet away from home plate) by DH Richard Jones (Cubs 2009 9th round draft pick out of The Citadel). Then with two outs, Jones scored the second run of the inning when 19-year old Korean slugger Dong-Yub Kim blasted a double off the LF fence that just missed going out of the yard by inches.
The Cubs scored single runs in the 6th, 7th, and 9th,
Kyler Burke (the Cubs 2009 Organizational Player of the Year) doubled leading off the 6th and scored on a Wild Pitch following a ground out, Ryan Flaherty drove-in Runey Davis in the 7th,with a two out RBI single (Davis followed his three-hit day yesterday where he singled, doubled, and tripled by reaching base all three times he batted today on a single and two walks), and finally Dong-Yub Kim slammed a triple off the RF fence to drive-in Wes Darvill (who had reached base leading off the 9th on a PH infield single) to close the Cubs scoring for the day. .
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only): . .
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, SS-2B: 0-5 (K, 3-U, 5-4 FC, F-8, P-6)
2. Ryan Flaherty, 2B-SS: 2-3 (BB, 6-3, 1B, 1B), RBI
3. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, F-7, 4-3)
4. Kyler Burke, RF-CF: 1-3 (F-7, HBP, 2B, F-9), R
5a. Michael Brenly, C: 0-2 (BB, 6-3 GIDP, 4-3), R
5b. Jovan Rosa, C: 0-1 (K)
6. Brandon May, 3B 0-3 (P-4, 6-3, BB, K)
7a. Richard Jones, DH #1: 1-3 (2B, K, K), R, RBI
7b. Wes Davrvill, PH: 1-1 (1B), R
8a. D. J. Fitzgerald, LF: 1-3 (K, 2B, K)
8b. Jae-Hoon Ha, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #2: 2-4 (2B, 5-3, K, 3B), 2 RBI
10a. Runey Davis, CF: 1-1 (1B, BB, BB), R, RBI
10b. Bobby Wagner, RF: 0-1 (K)
1. Dae-Eun Rhee - 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 5/2 GO/FO, 29 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Tarlandus Mitchell - 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (nine strikes)
3. John Mincone - 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Nick Struck - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 4/3 GO/FO, 32 pitches (21 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (10 strikes)
1. Brandon May - E-5 (H+E), made nice diving stop on ground ball, then righted himself and threw the ball away at 1st base, allowing batter-runner to take 2nd base with one out in the bottom of the 4th.
2. Pin-Chieh Chen - E-6, errant throw over the head of Rebel Ridling resulting in two-base error that allowed batter to reach 2nd base and runner to score from 2nd (unearned run) with two outs in the bottom of the 4th.
3. Pin -Chieh Chen - E-6, errant throw to 1st base pulled Rebel ridling off the bag, allowing batter to reach base safely with two outs and bases empty in bottom of the 5th.
NOTE: Chen REALLY struggled at SS today, and he was moved from SS to 2B (his "natural" position) and Flaherty was moved from 2B to SS at the start of the 6th inning.
CATCHERS DEFENSE: There were no stolen base attempts by the Angels and no Passed Balls
WEATHER: Hot, cloudless, and a bit breezy, temp in the 90's
ATTENDANCE: 27 (mostly scouts)