The Cubs managed only four hits (all singles), as the EXST A’s nipped the EXST Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
The Cubs lack of offense wasted some fine pitching performances by EXST Cubs hurlers.
20-year old 6’1 215 LHP John Mincone (Cubs 2009 11th round pick out of Suffolk County CC by way of James Madison U.) got the start for the EXST Cubs today, and threw three innings of one run ball. Over his last three EXST outings covering 9.0 IP (104 pitches – 67 strikes), Mincone has allowed just two runs (one ER) on four hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.
20-year old 6’4 220 RHRP Yohan Gonzalez struck out three A’s hitters while working two shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.00 and his WHIP to 0.67. He also has fanned nine while walking only two with a .161 OBA in 9.0 IP so far at Extended Spring Training. In three seasons in the Cubs system (2007 at DSL Cubs, 2008 at AZL Cubs, and 2009 at Boise), Gonzalez has a composite 3.14 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 30/75 BB/K in 109.0 IP.
20-year old 6’2 190 RHRP Rogelio Carmona threw one shutout inning, lowering his EXST ERA to 2.89 (he has a 0.96 WHIP, with 3/8 BB/K and a .176 OBA in 9.1 IP). Carmona seems to be at his best when he throws just one inning.
And finally, 22-year old 6’4 185 RHP Danny Keefe (Cubs 2009 16th round draft pick out of the U. of Tampa) struck out the side in the 9th, giving him a team-leading 14 strikeouts in just 10.1 IP. While Keefe’s EXST ERA is a bit ugly (it’s 6.09), his WHIP is only 1.06, because he has yet to issue a walk in seven EXST appearances. Keefe really struggled at Boise after signing last year (7.71 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in 35 IP), although he was one of the last two pitchers cut from the Peoria roster at the end of Minor League Camp last month (Larry Suarez was the other one, and he has already been promoted from Extended Spring Training to Peoria).
Along with LHP Marcos Perez (who has yet to give up a run in 14.1 IP), I would say Mincone, Gonzalez, Carmona, and Keefe are the EXST Cubs pitchers most-likely to get a promotion to Peoria in the near future.
While the Cubs played the A’s on Field #3, LHP Casey Lambert and RHP Marcus Hatley (both rehabbing from 2009 TJS) faced-off in a two inning "sim game" on Field #2, with Brandon May, Bobby Wagner, Arismendy Alcantara, and Rafael Disla providing the “opposition.” It’s been eight months since Lambert and Hatley had their TJS, so both are about where they would be expected to be at this time. I have not seen RHP Dylan Johnston (the other 2009 TJS rehabber) throw a sim game yet, however.
RHPs Angel Guzman (March 2010 shoulder surgery), Melvin Rosa (April 2010 TJS), and Manolin DeLeon (knee surgery) are at Fitch Park but are inactive, and I do not know the current status of RHP Justin Bristow or RHP Adam Spencer, both of whom were shut-down early in Minor League Camp.
Among the position players at Extended Spring Training, OF Dong-Yub Kim (unknown-type injury incurred six weeks ago in Minor League Camp), OF Manuel Pestana (shoulder injury suffered while sliding into 3rd base a couple of weeks ago) and OF Kyung-Min Na (left game with unknown-type injury a week ago) are at Fitch Park but are not active at this time.
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 0-3 (F-9, 6-3, BB, 6-3, R)
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (P-3, BB, BB, K)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (F-8, 1-3, BB, K)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, K, L-8 SF, RBI)
5. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, F-8, K)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, 4-3)
7a. Luis Flores, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, SB)
7b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-1 (1B)
8. Runey Davis, LF: 0-3 (K, K, 6-4 FC)
9. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-3 (K, K, 1B)
10. Blair Springfield, 2B: 0-3 (5-3, K, 5-3)
1. John Mincone – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 5/1 GO/FO, 39 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Luis Liria – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 4/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Rogelio Carmona – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Yohan Gonzalez – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (19 strikes)
5. Danny Keefe - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s