Cubs Err on the Side of Defeat at HoHoKam
Anthony Rizzo and Blake Lalli hammered solo home runs, and Matt Garza threw four innings and allowed two runs, but the Giants took advantage of two costly Cub fielding errors and a 9th inning base-running gaffe to edge the Cubs 3-2 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.
NOTE: Scroll down for the updated CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (effective 3/16)
The Cubs scored the first run of the day in the bottom of the 2nd, when Anthony Rizzo clubbed an opposite-field lead-off home run over the left-centerfield fence (just to the left of the “Green Monster” Batter’s Eye) off Giants LHSP Eric Surkamp.
Meanwhile, Cub starter Matt Garza was breezing through the first three innings, before running into trouble in the top of the 4th. Melky Cabrera walked and Pablo Sandoval singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Garza then threw a ball in the dirt that was blocked nicely by catcher Steve Clevenger, but then Clevenger tried to pick-off Sandoval (who had strayed a bit off 1st base when the ball hit the dirt) and made a wild throw past 1st base and into RF, allowing Cabrera to score from 2nd and Sandoval to move up a base. Sandoval scored later in the inning on an Aubrey Huff RBI single.
LHP Chris Rusin threw two solid shutout & hitless innings (the 6th & 7th), allowing just a walk while striking out two (29 pitches – 18 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO). Rusin will probably be in competition with Jay Jackson for the honor of starting for the Iowa Cubs on PCL Opening Day.
The game remained a 2-1 battle going into the 8th, when Rule 5 RHP Lendy Castillo took the mound for the Cubs. Emmanuel Burriss led-off the inning with a single and immediately stole 2nd base (very bad throw by catcher Blake Lalli), but L. Castillo fanned Brett Pill and Eli Whiteside (both swinging) and got Tyler Graham to tap weakly to the mound. Unfortunately, Castillo (an ex-shortstop of all things) inexplicably tossed a rainbow far over the 1st baseman’s head for an error, allowing Graham to reach base safely and Burriss to score from 2nd.
But the Cubs weren’t finished.
Facing ex-Cub RHP Ramon Ortiz, Blake Lalli lofted a one-out solo moon-shot HR over the RF fence in the bottom of the 8th, and after Trever Miller had an easy top of the 9th, Joe Mather (representing the tying run) grounded a lead-off single down the LF line (an outstanding defensive play by SF LF Justin Christian kept Mather from taking 2nd). Brett Jackson then laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to the third-baseman that should have advanced Mather into scoring position, but Mather saw that 3rd base was uncovered and tried to take the extra base on the bunt and get to 3rd base with one out. But SS Joaquin Arias outraced Mather to the bag, tagging him out after taking the throw (on the run) from 1B Brett Pill. (I guess this is why taking infield practice matters).
Joe Mather played 3B once again today (all nine innings this time), and handled two chances and a couple of throw-cuts flawlessly.
While the Cubs were playing the Giants at HoHoKam Park, Minor League Cactus League play got underway, with the Cubs minor leaguers (the Iowa and Tennessee squads) playing two games at Fitch Park. (Daytona and Peoria were on the road).
With yesterday’s roster cuts and the arrival of three more players (SS Luis Acosta, OF Jeffrey Baez, and INF Carlos Penalver) from the Dominican Academy, the Cubs Minor League Camp rosters were adjusted prior to the games.
Some of the moves (and corresponding changes) were made to cover for a couple of injuries on the Iowa squad, but what’s most notable in today’s roster transfers is that several of the Cubs young stud prospects who had been assigned to Boise/Mesa earlier in the week were back with the Peoria squad today. Also, LHP Gerardo Concepcion (the Cuban bonus baby signed by the Cubs earlier this month) was moved down to Hi-A Daytona from AA Tennessee.
UPDATED CUBS 2012 MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (3/16)
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Jeff Beliveau
Justin Berg (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* John Gaub
* Brooks Raley
* Nate Robertson
* Ryan Rowland-Smith
# Micah Gibbs
# Jason Jaramillo
Leugim Barroso (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
# David Macias
* Jake Opitz
Rebel Ridling (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Michael Burgess
* Jeffry Antigua
David Cales (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Frank Del Valle (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Brent Ebinger
Ricardo Estevez (see NOTE)
* Casey Harman
* Eric Jokisch
* Andrew McKirahan
* Matt Spencer (ex-OF)
Rob Whitenack (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
NOTE: Ricardo Estevez is on the RESTRICTED LIST while serving a 50-game Prohibited Substance suspension, but he is participating in Minor League Camp activities
Luis Flores (see NOTE)
* Rafael Lopez
Nate Maldonado (player-coach)
NOTE: Luis Flores is on the RESTRICTED LIST while serving a 50-game Prohibited Substance suspension, but he is participating in Minor League Camp activities
* Justin Bour
* Matt Cerda
# Zeke DeVoss
* Richard Jones
* Logan Watkins
* Kyler Burke (ex-OF)
* Gerardo Concepcion
P. J. Francescon
* Austin Kirk
* Jeff Lorick
A. J. Morris
* Zac Rosscup
* Sergio Burruel
Anthony Giansanti (ex-OF)
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Ryan Cuneo (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Wes Darvill
* Rubi Silva
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Ben Klafczynski
* Hunter Ackerman
* Willengton Cruz
Dillon Maples (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Sheldon McDonald
* Brian Smith
Charles Thomas (ex3B)
Wilson Contreras (ex-3B)
# Wilfredo Petit
# Jeimer Candelario
# Marco Hernandez
* Danny Lockhart
# Rock Shoulders
* Dan Vogelbach
* Shawon Dunston, Jr
* Eduardo Gonzalez
# Oliver Zapata
Ethan Elias (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Graham Hicks (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Austin Reed Colin Richardson
Austin Urban (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Yaniel Cabezas (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Justin Marra
* Alberto Mineo
Antonio Valerio (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
# Brian Inoa
* Delbis Arcila
* Trevor Gretzky (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Garrett Schlecht (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
NOT ON FIELD - WHEREABOUTS STILL UNKNOWN (by me):
Gregori Gonzalez, IF-OF (?)
Yohan Gonzalez, P (?)
* Cam Greathouse, P (supposedly will report to EXST)
Alvido Jimenez, P (?)
Arturo Maltos-Garcia, P (2011 TJS rehab)
Amaury Paulino, P (?)
* Nelson Perez, OF
crunch 10 hours 17 min ago (view)
* except for playing 1st base
crunch 2 days 6 hours 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 8 hours ago (view)
any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?
crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.
crunch 2 days 10 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 11 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 15 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 16 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 7 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 11 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 16 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 22 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 4 days 5 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 4 days 9 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 4 days 11 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).