I-Cubs Get Thumped by River Cats
Nate Spears and Brad Snyder smacked home runs, but it wasn't enough, as the Sacramento River Cats (the Oakland A's AAA affiliate) scratched out a 10-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs this afternnon at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.
Spears missed several games after being hit on the hand with a pitch last Saturday, but he returned to the scene of the crime (and the lineup) with a bang today, hitting the first pitch of the game over the RF fence.
The first three I-Cubs pitchers struggled, as Randy Wells and Dumas Garcia had difficulty throwing strikes, while Ken Kadokura was just plain awful (five runs on eight hits--including three doubles and a triple, in just two innings of work), but Justin Berg and Jeff Stevens retired the last six batters they faced, Berg with an easy 1-2-3 nine-pitch 7th (eight strikes and only one ball, resulting in a 6-3, Ks, and P-3), and then Jeff Stevens struck out the side in the 8th.
In Iowa Cubs roster news, hard-throwing 26-year old RHP Rocky Roquet (who has been terrible since reporting to the Iowa Cubs) has been traded to the Oakland A's for a PTBNL (Roquet was an NRI to big league camp), LHP Edward Campusano (another NRI to big league camp who got sentt back to Iowa) has been released (couldn't throw strikes, never really recovered from April 2007 TJS), and OF Richie Robnett (acquired from OAK in the Michael Wuertz trade, and then outrighted off the 40-man roster last week) and IF-OF Matt Camp have been demoted to AA Tennessee. So the Iowa Cubs roster presently stands at 33 (16 pitchers, four catchers, eight infielders, and five outfielders), with nine cuts left to make by the end of the week (the AA and AAA regular season roster limits are 24, not 25).
Here is today's abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only). Randy Wells batted twice (including once after he had already been replaced on the mound) because he is being prepped as a rotation starter for Iowa, and the Cubs wanted him to get a couple of ABs in addition to extending his pitch count up past 50 (he was used as a one-inning reliever in Cactus League games before he was optioned to Iowa from big league camp).
1. Nate Spears, DH #1: 1-3 (HR, 6-3, 4-3, BB - 1 R, 1 RBI)
2. So Taguchi, RF: 0-4 (F-8, F-9, 5-3, 4-6-3 DP)
3. Esteban German, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, BB, 6-3 - 1 R)
4a. Randy Wells, P-DH #2: 0-1 (3-U SH, F-8)
5. Jake Fox, 1B: 0-2 (Kc, HBP, BB, F-8 - 1 R)
6. Brad Snyder, CF: 1-3 (4-3, 3-U, BB, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI)
7. Jason Dubois, LF: 2-4 (1-3, 2B, Ks, 2B - 1 R)
8. Mark Johnson, C: 2-3 (1B, F-8, BB, 2B - 2 RBI)
9. Andres Blanco, SS: 0-4 (P-4, 6-3, 4-3, Kc -1 RBI)
10. Luis Rivas, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, L-8)
1. Randy Wells - 2.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1 WP, 51 pitches (26 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
2. Ken Kadokura - 2.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R (6 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 43 pitches (27 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Dumas Garcia - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 46 pitches (22 strikes) , 1/4 GO/FO
4. Justin Berg - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, nine pitches (eight strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Jeff Stevens - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.