Sanchez Continues Rehab as Giants Sweep Cubs at Fitch Park
The EXST Cubs dropped both games in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader at Fitch Park this morning, as one EXST Giants squad won 6-0 on Field #2, while the other squad won 8-4 on Field #3. Both games were pre-scheduled six-inning affairs, and the games were played simultaneously.
Freddy Sanchez (knee & shoulder surgeries) continued his rehab assignment with the EXST Giants, playing 2B and batting four times in the game on Field #2. Facing RHP Jesse Ginley, Sanchez lined into a 6-4 DP (near triple play) with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs in the top of the 1st, ripped a single with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the 3rd against RHP Jadel Mendez and then scored one batter later on an RBI triple (and Sanchez appeared to be a bit gimpy as he rounded 3rd headed for home), and flied out to CF in the 5th and lined out to LF in the 6th against RHP Alvido Jimenez.
Jae-Hoon Ha continued his hot hitting on Field #3 (he’s now hitting 320/333/480), reaching base three times on two singles and a walk, but he had a bad game behind the plate, committing two costly throwing errors on consecutive plays.
With RHP Frank Batista on the mound, Ha threw a one-bouncer off-line to the 1st baseman on a dropped third strike leading off the 4th that allowed the batter to reach base safely (I can’t remember seeing one of those too often lately), and then on the very next pitch, Ha fielded what should have been a 2-3 sacrifice bunt in front of home plate, before proceeding to air-mail his throw over the 1st baseman’s head and into RF for a two-base error. (Both runners ended up scoring unearned runs). Ha also made wild throws (some bounced, some sailed) to 2nd base before the start of each inning (after the pitcher completed his warm-up pitches).
When you add Ha’s throwing issues to his previously-known receiving problems (six PB in seven EXST games behind the plate), it might equal a move back to the outfield. Ha was a catcher in HS in South Korea, but the Cubs moved him to RF after they signed him in 2008, and then he was moved back to catcher in the AZ Instructional League last September. And while he would certainly be a more-valuable prospect as a catcher than he would be as a RF, his defense behind the plate is just not improving. He tries hard, but I suspect the Cubs might just be considering a permanent move back to the OF for the 19-year old South Korean.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, 4-3, SB)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-1 (HBP, BB, K, SB)
3. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-3 (K, K, 1B)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-3 (5-3, F-8, 1B)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 0-3 (5-3, L-8, K)
6. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (E-6, F-7, L-4)
7. Blair Springfield, LF: 1-2 (6-4-3 GIDP, 1B)
8. Jose Guevara, 1B: 0-2 (K, 1-U)
9. Rafael Disla, 2B: 0-2 (K, F-9)
1. Jesse Ginley – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 2/4 GO/FO, 34 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Jadel Mendez – 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Alvido Jimenez – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 20 pitches (16 strikes)
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS, 1 PB (led to unearned run scoring)
1. Runey Davis, LF: 0-4 (F-9, F-9, 4-3, L-8)
2. Jae-Hoon Ha, C: 2-3 (1B, K, BB, 1B, R, CS)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, 2B, F-9, 2 R)
4. Brandon May, 2B: 0-3 (F-8, BB, K, K)
5. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, BB, K, 2 RBI)
6a. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 1-2 (2B, K)
6b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 5th
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (6-3, 4-1, K)
8. Cody Shields, CF: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
9. SLOT WAS SKIPPED - NO DH
1. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 49 pitches (36 strikes)
2. Frank Batista – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 42 pitches (31 strikes)
P Eduardo Figueroa E-1 (throwing error on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
3B Bobby Wagner E-5 (missed catch on infield pop-up allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
C Jae-Hoon Ha E-2 (errant throw to 1st base after dropped third strike allowed batter reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
C Jae-Hoon Ha E-2 (two-base throwing error over 1st baseman’s head on sacrifice bunt allowed batter to reach 2nd and runner at 1st base to advance to 3rd – eventually scored unearned run)
Jae-Hoon Ha: 2 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and cloudless with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!
I. Hate. The. Mets.
OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.
Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.
Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....