The Other Baez Helps Cubs Sweep Giants at Fitch Park
Jeffey Baez belted an inside-the-park HR off the CF "Batter's Eye," drilled an RBI single, and walked, Justin Marra hammered a three-run triple, singled, walked, and scored a run, Kevin Encarnacion laced a bases-loaded three-run double, and Yasiel Balaguert blasted a solo HR, as the Cubs swept a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader from the Giants by scores of 6-3 and 10-7 this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Joey Rapp (on an EXST rehab) walloped a two-run HR for the Giants in a losing cause.
In 16 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (43 PA), Jeffrey Baez is hitting 342/419/684 with a team-leading four HR. The 19-year old right-handed hitting Venezuelan OF signed with the Cubs for a reported $350K bonus in July 2010 as a 16-year old, at the beginning of the 2010 International Signing Period. Baez went hitless in seven PA at Extended Spring Training last season before breaking his wrist diving for a ball in right field, and then was sent back to the Cubs Dominican Academy where he hit 291/378/448 in 48 games (202 PA) for DSL Cubs #1.
In two DSL seasons (2011-12), Baez hit a combined 286/363/424, with 8 HR & 64 RBI, 22 doubles, 60 SB (19 CS), 97 runs scored, and 17 outfield assists (playing all three OF slots, but mainly CF) in 116 games (497 PA). He had a brief six-game trial with the AZL Cubs after the conclusion of the DSL season last August, and was likely ticketed for the AZL Cubs this season. But don't be surprised if the "other" Baez skips the AZL, joining fellow Venezuelan teenaged hot-shot Carlos Penalver on what should be a very interesting Boise Hawks team.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
FITCH PARK FIELD #3:
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 2-3 (HR, BB, 1B, 2-3, R, 2 RBI)
2a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 1B)
2b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-1 (F-9)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, DH #1: 1-4 (F-8, F-8, F-9, HR, R, RBI)
4. Reggie Golden, LF: 1-4 (P-5, F-8, 1B, K)
5. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-2 (K, BB, 4-6-3 DP)
6. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-3 (K, K, F-7)
7. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, BB, 3 R)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 2B, R, RBI)
9. Erick Castillo, C-DH: 2-2 (F-7 SF, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Frandy de la Rosa, DH-SS: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Erick Leal: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 55 pitches (31 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of 3rd inning was stopped with one out when Leal reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
2. Larry Suarez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 8 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 41 pitches (19 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (15 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 1
P Erick Leal - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS
FITCH PARK FIELD #4:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 1-3 (K, 2B, F-8, 3 RBI)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (BB, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-2 (HBP, 6-3, F-9, R)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, K, R, RBI)
5. Rony Rodriguez, C: 1-2 (2B, HBP, 5-3, 2 RBI)
6. Xavier Batista, LF-DH: 0-2 (K, F-9, HBP, R)
7. Jose Dore, RF: 0-1 (BB, P-5, BB, 2 R)
8. Dong-Yub Kim, DH-LF: 0-2 (E-5, P-6, BB, 2 R)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-2 (K, P-6, BB, R, RBI)
10. Justin Marra, DH #2: 2-2 (BB, 1B, 3B, R, 3 RBI)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 57 pitches (36 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 36 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 39 pitches (26 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
1. CF Kevin Encarnacion, - E-8 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. C Rony Rodriguez - E-2 (overthrow on SB attempt at 2nd base allowed runner at 3rd base to score)
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Rony Rodriguez: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.