Cubs manager Mike Quade said he enjoyed everything about his All-Star Game experience except for being detained 40 minutes and patted down twice by TSA agents at the Phoenix airport on his way out of town. It’s back to business for the Cubs tonight as they take on Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins. The team was on the field early for a full-squad workout.
“Play better, execute better, pitch better, hit better,” Q said of his thoughts about the unofficial second half of the season. “We’ve got to do better, and, I talked to the guys before the workout. This is the healthiest group I’ve addressed since Wellsie and Cash went down in their first starts. Let’s see if we can stay healthy and be a better team.”
In addition to having signed third-round pick Zeke DeVoss, an outfielder out of the University of Miami, the Cubs also announced the signing of sixth-round pick, catcher Neftali Rosario out of Puerto Rico.
Starlin Castro, 21, became the youngest player in franchise history to play in the All-Star Game. That distinction previously went to Ron Santo, who made the team at 23 in 1963. He said his biggest thrill of the All-Star festivities was getting a chance to talk with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
Castro is creeping up on some numbers he attained all of last year following his May 7 call-up. Here is the comparison:
Quade added that “everything is fantastic” between him and pitcher Ryan Dempster, who got into a dugout shouting match last weekend in Pittsburgh.
From the game notes: Jeff Samardzija is one of just three relievers in the majors to toss at least 50 innings and hold the opponent to a sub-.200 batting average. Samardzija has allowed a .199 batting average (38-for-191) in 51.2 innings pitched. He joins Washington's Tyler Clippard (.153) and Atlanta's Johnny Venters (.171) ... Darwin Barney leads major league rookies with a .306 batting average, 31 multi-hit games and 90 hits
Iowa was off for the Triple-A All-Star Game. Tennessee (AA) lost 10-2 to Mississippi. Matt Loosen took the loss, working 5 innings and giving up 3 hits and 3 runs while walking five and striking out two. Josh Vitters (.282) went 2-for-4. He has hit safely in five of his last six games. Steve Clevenger (.293) also was 2-for-4.
Daytona (A) lost 4-3 to Fort Myers. Angel Guzman started and worked 1.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. Resurgent Logan Watkins (.291) recorded his fourth-consecutive, multihit game, going 2-for-4. Justin Bour (.288) went 2-for-4 with a double. Center fielder Matt Szczur reached base twice in his first game with Daytona, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a team-high 2 runs.
The Daytona Beach News Journal has a nice read on Evan Crawford, written by Sean Kernan:
Peoria (A) beat Lake County 4-2. Frank Del Valle started and got a no-decision as he worked 4 innings, giving up 3 hits and no runs while walking no one and striking out five. Ryan Cuneo (.280) recorded a team-high 3 hits, going 3-for-4 with 2 doubles. Rubi Silva (.282) was 2-for-3 with a walk.
Boise (A) lost 4-2 to Vancouver. Ben Wells got a no-decision, pitching 5 innings and giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. Pin-Chieh Chen (.316) went 1-for-4 with a stolen base.
Mesa (Rookie) beat the Rangers 4-3 in 10. Brian Smith worked 4 innings, giving up 2 hits and no runs. The aforementioned DeVoss was 1-for-5 with a double. As one of you guys linked to on the previous blog, Devoss got a reported $500,000 signing bonus. Slot was $341,000. Eduardo Gonzalez had a team-high 4 hits, going 4-for-5 with 3 stolen bases (5).