Apparently, I missed the comeback of the century yesterday. As I didn’t witness the earth-shattering win, I’ll let Carrie Muskat tell you all about it:
MESA, Ariz. — Carlos Silva allowed eight runs on 10 hits and hit a batter in 2 1/3 innings, but a host of Cubs prospects stepped up down the stretch during Monday’s 14-13 win over the Angels.
Cubs infield prospect Scott Moore hit a grand slam in a seven-run sixth, catcher Max Ramirez hit a three-run double in the eighth and Bryan LaHair delivered an RBI single in the ninth for the North Siders’ second straight walk-off win.
Second straight walk-off win? Did someone say “win streak?”No? Well, I’m saying it now–WIN STREAK!
In two starts (3 innings), Silva has given up 14 runs (11 earned) and 13 hits and two home runs.
A brisk wind was blowing out to right-center on Monday, but Silva said that did not affect his pitches.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was feeling pretty good. Most of them were singles that were hit through the hole (between infielders),Ã¢â‚¬Â Silva said. Ã‚â€œYou get out there and try to do your work. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re usually not concerned with results. But you need results when you are competing for a starting spot in the rotation,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Silva knows he needs to pitch better to quiet his critics.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I pitch good, nobody says anything,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Silva, who was 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts in 2010, his first season with the Cubs. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I feel good. I feel strong. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to be fine.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Oh Carlos, does someone have a little bit of a victim complex? To be fair, I’m not sure if people say anything when you “pitch good” or not, because I can’t remember back that far. Anyone else? Can anyone remember if anyone said anything the last time Carlos pitched well? Perhaps I’ll consult the microfiche at the local library.
So heeeeey! Have you been moping around the house, just waiting for someone to give you a rundown of where Starlin Castro stands at this point in his career? Lucky for you, Bruce Miles is happy to oblige.
Shortly after Mike Quade took over as manager, he benched Castro for three games after a lapse in concentration. But at the end of the year, Quade made sure to preserve CastroÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s .300 batting average and send the kid out on a high note.
The expectations are no less for Castro this season. He turns all of 21 on March 24, and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the most exciting position player the Cubs have developed and sent to the big club in years.
Here are the key issues:
Believe it or not, some people with the Cubs last year felt they had the wrong scouting report on Castro. That is, they thought he would field much better than he would hit.
Turned out it was the other way around.
Castro turned in a hitting line of .300/.347/.408 with 3 homers and 41 RBI. He also committed 27 errors and had more than his share of problems around the bag.
The Cubs believe Castro will continue getting better offensively, although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s difficult to say how much power heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll develop. He hit a combined 4 homers last year between the Cubs and Double-A.
Castro walked 29 times and struck out 71 in 463 at-bats. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a walk percentage of 5.7 and a strikeout percentage of 15.3.
He had a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .341, well above the league norm, which is around .300. Some stats-oriented people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect CastroÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s BABIP to drop drastically because of his speed and contact ability.
ColoradoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Troy Tulowitzki is considered by many the best shortstop in the National League. His hitting line last year was .315/.381/.568 with 27 home runs. His walk rate was 9.1 percent, and his strikeout rate was 16.6 percent.
Today Big Z and the rest of the streaking Cubs travel to the Rockies’ SICK new Spring Training facility, Salt River Fields (pictured) for a 2:10 pm CT start. Ã‚Â While Salt River Fields has received rave reviews from players and fans alike, can anyone Ã‚Â tell me why a team would possibly need that many diamonds for Spring Training? I mean, does every player working on his swing or mechanics get his own field to practice on? Are they hosting fast-pitch softball tournaments on the weekend?
You can listen to today’s game live on MLB.com.