Cub Pitching Not Too Great Today
San Francisco Giants 2010 1st round pick Gary Brown (Cal State - Fullerton) blasted a three-run home run to key a six-run 2nd inning, and the Giants went on to wallop the Cubs 17-6 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.
The GOOD: Jae-Hoon Ha hit another HR over the left-centerfield fence onto 8th Street (a solo job in the 8th, his second HR in a week), Ryan Cuneo had two doubles (one of which was a two-run shot off the RF fence), and Gioskar Amaya and Oliver Zapata ripped back-to-back opposite field line-drive triples.
The BAD: Cub pitchers surrendered 17 runs on 17 hits (including three doubles and a HR), eight walks, two HBP, five wild pitches, and one balk. LHP Cam Greathouse (Cubs 2010 8th round pick out of Gulf Coast CC) started the game for the Cubs and had an especially poor outing, allowing seven runs (six ER) on six hits (including one HR) and two walks, and was only able to get two outs in the 2nd inning before being relieved.
The UGLY: Reggie Golden dropped not one but two fly balls in RF (actually one pop fly and one line drive), resulting in three unearned runs scoring. Not since Keith Moreland patrolled RF at Fitch Park has such humanity been seen.
BTW, an interesting tidbit about Reggie Golden is that he does something you usually only hear at a tennis match, and that is, he grunts (loudly) when he swings. And Reggie did hit/grunt two balls hard today, one a line-out (or “loud out”, so to speak) to CF, and the other an opposite-field laser line-drive double into the RF corner.
On the injury front, SS Hak-Ju Lee was removed from the game after he was seen limping gingerly to 1st base after dropping a single into left-center, one pitch after fouling a ball off his foot.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Oliver Zapata, LF: 1-2 (K, 3B, RBI, R)
1b. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-2 (F-9, P-4)
2a. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 1-2 (3-U, 1B)
2b. Marco Hernandez, PR-SS: 0-2 (E6, F-8, R)
3. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 2-4 (6-3, L-8, 1B, HR, RBI, 2 R)
4. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 2-4 (P-5, F-9, 2B, 2B, 2 RBI)
5a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
5b. Max Kwan, C: 0-2 (K, K)
6. Sergio Burruel, DH #1: 0-4 (5-3, 4-3, 4-3, F-7)
7a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-2 (L-8, 2B, R)
7b. Xavier Batista, PH-DH #2: 0-1 (5-3, BB)
8. Willson Contreras, 3B: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B)
9. Delbis Arcila, DH-RF: 0-3 (3-U, 1-3, BB, L-6 DP, RBI)
10. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, L-4 DP, R)
1. Cam Greathouse: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 40 pitches (24 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 28 pitches (14 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 43 pitches (28 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
4. Brian Smith: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 28 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
6. Starling Peralta: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
1. RF Reggie Golden E-9 (dropped fly ball allowed batter to reach base and unearned run to score)
2. RF Reggie Golden E-9 (dropped line drive allowed batter to reach base and two unearned runs to score)
3. SS Marco Hernandez E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
Chad Noble: 0-1 CS
Max Kwan: 1 PB
ATTENDANCE: 28 (more fans than scouts today)
WEATHER: Sunny & very hot, with 100+ degree temps
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.