Angels Late Rally Flips Cubs at Fitch

Welington Castillo reached base five times on three walks, a single, and a double, but the AZL Angels rallied to score three runs in the 9th and one in the 10th to edge the AZLCubs 8-7 in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

box score

On the Iowa Cubs DL since July 28th with a hamstring injury and now rehabbing at Fitch Park, W. Castillo was scheduled to rejoin the Iowa Cubs today in Tacoma, but since the I-Cubs have the day off and don't play again until Friday night, Castillo was kept at Fitch Park for one more day to get him some additional game action as a DH before flying to SeaTac and rejoining the Iowa club.

Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson got the start today, and threw one inning (21 pitches - 15 strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple), with two strikeouts, and one pick-off.

While it might appear that Simpson had a bad outing, he actually looked OK. He threw his fastball consistently for strikes, and both of his strikeouts came on his curve ball (which he is now throwing in games again). The double was a high chopper that bounced off the rock-hard dirt in front of home plate and up & over the head of third-baseman Gioskar Amaya and down the LF line, the RBI triple was a grounder that bounced over the 1st base bag and rolled into the RF corner, and the RBI single was a broken bat blooper into short right-center. Why he was limited to throwing just one inning (and 21 pitches), I do not know.

Recently demoted from Boise to Mesa, LHP Cam Greathouse (Cubs 2010 8th round draft pick out of Gulf Coast CC) followed Simpson to the mound and threw three innings (45 pitches - but only 23 strikes). He allowed one run on one hit and two walks, with two strikeouts, and he benefitted from two timely double plays turned by the Cubs infield that killed Angel threats. But Greathouse was all over the place with his pitches, throwing some in the dirt, some too far outside, some too far inside, and a couple over the batter's head. It's pretty obvious that he has good stuff (especially his curve), but he has a tendency to get out of whack where he can't throw his fastball for strikes.

Besides Castillo reaching base five times, speedy lead-off man Kyung-Min Na had three infield singles (he beat the shortstop's throw to 1st each time) and two stolen bases, and catcher Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round pick out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) crushed an RBI double off the RF fence in his 1st AB, walked and scored his second time up, and singled in his third PA, while handling himself very well behind the plate.

SS Marco Hernandez went 0-5, ending his hitting streak at 16 games.

And RF Eduardo Gonzalez had to leave the game after being hit on the wrist with a pitch. He initially stayed in the game, running the bases and playing defense the next half-inning, but then he was pulled for a PH in his next AB (the inning after he was hit).

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Comments

Vitters with a walk-off single driving in Wright from second, making the final score Smokies 8, Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) 7.

ArizonaPhil - is Na, or anyone else in the organization, as fast as Campana?

Submitted by DavidP on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 9:35pm.

ArizonaPhil - is Na, or anyone else in the organization, as fast as Campana?

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DAVID P: Nobody presently in the Cubs organization that I have seen is as fast as Tony Campana.

Hak-Ju Lee was #2 before he got traded, but now Kyung-Min Na and Evan Crawford are probably tied for #2, with Na faster in shorts bursts like home-to-1st (because he is a left-handed hitting chop hitter who cheats out of the box), while Crawford is a right-handed hitting long-strider who appears to gain speed as he runs around the bases, like he's on the back leg of a 440-relay team.

Junior Lake, Pin-Chieh Chen, Matt Szczur, Brett Jackson, and Zeke DeVoss are others who have plus-speed.

Tennessee catcher Luis Flores has been suspended 50 games for a PED violation.

Flores is automatically placed on the Restricted List by MLB, and remains there until Tennessee has played 50 regular season games. As a result, the suspension will continue (and Flores will remain on the Restricted List) into next season, until all 50 games have been played.

Interestingly, because Flores is on the Restricted List and will remain on the list throughout the off-season, he cannot be selected in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft, and so the Cubs don't have to worry about losing him (not that that was likely to happen, but Flores was a candidate to play in the AFL post-2011, and a good showing there might have made him attractive to another club).

This means Flores will spend March at Minor League Camp, and then probably the month of April at Extended Spring Training, where (believe it or not) he will be able to play in games (for the EXST Cubs) even though he is on the Restricted List.

Flores had a nice 2011 season going, too, and was probably the front-runner to be the #1 catcher at Tennessee next season (with Michael Brenly the back-up). Now Flores will have to battle to regain his standing in the organization once he finishes serving his suspension.

AZ Phil -- What do the Cubs have going on in Arizona in September and October? I have a chance to come out to the Phoenix area around then and would like to catch a game and see some of our prospects.

I know there is the Arizona Fall League (not sure what dates they start playing) but don't the Cubs also have something going on in Mesa after the AZL Cubs season ends on August 28 and before the AZ Fall League starts? I just can't recall right now.

(edit)

Ah! The AZ Instructional League! That's what I was thinking about. Do you know the beginning and ending dates (even if just approximate) for the Az Instr League and the AZ Fall League?

JOE P: The AZ Instructional League runs approximately September 15-October 15, and the Arizona Fall League runs approximately October 1-November 15.

I haven't seen any schedules yet.

Thanks!

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