Spoon, Hair, and Grichuk Spell Doom for Cubs

Travis Witherspoon ripped an RBI double and Randal Grichuk slammed an RBI triple to highlight a four-run 3rd, and Trevor Hairgrove doubled twice and drove-in a run, leading the Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.  



Dan Vogelbach and Jeffrey Baez provided most all of the Cub offense today, with Vogelbach reaching base three times on an RBI single and two walks, and Jeffrey Baez roping a bases-loaded two run double down the LF line.


The Cubs had other chances to score and cut the Angel lead at various points during the game, but inopportune DP balls and strikeouts deflated the Cubs hopes.


The AZIL Cubs continue to struggle offensively, what with some of the squad's best hitters (including Javier Baez, Taiwan Easterling, Dustin Geiger, Reggie Golden, and Rafael Lopez) sidelined with injuries.


Shawon Dunston, Jr did break his 1-26 slump with a 4th inning single, but he also dropped a line-drive in CF allowing an unearned run to score in the top of the 3rd.


The Cubs pitching and defense left a lot to be desired today, as the Angels collected three triples, three doubles, and five singles, and scored two unearned runs thanks to three Cub errors.


Worst outing of the day among the eight Cubs pitchers who took the mound was the one by 5'8 fireballin' RHP Tarlandus Mitchell, who managed to allow two runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the 6th. "T" walked the bases loaded and threw two wild pitches, hurling 25 pitches (but only seven strikes) in his one inning of work.


Mitchell was the Cubs 22nd round pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX in 2008, but he has yet to get past Boise. His four seasons in the Cubs organization have been tarnished by injuries, and bouts with wildness when he has been healthy.


RHP David Henrie (2011 NDFA - Trinidad State JC) also struggled, but in a different way. Henrie allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits (two doubles, a triple, and a single) in just 1.2 IP. He also allowed one inherited run to score (charged to Jose Rosario), and commited a fielding error that directly led to one unearned run  scoring.    


Best outings today were the innings thrown by LHP Frank Del Valle and RHP Tony Zych, but that's no surprise since Del Valle and Zych have been two of the best-looking pitchers so far at Instructs.


Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):


LINEUP:
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 1-2 (3-U, 1B, HBP, BB, R)
2. Trey Martin, LF: 1-4 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, F-7, 4-6-3 DP, R)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, E-1, BB, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-2 (1B, BB, BB, 3-6 FC, RBI, SB)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (K, K, 2B, 5-4 FC, 2 RBI)
6. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 1-3, F-7)
7a. Justin Marra, C: 0-2 (BB, F-8, F-7)
7b. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, K, K, BB)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (2-3 SH, P-4, BB, 4-3 DP)
10. Mark Malave, DH #2: 0-2 (K, 6-3, BB)


PITCHERS:
1. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K,14 pitches (9 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (15 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
3. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Frank Del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 25 pitches (7 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
6. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
7. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
8. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO


ERRORS: 3
1. P David Henrie - E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. CF Shawon Dunston, Jr - E-8 (missed catch with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score from 3rd base)
3. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)


OUTFIELD ASSIST
RF Jeffrey Baez - Batter thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double


ATTENDANCE: 23 (including Angels manager Mike Scioscia)


WEATHER: Sunny with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the 90’s

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Comments

some asshat in DET's RF is "heckling" nelson cruz calling him variations of "f--ker" and "motherf--ker"...

...people pay money to do this to pro athletes for fun...playoff ticket money, even. interesting subculture...

awesome game, btw...just tied again in the bottom 7th...

I don't understand why guys like that don't get kicked out. Not just because it's bullshit on the players, but there are kids at the park, and they don't need to hear that kind of stuff. I don't buy that "I paid my money I can say what I want" crap. If that's the case, I paid my money and I can kick him in the mouth if he talks that way around my kid. Well, in my case, grandkid.

I agree. The ushers/security should carry a spray bottle of bleach and just spray those people in the face.

things get weird in some parks the closer you get to the OF/bleachers.

in NY (both parks) ushers/security let fans heckle, insult, mass around and blast vocally other fans as well as the players...nasty stuff. you can't get away with it sitting down the lines, but in the bleachers...watch out you don't lose your cool.

Phil,

Regarding Dunston's error and the ensuing run - is there an "official" scorer for these games, or just one guy from each team filling in the scorecard to send in to the bosses?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 9:47pm.
Phil,

Regarding Dunston's error and the ensuing run - is there an "official" scorer for these games, or just one guy from each team filling in the scorecard to send in to the bosses?

====================================

TRN: There is one pitcher from each team not scheduled to throw that day who keeps score for his team, and there is some weird guy from a blog who keeps score and posts it on the internets. Same thing at Minor League Camp and at Extended Spring Training.

So there is no "official" scorer at Instructs like there would be in the AZL or AFL. You just have to rely on my observations coupled with the fact that I never miss a play because I never go to the bathroom (during a game).

Haha, thanks.

AzPhil

Couple questions, if you have the time.

Trey Martin - He's been noted as the sleeper in this class by many outlets. Does he look natural in CF? How does he look at the plate?

Jose Rosario - Love the velocity, but is there better consistency on the secondary pitches? Granted, 1-2 inning outings don't tell much.

Dillon Maples - The clips I've seen of him, his arm action reminds me a bit of the issues with Nick Struck. Is that a fair comparison (if you remember Struck's mechanics that is)? What's your overall take on the level of concern we should have with his mechanics?

Submitted by toonsterwu on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 11:32pm.

AzPhil

Couple questions, if you have the time.

Trey Martin - He's been noted as the sleeper in this class by many outlets. Does he look natural in CF? How does he look at the plate?

Jose Rosario - Love the velocity, but is there better consistency on the secondary pitches? Granted, 1-2 inning outings don't tell much.

Dillon Maples - The clips I've seen of him, his arm action reminds me a bit of the issues with Nick Struck. Is that a fair comparison (if you remember Struck's mechanics that is)? What's your overall take on the level of concern we should have with his mechanics?

====================================

TOONSTER: Trey Martin is a younger version of Evan Crawford, a tall, lanky long-strider with a slashing style of hitting and no HR power. He looks OK in all three OF positions. He has plenty of range and a strong arm.

Jose Rosario has no decent secondary pitches at this time. Breaking ball and change-up are works-in-progress. His future is probably in the bullpen.

Nick Struck is probably a good comp for Dillon Maples as far as motion/mechanics.

BTW, I don't think the Maples delivery is being reconstructed or reworked or revamped. If it is, why would you spend $2.5M on a pitcher whose delivery is out of whack like that?

To me, he just looks rusty and/or a bit out of sync. He was the last pitcher at Instructs to be deemed game-ready, but clearly he is not.

Thanks. As a tag-along thought/question - do you think that they are simply trying to get Maples feet wet with pro ball, and thus, not worrying about mechanics as of now (and perhaps getting around to it next year), or do you think that they really aren't that concerned about it? Granted, with the way they pushed Struck up (still shocked at Struck being in AAA), perhaps it is the latter. I mean, there are pitchers that have had success with that type of, for lack of a better term, mini-windup/drag back on their deliveries. It does sound like he's a bit rusty - aren't the reports right now suggesting 89-92 on his fastball (think there were some tweets about that).

Submitted by toonsterwu on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 1:33am.

Thanks. As a tag-along thought/question - do you think that they are simply trying to get Maples feet wet with pro ball, and thus, not worrying about mechanics as of now (and perhaps getting around to it next year), or do you think that they really aren't that concerned about it? Granted, with the way they pushed Struck up (still shocked at Struck being in AAA), perhaps it is the latter. I mean, there are pitchers that have had success with that type of, for lack of a better term, mini-windup/drag back on their deliveries. It does sound like he's a bit rusty - aren't the reports right now suggesting 89-92 on his fastball (think there were some tweets about that).

=================================

TOONSTER: I doubt that the Cubs are doing anything to revamp Maples mechanics now. If they were inclined to do that I think they would probably want him to get a lot of reps & innings using the new mechanics, and he just can't do that in a month of Instructs followed by four or five months back home in North Carolina.

This is the time when you tell a young pitcher to just relax and do whatever he has been doing that got him there, and then if changes become necessary (and Pitching Coordinator Dennis Lewallyn is probably observing & evaluating Maples closely to determine that), the Cubs will more-likely do it at Minor League Camp & Extended Spring Training 2012 when they will have have a good, solid three months of continuous work & reps at Fitch Park, followed by another 2-3 months of AZL Cubs or Boise, and then another month of Instructs post-2012.

What I see with Dillon Maples is a HS pitcher who signed late and didn't get a chance to pitch for the AZL Cubs or Boise, and so Instructs is serving as an "Intro to Pro Ball" for him, where he runs through daily PFP drills and learns about throwing "live" BP and side-sessions and preparing for games and getting to the ballpark on time.

I suspect he probably was told to throw just two-seamers and curves in his most-recent outing after he obviously was over-throwing his fastball (probably trying to impress everybody with velocity) in his first outing last week when he walked three and couldn't finish even one inning. He still had poor command in the second game, but at least he battled and didn't walk anybody, and at least he did get through his two innings.

If you were watching Liga Venezolana - LA Guaira vs. Caribes de Anzoátegu on ESPN3 tonight you were treated to a long, no, endless interview (I finally said "Basta" and stopped watching) in Spanish with a fresh happy looking Carlos Zambrano.

Carlos said he's excited about...not a pending trade to Florida (in fact he said no one's come to him with anything about a trade)...he's excited about Theo Epstein taking over as Cubs GM!

Z still wants to be a Cub. He made that clear. He loves the Cubs and hopes Epstein will let him finish his career in Chicago. And it came across as very sincere.

That's cool. Thanks.

Seconded. The principle who put him on the disqualified list is gone, and his boyfriend Quade is on rocky ground, so a return to the Cubs isn't out of the question, in my mind. Hopefully Theo will explain to the organization how baseball works and Carlos will be playing for us next year (at least until he can build some more trade value).

Z is such a head case. But under that crazy exterior really seems to lie a good guy. He's done a lot of charity work in Chicago, and he sort of comes off as a decent guy many times. With a temper. I say get the guy some meds for his bi polar disorder or whatever they call that these days and give him another shot, since they're not gonna get much for him on the trade market.

It's in both parties best interest for Z to pitch for the Cubs this year. He could do well as he is pitching for his next contract(hopefully for a new team). Since the Cubs are going to have to pay him regardless, he may as well be our #3 starter, saves some FA cash. Just get him stoned all year, maybe he'll chill out.

Also, if I had a guy like Nyjer Morgan in my workplace, I would not be a happy camper, it would be exhausting. Dude needs meds too. He's like Nick Swisher, but bat shit crazy.

I was on a crew impromptu interviewing him during the Big Ten Classic at Wrigley.

He just came to the park to check out the hoopla.

Couldn't have been nicer and accommodating.

Also, if I had a guy like Nyjer Morgan in my workplace, I would not be a happy camper, it would be exhausting. Dude needs meds too. He's like Nick Swisher, but bat shit crazy.

==
I think Nick Swisher is bat shit crazy, too. The guy playing Jeremy Giambi in the Moneyball movie looks (and behaves) like Nick Swisher.

what exactly did Jacoby Ellsbury come back from?

Didn't he play like only 18 games last year due to an injury?

I think the point is that he didn't really win the award for "coming back" he won the award for having a breakout season. That's twice in recent memory they've given the award for having a breakout year. They should just call it the "breakout" award if they're going to do that.

*Edit - five of the last 10 awards went to breakout players.

Coming back from missing 144 games qualifies, though, right? He did have two decent seasons prior to last year, certainly not on the level of this year, but...

I guess it depends on how you look at it. If the awards is "take all the guys who were bad or injured last year, and give the award to whoever has the best stats this year" then Ellsbury is the best pick. If you look at it as "take a look at all of the guys who had good years this year, and see what they had to come back from, and whoever came back from the most prolbems" then Colon would be a better pick.

I prefer the later. I don't know if I would consider Volgesong a candidate though, because he was never good before.

what Real Neal said...

bias on my part on how absurd the award is....

a former Cy Young out that missed all of last season and hadn't pitched over 100 innings in 5 seasons seems like a comeback. Ellsbury seems like a 27 year old.

but apparently the criteria is dude that was injured last year and was good this year.

Carry on...

It is a silly award. But Berkman was a pretty damn good, and relevant, winner.

I don't know, he got paid $8M this year on a 1-year deal. Cards (and the Cubs for that matter) didn't really believe he had that far to come back from.

Ryan Vogelsong makes more sense.

(and yes, I'm stealing these points from Rob Neyer's article)

You don't remember all of this?

http://bosoxinjection.com/2010/12/30/red-sox-...

Some of his teammates called him out for going to Arizona to rehab instead of staying with the team. It was quite the drama.

allegedly don't begin until today

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-i...

Cherington could be named Red Sox GM today as well.

/threadjack

Muskat says Ricketts handling the negotiations.

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/10/13/1013-cub...

Bryan LaHair, 1B, Cubs (VEN Navegantes): 4-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI. I generally abhor 'Free Player X' movements; but I'm on board with this one. The guy can hit.

once we knew Red Sox weren't going to let Theo take anyone with him

Am hearing there's a good chance Theo Epstein will hire #Padres exec Josh Byrnes to join him with #Cubs.

same dude says this

Theo did a great job of exploiting #MLB's idiotic system for draft pick compensation. New labor pact SHOULD make that tougher to do.

not sure what specifics changes he's talking about though.

sorry, it's Tom Krasovic, Padres writer.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7095696/t...

from one of the "Fire Joe Morgan" dudes

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/407...

Keith Law chat, bunch of Cubs stuff, none of it all-too-praising

B. Jackson, Theo, J. Lake, Cashner, Vitters

McNutt pitches in AFL today.

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chicago/chat/...

says Kenney's (new?) title is President of Business Administration, Von Joshua apparently left after the season.

says Cherington has been told he'll be the next GM.

I feel like I can almost celebrate.

ROB G it may be time to change the name of this great blog:

THEO CUB REPORTER

heh

According toWscr City Hall source Mayor Rahm told Cubs " to make it work" and he would get state to get $$ for Wrigley.

He sees Wrigley as major economic player for Chicago.

/FU Daley

haha.

FU Daley!

FU Jim Hendry!

beats Australia 2-1 in 7 innings

B. Jackson 2/2 with a 1 2B and a sacrifice

Beliveau with the win..

1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB gave up a 2B to leadoff 9th and patterson gave up the inherited run.

Vitters with an RBI single in the first of the Mesa game, now he's at .379. He also walked at some point this week, shattering my projection.

McNutt got the start and is getting knocked around.

Trey Mcnutt 94-96 in first but struggling with location and with his changeup

This was funny

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Two major league sources told ESPNChicago.com that owner Tom Rickets has turned over a list of Cubs players to interim general manager Randy Bush, director of player personnel Oneri Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken to evaluate for compensation for Epstein.

They were to report back to Ricketts which player or players they would be comfortable with trading.

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