Alvaro Ramirez smashed a three-run home run and Yao-Lin Wang and Marcos Perez each threw three innings of shutout ball, but the EXST A’s rallied from a four-run 7th inning deficit and played the EXST Cubs to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.
May 8th, 2010
Bobby Wagner crushed a three-run HR off the Angels clubhouse beyond the RF fence, Charles Thomas ripped a two-run double, and Austin Kirk threw four shutout innings, leading the EXST Cubs to a 10-3 thrashing of the EXST Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning.
As virtually all of Cub Nation has probably already heard, the Cubs have summoned 20-year-old Starlin Castro to the bigs. He's in tonight's lineup in Cincinnati, hitting eighth. Ryan Theriot is moving over to second. Chad Tracy, meanwhile, has been banished to Iowa, Andrew Cashner has been promoted to Iowa from Tennessee, and Josh Vitters has been moved up to Tennessee from Daytona.
Back to the game tonight. Here's the batting order that will go up against the Reds' Homer Bailey:
Iowa Cubs skipper Ryne Sandberg got tossed from the game for arguing a called third strike in the top of the 9th inning of his team's 2-1 loss in New Orleans last night.
Right now the top two layers of the Cub organization could be peeled and tossed like a rotting onion. Maybe Castro and his band of Smokies should all come north together. Things are at a low ebb.
Unbeaten Randy Wells (3-0, 3.45) matches up with lefty Brian Burres (1-1) as the Cubs try to avoid their first sweep at the hands of the Pirates since 2006. Burres comes into the game with an ERA of 6.00, i.e., about 7 runs per game lower than Charlie Morton, who frustrated the Cubs last night.
A couple wrinkles in the Cubs batting order tonight (aren't there always?):
Cubs: Theriot 6, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Nady 9, Ramirez 5, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Baker 8, Wells 1
Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits and drove-in two runs, but the EXST Cubs could not hold a five-run lead in the 9th, as the EXST Angels rallied (BB, 1B, WP, E-4, 2B, P-7, 3B, F-8 SF) to tie the game at 7-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training play at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning. The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the 9th after the Angels tied the game on a SF.
Sunday night will mark the unofficial end of the Cubs' early-season Cupcake Schedule, which included games against:
- Atlanta (3 away)
- Cincy (6 away)
- Brewers (3 home, 3 away)
- Houston (3 home)
- Metropolitans (4 away)
- Washington (3 home)
- Arizona (4 home)
- Pirates (3 away)
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.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason