Down to their last out, the AZL Angels rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th to defeat the AZL Cubs 6-4 in Arizona League Opening Day action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this evening.
Arizona Phil's Archives
After eight weeks of Extended Spring Training and another couple of weeks of mini-camp work-outs, the AZL Cubs begin league play tonight, as they face the AZL Angels at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.
6/15 UPDATE: BOISE OPENING DAY ROSTER HAS BEEN RELEASED (see COMMENT #11 below)
Arismendy Alcantara singled, doubled, and tripled, stole a base, drove-in three runs, and scored two more, Richard Jones and Wes Darvill had three hits a piece, and Alvaro Ramirez clubbed a two-run HR, but it wasn’t enough, as Kyung-Min Na had three hits, stole two bases, and scored twice, and Xavier Batista had three RBI, leading the upstart AZL Cubs (Mesa Cubs) to a 9-7 victory over the Boise Hawks at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning. The game was a pre-planned eleven-inning contest.
This was the final tune-up for the Hawks, who will fly from Phoenix to Boise tomorrow morning. Their first game will be Friday night at Yakima.
ROUND 31 (940): Benito Santiago, Jr, 1B (Lon Morris JC)
L/R, 6'5, 225, 20 years old
COMMENT: JC Sophomore... Also plays basketball... Will probably transfer to Evansville or St. Francis (NY) to play basketball if he doesn't pursue career in baseball... Son of ex-MLB catcher Benito Santiago...
ROUND 2 (65): Reggie Golden, OF (Wetumpka HS - Wetumpka, AL)
R/R, 5'10, 210, 18 years old
COMMENT: Top position player prospect in Alabama... Has plus-bat speed and power, but lacks plate discipline... Hit a HR at Wrigley Field last August in Under Armour All-American game... Above-average arm... Projects as RF... Only slightly above-average speed... Signed NLI with University of Alabama...
ROUND 3 (97): Micah Gibbs, C (LSU)
B/R, 5'11, 207, 21 years old
COMMENT: College junior... Top defensive catcher in draft, although he has just an average arm... Won Rawlings ABCA Gold Glove in 2009... Was leading hitter at LSU among starting position players in 2010, hitting 388/438/592 with 10 HR & 60 RBI with 14 2B in 62 games... Hit just .212 with wood bat in Cape Cod League in 2009... Was Baseball America 1st Team Freshman All-American in 2008... Was teammate of Daytona Cubs INF D. J. Lemahieu on LSU College World Series Champion team in 2009... SEC Academic Honor Roll... Cubs GM Jim Hendry has long-time friendship with LSU Head Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri going back to when Mainieri was the coach at Notre Dame...
ROUND 4 (130): Hunter Ackerman, LHP (Louisburg JC)
L/L, 6'1, 19 years old
COMMENT: JC freshman... Throws an 88-92 MPH fastball... Has a solid change-up... Breaking ball needs work... Went 8-1 with a 1.41 ERA, 38 hits allowed, and 24/92 BB/K in 57 IP for the Hurricanes in 2010... This guy was very likely recommended by Cubs ace bird-dog scout Billy Swoope, who has a lengthy track record of finding quality arms in VA and NC...
ROUND 5 (160): Matt Szczur, OF (Villanova)
R/R, 5'11, 190, 20 years old
COMMENT: College junior... Last name is pronounced "Caesar" (like the emperor Julius, or if you prefer, like the comedian Sid)... Football player (WR & PR) who might get selected in 2011 NFL draft... MVP in 2009 FCS Championship game... Has been compared to Patriots WR Wes Welker... Hit 443/487/667 for Nova in 2010, with 4 HR & 38 RBI, 13 2B, 7 3B, 10 SB (5 CS)... Played both catcher & OF for the Wildcats but will likely play CF or LF in pro ball... One of the fastest players in college baseball... Below-average arm... Slash hitter with below-average power... Patient hitter who profiles as a lead-off man... Gets high marks for work ethic and intensity... Missed several weeks during 2010 baseball season after donating bone-marrow to one-year old girl with leukemia...
ROUND 1 (16): Hayden Simpson, RHP (Southern Arkansas)
R/R, 6'0, 175, 21 years old
COMMENT: College Junior... Features a 91-93 MPH fastball that tops out at 96... Throws both a 82-83 MPH slider and a 78-80 MPH curve... Has a change-up but rarely throws it... Went 13-1 with a 1.81 ERA, 99 IP, 73 H, 35 BB, 131 K, 6 CG and 4 Shutouts at SAU in 2010...
The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 7 PM ET tomorrow (Monday June 7th) and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday. The first round (plus the 1st supplemental round) will be televised “live” on the MLB network Monday night, with the balance of the draft to be conducted via conference call (rounds 2-30 starting at noon ET on Tuesday, and rounds 31-50 starting at noon ET on Wednesday).
The Cubs will have the 16th pick in the 1st round, followed by the 65th overall pick (2nd round), pick #97 overall (3rd round), and #130 overall (4th round), and then every 30 picks (#160, #190, #220, #250, etc) after that until the 50 rounds are completed. More than 1,500 players will be selected by the 30 MLB clubs before the drafting is finished.
Here are the FINAL unofficial statistics for EXST Cubs players. (There is no Official Scorer at Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, so the stats are not official).
Jesus Morelli reached base three times and extended his hitting streak to 20 games and Cubs pitchers fanned 14 EXST Brewers through the first eight innings,, but the Brew Crew hung-on to edge the EXST Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning. This was the final 2010 Extended Spring Training game for both teams.
Jose Guevara bounced a two-run single back through the box past a drawn-in infield, driving-in what proved to be the winning run, as the EXST Cubs scored six runs in the last two innings to blow open a close game and defeat the EXST A’s 7-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Jesus Morelli extended his hitting streak to 19 games when he beat-out an 8th inning infield single (a dribbler to 3rd base), and RHP Chris Huseby showed no evidence of wildness, throwing two perfect 1-2-3 innings, striking out three (all swinging).
Cubs Player Personnel Director Oneri Fleita, Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller, and about a dozen Cub scouts were at Fitch Park today (and have been there for most of the week), working out high school and college players in preparation for next week’s Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”). One of the players who was at Fitch Park showing his wares was invited to play in today’s game, and he made the most of his opportunity.
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.