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.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.