Cashner Right On the Money at Fitch
Cubs 2008 #1 draft pick RHP Andrew Cashner (TCU) made his professional debut today, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL A's 6-5 this morning at Fitch Park Field #3.
Cashner got the start and threw one inning, allowing one broken-bat opposite field single and one unearned run (the runner who reached base on the single came around to score on a stolen base, a passed ball, and an opposite field sac fly).
Cashner mixed a high-octane heater and biting slider in his one inning of work, striking out the first hitter he faced (looking) on an unhittable slider that crossed the outside corner, and the last hitter in the inning (swinging) on high heat. None of the A's hitters could get around on his pitches. They were behind on every swing.
All in all and probably not too surprisingly, I would say Cashner acquitted himself quite well in his pro debut (to say the least), and he is probably not too long for Fitch Park. He should be in Boise in very short order.
He looks to be every bit as good as advertised. He reminds me somewhat of Max Scherzer, although Scherzer is more advanced at this point. .
Offensively, the AZL Cubs juggernaut continued their offensive onslaught, as John Contreras, Nelson Perez, and Sean Hoorelbeke slammed back-to-back-to back solo home runs in the bottom of the 2nd, giving the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish.
In their next ABs, both Contreras and Perez were plunked in the back with pitches (apparently A's starter Anvioris Ramirez was none too pleased about the AZL Cubs three long flies the first time up) Fortunately the Cubs pitchers kept their cool and did not retaliate (at least not today...).
And so why do I call the AZL Cubs lineup a :"juggernaut"? I don't know. Maybe it's because Hoorelbeke, Perez, Contreras, and fellow AZL Cub Jericho Jones are now 1-2-3-4 in the AZL in OPS, Perez, Contreras, Hoorelbeke, and Jones are 1-2-3-4 in SLG %, Jones (hitting .409) and Hoorelbeke (hitting .403) are 1-2 in the AZL in BA, Perez and Contreras are tied for the AZL lead in HR with eight, Hoorelebeke is tied for 3rd with five, and Jones is tied for 5th with four, Perez and Contreras are 1-2 in RBI (Perez has 30 in 24 games played and Contreras has 25 in 23 games), Contreras leads the AZL in runs scored with 27, and Perez leads the AZL in triples with eight (in just 24 games!) and fellow AZL Cub Junior Lake is tied for 3rd in triples with four.
As a team, the AZL Cubs lead the league in HR with 30 (the second best team has 15 HR), BA, SLG, OPS, runs scored, and hits, and the team is second in the league in doubles, triples, and OBP.
Other than that, the AZL Cubs offense just plain sucks.
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.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!