Two Teams for Every Cub (Beisbol City, Here We Come!)
CF Albert Hernandez singled and doubled and drove in two runs, and five Cubs pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter, as the DSL Cubs #1 defeated the DSL Tigers 7-3 yesterday afternoon on Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day at Baseball City, near Boca Chica, DR.
In other DSL Opening Day action, Miguel Gonzalez had three hits and drove in two runs, but the bullpen could not hold a 4-1 8th inning lead, as the DSL Orioles/Brewers co-op team took advantage of five errors to rally and edge DSL Cubs #2 5-4.
20-year old Albert Hernandez hit .324 with 17 extra base hits in 54 DSL games last year, and he will likely be the star of DSL Cubs #1 (managed by ex-Cubs 1B prospect Alberto Garcia) this year, but the three most highly-regarded Cubs prospects playing in the DSL right now are 3B Joel Altagracia and SS Carlos Henry (both signed as 16-year olds by the Cubs during the International Signing Period last Summer), and Venezuelan catcher Ricardo Parra, who also signed last Summer and who turned 18 yesterday. (RHP Jose Tineo was signed to a substantial bonus as a 16-year old in July 2007, but he is not presently on a DSL Cubs Active List).
Altagracia (signed for $140K) and Henry (signed for $110K) are now 17, and both are assigned to DSL Cubs #2, as is Parra. If all goes according to plan, I would expect to see all three of them at Fitch Park this time next year.
NOTE: 11 of the kids who played for Cubs DSL teams last season were invited to Fitch Park for Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training this year, including RHP Rogelio Carmona, Eduardo Figueroa, George Pineda, and Andres Quezada (ex-OF), LHP Marcos Perez and Melvin Vasquez, catcher Juan Medina, infielder Robert Bautista, and outfielders Francisco Guzman (now at Peoria), Jesus Morelli, and Jose Valdez. Although they spent most or all of the 2008 season playing in the DSL, Figueroa, Carmona, and Quezada have been at Fitch Park before, and Medina was invited to the AZ Instructional League last Sepember.
Here are the rosters for DSL Cubs #1 and DSL Cubs #2:
* bats or throws left
# bats both
DSL CUBS #1 (29 players):
* Welington Cruz
* Abner Ruiz
# Arismendy Alcantara
# Vismeldy Bieneme
Ramon Caraballo (hitting coach)
Leo Hernandez (pitching coach)
DSL CUBS #2 (30 players):
* Richard Leyba
Pedro Medina (ex-OF)
# Hector Suarez
# Rafael Disla
* Carlos Henry
# Jose Montecino
* Melido Perez
# Gregorio Robles
DSL CUBS – NOT ASSIGNED
NOTE: The following players were on DSL Cubs Reserve Lists prior to the start of Spring Training. A player on this list could be injured, or could be inactive for some other reason, or may have been released prior to the start of the DSL season.
* Alfredo Belizaire
Arturo Florentino (PED SUSPENSION)
* Carlos Galvez (PED SUSPENSION)
Jesse Lebron (PED SUSPENSION)
Jhon Rodriguez (PED SUSPENSION)
Jose Tineo (PED SUSPENSION)
# Ramon Bonilla
# Alexander Mejia (PED SUSPENSION)
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.