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)
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!