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)
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.
Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.
I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.
i hope he's getting more consideration for the 2-slot vs lefties, too.