Cubs & Giants Split at Fitch
The EXST Cubs and EXST Giants split a simultaneous doubleheader played at Fitch Park this morning, one game on Field #1 and one game on Field #3. Both games went seven innings.
Unfortunately, I watched the game that was played on Field #3, and that was the one the Cubs lost 9-1.
I don't have much information about the game played on Field #1, other than the Cubs won, Cedric Redmond threw one shutout inning, Josh Lansford Gian Guzman, and a 4th pitcher threw two effective innings each, Chris Weimer blasted a HR, Robert Bautista hit an inside-the-park HR, and Jae-Hoon Ha smacked a triple over the centerfielder's head.
In the game played on Field #3, three of the four Cubs pitchers struggled, and the only Cubs run scored on a bases-loaded walk, while the Cubs could not score after loading the bases with one out in one inning, and with runners at 1st & 3rd and one out in another inning.
Also, catcher John Contreras had a really bad day defensively. (Contreras was converted to catcher at Minor League Camp, and although he also still plays 3B and 1B on occasion, he's really a DH who is dangerous no matter what position he plays in the field). .
The (good) defensive play of the day on Field #3 was shortstop Dwayne Kemp's spectacular diving stop & throw from behind 2nd base, cutting down the batter 6-3. Kemp has shown he has the range and arm to play SS and 3B in addition 2B (his "natural" position), and he can play LF, too (he played there some last season), which means the Cubs could move Kemp up to Peoria if they decide to promote "supersub" IF-OF Josh Harrison to Daytona at some point in the near future.
Here is the abridged box score from the game played on Field #3 (Cubs players only)
SPLIT SQUAD - FIELD #3
1. Hak-Ju Lee, DH: 0-4 (K, 1-2 FC, E-4, 1-6 FC)
2. Dwayne Kemp, SS: 1-4 (1B, 5-4 FC, 6-3, K)
3. Matt Cerda, 2B: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, F-8, 1-3)
4. John Contreras, C: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, F-8)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, P-6)
6. Jesus Morelli, LF: 2-3 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, 1B + 1 R)
7. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-2 (BB, K, K)
8. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, F-9, 3-1)
9. Sean Williams, RF: 0-1 (BB, 3-U, BB + 1 RBI)
1. Cody Hams - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/3 GO/FO
2. Adam Spencer - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GO/FO
3. George Pineda - 0.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 3 WP, 1 BALK
4. Rogelio Carmona - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO
1. 2B Matt Cerda - errant throw to 1st base, allowing runner to reach base safely, eventually leading to unearned run scoring.
2. 1B Sean Hoorelbeke - attempted pick-off throw bounced off glove and into right-field foul territory, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base.
John Contreras: 0-3 CS, 3 PB
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.