TCR Friday Notes
- Chone Figgins loves his Orange County Angels.
"...when you find a home, you want to stay here. I love what this
organization is all about -- winning, playing hard. I love being here."
- The Peoria Chiefs dominated the Midwest League this season to the tune of 81-57, then proceeded to get swept out of the best of 3 playoff series by the Cedar Rapid Kernels (Angels). It's important to have an organizational philosophy that runs through the entire system.
In Game 1, Jovan Rosa hit a game-tying two run home run in the 9th, only to see Peoria lose 6-4 in 10 innings.
In Game 2, the Chiefs led 8-7 heading into the 9th and turned to bonus baby, Chris Huseby. And in spectacular Cubbery fashion, he walked two to lead-off the inning, then got the next two outs, then a wild pitch, another walk to load them up, another walk to tie up the game and a hit-by-pitch to finish off the season. Final line for Huseby on the night: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP.
- As for Tennessee, they played Game 1 last night against Huntsville (Brewers) and were up 2-1 in the 8th when Marcos Mateo served up a 3-run shot to get saddled with the loss. Tyler Colvin hit one out for the Cubs earlier. Casey Coleman takes the mound tonight in Game 2 of the best-of-5 series.
- Gordon Wittenmyer continues his assault on the coveted, "Worst Beat Writer in Sports." Today he blames Bud Selig for the Cubs missing the playoffs and explains how the Colorado Rockies have benefited from interleague play and how if they didn't enjoy that 11-4 record in interleague games, they would still be in first place in the wild card standings. Wait. Check's article. Yup, that's exactly what he demonstrated.
Consider the current NL wild-card standings (before Florida’s late game Thursday night):
Colorado 81-60 —
San Francisco 76-64 4.5
Florida 74-65 6
Cubs 71-67 8.5
Now look what happens when only National League games are included:
Colorado 70-56 —
San Francisco 67-58 2.5
Florida 64-57 3.5
Cubs 65-58 3.5
- Cubs vs. Reds at Wrigley today. Justin "Shutout" Lehr vs. Rich "Farewell Cubs Tour" Harden. I just hope beyond hope that Bobby Scales gets to start another game.
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.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.