Dolis Shines in the Fitch Park Sun
Rebel Ridling had three hits, drove-in three runs, and scored two, and Rafael Dolis and Brooks Raley combined to throw six innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the
Chiefs Cubs drubbed the A's 12-4 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.
Pitching in front of a number of scouts from rival clubs and several members of the Cubs front office and player development staff, Dolis and Raley threw six innings of eye-poppin', bat-breakin', gun-totin', Texas Hold 'em, Dominicana country hardball.
The 6'4 230+ Dolis never looked better, allowing just a broken bat single to the first man he faced (who was promptly erased on a "room service" 6-4-3 DP), and then retiring everybody else he faced, finishing with a two-strikeout flourish in the top of the 3rd, where he appeared to really gun the velocity up a notch.
Dolis showed outstanding command today, throwing 38 pitches (29 strikes) in his three innings of work. If the Cubs don't add Dolis to their 40-man roster by the November 20th deadline, he will be eligible for this December's Rule 5 Draft, and if he is eligible, he will be selected by somebody.
To get a 21-year old pitcher with a mid-90's fastball and improved command of his breaking ball and change-up for the $50,000 Rule 5 Draft price should prove irresistable for the Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, and/or Pittsburgh Pirates of the world. Showing the velocity, command & control he did today in front of scouts from other organizations is all he needed to do to suddenly become a hot commodity on the scouting circuit.
Now, I'm not saying the Cubs will add Dolis to their 40-man roster, just that they should, (or that they would be foolish not to do it).
2009 6th round pick LHP Brooks Raley (Texas A&M) worked innings 4-5-6, and while he didn't have the command of Dolis (Raley walked one and went to a three ball count on a few hitters), he also didn't allow any hits, and only one ball was hard off him (a line drive that was snared in a spectacular leaping catch by 3rd baseman Matt Cerda, today's Defensive Play of the Game). BTW, Cerda is looking more comfortable at 3rd base, which is good, because it appears that the hot corner will be his primary care position from now on (at least until further notice).
The Cubs offense was on its game again today, scoring one run in the 2nd, then four more in the 3rd, and finally a seven spot in the 5th
The Cubs got on the board in the 2nd when Rebel Ridling punched a single to right with one out, advanced to 2nd base when D. J. LeMahieu walked. and scored on a Matt Cerda RBI single, a bloop fisted into short LF.
Logan Watkins led off the bottom of the 3rd inning for the Cubs with a hard-hit single through the box into CF, and advanced to third on a ground out and a Wild Pitch. Brett Jackson, Brandon Guyer, and Kyler Burke drew consecutive walks to force-in a run (the Cubs drew seven walks today), and Ridling and LeMahieu lined singles to the outfield to plate two more. before Cerda drove-in the final run of the inning on a high-chopper to short that scored Burke from 3rd base (there was no other play for the A's SS).
The Cubs big 5th got started with a Brandon Guyer line single to CF and a Kyler Burke walk. Ridling followed with a two-run double into the RF corner, scoring Guyer and Burke. LeMahieu then ripped a single to right-center to score Ridling. The A's got two outs on a ground-out FC and an infield pop-up, but Brandon May was hit on the lower leg by a pitch, and Logan Watkins and Ryan Flaherty walked to force-in another run. Brett Jackson then laced a single to CF to drive-in May and Watkins, and finally Guyer roped a double down the LF line to score Flaherty with the 7th run of the inning.
2B Logan Watkins had an Inning from Hell in the field in the top of the 7th, commiting two errors on what should have been routine plays, resulting in three unearned runs scoring, and cutting the Cub lead to 12-4. Watkins had played virtually flawless defense at Instructs, up until the 7th.
The nightmare 7th also featured another very poor outing for 19-year old RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (2008 22nd round pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX), who could not find home plate with a divining rod. Mitchell retired only one hitter, and was pulled from the game after walking the bases loaded Mitchell threw 21 pitches in the inning, but only eight strikes. At 5'8, the stocky Mitchell cannot afford to continually struggle with his command, even if his fastball clocks at 94.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Logan Watkins, 2B: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, K, BB, 1B), 2 R
2a. Ryan Flaherty, DH #1: 0-3 (K, 3-U, 4-6 FC, BB), R, RBI
2b. Justin Bour, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
3. Brett Jackson, LF: 2-4 (1B, BB, K, 1B, P-6), R, 2 RBI
4. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-4 (5-3, BB, 1B, 2B, F-8), 2 R, RBI
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 1-3 (1-3, BB, BB, K, 1B), 2 R, RBI
6. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 3-5 (1B, 1B, 2B, 6-3, 6-3), 2 R, 3 RBI
7. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, 1-3), 2 RBI
8. Matt Cerda, 3B: 1-4 (1B, 6-3, 4-6 FC, F-8), R, 2 RBI
9a. Michael Brenly, C: 0-3 (P-9, 4-3, P-3)
9b. Richard Jones, PH: 1-1 (1B)
10a. Brandon May, DH #2: 1-2 (K, 1B, HBP), R
10b. Jovan Rosa, C: 0-1 (L-6 DP)
1. Rafael Dolis - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 5/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (29 strikes)
2. Brooks Raley - 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 3/4 GO/FO, 42 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Tarlandus Mitchell - 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 21 pitches (8 strikes)
4. John Mincone - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 21 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Steve Grife - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 13 pitches (7 strikes)
1. Logan Watkins (E-4) - With one out and runner at 2nd base in the top of the 7th, overthrow at 1st base on an infield single (H+E), allowing batter to advance to 2nd base.
2. Logan Watkins (E-4) - With runners at 1st and 2nd and two outs in the top of the 7th, bobbled ground ball that would have been the inning-ending out, and all three runs scored (all unearned runs) when the next batter cleared the bases with a bases-loaded triple.
CATCHERS DEFENSE: There were no stolen base attempts, passed balls, or errors involving Cubs catchers today.
WEATHER: 80's & sunny
The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...