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
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.