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
Very bizarre game -- as you say, both Cubs pitchers were dominant until the one fatal pitch. It was like watching the Bears defense shut down a team, and then lose on 2 punt returns. Some better hitting with RISP would be a good idea, too.
Trouble Boys, the Replacements bio, is a great option. I'm sure Chad loved it.
Amen Brick. What's the point of following early-season games if you can't over-react to them? What, we should be reading books now?
"Weren't the National considered a near lock last year?"
No, I think you're thinking of Radiohead, The 1975, or Bowie's last album.
Although The National's Greatful Dead tribute is pretty cool.
I don't think they're any kind of lock, though I do expect they'll make the playoffs.
It's not like I'm glad they've gone 4-8. I just don't think it's time to be all that worried -- just like I didn't think they were going to keep playing .730 ball.
vegas isn't a fan of the game because of how erratic and unpredictable it is.
SF has recently won 3 world series many thought they weren't supposed to win...BOS won a world series recently that they weren't even supposed to be in the playoffs for...favored teams with huge wins have seen 1st round exists...fun times.
I think they'll be ok too. But having watched this team since the mid-60s, I never think it's time to conclude, well, thank god the drought is over. I've seen/heard way too many people who follow the Cubs say glad we're finally going to win the Series this year. Please. Weren't the National considered a near lock last year?
Best record in baseball and largest division lead.
I'm jumping right now!
Can we please stop pointing out how ridiculous it is to panic and start panicking in earnest?
,571 winning percentage in May.
I think they're gonna be OK.
RAISIN: All I know is that Oscar de la Cruz is still shut down, and I don't know what his prognosis is, or what the plan is going forward.
Remember just two weeks ago, when "all" they had to do was play .500 ball the rest of the season and coast into the playoffs?
Well I guess if pitchers can keep working the edges of the plate to perfection it will be a long season. But that doesn't seem likely. Rizzo finally, fully, snapping out of it would help.
If I didn't believe in coincidences (or science), I would apologize to Gordon Downie--one of my favorites. Sad news about a great talent.
Hi Arizona Phil,
Has there been any news on Oscar de la Cruz' health?