Diamond Sends Greeting Card to Sori
Thomas Diamond drilled Alfonso Sorianio in the ribs with a fastball, Andres Blanco crushed a Mitch Atkins pitch high & far over the RF fence, and eight Cubs pitchers working in four groups of two threw two innings a piece, as the Cubs continued their pre-Cactus League workouts under sunny skies and a cool north breeze at Fitch Park this morning.
On Field #2, Blake Parker & Jeff Kennard worked their two-inning stints first (about 20 piches each inning), followed by Thomas Diamond & David Patton, with Tyler Colvin, Bryan Lahair, Matt Camp, Janmes Adduci, Starlin Castro, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Robinson Chirinos, Koyie Hill, and Josh Vitters taking the ABs.
On Field #3, Mike Parisi worked opposite Jeff Stevens, and then J. R. Mathes alternated with Mitch Atkins, as Sam Fuld, Darwin Barney, Brad Snyder, Bobby Scales, Marlon Byrd, Derrek Lee, Brett Jackson, Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir, and Andres Blanco provided the opposition.
Other than the Soriano HBP, Diamond threw the ball very well, as none of the hittrers who faced him got good swings. Mike Parisi also looked good, throwing strikes and mixing up his pitches very well. As a Rule 5 player, Parisi will get a longer look than most of the other pitchers who are "on the bubble."
On the more negative side, Blake Parker and Mitch Atkins were hit hard (especially Parker), as Tyler Colvin continued his hot "live" BP hitting. And David Patton still has major control issues with his curve ball.
James Russell and Marcos Mateo threw in an early morning "live" BP session that preceded the full-squad work-out.
Ted Lilly was on the the field today, participating in PFP and looking chipper. In addition to rehabbing from both shoulder and knee surgery, Lilly has been fighting an infection of some sort the last few days that reportedly had his temperature up to about 103.
The Cubs wore their traditional "home" unis (white with pinstripes and names on the back of the jerseys) today for the first time in 2010. They had been wearing their blue BP jerseys in previous workouts.
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.