Cubs & Giants Share Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat
18-year old Taiwanese infielder Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits, knocked-in two runs, and stole a base, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory on Field #1, while the Giants rallied with five runs in the 7th to win the other game 5-1 on Field #2, as the EXST Cubs and the EXST Giants split a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. Both games were pre-planned to be eight-inning affairs, and the two games were played simultaneously with split squads.
Rebel Ridling (appendectomy rehab) played 1B today (he had been restricted to DH in his previous EXST games), and got a total of seven Plate Appearances in the first seven innings of the game on Field #1. He grounded out to second, lined out to CF, and flied out to CF in his first three at bats, before rapping singles in three of his last four ABs. The HR power might not be there yet, but in most other ways he looks like he might be just about ready to move up to Daytona.
20-year old LHP John Mincone (2009 11th round pick out of Suffolk County CC) had a good day on the mound after having poor outings in his previous two EXST appearances, throwing three hitless innings on Field #2, and 20-year old Dominican LHRP Marcos Perez had another perfect outing, mowing down the Giants six up & six down. In four Extended Spring Training appearances, Perez has thrown 7.1 IP of shoutout ball, allowing just one hit (a bunt single) and no walks, while striking out eight.
20-year old lanky 6’5 Australian LHP Cody Hams really struggled, though, getting ripped for five runs on four hits (two singles and two doubles) and two walks while getting just two outs in the bottom of the 7th, as he took the loss on Field #2. Hams has revamped his delivery this year, as he now throws from a near-sidearm arm slot. Some of you may remember Hams as the former cricket bowler who received a $150K bonus from the Cubs in 2008 after paying his own way to the MLB Australian Baseball Academy the previous year to try his hand at baseball. (He had never actually seen a baseball game until he got to the academy, and the second game he ever saw was one where he was the pitcher!).
Two of the recent arrivals from the Cubs Dominican Academy got into their first U. S. game action, as 18-year old 6’1 160 RHP Alvido Jimenez (who had the second-most strikeouts among the pitchers on the Cubs two DSL teams last year) threw a shutout inning of relief (albeit only after walking the bases loaded!) in the game on Field #1, and 21-year old 6’2 170 RHP Jadel Mendez threw a perfect five-pitch 1-2-3 inning (F-9, F-7, 6-3) on Field #2.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Larry Suarez (3.0 IP, 5 H, 3.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP 1/2 BB/K, 39 pitches - 31 strikes, in two appearances at EXST) and outfielders Francisco Guzman (471/500/588 with 7 R, 5 RBI, and 3 SB in five games at EXST) and D. J. Fitzgerald (267/353/400 with 3 R and 4 RBI in five games at EXST) have been promoted to Peoria, and outfielders Jesus Morelli and Alvaro Ramirez have been sent to Fitch Park (Extended Spring Training) from Peoria.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (EXST Cubs players only):
NOTE: 1B Rebel Ridling batted in seven of the eight innings, getting seven Plate Appearances total in the game.
X. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 3-7 (4-3, L-8, F-8, 1B, 1B, K, 1B)
1. Rafael Disla, 2B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, 2B, 4-3, CS, R)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (L-7, 5-3, BB, 4-3, R)
3. Charles Thomas, 3B: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
4. Xavier Batista, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-4 (K, F-7, 1-2-3 GIDP, K)
6. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI, SB)
7. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-3 (K, F-7, P-6)
8. Melvin Camarena, RF: 0-3 (K, L-8, K)
1. Luis Liria – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP, 5/1 GO/FO, 48 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Alvido Jimenez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (6 strikes)
3. Carlos Rojas – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3/1 GO/FO, 37 pitches (21 strikes)
4. Marcos Perez – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
2B Rafael Disla E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
Sergio Burruel: 2-3 CS
LF Blair Springfield threw out runner at plate 7-2 as runner was trying to score from 2nd base on ground ball single to LF with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning.
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-4 (K, 6-4 FC, 4-3, K)
2. Runey Davis, RF: 2-3 (5-3, 1B, 1B, SB, CS)
3. Albert Hernandez, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, 5-3)
4. Brandon May, 1B: 1-3 (6-4 FC, 4-3, 2B, R)
5. Jonathan Mota, C: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, 1-3 SH)
6. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 1-1 (BB, BB, 1B, RBI)
7. Carlos Romero, DH #1: 0-3 (K, 6-4 FC, K)
8. Cody Shields, CF: 0-3 (6-3 GIDP, 4-3, F-8)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (5-3, 3-U, F-7)
10. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, K)
1. John Mincone – 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/3 GO/FO, 29 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Jadel Mendez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
3. Danny Keefe – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (19 strikes)
4. Cody Hams – 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 30 pitches (17 strikes)
Jonathan Mota: 1-2 CS
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy and windy, with temperatures in the 60’s
CHILDERS: Dylan Cease and Bryan Hudson are probably the Cubs 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'sslider), but has trouble commanding his stuff.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17, and his fastbball 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.
For some reason