Cubs Edge A's at Papago Park

Frank Batista threw four shutout innings and Carlos Rojas got the last four outs to nail down the victory, as the EXST Cubs edged the EXST A’s 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.

Batista became the first EXST Cubs pitcher to throw four innings, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out one. The 21-year old Dominican RHP was the Cubs #1 pitching prospect in the DSL last season, going 4-2 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, with 7/63 BB/K in 58.1 IP for DSL Cubs #1. So far at EXST, Batista has thrown 9.2 IP, allowing four runs (three ER) on six hits, 2/4 BB/K, with a 2.79 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and .171 OBA.

EXST Cubs co-closer Danny Keefe (2009 14th round draft pick out of the U. of Tampa) had a rough day on the mound, allowing three runs on four hits (including three ringing doubles) in 1.2 IP, before Carlos Rojas extinguished the fire.

3B Charles Thomas (2009 10th round pick out of Edward Waters College) had two hits, scored a run, stole a base, and made two nifty plays at 3B (one a running catch in LF foul territory and the other a nice scoop & throw). The 21-year old 6’4 225 Thomas is now hitting .405 (.463 OBP), and leads the EXST Cubs in BA, OBP, hits, walks, runs scored, RBI, and stolen bases, and has struck out just three times in 41 PA. (He led the AZL Cubs in hits, doubles, and RBI in 2009). Thomas also has a cannon for an arm, one of the most-powerful throwing arms in the organization, making him a good candidate to get moved to the mound if things don’t work-out at 3B (he was a combination 3B/RHP in college).

The one negative against Thomas right now (besides the fact he is blocked at 3B by Matt Cerda at Peoria and Josh Vitters at Daytona) is that for a big guy, he just doesn’t seem to generate much power (he hit just one HR in 45 games with the AZL Cubs last season, and he had his first EXST XBH—a double--today). Because he is a big dude, Thomas also gets starts at 1B, and while he can play 1B, his arm is wasted there.

Catcher Luis Flores saw his first game action today since Minor League Camp in March, starting the game at DH before moving to catcher in the 6th. He did not reach base, but he did drive-in a run with an F-9 SF. The 23-year old Flores was reinstated from the Suspended List on Monday.

Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):

1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 1-3 (K, BB, 1B, 1-3, RBI, SB, CS)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-4 (F-7, K-DP, 3-1, F-9)
3. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (K, BB, K, K)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, 2B, K, R, SB)
5. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 1-4 (P-2, 3-1, 1B, K, R, RBI)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 0-1 (4-3, BB, 1-3 SH, R, SB)
7a. Blair Springfield, 2B: 0-2 (K, K)
7b. Wes Darvill, 2B: 0-1 (FC, R)
8. Luis Flores, DH-C: 0-2 (F-9, K, F-9 SF, RBI)
9. Jose Guevara, C-DH: 0-3 (F-9, E-5, K, R)
10. Cody Shields, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 4-3, 5-3)

1. Frank Batista – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/6 GO/FO, 52 pitches (37 strikes)
2. Alvido Jimenez – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 5/0 GO/FO, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Danny Keefe – 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 36 pitches (25 strikes)
4. Carlos Rojas – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)

SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base, runner on 1st base to advance to 2nd, and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)

CF Alvaro Ramirez: batter-runner thrown out 8-6-5 trying to stretch double into triple


WEATHER: Partly cloudy and breezy with temperatures in the 60’s


Thanks AZ PHIL as always.

I was wondering - since you spend so much time evaluating and looking at various team's youngsters - in your opinion, how does the Cubs A and AA prospects stack up compared with the other systems? Could you rank them possibly?


Submitted by The E-Man on Fri, 04/30/2010 - 5:26pm.
Thanks AZ PHIL as always.

I was wondering - since you spend so much time evaluating and looking at various team's youngsters - in your opinion, how does the Cubs A and AA prospects stack up compared with the other systems? Could you rank them possibly?



E-MAN: I only see the Angels, Giants, A's, Angels, and Brewers in Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Taining, with the Dodgers and White Sox added in AZ Instructional League play, and then I see the cream of everybody's AA crop and a few of the bext A+ guys in the AFL, so based on that, I would say that the Cubs probably have among the best prospects in baseball crammed into the Peoria-Daytona-Tennessee range, but not so much at AAA. The Cubs also have not done much in Latin America lately, taking more of a quantity over quality approach in the DSL, and that has had a bit of a negative impact on the depth at Extended Spring Training.

i'm boycotting AZPhil's posts.


enjoy the break in weather before summer kicks in. this kind of baseball reporting is rare and welcome for the mega-fan. thanks.

It is indeed awesome stuff.

The boycotts are obviously not working. Attendance of 15 -- rather high today.

hahaha. awesome.


It would be tough to make a living as a vendor there.

I dunno. We really don't know how much AZ Phil weighs in at.

forget that...they never know when hendry will show up. that will pay a vendor for a week or 2, alone. everything else is just gravy...unless hendry eats all the gravy. still, that's just more profit.

It's a gamble, but the payoff is xtreme

AZ -- is it possible Thomas is just working on things or has he never really hit for power? A guy that size doesn't sound like a slap hitter to me.

Submitted by Old and Blue on Fri, 04/30/2010 - 6:58pm.
AZ -- is it possible Thomas is just working on things or has he never really hit for power? A guy that size doesn't sound like a slap hitter to me.


OLD & BLUE: Charles Thomas isn't a slap hitter. He hits the ball hard, sometimes really puts a hammer on the ball, but when he does they mostly turn into ground balls & choppers and opposite-field low line-drives. When he does put the ball into the air, the result is most-always a lazy pop-up, usually to the opposite field. He almost never elevates the ball with authority, and he hasn't learned how to turn on a pitch and pull it. If he can learn to do this, he could be a star. Otherwise, I suspect he will become a RHP.


Anyone notice that Wells didn't walk anyone yesterday? He knew the wind was blowing out but pitched like a man and took his lumps. He was rewarded with a victory despite giving up 5 runs.

I like it.

It's one of the reasons when people say "Wins are meaningless" they're showing their ignorance. And the end of the year someone is going to look at that start and say "well, he pitched like crap, but he won because he got a ton of run support." He won because he pitched better than the starter he was facing.

Dan Haren pitched better than Carlos Silva today, who got the win?

promoted to Triple A

He's actually going to pitch tomorrow in AA. Eastern League Managers celebrate. I wonder what he's supposed to learn in AAA. How long does he need to stay down to push back arbitration a year?

IIRC mid to late May.

game on WGN and no one's in parachat or here...

is the TCR webserver located in ARZ or something?

heading to parachat now

It better not be located in Arizona else I'm going to BCB.

according to len z's "not ready to go back to back"

...this experiment is still stupid...


It's not an experiment:It's desperation. The bullpen blows. Any chance the doughnut man buys us another flea market reliever? We all know the pickings are slim. teh mediocrity.

tie game! 5-5! soriano!

who needs kerry wood when you got carlos marmol...put a little drama into the

Just an observation:The Dustysizer finally pulled Homer Bailey (5 GS, 0-1, 6.04 ERA) after 121 pitches today.
Bailey had been averaging 5.1 IP/ start this year. Today he went 6.2 allowing 3 runs but Cincy lost to the Cards 6-3.

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 02:35:20 -0500

Sports Illustrated ( reports Major League Baseball writer Tom Verducci has listed 10 pitchers he believes may suffer from the "Verducci effect," which is a slump from one season to the next following a sudden rise in innings pitched.

At highest risk is San Diego Padres SP Cesar Carrillo, whose 160 2/3 innings marked an increase of 84 innings from the previous year. Other pitchers at risk include Houston Astros SP Bud Norris, San Diego Padres SP Mat Latos, New York Yankees SP Joba Chamberlain, Cincinnati Reds SP Homer Bailey, Florida Marlins SP Josh M. Johnson, Detroit Tigers SPs Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer, Seattle Mariners SP Felix Hernandez and Tampa Bay Rays SP Wade Davis.

Read more:

bailey threw 105 last time out 6 days ago...he should be fine.

the guy threw 200 innings between the majors and AAA last year.

once again dusty is doing nothing out of the ordinary.

eventually a pitcher has to do what he's being paid to do and...pitch.

Bailey has never thrown as many as 120 pitches before as a Red -- maybe never before, period. So, well see if he's going to be fine or not. The post was about the Verducci effect. And so far Homer Bailey (0-1 6.04 ERA) has been having a rough year as predicted. But why Verducci doesn't include minor league innings sure does makes the whole concept weak.

It doesn't make the concept weak, it just means he's doing a bad job monitoring the concept.

bailey's maybe never thrown 120 pitches for the what?

120 isn't some magic number. a guy will never throw 120 if he's never going to be put out there to do so.

guys used to throw 120-150 pitches in an outing and they went on to have "just fine" careers. besides all that, he was on 6 days rest and has a 200 inning season behind him. he showed up for 2010 ready to go. too bad he's not that good of a pitcher, anyway. all "stuff."

ATL organ player (they're doing a way better job not relying on the sound effect board this year) was playing nirvana's "in bloom" between an ab. ha.

Nobody tell Fukkakedome that it's May.

Someone tell AramRam it's May.

Good idea. I've actually given up already, though. This might be a record for me.

who got the win?
Sean Marshall

(concrete thinking at it's best)

Recent comments

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  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha