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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  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.