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):


LINEUP
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)


PITCHERS:
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)


ERRORS (2):
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)


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


ATTENDANCE: 15


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

Comments

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?

Thanks.

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?

Thanks.

==================================

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.

=p

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.

Hey,

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...

meh.

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 9th...fun.

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 (SI.com) 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: http://www.kffl.com/player/10488/MLB#ixzz0miA...

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 reds...so 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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  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 5 hours 40 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 57 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 58 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 14 hours 32 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 15 hours 2 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 15 hours 24 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 15 hours 56 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 16 hours 6 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 16 hours 17 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 16 hours 26 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 16 hours 32 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 16 hours 41 min ago view