Ramirez Three-Run Blast Can't Save Cub Bullpen from Imploding Late
Alvaro Ramirez smashed a three-run home run and Yao-Lin Wang and Marcos Perez each threw three innings of shutout ball, but the EXST A’s rallied from a four-run 7th inning deficit and played the EXST Cubs to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.
The 24-year old 5’8 lefty swinging Ramirez is in his second season in the Cubs organization, after spending three seasons in the Yankees system (he was with DSL Yankees #1 in 2006, DSL Yankees #2 in 2007, and GCL Yankees in 2008, hitting a combined .289 in 161 games at the three stops, with 21 doubles, 13 triples, five HR, and 42 SB, with a 48/85 BB/K). Ramirez was signed by the Cubs as a Minor League Free-Agent last June after he was released by the Yankees, and hit .372 with 24 SB in 58 games for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009. He made the 2010 Peoria Opening Day roster as their “4th OF” out of Minor League Camp, but was sent to Extended Spring Training with fellow Chiefs OF Jesus Morelli about ten days ago when outfielders Francisco Guzman and D. J. Fitzgerald were moved up to Peoria from EXST. (Ramirez hit 244/279/268 in 12 games at Peoria). So far at Extended Spring Training, Ramirez is hitting 276/303/483 in nine EXST games, while playing a stellar CF. And because he was previously released by another organization, he is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA post-2010.
With three more shutout innings today, LHP Marcos Perez has now thrown 17-1/3 innings at Extended Spring Training, allowing no runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out 16. It would seem likely that Perez is in-line for a promotion to Peoria in the near future, but that all depends on whether there is room for him on the Chiefs roster.
Side-armin' Peoria RHRP Corey Martin (presently on a rehab assignment at Extended Spring Training) threw 1.1 IP in relief today, preserving the tie with an easy 4-up/4-down outing (22 pitches – 14 strikes). Based upon his performance today, Martin (the Cubs 2009 27th round draft pick out of Western Carolina) would appear to be ready to return to Peoria whenever there is room for him on the Chiefs roster, although he was not exactly pitching effectively before he went on the DL (10.38 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP in 8.2 IP).
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 0-1 (BB, BB, 3-U, BB, 2 R)
2. Rafael Disla, SS: 1-4 (2B, K, 3-1, E-4, RBI, SB)
3. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (6-5 FC, 1B, K, P-4, SB)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, BB, 6-3, R, PO)
5. Brandon May, 1B: 2-3 (K, HBP, 1B, 1B, R,)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 2-4 (1B, F-8, HR, F-7, R, 3 RBI, SB, CS)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-4 (K, 5-4-3 GIDP, K, K)
8a. Blair Springfield, 2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B+E6)
8b. Arismendy Alcantara, PR-2B: --- (R)
9a. Jose Guevara, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, 1-3)
9b. Sergio Burruel, C: ---
10. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3)
1. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Marcos Perez – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
3. Alvido Jimenez – 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 1/3 GO/FO, 40 pitches (21 strikes)
5. Corey Martin – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80’s
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
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.