Dodger Miscues Just Keep On Giving

Xavier Batista rapped out three singles and an RBI double and scored four runs, and his teammates took advantage of six errors, as the AZL Cubs defeated the AZL Dodgers 11-5 in Arizona League action at HoHoKam Park in Mesa tonight.



box score


RHP Hector Mayora got the start for the Cubs and had a strong outing, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and two walks over the course of four innings (63 pitches - 40 strikes) while striking out five. Mayora struggled during Extended Spring Training, but he has pitched very well so far in four AZL appearances (13.1 IP), racking up a 1.35 ERA and 0.71 WHIP.


18-year old RHP Austin Reed (2010 12th round pick out of Rancho Cucamonga HS - Rancho Cucamonga, CA) followed Mayora to the mound, and had major control problems in his two innings of work (38 pitches - 19 strikes), walking four. He was the beneficary of two line drive DPs that got him out of jams in both innings, the latter a spectacular diving catch & throw by CF Anthony Giansanti (2010 NDFA - Siena U.) that doubled a brain-dead Dodger runner off 2nd base. Reed is a big, strong kid with electric stuff, but he was behind on every hitter and at one point threw 12 consecutive balls. He reportedly had issues with his mechanics in HS, and you can see why. Once he gets out of whack it's hard for him to recover.


The Cubs offense scored in five of their eight ABs. 


With the Cubs trailing 1-0, Giansanti laid down a beautiful bunt single up the 3rd base line to open the 2nd inning, stole 2nd base, and scored on a one-out RBI double to right by Xavier Batista. Then with two outs, Dustin Harrington split the gap in right-center with an RBI triple, scoring Batista. Harrington has been playing mostly SS (the position he played in college at East Carolina) so far, but (like Brandon May) he has the thick lower-body of a 3B or catcher, and I would think he will be moved to the hot corner once a true SS arrives (assuming one does actually arrive before the end of the AZL season).  


Albert Hernandez and X. Batista opened the bottom of the 4th with line drive singles and advanced a base a piece on a WP, before both runners scored on a Vismeldy Bieneme two out RBI single plus an E-9 errant throw to the plate, giving the Cubs a 4-1 lead.


Up 4-2, the Cubs scored five more runs in the bottom of the 6th, as X. Batista rapped out a lead-off single, and advanced to 2nd on an infield hit by Dustin Geiger (2010 24th round pick out of Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL). Geiger just reported to Mesa last week, and while the Cubs drafted him as a RF, he has been playing only 3rd base so far (3B being the position he played in HS, and where he feels most-comfortable right now). Harrington then laid-down a sac bunt that the Dodger pitcher proceeded to throw into right field, scoring Batista, with the other runners advancing to 2nd & 3rd on the overthrow. Bieneme then looped an RBI single to CF to score Geiger, and Harrington came around to score when the CF over-ran the ball, which also allowed Bieneme to move up to 2nd base. Pin-Chieh Chen walked, and after Bieneme advanced to third on a fly out, Chen stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on the catcher's E-2 overthrow that also allowed Bieneme to score, and then Chen scored the fifth and final run of the inning on a Chad Noble one-out F-8 SF.


The Cubs scored their 10th run in the 7th when X. Batista ripped his third single (and fourth hit) of the night, advanced to 3rd base on an errant pick-off throw, and scored on a WP. 


2010 20th round draft pick Ryan Cuneo (U.of Delaware) hit a solo HR over the RF fence (his 2nd AZL HR) with two outs in the bottom of the 8th to complete the Cubs scoring. Cuneo is now hitting 348/400/580 in 17 AZL games (he's 6th in the AZL in SLG, and 10th in BA).  


Besides Anthony Giansanti's outstanding diving catch in CF that helped save Austin Reed's night, Dustin Geiger made a fine stop & throw at 3rd base, throwing out the Dodger lead-off hitter in the top of the 3rd.


In AZL Cubs roster news, 22-year old LHP (and ex-OF) Drew Rundle has been released. Rundle was the Cubs 14th round pick in 2006 out of Bend HS - Bend, OR, but received "over-slot" 3rd round money to give up his baseball scholarship to the University of Arizona. He was converted to a LHP at the AZ Instructional League last October after failing as a hitter (227/338/380 in 941 minor league PA 2006-09), but he just did not develop on the mound as was hoped. (Prior to October 2009, he had last pitched when he was a junior in HS).   


Rumor has it that the Cubs are looking to move their Hi-A affiliate from the Florida State League to the more hitter-friendly California League. The weather in Florida is very erratic, especially once hurricane season starts in August (at one point last season the Daytona Cubs had about a week's worth of games rained out). And playing in more of a hitter's league might help the Cubs young sluggers develop more of a HR stroke than is the case for those toiling in the cavernous parks of the FSL (where long fly balls go to die).  


At present there are ten teams in the California League, 12 teams in the Florida State League, and eight tems in the Carolina League (the third Hi-A league), so the Cubs moving their Hi-A affiliate from the FSL to the Califiornia League would require either expanding the California League to 12 teams (with the FSL losing two teams), or else the Cubs could replace another MLB club with an affiliate presently in the California League (perhaps the Astros in Lancaster?), with that club then transferring it's Hi-A affiliate to the Florida State League.   


FWIW, the Cubs are one of only two MLB clubs with a Hi-A affiliate in the Florida State League where the MLB club does not have its Spring Training base and Minor League HQ in Florida (the Milwaukee Brewers are the only other one), and the Houston Astros are the only MLB club with a Hi-A affiliate in the California League that does not have its Spring Training base and Minor League HQ in Arizona.

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Comments

Well, as something of a JetHawks fan I can vouch for Lancaster being a place where you can develop a HR stroke as anyone who has been at their ballpark when the wind is blowing out (basically all season long but some nights it absolutely howls) will attest.

Meanwhile, up north the Boise Hawks managed to walk 11 batters and wipe themselves and their lead out in the process.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/07/13/1265...

FWIW, the Cubs are one of only two MLB clubs with a Hi-A affiliate in the Florida State League where the MLB club does not have its Spring Training base and Minor League HQ in Florida (the Milwaukee Brewers are the only other one), and the Houston Astros are the only MLB club with a Hi-A affiliate in the California League that does not have its Spring Training base and Minor League HQ in Arizona.

Of course, that may be changing soon. Now that the deadline has come and gone without Mesa/Arizona finding a funding option for the Cubs new spring training facility, the Cubs may be moving their spring training home as well as their Hi-A team to Naples.

Any news coming out of Arizona?

That's not right. Mesa found financing for the new stadium on their own after the State passed on it.

That's only if Mesa voters approve the funding plan in November, and even if they do, the Cubs would still have the right to go to Naples because the alternative funding plan offered by the City of Mesa does not involve the Arizona State Legislature authorizing the money to fund the project as was promised in the agreement the Cubs signed with the City of Mesa earlier this year. And the State Legislature shows no signs of having any interest whatsoever in becoming involved in this project.

That said, if Mesa voters approve the deal in November, the Cubs probably will accept it since it's just an alternative way of funding the project. But the Cubs do now have the option to back-out of the deal if they so choose, at least until they officially sign-off on the new plan, which they won't be able to do until after Mesa voters approve it in the November election, presuming that even happens.

Phil -- Maybe you can shed some more light on this. My understanding is that Mesa's plan involves selling some land they bought several years ago for the water rights. Since they have found an alternative source for water, they no longer need the land they purchased.

However, as I understand it, the voters in Mesa are not likely to approve the funding plan whether Mesa needs the land or not. Is that true?

I propose the Cubs just skip spring training altogether. It certainly hasn't helped prepare our team to win in recent years. Just have the 30 or so guys fighting for the final cut show up in whatever city the day before opening day and have a dart game or throw the midget or what have you to choose the final 25.

it's kinda stupid to pay theroit 2.5m and fontenot 1m just to have others throw them around injuring them.

totally opposed.

Submitted by Sweet Lou on Tue, 07/13/2010 - 4:43pm.
Phil -- Maybe you can shed some more light on this. My understanding is that Mesa's plan involves selling some land they bought several years ago for the water rights. Since they have found an alternative source for water, they no longer need the land they purchased.

However, as I understand it, the voters in Mesa are not likely to approve the funding plan whether Mesa needs the land or not. Is that true?

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

SWEET LOU: It's not clear right now whether voters in Mesa will or will not approve the funding plan (hike in bed tax, sale of land near Cooolidge, etc), but Mesa no longer needs the land, and that has been made pretty plain by the mayor.

I am not aware of any organized movement against selling the land and using the money to build the new Cubs Spring Training & Minor League facilities, but I suppose such an opposition movement could get started between now and November. Time will tell.

...and nothing of value was lost.

cold

by now, he probably is...

Have you noticed that the Dominican Summer League Cubs #1 are performing well---leading the league which is uncharacteristic for the Cub entry there. Lots of impressive pitching statistics but like the rest of the system not showing much in the way of batting prowess--at least statistically.

Submitted by chuck on Tue, 07/13/2010 - 8:23am.
Have you noticed that the Dominican Summer League Cubs #1 are performing well---leading the league which is uncharacteristic for the Cub entry there. Lots of impressive pitching statistics but like the rest of the system not showing much in the way of batting prowess--at least statistically.

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

CHUCK: Even though both teams play in the same league (albeit in different divisions) and in the same ball park (Baseball City in Boca Chica), the Cubs consider DSL Cubs #1 to be their unofficial DSL "A" team and the DSL Cubs #2 the unofficial "B" team (sometimes known as The Bad News Cubs). So far this season, the DSL Cubs #1 have the best record (27-10) among the 34 teams in the DSL, and the DSL Cubs #2 have the worst record (7-29, including 1-17 at home). The two teams had similar disparate records last season.

The Cubs will even sometimes "transfer" a player from one team to the other, and it's usually a matter of a player who is doing well at #2 going to #1, or a player who is doing poorly at #1 going to #2. And knowing that one team is better than the other can help motivate players during DSL Spring Training in May and the DSL Instructional League in November.

Adding a second team in the DSL costs an MLB club about $135K per year (each player on the roster makes about $3,000 per year, and the managers, coaches, trainers, and staff get about another $35K combined per team), and it permits a club to deploy as many as 70 players in the DSL instead of 35 (DSL roster limit is 35 per team). Only the Cubs, Yankees, Mets, and Orioles presently operate two teams in the DSL.

So when a team operates two teams in the DSL sometimes it might be a matter of preferring to round up as many players as possible and then sort them out later, especially when you consider the fact that many players in the DSL are high school age and can improve with better nutrition, weight-training, pre-game instruction, and game experience.

see the orioles are curious about prior; are they after the messmers to sing the anthem; yosh to wash & fold the jocks?

Har... Do they have Bobbie Brownlie yet?

Hey, they can have Hendry!

Did they just boo Furcal?

And 30 minutes of pre-game gibberish? Is this a NASCAR race or baseball?

Jesus, did the Cubs even get one of those regular people all-star things?

Submitted by Ryno on Tue, 07/13/2010 - 6:28pm.
Jesus, did the Cubs even get one of those regular people all-star things?

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RYNO: Ronnie Woo-Woo couldn't make it.

AZ Phil-

Do you see the Cubs adding a Venezuelan league team? I know that there is a lot of talent that could be harvested in Venezuela and I feel like there used to be a team there, so why don't the Cubs have a team there anymore? I feel like it could be useful

Submitted by W Flag on Tue, 07/13/2010 - 8:24pm.
AZ Phil-

Do you see the Cubs adding a Venezuelan league team? I know that there is a lot of talent that could be harvested in Venezuela and I feel like there used to be a team there, so why don't the Cubs have a team there anymore? I feel like it could be useful

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

W FLAG: The Cubs presently have 20 players from Venezuela, one player from Nicaragua, and one player from Mexico playing for their two DSL teams, so they could staff a team in the Venezuelan Summer League by signing two or three free-agents from Venezuela and/or Mexico to fill-out the roster if they wanted to do that.

However, transferring 22 players from the two Cubs DSL teams to a proposed Cubs VSL team would mean the Cubs would have to shut down one of their two DSL teams (the Cubs don't have enough Dominican players to stock two DSL teams without having the 20 Venezuelan players also playing in the DSL, and not even the wealthy Yankees operate two DSL teams and one VSL team), and so given the choice between operating one DSL team and one VSL team or two DSL teams and no VSL team, the Cubs have chosen to consolidate their operations at Boca Chica and operate two DSL teams. The Cubs also have a new Dominican Academy at Boca Chica, and so they prefer to use it for all of their Latin Amertican minor league operations.

The Cubs have had co-op teams in the VSL (first with the Rockies, and then later with the Twins) at various times over the past few years, but it just did not work out for either team.

Personally, I would prefer one DSL team and one VSL team, because although the Cubs do scout Venezuela fairly well, having an academy and a VSL team in Venezuela should make it easier to sign Venezuelan prospects, and there are lot of good young players in Venezuela.

Having to listen to Buck and McCarver call a game is torture. Forget waterboarding, make al Qaeda listen to this crap.

Haha

amen...

our long national nightmare is over.

and a nice day for Byrd

Byrd was the anti-Holliday.

And there goes the last meaningful game a Cub will play in all year. Glad Byrd took advantage.

I don't know what you're talking about. Come October that home field advantage in the World Series is going to be HUGE for the Cubs...

best throw he's made all year btw.

surprised he didn't dive for it :)

nice...

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