Cubs Announce Minor League Staff Assignments
The Cubs have named their minor league & player development staff for 2011:
MINOR LEAGUE FIELD COORDINATOR:
MINOR LEAGUE COORDINATORS:
MINOR LEAGUE PITCHING COORDINATOR: Dennis Lewallyn
MINOR LEAGUE HITTING COORDINATOR: Tom Beyers
MINOR LEAGUE INFIELD & BUNTING INSTRUCTOR: Franklin Font
MINOR LEAGUE OUTFIELD & BASERUNNING INSTRUCTOR: Lee Tinsley
MINOR LEAGUE CATCHING INSTRUCTOR: Marty Pevey
LATIN AMERICAN FIELD COORDINATOR: Carmelo Martinez
Lee Tinsley, Brian Harper, Mariano Duncan, Marty Mason, Mark Johnson, and Jason Dubois are new additions to the Minor League Player Development staff, replacing 2010 Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins, Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller, and Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator Bob Dernier (who were appointed to Mike Quade's Cubs coaching staff), and 2010 Iowa Manager Ryne Sandberg, Daytona Hitting Coach Richie Zisk, and Boise Manager Jody Davis (who will not be returning).
Mark Johnson was a player-coach at Iowa in 2010, but served as a Game Manager at Instructs this past September-October.
Jason Dubois played for the Iowa Cubs last year and had been playing in Venezuela as recently as last month.
Brian Harper had a lengthy MLB playing career (most-notably with the 1991 World Champion Minnesota Twins) and had been a minor league manager and catching instructor with the Angels, before serving most-recently as the manager of the San Jose Giants in the San Francisco organization.
Lee Tinsley played five seasons in MLB in the 1990's with SEA, BOS, and PHI, and after his playing days were over he served as a Minor League Outfield Instructor with the Angels and a base coach with both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners.
After a lengthy MLB playing career where he played on three different World Champion teams (CIN. PHI, and NYY), Mariano Duncan spent the past five seasons as the 1st base coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Marty Mason was a long-time coach in the St. Louis organization, where he worked with new Cubs Pitching Coach Mark Riggins. He spent the last 10+ years as the Cardinals bullpen coach under Tony LaRussa.
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.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.