Angels Fly Away with Shutout at Fitch Park
Michael Bolaski slugged a 450-ft+ two-run HR over the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”) and five EXST Angels pitchers combined to throw a seven-hit shutout, as the EXST Cubs were blanked 3-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.
Continuing his injury rehab assignment, RHP Todd Wellemeyer got the start for the Cubs today and threw three innings (42 pitches). He allowed one run on four hits (three singles and a double) and a HBP, issuing no walks, while striking out three. The only run allowed by Wellemeyer scored in the top of the 2nd inning (lead-off double, ground out, and a sacrifice fly).
After struggling with the AZL Cubs in 2010 (8.22 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, and .311 Opp BA in 15.1 IP), AZ Instructional League post-2010 (8.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and .381 Opp BA in 9.0 IP), and Minor League Camp and the first two weeks of Extended Spring Training in 2011, Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman (Louisburg JC) had what was probably his best pro outing to date today, throwing 2.2 IP of shutout ball, and allowing just one hit and a walk, while striking out five.
While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke, RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas, and RHP Larry Suarez (injury rehab - unknown type injury) threw “live” BP to the most of the Cubs position players who were not in the lineup on Field #3.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: To practice his bunting, Todd Wellemeyer took an insert-AB with no outs and a runner at 1st base in the top of the 1st inning
X. Todd Wellemeyer, P: 0-0 (2-4 SH)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, 1-3, K)
2. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (5-U FC, K, K, CS)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (P-4, K, 3-U)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, F-8)
5a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3)
5b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (F-7)
6. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 1B)
7. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (L-8, 6-3, 5-4-3 DP)
8. Max Kwan, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, K)
9. Dustin Harrington, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, CS)
10. Eduardo Gonzalez, CF: 1-3 (K-DP, L-7, 1B)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1st TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Gregori Gonzalez, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, 6-4 FC, CS)
1. Todd Wellemeyer: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 42 pitches (29 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Zeller’s first inning of work was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning
Chad Noble: 2-3 CS
Chad Noble was thrown out at 3rd base (made the third out at 3rd base) trying to stretch a double into a triple
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy 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.