Geo Back in Action at Fitch Park
On an injury rehab assignment in Mesa, AZ, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto went hitless in five plate appearances this morning in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played at Fitch Park.
Soto, who was seeing his first game action in two weeks after suffering a groin strain in a game on May 10th, was the starting catcher and got five at bats in the game played on Field #2 (there was another game played simultaneously on Field #3), batting third in each of the first five innings. He looked a bit rusty at the plate, bouncing out 5-3 in the 1st inning, popping out to the first-baseman in foul territory in the 2nd, flying out to the warning track in CF in the 3rd, getting called out on strikes in the 4th, and striking out swinging in the bottom of the 5th. Also two Rockies base-runners stole 2nd base while Soto was behind the plate.
As far as the games were concerned, one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Rockies played to a 1-1 tie on Field #2, while the other squad of Rockies defeated the other squad of Cubs 5-2 on Field #3.
The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.
Here are the abridged box scores from today’s games (Cubs players only)
NOTE: Geovany Soto batted third in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
X. Geovany Soto, C: 0-5 (5-3, P-3, F-8, K, K)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 1-3 (K, 3B, K, R)
2. Gregori Gonzalez, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, P-3, RBI)
3a. Jesus Morelli, DH: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
3b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (F-9)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
6. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, 4-6 FC)
7. Max Kwan, 1B: 0-2 (F-8, F-9)
8. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (K, P-4)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Willengton Cruz: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 60 pitches (41 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 23 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Larry Suarez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Gregori Gonzalez - E4 (missed catch allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely on what should have been a 5-4 FC)
SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Geovany Soto: 0-2 CS
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS
SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, CF: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, K, R)
2. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 3-U, 4-3)
3. Brian Inoa, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, L-4)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, L-3)
5. Rafael Valdes, SS: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 1-3)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 0-3 (5-3, 4-3, 5-3)
7. Dustin Geiger, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-7)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-2 (1B, E-6, R, SB)
10. Carlos Romero, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Joe Zeller: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 65 pitches (43 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Manolin DeLeon: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 1
3B Brandon May - E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Brian Inoa: 1-2 CS, 2 PB
WEATHER: Sunny 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.