Angels Late Rally Flips Cubs at Fitch

Welington Castillo reached base five times on three walks, a single, and a double, but the AZL Angels rallied to score three runs in the 9th and one in the 10th to edge the AZLCubs 8-7 in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

box score

On the Iowa Cubs DL since July 28th with a hamstring injury and now rehabbing at Fitch Park, W. Castillo was scheduled to rejoin the Iowa Cubs today in Tacoma, but since the I-Cubs have the day off and don't play again until Friday night, Castillo was kept at Fitch Park for one more day to get him some additional game action as a DH before flying to SeaTac and rejoining the Iowa club.

Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson got the start today, and threw one inning (21 pitches - 15 strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple), with two strikeouts, and one pick-off.

While it might appear that Simpson had a bad outing, he actually looked OK. He threw his fastball consistently for strikes, and both of his strikeouts came on his curve ball (which he is now throwing in games again). The double was a high chopper that bounced off the rock-hard dirt in front of home plate and up & over the head of third-baseman Gioskar Amaya and down the LF line, the RBI triple was a grounder that bounced over the 1st base bag and rolled into the RF corner, and the RBI single was a broken bat blooper into short right-center. Why he was limited to throwing just one inning (and 21 pitches), I do not know.

Recently demoted from Boise to Mesa, LHP Cam Greathouse (Cubs 2010 8th round draft pick out of Gulf Coast CC) followed Simpson to the mound and threw three innings (45 pitches - but only 23 strikes). He allowed one run on one hit and two walks, with two strikeouts, and he benefitted from two timely double plays turned by the Cubs infield that killed Angel threats. But Greathouse was all over the place with his pitches, throwing some in the dirt, some too far outside, some too far inside, and a couple over the batter's head. It's pretty obvious that he has good stuff (especially his curve), but he has a tendency to get out of whack where he can't throw his fastball for strikes.

Besides Castillo reaching base five times, speedy lead-off man Kyung-Min Na had three infield singles (he beat the shortstop's throw to 1st each time) and two stolen bases, and catcher Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round pick out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) crushed an RBI double off the RF fence in his 1st AB, walked and scored his second time up, and singled in his third PA, while handling himself very well behind the plate.

SS Marco Hernandez went 0-5, ending his hitting streak at 16 games.

And RF Eduardo Gonzalez had to leave the game after being hit on the wrist with a pitch. He initially stayed in the game, running the bases and playing defense the next half-inning, but then he was pulled for a PH in his next AB (the inning after he was hit).

Comments

Vitters with a walk-off single driving in Wright from second, making the final score Smokies 8, Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) 7.

ArizonaPhil - is Na, or anyone else in the organization, as fast as Campana?

Submitted by DavidP on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 9:35pm.

ArizonaPhil - is Na, or anyone else in the organization, as fast as Campana?

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

DAVID P: Nobody presently in the Cubs organization that I have seen is as fast as Tony Campana.

Hak-Ju Lee was #2 before he got traded, but now Kyung-Min Na and Evan Crawford are probably tied for #2, with Na faster in shorts bursts like home-to-1st (because he is a left-handed hitting chop hitter who cheats out of the box), while Crawford is a right-handed hitting long-strider who appears to gain speed as he runs around the bases, like he's on the back leg of a 440-relay team.

Junior Lake, Pin-Chieh Chen, Matt Szczur, Brett Jackson, and Zeke DeVoss are others who have plus-speed.

Tennessee catcher Luis Flores has been suspended 50 games for a PED violation.

Flores is automatically placed on the Restricted List by MLB, and remains there until Tennessee has played 50 regular season games. As a result, the suspension will continue (and Flores will remain on the Restricted List) into next season, until all 50 games have been played.

Interestingly, because Flores is on the Restricted List and will remain on the list throughout the off-season, he cannot be selected in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft, and so the Cubs don't have to worry about losing him (not that that was likely to happen, but Flores was a candidate to play in the AFL post-2011, and a good showing there might have made him attractive to another club).

This means Flores will spend March at Minor League Camp, and then probably the month of April at Extended Spring Training, where (believe it or not) he will be able to play in games (for the EXST Cubs) even though he is on the Restricted List.

Flores had a nice 2011 season going, too, and was probably the front-runner to be the #1 catcher at Tennessee next season (with Michael Brenly the back-up). Now Flores will have to battle to regain his standing in the organization once he finishes serving his suspension.

AZ Phil -- What do the Cubs have going on in Arizona in September and October? I have a chance to come out to the Phoenix area around then and would like to catch a game and see some of our prospects.

I know there is the Arizona Fall League (not sure what dates they start playing) but don't the Cubs also have something going on in Mesa after the AZL Cubs season ends on August 28 and before the AZ Fall League starts? I just can't recall right now.

(edit)

Ah! The AZ Instructional League! That's what I was thinking about. Do you know the beginning and ending dates (even if just approximate) for the Az Instr League and the AZ Fall League?

JOE P: The AZ Instructional League runs approximately September 15-October 15, and the Arizona Fall League runs approximately October 1-November 15.

I haven't seen any schedules yet.

Thanks!

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  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 36 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 5 hours 51 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 5 hours 53 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 12 hours 47 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 12 hours 52 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 13 hours 7 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 13 hours 10 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 13 hours 14 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 13 hours 20 min ago view