Cubs Draw Blanks at Indian School Park
Six pitchers combined to throw a five-hit shutout with ten strikeouts, as the Giants blanked the Cubs 4-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this afternoon.
Lanky 6’5 20-year old RHP David Henrie (2011 NDFA – Trinidad State JC) made his pro debut for the Cubs today, getting the start and throwing one inning. He allowed one run on a walk and two singles, and struck out one (the first man he faced, on three pitches). The Cubs signed Henrie last month after watching him pitch for the Arvada Colts in the Rocky Mountain Baseball League (a collegiate summer "wood bat" league) and a subsequent work-out for Cubs scouts at Fitch Park on August 15th.
Also making his pro debut today for the Cubs was 16-year old Venezuelan switch-hitting catcher Mark Malave. One of the top-rated 16-year old International players available at the start of the International Signing Period, Malave received a reported $1.6M bonus (equivalent to “1st round money”) this past July. He is a big dude (6'3), a typical catcher, bottom-heavy and barrel-chested. He was a DH today, and went 0-3 with two strikeouts (both swinging) and a 1-3 tap-out. He looked over-matched at the plate, but you have to remember he is the same age as a HS junior in the U. S. (he won’t turn 17 until next year).
21-year old RHRP Tony Zych (Cubs 2011 4th round draft pick out of the U. of Louisville) pitched the 6th inning. He came out firing high-velocity gas and a sharp-breaking slider, and had an easy eight-pitch 1-2-3 inning with lots of swings & misses and two strikeouts. I wouldn't be surprised if Zych ends up on the same track in 2012 as Kevin Rhoderick and Aaron Kurcz this past season, starting the year at Daytona.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, LF: 1-3 (1B, 1-3, P-1, PO)
2. Javier Baez, SS: 1-3 (F-8, K, 1B)
3. Rafael Lopez, DH #1: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, 4-3)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
5a. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-2 (K, L-4)
5b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (K)
6a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-1 (1B, HBP, CS)
6b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-1 (1B)
7. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 0-2 (F-7, 2-3 SH, L-5)
8. Mark Malave, DH #2: 0-3 (K, 1-3, K)
9. Carlos Penalver, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, K, F-9)
10. Neftali Rosario, DH-C: 0-2 (K, F-7)
11. Justin Marra, C-DH: 1-2 (K, 1B)
1. David Henrie: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 23 pitches (16 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
2. Charles Thomas: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. Felix Pena: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 BALK, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 8 pitches (7 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Jose Rosario: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches (16 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
1. 2B Carlos Penalver - E4 (errant throw at 1st base on single allowed batter-runner to advance to 2nd base)
2. RF Reggie Golden - E9 (dropped line drive allowing batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Javier Baez - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
CHILDERS: Dylan Cease and Bryan Hudson are probably the Cubs 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'sslider), but has trouble commanding his stuff.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17, and his fastbball 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.
For some reason