Dillon Maples Has Wild Pro Debut at Fitch
Reggie Golden smacked a bases-clearing three-run double into the LF corner with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, and Rubi Silva and Dustin Geiger collected three hits apiece, as the Cubs defeated the Rockies 8-4 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa
Making his pro debut, 19-year old RHP Dillon Maples got the start for the Cubs, but was unable to complete even one inning thanks to a bout with wildness. After striking out the first man he faced with a nasty breaking ball, Maples walked the bases loaded on 13 pitches, and then allowed a bloop RBI single to RF as the Rockies took a 1-0 lead. Maples then got the ground ball he wanted, but it wasn’t hit hard enough to turn two, so another run scored.
By that point Maples had reached his pitch limit, and so he was pulled from the game with two outs and runners at 1st & 3rd. For the day, Maples threw a total of 25 pitches, but only nine strikes.
RHP Dustin Fitzgerald relieved Maples and got the final out of the inning on a strikeout (swinging).
Although he was the Cubs 14th round pick in the 2011 June draft, Maples was rated as one of the top HS pitching prospects in the country. He fell to the 14th round only because he was considered virtually “unsignable” due to a strong commitment to attend the U. of North Carolina (where he would have been the punter on the UNC football team and the "Friday night starter" on the Tar Heel baseball team). But the Cubs enticed Maples to give up his college dream with a reported $2.5M signing bonus (equivalent to “1st round money”).
Down 2-0, the Cubs scored once in the bottom of the 2nd as Dustin Geiger rapped the first of his three hits (a single), stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a throwing error, and scored on a Jeffrey Baez 4-3 GO.
Reggie Golden put the Cubs ahead to stay in the 3rd with his two out bases-loaded three-run line-drive double into the LF corner, scoring Carlos Penalver (who had singled leading off the inning), Shawon Dunston, Jr (who had drawn a two-out walk), and Dan Vogelbach (who drew a two-out walk to load the bases).
The Cubs scored twice more in the 5th as Rubi Silva led off with a single, and scored on an RBI double off the left-centerfield fence (near HR) by fellow Cuban defector Yaniel Cabezas. Dustin Geiger then drove Cabezas home with a two-out line-drive single to left.
The Cubs scored again in the the bottom of the 6th, as Rubi Silva blasted a two out triple into the right-centerfield alley, scoring Carlos Penalver (who had singled in front of Silva) from 1st base, and then they plated their final run in the bottom of the 8th when Dustin Geiger and Jeffrey Baez doubled (Geiger had to hold up at 3rd base because he went back to 2nd base to tag-up) and then Geiger scored on a Penalver 5-3 GO.
It should be noted that five of the Cubs eight RBI came with two outs, and it is also noteworthy that Rubi Silva got all three of his hits (two singles and a triple) and Dan Vogelbach drew all three of his walks off LHPs. (Both Silva and Vogelbach are LH hitters).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, 2B: 3-5 (1B, P-2, 1B, 3B, K, R, RBI)
2. Yaniel Cabezas, DH-C: 1-4 (F-9, K, 2B, F-8, R, RBI)
3. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 0-3 (F-8, BB, P-1, K, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-1 (BB, BB, BB, K, R)
5. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 1-4 (K, 2B, P-6, K, 3 RBI)
6. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 3-4 (1B, L-7, 1B, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB)
7a. Neftali Rosario, C-DH: 0-3 (K, L-7, K)
7b. Micah Gibbs, PH: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Jeffrey Baez, LF: 1-3 (4-3, BB, K, 2B, RBI)
9. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-2 (2-3, BB, K, BB)
10. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-4 (1B, P-4, 1B, 5-3, 2 R, RBI)
1. Dillon Maples: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (9 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
2. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 14 pitches (11 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 40 pitches (21 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
4. Frank Del Valle: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 43 pitches (27 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Andrew McKirahan: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 24 pitches (19 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3B Dustin Geiger - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
1. Neftali Rosario: 1-2 CS, 1 PB
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 1 PO
WEATHER: Overcast with high winds & blowing dust, with temperatures in the 80’s