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
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
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.
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.