Cubs Clip Angel Wings at Fitch Park
Six pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter, and the Cubs scored once in the 6th to break a 1-1 tie and take the lead and two more insurance runs in the 7th to provide the final margin of victory, defeating the Angels 4-1 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning against Cubs starter Charles Thomas, as Matt Long lined an RBI triple into the RF corner.
The Halos only other hit was a two-out single in the top of the 5th, as Cub relievers combined to retire 11 of the last 12 Angel hitters they faced.
The Cubs tied it up in the bottom of the 2nd on a Jeffrey Baez sacrifice fly, following a lead-off walk to Micah Gibbs and consecutive singles by Neftali Rosario and Justin Marra.
The game remained 1-1 going into the bottom of the 6th inning, when Rubi Silva led-off with a line-drive single over the 2nd baseman’s head, stole 2nd base, and then came around to score on a Rafael Lopez RBI single.
The Cubs scored their final two runs of the day in the bottom of the 7th, as Neftali Rosario reached base on an E-5 to open the inning, and after advancing to 3rd base on a stolen base plus an E-2 overthrow at 2nd base, scored when Trey Martin crushed a two-out RBI double over the centerfielder’s head. And then Carlos Penalver came through with another two-out RBI hit (a single to CF) to plate Martin from 2nd base with the game’s final run.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Rubi Silva, 2B: 1-3 (L-8, BB, 1B, F-7, R, SB, CS)
2. Zeke DeVoss, LF: 1-4 (1B, K, K, 4-3, CS)
3a. Rafael Lopez, C: 1-1 (BB, BB, 1B, RBI)
3b. Garrett Schlecht, PR-DH: NO AB
3c. Dan Vogelbach, PH: 0-1 (4-3)
4a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
4b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-1 (K)
5. Micah Gibbs, 1B: 0-2 (BB, F-7, 4-3, R)
6. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, K, E-5, R, SB)
7. Justin Marra, DH-C: 1-3 (1B, P-5, F-8, RBI)
8. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-2 (F-8 SF, P-3, K, RBI)
9. Trey Martin, CF: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 2B, R, RBI)
10. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B, RBI)
1. Charles Thomas: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 34 pitches (23 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (6 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Luis Liria: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 41 pitches (22 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
4. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 12 pitches (6 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Frank Del Valle: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 18 pitches (14 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
6. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Rafael Lopez: 1-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 70’s
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.
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