Spoon, Hair, and Grichuk Spell Doom for Cubs
Travis Witherspoon ripped an RBI double and Randal Grichuk slammed an RBI triple to highlight a four-run 3rd, and Trevor Hairgrove doubled twice and drove-in a run, leading the Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Dan Vogelbach and Jeffrey Baez provided most all of the Cub offense today, with Vogelbach reaching base three times on an RBI single and two walks, and Jeffrey Baez roping a bases-loaded two run double down the LF line.
The Cubs had other chances to score and cut the Angel lead at various points during the game, but inopportune DP balls and strikeouts deflated the Cubs hopes.
The AZIL Cubs continue to struggle offensively, what with some of the squad's best hitters (including Javier Baez, Taiwan Easterling, Dustin Geiger, Reggie Golden, and Rafael Lopez) sidelined with injuries.
Shawon Dunston, Jr did break his 1-26 slump with a 4th inning single, but he also dropped a line-drive in CF allowing an unearned run to score in the top of the 3rd.
The Cubs pitching and defense left a lot to be desired today, as the Angels collected three triples, three doubles, and five singles, and scored two unearned runs thanks to three Cub errors.
Worst outing of the day among the eight Cubs pitchers who took the mound was the one by 5'8 fireballin' RHP Tarlandus Mitchell, who managed to allow two runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the 6th. "T" walked the bases loaded and threw two wild pitches, hurling 25 pitches (but only seven strikes) in his one inning of work.
Mitchell was the Cubs 22nd round pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX in 2008, but he has yet to get past Boise. His four seasons in the Cubs organization have been tarnished by injuries, and bouts with wildness when he has been healthy.
RHP David Henrie (2011 NDFA - Trinidad State JC) also struggled, but in a different way. Henrie allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits (two doubles, a triple, and a single) in just 1.2 IP. He also allowed one inherited run to score (charged to Jose Rosario), and commited a fielding error that directly led to one unearned run scoring.
Best outings today were the innings thrown by LHP Frank Del Valle and RHP Tony Zych, but that's no surprise since Del Valle and Zych have been two of the best-looking pitchers so far at Instructs.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 1-2 (3-U, 1B, HBP, BB, R)
2. Trey Martin, LF: 1-4 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, F-7, 4-6-3 DP, R)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, E-1, BB, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-2 (1B, BB, BB, 3-6 FC, RBI, SB)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (K, K, 2B, 5-4 FC, 2 RBI)
6. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 1-3, F-7)
7a. Justin Marra, C: 0-2 (BB, F-8, F-7)
7b. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, K, K, BB)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (2-3 SH, P-4, BB, 4-3 DP)
10. Mark Malave, DH #2: 0-2 (K, 6-3, BB)
1. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K,14 pitches (9 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (15 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
3. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Frank Del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 25 pitches (7 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
6. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
7. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
8. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
1. P David Henrie - E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. CF Shawon Dunston, Jr - E-8 (missed catch with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score from 3rd base)
3. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
RF Jeffrey Baez - Batter thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double
ATTENDANCE: 23 (including Angels manager Mike Scioscia)
WEATHER: Sunny with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the 90’s
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
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!
So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?
And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.
I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.
What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?
Thanks as always for the info.