Billy Petrick Back on Hill
Brad Boyer put the Giants on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th and the Cubs were held to just three singles, as the Giants shutout the Cubs 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this afternoon.
RHP Billy Petrick, hampered by shoulder weakness since the start of Spring Training and on the Daytona Cubs DL since the end of May, got the start for the Cubs today, and he looked OK. He was removed with one out in the bottom of the 2nd inning after throwing 20 pitches (15 strikes), during which time he allowed one hit (a harmless single) and no walks, with one strikeout, a pop-up, and two ground outs.
Whether Petrick remains on the 40-man roster or gets outrighted to the minors remains to be seen, but I would think how he throws at Instructs will help the Cubs make that determination.
The Cubs bats were quiet today, so there really isn't much I can say about the offense except it needed a wake-up call but didn't get one.
Here is today's box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, RF: 0-4
2. Starlin Castro, SS: 0-3
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-3
4. Brandon Guyer, CF: 0-2 (2 K, HBP)
5. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 0-3
6. Jake Opitz, 2B: 2-3
7. Michael Brenly, DH #1: 0-3 (K)
8. Junior Lake, LF: 0-3 (K)
9. Juan Medina, C-DH: 0-2 (HBP)
10. Matt Cerda, DH-C: 1-3
1. Billy Petrick: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/1 GO/FO) - 20 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Luke Sommer - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP (2/2 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Tommy Mejia - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (3/3 GO/FO) - 22 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Andres Quezada - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR (1/1 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Diego Encarnacion - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR (1/2 GO/FO) - 28 pitches (18 strikes)
Junior Lake threw out batter 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double.
WEATHER: Hot, cloudless, with only a very slight breeze
ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts)
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
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!