Rawhide Keeps Them Doggies Movin' at Fitch Park
Dan Vogelbach and Dustin Geiger slugged back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, and the Chiefs had the tying and winning runs in scoring position with no outs in the bottom of the 9th but could not score, as the South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks Full-Season Class-A affiliate) rode a two-run Jimmy Comerota triple and took advantage of four errors, holding-on to edge Peoria 6-5 on Field #2, while over on Field #3, Ryan Cuneo crashed a three-run home run in the 3rd to stake the Cubs to an early 4-1 lead, but the Visalia Rawhide (D’backs Advanced Class-A affiliate) rallied for two runs in the 8th and three more in the 9th to defeat Daytona 7-5, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
While the Daytona Cubs and Peoria Chiefs were in action at Fitch Park, the AAA Iowa Cubs and AA Tennessee Smokies traveled up the Loop 101 Freeway to play the Arizona Diamondbacks AAA Reno Aces and AA Mobile BayBears squads at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort.
Moved down from the Daytona squad to the Peoria squad prior to the game, Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson got the start for Peoria on Fitch Park Field #2, throwing 2-2/3 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (three singles and two triples) before reaching his pre-planned pitch limit (30). He struck out two and did not issue any walks. His curve ball and change-up were fairly effective, but his fastball was hit hard by several of the Silver Hawks hitters.
Peoria trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, but after Jeimer Candelario drew a lead-off walk, Dan Vogelbach crushed his home run over the RF fence and onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street. Dustin Geiger followed the Vogel-Bomb with his own dinger, launching the solo shot beyond the LF fence and onto Center Street.
The Chiefs had a golden opportunity to tie or win the game in the bottom of the 9th, as catcher (ex-3B) Wilson Contreras laced a lead-off double into the LF corner, and advanced to 3rd base on a Shawon Dunston, Jr line-single to center. Dunston moved up a base on a wild pitch (still with no outs), but Delbis Arcila tapped back to the mound, and Jeimer Candelario and Yasiel Balaguert struck out swinging to extinguish the rally-flame.
Meanwhile over on Field #3, RHP A. J. Morris got the start for the Daytona Cubs and threw one shutout inning (10 pitches - 9 strikes). That might not seem like much, but is is significant because Morris missed the entire 2011 season rehabbing from post-2010 shoulder surgery. (The Cubs obtained Morris from the Washington Nationals in the January 2011 Tom Gorzelanny deal, and they must have thought pretty highly of him at the time, because they acquired him despite knowing that he had just undergone shoulder surgery).
After Morris threw his shutout inning, the D-Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 1st on the strength of a Reggie Golden two-out RBI single that drove-home Pin-Chieh Chen (who drew a walk leading-off the inning, before moving up to 2nd base on a stolen base and to 3rd on a ground out), and then plated three more in the bottom of the 3rd on the Ryan Cuneo three-run HR over the right-centerfield fence.
The D-Cubs held a 4-2 lead after seven, but two pitchers up from the Boise/Mesa squad (Ian Dickson and Tayler Scott) surrendered five runs between them over the last two innings.
Like Peoria, Daytona got the tying runs on base in the bottom of the 9th, but Pin-Chieh Chen and Ronald Torreyes lined out, and 2011 NWL HR champ Paul Hoilman (like the Mighty Casey that he is) struck out (swinging) on three pitches to end the threat and the game.
There are five squads at Minor League Camp, but only four play games, so players assigned to the fifth squad (Boise/Mesa) are dispersed among the four teams that were in action today. (Boise/Mesa will morph into the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad next month).
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
1a. Trey Martin, CF: 2-3 (1B, 1-3, 2B, R, RBI)
1b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-1 (HBP, 1B)
2a. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3, RBI, SB)
2b. Delbis Arcila, LF: 0-2 (K, 1-2 FC)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-4 (3-2 DP, K, P-5, BB, K, R, SB)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-5 (6-3, 6-3, K, K, K)
5. Dan Vogelbach, DH: 1-4 (K, 5-3, 6-3, HR, R, 2 RBI)
6a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-2 (P-5, F-7)
6b. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)
7a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-1 (BB, 3-U)
7b. Javier Baez, SS: 1-2 (P-4, 1B, CS)
8a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, R)
8b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (K, 3-1)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (L-6, 1B)
9b. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-1 (BB, 2B)
1. Hayden Simpson: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 30 pitches (24 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
2. Yao-Lin Wang: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Sheldon McDonald: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (12 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 21 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
6. Felix Pena: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
PEORIA ERRORS: 4
1. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E5 (errant throw with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. SS Danny Lockhart - E6 (fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
3. C Wilson Contreras - E2 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner on 1st base to advance to 2nd base and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
4. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 0-4 (BB, K, F-8, F-7, L-5, R, SB)
2a. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B: 0-2 (K, BB, 3-U, R)
2b. Ronald Torreyes, 2B: 1-2 (2B, L-4)
3a. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, HR, 3-U, R, 3 RBI)
3b. Paul Hoilman, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
4a. Reggie Golden, DH: 1-3 (1B, 2-3, K, RBI)
4b. Brian Inoa, PH: 0-1 (P-4)
5a. Ben Klafczynski, LF: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, 6-3)
5b. Mayke Reyes, LF: 0-1 (F-8)
6a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 0-2 (5-3, 6-3)
6b. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-2 (1B, F-8)
7a. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 6-4 FC)
7b. Luis Acosta, SS: 0-0 (BB, R)
8a. Wes Darvill, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, L-6, PO)
8b. Kenny Socorro, 3B: 1-1 (1B)
9a. Blair Springfield, RF: 1-2 (HBP, 2B, 6-3, R, 2 SB)
9b. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
1. A. J. Morris: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Jose Rosario: 2.2 IP, 3 H 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 36 pitches (27 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Su-Min Jung: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (13 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Brett Wallach: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (13 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
5. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (13 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
6. Tayler Scott: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
DAYTONA ERRORS: NONE
DAYTONA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Sergio Burruel: 2-2 CS
WEATHER: Temperature in the low 80's, overcast, & VERY breezy (expecting rain tomorrow)
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
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.