Penalver Is Mightier Than the Sword

Carlos Penalver had three hits, drove-in a run, and stole a base, and Rock Shoulders and Yasiel Balaguert hammered RBI doubles, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #1 ("Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-4 (1B, F-8, P-6, 1-3 SH, F-9)
2a. Pierre LePage, 2B: 1-3 (6-4-3 DP, 1B, E-6, 2 R)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-1 (BB, E-6, R)
3. Javier Baez, DH #1: 0-5 (K, K, K, E-5, P-6)
4a. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-3 (E-5, 1B, E-6, HBP, R, RBI)
4b. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-1 (2B, RBI)
5. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-5 (4-6 FC, 4-6-3 DP, 2B, 6-3, F-8, R, RBI)
6a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, 4-3)
6b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-1 (K)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 3-4 (5-3, 1B, 1B, 1B, RBI, SB)
8. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 1-2 (BB, HBP, 4-3, 1B)
9. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-3 (3-6 DP, K, HBP, L-1 DP)
10a. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (1B, P-3, 4-6 FC, R)
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Tayler Scott: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
2. Brian Smith: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 32 pitches (16 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Jin-Young Kim: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 33 pitches (21 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

CUBS ERRORS: 1
2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 24

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s

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Comments

A couple of humbling games, I see, recently, for Mr. I'll Do What I Want.

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 6:36pm — Old and Blue

A couple of humbling games, I see, recently, for Mr. I'll Do What I Want.

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O&B: 0-13 with six K and three errors since hitting for the cycle on Monday.

Hey Phil; has there been any moves with players being assigned from EXST in the last week or so? The line-ups and pitching rotations would appear that not all players are getting game day, Or at least not as often. The pitching Rotations are quite varied for sure.

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 9:44pm — Desertdog12

Hey Phil; has there been any moves with players being assigned from EXST in the last week or so? The line-ups and pitching rotations would appear that not all players are getting game day, Or at least not as often. The pitching Rotations are quite varied for sure.

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D-DOG: LHP Sheldon McDonald was moved up to Iowa yesterday, C Anthony Giansanti (facial fracture), C Wilfredo Petit (shoulder), and OF Jeffery Baez (left wrist) went inactive over the past few days, and 2B Pierre LePage (hamstring rehab) is active and is playing in EXST games.

If you look at the pitchers, they do follow a schedule, at least as far as when the starters are scheduled to pitch in a game. For example, Ian Dickson is due to start on Monday, and if the Cubs play two games on Monday, the starting pitchers would very likely be Dickson and either Starling Peralta or James Pugliese.

Thanks for the update Phil - it was / is the middle relief pitchers I was referring to, you are bang on with the starters they have been throwing. Checked on the move for LHP McDonald and it appears he has been re-assigned back? Or am I not reading the transaction report right?

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 10:43pm — Desertdog12
Re: Penalver Is Mightier Than the Sword
Thanks for the update Phil - it was / is the middle relief pitchers I was referring to, you are bang on with the starters they have been throwing. Checked on the move for LHP McDonald and it appears he has been re-assigned back? Or am I not reading the transaction report right?

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D-DOG: Sheldon McDonald was apparently moved up to AAA Iowa while they were in Albuquerque (since Mesa is the closest Cub outpost to New Mexico), but he was returned to EXST yesterday when the I-Cubs returned home (and Ty Wright and Frank Batista were subsequently moved up to Iowa from Tennessee).

If McDonald has arrived back in Arizona (and I would think he has), he probably will throw in an EXST game tomorow.

Hey Phil,

It seems like Mark Malave has been holding his own down in extended, though mostly singles and walks. What are his stats like and do you think he'll stay in Mesa this summer rather than return to the DSL?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:28am — Raisin101

Hey Phil,

It seems like Mark Malave has been holding his own down in extended, though mostly singles and walks. What are his stats like and do you think he'll stay in Mesa this summer rather than return to the DSL?

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RAISIN: Mark Malave has indeed held his own at the plate and at 3B (so far). He is hitting 273/333/273 in six games, mostly as a late-inning replacement. He has played ONLY 3B, and I have not seen him wearing catchers gear at all.

I would think that he likely will play for the AZL Cubs this year, unless the Cubs decide to keep Jeimer Candelario at AZL Cubs and want to max Malave's game reps at 3B, in which case he could get sent to the DSL just for that reason.

But it wouldn't be because he isn't ready for the AZL.

Figuring that Gerardo Concepcion, Frank del Valle, Starling Peralta, Rob Whitenack, and Pierre LePage will move up to Peoria or Daytona before the conclusion of Extended Spring Training, if you take the EXST Cubs roster as it presently stands (players on Active List plus rehab guys likely to get assigned to Boise or AZL Cubs once they are active) and divide the squad up into two teams (Boise and AZL Cubs), right now the two rosters would probably look like this:

* bats or throws left
# bats both

BOISE:

PITCHERS:
* Hunter Ackerman
Ian Dickson
Ramon Garcia
Ryan Hartman
Su-Min Jung
Jin-Young Kim
Pete Levitt
Carlos Martinez
* Sheldon McDonald
Roderik Pichardo
James Pugliese
* Brian Smith
Charles Thomas

CATCHERS:
Yaniel Cabezas
Wilson Contreras
Anthony Giansanti

INFIELDERS:
Gioskar Amaya
Javier Baez
Jair Bogaerts
# Jeimer Candelario
* Brian Inoa
# Rock Shoulders
* Dan Vogelbach

OUTFIELDERS:
Yasiel Balaguert
Xavier Batista
Dong-Yub Kim
Trey Martin

AZL CUBS (MESA)

PITCHERS:
Jose Arias
Rafael Diplan
Ethan Elias
David Henrie
Arturo Maltos-Garcia
Dillon Maples
Amaury Paulino
Felix Pena
Tayler Scott
* Matt Spencer (ex-OF)
Austin Urban

CATCHERS:
* Justin Marra
* Alberto Mineo
* Wilfredo Petit
Neftali Rosario

INFIELDERS:
Luis Acosta
* Trevor Gretzky
* Danny Lockhart
# Mark Malave
Carlos Penalver

OUTFIELDERS:
* Delbis Arcila
Jeffrey Baez
* Shawon Dunston Jr
# Kevin Encarnacion
* Garrett Schlecht

I would think some players presently at EXST will get released prior to the start of the short season leagues, and there will probably be a few additional players moved up to Mesa from the Dominican Academy, too. And then of course players who sign after being selected in the Rule 4 Draft and NDFAs who are signed after the draft will initially be assigned to AZL Cubs before either remaining in Mesa or moving up to Boise.

Keep in mind that players who sign after July 1st (including players who get selected in the 2012 MLB Rule 4 Draft, players who are eligible for selection in the draft but aren't drafted, and international free-agents signed after the start of the 2012 International Signing Period) can be "Signed for Future Service," meaning that they sign a 2013 contract and thus cannot be placed on an active list in 2012, although they can participate in AZ Instructs post-2012 and can attend Minor League Camp in 2013.

The following are the 29 players the Cubs "Signed for Future Service" last year (7/1 - 12/31):

SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE (2012 CONTRACT):
Luis Acosta, SS (DR - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
# Roney Alcala, INF
Manuel Asencio, P
Yasiel Balaguert, OF (CUBAN DEFECTOR - age 19)
Leugim Barroso, SS (CUBAN DEFECTOR - age 26)
NOTE: Barroso was released at the end of Minor League Camp
* Alfredo Belizaire, P
Pedro Brazoban, P
# Roberto Caro, OF
Ian Dickson, P
Rafael Diaz, P
* Shawon Dunston Jr, OF
Ricardo Estevez, P (CUBAN DEFECTOR - age 27)
* Frailyn Figueroa, P (DR - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
David Henrie, P
Jeffrey Hernandez, P (DR - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
# Mark Malave, 3B (VZ - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
Dillon Maples, P
* Ricardo Marcano, 3B (VZ - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
* Justin Marra, C
Carlos Martinez, P (CUBAN DEFECTOR - age 20)
Jose Morel, P (DR - 16-year old DR signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
Adonis Paula, INF
* Jose Paulino, P (DR - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
Jesus Pereyra, P
* Christopher Pieters, P (CURACAO - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
* Carlos Ramirez, C
* Carlos Rodriguez, P (VZ - 16-year old signed during 2011 International Signing Period)
Shamiel Ubiera, OF
Austin Urban, P
NOTE: A player “SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE” means the player signed a 2012 contract after 7-1-2011 and the player was not assigned to a minor league reserve list or active roster in 2011. (Post-season Instructional League activity is exempt). Players who were ”SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE” must be added to a minor league reserve list by Opening Day 2012.

I'm curious why you have Arias heading back to Arizona for a 3rd go-around. Gut-feeling?

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 12:55pm — toonsterwu

I'm curious why you have Arias heading back to Arizona for a 3rd go-around. Gut-feeling?

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TOONSTER: You might have Jose Arias mixed-up with somebody else. He made his U. S. debut at AZ Instructs last fall, and has not yet pitched in the AZL.

Ah, nvm. I forgot that DSL is also listed as (R) on fangraphs.

Is Arias a legit 6'5" 220. Odd, I had thought he was a bit less than that.

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 1:13pm — toonsterwu

Ah, nvm. I forgot that DSL is also listed as (R) on fangraphs.

Is Arias a legit 6'5" 220. Odd, I had thought he was a bit less than that.

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TOONSTER: 6'5 220 describes him to a "T"

BTW, Jose Arias was considered by the Cubs to be their #1 pitching prospect at DSL last year.

That's a fantastic breakdown. Thank you.

Hey AZ Phil,

I know he's not in Arizona right now, but I wonder if, based off of what you've seen of him at different times, you have any thoughts on Kyler Burke, how quickly he might move through the system, and what kind of ceiling and what kind of floor he has. He, McNutt and Whitenack seem like the most intriguing rotation arms the Cubs have in the minors, but we rarely hear much of anything about Burke from professional commentators.

Thanks, as always! I'm enjoying checking in on Baez, Vogelbach, Candelario and the rest of the gang this season. Great to have quality prospects in two places where TCR has eyes and ears (Arizona and Iowa).

Sun, 04/22/2012 - 7:38pm — Charlie

Hey AZ Phil,

I know he's not in Arizona right now, but I wonder if, based off of what you've seen of him at different times, you have any thoughts on Kyler Burke, how quickly he might move through the system, and what kind of ceiling and what kind of floor he has. He, McNutt and Whitenack seem like the most intriguing rotation arms the Cubs have in the minors, but we rarely hear much of anything about Burke from professional commentators.

Thanks, as always! I'm enjoying checking in on Baez, Vogelbach, Candelario and the rest of the gang this season. Great to have quality prospects in two places where TCR has eyes and ears (Arizona and Iowa).

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CHARLIE: I had Kyler Burke rated in my Cubs Top 15 Prospects post-2011.

He throws a 92-94 MPH fastball, a plus-curve, and a solid change-up, and he's working on a slider.

I would project him as an MLB mid-rotation starter or #1 lefty reliever (and NOT a LOOGY, either, but a Sean Marshall-type reliever who just happens to be a LHP).

As I've mentioned before, Kyler Burke is eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (6YFA) post-2012, so the Cubs need to make sure to add him to their MLB 40-man roster no later than 5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series. Otherwise, he can just walk away.

Again, this is NOT the typical situation where you risk losing a prospect in the Rule 5 Draft if you don't add him to the MLB 40-man roster, but even if you don't add him to the 40 and he gets drafted, you still might get him back. Burke can be a FA.

Same goes for Blake Parker, BTW.

also...what exactly does Blake Parker have to do to get a shot in Chicago?

Thanks Phil! Sounds like he'll be on the 40-man soon, and, as we've seen, once that's the case a guy could appear in the majors at any time. I hope they hold out hope that he will make it in the rotation. He's so much more interesting there.

particularly because we really don't have any intriguing lefty starters in the ... entire system. Okay, that's a bit harsh, but with Antigua in the pen, Cruz struggling with consistency, and Del Valle in XST, that leaves guys that look like end of the rotation options at best.

I'd really like to see Burke off the Wells piggyback, perhaps given the Cruz "slot", and get a bigger workload. Cruz can still get in enough innings for development as a piggyback to someone, Wells perhaps.

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