Diamondbacks Take Advantage of Cub Miscues at Talking Stick
Taking advantage of four errors to score four unearned runs, the Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 8-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
21-year old 6’5 RHP Jose Arias got the start for the Cubs and worked three innings, and although he did allow two runs on four hits and a walk, he also struck out seven. Arias was considered the Cubs #1 pitching prospect in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) last season, and will likely be a rotation starter at AZL Cubs this year. He was throwing gas today.
In EXST Cubs roster news, Cuban LHP Gerardo Concepcion and fellow Cuban catcher Yaniel Cabezas have been moved-up to Peoria.
The 20-year old Concepcion was signed by the Cubs last month, receiving a five-year $6M major league contract. In three EXST games prior to getting promoted, Concepcion threw 11.1 IP, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits and four walks, while striking out 11. He also threw three wild pitches and committed a balk.
In his last outing last Thursday at Indian School Park in Scottsdale versus the Giants, Concepcion threw five innings (88 pitches), allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. So he is stretched-out and ready to be a starting pitcher for the Chiefs.
Concepcion signed with the Cubs after defecting last year at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands while a member of Team Cuba. Prior to defecting he pitched for Industriales in Serie Nacional (the Cuban major league), and was named the league’s Rookie of Year for the 2010-11 season.
Cabezas signed with the Cubs in December 2010 for a reported $500K bonus. He played for Los Vaqueros de la Habana in Serie Nacional prior to defecting, and split the 2011 season between AZL Cubs (Mesa) and Boise, hitting a combined 202/284/260 between the two stops. Cabezas turned 23 last Thursday
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (2B, F-7, L-4, 1B)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-DH: 0-4 (K, F-8, F-9, K)
3. Anthony Giansanti, DH-C: 0-3 (4-3, K, BB, L-7, R)
4. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, BB, K, R)
5. Neftali Rosario, C-DH: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, F-8, R, 2 RBI)
6. Brian Inoa, DH-2B: 0-4 (F-8, K, E-6, 4-3, R)
7. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, BB, F-7)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (5-3, BB, 1B, 6-3, RBI, SB)
9. Garrett Schlecht, LF-DH: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
10. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Jair Bogaerts, LF: 0-1 (E-5)
1. Jose Arias: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 61 pitches (44 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 40 pitches (24 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 34 pitches (22 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Rafael Diplan: 1.0 IP, 1 H 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 16 pitches (8 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 4
1. P Ethan Elias - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
2. C Neftali Rasario - E-2 (overthrow on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
3. C Anthony Giansanti - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score unearned run)
4. 2B Brian Inoa - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and baserunner to advance to 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
Anthony Giansanti: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
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.
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.