Angels Show Baez-less Cubs No Respect

Hank Conger blasted a solo home run and an RBI double, Zach Borenstein hammered a three-run HR, and Mike Sodders cracked a three-run double, leading the Angels to a 17-1 Memorial Day thrashing of the Cubs this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.


Shawon Dunston Jr belted a home run leading off the game, and that was the only Cub run of the day.


19-year old RHP Tayler Scott (Cubs 2011 5th round draft pick out of Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, AZ) had another rough start today, allowing nine runs (six earned) on six hits (including three doubles, a triple, and a home run) and two walks in 3.1 IP. He also commited a costly throwing error in a four-run Angel 4th. In his previous start last Wednesday, the young South Africa native surrendered two runs (both earned) on five hits (including four doubles) and a walk in 3.0 IP.


In EXST Cubs roster news, SS Javier Baez (Cubs 2011 1st round draft pick) has been promoted to Peoria after hitting 330/351/725 in 27 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (94 PA), with 8 HR & 28 RBI, six doubles, three triples, 11 SB (one CS), one walk, two HBP, and 23 K. He also made eight errors.


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


CUBS LINEUP:
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #1: 2-3 (HR, 3-1, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-4 (5-3, 1B, 6-4 FC, 5-4 FC, SB)
3a. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, F-7)
3b. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-1 (4-3)
4a. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (K, K)
4b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-2 (K, E-6)
5. Dustin Geiger, DH #2: 0-4 (K, K, 4-3, 4-6-3 DP)
6. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-2 (1B, 1-3, HBP)
7. Trey Martin, CF: 0-3 (F-8, P-6, L-9)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (5-3, F-7, F-8)
9a. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
9b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
10. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 1-3 (1B, 3-6 FC, P-4, PO)


CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Tayler Scott: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 9 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 62 pitches (33 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
2. Arturo Maltos-Garcia: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 25 pitches (15 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 1.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 28 pitches (13 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 34 pitches (19 strikes), 0/6 GO/FO
5. Matt Spencer: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO


CUBS ERRORS: 4
1. 1B Dan Vogelbach - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. P Tayler Scott - E-1 (errant throw on attempted 1-2 FC with bases loaded allowed two runs to score)
3. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
4. 3B Danny Lockhart - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)


CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-1 CS
Justin Marra: 0-1 CS, 1 PB


ATTENDANCE: 11


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s

Comments

Phil,

What's AMG got as a pitcher? It's been almost two years since he's pitched, right?

And, do any catchers out there show any promise? Who's your favorite in the system? I'm hoping that Zunino of UF slips to 6th in the draft (highly unlikely I know).

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 3:41pm — Childersb3

Phil,

What's AMG got as a pitcher? It's been almost two years since he's pitched, right?

And, do any catchers out there show any promise? Who's your favorite in the system? I'm hoping that Zunino of UF slips to 6th in the draft (highly unlikely I know).

=====================================

CHILDERS: RHP Arturo Maltos-Garcia throws a low-90's fastball that he uses to set-up his curve (which is his strikeout pitch). He looks like a reliever type (6'1, two-pitch pitcher), but he had TJS last July (he last pitched in a JUCO Tournament game in Casa Grande, AZ, exactly one year ago) and he only began throwing in EXST games about three weeks ago, so he hasn't been stretched-out yet.

As for catchers below W. Castillo and Clevenger, there isn't much.

Daytona Cubs switch-hitting Micah Gibbs is a good defensive catcher (excellent receiving skills but only a so-so-arm) who has a very slow bat with a loft swing (LH) and a punch-stroke (RH). He does walk a lot, though.

Peoria's #1 catcher is Rafael Lopez, an ex-3B who was converted to catcher when he transferred to Florida State from Indian River CC in 2009. (He was at Boston College before that). He has OK defensive skills (especially for someone who hasn't been a catcher very long). He is a LH hitter with a plus-bat and occassional HR power. He's also a bit old (24). He was drafted by the Cubs as a 5th year college senior.

EXST Cubs Wilson Contreras is likely headed for Boise. He was a catcher on a top amateur team in Venezuela prior to signing with the Cubs in 2009 ($850K bonus), but the Cubs moved him to 3B immediately after they signed him. Then he received a 50-game PED suspension prior to the 2010 season. He struggled defensively at 3B and at 1B last season at Boise, and was moved back to catcher this year. And he really seems to like it. Most guys who are moved to catcher struggle with the bat, but not Contreras. He actually has hit better as a catcher than he did as a third-baseman. He also runs well for a catcher. But we'll have to see how he fares at Boise. (BTW, he is a below-average defensive catcher. I can see why he was moved to 3B).

Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick) is a younger version of Welington Castillo, but much more raw (if that's possible). Rosario has two plus-tools... HR power and arm strength. That's it. Otherwise he is mostly lost at sea. He swings at everything, and may even be a less-patient hitter than Javier Baez. He really needs to work on his receiving skills, too.

So if Mike Zunino is there when the Cubs make their selection, there is no reason not to take him. Unless the Cubs are targeting a pitcher with their #1 pick.

I think you might have overlooked an interesting catcher, Phil.

Taylor Davis was called up to Daytona last Friday. He played Saturday and had a double in three at-bats. (Daytona did not play Sunday or Monday, so for all we know Davis might be their starting catcher, for the time being, in place of Gibbs.)

Davis had a .902 OPS at Peoria in 76 PAs leading up to his promotion. He also nailed 6 of 14 would-be base stealers.

Apart from his recent success, all I know about Davis is what you wrote in early April:

He was highly-regarded enough after the 2010 season that he was on the Johnny Bench Watch List going into the 2011 season (his junior year) at Morehead State, and then despite finishing in the Top 10 in SLG % among D-1 players (one slot ahead of Cubs 19th round draft pick Paul Hoilman, BTW), he was not drafted.

The Cubs signed a NDFA catcher out of the U. of Santa Clara named Patrick Terry after the June draft, but his contract was subsequently voided, and so they offered Davis a contract and he accepted it, and he spent the summer with the AZL Cubs in Mesa.

Davis began Minor League Camp last month with the Tennessee squad, then got moved down to Daytona and finally to Boise/Mesa, before getting a last minute reprieve and a spot on the Peoria Opening Day roster.

It will be interesting to see how Taylor Davis performs at Daytona and if he actually takes playing time away from Micah Gibbs behind the plate there. My guess is he won't, although he might get a lot of starts at DH if he swings a hot bat.

What was kind of obvious with Taylor Davis last season at AZL Cubs and at Minor League Camp this past March is that he is an offensive-first catcher whose receiving skills are below-average, and although he had a good CS % at Peoria, the Cubs Player Development people value a catcher's receiving skills and handling of the pitching staff over hitting or CS%, which is why offensively-challenged guys like Michael Brenly and Micah Gibbs get regular playing time.

You the man, AZ Phil.

Phil - I notice that you didn't mention Luis Flores. Is that because he isn't worth mentioning, and if so, did his suspension make much difference.

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 6:03pm — DavidP

Phil - I notice that you didn't mention Luis Flores. Is that because he isn't worth mentioning, and if so, did his suspension make much difference.

====================================

DAVID P: Luis Flores would be a better prospect if it wasn't for his history.

He got nailed for a 50-game PED suspension by MLB last year, and he was suspended twice by the Cubs prior to that for something different (not as significant).

If Flores can stay clean for the rest of this year and maybe score a slot in the AFL or in a Latin Winter League post-2012 and do well there, then that would shed a new light on his future.

But otherwise he is just one misstep away from getting released. You might say he is on a "short leash."

3sb for billy hamilton (CIN, A+) today.

that's 52sb in 47 games (11cs). if he can keep up the hitting/getting on base (near .400 ob%, currently) we might have the first legit 100+sb guy to roll into the bigs in a few decades.

With a name very much struck in MLB past as a basestealer...Billy Hamilton from around late 1800s to early 1900s stole 912 bases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Hamilton_(baseball)

What's the story on Matt Spencer? Is he just dominating younger players or is he a realistic prospect on the mound at a higher level?

Tue, 05/29/2012 - 5:48am — Justin Tyme

What's the story on Matt Spencer? Is he just dominating younger players or is he a realistic prospect on the mound at a higher level?

=========================================

JUSTIN T: Matt Spencer was a two way player (OF/LHP) in HS and at the University of North Carolina, but was used exclusively as an OF after he transferred to Arizona State. He was also drafted as an OF by the Phillies and played OF & 1B on his way up through the minors with the Phillies, A's, and Cubs, before the Cubs asked him if he wanted to try pitching again (full-time) after last season.

He agreed and went to AZ Instructs post-2011, where he was throwing 98 MPH gas with zero command and no secondary stuff. He continued to struggle with command at Minor League Camp this past March, before just recently returning to game action at Extended Spring Training.

So far he looks great. The command still needs work, but he has generally been throwing both his fastball and his breaking ball for strikes.

Spencer is 26 and will be a minor league FA post-2013, so the Cubs need to find out ASAP if he has a future on the mound as a lefty reliever. So don't be surprised if he gets jumped quickly through the system.

One thing to keep in mind is that lefty relievers can be found anywhere (HS coach at a tryout camp like Jim Morris in The Rookie, or in Independent ball as happened with George Sherrill and Joe Thatcher).

No question Matt Spencer could be dominating.

A 6'5 250+ dude with a 98 MPH fastball and a reputation for not being able to control it would scare anybody.

Recent comments

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  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 38 min 48 sec ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 3 hours 10 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • i have no doubt at all you quit reading at that point. you're very enamored with outcomes without caring what it takes to get there.

    the fact it's exploitable, especially without someone to cover the running game for him, as well it's evolution in how people are testing possible exploits is interesting to some people...to me...i'm some people...hurrah.

    some people want to check the boxscore to see who won, some want to know how it went down.

    crunch 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • I read it as him saying it's not really that much of a concern and that the one time it really cost Lester, vs. K.C., was an anomaly.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 3 hours 38 min ago view
  • if jeff says it, it's cool...when i say it, it's straight from the mouth of hitler.

    aside from the lack of jeff touching on the insane leads runners take and lester's inability to throw if he's fielding, this is a lot of what i've said about the issue.

    exploitable, needs his own personal catcher to control his shortcomings, relies on his ability to get outs along with his personal catcher keeping runners in check before things become further exploited...

    crunch 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • That would be Rice Krispy Treat

    The E-Man 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • "Crunch's cousin"

    Butterfinger or Baby Ruth?

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • I saw the first three innings and the last three, so I didn't see Arrieta get hit. His stuff looked nasty at first...what happened? Any insight from anyone who watched?

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 5 hours 25 min ago view