Cubs Bats Stay Hot in Arizona Heat

Shawon Dunston Jr ripped an RBI single and a three-run inside-the-park HR and Lendy Castillo threw three innings of shutout ball, leading the AZL Cubs to an 11-8 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action tonight at Field #2 (Connie Mack Field) at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix, AZ.  

box score

Dunston was mired in 2-20 slump before slicing an RBI single to left to drive-in Jacob Rogers from 3rd base with one out in the top of the 4th, and then he ripped a line-drive to CF in the top of the 6th that bounced past A's CF B. J. Boyd (who made an ill-advised dive trying to catch the liner) and rolled all the way to the CF fence, allowing Dunston to score behind Justin Marra and Garrett Schlecht with the inside-the-park job.   

In addition to Dunston's contributions, Danny Lockhart tripled, singled, and walked, and scored three runs, Jacob Rogers doubled twice (one of which knocked-in two runs) and walked, and Dan Vogelbach walked three times, scored a run, and collected an RBI (one of his walks was with the bases-loaded). 

RHP Lendy Castillo (on the Cubs 15-day DL since May 12th with a groin injury) made his second AZL rehab start and looked very good, allowing two hits (a single and a double) and no walks while striking out four in his three innings of work (35 pitches - 26 strikes, and a 3/1 GO/FO). He finished strong, striking out the side in the bottom of the 3rd. He is probably close to being ready to move up to a higher level (probably to Daytona).

AZL sensation Tim Saunders (Cubs 2012 32nd round draft pick out of Marietta College) pumped out a couple more hits tonight (he is now hitting a league-leading .493), and he got another start in CF, as it appears that the Cubs are tracking the 22-year old as an INF-OF super-sub. (He has already started games at 2B, SS, 3B, and CF in his short pro career).


I think the cubs match up best w atl. How bout dumpster for Delgado and terdsolavich?


...AZ, what do you think of him? Your post says he has looked great a couple days in a row. Does he seem worth the effort to you that the Cubs have put into keeping him as a Rule 5 guy? If I remember right, he had a good fastball. How's the movement on it? How is his breaking stuff? Thanks as always.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 6:13am — Old and Blue

Now that you've seen Castillo a couple times...
...AZ, what do you think of him? Your post says he has looked great a couple days in a row. Does he seem worth the effort to you that the Cubs have put into keeping him as a Rule 5 guy? If I remember right, he had a good fastball. How's the movement on it? How is his breaking stuff? Thanks as always.


O & B: Lendy Castillo throws a mid-90's two seamer and a wipeout slider. Control is an issue, but he's only been pitching for a couple of years (he's an ex-SS).

Catcher Justin Marra had all kinds of trouble trying to catch Castillo last night. On three of Castillo's four strikeouts, Marra couldn't catch the pitch and had to throw to 1st base for the putout.

I'm not a big fan of selecting players in the Rule 5 Draft who are not ready to play in MLB. The Cubs could afford to do it this year because they went into the season knowing they would not be a contender, and giving away a roster slot for a couple of months didn't matter.

Being a Rule 5 player also can be detrimental to a player's development, because the player usually ends up mostly sitting around waiting for "garbage time" when he should be getting regular work in the minors.

Thanks, AZ. I do like the sounds of a "wipeout" slider.

Generally, at least as far as the Cubs are concerned, I can't remember much in the way of Rule 5 activity that has helped or hurt the Cubs. I remember they did the same thing with some guy named David Patton, who they seemed to basically rush to the majors because they had to.

I'm still licking my wounds from seeing the Cubs lose Andy Sisco and Donald Veal.

those 2 really bit the Cubs in the ass.

I've been keeping as much of the history of the Rule 5 draft and the Cubs involvement as I can at Wiklifield.

Mike Parisi was the last one they tried to keep before Lendy and that was during the 2010 season, eventually outrighted him and he stuck with Cubs for awhile.

Obviously the Cubs had the chance to draft Josh Hamilton and of course they did in a pre-arranged deal with the Reds. We can rehash that bit of folklore for the 100th time about how the Cubs could have had him (but not really).

Jody Davis, Willie Hernandez and Monte Irvin are probably the most famous players the Cubs acquired via the Rule 5.

Angel Pagan was a Rule 5 pick, and he's turned out to have an okay career (albeit his good years haven't been with the Cubs).

Pagan wasn't a Rule 5 pick for the Cubs. The Cubs got him from the Mets for cash in January of 2006 and then traded him back to Meta for Corey Coles and Ryan Meyers in January of 2008.

Ah. My mistake.

Hack Wilson was selected by the Cubs in the 1925 Rule 5 Draft.

2B Tony Taylor was another good one (19 year MLB career) selected by the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft (1957), except the Cubs traded him away (to PHI) after only a couple of seasons.

I had on my list up there, but guess I forgot about it and didn't look that far down.

I checked out wikifield for the first time last night. That's pretty damn nice work there, Rob. I've seen you mention it a few times but never looked at it.

thanks, shame I can't keep up with enough or expand it as I wish, but has some useful info in there.

I like to keep track of weird stuff and that lets me do it in a public arena(minor league lists, All-stars, transactions, etc).

haven't gotten around to this draft quite yet unfortunately.

Wasn't Casey McGehee a Rule 5 pick stolen from the Cubs? He stinks now, but would have been a nice asset in '09-'10.

no, he was outrighted by the Cubs off the 40-man and claimed by the Brewers.

Nice work ROB. What was the deal with the Great David Patton? Was he a Rule 5 originally when he was acquired from the Rox?

he was, actually drafted by Reds and sold to Cubs for cash, probably much in the same way as Josh Hamilton was a pre-arranged deal.

The Cubs retained his rights and he pitched in Daytona in 2010 and was then released.

hasn't surfaced since...

Theo stalker arrested. Two counts of felony stalking. She's from Boston. Scary photo.

Love the attitude in that picture.

I just can imagine that Boston accent coming out of her.

Mugs in the News is one of the Tribune's better services, in general.

Some of the comments on the Theo stalker story:

"Can you blame her? Spend enough time around a Cubs GM, and they might give you a 7 year, $140 million contract."

"She's obviously a Red Sox fan who has delusional romatic designs on Epstein much like tens of thousands of male Cub fans with the same demented feelings."

"Are we having boiled bunny for dinner AGAIN?"

I read where Billy Hamilton circled the bases the other day in 13.8 seconds.

I just put an online stopwatch on Campana's inside-the-park job last year and got just under 13.9. With the same stopwatch, Hamilton is under 13.8, maybe a tenth faster. Both runners let up a little at the end when it is clear there is not going to be a play at home.

I have no idea whether baseball videos play at the correct speed.

so you synced the moment Capana struck the ball with the bat? Or, with his first step? Did you have the timer on one screen and the video on the other?

What was your method for said timing?

I synched the videos to see who was faster. It's Hamilton by a step (although, as was mentioned, but let up a bit at the end). Here's the video proof:

awesome, gonna make a post out of it.

per roto...

Alex Speier of was told by a source that the Red Sox are not actively pursuing a trade for Cubs' right-hander Ryan Dempster.

Theo's stalker should have just claimed she was a Red Sox 'scout,' in town to evaluate Dempster but they really weren't interested so they sent her instead.

wicked hahdcore

Phil - can you explain the rules for a PTBNL? How long can they have to name him. Who is eligible to be a PTBNL? Can newly drafted players be PTBNL?

I'm sure Phil will correct me if/where I'm wrong ...

PTBNL's need to be named w/in 6 months. Newly drafted players can't be traded until a year after they sign.
I believe pretty much anyone can be a PTBNL subject to the newly drafted players restriction. What typically happens with PTBNLs is that a team gets to pick one out of a group of X players after following them for a certain amount of time.

from the 40-man roster page and roster rules Phil has put up

5. If a "Player to Be Named Later" (PTBNL) is part of a trade, the PTBNL cannot be on an MLB 25-man roster (MLB Active List) at any time starting when the trade is executed up until the PTBNL is announced. Clubs have six months to agree on a PTBNL. A cash payment (typically $50,000 for trades involving players on the 40-man roster) can be substituted for a PTBNL if no agreement can be reached within six months.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of there money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.

  • Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.

    Arietta though.

  • I felt the same way, too, but...

    I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.

  • Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.

  • I meant December.