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

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.