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).

Comments

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

Terdsandwich?

...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.

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Rule_5_d...

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.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

hasn't surfaced since...

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

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/brea...

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:

http://youtu.be/AfQ5kV1I-Ps

awesome, gonna make a post out of it.

per roto...

Alex Speier of WEEI.com 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

http://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster

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.

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  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 21 min 17 sec ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 34 min 44 sec ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 30 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 31 min ago view