Cubs Whitewash Dodgers at HoHoKam Park
LHP Anthony Prieto and three relievers combined to throw a three-hit shutout, Ben Carhart doubled, singled, walked, and drove-in a run, and Neftali Rosario singled, doubled, and scored two runs, as the AZL Cubs blanked the AZL Dodgers 4-0 in Arizona League action tonight at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.
The 18-year old wispy 5'11 Prieto was the Cubs 2012 5th round draft pick out of Americas HS in El Paso ($200K bonus), and he features a low 90's fastball and secondary stuff that needs work (although he probably is still a bit rusty after missing much of his senior season with a forearm injury).
He had command issues in his first two starts (lasting only one inning each time, while walking four), but he retired all six men he faced tonight (P-2, K, F-8, K, 5-3, 6-3) and mostly threw strikes (26 pitches - 16 strikes).
Carhart was the Cubs 35th round pick in last month's draft out of Stetson University, and while he is listed as 5'8 180, it's probably more like 5'8 220. He is bottom-heavy and a slow runner, a third-baseman with a strong arm and occasional power, an ideal candidate to get converted to catcher at Instructs post-2012 or next year at Minor League Camp (but only if the Cubs offer him the opportunity and he agrees to do it).
The Cubs 6th round pick in the 2011 draft out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, Neftali Rosario is comparable to Welington Castillo at a similar age (VERY raw... plus-HR power... a strong but erratic throwing arm... poor receiving skills... slow runner... will swing at anything...).
Tonight he showed off his raw power, blasting a double off the top of the CF "Green Monster" (Batter's Eye) 430+ feet from the plate. Then he committed an error making a needless throw to 3rd base.
Rosario will probably move very slowly through the system. He needs a LOT of polish. EARLIEST PROBABLE MLB ETA - 2018
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.