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.

box score

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

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Comments

See that Tim Saunders was promoted to Daytona. What do you think of him. Might a guy drafted that low be the real thing?
Guess we'll have an idea after we see how he does after a BIG promotion.

BIG promotion is right. The only other Cub position player I can recall who never saw Boise or Peoria was Castro.

Of course, if they're thinking of SS or 3B for Saunders, he's got Baez and Geiger in his way at Peoria. At Daytona, it's Alcantara/Soto and Matt Cerda.

AZ Phil has written that he appears to be a super utility IF/OF guy, so he isn't really blocked anywhere he goes. That is a HUGE jump, though. I would expect that they only did this temporarily, and will move him back, at least to Peoria....

He's 22. Daytona is where he belongs.

Sure, he belongs there--but how did he get there in the year he was drafted? I'm trying to find a precedent with the Cubs.

Campana and Rohan were both drafted at 22, and both went to Boise, and then to Peoria the following year (where they both got midseason promotions to Daytona).

Ridling was drafted at 23 and went to Boise and then to Peoria the next year.

Under new Cub management this year at age 22, Chadd Krist went to Boise and then got a quick promotion to Peoria.

I guess these are the players who finished college, whereas Colvin and Jackson didn't. You're right that 22 is a little late to start climbing the ladder, but it's also a little early to mess up a guy's career by putting him in over his head. In other words, I think they must really like Saunders. (By the numbers, what's not to like?)

or just the new guys have a better understanding of age and class levels and they feel/hope he can handle it.

it's great for Saunders and hopefully he runs with it, but I doubt it's some indication he's being fast-tracked.

this is a little old, but I'm sure it's still a good guideline on what age players should be at each class level, i.e. another good reason to be really excited about Javier Baez.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 5:07pm — Rob G.

it's great for Saunders and hopefully he runs with it, but I doubt it's some indication he's being fast-tracked.

this is a little old, but I'm sure it's still a good guideline on what age players should be at each class level, i.e. another good reason to be really excited about Javier Baez.

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

ROB G: There were a series of roster moves made as the result of Daytona SS Arismendy Alcantara going on the DL.

1. Elliot Soto (who had been the back-up SS at Tennessee) was sent down to Daytona from Tennssee to be the #1 SS at Daytona.

2. Dustin Harrington (the utility INF at Daytona) was moved up to AA to be the utility INF at Tennessee.

3. Tim Saunders (who started games at 2B, SS, 3B, and CF at AZL Cubs) was promoted to Hi-A to replace Harrington as the utility INF at Daytona.

The other option would have been to move Saunders up to Peoria and utility INF Wes Darvill up to Daytona from Peoria, but despite just having signed with the Cubs, the 22-year old Saunders is more-polished and a better defensive player than Darvill, and probably better-able to handle DSL pitching, too.

"Tim Saunders (who started games at 2B, SS, 3B, and CF at AZL Cubs) was promoted to Hi-A to replace Harrington as the utility INF at Daytona."

Minor-league baseball is an up-or-out system. The concept of a utility INF is foreign to such a system. If you're not starting somewhere, you have one foot out the door.

It would be strange if a guy was drafted and signed, hit .493 in the one uniform they gave him. and then was given a spot on the bench at a higher level to watch other guys compete. Soto had 445 PAs last year. Cerda had 467. Saunders will get his opportunity, just as they had theirs.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 7:55am — VirginiaPhil

Minor League baseball is an up-or-out system. The concept of a utility INF is foreign to such a system. If you're not starting somewhere, you have one foot out the door.

It would be strange if a guy was drafted and signed, hit .493 in the one uniform they gave him. and then was given a spot on the bench at a higher level to watch other guys compete. Soto had 445 PAs last year. Cerda had 467. Saunders will get his opportunity, just as they had theirs.

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

VA PHIL: Tim Saunders started games at 2B, SS, 3B, and CF in his short stay with the AZL Cubs, so it appears to me that he is being groomed as a multi-positional INF-OF "super-sub."

Any player can hit his way to regular playing time in the minors, even if he gets moved around on a daily basis and doesn't play just one position.

It is to Saunders benefit that he has the athleticism and versatility to play multiple positions this early in his pro career, after playing just SS in HS and college. It is never a bad thing to show the organization that you are not limited to playing just one or two positions.

There are utility infielders in the Cubs minor league system (they are sometimes known as "organizational players"), and some survive for several seasons in that role. The concept of a "utility infielder" is definitely NOT "foreign to such a system."

A good example would be somebody like Jonathon Mota (before he got hurt), who lasted long enough as a minor league utility infielder to be a 6YFA after last season.

Others get released when they get bumped in a roster crunch, usually at the end of Minor League Camp.

I would say that Dustin Harrington, Brad Zapenas (out for the year with shoulder surgery), and Kenny Socorro (who accepted a position of player-coach this season at Peoria) are likely to go that route.

Phil, I don't get the groomed part: "[Saunders] is being groomed as a multi-positional INF-OF super-sub."

Any shortstop can play other positions. That doesn't mean that it is in a shortstop's interest to be thought of as a super-sub. Did Barney make the majors as a super-sub or as a 2B? It is better for Saunders--and probably also for the organization--if he is thought of as having a chance to be a better all-around 2B than Barney, or as a guy who can fill the vacancy at third. Let's let him get a few at-bats outside of Mesa before we typecast him as a utility player or an organizational guy or a player-coach.

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 4:36pm — VirginiaPhil

Phil, I don't get the groomed part: "[Saunders] is being groomed as a multi-positional INF-OF super-sub."

Any shortstop can play other positions. That doesn't mean that it is in a shortstop's interest to be thought of as a super-sub. Did Barney make the majors as a super-sub or as a 2B? It is better for Saunders--and probably also for the organization--if he is thought of as having a chance to be a better all-around 2B than Barney, or as a guy who can fill the vacancy at third. Let's let him get a few at-bats outside of Mesa before we typecast him as a utility player or an organizational guy or a player-coach.

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

VA PHIL: As I said:

Any player can hit his way to regular playing time in the minors, even if he gets moved around on a daily basis and doesn't play just one position.

That applies to Saunders. If he hits at Daytona, he will get regular playing time. If he doesn't, he won't.

Being groomed as a "super-sub" does NOT mean he is being tracked as a player-coach, although most of the player-coaches in the Cubs system are utility guys.

But Saunders was NOT moved up to Daytona at this time because that's where he belongs. There was a temporary need for a utility infielder (and one who can play INF-OF is even better) at Daytona, and the Cubs apparently believe that Saunders was the best choice (rather than moving Wes Darvill up to Daytona from Peoria and Tim Saunders up to Peoria from Mesa).

You said:

Minor League baseball is an up-or-out system. The concept of a utility INF is foreign to such a system. If you're not starting somewhere, you have one foot out the door.

And as I said, that is just not true. A utility infielder (and utility players in general) can survive for years in the minor leagues, even if the player is considered nothing more than an "organizational player."

There are minor league players who function as ad hoc player-coaches, too. Like the "Crash" Davis character in Major League.

Well, Socorro hasn't had an at-bat this year, so is that one foot out the door, or both? I don't see David Macias getting at-bats at any level this season. Injured or released? Mota was a not-half-bad SS last year in the high minors, so I don't think he was just hanging around.

We also have a new regime, one that is less sentimental and perhaps more inclined to hand out lunch pails to players who seem to have shed their prospect status.

But I agree with what you say about Saunders, that he'll be given a chance to show whether he can hit.

The fact that he was given a look in CF might be just another hint that the Cubs are looking for an alternative to Jackson as their CF-in-waiting.

I doubt what the Cubs do with Saunders has much of anything to do with Brett Jackson at this point. That seems like quite a reach.

Pshaw, it's perfectly reasonable to believe that a 32nd round pick out of Division III ball will be competing with Brett Jackson in the near future for a starting job.

The question on the table was why Saunders played three games in CF in Arizona. Skeptical of the idea that the Cubs were grooming a super-sub, I speculated that they might think they need a CF. They did, after all, just draft an 18-year-old who plays that position in the first round; and some recent trade rumors had them seeking a CF.

When McLeod came on board, he referred to Jackson and Lake as "high-risk."

Trey McNutt was a 32nd rounder. I don't remember anyone here objecting when he was anointed the Cubs' top pitching prospect based on his first-year work at Peoria and Daytona.

32nd round bonus baby vs. 32nd round college senior.

If they were moving guys around in the low minors in anticipation of where they feel they need help at major league positions, no one would be playing SS or 1b in the Cubs system.

No, because a SS doesn't have to demonstrate that he can play third or second. Same thing with a CF and the corner positions.

First basemen are kind of stuck at that position, unless you like imagining an outfield of LaHair, Bour and Hoilman.

Baez continues to rake in Peoria... What does everyone think the chances might be of him getting promoted toward the end of this month, to get a taste of Daytona this year? He sure seems to be dominating in Peoria...

Hadn't seen that. I like this chart, too
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/mino...

http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cu...

This should irritate a few...

Theo going on and on about how free agency isn't the answer, at least not quite yet for the Cubs.

"This should irritate a few . . ."

. . . and please others.

". and please others."

<-----

cubs 2015!

makes sense. the team has like 6 bat spots to deal with...or 1-2...one of those....and the team needs more SP even with a good 1-2 combo already in house and at least 2 good 3-5 options. the money saved by not paying castro, ninja, and rizzo now can be used to pay castro, ninja, and rizzo a few years from now...brilliant!

it's a shame chicago isn't as big of a city or draw as det/mia/etc...plus the team is only drawing 30K+ a game (poor, poor team)...and those merchandise sales are only some of the top in the nation behind the yankees.

honestly, i blame rickets family more than theo...at least i assume that's where that wallet pressure is coming from...or theo's as stupid as he is when playing with Cubans (both BOS and CHC...i like the Soler signing, though).

this either/or, mutually exclusive talk from the cubs since before the season even began is weak. they can do -both- without harm to one of the richest clubs in the game.

There...were...too...many...elipses...in...there...for...me...to...detect...the...sarcasm...

tl;dr - this team already has some good core bats in place, 2 top SP, at least 2 good end-rotation starters, and a lot of money. building via FA and inner-system isn't an either/or thing for a club this rich. both can be done.

there is -no- impact on a FA signing for this club aside from potentially blocking someone, especially with the international signings and draft caps in place.

btw, i'm not talking about "wow, now the cubs can give hamels $25m a year"...because i wouldn't be talking about that even if the cubs were a $150m payroll team. it's nothing against hamels...it's about value for the $ and spreading it out over a roster.

Where did the wallet pressure come from when they signed Soler to a 42 million dollar contract?

i dunno who's pulling the $$ strings or focus...

either way, big international contracts are no longer in play...nor is spending insane amounts of loot on the draft.

Phil, I know the significants of the 60 day DL at the Major League level. It saves a spot on the 40 man roster. What does the 60 day DL do for a Minor League team? I see that as an example, Jonathon Mota is on the 60 day, but some of the pitchers who have had recent TJ surgery are only on the 7 day DL.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 9:17am — Hagsag

Phil, I know the significants of the 60 day DL at the Major League level. It saves a spot on the 40 man roster. What does the 60 day DL do for a Minor League team? I see that as an example, Jonathon Mota is on the 60 day, but some of the pitchers who have had recent TJ surgery are only on the 7 day DL.

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

HAGSAG: Each of the minor league affiliates have a reserve list with a specific limit (38 at Iowa, 37 at Tennessee, and 35 at all of the others) and the 60-day DL is used to remove a player from a minor league reserve list during the minor league season.

Also, you might have noticed that several inactive players (Rashad Crawford, Pierce Johnson, Dillon Maples, Kyle Shepard, Brian Smith, and Tony York), were "promoted" from the AZL Cubs to Boise or (in the case of Tony York) to Daytona, even though they never actually left Mesa. That's because the AZL Cubs don't have a 7-day DL, they just have a 35-man roster. (Boise has a 30-man Active List, plus five more slots available for players on the 7-day DL).

So to keep slots on the AZL Cubs roster available for newly-signed draft picks (who have to be placed on an Active List within 15 days of signing), some players were moved up to the Boise reserve list so that they could be placed on Boise's 7-day DL.

Then there were some others (Josh Conway, Pedro Medina, Amaury Paulino, Melvin Rosa, and Austin Urban) who were placed on the AZL Cubs 60-day DL (so that they do not count against the AZL Cubs 35-man reserve list), so they were not "promoted" before being placed on the DL. (These players will not be reactivated until after the conclusion of the AZL Cubs season).

Paul Sullivan‏@PWSullivan

Dempster update: Still here, excepts to start Friday in St. L and DVRd the finale of "Swamp People."

AZ Phil -

Will you be seeing Soler's debut today? I'd love to hear how he looks.

chart on draft spending from the last 2 years

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/201...

good read on steroid era, excerpt from upcoming book

http://deadspin.com/5927199/the-steroids-era-...

Draft picks signed: RHP Duane Underwood (2), OF Albert Almora (1)
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Kenny Socorro, RHP Randy Wells, RHP Tony York, LHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Matt Spencer, SS Arismendy Alcantara
Reinstated from DL: RHP Justin Berg, RHP Corbin Hoffner, C Rafael Lopez, OF Rashad Crawford

Justin Berg will not go quietly into the night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

Nice.

Pretty interesting to see Wells just totally blow up.

Hendry had touted him as a solid #3 for two years. He pitched several nice games when his control was absolutely perfect.

He also though had Volstad-itis and got the bad inning yips more often than not.

It basically was downhill since last year's early-season DL, to the point of him getting released if he doesn't start getting it together soon.

Wonder if it was smoke and mirrors always, or some other physical problem?

>Wonder if it was smoke and mirrors always, or some other physical problem?

from both TCR sources and outside rumor/remarks it seems wells might have a binge and/or "regular" drinking problem for a few years running.

i dunno anything about it, but it's come up more than once in multiple places.

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 2:37pm — Rob G.

Draft picks signed: RHP Duane Underwood (2), OF Albert Almora (1)
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Kenny Socorro, RHP Randy Wells, RHP Tony York, LHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Matt Spencer, SS Arismendy Alcantara
Reinstated from DL: RHP Justin Berg, RHP Corbin Hoffner, C Rafael Lopez, OF Rashad Crawford

Justin Berg will not go quietly into the night.

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

ROB G: Justin Berg was outrighted off the Cubs 40-man roster after last season and then became a 6YFA, but he opted to re-sign with the Cubs mainly so that he could continue his rehab at Fitch Park this season. And since the Cubs were paying Berg's medical & rehab bills, I guess they thought it was a good idea, too

The same thing will probably happen with Marcos Mateo after this season (he had TJS last month).

http://mlb.si.com/2012/07/19/trade-deadline-p...

NL Central Trade Deadline Preview

some nonsense about LaHair's price being high because he's not even arb-eligible until 2015.

Cubs have won 14 of 19.

Still on pace to lose 94.

Best record in baseball in July -- they should be buyers!!!

Rosenthal just said on the MLB Network that he's been told the Cubs have summoned a pitcher from AAA to meet them in St. Louis.

they must be damn close on dumpster going away if they need an "emergency" guy in case something happens over the next 24 hours.

fwiw, volstad went 2 days ago so it probably won't be him.

if c.coleman isn't pulled from tonight's start in AAA that'd be interesting.

-edit- coleman scratched...mystery solved

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 4:14pm — QuietMan

Rosenthal just said on the MLB Network that he's been told the Cubs have summoned a pitcher from AAA to meet them in St. Louis.

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

Q-MAN: There is a new rule in MLB this season that allows a club to recall a player from the minors and place the player on the club's "Taxi Squad" for 24 hours. A player on the Taxi Squad does not count against the club's 25-man roster and does not accrue MLB Service Time, and it also opens up a slot on the minor league club's active roster while the recalled player is absent.

It is mainly designed for instances where a club is considering whether to place a player (usually a starting pitcher who is due to pitch) on the DL but has not yet decided, or as a back-up in case a player or players acquired in a trade do not report right away (players have 48 hours to report).

Paul Sullivan‏@PWSullivan

Cubs acquire relieve Justin Germano from Boston for cash; Jairo Asencio designated for assignment. Coleman scratched from Iowa start.

per Rotoworld...

Germano was designated for assignment by the Red Sox over the weekend after tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his lone appearance with the club on July 7 against the Yankees. The 29-year-old right-hander is expected to join the team Friday in St. Louis and could be an option to start if the Cubs trade Ryan Dempster in the next 24 hours.

Perhaps Volstad could be used in a batting practice, non-roster role with the team?

That would be a great way to boost everyone's confidence before the game.

Interestingly odd note from MLBTradeRumors:

"The Giants have "heavily scouted" the Cubs' and Royals' Triple-A teams."
-------
Well they've had Theriot and Fontenot. Maybe they're after Blake DeWitt?

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects...

Cubs sign 22-year old RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua for a good chunk of their international cap change.

seems to have had some document/suspension issues already...

@benbadler: Juan Carlos Paniagua again turned suspension into bigger payday. Signed w/#Cubs today for $1.5 million

voided yanks contract (1.1m)...20 yo, RHP, 93+mph FB, "working on" changeup + curve

oops...22 yo

also, "Because Paniagua signed after July 2, his bonus will count against the Cubs' international spending cap for the 2012-13 signing period if his contract is approved."

Ken Rosenthal‏@Ken_Rosenthal

Source: #Cubs drawing interest in Baker, Johnson as well as the more familiar names. Both could be RH bats off bench for contenders

imagine the return for those two...

Hoping for a diamond in the rough.

if baker is coming off your bench as a "bat" you are not a "contender"

Shhhhhhhhh!

He's having a decent season off the bench for a lousy team, he can probably do the same for a better one. Career .882 OPS vs. lefties, etc.

Dodgers make offer for Dempster.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/818...

they have a lot of interesting-but-not-awe-inspiring SP prospects...good ones, just not "ace"

Don't see the Cubs getting a potential top of the rotation starter for anyone but Garza.

http://mobile.minorleagueball.com/2011/12/5/2...

G. Gould and C. Withrow were 2 names thrown out earlier. Maybe they've stepped it up since, but Cubs aren't getting Zach Lee.

meh withrow...

gould + alen webster i wouldn't mind...something with a little more of a safe upside on one of the arms.

Javier Baez, 2-3 including a double and HR

Chiefs down 4-2 in the 6th to Western Michigan Whitecaps

wow, Cody Ross. That's a lot of 3 run HR's. (3 in 2 days)

Doubleheader win. (Cubs Win, WSux lose)

http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cu...

Good article on Soler and a bit on Almora

latest on dumpster..."haggling over pieces"

http://tracking.si.com/2012/07/20/dodgers-cub...

casey weathers continues his amazing (that he's employed) AA season...

http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=...

10 walks in his last 3 outings (3.1ip)...4 in his .2ip tonight.

27 years old...looks like a career move might be taking place soon.

ha. In this job market?!

Maybe he will decide to go to grad school and take out student loans up the butt.

That has worked out well for my wife. Now she has the same shitty job, an MBA, AND a $400/month bill for the next 1,000,000 months. At least Casey Weathers got a $1.8M bonus. Boners.

Ugh. Yep - she is not alone.

I have plently of students that upon graduation are working at Whole Foods, Target, Best Buy, and Starbucks.

And $30k-plus in debt for undergrad degree.

Those places are hiring?! I should go apply.

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