Soler Wind Blows Two-Run Bomb

Dan Vogelbach ripped an RBI single through the 3.5 hole and Jorge Soler followed with a 420-ft two-run HR over the berm beyond the left-centerfield fence to highlight a three-run 4th, but the AZL Reds scored six runs over the final five innings and defeated the AZL Cubs 6-4 in Arizona League action tonight at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

box score

Soler played RF for the entire game and batted four times, going 2-4.

He bounced-out 1-3 on a first-pitch one-hop comebacker to the mound with one out in the 2nd, mashed his HR on the first pitch he saw from LHP Wandy Peralta with two outs in the bottom of the 4th, reached base on a one-out single on a 1-2 pitch in the bottom of the 6th (a rocket bouncer that hit Reds third-baseman Tanner Rahier flush in the nose, knocking him out of the game) before eventually scoring the Cubs 4th run, and struck out (looking) on three pitches (a foul ball into the RF stands that broke his bat, followed by two called strikes) with one out and the tying run at 2nd in the bottom of the 8th.

Although he is not a fast runner, Soler did make an outstanding run-saving running backhanded catch in right-center in the top of the 5th. Earlier in the game he had looked a bit tentative going after a couple pop ups (both fell in front of him for hits).      

RHP Lendy Castillo got the start for the AZL Cubs and had another fine outing, throwing four shutout innings (51 pitches - 35 strikes, 4/3 GO/FO), and allowing just two hits (both singles) and no walks with five strikeouts.  

In his three rehab outings so far with the AZL Cubs, Castillo has thrown nine innings of shutout ball, allowing just five hits and one walk, with ten strikeouts.

Cubs 2012 27th round draft pick RHP Tyler Bremer (Baylor by way of UC - Davis and Yavapai JC) made his pro debut in tonight's game, throwing one inning (13 pitches - 8 strikes) and allowing a run on two hits. He didn't fool anybody (he was the pitcher who benefitted from the Soler run-saving catch).

RHP David Henrie was hit hard in his two innings of work, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits (including two doubles and an inside-the-park HR).

The inside-the-park HR resulted from Cubs CF Shawon Dunston Jr making an ill-advised diving attempt on a line drive to center leading off the top of the 6th. The ball bounded past him, and by the time LF Garrett Schlecht retrieved the ball in front of the CF Batter's Eye, Brent Peterson was crossing the plate standing up with his first career HR. (Dunston also had three singles in the game and scored a run). 

LHP Nathan Dorris (Cubs 2012 17th round pick out of SIU) allowed a run (unearned) on two hits in two innings of work, but what is notable is that he threw 90% strikes (20 pitches - 18 strikes, including the first 16 pitches he threw), after struggling to throw strikes in all of his previous outings.

Peoria 1B Ryan Cuneo (on the Chiefs DL since June 4th) has started a rehab assignment with the AZL Cubs. He was the DH tonight, going 0-2 (3-1 ground out and P-4) before being replaced by a PH in the bottom of the 6th.

Cuneo was the hitting star of Minor League Camp, before suffering a back strain that kept him from beating-out Richard Jones (who has since been released) for the Opening Day 1B job at Daytona. Then once he was ready to play again, he was assigned to Peoria.


From what I have seen so far, I would say Soler's bat speed is second only to Javier Baez among players in the Cubs system, and his power is right up there with Baez and Anthony Rizzo.

Wow! Impressive

Sounds like the Cubs have some pretty legitimate offensive prospects now. Time to get some legitimate high-end pitching prospects, too.

Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Low-A Peoria)
Baez went off again on Saturday, with a triple and his 10th home run of the year in just 45 games. Even with an 0-for-4 on Sunday, he's hitting .333/.388/.608 in his roughly two months of Midwest League action. That has led to some understandably excited Cubs fans wanting to move him up, but that's just not how it works. Baez still needs to refine his approach and improve his ability to recognize and hit breaking balls, but the decision isn't all about him. It's also about the fact that prospects don't develop in a vacuum. You might want to see Baez move up, but the Cubs have a shortstop they like at High-A in Arismendy Alcantara, and one at Double-A in Junior Lake. Both of them need at-bats too. The needs of a whole organization have to be considered before a prospect is promoted.

It is true that Lake is in AA and Alcantra is in high A. But Iowa has a black hole at shortstop. All three could be promoted, if the other two were deemed ready for the promotion.

Not to mention that Lake sticking at shortstop is a pipe dream.

I think Baez needs some time to cut down on his errors.

This is talking from a sports perspective (though i think Paterno is getting bashed more than the actual criminal) but why does the PSU football program need to be punished and Paterno's wins erased?

They didn't cheat, they didn't pay players, they did nothing to gain an unfair competitive advantage and because 1 man abused children that is somehow the players and Paterno's fault? This has nothing do with football program and has nothing to do with Paterno's coaching or his record.

Judge Paterno for what he should or should not have done, but destroying the football legacy and his legacy in football is a damn shame. One does not have anything to do with the other.

NOTE: Not even remotely a PSU football fan (Goo Arizona Wildcats....yeah they suck). Just kinda don't think that vacating Paterno's wins is a justifiable act by the NCAA

Whew... so much to disagree with there... but let me start by saying that I believe that in this case, focusing more on erasing Paterno's "legacy" is a better fit than punishing the current PSU program. Paterno's fault in this situation is not immediately responding to make sure that Sandusky was arrested and put to justice the very moment he learned of it. For not acting, even standing in the way of anyone who wanted to act, Paterno's "legacy" deserves to be erased.

I actually liked Saban's idea of having PSU's football revenue go to providing support for those having experienced child molestation. Too bad it appears they will not take up that idea...

I believe they cited a responsibility, honesty and integrity line in the NCAA ethos, which PSU obviously failed.

But mostly it's just an NCAA P.R. stunt and I suppose a decent warning to other schools to not cover up illegal activities.

Because it is very clear Penn State, starting with Paterno, consciously and knowingly covered up and didn't follow up on good evidence Sandusky was a predator and rapist, not to mention aiding and abetting him in getting access to the children he abused. Emails showed they were more concerned with the reputation of their football program than the lives of these children, and thus Penn State and Paterno's reputation is completely in play and it is completely valid for the NCAA to destroy that reputation.

If Paterno had been less concerned with his and the Penn State reputation, they could have stopped multiple children from getting raped. This is far more important than drugs or perks for student athletes given by agents. This damaged far more people permanently. This is exactly the kind of thing the NCAA should be coming down hard on.

The death penalty would have sucked because some gal running in track and field doesn't deserve to get her funding removed by the death of the football program, which helps fund other sports. As for the players who didn't deserve to have their wins vacated, that's acceptable collateral damage compared to the damage done by the Penn State coaching staff and administration. They can move on easily enough. Not so easy for those kids - now adults, who got abused.

Even without the death penalty, I don't know how that program rebuilds its reputation. We'll find out in ten years or so, I guess. About the time the Cubs start contending again.

they did nothing to gain an unfair competitive advantage

So protecting the legacy of the program by covering up disgusting crimes didn't help the football program?

This has nothing do with football program

This was caught by the football program. It was covered up by the football program (and the athletic program and the University as a whole). It was then enabled by the football and athletic program.

PSU's own commissioned report said that the Paterno had a significant amount of blame.

destroying the football legacy and his legacy in football is a damn shame

You know what is a damn shame? That numerous kids were violated by a disgusting man, and it was allowed to continue due to the actions of the leaders of the football and athletic programs, as well as the top leadership of the university.

Paterno and the leadership of PSU destroyed their own legacies.

I'm JD and I'm validating dave.

Yeah, me too. They want to cut football at PSU down to a size where, in the future, a janitor would not be afraid to report what he saw.

the same reason that day care centers that have rapists get fined, shut down, and/or jailed when parents send their kids somewhere to be surrounded by elders and leaders.

we're talking about child rape.


child rape.

...and the people who did NOTHING to help stop a culture of child rape.

child rape.

pretty easy.

RAPING CHILDREN. <---- the point

i hear Hitler was an awesome road builder. why can't we look past that and name some streets after him in Germany? roads have nothing at all to do with all that other icky stuff. let's be reasonable.

Manson never killed anybody, yet... amazes me how many people don't get that the real problem is the 'culture' at PSU. Because virtually everyone in a position of authority at Penn State subordinated themselves to whatever Joe Paterno wanted done, Sandusky happened, it was covered up, and it was allowed to go on until outside forces couldn't be silenced the way the football program silenced the University for almost 40 years. --------- "WE ARE.......PENN STATE!" --------- Yes, you certainly are and all that that has caused to so many unfortunate and uncountable victims.

Not to mention the incredibly strange disappearance of the original District attorney that investigated this case back in 2005. It isn't a huge leap of faith that he was killed by someone to prevent this whole thing from coming down almost 8 years ago.

Braves finalizing a deal for a starting pitcher

And Heyman tweeted it's Dempster.

#braves appear close to getting dempster

I'm hoping Minor or Delgado and another pitcher, but we'll see.

Maybe they'll deal Vizcaino who is out with TJ surgery.

Here's a top 20 list.

He's not saying it's a trade. Jamie Moyer!

After the Cubs unload Dempster, Garza, and Maholm, they'll need Jamie Moyer. It's only a matter of time.

Good point. He'll be the ace of the staff, I assume.

Crasnick and Heyman both name dropping Dempster now.

ohhhh who we gonna get!

New post up...I'll update as twitter does.

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  • 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 29 min 54 sec 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 30 min 32 sec 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.


    VirginiaPhil 36 min 59 sec 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 40 min 31 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 44 min 7 sec 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 53 min 3 sec 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 54 min 55 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 1 hour 41 sec ago view
  • QuietMan 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 27 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 2 hours 6 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 2 hours 50 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 3 hours 1 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 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 51 min ago view