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
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.