1st Round Pick Leads Cubs to Victory in 1st Pro Game

In his third AB in just his first professional game, Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almora (Mater Academy - Hialeah Gardens, FL) blasted a two-run HR over the LF fence and onto the berm in front of the scoreboard to cap a three-run 5th, leading the AZL Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the AZL Brewers in Arizona League action tonight at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix.

In addition to Almora's heroics, Ben Carhart had four hits (all singles) and scored a run, and Shawon Dunston Jr singled, doubled, and walked, and scored twice.

box score

Almora played CF and batted 3rd in the lineup.

Hitting with a 0-1 count, the 19-year old RH hitter reached base on an E-3 (easy roller fumbled by the Brewers 1st baseman) with one out and a runner at 2nd in his first AB in the top of the 1st, and then he hit a soft line-drive back to the pitcher on an 0-2 pitch with a runner at 2nd base and two outs in the top of the 3rd, before connecting on his two-run blast off Brewers RHP Zachary Quintana on an 2-0 pitch with a runner at 2nd base and two outs in the top of the 5th.     

Almora looked a bit shaky in the outfield, however, fumbling a line-drive hit to CF (the ball was retrieved by RF Yasiel Balaguert and the runner was thrown out trying to take the extra base, so no error was charged), and taking a bad route on a line drive hit to his left that turned what should have been either a long single or possibly a double (with perhaps a play at 2nd base) into a stand-up triple.

Almora was removed from the game after the 5th inning (after he got three AB).

One night after hitting his first pro HR and knocking the Reds third-baseman out of the game with a bouncing rocket off the youngster's nose, Jorge Soler was the DH and hit 5th, and went 0-5.

He struck out his first two times up (the first time swinging on a 3-2 pitch, and the second time looking on a 1-2 pitch), before grounding out three consecutive times to SS (all three high infield choppers) in his final three AB (first pitch swinging on the first one, then hitting with a 1-0 count, and finally on a 2-2 pitch). 

Cubs 2012 5th round draft pick LHP Anthony Prieto (Americas HS - El Paso, TX) made his fourth pro start, and labored through one inning of work (30 pitches - only 14 strikes). He went to ball three on four of the five hitters he faced and walked two of them, but he also struck out two and did not allow a run, 

Although he had difficulty throwing strikes, Prieto had no trouble turning a couple of nifty back flips (a la Ozie Smith) in the outfield before he began his pre-game warm-up in the bullpen. The East German judge only gave him a 6.5, but Prieto is obviously quite an athlete (for a pitcher). 



According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Ryan Dempster felt "blindsided" when word of a trade to the Braves was leaked to the media on Monday.

Dempster had given preliminary indications that he would accept a trade to the Braves. However, the veteran right-hander wasn't happy when word of a completed deal leaked out in the media before the Cubs had a chance to inform him. Dempster has 10-and-5 rights and can veto any trade, so he is currently mulling over the situation. He is scheduled to pitch Wednesday, so a decision is expected before then. If he agrees to the deal, the Braves would send 22-year-old right-hander Randall Delgado to Chicago.


He's angling for something, whether it's LA or an extension. He seems like a good dude and all, but how can he possibly be blindsided by something that he's been the center of for months?

It seemed to leak from the Braves side and maybe the Cubs were waiting for him to show up to the park that day to tell him, but holy overreaction Batman.

Sources say Ryan Dempster had given preliminary indications that he would accept a trade to the #braves from #cubs

— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 24, 2012


Soriano was Batman. Dempster was Captain America.

I was expecting Bluntman or Chronic for Dempster.


Soto is bluntman. Castro is chronic.

Who's Banky and Holden?

Rizzo and lahair

I think you're probably right, but I also think it would be kind of annoying to hear about a done deal from someone other than your own GM.

Overall, it looks like the TheoCorp strategy is to keep stocking up on young pitchers. Zach Lee hasn't had a very good year, for example, but the scouts seem to like him. Volstad has some potential, but bombs badly at least one inning per game. Travis Wood is sometimes ok and might be an alright back of rotation guy someday. Schamardgia has the potential to be a top rotation guy I think. Delgado is another with potential. They just picked up Germano, and signed some other guy whose name escapes me, I think some Puerto Rican kid. That's the way to go I think. Pitchers get hurt so damn much you have to stock pile as many good arms as you can and hope one or two of them stick.

"bombs badly at least one inning per game"

Sounds like a euphemism for "can't pitch." Sooner or later they light you up, and you don't get a second inning to bomb badly.

By the way, I would throw out two other names as starters next year or even later this season, names that I haven't seen mentioned: Lendy, who is starting in his rehab assignments; and Raley, who has gotten much better the past two seasons and passed up Rusin, for sure. Raley has better numbers at Iowa this season than at Daytona two years ago. His 7.2 K/9 is pretty good, and the best of his career. He has 70 innings, so it's not a small sample.

Can't think of too many Cub pitchers who threw better when they got to Iowa. Samardzija? That would be a good precedent.

Greg Maddux sure couldn't pitch...

You went back twenty-five years for that? You thought I was comparing Raley to Maddux?

My point was just that Raley might get a look in the majors in the not-too-distant future. Nobody was mentioning his name, just the usual suspects, Coleman, Wells, Lopez, etc., with an occasional nod to Rusin. I'll be more careful with my comments in the future.

"bombs badly at least one inning per game"

Sounds like a euphemism for "can't pitch." Sooner or later they light you up, and you don't get a second inning to bomb badly.

before Maddux was Maddux, he was notorious for having one bad inning...

Okay, makes more sense.

Didn't recall that about Maddux. Unlike many here, I wasn't following the Cubs closely in the eighties and early nineties. That was pre-WGN cable where I lived, no mlb.com, etc. Did I miss anything?

Gary Scott who?

you have to stock pile as many good arms as you can and hope one or two of them stick
Theo: (The Cubs) need waves and waves (of pitching prospects) coming through your system

As a whole, not specifically regarding these potential deals that are coming, we need to add a lot of pitching to the system. It's not enough to have a handful or two. You need waves and waves coming through your system, and we don't have that. We don't hardly even have one wave coming, so we need to rebuild a lot of pitching depth.


Oh my. "We don't hardly even have one wave coming".

At least he knows the cards he's been dealt.

Rosenthal reporting that Dempster is holding out for the Dodgers. Nice way to help the team with its bargaining.

He's a hammer, not a nail.



Braves withdrawing offer in 3...2...1

Well played, TheoCorp. Round One: Cubbery 1, TheoCorp 0

Assuming all this is true, does this put the Cubs in a desperate/defensive position? Like, even if an LA trade does happen, we'd have less leverage because the Cubs' hand is being forced by all this?

I think TheoCorp, again assuming it's all true and there is no way to know, would need to just pull back on the trade talks with the Dodgers for now and at least claim that Dempster is staying.

Again, being Mr. Speculator, if this is accurate, I would have to agree that IF Demp said the "Braves are my number 2 choice", and he didn't honor his own request, it is just not cool.

I would hope it's not true. It's just kind of dumb. It's obvious the Cubs tried to trade him to his first choice, and the trade didn't work out. So they gave him his second choice. If he's really pissed about the way it was handled, I'm not sure what he could really be pissed about. They are trying to accommodate him within the parameters he expressed.

Seems like small potatoes, in my opinion.

Which is exactly what the Dodgers have been offering.

We also have no idea what's really going on, unless there's something out there where Dempster is quoted directly as saying he was amenable to going to the Braves. Anything else is conjecture.

It's the Internet. People get to make stuff up. Embrace it.

Old and blue isn't that old- And isn't very blue, either.

Old and Blue....He needed the money!!!!!

- Andrew Dice Clay

Plus, I'm a transgender tea partier who plays on both teams, according to reports.


ESPN's Jayson Stark was told by a source that the status of the Ryan Dempster-to-Atlanta deal should be resolved "shortly."

The Cubs and Braves reached agreement Monday on a trade that would send Dempster to Atlanta for 22-year-old right-hander Randall Delgado. However, Dempster is currently mulling over whether to sign off on the deal, as he would prefer to be traded to the Dodgers. Stark notes that the Cubs continue to talk with both the Braves and the Dodgers.

Kevin Goldstein twitter thread:

Kevin Goldstein [email protected]_Goldstein
Ryan Dempster has every right to reject a trade. Sorry, folks. He doesn't owe the Cubs anything but his services as a pitcher.

If that’s his choice, it doesn’t matter. “@_ryan_delgado: @Kevin_Goldstein Just very curious why he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta”

Again, he owes them nothing. [email protected]: @Kevin_Goldstein Ryan Dempster is costing the cubs a BIG prospect.”

Reports don't owe the Cubs or Braves either. RT @krafty0808: @Kevin_Goldstein Insulting reporters who broke the story irks me too.

Also, don't tell me Dempster said he'd help the team. Public statements = nada. You'd hate him if he told the truth and said he'd be picky.

Amazing dynamic to watch. RT @NSelbs: For awhile, he was Ryan "Dumpster". Then he was the new Mr. Cub. Now he's a douche.

"Amazing dynamic to watch. RT @NSelbs: For awhile, he was Ryan "Dumpster". Then he was the new Mr. Cub. Now he's a douche."

Again, it's the Internet. He gets to be all three at once. It's a beautiful thing.

Patrick Mooney [email protected]
Dempster plans to start for #Cubs tomorrow and says he will take time weighing all his options before making best decision for his family.

Somewhere, The Real Neal is calling Dempster a pussy for thinking about his family during this trade stuff.

I think Dempster is pissing away the goodwill he has built up. If i was Atlanta and the Dodgers i would not want him anymore as i think his heart isn't into pitching for either club if he is going to take his sweet ass time. They are in pennant races where every start counts and i would just tell the Cubs and Dempster to go fuck themselves.

Your not in a hurry to help another team get to the playoffs? Then we don't need you then.

The 10-and-5 rule is thanks to collective bargaining. No one holds it against anyone.

the no-hendry era is kinda awesome so far.

no one's blaming the GM in 100 posts for "screwing this up."

i love the reflective coating on new cubs toys.

even g.concepcion still has some "on the fence" fans in a world where people still should be saying "dude, wtf was that?"

Cause unlike the Hendry era where all the leaks seemed to come from us, the leak here seems to come from the Braves. I realize, though, you're in the "blame for Theo for everything cause he's a suit" era.

you're really sensitive to anything i say about theo.

all that aside, this...once again...doesn't have as much to do with theo as it does something else...like TCR and the general fan "new car smell" that makes people invincible for a while. it happens with every new toy suit/manager/coach/etc...

it's not unique to the cubs fans...ask boston fans about their last GM's initial period vs before when he left.

woo suits.

oh yeah...and once again...again...i like theo/jed.

"Ryan Dempster told reporters Tuesday that he will take "much of the next week" to decide on a potential trade."

Screw you Dempster.......so its gonna take roughly 2 weeks for him to make up his mind? Fuck you Dempster.

OH NO! The guy is utilizing his collectively bargained rights. What an asshole!

Plus he's thinking about his family. FUCK HIM.

It is not all of that stuff that bothers any of us. Family is important and so are labor rights. It's the issue of why this wasn't decided upon one way or the another WELL before now.

I mean seriously before the season even started everyone knew the Cubs would suck badly and that Demspter, being an impending free agent, would probably be dealt in July. Dempster and his family should have been thinking and talking about this for 6 months now. And while the team's management can't concede the season in January and start approaching Dempster about his 10-5 rights and trading, they certainly should have been doing so 6-8-10 weeks ago.

There was ample time then for Dempster to say "no, I don't want to go to Atlanta, that would be too hard on my family, I would veto a trade to the Braves, trade me to a West Coast team."

If he had said that a few weeks ago, fine, I would applaud him. The Cubs don't owe him anything, he has a right to invoke his 10-5 rights as he pleases, and I respect someone who looks out for their family.

But how the hell did we get here? It seems unlikely that the Cubs would have negotiated with the Braves over these last two weeks without thinking Dempster would approve of the trade. Hell, the Braves were one of the team's rumored openly in the news for the past two weeks, so where was Dempster then calling the GM and say "I am hearing rumors of the Braves, you know I won't go there."

I just don't get it. Either the Cubs ignored Dempster's requests or instructions or never even asked him; or Dempster was not very clear with his instructions to the team or is now re-thinking his position. Or maybe a combination of the two. Who knows. But it's annoying as hell to hear that he needs a week to think about it when he should have been thinking about it for a long time and made his position clear.

So in the off-season, he should prepare himself to be traded to any team and be ready to react at that moment he found out (via media reports, let's not forget)?

The stuff about the Braves were reports. We have no idea if he was amenable to going there. Then again, maybe he's the source of the reports. But we really just don't know.

He can take all of the time he needs. He's not doing anything wrong.

You didn't read what I wrote. No, he should not "prepare himself to be traded to any team" WTF?

He should think about what teams he would be willing to go to and let the team know, gee, I don't know, BEFORE the team engages in lengthy discussions and negotiates a trade.

You are right, we don't know if he was amenable to going there. If he was not, he should have told the Cubs so we didn't arrive at this point. If he is, he should approve the trade.

I repeat, I don't know who is the wrong, but this was something both sides new was going to happen long ago and they had ample time to get on the same page with which teams he would be willing to go and which he would veto. This shit storm we are in now means someone fucked up.

You said that Dempster and his family should've been preparing for this for six months. To me, you made it sound like, Oh, they should know he was getting traded, so he should be able to say yes or no right away. So my apologies if that's not what you meant. Maybe I read what you said incorrectly (but I did read it). Was the WTF really necessary there?

And maybe he told the team where he wanted to go and Atlanta isn't one of those places. So maybe he's deciding if he wants to go there after all.

To keep stressing my point, he and his family should have not been preparing for a trade. Hell, I would tip my hat to him if he said he didn't want to be traded at all for family reasons. I don't think he owes the Cubs a prospect or anything.

I just think he and his family should have been preparing long ago for the *prospect that the Cubs would want to trade him in July* and thus communicated to the Cubs A) if he would be willing to be traded, and if so B) where he would be willing to be traded.

So I still think the entire thing is odd and means someone screwed up somewhere. After this is all over we will start hearing leaks about what happened and I would bet it is either going to be one of these two stories:

1) Cubs were frustrated with Dempster. He told them that he preferred to be on the West Coast but would go to any contender and that they should go out and find the best deal. They did that, came back to him with the trade, and only then does he say "hold on, I don't want to go to Atlanta."

2) Dempster was upset with the Cubs' leadership. He made it clear he would go to a West Coast team and that any other team would require some more detailed discussion with his family and would only be approved under specific circumstances. He assumed this would mean that they would keep him in the loop regarding their negotiations, not confront him with a done trade. He felt they were trying to bully him into taking a trade he may not accept by giving it to him already done and already leaked to the media.

I would guess in a week or two we get one of those stories. OK, those are my last thoughts on this. Sorry for the WTF.

Maybe Dempster should remember he's a multi-millionaire, and only has to go to Atlanta for the remainder of the season? Cry me a river. If he told the Cubs he'd go there....then stfu and go. If he didn't, then the Cubs dropped the ball.

If I had 10 and 5 rights and my boss wanted to transfer me to Atlanta, I would tell him I'll go on 7/31 or suck my balls. You choose. Atlanta is crap.

Perhaps he has family shit to take care of prior to the deadline?

Yep, I gotta agree, though I would not put LA much above it...

200 days of 70-80 degree sunny weather is fucking miserable.

It's the 70-80% of the people who are so fake they don't even know who they are that sucks about LA. The weather is fantastic!

EDIT:The traffic is a penis as well.

they're working on the traffic thing...


the traffic isn't fun, but that can be said for most large cities.

LA is a lot worse because of the lack of public transit and lack of planning.

the traffic sucks, do not get me wrong, but here's some comps


they are improving the public transit though....just the sheer size of LA will always be a problem unfortunately. Too many square miles to connect and it'll take awhile once they get it all built for folks to convert.

It's what you make of it ultimately. I have a good job, my family enjoys it, great weather for the weekends, lots of options for the weekends, etc. To each their own though....

There's legitimacy in the fake people comment, but I've never been one to waste my time and have a pretty good detector for genuine people. Plenty of those around as well, even if you have to look a little more.

My wife works in healthcare and was saying when she heard about Dempster wanting to go to LA, that they have one of the best childrens' hospitals in the country. Maybe Dempster is also pushing to go to LA for his kid.

ever drive in Atlanta during rain?

LA has a lot of great culture, ocean, mountains.

Atlanta has Coke.

(but so does LA)


WiscGrad is exaclty right. This should have been thought over weeks ago. Its not been top secret news that the Cubs are looking to trade Dempster. I mean really if Dempster is shocked about trade rumors surrounding him he must live under a rock or is a really stupid person.

A deal is in place, you either want to go or not go. He has all the right in the world to wait his sweet ass time but like i said before if i was GM and am going to wait nearly 2 weeks to make up his mind....1) I don't really want him anymore and am looking for someone else on the trade market who wants to play for my team now not 2 weeks from now. 2) If he decides he wants to be traded and i still kinda want him then I am gonna pull my so called A offer and low ball the Cubs and tell them to take it or leave it. Because were not sure if we really want him or not.

The game can be played both ways and either way Dempster still makes his money, its just he looks like a fucking tool now when this could have all been avoided.

odd... when I looked up Dempster's picture on the Braves website, it looks exactly like Fred McGriff

I don't blame him, although the prior reports are that he was OK with Atlanta. If I'm the Cubs, I definately don't start him until he makes up his mind. That may further piss him off, but why take a chance on an injury ala Garza.

Family is important and so are labor rights
Speaking of labor rights...Garza takes paternity leave. Won't be available to pitch until Monday. Let me remind everyone he's had 9 months to plan for this.

I am sure he did plan for it and that the team knew long ago that he would be missing a few days in late July.

I don't see any articles out there about the Cubs being "blind-sided" by the news.

I agree with WISCGRAD's points on this whole matter, and it's hard to pass any judgement because none of us were in the discussions with Theo/Jed and Dempster's agent. Very hard to believe the possibility of a trade to teams other than the Dodgers weren't discussed. Also, hard to fathom the Cubs having discussions these detailed with Atlanta without a prior understanding that Dempster would waive his 10/5 rights to go. But stranger things have happened in Cubbery.

If I was Theo and didn't get the prospects I wanted from LA, I would offer Dempster the 1-yr $12.5M deal for 2013 and take the supplemental 1st round pick.

I'll just repeat what I said earlier about this little kerfuffle.

Cubbery 1 TheoCorp 0

I'm just talking about the Trading Deadline League here.

garza proved a long time ago he isn't good at planning when to have kids.

and I would bet it is either going to be one of these two stories:
or 3) he woke up from his monday early afternoon nap, found out he had 500 text messages and was just really cranky.

We don't know the source of the premature rumors yesterday. For all we know, it could have come from the Atlanta side.

pretty likely, the first 2 reports were Atlanta writers.

woo...castro homer in the 1st...solo.

What's that have to do with The Dempster Show?


also, soriano's 19th.

cubs up 5-1, top 6

The Cubs don't HAVE to trade Dempster.

They can hold onto him, and then make the "Qualifying Offer" (a one year guaranteed contract for 2013 with a salary at least equal to the average of the 125 highest MLB salaries in 2012 - expected to be somewhere around $13M) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2012 World Series, and if he accepts it (and he will have a week to decide), the Cubs get him for another year (2013) for around $13M, and if he rejects the Qualifying Offer (and he probably would, since post-2012 will probably be the best and possibly last opportunity he will have to get a multi-year mega-million dollar contract), the Cubs get a compensation draft pick immediately after the conclusion of the 1st round in the 2013 June Draft (at this point, it looks to be overall pick #32 or 33), once he signs with a new team.

BTW, in this scenario, the signing team loses its 1st round pick, unless it's picking in the Top 10 of the 1st round, in which case the team loses its 2nd round pick. (This lost draft pick is not assigned to any other club. It just disappears). Also, if a club signs more than one Article XX-B FA who received a "Qualifying Offer" from his former team, the signing team loses picks in subsequent rounds beyond the 1st or 2nd rounds, for as many rounds as the number of Article XX-B MLB free-agents signed who received Qualifying Offers from their former club.

I think teams are going to want to keep their high picks and the bonus pool money that comes with it. A qualifiying offer to a pitcher of Dempster's age may kill his free agent value. Kind of like the type A status did to many relievers under the old system.

You're spot on. It's an unintended consequence of the CBA from the player's union side. Cubs will offer Demp 1/13 and he will likely have to accept, going year by year until the Cubs don't want him anymore. By then, no other team will give him a multi-year contract. Almost an arbitration cycle for top players near the end.

hey look...the Pirates.

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  • Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.

    billybucks 30 min 31 sec ago view
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    Rob G. 36 min 54 sec ago view
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    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 2 hours 40 min ago view
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    crunch 2 hours 47 min ago view
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    Tito 5 hours 12 min ago view
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    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

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    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 5 hours 21 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 5 hours 24 min ago view
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    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 37 min ago view
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    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 41 min ago view
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    Arizona Phil 5 hours 46 min ago view
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    Hagsag 9 hours 31 min ago view
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    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 9 hours 33 min ago view
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    billybucks 16 hours 28 min ago view
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    billybucks 16 hours 32 min ago view