Soler Attacks Scoreboard with Laser at HoHoKam Park

Jorge Soler drove-in three runs with an infield single and a two-run home run, Ben Carhart blasted a three-run homer, and Shawon Dunston Jr doubled, tripled, and walked, and scored three runs, leading the AZL Cubs to a 9-2 thrashing of the AZL Indians in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. 



box score


Soler played RF and hit clean-up tonight, and went 2-4, hitting a high-chopper to SS in his first AB that should have been a 6-4 FC but was misplayed into an error (Soler would later score on Carhart's HR), before reaching base on an RBI infield single (still another high chopper to SS) that drove-in Dunston from 3rd with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd, as Soler beat the shortstop's throw to first.


Then with two outs and a runner on 1st base in the bottom of the 4th, Soler hit a laser-shot line-drive two-run HR off the iron fence ("clank!") at the base of the scoreboard (beyond the LF wall and over the berm) off Tribe RHP Dillon Howard (CLE 2011 2nd round draft pick), giving the Cubs a 9-2 lead. He struck out swinging (checked swing on a 1-2 pitch) in his final AB in the 6th.   


Cubs 1st round pick Albert Almora played CF and hit third in the order, and was hitless in five AB, but he reached base three times on errors (the Indians infield made a total of six errors in the game) and drove-in two runs and scored two more in the process. He hit one ball hard, a liner that bounced off the pitcher's leg and caromed directly to the Tribe 2nd baseman, who promptly fumbled the ball for an error. 


Almora also made one of two outstanding defensive plays by the Cubs tonight, a run-saving back-handed sliding catch in left-center with one out in the 6th. Almoira's catch immediately followed a sliding catch by 1B Ben Carhart in foul territory in front of the 1st base dugout. 


Carhart (normally a 3rd baseman) got the stert at 1B tonight, what with Dan Vogelbach having been promoted to Boise after last night's game. Prior to his promotion, Vogelbach was leading the AZL in doubles and RBI, and was second in HR. 


Cubs 3rd round draft pick RHP Ryan McNeil (Nipomo HS - Nipomo, CA) made his pro debut in tonight's game, getting the start and working one inning. He labored throughout the frame and had difficulty throwing strikes (29 pitches - 16 strikes), allowing one run on a lead-off single and a two-out RBI double. He also walked one batter, but then he also struck out two.


McNeil is a big, raw kid (6'3 215 with a HS basketball background), and he looks fairly athletic on the mound. He received a $425K bonus when he signed with the Cubs, giving up a chance to play college ball at Long Beach State.   


LHP Brian Smith made his first game appearance in almost a month (he is on the Boise DL, although he never actually left Mesa), throwing one inning (22 pitches - 14 strikes) and allowing one run. He surrendered a lead-off single and an RBI double to the first two men he faced, before striking out the side (one batter looking and two swinging) and stranding a runner at 3rd. Smith is a breaking-ball pitcher who uses his fastball as a "show-me" pitch to set-up his curve, and he got all three strikeouts with a "strike three" bender. 


Supplemental 1st round pick RHP Paul Blackburn (Heritage HS - Brentwood, CA) followed McNeil and Smith to the mound and threw two shutout innings (and he needed just 15 pitches to do it), allowing a lead-off double in his second inning of work (but then the batter was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple). The 18-year old Blackburn is a sinkerball pitcher, and he got four outs on grounders. Blackburn gave up an opportunity to play college ball at Arizona State when he signed with the Cubs last month ($900K+ bonus), and he is considered more-polished than the typical HS senior. 


Cubs RHP Justin Amlung (Cubs 2012 12th round pick) worked the 5th and 6th innings (33 pitches - 22 strikes), throwing shutout ball while allowing a two-out single in the 5th and a lead-off walk in the 6th. He struck out the side in his first inning, and benefitted from the Carhart and Almora catches in his second inning of work.


Amlung was drafted by the Cubs as a college senior (he was the #1 starter at the U. of Louisville and a one-time teammate of AA Tennessee RHRP Tony Zych), and looks ready to move-up to Boise right now. He is a short-armer who throws a mid-90's four-seam fastball in short bursts, so he probably profiles as a reliever in pro ball. (He was throwing gas in his first inning tonight when he struck out the side, but then not as hard in his second inning when Indians hitters started to tag him a bit).

Comments

Hanley and Choate to Dodgers for Eovaldi and yet to be named prospect.

Cubs still with same shitty team.

We are just waiting for all the top tradeable prospects to be swapped. Much easier to negotiate deals when only mediocre prospects are remaining.

Dodgers flipping Hanley to the Cubs?

I believe one of the reasons the Red Sox originally traded Hanley was concern over his attititude, It doesn't seem like he's improved upon that.

Funny how Ramirez' attitude wasn't an issue from 2006-2010 isn't it?

Eovaldi was scheduled to start for the Dodgers Friday night...

Cubs and Wrigley inch closer to the 20th century

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/13970472-4...

Hamels gets 6/140.

That should work out well for the Phillies long term, huh?

@CarrieMuskat: Boise's Ian Dickson hurls six no-hit frames http://t.co/81QFphpZ

via @Minorleagues Cubs

Thanks for the great reports from AZ. Can get box scores from milb.com but not your great commentary.

Atlanta GM says deal with Cubs has expired.

Radio report.

Again, well played, TheoCorp. Very nicely done. Keep earning that big handsome salary.

I don't think it's their fault that Dempster can veto a trade or that someone from Atlanta leaked it.

Demp channeling his inner Dwight Howard is Theo's fault how?

Link in twitter box says the same.

Yeah!

Paul [email protected]

Randy Wells underwent artho surgery on elbow yesterday in Chicago. Done for year.

Please take this with a grain of salt.

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/7/25/3185777/han...

Az Phil,
Any info on Carhart? I've heard he's got what they call a "bad body" but it seems like he is raking
right now. Think he'll be Boise bound soon?

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 8:40am — Dusty Baylor

Az Phil,
Any info on Carhart? I've heard he's got what they call a "bad body" but it seems like he is raking
right now. Think he'll be Boise bound soon?

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

DUSTY B: As a 22-year old college senior, it is not too surprising that Ben Carhart is hitting as well as he is in the AZL. Experienced, polished college players usually do well in rookie ball.

And it's not Carhart's fault that he's blocked at 3B by Jeimer Candelario (at Boise) and Dustin Geiger (at Peoria), and at 1B by Rock Shoulders and Dan Vogelbach (both at Boise) and Paul Hoilman (at Peoria).

That said, Carhart really does need to move up to Boise or Peoria.

The Cubs could move Rebel Ridling up to AA or AAA from Daytona and then promote Hoilman to Daytona and Shoulders or Vogelbach to Peoria. That would clear some playing time at 3B-1B-DH for Carhart at Boise.

Or the Cubs could move Geiger to RF (the Cubs projected him as a RF when they drafted him, but Geiger wanted to stay at 3B), except that move would probably have to be made post-2012 at AZ Instructs and/or next March at Minor League Camp.

As I have posted before, I believe Carhart actually should consider a move to catcher if the Cubs ask him. He has a catcher's body (he's listed at 5'8 180, but he's really more like 5'8 220), and even if he doesn't develop into an everyday catcher, being a C-1B-3B would give him a better chance of reaching the higher levels of the minors (or perhaps even MLB) than if he remains just a corner INF.

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  • Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.

    Old and Blue 19 min 40 sec ago view
  • Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.

    I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....

    Dusty Baylor 26 min 17 sec ago view
  • @Dusty Contreras if it's a Lester or Arrieta start. TLS is good PH too. You also forgot about Heyward, assume Fowler is CF.

    chitownmvp01 27 min 32 sec ago view
  • I expect Soler to get optioned as well when activated and Cahill to replace Grimm. It wouldn't surprise me if Coghlan and/or Soler is included in a trade.

    Maybe Coghlan is up to see if he can get on track before someone acquires him.

    This move could also be to assure that we have as much OF depth as possible to maximize Joe's ability to rest players in September once we've clinched.

    chitownmvp01 29 min 42 sec ago view
  • Maddon basically said as much...Fowler still kind of sore, they're being proactive, etc.

    Tito 31 min 56 sec ago view
  • La Stella at 2B...Baez at 3B, or vice versa. Zobrist in RF, Bryant in LF No one gets bumped.

    Dusty Baylor 40 min 13 sec ago view
  • If Coghlan is leading off, I assume Fowler is getting the day off. Who is supposed to lead off, then? Someone has to get on base for Bryant and Rizzo. Coghlan's OBP is .346 with the Cubs. Jackson's was .304. LaStella can lead off, but then he has to play second or third, and bump Zobrist or Baez.

    Unless he gets hot, Coghlan will likely change places with Soler soon.

    VirginiaPhil 41 min 48 sec ago view
  • I suspect the Cubs asked Chris Coghlan if he would accept an Optional Assignment to the minors and he refused (Coghlan has one minor league option left), so either you keep LaStella on the 25 and release Coghlan, or option LaStella to AAA for about a month and have both LaStella and Coghlan available in September-October. (As an Article XIX-A player, Coghlan must give his permission before he can be optioned to the minors, while LaStella has not accrued enough MLB Service Time to refuse an optional assignment).

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • Given today's lineup -- maybe they just wanted an extra OF to give Dexter a few days off (i.e. day game after a night game).

    billybucks 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • Tommy LaStella has three minor leaue options left so it's no big deal to send him to Iowa, but as of right now he projects to be at 2+124 MLB Service Time by the end of the of the 2016 MLB regular season, which will place him "on the bubble" as far as being eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2016.

    But if he spends at least twenty days on optional assignment this season (anything less than twenty days and he will accrue a full season of MLB Service Time), he will not have enough MLB Service Time to have a chance to be a "Super Two."

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • this will be his 4th time leading off for the cubs this season...WITH A .500 OB%! HAIL MADDON! THE PLAN (c)2016! HE HAS RISEN! #YOLO #SWAG! KONY 2012!

    crunch 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.

    johann 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?

    billybucks 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.

    billybucks 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.

    johann 2 hours 50 min ago view