Cubs Shake Their Bote to Victory at HoHoKam

David Bote reached base four times on two RBI doubles, a single, and a walk, and Shawon Dunston Jr tripled, singled, scored two runs, and drove-in another, leading the AZL Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the AZL Dodgers in Arizona League action tonight at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.


box score


Cubs 1st round draft pick Albert Almora and Cuban mega-defector Jorge Soler went a combined 1-8, although Almora did collect an RBI on a ground ball single that ticked-off the glove of the shortstop.


Soler struck out twice (once swinging and once looking), and flied out twice.


The Dodgers have a high-profile Cuban defector playing for their AZL team, too, one Yasiel Puig.


Puig played RF tonight and reached base three times (two singles and a walk), but he also dropped a routine fly ball for a two-base error that allowed Almora to reach 2nd base safely in the bottom of the 1st. 


Puig is hitting a rather robust 407/500/1.000 and is already tied for 9th in the AZL in HR (with four), despite having played in only eight games.  


Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was at tonight's game, and so he got a chance to watch his $42M investment up close & personal.


RHP Paul Blackburn (Cubs 2012 Supplemental 1st round pick) got the start for the Cubs and labored through a two-inning 40-pitch outing, allowing two runs (both unearned) on four hits (all four singles) and a walk, with two strikeouts.


The most-impressive performance by a Cub pitcher tonight was the one turned-in by 20-year old RHP Dillon Maples, who (finally) displayed the velocity and command not seen previously, including three outings at AZ Instructs last fall (4.91 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, .231 OppBA, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP), or over the course of his two previous appearances in the AZL this season (3.38 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, .111 OppBA, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 2 WP).  


But he was much better tonight, throwing two shutout innings (31 pitches - 20 strikes), allowing two singles and a HBP, while striking out three (two swinging). The big difference tonight was that he threw strikes (especially "strike one") and worked fast. 


When he's right, Maples throws a 93 MPH fastball (with movement) and a hard-breaking nearly-unhittable curve, and he displayed both pitches tonight. If he can command his electric stuff (as he did tonight) and maybe develop a change-up, he could be a potential MLB "Top-of-the-Rotation" guy down the road.


Maples was a 14th round draft pick of the Cubs in June 2011 out of Pinecrest HS in Southern Pines, NC (he dropped to the 14th round only because of "signability" concerns), and he was signed by the Cubs right off the campus of the University of North Carolina last August (a top-notch place-kicker, Maples had signed an NLI with UNC to play both baseball and football, and he was attending the Tar Heels pre-season football camp when he made his decision to turn pro and sign with the Cubs).


The ace of the Under-18 Team USA squad while in HS, Maples received a $2.5M signing bonus (equivalent to "1st round money") from the Cubs.   


After being shut-down with a sore arm midway through Instructs last year and not pitching at Minor League Camp or at Extended Spring Training this season while dealing with elbow/forearm issues, Maples finally appears to be moving forward.    


The Defensive Gem of the Game was the very last play of the game.


With the Cubs up 5-2 with one out in the top of the 9th and with Dodger runners at 2nd and 3rd and the tying run at the plate, CF Albert Almora made a brilliant Willie Mays style catch, racing full-speed with his back to the infield and catching a towering fly ball basket-style just as he hit the CF Batter's Eye, before turning around 180 degrees and (without having time to measure the throw) firing a strike to 2nd base that doubled Alex Santana off base for the final out of the game.


A truly amazing play by the Cubs 2012 #1 draft pick.


There also was another roster gaffe by an AZL manager in tonight's game, this time by Cubs manager Bobby Mitchell.


Each AZL team has a 35-man roster, but only 30 players can be designated "active" for each game.


Unfortunately, one of the five AZL Cubs "inactive" guys (RHP Daniel Adrian) was brought into the game in the top of the 3rd, only to be waived off the field by the home plate umpire after he finished his warm-up tosses.  


After a discussion around home plate between the umpires and the two managers, RHP Chad Martin was hurriedly brought into the game.


To his credit, AZL Dodgers manager Matt Martin agreed to let Chad Martin have as much time as he needed to get loose. The rival manager was within his rights to insist that the new pitcher be allowed just the maximum eight warm-up tosses, but I could hear him say that he didn't want anybody to get hurt just because of a technicality.   

Comments

That's pretty cool on Martin's part. Also cool you can sometimes hear what is being said. Are there ever scenes out of Bull Durham where they are talking about anything other than baseball? Although, I believe in the scene I'm thinking of, there was something about a sacrificial chicken or something like that to break out of a slump, and it may be where Nuke Laloosh was told to wear some unique clothing.

Soler promoted to Peoria

Peoria roster has two Cubans, Yaniel Cabezas (catcher) and G. Concepcion who is on the DL (so he might not be traveling with the club)

just checking on how easy it will be for him in another new setting.

That's good, but I do wish we could have had more time for AZ to take a good look at him.

Castro has had a dropoff since Rudy Jaramillo was dismissed as the Cubs hitting coach on June 12, the Cubs' web site reports. In 60 games with Jaramillo, Castro hit .308, and in the 48 games since, he's hitting .226.

I was thinking about that when perusing the previous thread. I also think he'll come around regardless.

Must be it. He never hit much in the minors--was pretty much a scrub before Jaramillo got a hold of him.

Actually it was Jaramillo's teachings that have caused the slump. Just took awhile to take hold.

http://peoria.chiefs.milb.com/news/article.js...

article on Soler promotion on the Chief's website...they are on the road in Burlington, IA tonight and ESPN/Doug Padilla tweeted that he will start tonight.

http://twitter.com/ESPNChiCubs

Might have to go to Kane County Labor Day week end to see Cubs future.

Beloit is pretty close as well, for this weekend.

Yup

... a small market team, without people going all TRN on each other, mostly.

I myself would like to see a bit of a mix of FAs and young talent but I'm sort of at a loss at WHICH FAs on a team that is rebuilding. Current contracts are insane and long. You don't want to block a guy who is coming up fast through the system with some failed free agent. The strategy of developing first from the ground up and filling a hole or two after it's been figured which prospects will become impact players makes sense.

If TheoCorp is gonna do this, though, I sure as hell hope this is the beginning of a 20 year run of playoff caliber teams.

Amen

Personally, I like experience in the bullpen. Boring = better as far as relievers go. Marmol is not my ideal closer.

cubs need a strong bullpen when the most well rested starters are lucky to be allowed to pitch over 100 pitches. the way they're handled they'll be ready to pitch in October...and November...and December.

if verlander was a cub he'd be choking coaches in the dugout every 5 days....he's gone 130+ a couple times this year (nothing new for him).

Verlander would be allowed to pitch deep, and the fans would bitch about his pitch counts.

verlander is the "elephant in the room" on pitch counts...while guys on strict 100-120 counts are falling he keeps performing.

btw, i support keeping guys at/below 120...but the panic surrounding a guy pitching 120 followed by 125 (or similar) is kinda silly since 1 less pitch on the 1st start or 6 less on the other mostly means no fan alarm.

Not to mention, how many pitches did the guy throw in the bullpen before the game? How about between innings? A one-size-fits-all approach is pretty silly, IMO.

I think I remember seeing a stat on a Cubs pitcher (can't remember who came up in the broadcast) that his FIP or ERA or something was really low until he hit the 100 pitch mark and obscenely high after 100. Maybe that's a cherry picked stat, but maybe it's part of the reason for taking them out when they do.

The Cubs have to reinstate Lendy Castillo from the DL no later than this Monday (8/13) for Castillo to fulfill Rule 5 requirements this year.

If he is not activated by this coming Monday, he will remain a Rule 5 player into the 2013 season, until he has accrued 90 days (combined 2012-13) on an MLB Active List.

Castillo has now spent 29 days on his minor league rehab assignment (pitchers get a maximum 30 days to rehab, position players get only 20), and he last pitched this past Monday for AA Tennessee (he began his rehab at AZL Cubs, then was moved up to Daytona, and then to Tennessee).

Castillo has been stretched-out to where he can be used in long relief (three or four innings if necessary) once he is reinstated, but when he has thrown in a minor league rehab, it's been with at least three days off in-between outings. So he hasn't been prepped to pitch multiple days in a row, or even every-other day.

Another DSL Cub gets hammered with a 50-game PED suspension.

This time it's 19-year old Dominican LHP Andin Diaz

He will miss the final 16 games of this season and the first 34 games of the 2013 DSL Cubs #1 season (presuming the Cubs opt to put him back on the active list when his suspension ends).

Diaz is the third DSL Cub to get a PED suspension this season.

Is this a big loss, PHIL?

I can understand the temptation, but man...

Just bad advice from their teammates.

stanozolol makes the sports world go round...

woo...hour and 1/2 til the cubs go for 9 in a row.

sigh.

Go Bears!

via rotowurld, via the trib...re: garza

"I fought so long with them, 'I'll be able to come back, I'll be able to come back,'" said Garza, who was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his elbow this week. "They just said they've had enough and let's see what else is in there. It's nothing bad. Doc just said a little rest and let's get it over with." While Garza is optimistic about playing again this season, it will be tough to map out a timetable for his return until he begins a throwing program.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking...

d.barney's last error at 2nd was April 17th (just checked on that, knew he was near 100 games without one).

he did make an error at SS in early august, btw.

That's it CRUNCH! The HUMAN JINX!

i'll be the fall guy...screw it.

couple of years from now i'll be rolling in bank from players paying me off not to jinx their superstitious selves.

mercenary...

brb, looking at dream home real estate.

Privateislandsonline dot com. That's where I'm going after I win the powerball.

tarp? TARP!

maaaaaaaaaaaan...i'm all ready to see a cubs game...maaaaaaaaaaaaan...

Cubs deemed "too big to fail," qualify for TARP.

haha

CLE fires punk rock scott from his pitching coach position...boo.

when's Bear Truth going to be up?

~ducks~

game on...

leadoff solo homer for the reds...neat.

brett jackson wrigley debut...

nothing. no extra cheers...no "woos."

popout, shallow LF

People still say "barf"?

Fart

Fair enough.

cubs take a 2r lead in the bottom 8th...soriano's 20th, 2r HR.

raining like hell.

Sori #20 5-3 Cubs

11th straight 20th homer season

Tony Four Sacks looks cool playing first

scrubbies win...screw you 8 game losing streak.

Cubs win

TheBlogfines #Vogelbombin RT @Dylanj85: Dan Vogelbach is now 2 HR's behind the league leader. He has 150 less AB's.

5hr, 4 in the past 4 games...

Sun times/Wittenmeyer article on the Cubs farm system with some quotes from Tim Wilken. It will be interesting to see if his contract which expires after this season is renewed. He seems to have meshed with the new regime but behind the scenes, who knows what both sides are thinking?

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Soler-Almora article regarding promotions...

@ESPNChiCubs: Cubs blog: After Soler promotion, all eyes on Almora http://t.co/B69Jrxh6

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 11 hours 43 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 11 hours 55 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 12 hours 4 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 12 hours 9 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 12 hours 27 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 13 hours 4 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 13 hours 21 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 13 hours 23 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 13 hours 48 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 14 hours 44 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 15 hours 2 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 15 hours 6 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 16 hours 16 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 16 hours 55 min ago view