Friday Funnies: Anthony Rizzo, Devin Mesoraco, and the play at the plate.

 

It's always been my favorite play, the play at the plate.


When Starlin Castro blasted one off the wall with Darwin Barney on 2nd and Anthony Rizzo on first, you knew it was gonna happen.
Not really that big an explosion, but if I'm Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco I'd be thinking about lots of stuff including Rizzo's size, the collision that's about to happen, holding onto the ball, and...my health.

Rizzo slid.
Safe.
Cubs end up winning on Alfonso Soriano's 2-run blast in the 8th.
Victory over the first place Reds.
Not that I'm supposed to care about wins this year, but it just makes for a better evening, don't you think?

Comments

Plays at the plate are fun. But I also saw The Franchise flash before my eyes for just one second, in anticipation of the next round of Cubbery.

BTW, the eyes on the part of the catcher are great.

it's the Reds newest hot marketing item: Devin Mesoroco goggles

http://www.spriceangels.com/UploadFiles/spric...

Vogelbach and Peralta on Baseball America's Hot Sheet.

Starling Peralta
Team: low Class A Peoria (Midwest)
Age: 21
Why He's Here: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 14 SO
The Scoop: It took Peralta three years in the Dominican Summer League to show the Cubs enough to earn a visa to the States. It's taken him another two years to establish himself as a legitimate prospect, but these days Peralta has proven he's one to keep an eye on. He's still somewhat inconsistent, but what was once an 89-92 mph fastball is now a 92-94 heater that tops out near 96. His slider comes and goes, but on days like Tuesday it's a plus pitch. Clinton sure couldn't hit it, and Peralta put together one of the biggest strikeout nights (14) we've seen this year. His previous career high was eight.

Dan Vogelbach
Team: short-season Boise (Northwest)
Age: 19
Why He's Here: .333/.429/1.000 (8-for-24), 6 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB, 7 SO
The Scoop: Scouts said Vogelbach's bat would have to carry him, and so far it has—and in a big way. The ultra-stout Vogelbach went deep in four straight games, including a pair of solo blasts last night against Everett to run his yearly total to 13 in just 39 games. (Note that he spent his first 24 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League.) He also has 32 extra-base hits in 161 at-bats this year, good for a rate of one every five at-bats. Possessing plus-plus raw power to all fields, Vogelbach has shred 30 pounds since high school and has proven he's ready to handle full-season ball next year.
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

And from the Hot Sheet chat:

Will Don Vogelbach be a BA top 100 player at the end of the year?
J.J. Cooper: Probably not. He's a power-hitting first baseman who has yet to play full-season ball. The margin for error on those kind of guys is pretty small because of the lack of position versatility. I like Vogelbach as a prospect, but he's likely to have to do it at higher levels to crack the Top 100.

It was a pleasent surprise to see Starling Peralta put together a nice game, especially with the cubs lack of pitching depth, I know he doesn't have Ace stuff, but could he be a mid rotation type guy? and how does he rank compared to other Cubs pitching prospects?
J.J. Cooper: He still has a long ways to go with consistency, but the stuff is there that when he has his slider, he can be a solid prospect. I think he's more of a 20-30 guy in the system right now, but he's taken some nice strides.
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

Don was never much of a prospect, but that Dan kid can hit.

good thing he shredded 30 lbs (post above)...

How much does Don, I mean Dan, weigh now?

Deuce, deuce and a half?

Can anyone run down the 5 error circumstances? Rizzo with 2?! And, "Sure-Hands-Vitters"? Jackson? Castro's I would expect.

i can't, but i can tell you the wind was really crazy today...dunno what that has to do with the IF errors, though.

i was only partially "checked in"...messy game all around.

errors aside, chapman's velocity made rizzo's hitting setup look extremely foolish. he couldn't get through his long-setup/timing mechanism quick enough to swing with enough time to do anything with the ball being pitched.

Rizzo caught a tough hop on a sharp low-sinking liner that bounced six inches in front of him. I thought it was a tough error. Ditto Vitters,except he should have made the play. Castro was just a mental gaffe, good timing on a grounder but just raised his glove a moment too soon, too worried about getting the runner.

Didn't catch the last two.

@ESPN_MLB: Report: Cubs hire new scouting director http://t.co/6019CrBs

http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?b...

Try that link, Jaron Madison from Padres. No word on Wilken.

awesome...the system will be packed to the brim with quality 1ip relievers and little else.

=p

PS - minority hire, fwiw...still not many black scouts in the scouting community even on the lowest levels

Wilken allegedly staying on in "expanded role".

Special assistant to Theo and contract extension for Wilken.

Some more links and info in twitter box.

he's 1 step away from being in the GM/asst-GM market at this point...almost 100% chance it's not with the cubs since those roles are very filled.

"CubsDen Found this interview on Scout website. Interview with Jaron Madison, sounds like he fits right in padres.scout.com/2/1190168.html"

http://padres.scout.com/2/1190168.html

good info here.

incredible work by CubsDen finding that article...they must have some incredible space research tools at their disposal. :)

oh look, it's the first hit on google when you type in "jaron madison" interview

They were feeling lucky.

jeff bagwell threw out the 1st pitch at the HOU game...left handed.

ow...dat right shoulder.

getting a mention in baseball prospectus/K. Goldstein:

Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 2-for-4, 2 HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Beefy 19-year-old first baseman has impressed with hitting skills and power; five home runs in last four games and .356/.415/.746 in 15 overall since promotion.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Do I really get the scoop on this? Vogelbach with two more bombs last night, 8 in 70 PAs for Boise, 15 overall.

Vogelbach with two more bombs last night
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Meet your 2015 Cubs left fielder

Not unless he drops another 30 fromw what I'm hearing

Az Phil

Could he make the transition to third?

I believe Phil said he had an iron glove.

Sat, 08/11/2012 - 10:59am — jacos

Not unless he drops another 30 fromw what I'm hearing

Az Phil

Could he make the transition to third?

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

JACOS: Dan Vogelbach is a bad defensive 1st baseman.

He's a DH if there ever was one.

There really isn't a spot for him with Rizzo there anyway. I suspect if he keeps clobbering like this he'll be part of a trade involving a high end pitching prospect at some point in the future. Hopefully, not a guy just off the TMJ operating table.

Good point. I would also say this:Let's not assume there wouldn't be a spot for Vogelbach either. Rizzo's month of August is .231/.279/.333. I'd like to see him have a solid full season at the MLB level before I anoint him "THE MAN"
That said, I am hopnig that he is the man, and that he bounes back the rest of the year.

One thing I've noticed is that because he's always trying to go to left-center, the shortstop plays near second base and often has a good beat on all those balls he crushes straight back up the middle.

Maybe trying to pull it once in a while to keep the defense honest would help a bit.

Still, I'm not complaining. I'm still in Rizzo-crush mode.

Given that Vogelbach is still in A ball, I'm not too worried about him competing with another player at the MLB level. Plenty of time to wait and see what happens. I'm not in favor of an NL DH, but that might be what happens.

Small sample size. I'm not too worried about him. With his batting style he probably won't get a lot of hits off Arnoldis Chapman, but who does?

He's bound to face some adjustment. Problem with my Alfred E. Newman approach to this is that I also didn't worry about LaHair. I really liked what I saw up there early on and now he is hitting as if he needs glasses.

after watching rizzo set up vs chapman i have serious questions about his ability to hit anything in the high 90s. i wanna see more.

there's being late and there's being shut down...you get shut down when you can barely get your bat into the zone before the ball is hitting the mitt.

he starts with his hands near the middle of his chest and his motion never caught up with chapman's velocity on stuff he swung at.

Chapman is averaging almost 2 strikeouts per inning pitched. Everyone is having trouble hitting him.

yeah, but they manage to get the bat through the zone. he was -very- late on committed swings. hopefully it's the lefty+velocity combo...or just a bad day.

rizzo is due up vs chapman in a few minutes...fwiw.

he looked better today...even with the out...good stuff.

When's the CBA expiring? That'll be when the NL gets the DH, FWIW.

Lendy Castillo activated from his rehab stint. Scott Maine back to Iowa

other tidbits from Bruce Miles:

Sveum had a long talk with Starlin Castro

BJax upper body is sore from collision with Castro yesterday (hockey injury report?)

Lineup: DeJesus, Barney, Rizzo, Sori, Castro, Valbuena, LaHair, Clevenger, TWood

http://twitter.com/BruceMiles2112

Jason Marquis has a no-no through 6 vs Pirates

Jorge Soler hit a two out Grand Slam HR in the 3rd. Chiefs ahead of Beloit 4-3 in the 6th.

http://peoria.chiefs.milb.com/milb/stats/stat...
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Peoria Top of the 3rd
Bijan Rademacher reaches E6.
Zeke DeVoss grounds out.
Pin-Chieh Chen reaches on a fielder's choice out. Bijan Rademacher out at 3rd.
Dustin Geiger reaches on a fielding error by third baseman Miguel Sano. Pin-Chieh Chen to 2nd.
With Paul Hoilman batting, wild pitch by Taylor Rogers, Pin-Chieh Chen to 3rd. Dustin Geiger to 2nd.
Paul Hoilman walks.
Jorge Soler hits a grand slam (1) to center field. Pin-Chieh Chen scores. Dustin Geiger scores. Paul Hoilman scores.
Wes Darvill doubles (14)
Sergio Burruel grounds out. 3-1.

Looking at the Iowa Cubs game in Las Vegas...

Casey Coleman was removed in the bottom of the 2nd with 2 outs. Gameday says injury delay but not sure what happened. Smiley Caridad relieved. The game was suspended in the 5th because of rain (in Vegas).

Greg Rohan played 3B. Anyone have an opinion about his abilities at third? Certainly he can hit.

...also, Almora had 3 hits in the AZ Cubs game. Hopefully, we'll get an AZ Phil recap.

Slightly off topic but, did Mike Quade get a job in baseball? Just askin.

quade is going to be in OAK next week for the 10th anniversary of the "moneyball" featured 2002 team...other than that he's supposedly taking a break from baseball.

he's drawing a paycheck this year doing nothing...fishing...living the dream.

As much as he annoyed me, especially, really, with all those damn nicknames, the guy deserves it. He did the baseball lifer thing in anonymity for a long time and earned his shot.

He did the baseball lifer thing...
---
For those keeping track, don't forget the $1M that went to Quade this year is coming off the books for 2013. Add to the list: Zambrano, CPena, Soto, Dempster, Maholm, MByrd, RWells.

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Bob O'Brien:

Maholm’s night: Just a couple of notes to follow up on Maholm’s three-hit shutout, which included five strikeouts and no walks. He did it in 95 pitches (64 strikes), the fewest by a Braves pitcher in a shutout since future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw back-to-back four-hitters in September 2000, in 90 pitches against Arizona and 89 pitches against Florida.

...and some crowing about how cheaply Wren has fixed the Braves rotation (getting Sheets and Maholm for $4M) plus moving Medlin from the pen and having 6 starters once Hanson comes of the DL. Apparently the cubs threw in come cash in the Maholm/Johnson deal. This offseason they are more likely to do a Maholm II deal for July flipping into more pitching prospects. I guess Thedstein eventually can do this (Braves) kind of deal if the club were in contention. All you need is waves of prospects.

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2012...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/71...

tribune video of Jason McLeod interview on the scouting changes

@BruceMiles2112: #Cubs sign pitcher Seth McClung to a minor-league deal and assign him to Class AAA Iowa

Coleman was taken out from his last Iowa start after 1.2 IP...

The Cubs will likely use their roster exemption to add a reliever. That additional bullpen piece isn’t expected to be Casey Coleman, though, after the right-hander left Saturday’s start at Iowa early because of discomfort in the back of his right shoulder.

Apparently there is a new MLB rule where the roster can go to 26 for makeup DH's.
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@ESPNChiCubs: Cubs blog: Cubs' to put new MLB rule to the test http://t.co/zSMNFFgI

On a somewhat related note, it's amazing there hasn't yet been a rainout at home this year.

Miguel Cairo playing 1B today... Reminds me of Dusty playing Todd Walker at first to get Neifi Perez in the lineup.

Cairo hitting .154, check.

Dusty & Neifi. The golden days...

5 pitch first inning against Cueto... Some things never change.

well Raley started off well...

retired first 13 batters

but now 3-0 in the 6th after 2 HR's.

I don't like the way he curves the bill of his cap...but he'll learn...

Has Soriano done enough to win NL comeback player of the year? Who else is in the running? Ludwick?

carlos beltran...aj burnett

throw Ben Sheets and Johan Santana in there as well...

Oh yeah, good point on all of them. I'd go with Burnett, myself.

...and the cubs lose.

1-10 since the trade (and garza injury) smackdown. so much for the best post-allstar game record...that was a fun few weeks.

b.hamilton up to 139sb...the record (145, v.coleman) is going to be broken and then some.

also, vogelbum failed to homer today ending his 5-game-7hr streak. what a jerk.

there was a wedding in the stands @wrigley today...during the game.

way to maximize revenue ricketts family...now spend some...

Recent comments

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  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 10 min 8 sec ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 57 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 18 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 10 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 6 hours 52 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 11 hours 38 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 21 hours 20 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 1 day 18 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 1 day 30 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 1 day 39 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 1 day 44 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 1 day 1 hour ago view