Tulo Two RBI Too Much for Cubs
Troy Tulowitzki drove-in both Colorado runs with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, and Jorge de la Rosa and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout, as the Rockies blanked the Cubs 2-0 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs offense sputtered all day, but they did threaten to score twice.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning but did not score (Luis Valbuena drew a walk, Darwin Barney reached on an infield hit down the third-base line, and Starlin Castro grounded a single to left, but then Alfonso Soriano and Scott Hairston struck out swinging and Dioner Navarro flied out to CF), and the first two Cubs reached base in the bottom of the 9th but were left stranded (Steve Clevenger reached on an infield single that glanced off the pitcher's glove and Johermyn Chavez drew a walk, but Darnell McDonald was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch, Jorge Soler popped out to the first-baseman in foul territory, and PH Brad Nelson rolled out 4-3).
After not pitching in an "A" game since a week ago Sunday, Edwin Jackson got the start for the Cubs today and became the first Cub hurler to go five innings, E-Jax allowed one run on three hits (two infield singles and the Tulo RBI double) and one walk in his 5.0 IP (59 pitches - 38 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), while striking out two. This was definitely the best Jackson has looked so far this Spring.
Japanese import RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa labored through a 25-pitch 6th, as the Rockies loaded the bases on a single and two walks, followed by the Tulowitzki SF. Although Fujikawa was behind on most every hitter he faced, he did strike out two (one looking and one swinging).
Both Cory Wade and Carlos Marmol breezed through seven-pitch shutout innings in the 7th & 8th, and Jensen Lewis pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a lead-off single, but eventually leaving the runner stranded at 2nd.
Catcher Dioner Navarro had another strong game behind the plate, picking one runner off 1st base, and nailing another runner trying to steal 2nd.
After missing two weeks with a hamstring injury, Starlin Castro returned to the lineup and looked fine. He played shortstop for three innings and handled five chances easily (Eric Young, Jr did beat-out an infield single to deep short, but there was no realistic chance to throw Young out although Castro did make the play close at 1st), and reached base in both of his AB (drawing a walk in the 1st, and grounding a single to LF in the 3rd).
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!