Cubs and Angels Tie One On at Diablo Park

Xavier Batista blasted his fourth home run in four games (a solo shot in the top of the 6th that put him into a tie for the team-lead in HR with Jeffrey Baez), Jose Morales hammered an RBI triple, scored a run, and drew a walk, and Carlos Penalver doubled, walked, and scored two runs, as the Cubs and Angels played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #6 in Tempe, AZ.   

Junior Lake played six innings at 3B and batted six times, going 1-6. He drove-in a run with an RBI 5-3 GO in the 1st, reached base on an RBI infield single, stole a base, and scored a run in the 2nd, struck out swinging in the 3rd, reached base on a 5-4 FC and stole a base in the 5th, was called out on strikes in the 6th, and struck out swinging in the 7th. 

In five Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (26 PA), Lake is hitting 409/500/682 with six doubles, seven runs scored, three RBI, 3/6 BB/K, and 3 SB (1 CS). He has played three of the five EXST games at 3B and two in CF, and he has not commited an error at either position.   

RHP Paul Blackburn got the start for the Cubs and was roughed-up in the bottom of the 1st inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (four singles and a triple).  Bit then he got into a groove and retired nine in a row. 

RHP Armando Rivero relieved Blackburn and was hit hard, allowing three runs on five hits (four singles and a triple) in 1.2 IP. He struck out three (all three swinging).  

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):  

X-1. Jose Morales, DH #1: 1-4 (3B, F-8, F-8, 4-3, BB, R, RBI)
NOTE: Morales batted five times, hitting 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings  
X-2. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-6 (5-3, 1B, K, 5-4 FC, K, K, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, hitting third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 3-1, 3-U, R, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 1-4 (1B, K, P-6, K)
3. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (E-9, K, HR, 1B, R, RBI) 
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-2 (BB, BB, K, 4-6-3 DP)
5. Jose Dore, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, F-9)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (L-7, 1B, 5-3 SH)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (2B, BB, L-4, 2 R)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (P-3, P-5)
8b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (5-3)
9b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-0 (BB)

1. Paul Blackburn: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 74 pitches (46 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO
2. Armando Rivero: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 41 pitches (30 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 26 pitches (18 strikes),  2/0 GO/FO 
4. Tyler Bremer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

2B Brad Zapenas - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+



castro batting 7th...cold.

FSL All-Stars announced

INF Javier Baez
INF Dustin Geiger
OF John Andreoli
OF Jorge Soler

fwiw, I do my best to keep track of the mid-season and post-season All-Stars througout the years.

shouldn't you and the mrs be in traffic right now?

always unfortunate when life gets in the way of pleasurable pursuits...

but also cared way more about the Hawks game than the Cubs suckfest that they trot out most nights.

Wed's game is at 4pm out here for some God forsaken reason, no way to make it there on time without taking the whole day off which isn't happening.

unlikely cycle watch in progress...

d.ortiz with a double and a triple (first since April 11th 2011, 17th career) through 2 innings.

...and he finishes 2/6.


Ian Stewart hits his first HR in Iowa for 2013. Some poor AAA pitcher (Matt Neil) found that one plane.

so much for that adjusted swing now that he can use his wrists again.

i wonder who scouted him to begin wasn't exactly some secret genius-level scouting to see his swing hands/wrists/shoulders locked in with no motion.

Headline: MLB seeks to suspend ARod, Braun

Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks. If the suspensions are upheld, the performance-enhancing drug scandal would be the largest in American sports history.

...Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB's investigation, giving MLB the ammunition officials believe they need to suspend the players. is the FOX/Morosi version of the story:

Bob KlapischVerified account‏@BobKlap
Told there are "other major, major names" involved in the Biogensis scandal besides A-Rod and Braun.

Canoe and maybe Sweeney

Tommy Birch‏@TommyBirch
Huge news for #Cubs fans: #IowaCubs manager Marty Pevey said prospect Junior Lake is expected to join the team on Thursday.

might want to reset his defintion of the word huge there....

Hey Hollandsworth, try the decaf.

he's improved a lot behind the mic, but he can barely get the correct words out of his mouth without tripping over them.

Jim Callis‏@jimcallisBA
Beginning to sense #Astros leaning to Appel if $ fit like they want.

you never know and all how it'll end up, but I'd be happier if the Cubs get Gray over Appel

Yeah, I can't wait to start the clock for when the first round pitcher gets injured. First round pitchers are such a wasted pick recently. I'd like to see a list of recent first rounders with long careers - I'm talking 3 years plus, even.

Well, here are some ( idk if they ALL make the 3 year mark - but most do):
Mike Minor
RA Dickey
Dylan Bundy
Gerrit Cole
Dave Price
Luke Hochevar
Tyler Herron
Chris Sale

Wouldn't mind having any of these guys.

I looked into it just for kicks, 1st Round June Draft Pitchers with career WAR over 10:

1990: Alex Fernandez (28.9), Mike Mussina (83.0), Steve Karsay (11.2)
1991: Joey Hamilton (14.6), Shawn Estes (11.1), Aaron Sele (20.6), Justin Thompson (12.9)
1992: Rick Helling (20.6)
1993: Brian Anderson (11.4), Billy Wagner (28.1), Chris Carpenter (34.5)
1994: Dustin Hermason (11.4)
1995: Kerry Wood (27.7), Matt Morris (20.5), Roy Halladay (64.6)
1996: Kris Benson (13.0), R.A. Dickey (14.5), Eric Milton (16.6), Jake Westbrook (15.4), Gil Meche (17.1)
1997: Jon Garland (22.5)
1998: Mark Mulder (20.0), Jeff Weaver (15.4), CC Sabathia (56.1), Matt Thornton (11.4)
1999: Josh Beckett (34.0), Barry Zito (35.4), Ben Sheets (23.4), Brett Myers (14.4), Jason Jennings (11.4)
2000: Adam Wainwright (26.3)
2001: Mark Prior (16.5), Gavin Floyd (14.9), Noah Lowry (10.2)
2002: Zach Greinke (32.0), Jeff Francis (10.5), Joe Saunders (10.2), Scott Kazmir (16.6), Cole Hamels (30.0), Jeremy Guthrie (18.4), Joe Blanton (10.4), Matt Cain (31.5)
2003: Paul Maholm (13.7), John Danks (19.4), Chad Billingsley (17.2)
2004: Justin Verlander (37.1), Jared Weaver (30.4), Gio Gonzalez (12.5), Houston Street (10.0)
2005: Matt Garza (13.1), Clay Bucholtz (13.8)
2006: Clayton Kershaw (28.6), Tim Lincecum (22.9), Max Scherzer (13.1), Ian Kennedy (10.4)
2007: David Price (15.1) also, Madison Bumgarner (9.2)

Notables in Recent Drafts
2008: Lance Lynn (4.2), Wade Miley (3.3)
2009: Stephen Strasburg (7.0), Mike Minor (2.3), Shelby Miller (3.2)
2010: Matt Harvey (5.1), Chris Sale (12.5)


Heh. While this is great, O&B's point (I guess) was "injured within 3 years". Strassbourg would qualify for this. But, he's still impressive.

Checked out the Cole Hammels 30WAR. Dammmnn!

So, it would appear that there is noteworthy arm injuries for touted pitchers, it a characteristic of the position in our era.

If TJS was offered as an IPO, I'd probably buy stock.

Its gonna be interesting to see how/if Vizcaino will recover.

Well, he said: "I'd like to see a list of recent first rounders with long careers - I'm talking 3 years plus, even" so I generated that list.

But, there are probably 15-20 pitchers in each first round that either never even make it to the big leagues, make it and have short and sucky careers, or make it but get injured and suck. But that's the nature of drafting and baseball I suppose.

So there is a high likelihood that either pitcher the Cubs take will not make it or will turn out to be terrible, but there are usually a handful of good, solid, long-career starters that come out of each first-round, so one can hope.

to expand upon that, here are the pitchers drafted #1 or #2 overall out of college since 1980.

1981 - #1 Mike Moore (28.2 career WAR)

1983 - #1 Tim Belcher (26.9)

1984 - #2 Bill Swift (18.7)

1986 - #2 Greg Swindell (30.3)

1988 - #1 Andy Benes (31.7)

1989 - #1 Ben McDonald (20.9)

1992 - #2 Paul Shuey (7.0)

1993 - #2 Darren Dreifort (7.9)

1994 - #1 Paul Wilson (2.2)

1996 - #1 Kris Benson (13.0)

1997 - #1 Matt Anderson (-0.5)

1998 - #2 Mark Mulder (20.0)

2000 - #2 Adam Johnson (-1.1)

2001 - #2 Mark Prior (16.5)

2002 - #1 Bryan Bullington (-0.2)

2004 - #2 Justin Verlander (37.1)

2006 - #1 Luke Hochever (0.8), #2 Greg Reynolds (-1.3)

2007 - #1 David Price (15.1)

2009 - #1 Stephen Strasburg (7.0)

2010 - #2 Jameson Tailon

2011 - #1 Gerrit Cole, #2 Danny Hultzen

And honestly, if you break it out to high school pitchers, that just adds Brien Taylor and Josh Beckett I believe (apologies if I'm missing someone).

We can discount Tailon, Cole and Hultzen as they haven't seen the majors yet. That leaves 20 names. I'd say 5 are all-out busts (G. Reynolds, B. Bullington, A. Johnson, M. Anderson and P. Wilson). Hochevar is probably a disappointment, but looks like he's could at least have a decent career in the bullpen. I'd say 12 have had decent careers or headed that way (Verlander, Price, Strasburg, Prior, Mulder, Benson, McDonald, Benes, Swindell, Belcher, Swift, Moore). Some of those could have been better without injuries of course (McDonald, Prior and Mulder to begin with). I don't know anything about Paul Shuey, but i presume some injury forced him to the pen, but he was decent out of there for his career. Dreifort looked like he was well on his way to a good career before arm injuries.

Not the greatest odds that the pick will succeed (depending on your personal definition of baseball success), but slightly above a flip of the coin. As for this pick of the Cubs becoming an ace with a lengthy career, those odds seem quite slim, which will make the pick a disappointment in many fans' eyes.

1989 - #1 Ben McDonald (20.9)

Never heard of him

he had twice the arm...arms of Jim Abbott

1993 - #2 Darren Dreifort

3/44 before 3/44 was 3/44.

Lets just assume the Cubs #2 pick will turn out exactly like Verlander.

he was almost a Cub, wasn't he? forgot all about that....

I think it's safe to presume that whomever the Cubs pick tomorrow will be going to the Hall of Fame.

Neat. Cubs pick twice tomorrow, right?

yep, two rounds tomorrow, Cubs have #2 and #41.

Then #75, #108 and every 30 after that.

Kris Bryant, zero miles on his arm. Brilliant!

my feeling is that if Bryant was special, he'd have been drafted out of high school near the top of the draft. If you look at the history of top college bats with the first 2 picks, very few real stars. Some good players, but I'd say just two real stars (Clark & Drew...I think Erstad has the third best WAR of the group mostly thanks to his defense).

Joe Carter ('81- #2 pick), BJ Surhoff('85 - #1), Will Clark ('85 - #2), Jeff King (#1 - '86), Mike Kelly ('91 - #2), Phil Nevin('92 - #1), Darin Erstad ('95 - #1), Travis Lee ('96 - #2), JD Drew ('97 - #2),  Pat Burrell ('98 - #1), Rickie Weeks ('03 - #2), Alex Gordon ('05 - #2), Pedro Alvarez ('08 - #2), Dustin Ackley('09 - #2)

That's not saying that Bryant won't be good, but there was a study not too long ago that one of the best draft strategies is to get the youngest guy. Essentially get them into pro ball as young as a guy like Frazier might be the best bet to hit a home run with this pick (I doubt the Cubs go that way though).

Nice research ROB G.

One name that was an infamous 1st Rounder for the Cubs (other than the bust Brownlee) was Ben Christensen, drafted number 26 in the first round out of Wichita State.

Austin Meadows is even younger than Frazier.

I'd prefer Meadows or Frazier. I don't see the Cubs doing that either.

But I am betting they go with a bat. So Bryant.

it would pretty much shock the world if the cubs went with anyone but appell/gray.

it's also worth mentioning that bryant is a junior, so whoever drafts him will most likely have to pay #1-3 overall pick money to him no matter where he slots.

thanks to the new draft/loot setup we're probably going to be seeing a lot more highschool kids, community college transfers, and college juniors passing up their draft pick unless they get paid if they think they have the talent to move up in following years.

is castro capable of catching any ball thrown to him by an OF'r or catcher on a play at the bag?

he's in such a hurry to apply the tag he consistently keeps missing the f'n ball.

...and pujols hits a 2 run homer as i type this.

neat. who needs a tie game when you can be behind by 1 run?



I think Pujols gets a free steak for that home run.

If EpHoy had bothered to do to the bullpen what it did to the rotation, this might have been a bloody playoff team. Instead it's another top 5 pick.

Wasn't Villanueva part of the what they did to the rotation thingy?

what was the thing they didn't do?

besides make it good?

O&B: Let's say it's actually two different guys. A starter named Carlos Villanueva and a reliever named Charlie Newtown.

Rob G: Yes, exactly.

Teheran no-no through 6 v. Pirates.


Inge gets a hit with 2 outs in the 8th. But Teheran was absolutely filthy today.

Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.