Snakes Ambush Cubs at Ramada Field

Sergio Alcantara belted a two-run triple, Daniel Palka ripped an RBI triple, and Jose Munoz laced an RBI double to highlight a five-run 8th, Chuck Taylor doubled, singled twice, stole a base, and scored three runs, and Brad Keller and four relievers combined to throw a three-hit shutout, as the Diamondbacks blanked the Cubs 7-0 in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Ramada Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.  

After Keller threw three scoreless innings (allowing two doubles and three walks with three strikeouts), RHP Joe Martinez (3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K), LHP (ex-OF) Wagner Mateo, RHP Thomas Brendel, and RHP Jimmie Sherfy (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K) totally stifled the Cubs hitters, collectively retiring 17 of the last 18 men they faced, with seven strikeouts.

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

1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 2B, K, L-6)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-4 (2B, K, K, E-6, SB)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-4 (3-1, 4-3, K, K)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (6-3, K, F-8, K)
5. Ben Carhart, 1B: 0-3 (BB, P-4, 4-3, 6-3, CS)
6a. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-3 (K, 6-3, F-9)
6b. Carlos Penalver, SS: NO AB
7. Jose Dore, LF-DH: 0-2 (BB, K, F-7)
8a. Cael Brockmeyer, C: 0-1 (BB, K)
8b. Mark Malave, C: 0-1 (F-7)
9. Charcer Burks, DH-LF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, F-9, PO) 

1. Daury Torrez: 3,0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 6/3 GO/FO, 32 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Jose Rosario: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 42 pitches (27 strikes)
3. Trevor Graham: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 31 pitches (17 strikes)   
4. Zack Godley: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 20 pitches (13 strikes)

3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Cael Brockmeyer: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny, cloudless, and breezy, with temperatures in the 80's 



Any hits yet for Gleyber? Looking mismatched so far?

even though it'd be nice to see him do well out of the gate, he does still have the handicap of being 16 (17 in December). he's playing against a lot of guys 2-6+ years older than him.

it's hard enough to gauge players before they're out of's almost impossible with a guy this young aside from his raw tools, which you can learn a lot more about from watching him do drills than in-game stuff when your competition is so skewed in experience and age. i can't imagine he's seen much quality breaking stuff in his short life.

it's kinda weird to have a semi-high-profile signing like this and knowing it'll probably be 6-8 years before we have a handle on if he'll be a MLB impact player...and whether that will be as a starter or bench player.

JOHN B: No hits yet for Gleyber Torres. He's a very raw player, and we'll have to wait until next season (at Extended Spring Training) to find out if he is ready for the AZL or if he will be assigned to the VSL Cubs in 2014.

AZ Phil, has Eloy Jimenez played yet?

HAGSAG: Eloy Jimenez has participated in work-outs, but he hasn't played in any games yet.

AZ Phil: What does Wes Darvill eventually project to in your opinion. Why do you think they put him on the AFL roster (what are THEY looking for wrt him).

CUBSTER: The Cubs drafted Wes Darvill as a 17-year old off the Canadian Junior National Team in the 5th round of the 2009 draft. The pick was considered a bit of a reach at the time, and Darvill struggled (especially as a hitter) his first four seasons in the organization. But he finally began to show some improvement as a hitter in 2013. 

I think Darvill got the AFL gig (which is a spot on the Mesa Solar Sox "Taxi Squad," meaning he can play in games only on Wednesdays and Saturdays) mainly to prepare him for AA in 2014. I would think right now he probably projects as the Tennessee Smokies Opening Day 2B in 2014, although once Steve Bruno is ready to go (he had TJS this past summer and might have to begin 2014 at Extended Spring Training) Darvill will probably slide over to SS or even more-likely move around the IF and the OF to help him develop as a LH-hitting "super-sub."

Darvill is a very good defensive middle-infielder. He has decent range and enough arm to play SS, although he is better at 2B. He has slightly above average speed and is a good base-runner, but he isn't quite as fast as he was a couple of years ago after bulking up at Camp Colvin last off-season. He is a patient hitter and has developed has some power to go along with his added weight & muscle, although he struggles to hit LHP.  

I once thought Darvill's ceiling was a LH-hitting version of Nate Samson, but now I think he might have a chance to make it to MLB as an IF-OF super-sub. He probably epitomizes the "Cubs Way," in that he is VERY coachable, he rarely make mental mistakes, he participates annually in the voluntary off-season strength & conditioning program, he has re-worked his approach at the plate (he used to be an extremely passive hitter and pitchers could knock the bat out of his hands, but now he has more of a "selectively aggressive" mentality and he can actually drive the ball). and his defense just keeps getting better. 

I would compare Darvill somewhat to Ryan Flaherty, because both project as LH-hitting multi-positional guys who struggle to hit LHP. However, Flaherty was already 21 when the Cubs drafted him (Darvill just turned 21), and Flaherty has a LOT more HR power and was a better hitter in the minor leagues, while Darvill is better defensively (although Darvill could still develop HR power).  

"but now I think he might have a chance to make it to MLB as an IF-OF super-sub"

In other words, a potential starting infielder for the Cubs for the next 2 or 3 years.

That comment be fighting words...Trying to start the Riot?

Boston Globe leads his sunday column with Girardi speculation wrt the Cubs. Also mentions the Cubs as a potential landing spot for Bronson Arroyo.


Liriano -

Was there any discussion last off-season or rumor that the Cubs were going to make a play on Francisco Liriano? He certainly is a bargain for the Pirates. And fucking good.

Seems like not only did he fit TheoCorp's budget parameters, but could have been a nice upgrade to Scott Baker (well, I could have been an upgrade to Scott Baker) or some of the non-existing starting AAA pitchers.

per Kaplan, Manny Acta getting Cub skipper interview today. Also a new name on the list: Friars bench coach Rick Renteria


Might as well interview the entire over-achieving Padres coaching staff. A good fit for the Cubs. And cheap, too!

WSCR Bernsein tweeting Girardi "saying family considerations will out weigh money"

If his wife is like any other she won't let him leave that much money on the table that Cubs are offering over the Yanks.

JG's wife, nee Kimberly Innocenzi's family lives in the north shore suburbs.

I'd say that's what the turning point of the discussion will hinge upon. It might come down to a mother-in-law issue. As in, the grandparents want to see the kids grow up.

m.wacha perfect through 5...walks the 1st batter in the 6th.

no hitter gone after 7.1 with a p.alvarez solo HR.

fuji played catch today...should be throwing rather soon.

Jose Ceda released by the Marlins today. You may recall the Cubs sent him to FLA for Kevin Gregg in Nov 2008.

...and got him for Todd Walker from Padres in July 2006.

He was a power arm back in the day. He turns 27 in January.

"Andrew Marchand of reports that that Yankees are "prepared to give Joe Girardi as much time as he needs" to make a decision about their contract offer.

Girardi's contract officially runs out at the end of the month, and Marchand says the club is willing to wait that long. The Yankees have reportedly offered the skipper a three-year deal in the $12-15 million range, but they could get into a bidding war with the Cubs, who have set their sights on Girardi."

cubs get into a bidding war...for someone who isn't going to swing a bat or throw a ball.


hopefully there's more rumor than truth to all this girardi stuff. sure, he's good, but if it comes at the expense of a top relief arm or the difference between an anibal sanchez and an edwin jackson type contract for playing talent...well, wtf?

i saw a lot of things wrong with the 2012 + 2013 cubs and the "fix list" didn't start with the guy in the dugout.

Are you trying to imply that the Cubs shouldn't spend a lot of money on a manager? You're being a bit too opaque.

i think it's an absolutely brilliant use of money. the team would have to spend 3x as much on an actual player to get the amount of fan-love return on it.

he's shown that if you give him $1,600,000,000 worth of team to manage, he'll get 1 WS out of the cubs should sign him to a 16 year deal. that's simple swordmetrics (Some Wacky Obtuse Random Determination).

besides, if they don't sign him a cubs player might yell at a reporter or smash a boom box or something. though, i'm sure joel sherman won't mind.

That's much more transparent, thanks!

It strikes me that players are overpaid relative to managers, probably because players have agents and a union.

The Yankees have been paying Girardi Theriot money.

Managers work for GMs, who also don't have agents and a union. In theory, a manager should not make more than the GM (let alone the president of baseball operations). It's interesting that Girardi will be pushing up against what Cashman and Epstein make.

I'm dubious the Cubs will trade for Price - two years of work building up the farm system would be practically undone overnight for one high-paid player with two years of club control? Even if the endgame is to give Price a nine-figure extension - Seems unlikely.

Trade Samardzija for prospects, use those prospects and a few current ones not named Soler, Almora, Baez, or Bryant to get Price would probably be the play.


Recent comments

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  • RF is actually easier to play than LF in PNC so I'd guess Schwarber is there and that's why he was playing it Friday but yeah I'd say that's hopefully accurate.

  • Guess for Wednesday's lineup: Fowler (CF), Schwarber (LF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo (1B), Castro (2B), Montero (C), Russell (SS), Arrieta (P), Coughlan (RF)

  • Dusty already has blue and red wrist bands.

    /cmon dude

  • a day old, but fwiw...

    Carrie Muskat @CarrieMuskat · Oct 4
    Theo and Jed at Miller Park to talk to #Cubs Maddon and staff. Playoff roster to be finalized by Wednesday morning

  • I'm guessing the order is the other way around.

  • cc sab going into alcohol rehab, missing the post-season for the yanks.

  • no bud black? cold.

  • Break up the Cubs! throws out two names to manage the Nats: Dave Martinez and Wally Backman.

  • matt williams (WAS) fired...shocker. he lost control and confidence of that clubhouse way before papelbum got there.

    having a roster chock full of egomaniacs and assholes doesn't help.

    he won 'manager of the year' last year, fwiw.

  • If he were dealing with Chicago traffic, I would take my chances with the golf cart.

  • You can get to the MKE airport from Miller Park via all surface streets, no real reason to get on the expressway. Unless he is in a real hurry to get to Az.

  • CUBSTER: I would think a cab or a limo would get Motte to the airport faster than a golf cart. The maximum speed of a golf cart is (what?) maybe 15 MPH, which could actually be dangerous on an expressway. 

  • from the Sunday Trib...

    Reliever Jason Motte waved as he left the visitor’s clubhouse at Miller Park on a golf cart en route to the airport to catch a flight to Arizona to start a rehab assignment.
    Motte has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 24 because of a right shoulder strain, but there’s a possibility he could rejoin the Cubs if they advance deep in the playoffs.
    Motte is scheduled to pitch in simulated games and in Instructional League games in Arizona.

  • 8 in a row to end the year...let's do this playoffs thing.

  • shelby miller (ATL) finishes the season with a win, snapping his 24-game winless streak...because ATL bats are non-existent.

    3.02 era, 1.25 whip, 205.1ip, 171K

    6-17 w/l...ugg.

  • Totally independent of the Cubs winning or losing today, Dan Haren came into today's game having earned $2M of his potential $3M in performance bonuses for 2015. 

    By making the start (his 32nd start of the season) he picked up $500K, and he'll get the remaining $500K if he can throw at least 8.2 IP in the game (he was at 181.1 IP coming into the game, and he needs to reach 190 IP to get the remaining $500K), 

    It's a bit like the old "Bowling for Dollars" TV show, but of course Haren is actually "Pitching for Dollars."