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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.