June 2011

team logoAnd we thought his range was limited! Sayonara, Bobby, and thanks for the memories.

Dustin Geiger and Gioskar Amaya drove-in three runs a piece, leading the AZL Cubs to an 8-3 victory over the AZL Diamondbacks in Arizona League action at Whirlwind Field at Salt Rivers Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale his evening.  

Jett Bandy laced three doubles, including a two-run two-base hit with one out in the top of the 8th that drove-in the tying and go-ahead runs, leading the AZL Angels to a 4-3 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this evening.


Before yesterday the last time I saw Randy Wells start a big league game he failed to retire a batter, though he may have broken a sweat. By that low standard his outing versus the earnest young Royals of Kansas City was, I suppose, an improvement. After the first five hitters he faced hit safely and the sixth was walked, Wells' remarkable streak of futility with yours truly in attendance had reached the depth of a dozen consecutive batsmen. Might he again retire having retired no one? No, he persisted and slogged into the 7th, though it turned out that the game was already lost by the time he got around to recording an out. The sorry Wells appears more beleagured than big leaguer these days, and so, for that matter does the team he works for.


If there were highlights from yesterday's daytrip to KC for any Cub fans in attendance, and there were thousands of us, they were these:


*Of the three balls I saw the visitors swat into the seats while watching more than a half hour of batting practice, two were swatted by Marlon Byrd. I'll check him out against live, professional pitching tomorrow afternoon here in Des Moines.


*Reed Johnson, despite three strikeouts at the plate, also banged a double off the wall in the middle of what passed for a Cub rally and also made a pair of sparkling grabs in center field, one of them a do or die diver. He always seems to make a contribution when in the lineup.


*Geo Soto was all over the game; homering, doubling, plate-blocking, down-gunning. It would be nice if he made one or more of those occasional features a habit!


*Chris Carpenter posted triple digits several times on the scoreboard speedometer. Unfortunately, his stuff looks more imposing there, to the fans, than it apparently yet does to big league hitters. He may become a serviceable piece down the road.


Randomly, I saw LaHair and Castillo go back-to-back Friday night in Des Moines and they did it again yesterday while I was on the road. LaHair is now leading the PCL in homers and hitting .350+. Ho-hum...

 

Well,it's been awhile since I did one of these.
Just...something to do to pass the time waiting for the next Cubs World Series.
If you want to do it, print it out.
(There's alot of bad language in here, btw.) 

Making his professional debut, Cubs 2011 46th round draft pick Kenny Socorro (Marshall U.) had three hits and drove-in three runs, and Oliver Zapata drew four walks and scored twice, leading the AZL Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix this evening.


Leonardo Ochoa singled three times, walked, scored two runs, and drove-in another, leading the AZL Giants to an 8-5 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League Opening Night action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this evening.


With the Boise Hawks slated to begin league play tonight and with the AZL Cubs ready to go on Monday night, here are some updates on signings by the Cubs since the conclusion of the 2011 MLB Rule 4 Draft last week.

Darwin Barney went on the DL this week spraining "the other" cruciate or Posterior Cruciate knee ligament.  I'm sure the Cubs called Iowa Cubs manager Bill Dancy to let him know that his Pacific Coast League (PCL) Iowa team might shortly be getting another middle infielder on rehab assignment for his lineup. Barney sustained the injury to his right knee on the play at home plate on Monday night, scoring the Cubs only run in a 1-0 victory. It looked like he bounced his knee in the dirt during a head first dive and he did stumble a bit getting up from his dive. The MRI showed injury without stretch (grade 1) to his Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL). This is considered fairly minor but probably needs to be protected from further injury for about 2-3 weeks.

"As soon as I slid into home plate last night, I knew something was really wrong," he said. "The whole knee went numb. I had an MRI today and it revealed that Grade 1 strain in my knee." (editiorial note: ligament injuries are sprains, muscle injuries are strains)

Right now Darwin Barney can't jump, but you can. So read more after the jump.

According to the Mayan calendar, the Cubs will win the World Series in 2012, causing an apocalypse about six weeks later.


So since it's getting late, here's a look ahead at what the Cubs roster might look like in about six months, and what the player payroll obligations will be going into the historic 2012 season.


This does not address potential free-agents the Cubs might pursue or players the Cubs might target in a trade, although it should give you some idea of how much the Cubs might have available to spend for free-agents.


Minor League Field Coordinator Dave Bialas and the coaching staff at Fitch Park have completed their final observations and evaluations of the newly-signed draft picks, and so here are the rosters for the Boise Hawks ands AZL Cubs as of 7 AM (MST) this morning:


bird flippersWhen I see Robert DeNiro in a movie these days I can hardly believe it's the same guy I saw in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. That's sort of how it was watching Alfonso Soriano go through the motions of his injury rehab assignment in Des Moines today. As if there's any rehabbing this guy.


The previous thread was getting a little long and I'll be with limited Internet access in about 25 minutes and I'm typing this on my iPhone. Let's see if this ends up on "damn you autocorrect".

The Cubs have strung two wins together for the first tine since 1989, or so it feels like. The second win on the heroics of Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin (twice). He hit what looked like the game winner in the 9th after Soto tied it up, but it was called back on fan interference. He then later reached and scored the winning run. Hopefully it's the start of his season turning around.

I thought the most fun part of the game was when Q-ball had to make the decision with 2 outs and runners on the corners to walk D. Brown. Charlie Manuel somehow blew through his bullpen with the rain delay and all, and was now forced to either stick with the pitcher or go all out for the win there and pinch-hit. With 2 outs and the odds not that great for a winning play, he stuck with his pitcher who made the last out and then got the lost in the next inning thanks to an error by Polanco.

Cubs get to face the holy trinity the rest of the weekend. Hope all of your weekends fare better.

ROUND 31 (939): Ronnie Richardson, OF (U. of Central Florida)
B/R, 5'6, 170, 21 years old
COMMENT: Draft-eligible college sophomore... Considered a bit of an under-achiever... Was a member of USA Junior National Team in HS, and was selected out of HS by Twins in 11th round of 2009 draft but did not sign... Strong arm and a good defensive CF... Above-average speed... Hit 312/440/422, with 36/44 BB/K and 19 HBP, and 15 SB (5 CS) in 62 games (297 PA) for Golden Knights in 2011...


ROUND 2 (68): Dan Vogelbach, 1B (Bishop Verot HS - Ft. Myers, FL)
L/R, 6'0, 250, 18 years old
COMMENT: Rated by Baseball America as the #109 best player and the #3 best HS power hitter in 2011 draft... Hit 508-ft HR (with metal bat) at the Power Showcase in December... Hit 17 HR in 32 games leading his HS team to 2011 Florida 3-A state championship... Weighed 280+ a year ago but lost 30+ pounds over past year... Signed NLI with U. of Florida...


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


ROUND 1 (9): Javier Baez, SS (Arlington Country Day School - Jacksonville, FL)
R/R, 6'1, 205, 18 years old
COMMENT: Rated by Baseball America as the best HS hitter in the draft... Hit .771 with 64 hits, 22 HR, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs and just three K in 2011... Very aggressive hitter with plus bat-speed and plus raw-power... Above-average arm but just barely average range for SS... Figures to eventually outgrow SS and move to another position (most likely 3B)... Emotional player on the field... Signed NLI with Jacksonville U...

Welington Castillo was penciled in at DH today for the I-Cubs but he got his catching in before the game by lunging about to stop all the ceremonial first pitches from pint-sized birthday boys and lame-armed luminaries. The only one that got past him was flung by a mascot creature from some non-profit.org.

From atop the left-field wall beckoned the giant glove that homers sometimes land in, wiggling against its moorings in the breeze that slightly relieved the generally welcome heat of summer. The thing's almost as big as the one sported by Tony Campana.

The EXST Diamondbacks turned four double plays and took advantage of seven EXST Cubs errors to score three unearned runs, en route to a 6-3 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


Today’s game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers who were due to throw could get their scheduled work. Several other Cubs pitchers threw in a “sim game” on Field #2 simultaneous with the EXST game on Field #3.


Wilson Contreras lined a two-run double into the left-field corner to spark a four-run 4th inning, and four pitchers combined to throw a six-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, as the EXST Cubs whitewashed the EXST Athletics 8-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.

Max Kwan laced a line-drive single through a drawn-in infield to score Reggie Golden from 3rd base, as EXST Cubs Squad “A” rallied for a run in the bottom of the 9th to tie EXST Cubs Squad “B” 6-6 in an Extended Spring Training intra-squad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Eduardo Gonzalez capped a four-run 2nd inning with a three-run inside-the-park HR, leading one squad of EXST Cubs to a 4-2 victory over one squad of EXST Rockies on Field #3, while four pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter as the other squad of EXST Rockies defeated the other squad of EXST Cubs 5-1 on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.

via Rotoworld...

Marmol entered a 3-1 game and allowed the six runs on five hits and a walk before being yanked having recorded just one out. The last time a Cubs pitcher allowed six runs in the ninth inning with Chicago leading entering the frame came in 1911.

Also it seems that Q-Ball doesn't have the respect of everyone in the clubhouse...a response to Z breaking a bat over his leg last night.

‘‘I don’t like that,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I’m glad he’s OK. I get his frustration, but he can do something else. I cringe because he can hurt himself.’’

‘‘I work hard. My legs are strong,’’ said Zambrano, who was upset at himself because he missed a hanging breaking ball he thought he should have hit. ‘‘It’s nothing to worry about. If you want to see how I can break bats over my legs, come back tomorrow and watch me lift weights.’’

But what about the manager’s concern?

‘‘What manager?’’ Zambrano said.

Don't forget that Dempster was picked over Z for Opening Day and Dempster couldn't have been more vocal about wanting Q-Ball to get the manager gig. It could be nothing, could be something....

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