June 2012

In just his second AB in his first professional game, 19-year old SS David Bote (Cubs 2012 18th round draft pick out of Neosho CC) blasted a three-run home run off the LF scoreboard, carrying the AZL Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the AZL Angels in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.


It was nice of the Cubs to start Wells to temper any real expectations we may have had for tonight's game.

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Trey Martin doubled twice, the second one a laser-shot off the RF fence that drove-in the go-ahead run and capped a four-run 7th, as the AZL Cubs rallied to edge the AZL Indians 6-5 in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.


Be on the lookoput for a white Cadillac Escalade with Florida plates being driven by a young adult male with short hair who was last seen wearing dark, baggy gym shorts, a Miami Dolphins t-shirt and a wide grin.

Patience young Jedi...

Ratso Rizzo (in Midnight Cowboy, 1969)Anthony Rizzo's career starts Tuesday night 7pm CST at Wrigley Field vs the NY Mets righty Dillon Gee. Rizzo was pulled after two at bats in today's Iowa Cubs 2-1 win vs. Round Rock, including a strikeout and a flyout to CF. He ends his Iowa  career, barring a future demotion (God Forbid!), with the line: .342/23 HR/62 RBI.

Knowing the end of his reign here is near, I braved the heat and the Zooperstars today and went to Principal Park in search of something to remember Anthony Rizzo by.

 

A betting man would have to like the Omaha Storm Chasers to successfully defend their title in the American North Division of the Pacific Coast League this year. The stretch drive of the season may be reminiscent of Secretariat’s in the Belmont Stakes. But just who are those also-rans way up the track behind the young Royals? Why, besides the I-Cubs it’s the young Cardinals and young Brewers! I like the affiliations of not only my hometown team but also their divisional opponents.

Four AZL Cubs pitchers combined to throw a six-hitter with 16 strikeouts, and the Cubs took advantage of a gaffe by the AZL Giants manager to push across two runs in the bottom of the seventh, en route to a 3-1 Arizona League Opening Night victory at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.  


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The Cubs set did something odd yesterday other than the obvious win. They managed 5 HR's but no other XBH's and apparently they've only done that 10 times in their entire franchise history. In other rare statistical oddities, Soriano is the franchise leader at home runs and RBI's for a designated hitter with 4 and 10.

"If it's somthin' weird an' it don't look good..."

Letting Aramis Ramirez walk for the 2012 season was the easy part. The new Cubs braintrust loves supplemental round draft choices. Picking up the one year, $16 million option on ARam, with the expectation that he would decline and lead to a supplemental 1st rounder (which turned into pick #43, college pitcher, Pierce Johnson from Missouri State U.) was highly predictable.

The more problematic other side of the coin was to replace ARam for the near term. If the cliche' buy low, sell high... doesn't do it for you, at least Jedstein believes in buy low. Here's the checklist: 2003 1st round draft choice (10th pick), 2005 overall #4 prospect from Baseball America (after Mauer, King Felix, and Delmon Young), hitting setbacks because of injuries (knee contusion then left wrist) but with recovery possible based on medical reports, still young and relatively inexpensive, left handed bat, decent defender. OK, that all checks for Ian Stewart (no not that Ian Stewart, just checking to see if you use the links).

Here's where things jump the tracks. He's had a bad wrist for over a year and nobody in Colorado or Chicago has a diagnosis.

The Cubs go for the series win behind Travis Wood. The Tigers counter with Justin Verlander. Over/under on Verlander K's at 11. Over/under on hits for the Cubs is 2. Take the over on the K's and under on the hits. Hell, perfect game #23 doesn't sound too unreasonable.

The Cubs go for their 5th straight win at Wrigley and Garza tries to impress the Tigers into trading for him.

The Cubs are actually an almost reasonable 12-15 at home, so maybe they won't get crushed tonight. But as Cubnut noted on Twitter the other day, the Cubs record in last 22 games that didn't involve the San Diego Padres is 2-20.

Coming into tonight's action Anthony Rizzo trailed Omaha's Will Myers (Double A and Triple A combined) by eight for the top spot in all of minor league baseball in total bases. So he homered twice and doubled to briefly wrest the lead away before Myers homered off of Jeff Beliveau to break a 7-7 tie in the top of the 9th and give the Storm Chasers a hard fought win in a series opener at Principal Park.

Dan Vogelbach singled twice, doubled, drove-in three runs, and scored three more, Carlos Penalver collected three singles and two RBI and scored two runs, and Danny Lockhart had four hits (three singles and a double) and scored twice, leading the AZL Cubs to a 12-6 victory over the Boise Hawks this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.  

 

Baseball here, baseball there; baseball, baseball everywhere…

Friday night I got home from work as quick as I’m able, changed outfits and headed to the ballpark, arriving in the second inning of game one as the I-Cubs dug into the first of four games with the Nashville Sounds in barely 24 hours.

Here are the final Cubs Cactus League Extended Spring Training game statistics.

There is no official scorer at the games, so the stats are unofficial.

Man.
Getting kinda antsy for some trading to happen as I watch this team of dead men walking (or striking out or whatever).
I know.
Patience, right?
Yeah, we all have a little practice at that.
Oh well, I get a little ranty, I make a cartoon. 
Can't wait to make some happy ones in the future. 

Trey Martin ripped two doubles and a home run, drove-in two runs, and scored three, and James Pugliese threw four innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts, leading the Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the Reds in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

16th ROUND (494):
Michael Hamann, RHP
R/R, 6'3 170, 21 years old
U. of Toledo
COMMENT: College Junior... had season-ending shoulder surgery in 2011... went 3-5 with a 5.80 ERA for Rockets in 2012, but with a 2.12 ERA over last five starts... allowed 89 hits in 76 IP (14 GS), with 29/55 BB/K... was a mainstay of the Toledo starting rotation freshman & sophomore seasons... throws 90-93 MPH fastball that touches 95, but command and secondary stuff need work... projects as a reliever in pro ball... was a member of National Honor Society in HS... was selected by Cleveland Indians in 24th round of 2009 draft but did not sign...

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2nd ROUND (67):
Duane Underwood, RHP
R/R, 6'3 210, 17 years old
Pope HS - Marietta, GA
COMMENT: Outstanding all-around athlete... Two way player (RHP/OF) in HS... fast runner with plus-power at the plate... throws 91-94 MPH fastball that can touch 96-98, but has had command issues... change-up has been his best and most-reliable pitch... mediocre curve ball needs a lot of work... signed NLI with U. of Georgia...
SIGNING BONUS POOL #67 SLOT VALUE: $769,600

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1st ROUND (6):
Albert Almora, CF
R/R, 6'2 180, 18 years old
Mater Academy - Hialeah Gardens, FL
COMMENT: Rated best HS defensive outfielder and 2nd best HS hitter in draft by Baseball America... Gold Glove quality defender right now... has average arm strength but with outstanding accuracy... is line-drive hitter with plus bat-speed... has just average speed for a centerfielder but is an above-average baserunner and base-stealer... was named tournament MVP while playing for Team USA 18 & Under squad at Pan American Games in Columbia last November... signed NLI with U. of Miami...
SIGNING BONUS POOL #6 SLOT VALUE: $3.25M


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The first round of the MLB draft happens today. It will last at least twice as long as necessary. Good news for us Cubs fans is they have the #6 pick, so we can get the first pick over quickly. I believe they do go through the supplemental round though today and that's two more picks (#43 and #56) for the Cubs at the end of the evening.

The buzz for the Cubs centers around the 2 high school position players, Carlos Correa ("He's another A-Rod!!!) and Albert Almora ("the Cubs would take him even if they had the #1 pick"). Huzzah! The latest mock drafts from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both had the Cubs taking Almora for what it's worth.

Other names loosely linked to the Cubs are Florida catcher Mike Zunino and LH prep pitcher Max Fried.

You can watch the fun on MLB.com.

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Four Rockies pitchers combined to toss a six-hit shutout, as the Cubs were blanked 3-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ.

Trey Martin singled twice, walked, stole two bases, drove-in a run and scored another, Dong Yub Kim singled and doubled and knocked-in two runs, and Danny Lockhart and Justin Marra belted back-to-back RBI triples, but it wasn’t enough as the Angels scored five runs in the top of the 2nd inning and cruised to a 9-5 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

RHP James Pugliese threw four innings of two-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts and Marco Hernandez and Wilson Contreras collected consecutive two-out RBI singles to cap a three-run 5th, leading one squad of Cubs to a 4-1 victory over one squad of Diamondbacks on Field #3, and Yosbel Gutierrez laced an inside-the-park two-run home run to spark the other squad of D’backs to a 5-3 victory over the other squad of Cubs on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


Both games were seven-inning affairs.


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