Tony Campana

Last week, the Cubs outrighted Tony Campana off thier 40-man to make room for Scott Hairston. Today, the Diamondbacks agreed to give up two pitchers for the speedster...RHP Erick Leal and RHP Jesus Castillo. Judging by the quality going out, I wouldn't expect much on the quality coming in, but maybe the Cubs unearth one of those diamonds in the rough. Leal, a 6'3" righty out of Venezuela, will be playing his age 18 season and Castillo is a 6'2" righty also out of Venezuela and will be playing his age 17 season. In both cases, plenty of time for them to learn the "Cubs Way." Nick Piecoro had both of them in a write-up on some of the D'Backs international signings from back in late 2011 that you can view here and see some video. Here are the quotes from the D'Backs international scouting director Carlos Gomez at the time:

Re: Castillo ($250K signing bonus)

“He’s about 6-2, 165, 170 pounds. He’s long, lean and all kinds of projectable. He has a loose, cool rhythm about him, really free and easy. His fastball ranges from 82-89 mph, but he pitches 85-86 right now. I think he has a chance to throw a lot harder. His best secondary pitch is his changeup and the breaking ball isn’t bad. The spin is there, but it needs work and consistency. He gets really good extension, almost jumps off the mound. We think he can start; we see starter’s arm action and delivery from him.”

Re: Leal ($75K signing bonus)

“He’s 6-3, 180 pounds. He has a nice delivery, a nice arm action, and the highlight again is the breaking ball. He’s a kid who can spin it. It’s 74-76 mph already and his fastball is 86-88. He has the physical size, the delivery, a breaking ball and a present, useable fastball for his age. He’s one of those guys who looks like he might have slipped through the cracks. A lot of that same type of guy was going for more earlier in the year. His delivery is pretty balanced, but he drives pretty aggressively out front; he really gets over his front side well. You can tell the extra breaking ball spin he gets is a function of his finish.”

Something is better than nothing and Crazy Legs was always a lot closer to nothing in my in opinion.

So reader Virginia Phil had the idea to try and time the inside-the-park home run of speed phenom Billy Hamilton with that of Crazy Legs Campana from last year. By his not-quite scientific standards, Hamilton just edged out Campana by a tenth of a second.

Reader Black Earthling took it  a step farther and synced the two videos for the definitive video proof.

I don't think you'll find anyone in baseball that believes Campana is as fast as Hamilton and you can see in the video Hamilton stumbling just a bit approaching second and what looks like some wide turns at second and third base that you don't see Campana taking from the wide shot and less camera time he's granted. But maybe Campana is just a better at those type of things which ultimately contribute to overall baserunning speed, although I certainly wouldn't point to this one clip as the definitive proof. And as noted by both readers, Hamilton slows up at the end once he realizes he'll be safe. But it's certainly closer than I thought it would be and makes for some fun triviality before tonight's Marlins/Cubs game.

Jordan Danks smacked a solo HR over the RF fence to break a 5-5 tie in the top of the 10th, and the White Sox scored another unearned run later in the inning, en route to a 7-5 extra inning victory over a Cubs split-squad in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in cold, blustery, and rainy Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.


Joe Mather clubbed a three-run home run, Brett Jackson slugged his second home run in two days, and Jay Jackson threw three perfect innings, as two squads of Cubs played to a 3-3 tie in a five-inning intrasquad game played under sunny skies this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.


Matt Szczur drove-in six runs with a two-run double and a grand slam home run, Brett Jackson slugged a solo home run, ripped an RBI double, walked twice, and scored three runs, and Tony Campana singled and scored in all three of his at bats, stole a base, and drove-in a run, leading one squad of Cubs to a 10-4 victory over another squad of Cubs in an intrasquad game played at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny, blustery, and cool Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.

The game was a pre-planned six-inning affair.

The Cubs have optioned Tyler Colvin and Marcus Mateo to Triple A and called up lefty Scott Maine and speedster Tony Campana.

Maine was sporting a 2.84 ERA in Iowa, striking out 21 in 19 IP, while walking just 8. Hard to imagine he'll be any worse than what he is replacing.

Campana was sporting a good luck line of 342/383/442 in Iowa earning his promotion. I wish him well, but he'll be hard pressed to find enogh playing time and such good luck in the majors(.423 BABIP in Iowa this season). He does bring speed with him, being successful in 8 of 9 stolen base attempts this year and 144/186 for his minor league career (77.2%). Of course, Yadier Molina wasn't playing in those leagues during the same time, so he probably won't see that success translate either.

Colvin did need to start getting some regular at-bats, although it's hard to figure out why he can't get them over Fukudome, Byrd or Soriano. For a team that already hits plenty of singles without walking much and in desperate need of some power, Colvin seemed closer to a cure than Campana, but neither will be effective without regular use.

It's also of note, as mentioned in the comments, that the Cubs are about to begin interleague play at American League parks starting off at Boston this Friday. Barring injury, Colvin cannot be recalled now for 10 days, leaving the Cubs DH options Reed Johnson, Castillo, DeWitt, Campana and Baker or more likely one of those play the field while the likes of Ramirez, Soriano and so forth get a defensive rest day. It's foresight like that keeps a century-plus losing streak alive.

Anyway, the appropriate deck chairs have been moved on this Titanic. May the disaster continue...

Matt Downs clubbed a grand slam home run to cap a nine-run 2nd inning, and the Giants coasted to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa. 

Tony Campana had four RBI, Logan Watkins scored three runs, Josh Vitters had two doubles and a walk, and Jake Optiz smashed a double and a triple, as the Cubs rallied from a 7-3 deficit to defeat the Angels 9-7 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa. 

The Angels shutout the Cubs 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Angels Minor League Complex Field #3 at Diablo Park in Tempe this afternoon.

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