Lake & Castro Make the Minor League Scene, Pimentel Fires Goose-Eggs at Riverview

Carlos Pimentel tossed five shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out nine, as the AAA Iowa Cubs throttled the Columbus Clippers (Indians AAA affiliate) 7-2 on Field #6, while on Field #3 the Akron Aeros (CLE AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 5-2, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader game action Monday afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 


The 6'3 175 Pimentel was signed by the Cubs as a six-year minor league free-agent after the 2013 season, and after being named the Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year this past off-season, the 24 year old right-hander and former Texas Rangers prospect has been very impressive both in big league camp (where he was initially assigned) and in two outings for the AAA I-Cubs at Minor League Camp. He threw 72% strikes today (anything above 70% is outstanding), and totally dominated the Clippers lineup.  

RHP Yoanner Negrin "piggy-backed" with Pimentel (as both pitchers are being primed as rotation starters), and the two hurlers practiced their bunting skill by being inserted into the I-Cubs lineup whenever a sacrifice-bunt situation presented itself. 

Starlin Castro (hamstring injury rehab) played shorstop for five innings and got six Plate Appearances (one in each of the first six innings) for Iowa. After flying out F-9 in each of his first two AB, he struck out swinging, and then grounded out, before finishing his day with line-drive singles in consecutive innings, the first of which drove-in the game's first run. 

On the heels of his three-HR performance at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Sunday, Junior Lake served as a DH for the Tennessee squad on Monday, and went 1-7. He belted a triple in the 5th inning and scored a run, and he also just missed a monster HR in an earlier AB (ball curved foul at the last second), but he also struck out four times (all four swinging), popped out to the shortstop, and grounded out 5-3 (although to retire Lake required the Aeros third-baseman to make an outstanding diving stop before getting to his feet and making an accurate throw to 1st).   

Both Albert Almora and Javier Baez had RBI singles, but Baez also made a careless throwing error that resulted in an unearned run scoring, lolly-popping an easy toss to 1st base (the throw sailed over the first-baseman's head).  

Because he was on the Active List for Monday night's MLB Cubs-Padres game at Cubs Park, Jacob Hannemann did not make the trip to Goodyear with the Daytona squad. Instead he remained in Mesa and was temporarily assigned to the Iowa squad, and he got a PH AB (bunt single) and scored a run in the AAA game.   

Some of the Latin American players who will be assigned to Extended Spring Training have arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy, and Varonex Cuevas and Dalfis Ortiz (both speedy switch-hitting infielders) made their U. S. game debuts on Monday, pinch-hitting in the AAA contest. Cuevas drew a walk and Ortiz laced a two-run single in a "tack-on" bottom of the 9th. 

Here are the abridged box scores from Monday's games (Cubs players only):   

FIELD #3:

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
X. Junior Lake, DH #1: 1-7 (K, K, P-6, K, 3B, K, 5-3, R)
NOTE: Lake hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
1a. Zeke DeVoss, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-6 FC, CS)
1b. Bijan Rademacher, LF: 1-1 (2B, R)
2. Albert Almora, CF: 1-3 (1-3, K, 1B, RBI)
3. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-2 (K, K, HBP)
4. Dustin Geiger, DH #2: 0-3 (L-4, F-7, P-3)
5. Jonathon Mota, 3B: 0-3 (K, P-3, K)
6a. Willson Contreras, C: 0-1 (6-3)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-2 (F-9, F-8)
7. Anthony Giansanti, RF: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
8. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-2 (P-5, 1B)
9. Walter Ibarra, SS: 1-2 (K, 1B)
10. Chadd Krist, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Lendy Castillo: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 37 pitches (21 strikes)
2. P. J. Francescon: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Starling Peralta: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 43 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Zak Hermans: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Frank del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 20 pitches (13 strikes)
6. Zach Cates: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Jonathon Mota - E-5 (overthrow at 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
2. 3B Jonathon Mota - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
3. 2B Stephen Bruno - E-4 (dropped throw on attempted 6-4 FC allowed baserunner to reach 2nd base safely)

TENNESSEE OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Zeke DeVoss - threw out baserunner 7-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single

FIELD #6:

IOWA LINEUP:
X-1. Starlin Castro, SS-DH: 2-6 (F-9, F-9, K, 5-3, 1B, 1B, RBI)
NOTE: Castro hit 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th innings, and 4th in the bottom of the 5th inning
X-2. Carlos Pimentel, P: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
NOTE: Pimentel hit 3rd in the bottom of the 5th inning
X-3. Yoanner Negrin, P: 0-2 (5-6-3 DP, P-2, 1-3 SH)
NOTE: Negrin hit 2nd in the bottom of the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings
1a. Rubi Silva, CF: 1-2 (BB, F-9, 3B, R, RBI)
1b. Varonex Cuevas, PH: 0-0 (BB)
2a. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, 2 R)
2b. Dalfis Ortiz, PH: 1-1 (1B, 2 RBI)
3. Javier Baez, DH-SS: 1-3 (F-9, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Matt Szczur, LF: 1-2 (L-6, BB, 1B, RBI)
5. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, 6-U FC)
6. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (K, 1B, F-8, R, SB)
7. Rafael Lopez, C-DH: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
8a. Luis Flores, DH #2: 0-2 (K, F-8)
8b. Jacob Hannemann, PH: 1-1 (1B, R)
9. Edgar Gonzalez, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
10. Charlie Cutler, DH-C: 1-3 (K, 1B, P-6, R)

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Carlos Pimentel: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 57 pitches (41 strikes)
2. Yoanner Negrin: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 6/3 GO/FO, 46 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Marcos Mateo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: 2 
1. C Charlie Cutler  - E-2 (overthrow on attempted PO at 1st base allowed runner at 2nd base to score unearned run)
2. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Charlie Cutler: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)

ATTENDANCE: 74

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's 

 

Comments

AZ Phil: the outfield seems crowded with prospects, what is your projection for one of the less written about by the beat writer types, Rubi Silva? How do you project him as at the MLB level? How close is he to the majors?

CUBSTER: Rubi Silva was a Cuban defector who got a $1M signing bonus from the Cubs in December 2010, 

On the positive side, he is a "high energy" player with above-average speed, a dangerous line-drive hitter with decent HR power (he hit 15 HR at AA last year), and he can play all three OF positions plus 2B (and even SS in a pinch). 

On the negative side, he is an extreme first-pitch hacker (although he did hit lead-off yesterday and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the 1st inning, so maybe he is trying to alter his approach), he tends to run into outs on the bases, and he doesn't always take the most direct route to fly balls. 

I would think he will probably once again be the 4th OF at Tennessee in 2014, although I suppose he could make the Iowa Opening Day roster (the I-Cubs outfield is extremely crowded right now, though). 

That said, I think he almost certainly will eventually be an MLB super-sub & LH bat off the bench. He might actually have value going forward with the Cubs, because the Cubs projected future lineup is very RH heavy, so a LH hitting back-up guy (like Silva) would have a decent chance to fill a slot with the Cubs long-term if he can smooth out the rough edges a bit. 

I would mention three other positives about Silva: His fifteen HRs last season were a personal best, compared to a previous high of five--so it could have been something of a breakout year in terms of power. I think the Cubs FO might have taken notice, because Silva was included in that Cubs Rookie Development Program in Chicago in January. The other OF's in that group were Almora and Soler. Szczur, for example, was not in the group. (Szczur went to major-league camp this spring because he's on the 40-man, courtesy of J. Hendry.) Silva is supposed to have a strong outfield arm, isn't he? He had sixteen outfield assists at Tennessee last season.

"Starlin Castro (hamstring injury rehab) played shorstop for five innings..." It's good to hear Javier Baez is back on the field.

@LAA...olt 3rd, valbuena 2nd, barney SS...vogelbomb 1st, almora DH (there's a night game to play, too, so some kids are seeing late spring action) wada pitching for no reason that's evident...besides general need and a lack of caring who gets work, i guess.

Olt on CJ Edwards

"I've watched C.J. Edwards pitch a lot," Olt said Tuesday morning. "Every time I watch him pitch I'm even more impressed. He has something pitchers don't have. Basically he has an invisible fastball. No one can hit it. It's pretty incredible to watch. He'll do well (Tuesday)."

I'm not in favor of some of the comments around the web that have referred to Olt as blind, but it's interesting to see him desribe CJ's fastball as invisible

lake with another homer...4th of spring.

Did I hear that correctly? The cubs lead the Cactus League in homers?

yes sir

and the individual leaders over all teams are c.heisey (CIN) and l.valbuena (CHC) with 6...woo spring. baez + olt have 5, btw...

i.stewart finally musters enough strength, concentration, bitterness, and hate to hit a homer off the cubs. good for him. he's having an oddly decent spring, btw. ...and a.cabrerra is falling apart in the 9th...the homer, a triple, a double, a single in a row...and a tie game...with men on the corners and no outs. K w/ SB...intentional walk to load the bases...f.bautista comes in to pitch...single to CF...LAA leads. neat. ...and with the damage to a.cabrerra tallied (all 3 runs he left on base were sent home by f.bautista's pitching)...cabrerra's ERA shoots up 4.79 points to 5.79 in 0.1ip...woo spring. 9ip of awesome ball thrown in the stats toilet because of 1 horrid outing followed by a guy who didn't bail him out.

I'm rescinding your 'woo' privileges...and everyone's for that matter.

Bruce Levine tweets...
After losing Geo Soto to injury. Texas taking hard look at Cub catcher George Kottaras .
John Baker is a dozen times better than Kottaras (ta-da-boom).

who knew that "the plan" for the cubs involved totally adopting the entire TEX minor league system? slick. also..."T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have been scouting the Cubs' infielders in recent days. Sullivan notes that the Rangers appear most interested in Darwin Barney, something that Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times has also reported."

It's been a long time since it's been fun to be a Cubs fan (over a decade... think on that for a moment...). I think they'll still probably have trouble cracking .500 this year, but at least they have a farm system they can be proud of and hope of better seasons ahead.

You must really hated LouPa.

He was entertaining...

Back to back playoffs That was kind if exciting

AZ Phil, do you have an update on the health status of Duane Underwood?

BP reviews the NL East and they play the 5 questions game...
5) Junior Lake? (Really, that’s the question.) Ken: Junior Lake (really, that’s my answer). I think saying Junior Lake is like saying “aloha,” since it could mean hello, goodbye, utility player, Triple-A outfielder, All-Star left fielder, Felix Pie … HP Lots of tools that show up in games. Lots of flaws that show up in games. The man is more of a question than an answer, but the entertainment value is high.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

That's quite possibly my favorite prospect write-up ever.

cj edwards gets through through 2.2ip 2.2ip 4h 3bb 1k, 3 r/er the 1 K was a.cashner...they're not using the DH tonight

bryant finishes 0-4 with 3 Ks. that gives him 11Ks in 18AB. he only has 2 hits...both homers, though. baez went 1-5 tonight, btw...a single (and a SB)...and he committed 2 errors, 1 throwing, 1 fielding.

Hector Rondon's final pitch in the top of the 7th (called 3rd strike) was clocked at 99 MPH. 

James Russell's fastball topped out at 88 in his inning, although his off-speed stuff looked OK 

Bears to 69 this season Jared Allen signs four years(NFL years, opposite of dog years) with Bears

Donnie Murphy to Rangers Welcome to Cubs Mike Olt

Patrick Mooney‏@CSNMooney Donnie Murphy, who was put on waivers, is heading to Texas Rangers. Catcher George Kottaras will go on unconditional release waivers.

Kottaras losing to Baker is a surprise, but whatever. Murphy didn't do much all spring, so that seemed obvious.

between Roberts, Bonifacio, Kalish and Coghlan for final spot it appears presuming Olt has indeed made club. Be interesting what they do with Valbuena if Olt is the starter.

kott played really horrible D this spring. well, he was a decent target, but that's about it. he "only" made 1 error, but he was clunky behind the plate and allowed 8sb (1cs) in only 57 innings.

By releasing Kottaras now the Cubs recoup roughly $810,000 of his $1.075 million salary, according to Wittenmyer.

Tunney must have been looking for more money again :)

Rusin forgot to not suck today, 4 HR's allowed vs. Dbacks, 3 in one inning.

Villaneuva's handlebar mustache seems a bit curlier today!

the wind is a bit off the hook in AZ today, but still...yow. also, a.cabrerra adds another 2er today. in the past 2 days he's added 5.97 points of ERA to his spring stats...harsh.

twitter rumoring that Kalish will get last spot

Good roster day for Chicago. Olt and hopefully Kalish, and I'm reading Olt may start. And I liked Baker over Kotteras, for unknown reasons. And the Bears don't have to play against Jared Allen anymore.

I'm not up on Bears salary cap issues other than they did something with Cutler's contract yesterday to buy themselves some room. Am I safe to assume Bears saved a few million by getting Allen over keeping Peppers? Otherwise I fail to see a huge difference in the players other than a couple of years of age.

Regardless, seems like a wise move, new team, new energy for Allen hopefully and I'm sure the coaches and Emery want their own guys at this point.

Can't imagine Olt would make team to be benched, although I'm guessing they'll be quite liberal in giving him days off.

Allen to me is a better player right now than Peppers, and I liked Peppers. Allen is an absolute beast, and as usual, I'm too lazy to look up stats, but I'm pretty sure he's got quite a few more sacks over the last 2 years than Peppers, but of course DE isn't only about sacks, by any means. Peppers did pretty well with cutting off that end of the field from offenses (when he wasn't getting held by two guys), which you don't see in a stat line. With Olt, it only makes sense to start him and see what he does. If he joins the world of Cubbery, at least they have options.

Allen was cheaper then Peppers

They converted some of what they owed Cutler into a signing bonus spread out over multiple years. In terms of contracts, 15million is guaranteed to Allen (each year of the contract so no back loading) while I think 18 million was guaranteed to Peppers this year. Also, while I think individual #s can be deceiving with elite DEs since Peppers commanded a lot of double teams but Allen actually has decently better stats over the last 4 years and is more durable, which does matter especially as a player ages. I though Peppers was pretty underrated for us but I also think releasing him was the right move and I think Allen is a better player with a very different personality that might help replace the leadership Urlacher brought. Cause I don't think Briggs is a natural leader and Peppers certainly isn't. If they pick up a safety in the draft think our defense will be much better and we already know our offense is elite.

Yes they need db's. But I bet you five bucks and my left nut Bears take a QB with #2 or #3 pick. /Trestman's project

Defense for the first 18 rounds. Whatever they want after that.

I didn't know Jerry Angelo posted here. :0)

Rob....they beat this topic to death on sports radio here in Chicago but they've been clearing cap space for the past ten days (Hester, Bennett, Peppers, etc.). Pepper's cap hit would have been over $18m and talk was he wouldn't re-do his deal. The tipoff should have been the $4m they cleared from Cutler yesterday calling it his signing bonus. The Bears' brain trust feel Allen has more left in the tank than Peppers. Also talk is look for them to go CB or S in Round 1.

http://deadspin.com/2014-payrolls-and-salarie...

2014 salary and payroll numbers, Cubs come in at #23

BP (Jason Parks and Chris Mellen) review 5 prospects: Almora, Baez, Lendy Castillo, Jr Lake and Christian Villaneuva.
When it comes to loud tools, Lake is a Mastodon record—minus any of the complexity and understanding of artistic construction.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

lendy castillo..."prospect"

Nice video of Ruth, Johnson and Gehrig found. Great history here. http://baseballresearcher.blogspot.com/2014/0...

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  • Charlie 2 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Yeah, it seems like I lean more toward overvaluing Bryant than most commenters here. Also, I completely stopped following prospect lists once the Cubs were good again, so I'm out of the loop on Pache especially. I had imagined that the Cubs would be looking more for immediate major league value rather than a projectable prospect, but I guess if you really like Pache you don't mind waiting a couple years.

     

  • K Dub 9 hours 35 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Excellent breakdown, Phil. Thanks. 

    I'm sure you heard. QO value was set at $17.8 million the day after you made your post.

     

  • K Dub 9 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Pache, Wright, Muller and Riley feels light to you, Charlie? I respect your opinion, but I would jump at it. I highly doubt the Braves would do it, though. Were talking 2 years of Bryant at what could be 18 million and 28-30 million in his last year of arbitration. 

    The Cubs would be hurting their chances next year and building for 2021 in a deal like that, but that's rebuilding/retooling in one fell swoop. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: Austin Riley is actually a third-baseman but he had to play LF for the Braves in 2019 because he was blocked by Josh Donaldson, and Cristian Pache is considered to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minors and his bat has improved enough over the past year or two to where he is now rated in or just outside the top ten overall prospects in MLB.

    So a package that includes Riley and Pache and one of the Braves young MLB or MLB-ready SP would probably be more than enough to get the Cubs to bite.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Max Fried or Bryse Wilson

     

  • crunch 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/27828247/...

    t.skaggs story keeps getting deeper.

    allegations the team knew about skagg's drug abuse (also his family).  teams are required to report this to MLB.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Except for the headline, the linked post reads more like a trade hypothetical than a trade rumor. I like the idea of looking at this package as a discussion point for expected return for Bryant. I would say it feels a little light to me. It's deep, with two decent outfield prospects with upside and two OK pitching prospects. But Riley doesn't help the team solve the CF problem right now, so he's either redundant to Bote or sort of a Schwarber replacement. Muller's inflated BB% at AA this year worries me a bit too.

     

  • Cubster 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I might have missed something and it's been talked about regarding a KB trade rumor from about 10-9-19. 

    https://apple.news/AJUMyEWodQ2GX1cj1gE4ENQ 

    Braves receive: 3B Kris Bryant 

     

  • crunch 4 days 16 hours ago (view)

    they get 3 guys and the cubs get 1 guy.  sounds like a slam dunk for the angels.  pencil trout in the cubs lineup.  he's got upside.

     

  • Jackstraw 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    I'd hate to part with both Kemp and Chatwood, but if it will bring that Trout guy back, we could even throw in Almora.

     

  • crunch 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    the ricketts got a brazillian dollar tax break...they need to trickle that down and flex on the entire league.

    we gonna get grandal, rendon, castellanos, g.cole, strasburg, ryu, a.chapman...maybe sign bumgarner and odorizzi to work the pen.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: If the Cubs trade Quintana and his new club pays 100% of his 2020 salary his new club assumes 100% of his salary AAV liability, but if the Cubs agree to pay a portion of Quintana's 2020 salary as part of the trade, whatever portion of Quintana's 2020 salary that is paid by the Cubs would count against the Cubs 2020 AAV. 

     

  • Charlie 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    PHIL: Thanks for that Boston context--I hadn't realized the trend there. If the Cubs did decide to pick up Quintana's option and then trade him (assuming the Cubs would not agree to pay part of the contract as part of the trade), do they have to do that by a certain date in order for Quintana's contract not to count against them for the CBT? I haven't been able to find any dates attached to the CBT in a quick internet search.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    My presumption in the Cubs declining Jose Quintana's 2020 club option as well as declining the club options on the veteran relievers who have one and non-tendering Addison Russell (and this also applies to Joe Maddon not returning as manager in 2020) is that after the monumental late-September collapse of 2019 on the heels of the 2018 Game #163 and Wild Card game defeats Ricketts will no longer accept the Cubs payroll going over the CBT threshold ($208M AAV in 2020) or extending a manager making $5M a year.   

     

  • crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    i actually like ATL the team...the fans and the 3+ hours of tommy hawk chawpin' non-stop is beyond annoying before even getting into how messed up it is they're still doing that in 2019.  it's all they do, just that 1 single thing...for hours...

    fans were so upset about not getting foam hatchets pre-game yesterday (that was the club's way to "dial it back") they were busy letting the "PC police" know they're here to chant and chop as loud as they could before the first pitch was even thrown.

    it took about 10 runs to shut them up.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Damn. Atlanta was the only team in the NL I was hoping would advance. I don’t know what I was hoping in LA vs WAS series. Cataclysmic event? (Side note, I live in the DC area, what a dreadful group of fans. They deserve nothing good ever.)