Smokies Speed on Display at Sloan Park

Zach Davis led off the 1st inning with a HR, doubled, walked, and stole two bases, Delvin Zinn collected three singles, walked, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and Connor Myers belted a two-run HR, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) and the Rocket City Trash Pandas (Angels AA affiliate) played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Minor League Camp game action Thursday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.  

Brennen Davis left the game after being hit on the side of his face with a pitch. He was on his hands and knees for a couple of minutes before leaving under his own power, but there was quite a bit of blood left behind on home plate.  

Here is the abridged box score fom the game (Cubs players only) 

1. Zach Davis, DH #1: 2-3 (HR, BB, F-8, 2B, R, RBI, 2 SB) 
2. Jared Young, LF-RF: 0-4 (F-7, F-8, K, K)
3a. Levi Jordan, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3, R)
3b. Scott McKeon, 2B: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
4. Christopher Morel, CF: 0-3 (BB, 5-3, K, F-8, R)
5a. Eric Castillo, C: 0-2 (BB, F-7, 6-3)
5b. Raymond Pena, C: 0-1 (5-3)
6a. Brennen Davis, DH #2: 0-2 (5-4 FC, F-7, HBP, RBI) 
6b. Christian Donahue, PR-DH: 0-1 (5-3, SB) 
7. Andy Weber, SS: 0-4 (L-7, 3-U, K, K)
8. Delvin Zinn, 3B: 3-3 (1B, BB, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 SB, CS)
9a. Connor Myers, RF: 1-3 (5-3, HR, K, R, 2 RBI)
9b. Vance Vizcaino, LF: 0-1 (K) 
10. Tyler Durna, 1B: 0-1 (F-7 SF, HBP, 6-3, RBI)

1. Matt Swarmer: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 4/2 GO/AO, 45 pitches (25 strikes) 
2. C. D. Pelham: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2/2 GO/AO, 35 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Dakota Mekkes:  0.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 30 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Aneuris Rosario: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1/2 GO/AO, 30 pitches (16 strikes) 

Eric Castillo: 0-2 CS 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 


Rocket City Trash Pandas????

Madison, AL is getting Mobile, AL's team (mobile bay bears).

Huntsville + Madison are pretty much a continous city/bedroom community at this point and the area has a -lot- of money + tech/space jobs + is due to grow steadily for years to come.

they're "rocket city" to encompass the area, not just Madison, and the "trash pandas" because lol raccoons.

That's quite the  journey to a crazy name. Thank you for the explanation.

Rocket City, I get. But doesn't Rocket City Raccoons have a pretty solid ring to it? Kind of evokes the character from the Marvel movies.

Now there's a market deficiency waiting to be exploited.  Be the first pro team to get hooked into the Marvel universe.  Cubs could start inching their way in....replace Ant Man with Bart Man? 

Already behind the Mets in that regard sadly, Thor plays for them.

Rocket City Racoons also brought to mind the Beatles "Rocky Raccoon"

He walked into his room and took out Gideon's bible.

it's even better, they are the Rocket City Trash Pandas (which is a nickname for Racoons). They are the AA affiliate of the Dodgers. The current franchise moved from Mobile (Bay Bears) in 2017.  Huntsville (Stars), which is essentially Rocket City, moved to Biloxi, MS in 2015 and are now the Biloxi Shuckers.

Rocket City got it's name from Werner von Braun who was a leading developer of the US rocket and space program including NASA's origins. He moved to Huntsville in the 1950's. WVB's wiki page shows his complex and very interesting history including German origins and work during WWII. It's worth a read.

Minor leage ball has certainly gained a nice sense as to the importance of name  flamboyance. My friend in Jacksonville (AA-Marlins) is looking forward to seeing the Jumbo Shrimp this year. I love all these great team names and logos.

The RC TPs were supposed to start play in 2020, so they sold a tshirt last year with the schedule , the inaugural logo, & "MISSION ABORTED". That is one great piece of MiLB swag. 

Hi Phil,  where is Jack Patterson these days?

Lets hope Brennan Davis is OK, getting hit in the face sounds really bad and dangerous. Tony Conigliaro (Jack Hamilton, damaged eye) and Ron Santo (Jack Fisher, fractured cheek bones) have been there, done that. 

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  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.