Camargo Sharp as AZL Cubs Defeat AZL Snakes
Andruw Monasterio drilled a two-run triple, walked twice, scored a run, and collected a third RBI on a bases-loaded walk, Wladimir Galindo belted a two-run double and knocked-in a third run with a sacrifice fly, Roberto Caro reached base on a bunt single, walked, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and RHSP Jesus Camargo hurled five innings of three-hit one-run ball with no walks and a 11/1 GO/FO, helping the AZL Cubs defeat the AZL Diamondbaks 8-4 in AZL action last night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
The 2014 VSL HR champion, 18-year old Wladimir Galindo (2013 IFA - Venezuela) missed the last five weeks of Extended Spring Training with a left wrist injury, and while his wrist is still wrapped, he has been driving the ball in AZL games. Tonight was no exception, as he hammered a line-drive SF to LF in his first AB, crushed a two-run double into the LF corner his second time up, and lofted a fly ball to the warning track in CF in his third PA. He is still a raw player defensively at 3rd base, but he shows off a strong arm when given the opportunity. Galindo is a big kid (not quite as imposing as Eloy Jimenez, but close), and he is the #1 AZL Cub player to watch right now, at least until some of the 2015 draft picks are activated.
18-year old Venezuelan SS Andruw Monasterio was shaky offensively for most of Extended Spring Training (hitting 167/200/208 in 11 games and 25 PA), but he has settled down lately and is hitting the ball with more confidence and authority. He drove-in two runs with a sinking liner to left that the D'backs left-fielder played into a triple (thanks to an ill-advised diving attempt at a catch), and then walked twice in his final two AB, one of which was a two-out bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch. He also started a nifty 6-4-3 DP that got struggling RHRP Jesus Castillo out of a jam in the 6th. Monasterio was a switch-hitter last season, but he gave up switch-hitting when he arrived at EXST and is now hitting only RH.
19-year old RHP Jesus Camargo (ex-Mexico City Red Devils) was outstanding last night, with four strikeouts and an 11/1 GO/FO. The thing is, Camargo was an extreme fly ball pitcher throughout Extended Spring Training, alternating a mediocre 87-88 MPH fastball with THE best change-up seen down here in a long time, so getting so many ground balls would seem to indicate that he is changing his approach (which is good).
The single most diffiicult pitch for most young pitchers to master is the change-up, and Camargo has done that and then some. In fact his change-up is so good that he wants to throw it on every pitch. Camargo struggled in Extended Spring Training (5.91 ERA and 1.88 WHIP, with 13 walks allowed in just 10.2 IP), and Cubs pitching coaches had to to convince him that the change-up is most-effective when mixed with a fastball (even a mediocre one). .
Last night also marked the game debut (as a pitcher) of 21-year old 6'4 LHP Ariel Ovando, who was signed by the Houston Astros as a 16-year old strong-armed slugging outfielder out of the Dominican Republic in 2010. Ovando received a $2.6M bonus when he signed (the largest signing bonus ever given to an IFA by the Astros up to that point in time) and was described by scouts who saw him back then as a young Darryl Strawberry. But Ovando struggled in four minor league seasons (2011-14) in the Houston organization, unable to advance past Lo-A while hitting just 233/299.335 in 261 games (1,026 PA). The Cubs selected Ovando in the AAA Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft with the intention of converting him to a pitcher, but he was shut-down during Minor League Camp and did not pitch at Extended Spring Training at all. He only began throwing bullpen sessions within the last couple of weeks. While he is a big dude with the "projectable" frame MLB clubs are always looking for, Ovando is the classic "soft-tossing lefty," mixing a mid-80's sinker with a slow curve. It worked well last night, though, as he worked a 1-2-3 9th with a 4-3 GO and two strikeouts (both swinging).
19-year old RHP Jesus Castillo continues to struggle, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk (plus two WP) and no strikeouts in 1.2 IP (36 pitches, including a 29-pitch 7th inning inning) last night. Castillo was one of two teenaged Venezuelan pitchers acquired from the Diamondbacks for OF Tony Campana prior to the 2013 season (RHP Erick Leal was the other one), and Castillo was supposed to have the most-upside of the two pitchers the Cubs acquired. But right now Castillo is throwing a 85-86 MPH two seamer and a so-so breaking ball and isn't fooling anybody in the AZL, while Leal is in the starting rotation at South Bend.
21-year old Miguel Rico missed the last five weeks of Extended Spring Training with a left knee injury, but he returned to the lineup last night as the AZL Cubs DH (he went 2-4 with two singles and a run scored). Rico was a 3B-1B for the VSL Cubs the last couple of years (hitting 241/344/375 in 174 games 2012-14), but was converted to catcher at Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training this season (interrupted by the knee injury). He is catching bullpen sessions, but he has yet to return to game action behind the plate. I think in Rico's case, the conversion to catcher is more a matter of adding greater versatlity to a guy who projects as a "four corner" utility player going forward, rather than the idea that he will become a front-line catcher.
Here is the abridged box score from last night's game (Cubs players only):
1. Roberto Caro, CF: 1-4 (1B, BB, F-8 SF, K, 5-U FC, 2 R, RBI, SB)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 2-5 (3-U, 1B, 6-3, 1B, K, R)
3. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 1-4 (L-7 SF, 2B, F-9, 5-3, K, 3 RBI)
4. Joey Martarano, 1B: 0-5 (6-3, K, K, 1-3, 4-3)
5. Jose Paniagua, LF: 2-4 (E-6, F-8, 3B, 2B, R, CS)
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-3 (2B, 6-3, E6+E6, BB, R)
7. Jenner Emeterio, RF: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, 4-3, BB, R)
8. Miguel Rico, DH: 2-4 (F-7, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI)
9. Amdruw Monasterio, SS: 1-2 (3-U, 3B, BB, BB, R, 3 RBI)
1. Jesus Camargo: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 11/1 GO/FO, 70 pitches (45 strikes)
2. Jesus Castillo: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 4/0 GO/FO, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Francisco Carrillo: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 3 pitches (2 strikes)
4. Trey Masek: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
5. Ariel Ovando: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
P Jesus Camargo: E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1 PB
CUBS BASERUNNING MISADVENTURES:
Jose Paniagua was thrown out 9-4-5 when he overran 3rd base after two-out triple in the 5th
jdrnym 5 hours 4 min ago (view)
AZPHIL, has there been official word as to whether the 26-man roster has been extended down to the minor league levels that previously had 25-man rosters? Can't really think of a reason why that shouldn't be the case...
Arizona Phil 9 hours 59 min ago (view)
Another possibility for a "26th man" in 2020 would be a young pitcher selected in the Rule 5 Draft who has big league upside but who is clearly not yet "big league ready," or a pitcher who is out of minor league options who might not be quite MLB ready.
Cubster 12 hours 5 min ago (view)
Just sign Rick Reuschel and lets move on
crunch 12 hours 48 min ago (view)
"Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Scott Kazmir will throw for MLB teams this week.
The 36-year-old Kazmir hasn't thrown in the majors since the 2016 season, but he recently told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he that he hit 90.9 mph with his fastball during a bullpen session."
someone put another bottle of left-in-the-car warm water under the cubs hot stove and let's get this one done! woo!
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
bryce harper ruined that bat dragging thing for everyone after his ejection years ago at the junior college world series.
also, hurrah for baseball making it's return.
JustSayin' 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
College ball started Saturday. Umpire egos in D1 baseball are not that much smaller than in the pros, so of course there was a controversy. In the late innings of a game in the weekend's biggest series (Michigan vs.
crunch 3 days 2 hours ago (view)
the news is mostly based on a Baseball America article from the 11th (behind a paywall)...so the gist of it is rather legit rumor-wise, though it's still too far in the future to call it a 100% done deal.
btw, the cubs have been strongly linked to pursuing christian hernandez for quite a while. the BA writer that wrote the article about the cubs links has been following c.hernandez since he was a 14yo talent and is quite familiar with him. that signing probably is in the bag.
Wrigley Rat 3 days 4 hours ago (view)
I don't know much about this website, but they are speculating that the Cubs may sign two of the top International Free Agents available during this signing period: https://www.cubshq.com/print/news.do?id=16441&isNe... Does anyone know if this sounds legit?
Arizona Phil 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
Minnie Minoso was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 47 and Julio Franco was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 49, so Mexican League teams clearly do not have a problem with signing older players.
And of course the ageless Satchel Paige was still working as a SP in AAA (with the Miami Marlins) into his early 50's (and prior to that he pitched in MLB as late as age 46).
crunch 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
b.colon has signed to a mexican league team. woo old dudes. he turns 47 in may...believed by some to be older.
Cubster 4 days 17 hours ago (view)
Replacing someone like David DeJesus?
crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
mark grace returns to chicago as an analyst/on-air-talent for Marquee.
he won't be part of the main game calling crew, but will be doing support content during games.
Eric S 5 days 13 hours ago (view)
Increasing levels of smoke concerning a possible Arenado/KB trade
Get Arenado to agree to push back his opt out a few years or so down the road and this could work out nicely for the Cubs
Arizona Phil 6 days 4 hours ago (view)
Jason Kipnis (like Brandon Morrow) was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, so he gets a $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st player opt-out if he is not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster or MLB 60-day IL by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day.
Arizona Phil 6 days 4 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have signed post-2019 second-contract minor league FA catcher Jordan Procyshen to a 2020 minor league contract and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 6 hours ago (view)
Q could be subbed in for any of those too