Two Players Make Pro Debut as AZL Cubs Bat Around to Victory in Tempe

Wladimir Galindo doubled, tripled, walked, and scored two runs, Jose Paniagua singled twice, drove-in a run, scored a run, and reached base on an HBP, and Joey Martarano bashed a two-run triple, helping the AZL Cubs defeat the AZL Angels 6-4 in AZL action Thursday night at Tempe Diablo Stadium. 

The Cubs got off to a splendid start right off the bat (so to speak) in the top of the 1st inning, batting around and scoring three runs. 

Roberto Caro led-off by lofting a triple into the left-centerfield gap, and then scored on a picture-perfect suicide-squeeze bunt hit laid down the third-base line by Carlos Sepulveda. Wladimir Galindo doubled off the top of the LF fence (just missed a home run), putting runners at 2nd & 3rd. Sepulveda scored and Galindo moved up to third base on a WP, and then Joey Martarano reached base when the Angel shortstop fielded a routine grounder but got distracted when Galindo got caugfht in "no man's land" between 3rd & home, eventually allowing Martarano to reach 1st base and Galindo to return to 3rd base safely (should have been scored a FC, not a hit... oh well). Jose Paniagua then grounded a single to center to score Galindo with the third run of the inning. The Cubs had the bases loaded with one out after Carlos Jimenez singled, but they didn't score any more runs in that inning.

The Cubs scored another run in the top of the 3rd on two singles, a FC, and a 1-3 GO, and Joey Martrano knocked-in the final Cub runs of the evening with a line-drive opposite-field stand-up two-run  triple in the top of the 4th, as the Angel right-fielder tried to make a diving catch only to see the ball bound past him and go to the wall. (The CF alertly backed-up the play and was able to retrieve the ball and fire it into the infield before Martarano could circle the bases, forcing Martarano to stop at third, where he was left stranded).  

20-year old 6'2 220+ RHP Pedro Silverio made his U. S. debut for the AZL Cubs, getting the start on the mound and working four innings (63 pitches - 38 strikes). He allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits (all six hits were singles) and a walk, plus a WP, with two strikeouts (both swinging), one GIDP, and a 4/4 GO/FO. Silverio was signed by the Cubs in 2012, and had been the ace of the DSL Cubs starting rotation prior to getting moved-up to the AZL Cubs last week. 

Two Cubs 2015 draft picks made their pro debut in tonight's game. 

1. 23-year old 5'9 switch-hitting middle INF Sutton Whiting (24th round pick - U. of Louisville) entered the game under somewhat adverse circumstances with one out in the top of the 9th. Wladimir Galindo had to leave the game after being hit on the right forearm with a pitch, but the home plate umpire ruled that Galindo had swung at the pitch (and AZL Cubs Manager Carmelo Martinez went ballistic when he found out that Galindo wasn't awarded 1st base), so Whiting inherited an 0-2 count as Galindo's pinch-hitter. Whiting was unphased, however, as he fisted a bloop single over the shortstop's head and into short left field on the first pitch he saw. (I could have said Whiting entered the game "cold," but it was 100+ degrees at the time). He then stole second base, although he was ultimately left stranded. (The speedy Whiting was 5th in stolen bases in NCAA D-1 in 2014). Whiting played 2nd base in the bottom of the 9th. 

2. 21-year old OF Alex Bautista (22nd round pick - Lindsey Wilson College) entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the 9th inning, replacing starting LF Jose Paniagua who had to leave the game after being hit by a pitch on the left wrist in the top of the 9th (two batters after Galindo got hit). Bautista was an NAIA First-Team All-American in 2015, hitting 371/466/728 with 19 HR & 72 RBI, 13 doubles, and 27 SB (9 CS) in 60 games (251 PA) for the Blue Raiders. NOTE: You might notice that Bautista's name does not appear in the "official" box score at, but I can guarantee you that he was indeed in the game, playing LF in the bottom of the 9th. The official scorer probably was busy reciting the previous inning's play-by-play over the phone to the rep at HQ and didn't see the home plate umpire point to Bautista.

Catchers Marcus Mastrobuoni (25th round pick - Cal State Stanislaus), Ian Rice (29th round pick - U. of Houston), and Tyler Payne (30th round pick - West Virginia State) were in uniform but did not play in the game.

To make room for the five draft picks added to the AZL Cubs Active List, 1B Roney Alcala (2011 IFA - Venezuela), OF Jenner Emeterio (2012 IFA - Dominican Republic), OF Calvin Graves (2014 27th round draft pick - Franklin Pierce University), IF-OF Danny Gutierrez (2012 IFA - Venezuela), and C-1B Miguel Rico (2012 IFA - Venezuela) have been released.

Here is the abridged "unofficial" box score from tonight's game (Cubs players only):

1. Roberto Caro, CF: 1-5 (3B, 5-3, 3-1, K, K, R)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B-SS: 1-4 (1B, 6-3, BB, K, K, 2 R, RBI)
3a. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 2-3 (2B, 3B, BB, 5-3, 2 R)
3b. Sutton Whiting, PH-2B: 1-1 (1B, SB)
4. Joey Martarano, 1B: 2-5 (1B, F-8, 3B, 5-3, K, 2 RBI) 
5a. Jose Paniagua, LF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 4-3, K, HBP, R, RBI)
5b. Alex Bautista, LF: NO AB 
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-5 (K, 1B, 5-3, 3-U, K)
7. Carlos Jimenez, SS-3B: 2-4 (1B, 4-U FC, K, 1B)
8. Robert Garcia, RF: 0-3 (F-8, 1-3, F-8, 5-3 SH, RBI)
9. Andruw Monasterio, DH: 0-4 (4-6 FC, P-2, L-8, K)

1. Pedro Silverio: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 4/4 GO/FO, 63 pitches (38 strikes) 
2. John Michael Knighton: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 BALK, 3/1 GO/FO, 28 pitches (24 strikes) 
3. Francisco Carrillo: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2/2 GO/FO, 27 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Mark Malave: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/Fo, 14 pitches (9 strikes) 

1. 3B Wladimir Galindo: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. 1B Joey Martarano: E-3 (missed catch on pick-off attempt allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd) 
3. P John Michael Knighton: E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)

Jhonny Pereda: 0-1 CS


Az Phil, has Javier Baez reported to Mesa yet?

HAGSAG: Javy Baez is at the Training Center (Under Arrmour Performance Center), but I have not seen him take BP or infield practice or anything specifically "baseball related." Same goes for Tommy LaStella. 

Bruce Levine article on possible starting pitching targets for Cubs...

"The top three starters are solid, with Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel all in a good groove. " Ooops. I would not call Lester solid at this point. He's had a few nice outings sprinkled in with lots of crap. And I'm starting to agree with crunch on this whole not being able to hold runners on argument. In his last ESPN start they showed a stat where he threw to first something like 90 times in his first year and it's gone down to virtually nothing. Why would a pitcher have a hard time throwing to first? When guys get on he is getting rattled. He makes too much money to get rattled. The thing about that article is that none of those names inspires a lot of envy in me. I like Johnny Cueto because he's fun, but he's not re-signing at $130 million+ fun. I honestly hope these guys keep being patient and look for starting pitching under the radar a bit. Maybe a good, young rising guy for a prospect or two. Spending hundreds of millions on a starting pitcher just doesn't seem smart these days. In other words, I'm hoping they stick to this part: "“We don’t read too much as to what is out there (in the media)..." The fans may want another high end starter but IMHO the price is too high for any of them, first in prospects, then in salary. Keep looking for that diamond in the rough. Arrietta turned out pretty good, Jacob Turner didn't, but keep trying and see what sticks.

Is his shoulder healthy? Is his elbow healthy? If so, then I'm not worried about him at all. The story to me is just how much different and worse this lineup is without Fowler & Castro in it.

If the lineup is so much worse without Castro in it, why does everyone want to trade him?

i still think lester can be a quality pitcher, but unlike the past runners of all speed (or lack of it) are taking these insane leads off him. steals aside, it's the bloop singles letting guys take an extra base that blows my mind. situations that you expect to be a single-base move on a hit with most pitchers turn into 2 bases too often with lester. this is the kind of stuff that leads to a high ERA even with a decent WHIP and not giving up too many HRs. when he keeps guys off base he's way more in control and it's not because he sucks pitching out of the stretch with runners on. runners shouldn't have this much control over the game, especially for an ace pitcher. the walks in his last 2 games are a bit concerning, but hopefully that's just a rough patch.

Theo said they want a controllable starter, and that makes some sense to me - way more than Kazmir, Shark, etc. But if this team is going to the NLDS, what it really needs is a righty-mashing outfielder for our inevitable date with one of Burnett, Cole, Wacha, Lynn, or Lackey in the Wild Card game. If the starter acquired is not significantly better than Arrieta, then he won't move the needle much on our playoff odds.

Getting to the wild card game, though, will require someone better than Wada and someone better than Hendricks (or at least a better Hendricks). As for a righty-masher, the Cubs have acknowledged this need for a while, which is why LaStella, Schwarber, McKinney, Happ and DeWees have been added to the organizational rolls just since last June. LaStella and Schwarber could play in a wild-card game this season.

They have 2 of 3 odds (almost) to make at least a Wild card game but less than 50% to win a wild card game. Both are important, but when your season will likely be decided in a day, I say that's the priority.

The luck factor for a single game is drastically stronger than for the final 1/3 of a season. The front office should try to influence what they actually have a chance to influence. I'm also not sure what position player you'd like to see swapped out for a righty masher. Coghlan?

Clearly Fowler is the weak link right now. Career v RHP: Coghlan 279/345/428 Soler 270/315/470 Fowler 254/350/410 2015 v RHP: Coghlan 255/338/453 Soler 259/301/407 Fowler 217/296/381 If they think Schwarber is the guy, that's fine, and they know how to develop him better than I do, but he'd better start getting those LF reps ASAP.

...and they know how to develop him better than I do. You think?

Way to add to the conversation!!!!12

I think I should be the Decider. Bring him up!!!

Ok O/B. I'll back you 100% this time!

Has there been any update on Rafael Soriano? Has he even gotten a visa yet to come to the states? Hopefully he won't need too many rehab outtings to get ready once he gets over here.

he's still in the dominican working out as of this past monday. nothing wrong, just doing his own program at home rather than doing it all in 110F phoenix.

CRUNCH: I was told by one of the coaches that Rafael Soriano is at the Cubs Dominican Academy throwing "sim" games every couple of days, so he will not need much time to get ready once he arrives in the U. S. 

Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg has resigned. 

at least philly fans wont have to see c.utley auto-given the 3 slot in the lineup based on what he used to be able to do. maybe they'll get a manager who will argue for his players rather than letting them battle umps and get thrown out of games. ...let's not even discuss bullpen use. phillies have much bigger issues than a manger, the immediate need of 10-15 players out of 25 who actually belong on a MLB roster.

Maddon must be nervous

No Wada Wacha tomorrow. Donn Roach to start. Who gets bumped off the 40 man to create a spot for him? LaStella to 60 day DL delay a decision?

Q-MAN: Tommy LaStella was placed on the 15-day DL in April retroactive to 4/9, and time spent on the 15-day DL counts toward the time required to be spent on the 60-day DL if a player is transferred to the 60 from the 15, so LaStella could be transferred to the 60-day DL today and reinstated tomorrow (if he were ready to play, which he'is not). 

But the point is, yes, transferring LaStella from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL is a no-brainer. It's simple & easy, and doesn't require exposing anybody on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster to Outright Assignment Waivers (at least until LaStella, Olt, or Turner are ready to be reinstated).  

AZ Phil: Can you comment on Emerald Tyler Alamo's catching skills. (I'm trying to remember...OK, that line is probably not funny to Tyler)

CUBSTER: Tyler Alamo is a bit stiff behind the plate, his receiving skills are raw and need work, and he has (at best) an average arm. However, he is a team leader, he has a high baseball IQ, and the pitchers like to throw to him, even though he isn't that great of a defensive catcher. 

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 59 min ago (view)

    The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

    Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 


  • crunch 12 hours 50 min ago (view)

    we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

    backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...


  • Sonicwind75 13 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.



  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 29 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Clint Frazier's 2022 base salary is only $1.5M and he has a minor league option available, so I think it's more likely than not that he opens 2022 at AAA. 

    On the other hand, Harold Ramirez is out of minor league options, and it is unknown at this point what he will get in 2022 as a "super two." 


  • crunch 13 hours 55 min ago (view)

    until clint fraizer came on board i wouldn't have counted bryant out.

    OF is kinda crowded right now, though there's no stars in the mix.  fraizer - happ - ortega - heyward - h.ramirez leading the group...  even if he split time between OF/3rd with wisdom that just makes it more crowded, plus the team allegedly wants hoerner to prepare to be used as a super-utility guy.


  • George Altman 14 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Ok, if Cubs are going there....I want Correa and Bryant. Unless this is just about selling tickets.


  • crunch 14 hours 20 min ago (view)



  • crunch 15 hours 18 min ago (view)

    stroman / hendricks / miley / alzolay - mills - thompson - steele do bats.


  • Wrigley Rat 15 hours 25 min ago (view)

    You beat me to it! :)


  • azbobbop 15 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Marcus Stroman to the...wait for it...the CUBS! What a nice surprise!


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 43 min ago (view)

    With Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo having been non-tendered, the only 2021 Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Players remaining on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster are Scott Effross, Alfonso Rivas, Ethan Roberts, and Nelson Velazquez. Draft-Excluded players cannot be outrighted to the minors until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, so Effross, Rivas, Roberts, and Velazquez are the only players on the 40 with off-season roster-removal restrictions.  


  • Sonicwind75 23 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Sad but true.  According to my back of the napkin numbers the Cubs have aroumd $100MM in payroll space to match last seasons but they're shopping in the non-tendereds ailse.  At the same time they talk of being "competitive".  The cognitive dissonance is overwhelming. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    I suspect Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo will re-sign with the Cubs on minor league deals with NRIs to 2022 MLB Spring Training, possibly as early as tomorrow. 


  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    MIN claimed t.megill from CHC and then non-tendered him.

    CHC non-tender jason adam and mike hermosillo


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    matt boyd non-tendered by DET...that sounds about the right part of the scrap pile the cubs are digging around