Paniagua Grand Slam Powers AZL Cubs over AZL Padres

Jose Paniagua slugged a grand slam to cap a five-run 3rd inning and singled and scored in the 7th, Robert Garcia and Alex Bautista each drilled a triple and a single and scored two runs (Garcia also stole a base), and Jesus Camargo (ex-Mexico City Red Devils) tossed four shutout innings with seven strikeouts, as the AZL Cubs bludgeoned the AZL Padres 9-2 in Arizona League action Tuesday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

RHP James Norwood (on South Bend 7-day DL) made his second AZL game appearance, tossing two shutout innings.

Shawon Dunston Jr (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL) played LF for five innings and went 1-2 at the plate, including a double and a sacrifice fly.

RHP Luis Hernandez made his first game appearance of 2015 after being shut-down more than three months ago in Minor League Camp. 

Cubs 2015 30th round draft pick Tyler Payne (West Virginia State) made his pro game debut, catching all nine innings and going 1-3 with a double and a walk. Payne also threw out a baserunner attrempting to steal third base.  

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

AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Robert Garcia, CF: 2-5 (3-U, 1B, 3B, K, F-7, 2 R, SB)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-3 (K, SH-E1, BB,. 6-3, 6-3, R, SB)
3a. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 1-2 (2B, F-7 SF, K, RBI)
3b. Donnie Cimino, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 0-3 (K, BB, K, 6-3, R)
5. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 2-4 (5-3, HR, K, 1B, 2 R, 4 RBI)
6. Alex Bautista, RF: 2-4 (3B, F-8, F-7, 1B, 2 R)
7. Jhonny Pereda, DH: 1-3 (F-9 SF, 1B, K, 1-3, RBI)
8. Tyler Payne, C: 1-3 (6-3, BB, 2B, K)
9. Carlos Jimenez, SS: 1-4 (1B, F-9, E-1, 5-3, R)

AZL CUBS PITCHERS
1. James Norwood: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 38 pitches (23 strikes) 
2. Jesus Camargo: 4.0 IP, 3 H,. 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 GIDP, 2/2 GO/FO, 59 pitches (29 strikes) 
3. Luis Hernandez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 10 pitches (9 strikes) 
4. Jesus Castillo: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3/1 GO/FO, 44 pitches (26 strikes) 

AZL CUBS ERRORS: 1
CF Robert Garcia: E-8 (fielding error allowed batter to advance to 2nd basse on a single) 

AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Tyler Payne: 1-2 CS 

Comments

AZ Phil, do you think Robert Garcia is the real deal?

HAGSAG: Robert Garcia is the real deal as far as speed, defense, and bunting skills are concerned, but his base-stealing technique is raw. He's been driving the ball LH and generally hitting very well in the AZL after struggling at EXST. So until he plays in the NWL or MWL, it will be difficult to accurately gauge his hitting skill going forward. Also, he is 21 and this is his third season in pro ball, so he needs to keep moving upward and not stall at a level.  

One thing I will note is that it appears that Garcia has passed Roberto Caro on the depth chart. They basically have switched places, as Caro had a nice Cactus League EXST but has had some difficulty hitting so far in the AZL. Both are 21 and have a similar skill-set, and they will probably be competing for the same job slot next season. In fact, with all of the outfielders coming on board from the draft, Caro could get released sooner rather than later. 

One notable difference between Garcia and Caro is that Garcia seems to play with more heart, enthusiasm, and desire, and seems to want it more than Caro (not that he necessarily does, but it does appear that way). Caro is more polished in all phases of his game, but he is also somewhat cool and laid-back, and that could ultimately work against him as far as comparison & evaluation is concerned. 

Mike Olt's Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment expires on Friday, so the Cubs will need to reinstate him from the 60-day DL and either put him on the MLB 25-man roster (unlikely) or option him to Iowa (far more-likely). 

Since Olt getting reinstated should coincide with David Ross getting reinstated from the 7-day concussion DL, Taylor Teagarden will probably be dropped from the 25 to make room for Ross and dropped from the 40 to make room for Olt on Thursday. 

Teagarden is out of minor league options, so the Cubs will need to secure Outright Assignment Waivers before they can send him back to Iowa, and while I am fairly sure that Teagarden would accept the Outright Assignment (he probably signed a 45-day waiver prior to getting moved-up to the 40 last week), I don't think it's necessarily a slam-dunk that he will get through waivers without being claimed. 

And if Teagarden were to get claimed, the Cubs would be left with Kyle Schwarber (probably not ready defensively), Willson Contreras (hasn't played above AA), and Taylor Davis (more of an offensive-first uitlity catcher) in the event that Montero or Ross goes down with an injury, what with Welington Castillo and Rafael Lopez having been traded.   

In fact if I'm a team chasing the Cubs for the second Wild Card slot (like the Diamondbacks or Mets), I would seriously consider claiming Teagarden off waivers just so the Cubs would be stuck without a veteran third catcher at Iowa who has big league experience and knows the pitching staff (from having spent six weeks at big league camp during Spring Training). 

What about dumping Baxter instead? Maybe Olt could be the backup corner guy and we can keep Teagarden.

Olt is hitting just .192 in 14 games so far at Iowa with 15 Ks and only 2 walks. Very frustrating. I thought he'd be up to help already and provide some more pop than Baxter as the 1B-OF bench player.

Schwarber meanwhile has a line of 351/403/667 (1.070 OPS) at Iowa. Small sample size of 16 games, but the guy is a beast.  Would be nice to see him in LF and maybe a Coghlan/Fowler platoon in CF for the last month of the season. 

I agree. Why the hell not. The team is borderline good and Schwarber by all accounts had a bat that should work at the major league level (small sample sizes at AAA and bigs but still).

Might be time to break up the Cult of Olt

PHIL: Forgive my memory lapse but was there a similar player by the name of Paniagua (or "pan y agua" - bread and water) that you had detailed that went by like an assumed name, and was having customs issues a few years ago? Was that "Juan" Paniagua? Was it someone else? But, I seem to recall he was a pitcher? Thanks for filling the memory abyss for me.

E-MAN: That would be RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua, who went by the name "Juan Callado" when he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks ($17,000 bonus) in 2008. Callado (Paniagua) spent two seasons with the DSL Diamondbacks playing on a "pending contract" (the contract could not be approved until Callado could provide the required identity documention), and then once it was determined by MLB that Paniagua (Callado) signed his contract using a false name and DOB, the contract was voided, the Diamondbacks released him, and MLB suspended him for one year.  

Callado was signed by the Yankees in 2011 ($1.1M bonus) after his suspension was lifted, with Callado now calling himself "Juan Carlos Paniagua" and using a different DOB (04-04-1990) than the one he used when he signed with the D'backs, but that contract was voided by MLB because MLB said that the birth certificate provided by Paniagua was not a legal document. 

Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and subsequently signed with the Cubs ($1.5M bonus), even though he was still unable to provide a legitimate birth certificate. Clubs were warned by MLB that Paniagua's identity and age could not be verified (and probably never will be verified), so any team wishing to sign him could do so, but "buyer-beware". 

Paniagua(?) is now 25 years old (apparently) and is at Hi-A Myrtle Beach. He features a 95-97 MPH fastball and a hard-breaking slider, so he does have upside. He has had command problems throughout his career, however. He will be eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft post-2015. 

Holy shit PHIL! As you say, "apparently" 25. How interesting. Kinda surprised MLB hasn't tossed him yet. Thank you.

I am not certain, but I seem to remember Juan Paniagua having all sorts of problems in his career due to false names and identifications. I think he had a couple of contracts cancelled.

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  • Hagsag 6 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Are ther any FA starting pitchers that would be an addition to take a starting spot?

     

  • QuietMan 18 hours 8 min ago (view)

    I'm thinking players should demand that this be added to their list.  "Sorry Honey, can't do it."

    Thanks Phil.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 9 min ago (view)

    or washing the dishes turns out to be popping wheelies on a motorcycle riding around scottsdale...

    jeff kent deserves to be in the HOF...lou whitaker needs to get in first...

     

  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 45 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: Once the MLB regular season starts, the "Practice Squad" will be a sub-group of the Club Player Pool, as will be the MLB Active List roster and the various MLB injured lists. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Q-MAN: Yes, unless "washing the dishes" is listed as a forbidden off-field activity in his contract 

     

  • crunch 21 hours 19 min ago (view)

    oh boy...chatwood and a.mills in the rotation...because the minor league system sure as hell don't have much to offer for competition.

     

  • QuietMan 22 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Non Baseball related injury.  Does he still get paid?

     

  • Ryno 22 hours 21 min ago (view)

    A digital nerve sounds like something that would be repaired with a copper wire and solder.

     

  • Cubster 22 hours 55 min ago (view)

    Per Sun-Times: Jose Quintana out two weeks after cutting a digital nerve in his pitching  left thumb and requiring microsurgery to repair the nerve, from a kitchen dishwashing accident last week. Hard to say what impact that might have on his repertoire. The sensation can take 2-3 months to return if the repair is successful.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    the toles update is worse than his troubled past.  toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years.  he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.

    hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?

    And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.