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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  • Charlie 19 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Currently at a near full-time job that just barely covers my monthly expenses if nothing emerges.

    I make more than that.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 30 min ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is considering opening the season in empty spring training parks -- with no fans and all players quarantined.

    The plan would have all teams stationed in one centralized location -- likely Arizona"

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 

     

  • JustSayin' 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 1 week 13 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 1 week 19 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 1 week 22 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.