Royals Latest Victims of Angel-Cub Detente

Victor Caratini (Cubs) and Shawon Dunston Jr (Cubs) ripped run-scoring singles and Wade Wass (Angels) contributed an RBI double, leading the Angels/Cubs co-op squad to a 4-2 victory over the Royals in Arizona Advanced Instructional League play this afternoon on Field #2 at the Papago Sports Complex in Phoenix, AZ. 

The game was halted by mutual consent after seven innings of play. 

Cubs infielder Jason Vosler was moved-up to the "advanced" instructs squad from the "basic" squad prior to the game. 

Here is the box score from today's game (Cubs players highlighted in bold and underlined):

ANGELS/CUBS LINEUP:
1. Johnny Giavotella, 2B: 1-4 (1B, 1-U, F-7, P-2, R)
2. Kody Eaves, 3B: 0-4 (P-1, K, K, 4-6-3 DP)
3. Victor Caratini, DH-C: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, 3-U, RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-2 (P-6, 3-U, BB, PO) 
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 6-3, R)
6. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K, R)
7. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K, R, RBI)
8a. Wade Wass, C-DH: 1-2 (K, 2B, RBI)
8b. Andrew Daniel, PH: 0-0 (BB)
9. Jason Vosler, SS: 1-2 (1B, 3-U, BB, SB)

ROYALS LINEUP
1. Humberto Arteaga, 2B-DH: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B, RBI)
2. Orlando Calixte, SS: 1-3 (BB, K, F-9, 1B)
3. Elier Hernandez, RF: 0-4 (6-4 FC, L-6, K, P-4)
4a. Wander Franco, 3B: 0-2 (4-3, F-9)
4b. Gabriel Cancel, 3B: 0-1 (1-3)
5. Anderson Miller, CF: 0-2 (BB, F-9, 4-3, R, SB) 
6a. Chad Johnson, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
6b. Colton Frabasilio, C: 1-1 (1B)
7. Chase Vallot, DH #1:1-3 (2B, E-5, F-7, RBI)
8. Samir Duenas, 1B: 0-3 (F-8, K, F-8)
9a. Roman Collins, LF: 0-1 (5-2 FC) 
9b. Christhian Vasquez, LF: 0-1 (4-3, BB, R)
10. Austin Bailey, DH-2B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, 1-3) 

ANGELS/CUBS PITCHERS
1. Garrett Nuss: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GO/AO, 38 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Victor Alcantara: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 11 pitches (8 strikes) 
3. Tyler Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 24 pitches (14 strikes) 
4. Michael Jensen: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 22 pitches (17 strikes) 
5. Steve Perakslis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (7 strikes) 
6. James Pugliese: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 22 pitches (13 strikes)

ROYALS PITCHERS:
1. Eric Skoglund: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/4 GO/AO, 26 pitches (17 strikes) 
2. Pedro Fernandez: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GO/AO, 37 pitches (26 strikes) 
3. Jacob Bodner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 1/0 GO/AO, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
4. Josh Staumont: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 28 pitches (13 strikes)

ANGELS/CUBS ERRORS: 1 
3B Kody Eaves: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

ROYALS ERRORS: NONE 

ANGELS/CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Wade Wass: 0-1 CS 

ROYALS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Chad Johnson: 0-1 CS 

WEATHER: Sunny & cloudless with temperatures 105+  

ATTENDANCE: 22 (mostly scouts) 

 

Comments

Some epic Harry Caray moments in this video, particularly toward the end. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/151268698/chica...

AZ Phil, give me your thoughts on Jeff Baez chances of making it to the Bigs.

HAGSAG: Jeffrey Baez has a good chance to make it to MLB, but I doubt that it will be with the Cubs.

Baez is a very raw five-tool player, but he has flaws that are apparent (and a bit frustrating) when you watch him over a period of time. 

He has the same body-type you see in an NFL running back. Looking at him you wouldn't think he's fast, but he is. He also has HR power that has not been fully developed. He has the speed and range to play CF and the arm to play RF, but despite the range and arm, he isn't a very good defender in the outfield.   

And while he is a good base-stealer, he also tends to run into outs on the bases. 

I suspect he will be traded sooner rather than later (possibly as the PTBNL in the Austin Jackson deal, if the deal is finalized after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft). 

Sounds like a shorter version of Junior Lake.

Saw Baez for Myrtle Beach against the Potomac Nats recently. Think Marlon Byrd, not Junior Lake.

Padres win again. Elimination number now at 1.

If I'm not mistaken, the Magic Number at 1 means that the worst case scenario is that the Cubs have clinched a play-in game before the one game wild card. (well, the end of the world before that would be the absolutely worst case scenario). It's Magic.

Yes -- they have clinched a tie.

AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on him? I saw him at Kane County after he was dealt to the Cubs and while it was obviously a very small sample size, it did look like he could swing the bat. How is he defensively? Is he any kind of prospect at all?

TITO: Acquired by the Cubs in the deal that sent James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio to Atlanta last sesson, Victor Caratini started off slowly at the plate this past season at Myrtle Beach, but he got better & better each month. 

He has been rakin' left-handed in BP and squared the ball up very well (again facing RHP and hitting LH each time) in the first two "advanced" instructs games, but I'm not sure if his RH side is quite as well-developed.  

He was a C-1B-3B in college so his defense behind the plate needs polish, but he is a hard worker, has a plus-arm, and he seems to really want to be a catcher. Patience will be required.  

Caratini will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible after next season, so he will be a player to watch in 2016. I would think he will almost certainly move up to AA and replace Willson Contreras as the #1 catcher at Tennessee, and it wouldn't be that big of a surprise if he has a break-out season in AA next year.

I would say as things stand right now he probably projects as an offensive-first switch-hitting C-1B-3B in the big leagues, the type of versatile player Joe Maddon seems to prefer. 

AZ Phil- In your expert opinion, which minor leaguers do you see helping the MLB team next year? Thanks.

JACOS: In terms of position players, I don't think there will be another Bryant, Russell, or Schwarber coming up next season.

Matt Szczur is out of options, so if he isn't traded, he will likely be the 4th OF (at least at the beginning of the season). 

3B Christian Villanueva had a nice year offensively at AA and AAA in 2015 (though his defense wasn't as good as in previous seasons), and (like Szczur) he is out of minor league options in 2016. Villanueva has yet to make it to the big leagues and is blocked by Bryant and/or Baez, and so he would seem to be a likely trade condidate during the off-season or Spring Training.  

Arismendy Alcantara will likely be booked on the Chicago-Des Moines Shuttle as a switch-hitting IF-OF super-sub in 2016, and he could even make the Opening Day 25-man roster (taking the job filled by Jonathan Herrera in 2015) with a strong Spring Training, especially if either Castro or Baez is traded for a starting pitcher during the off-season. 

Catcher (and Cubs 2015 Minor League Player of the Year and Southern League batting champion) Willson Contreras is a lock to get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in November. He will almost certainly spend most if not all of 2016 at Iowa honing his skills, but if he continues to progress he could be a factor in 2017 (David Ross is a FA post-2016). 

1B Dan Vogelbach will almost certainly be added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2015), and (if he isn't traded) he will be the starting 1st baseman at Iowa in 2016, available for a call-up if anything happens to Anthony Rizzo and/or (as happened with Kyle Schwarber in 2015) maybe as the DH in interleague games. But Vogelbach is likely to get traded sooner rather than later. 

2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almiora Jr should be ready for a move up to AAA in 2016, and he will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible after next season, so he could get called up maybe sometime in the last half of the 2016 season (although probably more-likely when rosters expand in September). I believe offensively he will eventually be something like Darwin Barney circa 2012 (250/300/350) with not a lot of walks but with a high-contact rate, strong "situational baseball" skills, and occasional power out of the 8th (or 9th) slot in the batting order, and with Gold Glove skills defensively in CF.

Switch-hitting 3B Jeimer Candelario is now likrly to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in November (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2015), but he will likely be at AA for most (if not all) of the 2016 season and then at AAA in 2017.  So Candelario would replace Christian Villanueva and the departed Mike Olt as the Cubs #1 3B prospect starting next season, although (like Villanueva and Olt) he is presently blocked by both Bryant and/or Baez. 

OF Billy McKinney (acquired along with Addison Russell from Oakland in the Samardzija/Hammel trade) is a quality left-handed hitting prospect with corner OF skills (much better in LF than RF), but he suffered a season-ending knee injury at AA Tennessee in August, so it remains to be seen if he'll be ready at the start of the 2016 season. He is a similar type player (offensively) as Chris Coghlan (albeit without Coghlan's defensive versatility), and he could be Coghlan's eventual replacement (Coghlan is a FA post-2016).  

So it's more likely that rookie Cubs pitchers will be the ones having impact in 2016, rather position players.  

Of course RHP Dallas Beeler and LHP Eric Jokisch are already on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster, and both have had some (limited) opportunities to start in the big leagues over the past couple of years. Beeler is injured right now, but Jokisch is pitching for the Angels./Cubs co-op team in the AZ Advanced Instrutional League (he threw 6.1 IP and 70 pitches in a start on Wednesday) while staying ready for a possible call-up to Chicago. But neither are projected as likely future MLB starters (at least not with the Cubs), and one or both could even get dropped from the 40 if slots are needed during the off-season. 

RHP Carl Edwards Jr could fill the "utility" staff role currently handled by Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, and Clayton Richard (Cahillis a FA post-2015, and Wood and Richard are likely to be non-tendered). Right now Edwards throws too many pitches-per-inning to be a starting pitcher and he walks too many hitters to be a reliable late-inning reliever, but he has plus-stuff and so he could be really good in the niche that was carved-out by Wood, Cahill, and Richard in 2015. 

RHSP Pierce Johnson is a virtual lock to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in November (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2015), and depending on how he pitches in the AFL and Spring Training, he could find himself at the front of the line in the Iowa starting rotation in 2016. If so, he could get called up to Chicago at some point during the season - IF (big if) - he stays healthy and pitches well at AAA.  

RHSP Ryan Williams (Cubs10th round draft pick out of East Carolina in 2014 and 2015 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year) will almost certainly get an NRI to Spring Training, and then get assigned to the Iowa starting rotation by Opening Day. Williams is a lot like Kyle Hendricks, in the sense that his stuff is considered marginal, but he really knows how to pitch. If he gets AAA hitters out as he did at AA in 2015, he could get called up if there is an opening in the Cubs MLB starting rotation at some point next year. 

RHSP Duane Underwood Jr is probablty the Cubs top starting pitcher prospect, but he has his 2015 season interrupted by a right elbow UCL sprain that did not require TJS. He is healthy now and is with the "advanced" instructs squad so he can pick up some of the innings he lost while on the DL during the season, and if he can stay healthy he will likely be the #1 starter at AA Tennessee in 2016, and could possibly move quickly. (Underwood is eligible for selection the Rule 5 Draft post-2016, so a September call-up wouldn't be a surprise).

RHP Jonathan Martinez (acquired from the Dodgers for Darwin Barney in 2014) was a solid starter at Myrtle Beach in 2015  and should be right behind Underwood in the 2016 starting rotation at AA Tennessee. Martinez does not have Underwood's ceiling, but he does project as an MLB pitcher (at this point, most-likely back of the rotation or middle-relief). Martinez is Rule 5 Draft eligible this year, so it's possible that he could get selected.    

One other starting pitcher to keep an eye on in 2016 as far as a possible contributor to the big club is RHP Brad Markey, who  has followed the path of RHP Zack Godley (traded to Arizona on the Miguel Montero trade), as a college pitcher who was used by the Cubs initially as a reliever, before lighting it up as a starter at Hi-A the last half of 2015. Markey will likely be in the AA Tennessee starting rotation at the beginning of the season, and (like Godley this year) he could conceivably find himself in the big leagues sometime in the latter half of 2016. 

Iowa RHSP Carlos Pimentel (PCL Pitcher of the Year) and AA Tennessee RHSP Felix Pena are two starting pitchers who will be minor league free-agents post-2015. The Cubs probably would like to keep both of them around as rotation starters at Iowa in 2016, but it might require an MLB 40-man roster slot or two to do that if one or both of the pitchers declines to sign a 2016 minor league successor contract. 

As far as bullpen arms are concerned, RHRP Corey Black (acquired from the Yankees for Rafael Soriano in 2013) has electric stuff (a 96 MPH fastball, a plus change-up, and a power slider), but he struggles mightily to throw his fastball for strikes, making his "chase" pitches less effective. As a result, he is "on the bubble" as far as whether he will be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster post-2015 (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible this year).

27-year old Cuban RHRP Armando Rivero (signed by the Cubs for a $3M bonus in 2013) could finally see the big leagues in 2016 (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible after next season). Rivero was a closer in Serie Nacional (the Cuban "major league") prior to signing with Cubs, and he features  a 94-MPH four-seamer and a splitter/slider drop pitch as his "chase" pitch, but he has struggled to throw strikes.   

AA Tennessee closer RHRP P. J. Francescon throws a low-90's sinker and a decent breaking ball. He scored a slot with the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, and a good showing there could get him a look in Spring Training with the big club. Also, Francescon is Rule 5 Draft eligible this year, and (like Andrew McKirahan this time last year),he could get drafted if he has a strong AFL and is not added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster. 

Great stuff as usual Phil. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Phil!

Thanks Phil. I am always interested in my buudy Daury Torrez' future. He is draft eligible this year too.

Recent comments

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  • JustSayin' 6 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Solid % improvement for minor leaguers and nice to see the Cubs among the first organizations to break ranks to the upside.  Three comments: 1. Yes, the bonus babies have already BEEN paid but that is the minority of these young men.  2.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 14 min ago (view)

    more spring news...

    i.happ expected to primarily play CF this spring.  rizzo expected to primarily hit 2nd going into the season.

     

  • Charlie 15 hours 20 min ago (view)

    That's fair. And  the discussion would be different if Almora were heads and shoulders above Happ defensively, which seems (surprisingly) not to be the case.

     

  • bradsbeard 15 hours 33 min ago (view)

    I'm not ready to write him off from the right side just yet. One of the things I believe about Happ is that switch hitters in general just take longer to establish themselves as hitters due to having to develop and maintain two separate swings. Given that he sees fewer lefties, you kind of have to give him a little more leeway to develop there I think. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 33 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: No word yet on 2020 minor league active roster limits, but I doubt they will do anything new since the minor league 7-day IL with no doctor's note required (sometimes called the "phantom IL") allows clubs to easily rotate guys (especially pitchers) back & forth/on & off the active list. 

     

  • Charlie 15 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I didn't realize until today that the new network will be broadcasting almost every spring training game. Just a heads up for anyone else expecting the usual 4-6 broadcasts.

     

  • Charlie 15 hours 50 min ago (view)

    I think he's going to strike out over 25% of the time, but he's shown that he can be an above average overall hitter even if he's only batting .230-.250.

    I'm also not a big fan of the swing, and I'd be very skeptical of him if the ball is deadened. Stats suggest he'd benefit from a true platoon despite being a switch hitter. Sure would be nice if Almora could hold up the other end competently.

     

  • Hagsag 15 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Kelly C. to the Braves. Damn it.

     

  • First.Pitch.120 17 hours 12 min ago (view)

    Let us know if you see Dunderwood shagging flyballs in the OF... 

     

  • First.Pitch.120 17 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Re: 6-8, w/ JHey in the 6 hole there are a lot of interesting things that can happen 7-9. You have the 2B slot, Happ (CF), & P slot.  Happ is a Switch hitter (though admittedly better LHH), roster looks to be long on 2B options from both sides (quality issues TBD, but promising IMHO), & a slot you with pinch hit for at least x2/gm. Lots of dbl switch possibilities (w/o jacking up the rest of your lineup)

    That creates some brutal match up decisions for the opposing mgr right before recycling back to Bryzzo. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 1 min ago (view)

    I think proving the K rate wasn't a fluke would go a long way toward convincing me. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Hey, if you hate the swing there's probably nothing I can say to change your mind. I personally think it's one of the nicer looking ones on the team. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Extended period of good hitting? Not striking out at deeply inopportune times? Some baseball IQ in regard to situational hitting?

    I think I also just hate his swing. It's so long and loopy.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    C/1B Alberto Mineo (25) has re-signed with the Cubs organization according to: https://www.mister-baseball.com/alberto-mineo-mino...

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Happ has been an above average hitter every season he's been in the majors, and he killed it in his brief return from the minors last year (with better contact and lower K rates to boot). Aside from an extended period with the lower K rates, what else are you not seeing?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Bote, for the moment, is adequate. Very unsold on the 2 LH hitting 2B options.

    I have never seen it for Happ. I'd love for him to prove me wrong but I dont see it happening.