Break-Up Team Banks!

Chris Pieters tripled, singled twice, scored three runs, and knocked-in another, Gustavo Polanco belted a two-run double and a single and scored a run, Sam Tidaback drilled a two-run double, singled, and walked, Aramis Ademan doubled twice and scored two runs and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Zack Short tripled and singled and scored two runs, as Team Banks hammered out 16 hits (including seven XBH) en route to an 11-3 drubbing of Team Santo in Cubs Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action Saturday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The two teams combined to commit nine errors, including three by Team Santo third-baseman Christopher Morel. 

Here is the box score from the game: 

TEAM SANTO LINEUP:
1. Jose Gutierrez, CF: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, 6-3, R, SB, CS)
2. Yonathan Perlaza, 2B-DH: 2-4 (1B+E5, 1B, K, 3-U, SB)
3. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-3 (L-7 SF, F-9, E-3, E-6, R, RBI, SB)
4. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 1-4 (K, K, K, 1B)
5. Christopher Morel, 3B: 0-4 (F-8, 6-3, 5-3, 6-3, RBI)
6. Luis Diaz, DH-2B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
7. Isaac Paredes, DH #2: 1-3 (3-U, F-7, 2B, R)
8a. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-2 (4-3, F-9)
8b. Carlos Diaz, C: 0-1 (K)
9. Fernando Kelli, LF: 0-3 (1-3, 5-3, 5-3) 
10. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-3 (6-3, K, 1B, RBI, CS)

TEAM BANKS LINEUP:
1. Luis Ayala, CF: 0-4 (E-5, L-7, F-8, 4-3, R, SB)
2. Zack Short, 3B: 2-4 (F-8, 1-3, 3B, 1B, 2 R)
3. Aramis Ademan, SS: 2-3 (F-7 SF, 2B, K, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, BB, K, R, RBI) 
5. Chris Pieters, LF: 3-4 (3B, 1B, 1B, E-3, 3 R, RBI) 
6. Gustavo Polanco C-DH: 2-4 (1B, 2B, 5-U FC+E5, 4-6-3 DP, R, 2 RBI)
7. Kwang-Min Kwon, RF: 0-3 (K, BB, K, F-8)
8. Sam Tidaback, DH-C: 2-3 (F-7, BB, 2B, 1B, 2 RBI) 
9. Yeiler Peguero, 2B-DH: 1-4 (2B, K, 4-3, K)
10. Delvin Zinn, DH-2B: 1-2 (1B+E5, K, R, SB)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11. Rafael Narea, DH #3: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 1B, RBI, CS)

TEAM SANTO PITCHERS
1. Alfredo Colorado: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 1/3 GO/AO, 32 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Tyson Miller: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 32 pitches (21 strikes)  
3. Yunior Perez: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/AO, 32 pitches (18 strikes) 
4. Eury Ramos: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)  
5. Tyler Peyton: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 11 pitches (7 strikes)   
6. Chad Hockin: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)  

TEAM BANKS PITCHERS

1. Bryan Hudson: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 29 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Faustino Carrera: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/AO, 21 pitches (17 strikes)
3. Hector Garcia: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Fauris Guerrero: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 29 pitches (21 strikes)
5. Wyatt Short: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 22 pitches (17 strikes)

TEAM SANTO ERRORS:
1. 3B Christopher Morel: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. 3B Christopher Morel: E-5 (errant throw to 1st base after 5-U FC allowed batter to advance to 2nd & runner to advance to 3rd)
3. 3B Christopher Morel; E-5 (errant throw to 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd)  
4. RF Jonathan Sierra: E-9 (errant throw to 3rd base on double to RF allowed runner to score) 
5. 1B Rafael Mejia: E-3 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

TEAM BANKS ERRORS
: 4
1. 3B Zack Short: E-6 (errant throw to 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd & runner to advance to 3rd)
 
2. 1B Wladimir Galindo: E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
3. C Sam Tidaback E-2 (overthrow on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
4. SS Andruw Monasterio: E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

TEAM SANTO CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Jhonny Pereda: 1-2 CS 
2. Carlos Diaz: 0-1 CS 

TEAM BANKS CATCHERS DEFENSE: 

1. Gustavo Polanco: 1-3 CS 
2. Sam Tidaback: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above)  

TEAM SANTO OUTFIELD ASSISTS: 2 
LF Fernando Kelli - threw out batter 7-6-5 attempting to stretch double into triple 
CF Jose Gutierrez - threw out batter 8-6 attempting to stretch single into double  

ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts)

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Comments

Chris Pieters might be future prospect?

HAGSAG: Although he has a tendency to sometimes be a bit too passive at the plate and swing & miss a bit too much when he does swing, Chris Pieters has some promise as a hitter. He has a short line-drive stroke (albeit without much HR power), and a good batting eye that help him work counts and draw walks. He also has above-average speed (he's a lanky long-strider) with excellent base-stealing technique. And he has a strong (though not always accurate) arm (he's an ex-LHP).

In other words, basically the traits you would looks for in a CF prospect.

Unfortunately, Pieters has difficulty tracking fly balls and making accurate throws (that's why he has been playing mostly 1B since getting converted to a position player). Still, the Cubs very much want Pieters to play OF (preferably CF), so he has been working hard to improve his outfield defense at instructs.  

Fielding percentage is a not necessarily a great way to evaluate a player defensively, but Pieters fielding percentage in LF this past season (.909) and in CF last season (.943) is what you would expect to see from a defensively-challenged third-baseman or shortstop, not from an outfielder. And it's not a fluke, either. He really does have a LOT of difficulty tracking fly balls and line drives and making accurate throws from the outfield.  

That said, I would expect Pieters to play mostly OF next season at South Bend (even if it's a struggle), because he really doesn't fit the profile of a first-baseman (though he is a decent defender at 1B). 

So I wouldn't necessarily call him a "prospect" at this point. Probably more like a "project with potential." 

hopefully he can come around in the OF because he has the legs for it and he's somewhat relatively new-ish returning to fielding since he was originally signed as a pitcher. he's got youth and time on his side.

AZPhil, Love this time of year and, as usual, appreciate your reports. Any word on velocity for Faustino Carrera? Any impressions? I'd say he and Marquez are my favorite candidates to become serious SP prospects within the next 3 years. IIRC I may have read a CJ Wilson comp on Carrera physically, but maybe I am not remembering correctly. Actually since I have early favorites already....Any impressions on Jose Gutierrez, Jonathan Sierra, Miguel Amaya, Carrera, Marquez, or Carlos Ocampo?

KING KONG v. GODZILLA: Obviously it's still early, but I'll tell you what I can. Faustino Carrera is an advanced pitcher for his age, the classic crafty lefty with a plus curve, an occasional change-up, and an 86-88 MPH fastball that he uses to paint the corners and to set-up his off-speed stuff. Jose Gutierrez is a solid defender in CF with a strong and accurate arm, and he has above-average speed, is a smart baserunner, and he has a line-drive stroke from both sides of the plate. I would expect him to play CF and be the lead-off hitter at AZL Cubs next season. Physically speaking Jonathan Sierra looks like a young Darryl Strawberry, but he has an opposite-field stroke without much loft. The Cubs hitting instructors have been working with Sierra one-on-one to get him to pull inside pitches more and to maybe get a bit of a loft on his swing. It's gone well in BP so far, but he needs to translate it to games. Right now he is a bit of a project defensively in RF. Miguel Amaya has put on some muscle since I last saw him at Extended Spring Training. He has good mechanics behind the plate and he also has a strong & accurate arm, and his hitting has promise although it lags a bit behind his defense right now. Carlos Ocampo has a "live" arm but he is essentially a fastball-first pitcher (93-94) with major command issues. The two times I've seen him throw to hitters (one "live" BP and once in a game) he couldn't find the strike zone. He's probably a long-term project, like Junior Marte and Andry Rondon. Brailyn Marquez is a tall lefty (listed at 6'4, but probably more like 6'5 or 6'6) who is similar to Bryan Hudson. Marquez doesn't throw as hard as Hudson at this point (Marquez tops out at 91, while Hudson works at 89-91 but touches 92-93), but he's also two years younger. Like Hudson, Marquez gets a lot of ground balls with a two-seamer that he generally throws for strikes, and he has a decent curve, too, and he's working on a change-up.

Awesome, thanks. I've read in the past that Marquez has touched at least as high as 92 (McDaniel) and Carrera sat 87-89 (CCO, I assume sourced from BA), so is it possible these velocities are related to late year fatigue? After all these are the two that held up best during the DSL summer and logged the most innings at the youngest ages. 93-94 from a RH like Ocampo is one way to perk me up. I'm impressed by his K rate (21%) as a 17 YO in a league with an 18% K rate. Same for both Marquez (20%) and even Carrera (19%). There's some video of him out there and I have to say I get a Matt Garza-ish-esque image in my head if things goes very, very well over the next 4-7 years. Great to hear on Gutierrez, who showed more bat to ball skills (15% K rate) than I think other teams thought he might.

KING KONG VS GODZILLA: Velocity readings for a certain pitcher can vary depending on the circumstances, and there can be some fluctuation from year-to-year or even game-to-game, depending on the pitcher and how fresh or tired his arm might be. In the case of Carrera, he doesn't have a lot projection physically, so what you see in velocity right now is probably pretty much what you'll get long-term. But with Marquez, there could be a velocity increase at some point. I would also mention that results matter, too. Some pitchers figure out how to make the best use of what they've got (Kyle Hendricks being the poster boy for that), while others with high velocity fastballs never figure it out and can't get out of "A" ball.

[email protected]@!#!#@!#[email protected]!!! 5-4, top 9, 2 out double scoring 2 runs. CIN bullpen = epic.

2r homer from montero off the bench 7-4.

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  • jdrnym 8 hours 33 min 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 10 hours 59 min 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 15 hours 22 min 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 18 hours 12 min ago (view)

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

     

  • jdrnym 18 hours 14 min ago (view)

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

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 31 min 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 20 hours 38 min 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.

     

  • crunch 21 hours 3 min ago (view)

    though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.

    there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.

     

  • Cubster 21 hours 32 min ago (view)

    "In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."

     

  • crunch 22 hours 43 min ago (view)

    it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ.  they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.

    with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0).  now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 58 min ago (view)

    cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.

    he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.

    he's 38 years old, btw.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Bravo Crunch!

     

  • crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing.  also, ha.

     

  • Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups? 

     

  • Rob Richardson 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Well said Crunch.

     

  • Cubster 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    1956 Cub Hoax...

    Hit .215, 5 HR. Age 28 season

    https://www.ebay.com/i/153938295586?chn=ps