Almora, Soler, and Baez Shine under Arizona Sun

Albert Almora and Jorge Soler smacked back-to-back RBI doubles in the 3rd, Bijan Rademacher and Lance Rymel collected two hits and two RBI a piece, and Marco Hernandez belted a solo home run, leading the Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the Rockies in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.


Then this afternoon, Cubs #1 prospect Javier Baez blasted a three-run home run (on a 3-0 pitch) over the LF wall and to the base of the fence adjacent to the scoreboard in the bottom of the 5th, propelling the Mesa Solar Sox to an 8-3 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs in Arizona Fall League (AFL) action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.


In addition to his HR, Baez also flied out to deep RF in his first AB, was called out on strikes his second time up, and (after ripping his HR in his third PA), grounded out to SS in his fourth and final AB.


Baez played shortstop for the Solar Sox today and fielded a half-dozen chances, committing a throwing error on the first ball hit his way (a nice running short-hop stab and then an overthrow at 1st base allowing the batter to reach base safely). Baez also made a fine backhanded stop and long throw from the hole to retire a Desert Dog batter later in the game.


Rubi Silva played RF for Mesa and had two hits (a line-drive single to CF to lead of the bottom of the 1st, and an infield hit off the pitcher’s glove his third time up), and Nick Struck and Tony Zych both pitched an inning (Struck did allow a solo HR but struck out two, while Zych needed only ten pitches to retire the side in the 9th).


The Cubs Instructs squad has completed its 2012 season, and most of the players are returning home this afternoon and this evening.


Although the Cubs did play today, they canceled yesterday’s Instructs game versus the Athletics at Papago Park, and instead had a Camp Day at Fitch Park that featured skill tests in the style of the Olympic Games.


National flags representing the nationalities of the 44 players who are attending Cubs Instructs this year (USA, Canada, Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, etc) were displayed on the outfield fence at Field #3, and the outfielders took turns trying to make the most accurate throw home from left field, catchers competed in trying to make the most accurate throw to 2nd base from home or to locate a wild pitch and make a throw home to the pitcher covering before the base runner could score from 3rd base, baserunners were timed running the bases, etc.


But the absolute highlight was a King Kong vs Godzilla “Home Run Derby” competition between Jorge Soler and Dan Vogelbach that completed the field activities (Soler won, with “We Are the Champions” blaring over the Fitch Park Field P. A. as he walked around the infield with arms raised in triumph). The team then adjourned to the clubhouse for a catered luncheon, followed by an “American Idol” competition between the more talented members of the team.


(Last Saturday afternoon the squad hiked “A” Mountain on the campus of Arizona State University, in what was yet another team-building effort by the new Cub Player Development staff headed by ex-Marlin coaches Brandon Hyde and Tim Cossins).


Here is the abridged box score from today’s Instructs game (Cubs players only)


CUBS LINEUP:
1a. David Bote, SS: 0-3 (P-6, P-4, 4-3)
1b. Bijan Rademacher, PH-RF: 2-2 (2B, 1B, 2 RBI)
2a. Albert Almora, CF: 1-3 (5-3, 2B, E-3, 2 R, RBI)
2b. Shawon Dunston Jr, PH-CF: 0-2 (L-4, K)
3a. Jorge Soler, RF: 1-3 (K, 2B, P-3, RBI)
3b. Marco Hernandez, SS: 2-2 (1B, HR, 2 R, RBI)
4a. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 1-4 (2B, 4-3, K, K)
4b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
5a. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 2B, R)
5b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-2 (F-9, F-7)
6a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-3 (E-5, K, BB, 1B, 2 R)
6b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 5th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
7a. Chadd Krist, C: 0-2 (F-8, 4-3)
7b. Lance Rymel, PH-C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 RBI, PO)
7c. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 5th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
8a. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-3 (5-4 FC, F-9, F-9 SF, F-9, RBI)
8b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9a. Ben Carhart, DH #2: 0-3 (F-9, 5-3, F-9)
9b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-1 (BB, 2B, R)
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10c. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-1 (K)


CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Juan Carlos Paniagua: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 40 pitches (25 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 29 pitches (22 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Trey Lang: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 39 pitches (24 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
4. Corbin Hoffner: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 45 pitches (26 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
5. Ryan McNeil: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (7 strikes)


CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
2. C Lance Rymel- E-2 (throwing error allowed unearned run to score from 3rd base)


CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Chadd Krist: 1-2 CS, 1 PB
2. Lance Rymel: 0-1 CS, 1 PB, 1 E (see above)


 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s


ATTENDANCE: 18

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  • Hagsag 18 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Ine of my alltime favorites.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    He played in the big leagues longer than he played any other level of organized baseball combined.

     

  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    al kaline has died at age 85.

    from highschool to the majors without touching the minors...22 seasons, all with DET...18x all-star...3000 hit club.

     

  • Charlie 3 days 7 hours 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 3 days 8 hours 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 4 days 21 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' 5 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 8 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 5 days 9 hours ago (view)

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

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 23 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' 1 week 8 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 1 week 10 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 days 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...