Socorro Pro Debut Should Make Marshall Proud

Making his professional debut, Cubs 2011 46th round draft pick Kenny Socorro (Marshall U.) had three hits and drove-in three runs, and Oliver Zapata drew four walks and scored twice, leading the AZL Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix this evening.

The AZL Athletics defense graciously committed five errors to aid the Cubs cause.

Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman got the start for the Cubs and continued to struggle to throw strikes, just as he has throughout his short pro career. He worked three innings (61 pitches - 35 strikes, including a 33-pitch first-inning), allowing three runs on three hits, three walks, and an HBP, while striking out four. Sometimes Ackerman will look like a world-beater against one hitter, and then can't throw strikes to next one. If he can't get his pitches-per-inning down to a reasonable number, he will likely be limited to being a minor league reliever (presuming he ever gets out of Arizona).

Cubs 2011 40th round draft pick RHP P. J. Francescon made his pro debut and had a much better night than Ackerman did, working two shutout innings (21 pitches - 14 strikes) to record the save. The 22-year old Francescon allowed a lead-off infield single to the first man he faced, and then easily retired the next five in a row (6-4-3 DP, K-swinging, F-7, K-swinging, and a 6-3 GO). Francescon does not appear to have anything exceptional in his repertoire, but he works fast and has four years of college experience (most recently at Trevecca Nazarene University, and at Middle Tennessee State before that) under his belt to aid him in his adjustment to pro ball.

box score

NOTE: There is one very obvious mistake in the box score as it presently appears in, and that is that Johan DeJesus PH for Jose Guevara in the top of the 8th and popped up to the second baseman, and then remained in the game as the catcher. The box score shows Guevara playing the entire game.

Also, Kenny Socorro hit an RBI double in the top of the 8th (Socorro's second double of the game) to drive-in Eduardo Gonzalez from 2nd base. I guess the official scorer could have called it a single where Socorro took second on the throw, except there was no throw home on the play, and in the play-by-play account (as it presently appears) it does not mention Socorro advancing to 2nd base at all.

And in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Boras grounded out 6-3, Baez walked, Solano struck out swinging, and Stafford grounded into a 6-4 FC to end the inning. (This is different than what presently appears in the "play-by-play").

And here is what happened in the top of the 7th on the pop-out by Hernandez that resulted in Zapata being thrown out at the plate: A's first-baseman Leyland caught an infield pop-up and tried to double Zapata (who broke with the pitch) off second-base, but instead threw the ball over the shortstop's head into left-center field. Zapata advanced to third on the overthrow, but then got greedy and tried to score, getting caught in a rundown between 3rd and home, before being tagged-out for the third out of the inning...

For those of you who religiously read the box scores and play-by-play at and presume the stuff you read there to be accurate, here is how the information you read is transmitted...

The official scorer who is present at the park calls the milb office every half inning and verbally recites what happened the previous half-inning and notes any lineup changes that might have occurred. This call is often made after the next half-inning has started, and so (quite obviously) it can lead to mistakes being made due to the official scorer being distracted, and these mistakes are then reflected in both the "official" box score and in the "official" play-by-play. When the official scorer does get distracted and realizes he missed something, he will usually ask the player who is running the scoreboard to tell him what he missed, but that presumes the player was actually paying attention, and it also depends on the official scorer realizing he might have missed something.

There has to be a better way to do this. The way it's done now is not working. Incorrect information is appearing in what are supposed to be "official" box scores and play-by-play accounts. The practice of official scorers calling the office every half-inning to recount the previous half-inning must be stopped, because it distracts the official scorer from doing his job. Maybe the scorer could just wait until the game is over before making the call, or maybe the information could be transmitted contemporaneously-electronically as it occurs (after each AB) instead of verbally by phone after every half-inning.


Phil, Is the signing precess going a little slower this year? I believe some teams have about half their draftees signed already. Thanks.

Submitted by Hagsag on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 8:04am. Phil, Is the signing precess going a little slower this year? I believe some teams have about half their draftees signed already. Thanks. =================================== HAGSAG: Yes, the signing process has been slower this year (for the Cubs). So far the Cubs have signed just 12 of their 50 selections, but none of their top 15. (The highest pick signed so far is #16 pick Rafael Lopez, who was a 5th year senior). By this date last year, the Cubs had signed 19 of their 50 selections, including #1 (Hayden Simpson), #4 (Hunter Ackerman), #8 (Cam Greathouse), #10 (Austin Kurcz), #11 (Eric Jokisch), #12 (Austin Reed), #13 (Pierre LePage), #14 (Colin Richardson), #15 (Elliot Soto), #16 (Ryan Hartman), #19 (Dustin Fitzgerald), #20 (Ryan Cuneo), #22 (Jeff Vigurs), #23 (Matt Loosen), #25 (Eric Rice), #28 (Joe Zeller), #32 (Brent Ebinger), #34 (Dustin Harrington), and #37 (Chad Noble). They ended-up signing 29 (the fewest they had signed since signing just 24 in 2004), including four (#7 Ben Wells, #9 Kevin Rhoderick, #29 Casey Harman, and #40 Brian Smith) on the last day before negotiation rights expired (August 16th). In fact Rhoderick's was supposedly a last-minute deal where he called the Cubs (after previously maintaining that he was going back to Oregon State for his senior year) and asked them if their last offer was still on the table, and it took some phone calls to get that one approved in a hurry (because they didn't have much time to get it finalized). So they signed just six of their 2010 draft picks between June 22nd and August 16th, including #2 (Reggie Golden), #3 (Micah Gibbs), #5 (Matt Szczur), #24 (Dustin Geiger), #41 (Dallas Beeler), and #49 (Bryce Shafer). It's not unusual for negotiations with 2nd and 3rd round picks to drag a bit, and Szczur ($600K), Geiger ($150K), and Beeler ($150K) got over-slot bonuses that required some negotiation. (Szczur would not sign if he couldn't play his senior season of football at Villanova, Geiger had the leverage of a free-ride to Central Florida, and Beeler was coming off 2009 TJS).

Edit* - I'm retarded.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 11:15am. I am sure I should know this, but what's goin on with Ben Wells? ==================================== REAL NEAL: Ben Wells was the Opening Night starter at Boise and pitched well: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 7/2 GO/FO He reportedly was working his fastball consistently at 91-93 MPH and topping out at 95, with a killer-splitter as his strikeout pitch. His velocity was only in the upper 80's at Instructs last year because he hadn't pitched for several months, but he worked himself into great shape this year at Minor League Camp (where he was assigned to the Peoria squad for most of the month) and then at Extended Spring Training. He probably is about due to pitch again tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks Phil - I couldn't figure out that Ben is short for Benjamin over at

Wow, Last years draft looks pretty damn weak a year later?

I assume these games aren't announced? Maybe the scorer should collect the managers lineup cards after the game and at least, see if he can't get the players correct then, rather than trying to do it mid-inning. Demand for short-season "real time" play by play has got to be pretty damned small. I would think that until at least High A, MILB.COM could get away with post-game boxes.

Or maybe they could get one of these new computer things that connect to those internets.

Yeah, I assumed there is some sort of difficulty doing that, though I can't guess what it is. Laptops and wi-fi cards can't really cost that much.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 8:34am. I assume these games aren't announced? Maybe the scorer should collect the managers lineup cards after the game and at least, see if he can't get the players correct then, rather than trying to do it mid-inning. Demand for short-season "real time" play by play has got to be pretty damned small. I would think that until at least High A, MILB.COM could get away with post-game boxes. ================================== REAL NEAL: There is no Public Address Announcer, no music, no vendors (actually no concessions of any kind, so it's BYO), no contests between innings, and the game starts when the umpires arrive. But the game is "official" and it does have an Official Scorer, the Official Scorer does have a copy of the starting lineups and the updated numerical rosters for that day's game so he can see who is on the field, and the home plate umpire points to a substitute and then to the Official Scorer when a lineup change or pitching change is made, just like they do in MLB. The problem is that the person who calls the play-by-play game report into every half-inning is the Official Scorer, and there is no replay available in case the Official SCorer misses something because he is distracted. Which is why having to make a phone call after every half-inning can lead to mistakes in the box score and play-by-play.

Our right-handed HR-derby champ, Paul Hoilman, is 3 for 15 at Boise, but two of his hits are HRs. Speaking of home-run derbies, Justin Bour won the FSL HR derby prior to the all-star game. Maybe if a few thousand more reporters write articles like this, Ricketts will do something...

IMO the jury is still out on Ricketts. While I think he needs a better PR man (as the article points out), the team's hands are tied by their large number of poor contracts. In the end I don't care what he says, but instead I would like to see what he does. This off season will be telling.

Well, we already know what he says (build the team from the ground up) and what he does (trades 4 of his top 13 prospects for a #3 starter) are not the same thing... I think last off-season told those of us who were really paying attention that the Wrigley days are back - lip service to winning but really just trying to sell tickets. I'm curious about why that writer thinks the Cubs cannot replicate the Red Sox model.

Agreed, the Cubs gave up too much to get Garza, who is the Cubs 3rd starter in the rotation. I would say, that the Cubs really whiffed on Guyer. Ah hell..I dunno...there are so many other things wrong with this organization, it's hard to try and pinpoint the 1 major thing....

Well if Guyer is bothering you, don't look at Lee's FSL leading batting average (some luck there) and stolen bases. Archer is finally getting it going as well. Splurging on a first basemen will show a "commitment to winning" but unless Jackson, Flaherty/Vitters and some arms come around, it's pretty hard to forecast a lot of hope for 2012 at this point. far as Lee...I suppose I;ll comfort myself with the fact that he's a couple years away still? Or something? I mean....we couldn't have moved Castro to 2B....or Lee to CF...or anything. I used to argue against your opinion on this trade TRN....because I think Garza is a very good pitcher. However....why give up this many prospects??? For a guy they were looking to trade before he got expensive, and who had a ready replacement in Hellickson?

Flaherty is walking way too much and hitting too many homers to get brought up yet...

I demand more free-swingers.

LeMahieu is your man! I should cut him a break, though, when you've got an ISO of .038, you don't want to stand around and try to take walks - you need to put that power to use... The frustrating this is that I like him as a prospect. After he learns to turn on some more pitches and gets called up in 2013 he may be a legitimate every day ballplayer. He showed nothing in AA to merit a promotion, though.

Well you're kinda right there Neal...I mean...I'd rather the Cubs brought up the guy hitting .350 oer the first 6 weeks, BABIP or whatever....than the guy hitting .220 I suppose? My biggest concern is that if you're going to bring up a 22 year old prospect from AA....shouldn't you play him fairly regularly? If they'd planned on sitting him this much, may as well have brought up Bobby Scales

Oh you have done it

crunch, wtf?

think crunch is out for a few days actually

Free Bobby Scales!

Thank You. I wasn't expecting some sort of Spanish Inquisition.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Least of all those godless pagans!

surgery got moved to thursday 5:30am...aka, 12 hours from now. i'm just ready to get it over with. bobby scales...set me free.

Penis enlargement or a breast reduction?

a little from column A...a little from column B

Will you change your name to Beef Supreme?

since I won't be in parachat tonight, just wanted to wish you good luck and prayers to whatever deity gets you by...

thanks. it should go all smooth.

Good luck, crunch.

Ditto, Crunch........hurry back.

Ditto here, too. Hope all goes well and see you back here mighty quick.

No doubt it will. Send out one of those ASCII FU's when u get a chance to let us know you're doing alright

Flaherty made more sense from pretty much every angle, besides the "we don't understand that LeMahieu is just having a couple of lucky months" angle. Closer to having to be put on the 40 man? Flaherty. Better power? Flaherty. More experience playing multiple positions? Flaherty. Better strike zone disciplie? Flaherty. And yeah, Scales would have been a better option to stew on the bench... guess they're saving him to lose some games in left field in September.

Agreed on Flaherty, as previously stated. Well Scales, or another miserable Brad Snyder doing his Jason dubois impersonation.....

I forgot...why LeMahieu or Flaherty? We've got Blake DeWitt!!

Flaherty made sense for several reasons 1. He needs to be added to the 40 man roster 2. He was more seasoned 3. He's more versatile All adding DJ Math did was clog up the 40 man roster and burn up his options sooner than we needed to It's almost 10 years later and JIM HENDRY STILL DOESNT KNOW HOW TO USE THE 40 MAN ROSTER!!!!!!!!

Maybe if they printed instructions on how to use the 40-man roster on a bag of chips, or a box of donuts....or something? Sheesh...

No kidding Probably printed it on some freshly dry cleaned suits and a bag of celery. Hendry never saw either one

"Flaherty made more sense from pretty much every angle," etc. LeMahieu was called up when Baker went on the DL. Both were righty swingers who could play 2nd or 3rd. They already had DeWitt, who played those two positions and swung lefty. Like Flaherty, DeWitt could also migrate to LF. I'm not defending anything to do with DeWitt; just saying that according to "veteran rules" that always seem to be in force no matter who is managing, DeWitt would have played every time ahead of Flaherty, whereas LeMahieu would play against southpaw pitchers. The way for Flaherty to make sense on the current Cubs is to send DeWitt away somehow. I cherish a hope that that will happen.

DeWitt has reverse splits for his MLB career, .089 in OPS higher against LH pitchers.

Why burn up LeMath's options before you have to? Now he will be just another in a long line of Cubs prospects who will be out of options just as he becomes useful.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Wed, 06/22/2011 - 3:05pm. Why burn up LeMath's options before you have to? Now he will be just another in a long line of Cubs prospects who will be out of options just as he becomes useful ================================================ DR AARON B: If the Cubs option D. J. LeMahieu to the minors sometime later this season, he will get a fourth minor league option (including the one used this season), as long as the 4th and final minor league option is used prior to the 2015 season (when he will have completed five "full seasons"). Whether or not he is optioned to the minors later this season, he will have three minor league options left as of Spring Training 2012. However, if the Cubs had left LeMahieu in the minors until the first year he would have been eligible for selection the Rule 5 Draft, the Cubs could have waited until 11-20-2012 before adding him to the 40-man roster (although he probably would have received a September call-up in 2012, since he was going to have to be added to the 40 by 11-20-2012 anyway). If the Cubs add Matt Szczur to the 40-man roster post-2011 (and he will be eligible for selection in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft because the Cubs released him and then immediately signed him to a new contract this past March), he will get four minor league options (2012-15), as long as the 4th one is used prior to the 2016 season.

Kinda my point. We could have shuttled that kid back and forth until the 2016 season to see if he could make it. Now hes got a pretty good chance of being a famous Hendry PTBNL trade target come ST 2014. Poorly run franchise in every single aspect of the game.

sorry if 3/44 Cashner sees the doctor on Monday to see if he can start throwing again. Rotoworld blurb says he'll come back as a reliever, but Sun-Times link doesn't say anything about that.

I think they need to leave him in the pen.

I am certainly not a doctor, so I wonder if you are making that recommendation for medical reasons. Because, talent-wise, Cashner dominated Double AA as a starter and I personally would like to see what he can produce in that role before moving him to the pen.

His fastball is better in the pen. He has obvious durability issues. Shoulders in general are very tricky for pitchers. You just don't see much long term success from converting pen guys to the rotation. At least not long term success. (Johann Santana doesn't count)

One year at TCU and 2010 with the Cubs. Does that make him a pen guy?

I just noticed that Carlos Silva was on the 15 Day DL with shoulder tightness.

If so, that's the only part of his body with that condition... unless you count his pants.


Ohh, Alfonso. If I were him I would avoid the media for the next 3.5 years.

Soriano and Dunn should just get together and work out a trade between themselves, with Soriano going to the White Sox and Dunn coming to the Cubs. That way, they both could stay in Chicago and maybe have a few days of peace before their new fans start booing them. There's a $16M differential in salaries between the two contracts over the four-years both have left (2011-14), and that could easily be equalized by the Cubs and Sox splitting the difference ($2M per team per year 2011-14) to cover the difference in salaries. Or the Cubs could take back Juan Pierre from the White Sox to help equalize the financials (Pierre's contract expires after this season). Soriano could DH full-time for the Sox, and Dunn could play LF for the Cubs the rest of this season, and then either stay in LF next year or move to 1B if the Cubs can't sign Fielder or Pujols (opening up LF for Josh Vitters). Bottom line is the Cubs would save $2M per year in salaries 2011-14 ($8M over four years).

Trading turds.

Ken Williams doesn't look that dumb.

i was expecting worse fallout when i first saw what i didnt know was a partial quote paraded around on TV. then i see "But at the same time, I understand. Fans can get frustrated because they want the team to win, and they want the players to hit. At the same time, the game's not easy" ...and realize the TV is kinda half-assing the truth/gist of the quote. it was a horrible choice of words for the 1st part of the quote, but i "get" what he's trying to say.

He followed that up today with "I was misinterpreted", and then gave a longer explanation saying he loves the fans, loves the city, loves puppies and kittens and he "lika the juice. The juice is good, no?"

OF Kyung-Min Na and LHP Cam Greathouse have been moved down to Boise from Peoria. No corresponding roster moves at Peoria yet. Na was hitting 258/333/303 at Peoria but he can't play CF there until Matt Szczur gets moved up to Daytona. Of course he might not get much PT in CF at Boise, either, with Pin-Chieh Chen blocking him. My guess is that Chen will get the promotion to Peoria when Szczur moves up to Daytona, and Na will be then be installed as the #1 CF at Boise. BTW, Chen's move from 2B to CF midway through Extended Spring Training has been very positive. Prior to the move he was struggling at the plate, but it was just like he was let out of jail when he was moved to CF. Same thing happened with Jae-Hoon Ha last year at Extended Spring Training when he was moved from catcher to RF and went on a hitting binge that got him a promotion to Peoria. And now he's a star CF at Daytona. While Kyung-Min Na is a younger version of Tony Campana, I would say Pin-Chieh Chen is probably the player in the Cubs system most like Hak-Ju Lee (offensively speaking). Of course Chen failed miserably as a middle-infielder, but at least offensively I see a lot of similarities with HJ Lee... BP HR power that could eventually show-up in games. Decent base-stealing technique. Good hitter. Makes all the plays in CF. Plus-arm. Chen also reminds me a bit of Eric Patterson (defensively at 2B), except the Cubs didn't move E-Pat to CF until much later in his career. Maybe they learned their lesson and decided to not waste anytime moving Chen to CF. Too bad the Cubs are loaded at CF. As for Greathouse (4.37 ERA and 1.63 WHIP), while he was a starting pitcher at Peoria (12 GS) and was sometimes close to unhittable, he just couldn't throw strikes, walking 53 in 57.2 IP. Both Greathouse (Cubs 2010 8th round draft pick) and fellow JC lefty Hunter Ackerman (Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick) have struggled to throw strikes. But that's the chance you take when you draft young lefties. They can't always find the strike zone. BTW, Boise has a 30-man Active List and they only had 27 players on their active roster prior to receiving Na and Greathouse, so no moves will be necessary at Boise at this time.

AZ Phil, When do you expect Szczur to get moved up?

Wrong Phil, but . . . if Ha is blocking Szczur at Daytona, and Jackson is blocking Ha, then the logjam will clear when Jackson goes to the I-Cubs or C-Cubs. Jackson will get other opportunities, but he missed a big one with that finger injury just as Byrd, Soriano and Johnson were heading to the DL.

I think Szczur may have been banged up at the same time... anyway Ha can move to right and Burgess to move to flipping hamburgess or whatever he wants to do in his next career.

The Cubs and Len Kasper agree to 5 years.

Backloaded I'm sure. Frankly, Len bores me to death. On the other hand he really knows how to pitch softballs to Ricketts.

I enjoy Len & Bob a lot. They are definitely top 1/3 in baseball as far as TV broadcasting crews go in my opinion.

Just my humble opinion--Bob is feisty and entertaining this year. On the other hand, Len doesn't seem excited, much less interested, in the game going on in front of him. And when the Cubs lose, it seems like he doesn't much care. Now I realize the Cubs suck, but that didn't stop Jack Brickhouse or Harry Caray from making every game seem important.

I get that. Len is cool and professional. He'll never be a Brickhouse or Caray and I'm okay with that.

Luckily he'll never be a Chip Caray either, and I'm very okay with that.

"Line drive base hit! Caught out there!"

Did he get a no-trade clause?

Things are bad, but at least we aren't dealing with this anymore: "Ronny Cedeno was benched for Wednesday's game after drawing the ire of Pirates manager Clint Hurdle for attempting to bunt with the bases loaded Tuesday. "The manager picked a day off for Ronny," Hurdle said. "[It's a] good day to regain focus." Although Hurdle didn't confirm that the benching was for the attempted bunt, it's pretty clear it was. "I've never seen a bunt with the bases loaded before," the manager said. It's the second time this season that Cedeno, who is batting just .232 with a .615 OPS this season, has been benched, as he sat out on April 27 after not running out a ground ball in a loss the previous night."

HAHA, Ronnie will show you a lot of things you never seen before on the field.

Tonites Lineup Fuku rf Castro, ss Ramirez, dh Pena, 1b Johnson, cf Soriano, lf DeWitt, 2b Baker, 3b Hill, c

Tonite Ton"ite\, n. [Cf.L. tonare to thunder.] An explosive compound; a preparation of gun cotton. Surely you're speaking of some other team.

learn something new every day

No, I think he meant gun cotton. :)

Nice work, TRN. Is Pena still on Cub fan's shitlist? I ask because he's exactly the kind of guy I want to see more of in the future. He can get after the ball on the field and he knows the strike zone. I've decided that batting average is overrated.

267/394/509 this year vs. righties almost has his overall OPS up to .800, .919 OPS in May, .916 in June.

And Neal is looking good on our Dunn/Pena OPS wager

Why have a DH when you are offsetting its advantages by playing someone (or two or three) who hits worse than your pitchers?

I know these questions always come up, but can you DH for the catcher?

Yeah, seriously. Does the DH have to be for the pitcher?

Yes, only for the pitcher, see 6.10:

damnit, my bad thanks. I just deleted my comment as not to confuse things.

Is Soto injured? why not pinch-hit for bandsaw in the 8th ...

"OMAHA, Neb. (AP)—Two Nebraska women are suing the founder of TD Ameritrade and an owner of the Chicago Cubs, claiming he fired them from his Omaha-based charity after they complained of sexual harassment. Patricia Davis and Patricia Duncan filed a federal lawsuit against Joe Ricketts and the Opportunity Education Foundation. The charity provides educational opportunities to children in developing nations."

I don't know anything about this but that sounds consistent with the way he came across in that YouTube video talking about why he bought the Cubs. An impatient, don't want no flies in the ointment kind of guy. Just my off-the-cuff reaction.

ace...another castro error...

wasn't your run of the mill errors, kid may hell of play

I thought Pena should have caught the throw.

Pena should have had it. Was a great effort

small crowd, mic picked up Peavey yelling Fuck after bad pitch. Len sorta apologized for it. Somewhere Reinsdorf is making a noose for himself.

nice catch Sori.

Brent lillibridge makes tony campana look normal

Anyone going into parachat make a noise, and I'll be there.

in parachat now for the dregs of the game

Unable to watch the game but...Castro and Soriano have 3 BBs in 4 innings? Did any religious fanatics predict the end of the world tonight?

and a steal for sori too!

Is it DeLorean with a flux capacitor night at the ballpark?

I hate to break the 100 comment symmetry, but what team gets 10 hits, 3 walks, 3 stolen bases and a home run to add up to 3 runs? Let me introduce to you your 2011 Chicago Cubs.