AZL Angels Jett Past AZL Cubs at HoHoKam

Jett Bandy laced three doubles, including a two-run two-base hit with one out in the top of the 8th that drove-in the tying and go-ahead runs, leading the AZL Angels to a 4-3 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this evening.

box score

The Cubs went into the top of the 8th inning leading 2-1, thanks to a solo HR by Dustin Geiger in the 4th and a Ryan Durrence RBI ground out in the 6th. But AZL Cubs 8th inning set-up man Colin Richardson could not hold the lead, issuing a one-out four-pitch walk, followed by back-to-back doubles and consecutive singles, as the Angels took a 4-2 lead.

The Cubs did score a run in the bottom of the 8th on a leg-double by lead-off hitter Oliver Zapata, an Angels error, and a sacrifice fly, but it wasn't enough, as Angels closer Brandon Efferson threw a 1-2-3 9th for the save.

18-year old LHP Brian Smith (Cubs 2010 40th round draft pick out of Pickering, Ontario) got the start for the AZL Cubs, and threw a solid four innings (61 pitches - 40 strikes), allowing just one unearned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. A member of the Canadian Junior National Team prior to signing with the Cubs right at the August 16th signing deadline last year, Smith had his second quality outing in a row, especially significant since he was absolutely terrible in his pro debut at AZ Instructs last fall (30.00 ERA, 4.33 WHIP, and a .527 OppBA) and got a late start to the 2011 season, not pitching in a game until more than halfway through Extended Spring Training. But he has looked OK in AZL action so far (albeit just 7.1 IP over two games), displaying a high-quality curve and change-up, and the poise and stamina needed to throw multiple innings.

19-year old Dustin Geiger (Cubs 2010 24th round draft pick out of Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL) continues to be the offensive leader for the AZL Cubs. After two more hits tonight (including the 390-ft+ home run to left-center that gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead, and a picture-perfect hit & run single to right that advanced a runner from 1st to 3rd and led directly to the Cubs second run), Geiger is hitting a robust 400/423/769 (including three doubles, two triples, and a HR) through his first six AZL games, while playing adequate defense at both 3B and 1B (although he looks better at 1B). Geiger has showed tremendous improvement in his power stroke over the last few weeks (having hit 325/367/525 with three doubles, two HR, and 12 RBI over his last 13 Extended Spring Training games), and I had thought that just based on that he would get assigned to Boise, but the Cubs chose to place 3B-1B Wilson Contreras on the Boise roster instead, while keeping Geiger in Mesa. But if he keeps slugging the way he has over the last few weeks, I would expect Geiger to get a promotion to Boise (if not to Peoria) before much longer.

While Geiger has been the offensive star of the AZL Cubs, 19-year old Dominican switch-hitter Brian Inoa has struggled to find a position. Inoa was used mainly as a DH in the DSL last season where he hit 279/356/369 for DSL Cubs #2, but he was worked exclusively at catcher throughout Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training this year. However, it became quite clear over time that Inoa did not have the defensive chops to succeed as a backstop, so he was moved to 1B, and now (more-recently) to 2B, with poor results at each stop. Inoa made two more errors (on successive plays) leading to an unearned run in tonight's game, and was pulled out of the game in the top of the 7th. Next stop? Maybe LF. But to play LF Inoa will have to show the slugging he displayed at times in Extended Spring Training, like when he hit for the cycle against the Diamondbacks on May 23rd.



Az Phil, any news on possible signings of young Latinos on July 2 ? Thanks as always.

Iran announced today that their missiles can reach U.S. bases in the Gulf. The Cubs pitchers countered by showing the Giants missiles can reach Waveland.

I swear in the post-game interview with Doug Davis while he was trying to explain why he sucked again today, he said something like, "The Giants kept hitting the ball over the fence and we didn't have anyone playing out there." LOL. "I thought I'd have the jitters, but I didn't," Byrd told the Des Moines Register. "I got hit by a pitch. That was something I needed."

Tough SOB... can't wait til he gets back to push those crappy hitters like Castro and Ramirez out of the three hole.

"When you fall off a horse, get right back on" --Christopher Reeve

"A good craftsman never blames his tools." --Koyie Hill

"It is cheering to see the rats are still around; the ship is not sinking." Eric Hoffer

"I'd like to see Quade given a chance to manage the team we broke camp with." Shit-for-Brains GM

"When opportunity is in your hands. You have to reach out and grab it" Steve Bartman

almost all of that was just f'n awesome. bravo tcr. "It's getting a lot better," Wood told on Tuesday. "The skin around the finger is better. The nail is stronger. It's looking a lot better to me."

For all six teams (Boise and above) to win yesterday, a couple of improbable things had to happen: Peoria had to break a 10-game losing streak, and the suddenly impotent post-LeMahieu Smokies--punished by Jackson's and Lake's deep slumps and then KO'd by the Vitters beaning--had to actually score a run in thirteen innings. More impressive, though, were the seven consecutive scoreless innings spun by Maine and Gaub in Iowa's 15-inning 6-5 win over Albuquerque. Maine pitched three innings, Gaub four(!). Both gave up 1 hit, with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. Add starter J. Jackson's 5 strikeouts and you get 19 total.

Peoria really hit the wall - their all-star break didn't even help. Daytona not scoring much either of late, but pitching relatively well.

Jason Parker(?) on SS prospects with all kinds of Hak-Ju Lee love. Puts him in his top 3... TCF: Lee is one of my favorite prospects in the game, and a player with the potential to be Leader of the Pack (Future) in this crazy deep talent pool. At the plate, the 20-year-old Korean has great hands and hand-eye coordination, which leads to heavy doses of contact. The power isn’t there, and it might not show up, but he can sting a ball; he’s not an empty hitter. I like his overall approach: It’s aggressive yet under control, giving him some on-base ability and high-batting average projections. The glove is flashy and slick, though he still needs refinement, which he will find through repetition; the actions for a plus defender are already present. The arm is plenty strong for the position and his quick feet, natural instincts, and plus-plus raw speed given him excellent range. The total package could be an All-Star with a plus glove, the ability to hit for a very high average (not empty average), and enough strength to work the gaps. He’s not going to hit 15-plus home runs per season, but you can’t put him in the speed/slasher box, either.

Parker's been around since sometime last year. He loves the phrase "hit tool", which I think means not striking out without bunting. Another couple about Cubs articles over at BP now, including a draft recap:

Later Picks of Note: With a mid-90s fastball that consistently touches 97-98, fourth-round pick Tony Zych was one of the hardest throwers in this year's draft, but he doesn't have another plus offering. Sixth-round catcher Neftali Rosario is a very good defensive catcher with a bit of pop. He'll be a nearly impossible sign, but many think 11th-round pick Shawon Dunston Jr. will be a first-round pick in 2014 after honing his skills at Vanderbilt. Analysis: The Cubs focused more on teenage upside than in recent drafts, which fits well with the system needs. Tough signs like Dunston and seventh-round pick Trevor Gretzky give them a chance to make this an excellent crop. better place to hone skills? Vanderbilt or Cubs farm system?

Vandy by far!!!!! Cubs farm system or California Penal league?

I can sort of get his dad not wanting to run his life, but how could a son of a major leaguer not be a more advanced baseball player... I guess Shawon really just did rely on physical talent for his entire career. Hopefully we dump some contracts and direct the cash towards signing some of these guys... I still don't get the Gretzky deal. I guess San Diego State is a pretty big-time program, so maybe he can play. Longer article on him, I missed if it's 3/44.

athlete first, baseball player second The Cubs way... supposedly a pretty good QB prospect as well until the shoulder injury. Said Miami, UCLA and AZ State were looking at him before the injury, although if he was that good, you'd figured they'd still offer him a scholarship even after he recovers.

"The Cubs focused more on teenage upside than in recent drafts, which fits well with the system needs." We need more unsignable ballplayers who are five years away?? I may not be around to see them. What happened to "Wait 'til next year!"

Q-Ball to take Riggleman's spot on All-Star coaching staff according to Muskat

speaking of, I suppose only Marmol and Castro are the Cubs options at this point?

I would include Marshall on that list.

No Soriano love?


No Soriano love? --- The Cubs should start an All-Star campaign for Soriano using that picture of him giving dual fingers.

Doug Davis on the verge of 1st inning implosion first 4 get on for one run, but gets a GIDP that scores the second run.

they really need to move Pena before the 2nd game tonight...maybe to the Giants like that Joel Youngblood deal (although that was 2 different cities).

I'd rather see them move Doug Davis between innings :)

for the uneducated... with Mets against Cubs in a day game then made it to Philly to play for the Expos for the nightcap

Hill just hr'd, the world is definitely about to end.

Vogelsong has only given up 3 or more runs one other time this year against the Mets back in early May.

I think Davis is trying to use the Rocky Balboa game plan. Tire them out with running the bases early in the game, then come back late for a knock-out.

Doug Davis on the other hand, has given up 3 or more runs every fucking time he pitches (unofficial stat).

Aramis Ramirez now 1 for 36 driving in runners from third with less than two out.

So, so much pain....

Follow the I-Cubs game. That's going much better. Byrd 2-4 with a double, HR, a walk and 3 RBI's and Barney got two hits and a SB... I feel a mid-season trade simile coming on.

Byrd and Barney for?......... Something useful?

No, but getting them back will be like making a mid-season trade for slightly below average starters.

Andy McFail'd!!!

So, Andy? You are sitting at 32 and 50 on the year. Where do you feel this ball club is at this point? Well Len, we certainly didn't figure that a rotation built around Mark Prior and Kerry Wood would have some many injury problems. But getting those two and Angel Guzman back will be like making a huge mid season trade. How do feel about the direction of the franchise? Couldn't be better Len!!!

13-7 first game. Any predictions on tonight's score? I figured we might not score 7 runs this entire series off the Giants pitching.

loss, 3-0 in 14 innings after jeff baker gives up a 3 run homer to pat burrell

I would actually like to see that.

Hey all - don't worry about game 1 of the double header. We have Rodrigo Lopez pitching in game 2, which should get the Cubs back on track.

Muskat says Mateo coming up for Game 2, Lamehieu being sent down...

There isn't much to cheer about this year, but I was hoping Castro could make a run for the batting title. However, I am upset every day when I see Q-ball put him in the third spot. When will he realize that for whatever reason, Castro is not comfortable there. I hope it doesn't ruin him.

So much for reinforcements... Mateo's stats at Iowa: 1-3 with a 6.87 ERA in 18 1-3 innings over 16 outings.

mateo down, barney up should happen soon enough. doug davis DFA will hopefully happen before that.

Submitted by crunch on Tue, 06/28/2011 - 5:31pm. mateo down, barney up should happen soon enough. doug davis DFA will hopefully happen before that. ============================================ CRUNCH: If Rodrigo Lopez has an (unexpectedly) reasonably decent outing tonight, I would think the Cubs might keep Lopez in the starting rotation and Marcos Mateo in the bullpen and DFA Doug Davis when Darwin Barney is reactivated tomorrow. Davis has the potential to earn about $1M in incentives tied to GS and IP, so I doubt that the Cubs would think twice about releasing him. He has zero trade value. As for other trade possibilities, I could see Kerry Wood going home to Texas once he proves his blister issue has been resolved, and (as I have mentioned here before) the Giants should have some interest in acquiring Geovany Soto. And Alfonso Soriano for Adam Dunn is just too supersilious for it not to happen.

Isn't it Hendry's philosophy to continue starting players having bad years in hope of increasing their trade value?

Sullivan has an article up about Colvin at Iowa:

Does he make any judgements about Colvin's timing? I know someone who he ought to get in touch with who has all kinds of unsolicited advice about jumping to such a conclusion...

Interesting to read Von Joshua analyzing someone's swing again. Reminds me when he gave a long dissertation about Milton Bradley, on how the top half of his body was turned the wrong way and out of synch with his legs. "You can't hit like that." He got that right. I think I prefer him to Teflon Rudy. I find the whole Colvin deal very disturbing in terms of what the coach was doing in his day job. Here is a talented young hitter--maybe not too sharp--who is just floundering. He has to go to Iowa to get any answers.

Reminds me when he gave a long dissertation about Milton Bradley, on how the top half of his body was turned the wrong way and out of synch with his legs. "You can't hit like that." LOL. Yea - Milton Bradly couldn't hit. The dude has a career 804 OPS. He sure can't hit.

Well let me amend that comment then..: Milton Bradley is a guy who could get on base, and hit.. as long as you expect him to play 90 games or so, get hurt, have run ins with umpires, coaches, announcers....and put up 12 HR's and 55 RBI's or so....then yeah, he's your guy.

as long as you expect him to play 90 games or so, get hurt, have run ins with umpires, coaches, announcers....and put up 12 HR's and 55 RBI's or so....then yeah, he's your guy. Which, of course, has pretty much nothing to do with the quote that VA Phil posted.

No....just I can't stand Milton Bradley, and his waste of talent ass....

So as the pitch was coming in, he turned the top of his body toward the catcher? What was Bradley thinking?!? I'm interested to see if Joshua has more success with Colvin. I still maintain part of his problem was bad luck, but it didn't seem like he was making as much solid contact as last year either.

Guys with terrible plate discipline and poor approaches tend to get exposed at the MLB level. Maybe Colvin can tighten up his overall approach? I doubt he'll ever have much discipline or pitch recognition though?

But that's the thing, he wasn't having any more trouble walking or making contact than he did last year. Shawon Dunston, by your esimation would never hit MLB pitching.

Colvin's line drive percentage this year is 9.9 compared to last year's 17.0. His HR/FB this year is 6.3 compared to last year's very strong 19.4. It looked to me like Colvin was making plenty of contact, it was just poor contact. And it looked to me like most of the time that he was in the majors he was hitting the very top of the ball a lot of the time that he was pulling it, resulting in weak grounders to the right (or into foul territory). The numbers also suggest that he was getting as much of the fly balls that he hit either. I would say that those are probably symptoms of some mechanical problems which may lead to, be caused by, or just combine with some small timing issues. I think some of it had to do with all the time he spent on the bench, but I don't have any evidence for that.

some might say he looked like his timing was off...

That's what Joshua said when he saw him. Wayyyyyy late.

It's one thing if TCR commentors don't know what timing is... it's really alarming if our hitting coaches don't.

I actually saw the opposite, at least early in the season, of what Joshua saw. It looked like Colvin was early on most things.

Shawon Dunston, by your esimation would never hit MLB pitching. Well... he didn't really hit MLB pitching.

Aw come on....he hit them ok....he just couldn't get on base otherwise if his life depended on it.... .269/.296/.416 .296

Isn't that the Hendry/Wilkin prototype for the perfect prospect?

He looked good in a uniform.

Some guys like Dunston, Kpatt, Felix Pie,etc. Can have careers with bad plate discipline. They just never have the careers that the tools folks hype them for. Not mention that all of those guys are dead meat when it comes to trying to hit top level pitching. Which might have a little something to do with the Cubs playoff issues over the years?

Ah Felix Pie..... I still would have like to have seen him get a season or 2 of at bats before shipping him off for nothing... Yeah, it sure seems the Cubs have drafted these same types of players since....forever?

Everyone drafts them, it's just the Cubs that promote them without deleloping them.

It's really akin to the mediocre Numbers Big armed QB's we see in the NFL draft every year. Jeff George Ryan Leaf Jamarcus Russell Akili Smith All the same basic story. Mediocre college careers. Teams fell in love with the arm strength tool. Busts as pro's.

Aw....c'mon now..Jeff George had a few good seasons? Lol...

He doesn't fit with the others so much. He is just the most shining example of that situation.

Well..ok...I spose....he did manage to throw 154 TD's..more than the other 3 combined is all..... Anyway....I agree on the Cubs drafting these kind of players over, and over, and over....

"Which [bad plate discipline] might have a little something to do with the Cubs playoff issues over the years?" Maybe, but I just took a quick look at the OBPs of the eight starting position players in Game 1 of the Cub-Dodger series in '08, and all were .359 or higher except Soriano's, with three OBPs above .375. Soriano .344 Fukudome .359 Lee .361 Ram .380 Soto .364 Edmunds .369 (as a Cub) DeRosa .376 Theriot .387

"LOL," etc. Do you think Von Joshua was analyzing Bradley's swing when he was with Texas? With the Cubs, he slugged .397. His OBP was fine, because he was focused like a laser on drawing walks. Fukudome draws walks, too, and many observers would look at him and say, "You can't hit like that." I do find it odd that the Cubs get beaten up every day in these pages for not stressing plate discipline, after spending $80 million since '08 on the two most extreme non-producing OBP specialists in the game. "He just didn't swing the bat. He didn't get the job done. His production, or lack of (production), was the only negative." --Hendry on Bradley

If the Cubs had a Fukudome batting 1-8 they'd be in MUCH better shape than they are now.

Their defense probably wouldn't suffer much either.

That 2008 team led the league in OBP%. They also led the league in wins. Any correlation ya think?

Hmmm....I'll go with....yes? Lol.... 2008 Cubs:.278/.354/.443 2011 Cubs:.264/.319/.402 Interesting....the NL average? 2008: .260/.331/.413 2011: .251/.318/.386 Eh...they still need to get on base much more than they already do....

That would be nice, but they're a league average offense. What they really need to do is start pitching and turning batted balls into outs a lot better. They've walked 21 more batters than the 2nd worst team and have five more errors than the second worst team. A powerful combination, caused, apparently by injuries?!?

Also a good point TRN..with a black hole in the 4/5 spots in the rotation, an average offense, and bad fielding, combined with... fuck..

At least Wrigley is a beautiful and structurally sound ballpark?

The offense is plagued by too many free swingers.

Here's Mike Quade's lineup for Game 2 vs. Barry Zito: 1. Reed Johnson, cf. 2. Starlin Castro, ss 3. Aramis Ramirez, 3b 4. Carlos Pena, 1b 5. Geovany Soto, c 6. Jeff Baker, 2b 7. Alfonso Soriano, lf 8. Lou Montanez, rf 9. Rodrigo Lopez, p

5. Geovany Soto, c Haha, you almost got me there! Anyone got the real lineup?

that's been Soto's spot versus lefties for the most part

Going into tonight: 4th 4 PA's 5th 42 6th 50 7th 37 8th 66 Though I will buy he's batted there more against lefties than in the other slots. If Quade had to pick one bad habit from Lou to steal, I wish it wasn't his names from a hat lineup construction.

awesome! lol...

Oh good, more embarrassing Mike Quade antics.

What did he do?

He argued the call at the plate, and apparently you have to look a certain way when you argue or else it's embarrassing.

Anyone have the replay of that play somewhere? I was on a rooftop, with a TV that didn't work, so couldn't really see what happened.

Make it stop

Gammon tweet Red Sox cannot add payroll, which means with RF washout and McDonald/Cameron 0 production, they can take no $. Dream Jeff Baker. period.


Fukudome was the latest in the succession of left handed hitting RF's that Hendry has failed in the quest to acquire anyone really good after Sosa shrunk. Burnitz, Jacques Jones, Fuk and thinking Fuk can play CF, Uncle Milty. a few minor attempts to catch lightning in a bottle: Jody Gerut, Ben Grieve, Todd Hollandsworth, Matt Lawton Fukudome's failure is that he came here with the expectation to drive in some runs and provide 20 HR power as well as the history of great April and meh May-Sept. He has succeeded in the OBP and RF defense areas. Tyler Colvin is somewhere in that mix too although he was a farm product and should be lumped in with Pie and CPat.

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  • crunch 6 hours 1 min ago (view)

    corey seager signed a deal for 32.5m a year and that means carlos correa is having a really great day.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Texas has a wildly expensive middle infield. They've also set the market really high for the remaining SS. And they did it single handedly.


  • crunch 8 hours 3 min ago (view)

    c.seager goes to TEX for 10/325.

    they've committed to spend 1/2 billion this week (marcus semien added, too).

    meanwhile, the cubs complained to the local paper about how their new multi-million dollar sports betting lounge isn't a casino and they sent out a "cyber monday" ad to offer the great deal of it costing nothing to get on the season tickets waiting list.

    it already is and will continue to be a hell of a 24 hours.  maybe the cubs will *shrug* i something worth talking about.


  • crunch 12 hours 10 min ago (view)

    BA released their top-10 cubs prospects list...

    1. Brennen Davis

    2. Cristian Hernandez

    3. Brailyn Marquez

    4. Pete Crow-Armstrong

    5. Jordan Wicks

    6. Kevin Alcantara

    7. Caleb Kilian

    8. Owen Caissie

    9. DJ Herz

    10. Yohendrick Pinango

    reggie preciado got robbed.


  • crunch 12 hours 37 min ago (view)

    m.scherzer mets 3/130m (wow)

    that's more than the entire payroll for PIT last season per year and only a bit less than what BAL, CLE, and MIA paid out.


  • crunch 12 hours 42 min ago (view)

    both are equally useful to a baseball team.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 53 min ago (view)

    The violinist or the camera staring afficionado?


  • Hagsag 13 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Taylor Davis might be next.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 12 min ago (view)

    STOP THE PRESSES! They signed someone. Some random lefty RP named Locke St.John.

    Sounds like a Bond villain.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 13 min ago (view)

    That's a good way of looking at it. The race for the top draft pick is a pretty hardcore competition, too.


  • crunch 14 hours 53 min ago (view)

    hey, they're working hard as hell.

    just last week tom ricketts and other chicago sports team owners went out of their way to respond to a Tribune article calling sports betting lounges "casinos" by co-authoring a letter to the paper.

    DraftKings being happy seems to be the cubs #1 offseason priority.


  • Sonicwind75 15 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Just depends on what your definition of "being competitive" means.  Technically the Cubs (barring a strike) will be "competing" against other baseball teams and therefore will "be competitive".  


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Flurries of activity and Cubs crickets.

    BuT wE'rE tRyInG tO cOmPeTe!


  • Hagsag 19 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Hey, Jed didn't lie. He said this wasn't a rebuild.


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    ...and that was fake.

    you can't even rely on a blue checkmark account anymore on twitter.  thanks world.

    okay, that was a real account (blue check) who retweeted someone they thought was real.  this is inception-level internet stupidity and the account he re-tweeted is now disabled.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    cubs weren't linked heavily, but m.semien is off the board to the rangers...7/175m

    trevor story seems to be the most cubs-linked middle IF'r, but i havent heard anything about story/cubs in weeks.