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.
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.
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 dunno...do 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.