Wind Clocked at 20; I-Cubs Clock a Trio
Waiting for the game to begin tonight I noticed that the pitchers would be throwing into a stiff breeze. A couple young scouts, I thought, sat down a couple rows in front of me to chart the game, one of them armed with a jugs gun. I sauntered down to ask them how the scoreboard speedometer compared to their readings since the last time I checked it was thought to generally register a couple mph slower than actual velocity. No, the gunslinger told me, the scoreboard readings run pretty true. In fact, he said, he doesn't really use the gun when he's charting; he just goes by the scoreboard numbers. Only then did I realize the "scout" was Randy Wells.
The Iowa hitters, including young Vitters, did indeed surf the wind to the tune of a long ball hat trick tonight. Besides JV, Brett Jackson and, ho hum, the Rizzo kid, also went deep.
Jackson played left tonight and was dropped to sixth in the order. He began the game leading the PCL in strikeouts but tonight he was but a double shy of the cycle. All three of his hits, not to mention Rizzo's league-leading 14th homer, came off Salt Lake lefty Brad Mills. Rizzo's towering two-run blast in the 3rd came on a 3-0 count after Dave Sappelt stole second with two out on the previous pitch. It was last seen well on its way to the Des Moines river beyond the street that runs behind the right field bleachers. Rizzo also drew a walk off side winding loogy Matt Meyers. He looks supremely at ease and confident at the plate in this league. How numbered are his days here?
Travis Wood worked seven solid innings in evening his record at 3-3, notching nine fly outs against one long homer that came to rest in the left field parking lot where I found it lodged beneath a car tire. Manny Corpas traded three runs for three outs in the 9th to make the final 7-5 I-Cubs.
Sappelt played center instead of Jackson who didn't appear hampered legging out his triple or getting cut down at second by the cutoff man when Ty Wright was held at third after Jackson's sharp single to right. Looking for the elusive cycle in his last trip he grounded out, but still his night was whiffless.
Arizona Phil 7 min 3 sec ago (view)
Someone to keep an eye on in 2021 is RHP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter.
He was selected by the Cubs from the Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft and the Cubs immediately converted him from a mediocre AA first-baseman to a full-time pitcher, having seen him throw garbage innings in blow-outs for the Pirates AA Altoona affiliate in 2019.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 42 min ago (view)
Good to see Roederer and Velasquez providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development
Arizona Phil 5 hours 45 min ago (view)
The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster.
crunch 7 hours 8 min ago (view)
"He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."
reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 1 min ago (view)
Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 17 min ago (view)
TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 55 min ago (view)
AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here.
He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.
His receiving should improve with experience as well.
azbobbop 22 hours 2 min ago (view)
Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?
tim815 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.
Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.
Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.
As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later.
Arizona Phil 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:
RHP Josh Burgmann
RHP Chris Clarke
LHP D. J. Herz
RHP Michael McAvene
Charlie 3 days 4 hours ago (view)
This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.
bradsbeard 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump.
crunch 3 days 23 hours ago (view)
iapoce expected to stay. i'm surprised. i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.
crunch 4 days 5 min ago (view)
i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 15 min ago (view)
In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year