Bote Debut a Thing of Beauty at HoHoKam Park
In just his second AB in his first professional game, 19-year old SS David Bote (Cubs 2012 18th round draft pick out of Neosho CC) blasted a three-run home run off the LF scoreboard, carrying the AZL Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the AZL Angels in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Bote also walked and stole a base, and he made a nice defensive stop & gun from shortstop.
In addition to Bote's heroics, Trey Martin singled twice, tripled, scored a run, and stole a base, and Bijan Rademacher (Cubs 2012 13th round draft pick out of Orange Coast CC) singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, helping the Cubs to a hard-fought victory.
With his hitting, baserunning, and Gold Glove defense in CF, Martin is making a strong case to get a ticket punched to Boise (he actually should have been there from the gitgo), and Rademacher is definitely a cut above your average JC player in all phases of the game, and so he could get moved up to Boise sooner rather than later.
LHP Brian Smith started the game for the Cubs and threw four strong innings (47 pitches - 30 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), allowing just one run on two hits and a walk, with one strikeout and one GIDP. Smith struggled to throw strikes at Extended Spring Training and was relegated mostly to low-pressure "sim" games on Fitch Park Field #2, but he has shown improved command in his first two AZL outings.
6'5 245+ LHP Michael Heesch (Cubs 8th round draft pick out of USC - Beaufort by way of UIC) threw a 1-2-3 9th with two strikeouts to record the save. Although he didn't need to use all of his pitches to record his three outs, Heesch has a plus breaking ball and change-up, and is especially effective when he can spot his fastball for strikes. He led NAIA in IP in 2012, so he could be a rotation workhorse down-the-road once he gets settled in pro ball.
crunch 7 hours 22 min ago (view)
it probably had nothing to do with len leaving, but Marquee can get rid of that "we're all wearing suits and we're classy as hell" look.
i loved len and bob...len and jd i was only warming up to in the past couple years. either way, gonna miss len.
crunch 7 hours 27 min ago (view)
*laura ricketts has entered the chat*
crunch 7 hours 28 min ago (view)
the claim is he "really wants to do radio" and "totally nothing wrong with Marquee"...etc etc
but yeah...the team is having a hell of an offseason having theo walk away with a year left on his deal, semi-embarrassingly trying to find a taker for bryant, deciding to not keep schwarber, and now the long-time cubs pbp TV guy leaves for a radio gig across town.
all of this and the cubs are yet to be linked to any FA discussions...or names for a GM hunt...or a pool of teams actually interested in bryant...or anything resembling a 2021 plan so far...
Eric S 7 hours 29 min ago (view)
Thom Brennaman - a longtime Cub fan favorite - would fit Marquee to a T 🤣
Charlie 7 hours 33 min ago (view)
My appreciation of Len has waned since 2016. But he and JD have been my favorite Cubs broadcast crew in the ~25 years I've paid close attention.
I wasn't thrilled about the few changes that came along with Marquee this year.
Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 7 min ago (view)
I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.
However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team
crunch 17 hours 44 min ago (view)
is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021? ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...
Dolorous Jon Lester 19 hours 14 min ago (view)
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!
(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)
Hagsag 21 hours 38 min ago (view)
Wrigley Rat 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.
Charlie 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.
Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?).
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point
waveland 2 days 54 min ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS.
bradsbeard 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH.