Big 5-Run Cubs 6th Starts & Ends with Balaguert
Yasiel Balaguert laced a double into the left-centerfield alley and scored on a Ben Carhart single to get the inning started, and then ripped an opposite-field line-drive RBI single to right to drive-in Jacob Rogers with the final run of the frame, as the AZL Cubs sent 11 men to the plate and scored five times in the bottom of the 6th en route to an 8-2 victory over the AZL Royals in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.
The 19-year old Balaguert was a teammate of recently signed Cubs OF Jorge Soler on the Cuban Junior National Team before defecting in 2011 and signing with the Cubs last December ($400K bonus), and while he is not the offensive force that is Soler, he does occasionally show some upside at the plate. However, he has a long swing and is kind of a lug on the bases and in the field (he's not in the best of shape), so I think there probably is some doubt in some circles about whether he will ever be anything more than a AA player.
20-year old 6'3 235 RHP Trey Lang (Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick by way of Mesa Skyline HS, Northern Illinois University, and Gateway CC) got the start for the Cubs and threw four shutout innings (50 pitches - 37 strikes, 6/1 GO/FO), allowing four hits (three singles and a double) and a walk with five strikeouts.
The husky ex-Huskie throws a mid-90's fastball and a hard slider when employed as a one-inning closer and profiles as a two-pitch late-inning reliever at the higher levels (he was a full-time slugging OF and part-time closer in HS and college), but it's not unusual for a Pitcher with Promise to be used as a starter early in his career in order to get as many innings as possible under his belt as soon as possible.
Cubs 26th round draft pick RHP Jasvir "Jazz" Rakkar (SUNY - Stony Brook) made his professional debut, throwing a scoreless top of the 5th. He allowed a lead-off single and a walk, but he also notched a strikeout. He labored a bit to throw strikes (16 pitches - 9 strikes), but then he hadn't pitched in a game since working in relief at the College World Series in Omaha more than six weeks ago.
A member of the National Honor Society in Secondary School and the America East All-Academic team in college, Rakkar's pro debut was delayed while he applied for a work visa (he is a Canadian, and had been in the U. S. on a student visa while attending Stony Brook).
While Lang and Rakkar were throwing goose eggs, Royals starter Miguel Almonte was doing likewise, as the teams were scoreless through the top of the 6th. But then the Cubs erupted for a five-spot, and never looked back.
Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almora played CF and hit lead-off (he struck out swinging in his only AB), but he left the game after only two innings with an apparent leg injury.
Jorge Soler played LF, hit clean-up, and went 0-5 (struck out swinging, three ground outs, and a pop fly out), although he did collect an RBI on a FC in the 6th and later scored a run in that same inning.
crunch 1 hour 15 sec ago (view)
he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.
dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.
crunch 2 hours 27 min ago (view)
lot of people wanted him when len left. he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball. he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.
i find him a bit boring/dry. some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 45 min ago (view)
He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.
crunch 2 hours 59 min ago (view)
wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).
he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.
also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
tonight's game (thursday) is mlb.tv free game, btw.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck.
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa.
The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five).
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
(c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season
seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers. he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.
Charlie 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
wow...and he's done for the night. that's not good...well, for mets fans.
"right shoulder soreness"
crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings. he's also got a RBI single.
crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
and d.smith gets HBP.
this is high end next level strategy. you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game. moneyballs.
crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)
ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.
Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)
CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.
Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.
This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now.
Charlie 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.