A Start and a Stop
Hello again from Des Moines, the soggy branch office of the Chicago Cubs National League ballclub.
A bizarre homestand that began last weekend with a flood-delayed game played behind closed doors as a public safety precaution ended last night with the season's largest crowd witnessing the latest episode in the unraveling of Rich Hill.
One night after Sean Marshall required only 87 pitches to get 24 outs, Hill scatter-gunned 45 before he was taken into custody after a mere two-thirds of the first inning.
He hit batters, batters hit him, he walked #'s 29, 30, 31 and 32 in 28 Iowa innings, threw in a wild pickoff throw that seemed almost gratuitous and generally made a[n] [Steve Bl]ass of himself before being ushered to the showers by tepid applause that was as unwarranted here as it would have been at a gallows.
How appropos that the opponent for the Iowa Floods was the New Orleans Hurricane.
The visitors' operatic lineup sparkled with Gustavos and Casanovas and Rauls and Valentinos and Pascuccis.
Understudies to Marshall on Thursday night, they killed Hill in the first act on Friday before the concessionaires had beaten back the first charge of a crowd in excess of 11k.
Marshall apparently won't be here much longer. He's ripe and ready for the call. As for Hill, he's best-suited right now for casting as Nuke Laloosh in a 'Bull Durham' remake.
The anti-climactic pitching note of the evening was the appearance of a young moose named Estrada for the I-Cubs. Recently promoted from Tennessee where his #'s were ordinary, he's listed at 6'8" and 260#. So far in two stints here he's allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings while walking zero and fanning 10. File him under future reference.
Following the good example of their parent club the I-Cubs now hit the road still in first place - high and, more importantly, dry...MW
KingKongvsGodzilla 7 hours 56 min ago (view)
AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!
crunch 17 hours 25 min ago (view)
jim hickey new nats pitching coach.
bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there.
tim815 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.
big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.
too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).
bradsbeard 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability
Hagsag 2 days 50 min ago (view)
Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?
tim815 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.
crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
yup, they're gonna try. starts in about a month.
Hagsag 3 days 21 min ago (view)
Has it been announced whether there will be a DR winter league this winter?
tim815 3 days 6 hours ago (view)
That's as good of news as we'll get for awhile.
Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
TIM: If nothing else, signing a boatload of IFA (35) in the 2019-20 ISP is a pretty good indicator that the Cubs fully intend to run two DSL teams into the forseeable future.
tim815 3 days 9 hours ago (view)
Of the 11 new guys, I'm leaning on Marino Sandy and Jerry Torres to be the most likely to reach full-season ball or get traded
Arizona Phil 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
OF Ian Miller (outrighted to the minors on 9/3) elected free-agency just prior to the 10/15 deadline, and the Cubs have signed RHRP Juan Gamez (who they released on 9/9) to a 2021 minor league contract.
bigsky33 4 days 16 hours ago (view)
Phil, were you watching from outside the stadium?