Garcia and Los Tres Amigos Deliver the Message

Ramon Garcia tossed five shutout innings and Los Tres Amigos combined to reach base nine times, score three runs, and knock-in two more, leading the AZL Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.  

box score

With 18-year old Dominican OF Oliver Zapata, 18-year old Dominican INF Marco Hernandez, and 18-year old Venezuelan INF Gioskar Amaya hitting 1-2-3 in the order most everyday, Los Tres Amigos set the standard for the AZL Cubs on a daily basis, and today was no exception. Zapata (who leads the AZL in walks and is 4th in SB) walked three more times today, singled, stole a base, scored two runs, and knocked in another, Hernandez (who is 4th in the league in RBI and 6th in doubles) singled, walked, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run, and Amaya (who is 6th in the AZL in hitting) singled twice and collected an RBI. 

In addition to the Big Day from the Big Three, DH Brian Inoa (a Man in Search of a Position) doubled twice, scored twice, and drove-in one run, and super-sub Gregori Gonzalez (who played 3B today) singled three times with two RBI.  

19-year old Venezuelan RHP Ramon Garcia got the start for the Cubs and was masterful, throwing five shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out four. He did all that on just 57 pitches (41 strikes), including throwing his first 16 pitches for strikes, something rarely seen in the AZL. Garcia probably could have continued well past the 5th inning, but AZL pitchers are limited to throwing five innings or 75 pitches (whichever comes first). Garcia is now 5-0 in AZL league play, and is tied for the league-lead in victories.  

Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson followed Garcia to the mound, entering the game at the start of the 6th inning. Throwing nothing but fastballs (as was also the case in his previous outing), Simpson had an easy nine-pitch 6th (striking out the lead-off hitter looking), before allowing a lead-off single and a one-out Miguel Marte RBI double high off the CF "Green Monster" (Batter's Eye), just two pitches after Marte slugged a near-HR down the LF line (hooked foul at the last second before clearing the fence). Simpson was then removed from the game, after having thrown 26 pitches (17 strikes).

While he throws only fastballs in games, Simpson does throw a breaking ball and a change-up when warming-up. But he apparently is so messed up right now, the Cubs feel he needs to go back to square one and just try and command his fastball (which he was able to do today, and with perhaps a bit more velocity than he has shown previously), before adding anything else to his in-game regimen.

You can tell somebody of concern is in the game when the Fitch Park Sports Psychologist is sitting on the bench, and a Special Assignment Scout is running the radar gun from the tower (hiding the readings from the players). 

Cubs 2011 21st round draft pick LHRP Andrew McKirahan (U. of Texas) had another impressive outing, throwing 1.2 IP of shutout relief, getting four of his five outs on grounders and the fifth on a strikeout (swinging), while allowing just an infield single (swinging bunt). McKirahan is a polished, tested lefty reliever from a first-class D-1 program (he pitched in the College World Series last month), and so I would not be surprised to see him maybe get a "jump promotion" to Peoria in relatively short order.  

Comments

Z willing to leave if it helps Cubs... Z on rumors: I want to stay here. (But) if we want to win here, we nees to make some changes. If I have to go ... ... I have to go. But I'll still have the Cubs in my heart. If the change has to be me that's OK.

The Cubs are merely a microcosm of the entire United States. Cratered after 2008 and it just keeps getting worse, with no light at the end of the tunnel. /depressing thought of the day

when fukodome finds his new homey & batman colvin is thrown into the breach in rf, he will return w/ the staggeringly lopsided ratio of 55k's against 5bb's...the bat still pops though when it runs into anything - half his hits go for extra b's...

Trib states players to be received for Fukudome are Carlton Smith (rhp AAA reliever) and Abner Abreu (rhh OF at high Class A). Abreu appears to be the better prospect, though that may not be saying much. Here are numbers ** Abreu - 21 years old, high A ball: .244/.294/.429 Avg/OPB/SLG 16 doubles, 5 triples and 12 homers, with 19/22 SB. He is a free swinger and will fit in well with the Cubs -- 102 K/33 BB in 336 ABs. His current average may not be great, but this comes off of a .352/.405/.851 July, where he was twice player of the week. Never seen him play, stats seem to indicate he is a roll of the dice player who could become a Sammy Sosa pre-juice type or could struggle and never get past AA. An Indians minor league report/fan site (i.e. crazed fans with rose-colored glasses for the Indians prospects, so I relate!) had this to say about Abreu's hot month: "If you've followed my ATF's throughout the week, you already know how I feel about Abner Abreu's performance. He really has a chance to be something special if he can figure it all out. He hasn't had a stretch like he's been on since the start of June since 2009, and has certainly given pause to Tribe management, who have to be salivating over what he could become. If he has simplified his swing, as reports have indicated (and stats would back-up), he could be ready to take this system by storm. He absolutely has #1 prospect written all over him. Don't forget, he's one of the better outfield defenders in the system, and has good baseball speed." ** Carlton Smith - 25 years old, AAA 2-3 4.50 45 hits in 46 IP, with 20 BB and 46 K. .259 avg against. Doesn't appear to be too exciting of a prospect. Here is scouting report when he made the Indians fan site top 100 prospect list...in 2009 (so who knows how much is true, his numbers haven't been great. "Strengths & Opportunities: Smith pounds the zone and pitches to contact with his sinking fastball which hovers around 91-93 MPH and has topped out as high as 95 MPH. He complements the fastball with an above average slider, split-finger, and is still working on developing a changeup. He is quiet by nature and keeps to himself, and has an excellent work ethic that was instilled in him by his brother and father. Last year he showed signs of improvement with repeating his delivery, commanding the fastball, and throwing his secondary stuff consistently for strikes. He has gotten better mixing the speeds and eye level of his secondary stuff, which has set up his sinker well down in the zone."

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In reply to by big_lowitzki

$775,000 and two minor league guys could. Sure, if you accept the assumptions that the money will be put back into the product and that the minor leaguers will contribute. Based on the information we have, the minor leaguers that Hendry gets in these deals will not contribute, and we don't really know where the money will go, but there's a good chance it will go to the owner's, rather than to be squirrled away for 2012 payroll. I may be missing someone, or wrong, but I think on our 40 man roster, the guys we have gotten in this type of deal are Berg, Schlitter, Smit and Mateo.

Cubs MLB Roster

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37 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (three slots are open)  

Last updated 11-18-2022
 
* bats or throws left
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PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 8
Rylan Bannon 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

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