Royals Latest Victims of Angel-Cub Detente

Victor Caratini (Cubs) and Shawon Dunston Jr (Cubs) ripped run-scoring singles and Wade Wass (Angels) contributed an RBI double, leading the Angels/Cubs co-op squad to a 4-2 victory over the Royals in Arizona Advanced Instructional League play this afternoon on Field #2 at the Papago Sports Complex in Phoenix, AZ. 

The game was halted by mutual consent after seven innings of play. 

Cubs infielder Jason Vosler was moved-up to the "advanced" instructs squad from the "basic" squad prior to the game. 

Here is the box score from today's game (Cubs players highlighted in bold and underlined):

ANGELS/CUBS LINEUP:
1. Johnny Giavotella, 2B: 1-4 (1B, 1-U, F-7, P-2, R)
2. Kody Eaves, 3B: 0-4 (P-1, K, K, 4-6-3 DP)
3. Victor Caratini, DH-C: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, 3-U, RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-2 (P-6, 3-U, BB, PO) 
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 6-3, R)
6. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K, R)
7. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K, R, RBI)
8a. Wade Wass, C-DH: 1-2 (K, 2B, RBI)
8b. Andrew Daniel, PH: 0-0 (BB)
9. Jason Vosler, SS: 1-2 (1B, 3-U, BB, SB)

ROYALS LINEUP
1. Humberto Arteaga, 2B-DH: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B, RBI)
2. Orlando Calixte, SS: 1-3 (BB, K, F-9, 1B)
3. Elier Hernandez, RF: 0-4 (6-4 FC, L-6, K, P-4)
4a. Wander Franco, 3B: 0-2 (4-3, F-9)
4b. Gabriel Cancel, 3B: 0-1 (1-3)
5. Anderson Miller, CF: 0-2 (BB, F-9, 4-3, R, SB) 
6a. Chad Johnson, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
6b. Colton Frabasilio, C: 1-1 (1B)
7. Chase Vallot, DH #1:1-3 (2B, E-5, F-7, RBI)
8. Samir Duenas, 1B: 0-3 (F-8, K, F-8)
9a. Roman Collins, LF: 0-1 (5-2 FC) 
9b. Christhian Vasquez, LF: 0-1 (4-3, BB, R)
10. Austin Bailey, DH-2B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, 1-3) 

ANGELS/CUBS PITCHERS
1. Garrett Nuss: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GO/AO, 38 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Victor Alcantara: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 11 pitches (8 strikes) 
3. Tyler Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 24 pitches (14 strikes) 
4. Michael Jensen: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 22 pitches (17 strikes) 
5. Steve Perakslis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (7 strikes) 
6. James Pugliese: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 22 pitches (13 strikes)

ROYALS PITCHERS:
1. Eric Skoglund: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/4 GO/AO, 26 pitches (17 strikes) 
2. Pedro Fernandez: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GO/AO, 37 pitches (26 strikes) 
3. Jacob Bodner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 1/0 GO/AO, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
4. Josh Staumont: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 28 pitches (13 strikes)

ANGELS/CUBS ERRORS: 1 
3B Kody Eaves: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

ROYALS ERRORS: NONE 

ANGELS/CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Wade Wass: 0-1 CS 

ROYALS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Chad Johnson: 0-1 CS 

WEATHER: Sunny & cloudless with temperatures 105+  

ATTENDANCE: 22 (mostly scouts) 

 

Comments

Some epic Harry Caray moments in this video, particularly toward the end. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/151268698/chica...

AZ Phil, give me your thoughts on Jeff Baez chances of making it to the Bigs.

HAGSAG: Jeffrey Baez has a good chance to make it to MLB, but I doubt that it will be with the Cubs.

Baez is a very raw five-tool player, but he has flaws that are apparent (and a bit frustrating) when you watch him over a period of time. 

He has the same body-type you see in an NFL running back. Looking at him you wouldn't think he's fast, but he is. He also has HR power that has not been fully developed. He has the speed and range to play CF and the arm to play RF, but despite the range and arm, he isn't a very good defender in the outfield.   

And while he is a good base-stealer, he also tends to run into outs on the bases. 

I suspect he will be traded sooner rather than later (possibly as the PTBNL in the Austin Jackson deal, if the deal is finalized after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft). 

Sounds like a shorter version of Junior Lake.

Saw Baez for Myrtle Beach against the Potomac Nats recently. Think Marlon Byrd, not Junior Lake.

Padres win again. Elimination number now at 1.

If I'm not mistaken, the Magic Number at 1 means that the worst case scenario is that the Cubs have clinched a play-in game before the one game wild card. (well, the end of the world before that would be the absolutely worst case scenario). It's Magic.

Yes -- they have clinched a tie.

AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on him? I saw him at Kane County after he was dealt to the Cubs and while it was obviously a very small sample size, it did look like he could swing the bat. How is he defensively? Is he any kind of prospect at all?

TITO: Acquired by the Cubs in the deal that sent James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio to Atlanta last sesson, Victor Caratini started off slowly at the plate this past season at Myrtle Beach, but he got better & better each month. 

He has been rakin' left-handed in BP and squared the ball up very well (again facing RHP and hitting LH each time) in the first two "advanced" instructs games, but I'm not sure if his RH side is quite as well-developed.  

He was a C-1B-3B in college so his defense behind the plate needs polish, but he is a hard worker, has a plus-arm, and he seems to really want to be a catcher. Patience will be required.  

Caratini will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible after next season, so he will be a player to watch in 2016. I would think he will almost certainly move up to AA and replace Willson Contreras as the #1 catcher at Tennessee, and it wouldn't be that big of a surprise if he has a break-out season in AA next year.

I would say as things stand right now he probably projects as an offensive-first switch-hitting C-1B-3B in the big leagues, the type of versatile player Joe Maddon seems to prefer. 

AZ Phil- In your expert opinion, which minor leaguers do you see helping the MLB team next year? Thanks.

JACOS: In terms of position players, I don't think there will be another Bryant, Russell, or Schwarber coming up next season.

Matt Szczur is out of options, so if he isn't traded, he will likely be the 4th OF (at least at the beginning of the season). 

3B Christian Villanueva had a nice year offensively at AA and AAA in 2015 (though his defense wasn't as good as in previous seasons), and (like Szczur) he is out of minor league options in 2016. Villanueva has yet to make it to the big leagues and is blocked by Bryant and/or Baez, and so he would seem to be a likely trade condidate during the off-season or Spring Training.  

Arismendy Alcantara will likely be booked on the Chicago-Des Moines Shuttle as a switch-hitting IF-OF super-sub in 2016, and he could even make the Opening Day 25-man roster (taking the job filled by Jonathan Herrera in 2015) with a strong Spring Training, especially if either Castro or Baez is traded for a starting pitcher during the off-season. 

Catcher (and Cubs 2015 Minor League Player of the Year and Southern League batting champion) Willson Contreras is a lock to get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in November. He will almost certainly spend most if not all of 2016 at Iowa honing his skills, but if he continues to progress he could be a factor in 2017 (David Ross is a FA post-2016). 

1B Dan Vogelbach will almost certainly be added to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2015), and (if he isn't traded) he will be the starting 1st baseman at Iowa in 2016, available for a call-up if anything happens to Anthony Rizzo and/or (as happened with Kyle Schwarber in 2015) maybe as the DH in interleague games. But Vogelbach is likely to get traded sooner rather than later. 

2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almiora Jr should be ready for a move up to AAA in 2016, and he will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible after next season, so he could get called up maybe sometime in the last half of the 2016 season (although probably more-likely when rosters expand in September). I believe offensively he will eventually be something like Darwin Barney circa 2012 (250/300/350) with not a lot of walks but with a high-contact rate, strong "situational baseball" skills, and occasional power out of the 8th (or 9th) slot in the batting order, and with Gold Glove skills defensively in CF.

Switch-hitting 3B Jeimer Candelario is now likrly to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in November (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2015), but he will likely be at AA for most (if not all) of the 2016 season and then at AAA in 2017.  So Candelario would replace Christian Villanueva and the departed Mike Olt as the Cubs #1 3B prospect starting next season, although (like Villanueva and Olt) he is presently blocked by both Bryant and/or Baez. 

OF Billy McKinney (acquired along with Addison Russell from Oakland in the Samardzija/Hammel trade) is a quality left-handed hitting prospect with corner OF skills (much better in LF than RF), but he suffered a season-ending knee injury at AA Tennessee in August, so it remains to be seen if he'll be ready at the start of the 2016 season. He is a similar type player (offensively) as Chris Coghlan (albeit without Coghlan's defensive versatility), and he could be Coghlan's eventual replacement (Coghlan is a FA post-2016).  

So it's more likely that rookie Cubs pitchers will be the ones having impact in 2016, rather position players.  

Of course RHP Dallas Beeler and LHP Eric Jokisch are already on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster, and both have had some (limited) opportunities to start in the big leagues over the past couple of years. Beeler is injured right now, but Jokisch is pitching for the Angels./Cubs co-op team in the AZ Advanced Instrutional League (he threw 6.1 IP and 70 pitches in a start on Wednesday) while staying ready for a possible call-up to Chicago. But neither are projected as likely future MLB starters (at least not with the Cubs), and one or both could even get dropped from the 40 if slots are needed during the off-season. 

RHP Carl Edwards Jr could fill the "utility" staff role currently handled by Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, and Clayton Richard (Cahillis a FA post-2015, and Wood and Richard are likely to be non-tendered). Right now Edwards throws too many pitches-per-inning to be a starting pitcher and he walks too many hitters to be a reliable late-inning reliever, but he has plus-stuff and so he could be really good in the niche that was carved-out by Wood, Cahill, and Richard in 2015. 

RHSP Pierce Johnson is a virtual lock to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster in November (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2015), and depending on how he pitches in the AFL and Spring Training, he could find himself at the front of the line in the Iowa starting rotation in 2016. If so, he could get called up to Chicago at some point during the season - IF (big if) - he stays healthy and pitches well at AAA.  

RHSP Ryan Williams (Cubs10th round draft pick out of East Carolina in 2014 and 2015 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year) will almost certainly get an NRI to Spring Training, and then get assigned to the Iowa starting rotation by Opening Day. Williams is a lot like Kyle Hendricks, in the sense that his stuff is considered marginal, but he really knows how to pitch. If he gets AAA hitters out as he did at AA in 2015, he could get called up if there is an opening in the Cubs MLB starting rotation at some point next year. 

RHSP Duane Underwood Jr is probablty the Cubs top starting pitcher prospect, but he has his 2015 season interrupted by a right elbow UCL sprain that did not require TJS. He is healthy now and is with the "advanced" instructs squad so he can pick up some of the innings he lost while on the DL during the season, and if he can stay healthy he will likely be the #1 starter at AA Tennessee in 2016, and could possibly move quickly. (Underwood is eligible for selection the Rule 5 Draft post-2016, so a September call-up wouldn't be a surprise).

RHP Jonathan Martinez (acquired from the Dodgers for Darwin Barney in 2014) was a solid starter at Myrtle Beach in 2015  and should be right behind Underwood in the 2016 starting rotation at AA Tennessee. Martinez does not have Underwood's ceiling, but he does project as an MLB pitcher (at this point, most-likely back of the rotation or middle-relief). Martinez is Rule 5 Draft eligible this year, so it's possible that he could get selected.    

One other starting pitcher to keep an eye on in 2016 as far as a possible contributor to the big club is RHP Brad Markey, who  has followed the path of RHP Zack Godley (traded to Arizona on the Miguel Montero trade), as a college pitcher who was used by the Cubs initially as a reliever, before lighting it up as a starter at Hi-A the last half of 2015. Markey will likely be in the AA Tennessee starting rotation at the beginning of the season, and (like Godley this year) he could conceivably find himself in the big leagues sometime in the latter half of 2016. 

Iowa RHSP Carlos Pimentel (PCL Pitcher of the Year) and AA Tennessee RHSP Felix Pena are two starting pitchers who will be minor league free-agents post-2015. The Cubs probably would like to keep both of them around as rotation starters at Iowa in 2016, but it might require an MLB 40-man roster slot or two to do that if one or both of the pitchers declines to sign a 2016 minor league successor contract. 

As far as bullpen arms are concerned, RHRP Corey Black (acquired from the Yankees for Rafael Soriano in 2013) has electric stuff (a 96 MPH fastball, a plus change-up, and a power slider), but he struggles mightily to throw his fastball for strikes, making his "chase" pitches less effective. As a result, he is "on the bubble" as far as whether he will be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster post-2015 (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible this year).

27-year old Cuban RHRP Armando Rivero (signed by the Cubs for a $3M bonus in 2013) could finally see the big leagues in 2016 (he is Rule 5 Draft eligible after next season). Rivero was a closer in Serie Nacional (the Cuban "major league") prior to signing with Cubs, and he features  a 94-MPH four-seamer and a splitter/slider drop pitch as his "chase" pitch, but he has struggled to throw strikes.   

AA Tennessee closer RHRP P. J. Francescon throws a low-90's sinker and a decent breaking ball. He scored a slot with the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, and a good showing there could get him a look in Spring Training with the big club. Also, Francescon is Rule 5 Draft eligible this year, and (like Andrew McKirahan this time last year),he could get drafted if he has a strong AFL and is not added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster. 

Great stuff as usual Phil. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Phil!

Thanks Phil. I am always interested in my buudy Daury Torrez' future. He is draft eligible this year too.

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 min 51 sec ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option

     

  • bradsbeard 12 min 1 sec ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 min 56 sec ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 24 min 4 sec ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could. 

     

  • crunch 30 min ago (view)

    i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.

    even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.

     

  • Arizona Phil 52 min 13 sec ago (view)

    At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...). 

    Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.

    Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 54 min 44 sec ago (view)

    I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 6 min ago (view)

    With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed).

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 25 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

    So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

    The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 47 min ago (view)

    Keep in mind that as things stand right now the Cubs projected 2021 MLB payroll is almost $50M under the 2021 CBT threshold (which will be $210M), so they don't have to worry about contract AAV if they can sign a player to a multi-year deal with a low 2021 base salary and then substantially higher salaries post-2021 (when they should be able to generate their normal attendance-based revenues --.presuming CoViD-19 is no longer a problem by that time).     

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 27 min ago (view)

    TIME OUT: As I mentioned in the post, the Cubs cannot cut Schwarber's base salary more than 20% without first non-tendering him, so if he is agreeable the Cubs could sign him for a relatively low base 2021 salary (something like $5M) combined with performance bonuses based upon actual PA (not pro-rated PA) maybe totaling $5M (which would cover the Cubs if the 2021 season is truncated), and then maybe an additional year or two (2022-23) for something like $10M per year plus performance bonuses (again, based on PA). Schwarber could get a player opt-out as well post-2021. 

     

  • crunch 5 hours 1 min ago (view)

    it's not surprising, but i also don't see the downside of giving him the $8m-ish he'd be owed.

    if you can hit 30+ homers that's usually money you can easily go get.

    i seriously wonder about this offseason and the amount of investment the cubs are going to make in the team.  i mean, it's fine if they go cheap yet somehow field a great team via off-season trades or other forms of black magic...i just don't trust how this off-season is unfolding so far.

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 7 min ago (view)

    From a sentimental perspective at least, non-tendering Schwarber blows. Several thumbs down.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 33 min ago (view)

    cubs pick up robert stock off waivers from the rsox...31 year old righty.

    throws hard (high 90s), has a slider (low 80s) , and a changeup (low 80s).  control and command isn't his best friend.

     

  • crunch 6 hours 7 min ago (view)

    schwarber non-tendered...almora, too...and jose martinez (yawn).

    bryant to be tendered a contract, but expected to be traded.

     

  • Hagsag 10 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Saw him play in H.S., could wack the ball back then.