Cubs Have Little to Show for 2017 First-Round Pick

Eddy Julio Martinez reached base on a HBP, tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored, and collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly, Yonathan Perlaza tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored a run, Oswaldo Pina ripped a two-run double and a single, and SP Brendon Little tossed two perfect innings and combined with five relievers on a two-hitter, as the Cubs "A" team defeated the Giants Orange squad 5-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest. 

The Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick out of SCF - Sarasota-Manatee, Little saw his first game action of the season after suffering a lat strain in his first "live" BP session the first week of Minor League Camp in March. And Little didn't miss a beat, either, easily retiring all six Giants he faced (P-2, F-8, K * F-9, 4-3, 5-3) on just 14 pitches. He displayed a 92-94 MPH FB, a plus-CV, and a CH, and he had command of all three of his pitches and threw all three pitches for strikes. In fact he was so efficient that after he finished his two innings, he was sent down to the bullpen to throw an additional 15 pitches (five FB, five CV, and five CH). So things are looking up for Little. 

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game on Field #1, RHSP Keegan Thompson (on AA Tennessee 7-day IL since April 11th) threw a two-inning "sim" game on Field #5. 

Here is the abridged box score from the Cactus League EXST game on Field #1 (Cubs players only): 

CUBS "A" TEAM LINEUP:
1. Fernando Kelli, CF: 1-4 (K, K, K, 1B, R, SB)
2. Angel Pagan, LF-RF: 0-4 (1-3, 1-3, L-8, F-7)
3. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF-DH: 2-2 (HBP, 3B, 1B, F-9 SF, R, RBI, SB)
4. Yonathan Perlaza, 2B: 2-4 (K, L-7, 1B, 3B, R, SB)
5. Henderson Perez, C: 1-4 (4-3, HBP, 6-U FC, 1B, 2 RBI, SB)
6. Jake Slaughter, 1B: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 DP, K, HBP, R)
7. Luis Diaz, 3B: 1-4 (1B, K, K, K, R)
8. Oswaldo Pina, SS: 2-4 (2B, 1-3, 1B, 5-3, 2 RBI)
9. Carlos Pacheco, DH-LF: 0-4 (K, K, 5-4 FC, K)
10. Danny Zardon, DH #2: 1-4 (P-6, 2B, L-8, F-8)

CUBS "A" TEAM PITCHERS
1. Brendon Little: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
2. Chad Hockin: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1  (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 BALK, 3/0 GO/AO, 34 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Enrique de los Rios: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 2/2 GO/AO, 23 pitches (15 strikes) 
4. Blake Whitney: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 17 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Elias Herrera: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (5 strikes)
6. Riley McCauley: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 21 pitches (12 strikes)

CUBS "A" TEAM ERRORS: 1 
3B Luis Diaz: E-5 (fielding miscue allowed batter to reach base safely) 

ATTENDANCE: 12 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 

Comments

I saw outfielders Carlos Morfa and Kevin Moreno get hugs and handshakes as they left the bench and headed for the clubhouse prior to the conclusion of yesterday's game and they were absent today at BP, so they may be headed for the DSL. I wouldn't be surprised if LHP Joel Machado and RHP Willy Cabrera (and possibly RHP Manuel Espinoza) got a ticket to the DSL, too, since they are now M. I. A. as well.  

AZ PHIL- Bummer about Duncan Robinson, but along those same lines what in the world makes Corey Black so special that they'd hang on to him this long, one TJS is acceptable, worry some, but acceptable.  A second I'd likely say too much.  Then he struggles after 2 getting healthy, and now a 3rd TJS and (so far) they have kept him or is he expected to be released.  Is this just Theo wanting to say I got something for Soriano (a lot of dr bills)

cubbies.4ever: I don't think the Cubs saw the most recent Black TJS #3 coming or they wouldn't have offered him a 2019 minor league contract after he became a minor league 6YFA post-2018. But generally speaking, as long as the player follows the rehab program the Cubs will usually keep the guy until he's somewhat close to being healthy and no longer requires rehab services.

Not speaking from personal experience you understand, but it's sort of like being on Death Row. They won't execute you while you have the flu. They wait until you're healthy, then you can be executed. 

at least corey black has more time to sit around and tweet about how "the circle game" is absolutely nothing else, and why in the world would anyone think otherwise because there's obviously never been a huge pile of video, written, and photographic evidence otherwise.

Gotcha.  Theo really does like his TJS pitchers though.  On their 40 alone, Chatwood 2x, Collins 2x, Darvish, Rosario, Mills, Steele, Graveman.  Throw in Duensing.  Plus a bunch of minor leaguers.  How many of those pitchers have done anything worth while (Given Steele and Graveman get a TBD card) for the Cubs?  Maybe there's a theme here.  You always hear about the Adam Wainwright success stories, but never about the Corey Black's.

ken rosenthal reports the cubs are exploring craig kimbrel (according to "major-league sources") thanks in part to money saved from this zobrist incident (about $2m a month).

OF Eddy Julio Martinez was moved back up to AA Tennessee after Saturday's Cactus League EXST game at Riverview. His hard-contact rate has been outstanding and he has been displaying his full five-tool package in games. 

speaking of draft picks...

i don't think i've ever seen such a lack of interest in the draft on this board or from cubs fans in general.  it's hard to project such late picks, which takes some excitement out of it, but the interest from fans seems to be at a near all-time low in my recent memory.

Ever?

I don''t  think Cubs faans tend a much toward college in the first place. With no chaatter from the paid talkinng heads, no bonus picks, and it gets useless  to write  on the  topic.

i'm just saying the draft is tomorrow and not only have i not seen any discussion here, some of the "real life" local cubs fans i know haven't even chimed in about the draft in any cubs talk we've been having.

it's a personal observance rather than some cold, hard fact, but the draft seems to have little interest from cubdom.

CRUNCH: The MLB draft is just so different from the NFL and NBA drafts because even players selected in the 1st round aren't MLB-ready and (in most cases) won't surface in the big leagues until maybe two or three years later (if at all), and so it's hard for fans to wrap their heads around it.   

What I usually do is check the most-recent Baseball America mock (which was posted today) and get a general idea of who BA believes is on the Cubs radar at #27 overall:

1. Braden Shewmake, SS (Texas A&M) - BA has this as the Cubs pick - lanky 6'4 athletic SS who sounds like a LH-hitting version of D. J. LeMahieu (good hitter but not much power, probably can't stay long-term at SS, could end up as multi-positional super-sub utility guy);  
2. Kameron Misner, CF (U. of Missouri) - sounds a lot like Brett Jackson (6'4 toolsy CF, LH hitter with HR power, plus-speed, takes walks, strikes out a lot); 
3. Michael Toglia, 1B-LF (UCLA) - 6'5 switch-hitter, has HR power to all fields, takes walks, lots of strikeouts;
4. Rece Hinds, 3B (IMG Academy - Bradenton, FL) - LSU recruit is 6'4 beast & has the most pure raw HR power in the draft & throws 98 MPH if he doesn't make it as position player (or could he be viewed as a possible future two-way player?). Throws & bats right.   

Interestingly all four of the guys mentioned by BA in relation to the Cubs 1st round pick are at least 6'4 and are position players, and three of them are big-time HR hitters (especially Hinds).  

Of course last year the Cubs selected SS Nico Hoerner (Stanford) with their 1st round pick and - NOBODY - saw that one coming, so outside of the Cubs draft room nobody really knows who (or what) the Cubs are targeting with the #27 overall pick. 

weak pitching crop this draft...lot of "tools and high ceiling" guys and not many slam dunks (a.rutschman, a.vaughn, b.witt, jj.bleday).  even the slam dunks aren't that impressive except for a.rutschman.

rustchman got IBB a few days ago with the bases loaded and 0 outs.  that's b.bonds-level fear.

seeing cubs/misner linked on more than a few lists.

AA's last 3 outings @ Iowa: IP:17 H:6 BB:2 SO:23

Phil...now that extended spring trainInglis is over, what are your overall observations? Players to watch this year?

Brendon Little with an outstanding three-inning "sim" game at Riverview Park on Friday: 45 pitches - 34 strikes, 13 swings & misses. FB velo holding at 92-94 with a plus-CV and CH. 

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  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 37 min ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 

     

  • JustSayin' 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

     

  • crunch 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

     

  • crunch 6 days 5 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 6 days 10 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 1 week 11 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 1 week 18 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 week 20 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

     

  • jdrnym 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

     

  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

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