Much Ado About Nothing at Riverview

Anthony Martinez threw two perfect innings and Miguel Pabon belted a triple, providing the highlights from a Cubs Extended Spring Training two-inning intrasquad game played Wednesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The "core" of the proto-ACL Cubs -- Cristian Hernandez, Moises Ballesteros, Pedro Ramirez, and Rafael Morel -- got the day off. 

RHP Michael McAvene threw a bullpen prior to the game, so he could be ready for Cactus League EXST game action in the near-future. 

Here is the box score from the game:  

CUBS "RED" SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Raino Coran, RF: 0-1 (BB, P-4)
2. Cristian More, CF: 0-0 (BB) 
3. Alejandro Rivero, 3B: 0-1 (1B) 
4. Ronnier Quintero, C: 0-1 (K) 
5. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
6. Josue Huma, SS: 0-1 (4-3)
7. Miguel Pabon, 1B: 1-1 (3B) 
8. Brayan Altuve, LF: 0-1 (P-4)
9. NO DH WAS USED 

CUBS "BLUE" SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Joanfran Rojas, SS: 0-1 (6-3)
2. Wally Soto, C: 0-1 (L-3)
3. Felix Stevens, 1B: 0-1 (K) 
4. Carlos Morfa, DH: 0-1 (K)
5. Bryan Serra, 3B: -0-1 (K)  
6. Flemin Bautista, LF: 0-1 (3-U) 
7. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: NO AB 
8. Anderson Suriel, RF: NO AB 
9. Christian Olivo, CF: NO AB 

CUBS "RED" SQUAD PITCHER
Anthony Martinez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 29 pitches (16 strikes) 

CUBS "BLUE" SQUAD PITCHER
Anthony Mendez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 2/2 GO/AO, 37 pitches (20 strikes) 

CUBS "RED" SQUAD ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "BLUE" SQUAD ERRORS: NONE 

ATTENDANCE: 1

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80's  

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

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

Comments

hoerner "right ankle sprain"

swelling has to go down and then there will be a better forecast for his return.

 AZ Phil, through all the years you have been attending etended spring training games and watching the back fieilds in Arizona, what was the most talented group you saw?  How would this year's group of kids rank among all others?

VIDEO: The best group of Cub prospects at EXST over the years was the 2012 group, with the 2008 group second.

2012 had Javier Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Willson Contreras, Dan Vogelbach, Marco Hernandez, and Xavier Batista (who had a standout career in Japan), with Felix Pena and Tayler Scott the top two pitchers. Baez hit - EIGHT - home runs in EXST in 2012. And he didn't even spend the entire EXST schedule in Mesa! He got called up to Peoria before the end of EXST. Eight HR is absolutely unheard of at EXST. Nobody does that. (Well, Baez did...)

I remember sitting with EXST Giants manager Tom Trebelhorn at a Cubs - Giants EXST game up at the Giants facility at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, and Baez hit a moonshot HR into the next field, and Trebelhorn stopped talking, just shook his head, and said "He is a man among boys. I have never seen anything like this." And Baez was just 19 at the time. 

That was the year when Baez hit the HR at Fitch Park that landed on the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, and he just stood there and watched it. One of the Angels coaches yelled at him to run, and Baez sort of trotted slowly around the bases, and when he got to home plate he yelled at the coach "I can do whatever the fuck I want!" and then he started to walk toward the Angels bench, and he had to be held back by Rock Shoulders and Trey Martin. Then just a couple of days later, Baez hit for the cycle against the Angels at the Diablo backfields in Tempe! And a few weeks later he hit a two-run HR and a grand slam versus the Angels at Fitch Park. Baez absolutely  demolished the Angels at EXST in 2012. It was unbelievable. In just six EXST games (24 AB) versus the Angels in 2012, Baez hit .468 with two doubles, a triple, five home runs and 16 RBI!

The 2008 team was very good. It had Starlin Castro, Marwin Gonzalez, Junior Lake, Robinson Chirinos, Josh Vitters, and Nelson Perez, and they scored a TON of runs. The pitching wasn't very good, but they were a lot of fun to watch. Not as much fun as 2012, but certainly second best. 

As far as the 2022 version is concerned, no question Cristian Hernandez, Moises Ballesteros, and Pedro Ramirez are legit prospects. 

FWIW, from the 2016 Cubs WS team, the two players I really wanted to see remain "Cubs for Life" were Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo. 

I still watch the Tigers every chance I get just to watch El Mago.

 Thank you Phil.  I am envious of your access to such young talent and watching them grow (or not).  I know from my many years of attending minor league baseball games, MLB talent stands out like a sore thumb no matter how young.  Watching games on TV or the internet doesn't tell the whole story of a player.  So much can be gathered from observing body language, athletic fluidity, the sound of a ball strike or a catcher's mitt pop.  So much player analysis today is rooted in sabermetrics.  This is all good, but I like to watch how players play the game, their actions and reactions away from the camera lens.  Javy Baez has wonderful talent, but his brazen arrogance to compete and succeed has fueled his achievements.  That attitude or confidence doesn't show up in a spread sheet, but pops like fireworks when seen in person.

Couldn't agree more about Javier Baez.  I thought Anthony Rizzo was also a sure thing, but I loved Baez and hated to see him go.  It actually hurts worse to hear he came so close to signing a long term deal with the Cubs and the pandemic shot it down.  Nico helps.  Would really like the team to re-sign Contrares but I suspect that's a lost cause by now.

if rizzo would have vax'd his situation might be different and his off-season market more robust.  allegedly he finally got the vax late last month before the NYY trip to TOR.

the deal he signed with NYY was weak vs what he has done and should be able to do.  16m for 2022 with a player option for 2023 (16m) is a hell of a deal for the yanks.  in a normal world he should have gotten more loot and/or years.

By the way, is anyone else worried about Nick Madrigal's defense?  I'm actually more worried about his defense than his offense.  I figure the bat will come around, but why the mistakes in the field?

i've always considered him average, but not embarrasing with the glove.

we've been very spoiled for a long time with good middle IF'rs on the cubs.

i like madrigal all-around, but when it comes time to pay him full-time middle-IF'r money...i dunno.  the main thing i personally like about the dude coming over in trade is he came with 3-4 cheap seasons.