New Blood at the Ranch
There apparently was a change in the itinerary for the Boise Hawks, as the roster will not be announced until after today's workout, and the team will not leave for Idaho until after tomorrow's work-out.
Therefore (naturally), there was another intrasquad game today.
In addition, Cubs 1B Daryle Ward, who is on the 15-day DL with a back problem, has finally arrived at Fitch Park.
The Cubs ace LHPH took about 30-swings in a "standard" early-morning BP session (coach throwing "BP fastballs" from in front of the mound) on Field #4 and he looked OK. (He hit a couple over the fence onto 6th Place). He did not participate in the intrasquad game, however.
Also, the Cubs will be converting still another position player to pitcher, as OF Leon Johnson (2007 10th round pick out of BYU) will become a LHP.
Johnson, who had his collegiate career interrupted for a couple of years while serving on an LDS mission in Siberia, was probably the fastest runner and best bunter in the organization, as well as being a well above-average defensive CF with a plus-arm.
The one thing he just couldn't seem to master was the art of hitting, and apparently he decided to try pitching after being demoted to EXST from Peoria last week while in the midst of a major slump.
There also were still more new-arrivals at Fitch Park today, as several more of the Cubs 2008 draft picks reported for duty.
As of today, the following 2008 Rule 4 Draft picks have physically reported to Fitch Park (others may have signed, but they haven't reported yet):
James Leverton, LHP (8th round pick out of Texas Tech)
Jay Jackson, RHP (9th round pick out of Furman U.)
Josh Whitlock, RHP (26th round pick out of U. of West Virginia)
Tommy Mejia, RHP (NDFA out of Dominican College)
Michael Brenly, C (36th round pick out of UNLV)
Ryan Keedy (16th round pick out of UAB)
Rebel Ridling (25th round pick out of Oklahoma State U.)
Sean Hoorelbeke (33rd round pick out of Western Michigan U.)
Jake Opitz (12th round pick out of U. of Nebraska)
David Macias (19th round pick out of Vanderbilt U.)
TeWayne Willis (28th round pick out of Lincoln Memorial U.)
Kurt Calvert (32nd round pick out of U of Missouri)
Some initial observations about the new recruits...
Ryan Keedy has a nice short line-drive stroke with some power behind it and he drives the ball all over the yard, but he is a VERY slow runner. EXTREMELY slow. He's also very stiff at1st base.
Jake Opitz made a couple of nice plays at 2B, one going to his left, and another going to his right. He also roped an opposite-field RBI double into the LF corner. However, he also struck out (swinging) twice.
Michael Brenly is a solid defensive catcher, but a better hitter than I thought he would be. He's also one big boy. (He looks like he could play left tackle for the Bears!)
David Macias brought both an infielder's glove and an outfielder's glove with him to Fitch Park, and he worked out at 2B, 3B, LF, CF, and RF. He is a versatile defender. And he's a scrapper!.
TeWayne Willis is as fast as Ryan Keedy is slow. Willis is essentially Dwaine Bacon Redux.
Here is the abridged box score from today's intrasquad game...
NOTE: The position players who arrived yesterday (Opitz, Willis, Macias, and Keedy) played in the game, but they were allowed to bat out of turn several times to maximize their ABs.
Also, Nelson Perez played for both squads, as he was "traded" from SQUAD "A" to SQUAD "B" in the middle of the 4th inning.
1. Bryan Jost, 1B 1-2 (3B, R)
2. Dwayne Kemp, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-4 (2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)
4. Junior Lake, SS: 0-4 (2 K)
5a. Kevin Soto, CF: 1-1 (2B, RBI)
5b. Jake Opitz, 2B: 1-3 (2B, RBI, 2 K)
6a. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1 (K)
6b. TeWayne Willis, CF: 0-3 (K)
7. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-3
8a. Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 1-1
8b. David Macias, RF: 0-3
9a. Robinson Chirinos, C: 0-1 (K)
9b. Ryan Keedy, 1B: 0-3 (R, K)
1. Drew Rundle, RF-LF: 0-3 (K)
2. Marwin Gonzalez, DH #1: 0-2 (BB)
3. Starlin Castro, SS: 2-3 (R)
4. John Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (R, CS)
5. George Matheus, LF-DH #3: 0-2 (SF-RBI)
6. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-2
7. Cesar Salazar, CF: 0-3
8. Kyler Burke, 1B: 0-3 (K, CS)
9. Jose Made, 2B: 0-3 (2 K)
10. Roberto Sabates, DH #2: 0-3
11a. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-2 (K)
11b. Michael Brenly, C: 1-1 (2B)
1. Miguel Sierra - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
2. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
3. John Muller- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
4. Luke Sommer - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP
1. Mark Pawelek - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K
2. Jose Pina - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
3. Michael Bunton - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
4. Manolin DeLeon - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K
Jeffrey Rea - E4, bobbled ground ball, allowing batter to reach base
Ryan Keedy - E3, missed catch on what should have been a 4-3 GO at 1st base allowing batter to reach base and runner at 2nd base to advance one extra base
Jose Made - E4, muffed ground ball allowing batter to reach base
Carlos Perez: 2-2 CS
WEATHER: VERY hot & sunny
crunch 12 hours 42 min ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 16 hours 25 min ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 21 hours 38 min ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).
Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.
I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.
Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.
Arizona Phil 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better.
Hagsag 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Thanks wrigley rat.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:
RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN
Childersb3 1 day 23 hours ago (view)
Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?
Hagsag 2 days 4 hours ago (view)
Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.
tim815 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.
crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)
bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.
as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.
it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.
Cubster 4 days 10 hours ago (view)
Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.