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
Cubster 10 hours 5 min ago (view)
Jason Schmidt signs with Dodgers, 3/44.
crunch 10 hours 58 min ago (view)
20 year, 800m contract incoming...front loaded 150m over the first 2 years with a player opt out after that...
videographer 17 hours 23 min ago (view)
Darth Vader to rescue Carlos Correa's bruised ego.
crunch 18 hours 41 min ago (view)
carlos correa has hired scott boras...
bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
The IFA market isn't exactly an equal access thing. Not only do the Cubs have a slightly smaller bonus pool than some teams, players are often linked to teams through their trainers well before they are able to sign. It's not like when these kids are 14 that the teams know for sure that they have a top of the class player on their hands two years in the future.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
Cubbies.4ever - I read that the Cubs strategy with international free agents has been to spend most of their bonus money on young, position players and then take chances on cheaper, older pitching prospects who have been late bloomers (taller, stronger, more command of pitches, etc.). They are also grabbing guys at the end of the international signing period and signing them to future service contracts. They have six pitchers that were signed last year to future service contracts, and only one position player.
cubbies.4ever 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
Cubs IFA Signings are heavy on SS (given SS usually can play many positions as the develop), but only 1 pitcher. Given it's still early. Also disappointing that their best signing is #18. Gone are the days of Soler, Eloy, Torres, Marquez, Amaya etc. I believe Christian Hernandez last year was highly rated though.
Wrigley Rat 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
One more international free agent signing announced today: Daniel Benschop, OF, Aruba
bradsbeard 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
I hope all is well with AZ Phil. Hasn't posted in a few weeks and typically would expect him to have a post up tracking IFA signings. Maybe he's waiting for something official from the Cubs (who don't seem to have announced any of the signings officially)?
Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)
Les Grobstein dies at age 69. Encyclopedic Chicago historian and longtime sports talk overnight radio host, plus a controversial listen. https://www.robertfeder.com/2022/01/17/les-grobstein-1952-2022/
Cubster 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
Hernandez ranks 18th on MLB's International prospect list. Sanchez ranks at #43.
Tribune article today on the Cub https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cubs/ct-chicago-cubs-alexis-hernan...
CubsCentral08 4 days 11 hours ago (view)
List is up to 12 now
Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic
Wrigley Rat 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:
- RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
- LHP - Kevin Valdez
- RHP - Jensi Ramirez
- RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
- RHP - Eligio Paredes
- RHP - Jair Jimenez
- OF - Edward Vargas
Wrigley Rat 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:
- Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
- Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
- Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
- Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
Wrigley Rat 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
Sneak peak into the International Free Agent Signings that officially start tomorrow (Saturday):
Chicago Cubs ($5,179,700 total bonus pool) - 5 Signings (so far):
- Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama ($1,500,000 bonus)
- Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,300,000 bonus)
- Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,000,000 bonus)
- Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
- Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
crunch 4 days 23 hours ago (view)
wsox snagging cuban oscar colas...23 year old high end power prospect that could slot into the majors quickly.
they're building a hell of a batting core on the south side of town.