Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Rice, Galindo HR; Notes from extended spring training
It’s been a while since we updated you on extended spring training so we’re going to start there…
This was an interesting game for a number of reasons — good pitching, timely hitting, occasional brilliance on defense. It was the “A” squad that played today, which is to say that it’s the generally more advanced team and thus they field a lineup of players more likely to get assigned to short season Eugene rather than rookie-level Arizona. What made it really interesting is that it was three 18 year old players who stood out.
- Javier Assad was touching 95 at the end of his four inning outing. He’s normally 92-93 with good command a solid curve. and an advanced change-up but he had a little extra giddy-up today. I’ve mentioned in the past that Assad has come into camp in much better shape and by all accounts, he’s a kid that is willing to put the work in. He allowed just one hit and did not walk a batter in 4 scoreless innings. He struck out 3.
- Miguel Amaya drove in a run in the first on a nice piece of hitting, pulling his hands in and lining a single over the 3Bs head. He also showed hustle in beating out a groundball for an infield single, not something you see often outside of Willson Contreras. Speaking of Contreras, Amaya has some of that same competitive fire behind the plat. Amaya threw out another baserunner and did a great job of blocking pitches and pouncing on them quickly. I want to not that Amaya is not the athlete Contreras is, but he is very polished for his young age on defense. I don’t have his overall numbers but I have seen Amaya throw out 7 of the 10 runners that have tried to steal on him. He has improved his arm
strength and has shown some sub 2 second pop times. For the game he was 2 for 2 with a walk, HBP, run scored, and an RBI.
- Aramis Ademan showed his range and soft hands at shortstop. He has been a treat to watch this spring with his smooth, fluid athleticism, quick release, and surprisingly strong arm. He is a lefty hitter who hits line drives and shows a mature approach at the plate. He’s an above average runner but is aggressive and has great instincts on the bases, so his game speed may seem a tick more than his raw speed. Like Amaya, he is a fierce competitor. Ademan went 1 for 3, was HBP and scored a run.
I was talking to AZ Phil during the game and we were talking about whether Amaya and Ademan will join Assad at short season A ball. They certainly looked like they belonged in this game against advanced competition. For selfish reasons I was hoping to see them right here in Mesa this summer but right now it looks like they might get a chance to skip the rookie level.
You can see the rest of the day’s events at the link above.
Here is the rest of the recap…
This game may have been a bullpen day but it was still all Iowa from start to finish. Converted reliever Juan Paniagua made his 2nd start, presumably on a pitch limit as he has not been stretched out. He was very good for 3 scoreless innings but reached 54 innings and had to exit the game before he could qualify for the win. That distinction would go to reliever Miguel Mejia. The I-Cubs would get all the runs they would need in the first on a double by John Andreoli and single by Mark Zagunis, but they would go on to add 4 more, 2 on a HR by catcher Al Solis, to cruise to 5-0 win. It was a familiar name — Eric Jokisch — who took the loss for Reno.
- Juan Paniagua: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 Ks
- Miguel Mejia: 2 IP: 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
- Conor Mullee: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
- John Andreoli: 2-4, double, 2 BB, run
- Stephen Bruno: 3-4, run
- Al Solis: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
- Elliott Soto: 2-4, double, run
Updates and Trends
Juan Paniagua has allowed just one run in his last 4 appearances (two of them starts). That covers 11.2 innings and has lowered his ERA to 5.29.
Miguel Mejia improved to 2-0 but sports a 6.62 ERA and more walks (8) than strikeouts (7) over 17.2 IP.
Stephen Bruno is starting to look a little bit like his old self now that he is getting more regular playing time. He isn’t walking much but has hit .320 with 3 HRs in his last 8 games and is now hitting .261/.270/.435 overall.
John Andreoli has been in a bit of a funk of late but today’s solid game brought his numbers up to .238/.336/.410. Before today’s game, he had been 3 for his last 31.
Mark Zagunis may not yet be hitting like he can at .248 but he has contributed a great deal on offense. He has 29 walks and a .392 OBP to go with 7 HRs, 25 RBI, and a .453 slugging percentage.
Conor Mullee was called up from extended spring training. The tall, lanky sinkerballer will pitch out of the bullpen.
It was the usual efficient game by Zach Hedges as he walked 3 and needed 83 pitches to labor through 5 innings,
but he did keep his team in the game by allowing just 2 runs. In fact, the Smokies had the lead 4-2 on the strength of a 3 run shot by Ian Rice, his 6th of the year. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of Brad Markey‘s better performances as the normally reliable RP allowed 2 runs. The game was tied 4-4 after 7 innings and it would stay that way through 9 innings. Then the Smokies caught a break as another ex-Cubs pitcher, Tayler Scott, was wild, starting the 10th with a walk and then a wild pitch which forced an intentional walk. A single loaded the bases and then Jason Vosler worked the walk-off walk for the win. The Smokies also got nother strong outing from Andury Acevedo, who earned the win after two scoreless innings.
- Andury Acevedo: 2 IP, 1 H, o R, 1 BB, 2 K (W)
- Ian Rice: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI
- David Bote: 2-4, walk
- Carlos Penalver: 2-4, run
Updates and Trends
Roberto Caro was brought up from extended spring training
Ian Rice is now hitting .257/.387/.469 with 6 HRs. He started out 0 for 8 in throwing out baserunners but has since thrown out 3 of his last 9.
Andury Acevedo got his first win (1-0) and lowered his ERA…just kidding. He can’t lower his ERA because it’s 0.00 in 13 innings. He has allowed just 6 hits and 5 walks, but curiously has struck out only 5 batters despite his good stuff.
Zach Hedges is 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA with 12 walks vs 40 Ks in 53.1 IP.
Game 1 Recap
Game 2 Recap
Updates and Trends
Woof. Let’s just say this one isn’t going down in the annals of baseball classics. Tyson Miller‘s up and down season continued with 5 runs allowed before he can finish the 4th and then Matt Swarmer, the pitcher who has put up fantastic numbers piggybacking Dylan Cease, got rocked for 8 runs, 7 earned. He was still throwing strikes but this time he just wasn’t fooling anyone. South Bend got HRs by Wladimir Galindo and Luis Ayala to avoid a shutout, but it was not nearly enough to get the SB Cubs back in this game.
- Wladimir Galindo: 2-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI
- Luis Ayala: 1-3, HR
- Jared Cheek: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Updates and Trends
Wladimir Galindo hit his 3rd HR and is now hitting .300/.347/.455 overall. He has struck out in just about 25% of his PAs, so that is a slight improvement for him and there’s certainly more room for growth in that area. Galindo has about as much raw power as anyone in this system other than Eloy Jimenez.
Luis Ayala is better known for his speed and defense at all 3 OF positions but he showed some pop today with his first HR of the season and only 2nd of his professional career.