Two Teams for Every Cub (Beisbol City, Here We Come!)
CF Albert Hernandez singled and doubled and drove in two runs, and five Cubs pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter, as the DSL Cubs #1 defeated the DSL Tigers 7-3 yesterday afternoon on Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day at Baseball City, near Boca Chica, DR.
In other DSL Opening Day action, Miguel Gonzalez had three hits and drove in two runs, but the bullpen could not hold a 4-1 8th inning lead, as the DSL Orioles/Brewers co-op team took advantage of five errors to rally and edge DSL Cubs #2 5-4.
20-year old Albert Hernandez hit .324 with 17 extra base hits in 54 DSL games last year, and he will likely be the star of DSL Cubs #1 (managed by ex-Cubs 1B prospect Alberto Garcia) this year, but the three most highly-regarded Cubs prospects playing in the DSL right now are 3B Joel Altagracia and SS Carlos Henry (both signed as 16-year olds by the Cubs during the International Signing Period last Summer), and Venezuelan catcher Ricardo Parra, who also signed last Summer and who turned 18 yesterday. (RHP Jose Tineo was signed to a substantial bonus as a 16-year old in July 2007, but he is not presently on a DSL Cubs Active List).
Altagracia (signed for $140K) and Henry (signed for $110K) are now 17, and both are assigned to DSL Cubs #2, as is Parra. If all goes according to plan, I would expect to see all three of them at Fitch Park this time next year.
NOTE: 11 of the kids who played for Cubs DSL teams last season were invited to Fitch Park for Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training this year, including RHP Rogelio Carmona, Eduardo Figueroa, George Pineda, and Andres Quezada (ex-OF), LHP Marcos Perez and Melvin Vasquez, catcher Juan Medina, infielder Robert Bautista, and outfielders Francisco Guzman (now at Peoria), Jesus Morelli, and Jose Valdez. Although they spent most or all of the 2008 season playing in the DSL, Figueroa, Carmona, and Quezada have been at Fitch Park before, and Medina was invited to the AZ Instructional League last Sepember.
Here are the rosters for DSL Cubs #1 and DSL Cubs #2:
* bats or throws left
# bats both
DSL CUBS #1 (29 players):
* Welington Cruz
* Abner Ruiz
# Arismendy Alcantara
# Vismeldy Bieneme
Ramon Caraballo (hitting coach)
Leo Hernandez (pitching coach)
DSL CUBS #2 (30 players):
* Richard Leyba
Pedro Medina (ex-OF)
# Hector Suarez
# Rafael Disla
* Carlos Henry
# Jose Montecino
* Melido Perez
# Gregorio Robles
DSL CUBS – NOT ASSIGNED
NOTE: The following players were on DSL Cubs Reserve Lists prior to the start of Spring Training. A player on this list could be injured, or could be inactive for some other reason, or may have been released prior to the start of the DSL season.
* Alfredo Belizaire
Arturo Florentino (PED SUSPENSION)
* Carlos Galvez (PED SUSPENSION)
Jesse Lebron (PED SUSPENSION)
Jhon Rodriguez (PED SUSPENSION)
Jose Tineo (PED SUSPENSION)
# Ramon Bonilla
# Alexander Mejia (PED SUSPENSION)
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.