Wang the Drum Slowly

Runey Davis reached base twice on a double and a walk and scored two runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the EXST A’s in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.


The game was a pre-planned 7-1/2 affair with the Cubs playing as the “home” team even though the game was played at the A’s minor league complex, because the A’s only had enough healthy and rested pitchers available to throw seven innings, while the Cubs needed at least eight opponent's innings to get their scheduled pitchers enough work.



Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first six innings. He struck out twice and bounced out weakly two other times, before ripping an RBI single to left in his fifth and final AB.


19-year old 6’0 180 Taiwanese RHP Yao-Lin Wang made his first EXST appearance, going three innings and allowing one run on six hits and a walk. He helped himself by getting a clutch strikeout after the A’s loaded the bases in the 1st inning, and his teammates helped him in the 3rd inning, turning an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP with two runners on base.


There are two Wangs from Taiwan at Extended Spring Training with the Cubs. Yao-Lin (today’s pitcher) is slightly younger and a LOT shorter. (Both Wangs were signed last summer by ex-Cub LHP Steve Wilson, who is now the Cubs Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator).


Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):


NOTE: DH #1 Rebel Ridling batted in five of the first six innings, getting five Plate Appearances total in the game.


LINEUP
X. Rebel Ridling, DH #1: 1-5 (4-3, K+WP, K, 1-3, 1B, R, RBI)
1. Francisco Guzman, CF: 0-2 (1-3, 6-3, BB, R, RBI)
2. D. J. Fitzgerald, LF: 1-3 (F-9, K, 1B, 2 RBI)
3. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 1-3 (L-4, 2B, K)
5. Jonathan Mota, C-DH: 0-3 (P-5, 6-3, P-6)
6. Runey Davis, RF: 1-1 (2B, BB, 2 R)
7. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH-C: 1-1 (F-7 SF, 1B, R, RBI)
8. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-2 (P-5, 1B, R)
9. Rafael Disla, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B, R, RBI)
10a. Cody Shields, DH #3: 0-0 (BB)
10b. Albert Hernandez, PH: 0-0 (BB)


PITCHERS:
1. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 50 pitches (31 strikes)
2. Jesse Ginley – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
3. Rogelio Carmona – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 34 pitches (21 strikes)
4. Yohan Gonzalez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes)


ERRORS (1):
SS Wes Darvill E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jae-Hoon Ha – 2 PB


ATTENDANCE: 2 (but the other guy left early, probably because he wanted to beat the traffic out of the parking lot)


WEATHER: Overcast and blustery, temperatures in the 60’s (obviously held the crowd down)

Comments

"ATTENDANCE: 2 (but the other guy left early, probably because he wanted to beat the traffic out of the parking lot)"

Best recap line ever.

Agreed.

Hey Phil,

In your estimation, where do you think the Cubs go with their first round pick this summer? I'd think that a catcher seems to make sense, since it really doesn't seem like we have any "bona-fide" prospects up through the system, when there are several infield prospects and outfield prospects that will be making their way through the system.

Also, do you think you could shed some light on what players could be heading to Peoria soon here, what the team at Boise could look like, and who will stay behind for the AZL Cubs? I'm just trying to find a way to burn some time and think up crazy scenarios in order to delay doing my chemistry lab report. Thanks as always

Submitted by W Flag on Wed, 04/21/2010 - 6:24pm.
Hey Phil,

In your estimation, where do you think the Cubs go with their first round pick this summer? I'd think that a catcher seems to make sense, since it really doesn't seem like we have any "bona-fide" prospects up through the system, when there are several infield prospects and outfield prospects that will be making their way through the system.

Also, do you think you could shed some light on what players could be heading to Peoria soon here, what the team at Boise could look like, and who will stay behind for the AZL Cubs? I'm just trying to find a way to burn some time and think up crazy scenarios in order to delay doing my chemistry lab report. Thanks as always

=================================================

W FLAG: I think the Cubs will probably just go with the best player available with the early picks (first 15 rounds), and then fill depth needs in rounds 16-50. But all things being equal, adding a top prospect who is a catcher would be a priority.

One thing to keep in mind about Extended Spring Training is that there are five reasons why a player might be there.

1. Injured players rehabbing from injuries. This includes MLB, AAA, AA players. When a rehab player is ready for game action, they somettimes will be given extra ABs (especially if it's a more-experienced player). Once these players have played themselves into game shape, they leave (as happened with Chris Carpenter, David Patton, and Matt Spencer last week, and is happening with Rebel Ridling right now).

2. Players learning a new position, like Jonathan Mota, Jae-Hoon Ha, Drew Rundle, and Alvaro Sosa. These players get a one-year exemption where they can be asigned to AZL Cubs (Mesa) or Boise even if they otherwise would have too much minor league service time or are too old to play there.

3. Players from Latin America or the Pacific Rim making their U. S. debut. The most-talented or most-polished of these players might go directly to Boise, but most will at least begin at AZL Cubs (Mesa). For example, Korean SS Hak-Ju Lee made his U. S. debut at AZ Instructional League post-2008, then was at Extended Spring Training April-May-June 2009, then was assigned to Boise. He skipped Mesa (AZL Cubs). Players who might skip AZL Cubs and get assigned to Boise this year are Korean OF Kyung-Min Na, Dominican RHP Frank Batista, and Dominican SS-2B Arismendy Alcantara, but it's just as likely that nobody will do what Hak-Ju Lee did last year.

4. Remedial players. These are players who have spent at least part of a season with AZL Cubs or Boise, but did not progress enough to be considered for Peoria. Typically these would be U. S. players drafted out of high school the previous season or Latin or Pacific Rim players who played at AZL Cubs and/or Boise the previous season who but have not progressed as rapidly as necesasary to be considered for Peoria. Examples of this type of player would be Austin Kirk, Wes Darvill, Blair Springfield, Sergio Burruel, Jesse Ginley, Cody Hams, Luis Liria, and Jose Rosario.

5. Players who missed the cut at Peoria, but really have nothing more to prove at AZL Cubs or Boise. For example, Greg Rohan, Charles Thomas, and Brandon May were essentially competing for the same roster slot at Peoria, and Rohan won the job and Thomas and May were assigned to EXST. Jesus Morelli, Runey Davis, and D. J. Fitzgerald were competing for the same roster slot at Peoria, and Morelli got the slot. Alvaro Ramirez and Francisco Guzman were competing for one job, and Ramirez got it and Guzman went to EXST. Justin Bour and Bobby Wagner competed for one job, and Bour got it and Wagner went to EXST. Jose Guevara and Mario Mercedes competed for a catcher's job at Peoria, and Mercedes got it. (Guevara also could have made the Peoria roster if Jovan Rosa had been sent to EXST to work on his catching, but Rosa began the season at Peoria, although Guevara still might change spots with Rosa).

So these players essentially form a "replacement cadre" at Extended Spring Training, and they are the guys who would get promoted to Peoria (or even to Daytona) if somebody at Peoria or Daytona goes on the DL or gets demoted to Extended Spring Training. These players are also likely to be the first to get get released if there are no openings at Peoria or Daytona by the time the short-season teams (AZL Cubs and Boise) begin play after the June Draft, especially if they have to compete for roster slots at Boise with the new draft class (because the new guys always look better, even if they're not).

Again, examples of this type of player are outfielders Francisco Guzman, Runey Davis, and D. J. Fitzgerald, 1B Charles Thomas, IF-OF Brandon May, 1B-3B Bobby Wagner, catcher Jose Guevara, RHP Larry Suarez, Rogelio Carmona, Eduardo Figueroa, Yohan Gonzalez, Danny Keefe, Tarlandus Mitchell, and Carlos Rojas, and LHP John Mincone and Marcos Perez. So these are the guys to keep an eye on every day to see how they are doing at Extended Spring Training, because they know they need to play hard and play well to get to the front of the line. Right now, Francisco Guzman appears to be next in line among the position players to get promoted, although Jose Guevara could get promoted if a catcher (specifically) is needed. And LHRP Marcos Perez has pitched VERY well, and could get promoted at any time. Rogelio Carmona has difficulty throwing more than one inning, but he might get the call if Peoria or Daytona needs bullpen help. Because he can play so many different positions, Brandon May could get the call as an injury replacement.

While I know EXST stands for Extended Spring Training, at first glance, I always think it's an abbreviation for "Existential" or "Existence", thus reading something like, "...leading the Existential Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Existential A’s in...(etc.)"

I like the sound of "Existential" Cubs. Sounds deep and meaningful.

I plan to someday secede from Indiana to form the state of enlightenment. I'll let some of you guys in so long as you stay in line

Az Phil:

Your explainations and summaries are just great. Thanks.

Phil - I don't know if you ever get tired of hearing our thanks, but I can't tell you how fun it is to read about these daily games where you are are almost the only person who cares enough to show up. You are an absolute GEM, Phil! If ever get a chance to meet you, all beers are on me!

I agree completely - you are a god, Phil

A little Philacio never hurt anybody.

I really appreciate your posts, too, Phil. And thank you so much for answering our questions about specific players. With six leagues plus EXST and the AFL, it's damn near impossible to follow the minors without some help, and you provide top-notch expertise for bargain basement prices. The least we can do is gush from time to time.

"The least we can do is gush from time to time."
______________

Speaking of Philacio...

For the win.

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