Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 10/14/13

It was a week for openings, as the Arizona Fall League, as well as the Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan Winter League all started play. There is more to come as the Dominican Winter League began on Friday, while the Puerto Rican League opens in the beginning of November. So welcome back to baseball in warmer climes.

Note: Coverage of the winter leagues will be by calendar week, Sunday through Saturday

Arizona Fall League

Mesa Solar Sox

It was a baseball rarity in the AFL opener on Tuesday as Mesa tied Glendale 8-8 in ten innings. Jorge Soler went 1-for-6 with a double and an RBI, while Kris Bryant drove in two and was 3-for-6 with a double. Matt Loosen was the second pitcher to see action for the Solar Sox and he allowed two unearned runs while striking out a batter in two innings. Lendy Castillo was also used in relief and was hung with three unearned runs in his inning of work with a strikeout. Armando Rivero was impressive in his debut, striking out the side in the eighth.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The Cubs’ prospects flexed their muscles on Wednesday as Mesa beat Glendale 13-3. Albert Almora got his first start and hit leadoff. Almora sent the first pitch he saw into the stands as he was 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI along with his home run. Jorge Soler continues to scrape off the rust as he went 1-for-5 and drove in three runs with a double. Kris Bryant also contributed to a four run first inning by bashing his first home run. Bryant drove in two runs and went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Bryant was replaced by Wes Darvill, who joined in the fun by smacking a two-run home run in his only at bat.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

It was a relatively quiet day for Cubs’ prospects on Thursday as Mesa defeated Salt River 8-1. Only Albert Almora, playing right field, saw any action. Almora went 2-for-5 with a triple and three RBI. Almora’s three-basehit came in the ninth with the bases loaded and broke the game open for the Solar Sox.

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Mesa remained the only unbeaten team on Friday as they beat Surprise 7-3. Dallas Beeler got the start and struck out two in three innings while allowing an earned run. Beeler was awarded the victory for his efforts. Beeler also picked-off two base runners.  Lendy Castillo also gave up an earned run as he worked around a hit and two walks in an inning pitched. Designated hitter Kris Bryant remained red hot and went 2-for-5 with his second home run and two RBI. Wes Darvill started at third and was 1-for-3 with two walks and a RBI. Right fielder Jorge Soler was 1-for-5 in the game.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Mexican Pacific League

Tomateros de Culiacan

Iowa Cubs reliever Marcus Hatley picked up his first save of the winter as he struck out two in a perfect inning as the Tomato Pickers defeated Mazatlan 3-1 in their league opener on Saturday.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Venezuelan Winter League

Leones de Caracas

Iowa pitcher Yoanner Negrin had a stellar opening night for the Lions on Thursday as Caracas beat Margarita 8-1. Negrin went five scoreless innings and gave up only two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Boise pitcher Loiger Padron saw some action on Saturday as the Pride lost to Aragua 9-8. Padron struck out two in two innings of relief and allowed an earned run.

Tiburones de La Guaira

Tennessee pitcher Eduardo Figueroa was able to pick up a win in relief as the Sharks defeated Anzoategui on Friday. Figueroa pitched 1.1 innings for the Hammerheads and allowed an earned run on two hits and a walk.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Aguilas del Zulia

Tennessee reliever Yeiper Castillo had four strikeouts and no earned runs in a 2.1 inning effort as the Eagles lost 4-3 to Aragua on Friday.

News and Notes

Play has continued in the Fall Instructional League, as IF Ben Carhart received his first start at catcher on Friday. Top international signee IF Gleyber Torres has yet to record a hit, while C Tyler Alamo hit his first professional home run. Two 2013 draft picks, third round selection OF Jacob Hannemann and 19th round pick C Will Remillard, have returned from an injury. Among some of the better pitching performers have been Jose Arias, Daury Torrez, Jose Rosario, Duane Underwood, and Michael Wagner.

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Quote of the Day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did." - Mark Twain

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  • SuzyS

    Big Papi!!!! A Robert Redford moment!!!
    Can’t wait for the Cubs to get back to the playoffs!!!

    • John_CC

      Happy for you Suzy, but that’s all. I’m for the Tigers all the way. Papi is just unbelievable.

      • SuzyS

        Thanks John…it’s ok to root for the other team. Cubs are my #1 love….but being born in Boston means the Red Sox are always my next choice.

  • Craig Ruesch

    Why does the Arizona Fall League take the weekend off? Why not play

  • John_CC

    What’s up with Wes Darvill? Granted most of my minor league knowledge is from these updates, but I don’t remember reading much about him over the season. Is his hot start in the AFL a fluke or can he be a legit prospect?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      John, here is Tom’s write up on Darvill prior to the AFL season.

      http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/10/cubs-farm-report-100713.php#.Ulwsd1AWLCk

      The word intriguing might describe him best right now.

      • John_CC

        Thanks Neil.

    • Tom U

      I’ll give you a link to the position analysis I gave to second base

      http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/10/cubs-farm-report-100113.php#.UlwsTtKOTEZ

      Darvill is a slow developing prospect that has seemed to turn the corner. Whether he will be moved back to shortstop, stay at second, or become a versatile back-up is uncertain.

      • John_CC

        Thanks Tom.

    • Bredstik

      I was really impressed with him the year he was here in Peoria. He started the season playing SS but had to give up the position when Baez joined the team at midseason. Was essentially a utility infielder and played all over until Dustin Geiger got hurt and then filled in for him at 3B.

      I wasn’t the only one who was impressed. He had quite a following of “Wacko for Wes” fans who also gave him a huge ovation. He’s one of those lesser prospects that I’m really rooting for.

  • cubtex

    10 years ago today, the world met Steve Bartman. » http://instagram.com/p/fdKNMTH_h3/

    • 07GreyDigger

      And the poor guy got blamed because Alex Gonzalez a defensive specialist couldn’t turn a double play…

  • John_CC

    I’m starting to warm up to AJ Hinch as manager. Anyone else?

    • RynoTiger

      nope not at all. perhaps something with the minor leagues if he’s good at young player development.

    • Tony_Hall

      From everything I have read, I think he would be a good choice. There are very few perfect managers to hire out there and this guy gets great reviews from people who have actually worked with him and talked to him, but those that don’t know him want to take a losing record with a bad team as a reason why not to hire him. Of course the manager before and after him had worse records the years surrounding him, so maybe he didn’t do that bad after all.

      Right now I would say I like him better than Acta and Renteria.

      • cubtex

        Do you know many people who actually worked with someone, when asked about what type of guy he is, would publicly come out and wouldn’t give someone a good review? I am glad the hiring process doesn’t rely on the opinion of a Stanford Assistant College Baseball coach.

        • Tony_Hall

          It isn’t about what kind of guy he is, but what they are saying. People don’t elaborate on people they don’t think highly of or go on to say they will get another chance to manage if they don’t believe they will, they just say nice polite things and move on from the conversation.

      • John_CC

        Those are my thoughts exactly, Tony.

        Looking at his record out of context isn’t fair.

      • triple

        Are you sure Tony???

        Where some facts:

        Bob Melvin 94-97 (.492)
        2008 82-80 (.506)
        2009 12-17 (.414)

        AJ Hinch 89-123 (.420)
        2009 58-75 (.436)
        2010 31-48 (.382)

        Kirk GIbson 128-117 (.522)
        2010 34-49 (.466)
        2011 94-68 (.580)

        • Tony_Hall

          Your numbers are wrong.

          Gibson 34-49 in 2010 for 410.

          • triple

            Yeah, I just reread and did math again, was about to edit. But overall….

          • Tony_Hall

            They all were bad.

          • John_CC

            Overall, the point is that was a terrible team.

        • Tony_Hall

          Either way they were a bad team, and Gibson is considered a good manager now yet he struggled at first as well.

          You can’t just go by a W/L record for a manager, you have to look at the team and the situation.

        • Tony_Hall

          Have you looked at the players that came through that horrible minor league system when he was in charge? There were some pretty good players.

          “Hinch did a pretty good job working with up and comers like Justin Upton, Dan Haren, Ian Kennedy, Adam LaRoche, Gerardo Parra — and Edwin Jackson. Talented young players like Chris Young, Kelly Johnson, Mark Reynolds, Miguel Montero, and Stephen Drew had arguably their best years playing for Hinch and actually regressed playing for Gibson.”

          http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/10/a-j-hinch-would-be-the-outside-of-the-box-choice-and-quite-possibly-the-best-fit/

        • cubtex

          Tony reads from what John Arguelo from Cubby Den says and goes along with whatever he says. Check out that article and you will get it. lol

          • Tony_Hall

            He makes a lot of sense. You could benefit from reading more articles all over the web on different points of view. There is more than just the world of baseball according to RayRay from Texas. The rest are not idiots just because they think differently than you.

            Try the fangraphs article I posted as well, that was a good one.

          • Tom U

            I’ve met John. He’s a very nice guy. He has a lot of knowledge on the technical side of baseball.

          • Tom U

            I’ve met John. He’s a very nice guy. He has a lot of knowledge on the technical side of baseball.

          • Tom U

            I’ve met John. He’s a very nice guy. He has a lot of knowledge on the technical side of baseball.

          • Tom U

            I’ve met John. He’s a very nice guy. He has a lot of knowledge on the technical side of baseball.

          • Tom U

            I’ve met John. He’s a very nice guy. He has a lot of knowledge on the technical side of baseball.

    • triple

      I don’t like him at all, and I’ll tell you why. Previous to being the D-Backs manager, he was in charge of minor league operations, and then promoted to director of player development. The organization was in disarray, and as a result, the GM promoted him to the manager, in essence saying, here these are all your guys (prospects), go ahead and coach them.

      Contrary to what Tony Hall says to them being better with him than they were before and after him, lets look at the numbers:

      Bob Melvin 94-97 (.492)
      2008 82-80 (.506)
      2009 12-17 (.414)

      AJ Hinch 89-123 (.420)
      2009 58-75 (.436)
      2010 31-48 (.382)

      Kirk GIbson 128-117 (.522)
      2010 34-49 (.466)
      2011 94-68 (.580)

      He was in charge of all the information of where their players are in their development, and I know they were regarded as having a pretty good farm system at the time, so it should be ideal to coach all these kids that you’ve been in charge of their development, yet the coaches before and after him did a better job with those players. I think he’s a very likeable guy, and that’s why many will say great things about him. But I myself am not sure if he will make a good coach. That’s my opinion, and maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t really wanna find out with him managing the Cubs.

      • Tony_Hall

        I believe I wasn’t using the extra years to make the numbers look better and just the preceding years for the 2 guys surrounding him.

        Melvin was 414 and fired for a reason
        Hinch was 420
        Gibson was 410

        2009 Melvin 12-17 – 414
        2009/10 HInch 89-123 – 420
        2010 Gibson 34-49 410

        Your numbers are wrong for Gibson.

        • triple

          Yes I fixed the percentage that was wrong. But why compare such a big sample of Hinch with a small sample of Melvin and Gibson?

          191 games for Melvin
          212 for Hinch
          245 for Gibson

          are all much closer than comparing 29, 212, and 83 games.

          • Tony_Hall

            It helps my post :)

            I don’t know if Hinch is the right guy and neither do any of us. I just don’t think he is bad because he had a bad W/L record with a bad team.

          • triple

            Haha… yes Tony, I know it’s hard to get a read with that situation. I just would rather not find out what kind of manager he REALLY is with him at the helm of the Cubs. Because once again, he will be a bad manager in charge of a bad team. IDK, maybe he can turn them around, but I’d rather someone else get the opportunity. Unfortunately, none of the options the Cubs have are very great. I’m not gonna waste too much time pondering any of it though, because it is all out of my hands. Time to get back to work…

  • cubtex

    Hinch doesn’t exactly sound like he knows how to motivate a team. Check out this quote from him.

    After a 70-92 finish last season, Hinch confidently said “I
    like this team” coming out of spring training this year. Quickly,
    though, the Diamondbacks faded. At one time, they lost 10 in a row,
    including a franchise-worst 0-9 road trip. When the club returned from
    that awful journey, Hinch acknowledged, “This group hasn’t responded
    that well to me.”

    Said Captain Obvious!

    • Tony_Hall

      You are using a quote from 4-5 years ago when a 34/35 year old was managing for the 1st time.

      Do you think you ever said anything that would look bad when you were doing things younger than other people usually do? I know I did. I said many things when I was doing things when I was younger as I didn’t have the experience to fall back. Just like players, coaches and managers need to get better every day.

  • Tony_Hall

    I may have a new favorite in the managerial hunt.

    Torey Lovullo

    WHO you say? Here is an article to get to know him.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/torey-lovullo-future-big-league-manager/

    On sacrifice bunting. “The equation changes depending on things like where you’re playing, who you’re playing against and what you have available in your bullpen. Overall, I’m not a fan of it. I think it’s needed from time to time, but we led the league in runs scored this year and had the fewest sacrifice bunts.

    “At times, it can work to advance a guy into scoring position, but by and large, I’ve learned over the years that the sacrifice bunt can be a rally stopper. Every out is precious. You’re playing with 27, so if you give up two or three a game, you’re playing with 24 or 25. You’re giving up an inning’s worth of outs to sacrifice guys into scoring position, and the law of averages shows that just because you’re at second base doesn’t mean you’re going to score. If you’re at first base with no outs, you have a better chance of scoring runs. The numbers show that. That’s what we’re all about. We’re about putting up big innings and scoring a lot of runs, especially in [Fenway Park].”

    Someone who gets it. Read the whole article and you might now be saying how about Lovullo for our manager as well.

    • cubtex

      anybody as dumb as that shouldn’t be managing a game. no wonder he isn’t with a major league team.

      • Tony_Hall

        He is the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox and this is how John Farrell thinks as well. This is why old school coaches are falling by the wayside, other guys using past history (stats) to help make better decisions (not make THE decision) in different situations.

        • cubtex

          You manage to your ballpark,roster and game situations. To come out and say a stupid comment like not to give up a precious out….when maybe the hitter you have up facing a certain pitcher has “no chance” to get a hit….instead of sacrificing him to second where a single by the next hitter would drive in the run is idiotic. Just stupid to take away a strategy like that to save a “precious” out. Fenway Park is a totally different way to manage. A fly ball to left is a double off the wall. You also manage differently in the AL vs NL.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe that is what they are saying they are doing, using the stats and percentages to help make their decision. He said “I think “bunting” is needed from time tot time”

            I am not going to respond to you if you want to go on and on about how great bunting is and giving the other team free outs to lower the percentage of times your team scores 1 run, go ahead. I was posting an article that I just saw about a possible manager that had so much common sense to it. Read the whole article, it is really good.

          • cubtex

            that’s where we differ 100%. No surprise there :)
            You need to manage by feel. Is my team struggling to score runs?How do I think this batter will do against this picher…THIS particular day? What are the weather conditions? Do I think runs will be tough to come by today? To just look at percentages???? Get a monkey on a computer to manage a game of baseball. Who needs a baseball guy to make any managerial decisions?

          • Tony_Hall

            Since you didn’t go on and on about bunting I will state this for you one more time.

            They use past experiences (we call them stats) to HELP make decisions.

            No one has ever said that EVERY decision is made based on past experiences. And when I say past experiences and stats, you can assume they go by park, weather, against like pitchers, like batters, actual H2H, etc.

            Then after they look at the stats (most of these guys know them from the hours they spend studying and preparing to be a professional manager and coach), they make a decision. Sometimes they go against the numbers because of the things they know being in the dugout and watching the game and knowing all of the basic info you love to list out, like those things would be ignored if someone is using stats.

          • cubtex

            I am done after this comment on this subject.
            You do not need stats to know when you feel is the right time to bunt during a particular game!

      • John_CC

        Lol!

    • John_CC

      Did you watch game 4 of Det vs Oak? Bottom of 7, V-Mart tied that game at 4 with a solo shot. Then Peralta doubles and Leyland sends in a pinch runner. No outs, (fast) runner on 2nd and Leyland let’s his “old school” get in the way and calls for Avila to bunt! I was yelling at my friend that Jimmy had lost it, why in hell bunt a guy to 3rd with 1st base open and no outs? Avila K’d, and the Tigers finally scored on a broken bat blooper with 2 outs and it was the pinch runner still standing on 2nd that scored. They got lucky, real lucky.

      • Tony_Hall

        Watch it Ray will say how dumb you are?

        • cubtex

          I don’t think I ever call anyone out until first spoken to in a classless way. Kind of like you saying how I don’t “Read Well” or am “UneJucatid” And am Old School so that is the WRONG way to think. Maybe one day I will tend to agree with your thoughts on the game of baseball……but I highly highly highly doubt it. lol

          • Tony_Hall

            You don’t spell well either…

            One day you will get it, until then tell Dusty I said Hi.

          • cubtex

            see there you go again. why discredit an extremely successful mlb manager? because he doesn’t manage from a computer? because he doesn’t live in a fantasy baseball world?

          • Tony_Hall

            there you go again??? Isn’t it widely known that Dusty is old school and doesn’t use stats. I don’t believe I am discrediting him, just calling it like it is. He would consider that a compliment that he is old school.. Why do you take it differently?

            I am proud to say when players play the game old school, why is managing philosophy any different, even If I don’t agree with the style?

            MLB teams don’t live in a fantasy baseball world, they live in the real world where to beat the best you have to use every available resource and source of information to give you team an advantage. Why do you make fun of teams that do this?

          • cubtex

            because I think a manager who doesn’t manage with a computer develops more team chemistry and credibility with his team. Give a player a chance in a situation instead of looking at a computer and have Suri tell me what to do. If a player is hot…ride that hand. If a player is struggling….try and put him in a situation where he will have some success. Manage to your roster and try and put each individual player in the best situation to succeed. The only stat you need is past history on individual matchups. Stat overload is ruining the game.

          • Tony_Hall

            So if you use stats you don’t have good team chemistry?

            I would love to see that one proved!

            Why just try to put players in the a position to have some success, why not use the stats and actually put players in the best situation to succeed and then work with the player on the areas that the numbers say they need to work on. You can build great chemistry and credibility that way too.

            Isn’t that the best of both worlds?

          • John_CC

            Lovullo talks about exactly what you are saying, about the importance of respect between players and coaches. But you won’t take the 5 minutes to read something you have already decided you won’t like or agree with. It’s really a shame.

        • John_CC

          Then what would I do?!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Tony, for what it is worth, his name keeps coming up as I’ve reported.

      • Tony_Hall

        As a second tier candidate. I would like to see them interview him before ruling him out…..c’mon Detroit….sorry Suzy.

        • SuzyS

          Lovullo is a good candidate…but I surely don’t want Boston to bow out early for the Cub’s benefit.
          Detroit’s SP has been awesome…and if I was totally unbiased…I’d probably pick Detroit….But I go with my Heart and want Boston to go all the way…and beat the snot out either the Cards or the Dodgers…since I have no love for either of those teams.

  • Tony_Hall

    I love Joe Mauer. He is a great catcher. This year he batted 324 with a 404 OBP and 476 SLG. I would love to have him on the Cubs, most teams would want him.

    But not at $23M through 2018, 5 more years.

    This is why I dislike long term deals, Good players, actually great players, get judged by how much they are being over paid, versus how much they really produce. It would be nice if there was a system, not as harsh as football, but one that allowed for these contracts to not be guaranteed, so that teams don’t get buried underneath these mega deals, that can never end well.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/10/offseason-outlook-minnesota-twins.html

  • Tony_Hall

    Kind of cool and ironic.

    1st Round 1980 MLB Draft

    20. Rick Renteria
    22. Terry Francona
    23. Billy Beane
    24. John Gibbons

  • Tom U

    Feeling a little old now. Just dropped my youngest off at driving classes.

  • Tom U

    Feeling a little old now. Just dropped my youngest off at driving classes.

    • SuzyS

      Tom,
      You’re not old until they start driving you around…when you can’t drive any longer…I imagine you’ve got quite a ways to go….at least I hope:-)

      • Tom U

        Thankfully, yes.