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BCB Scouting Bureau: Iowa Cubs, April Reports

Here's what the BCB Scouting Bureau has so far on the Iowa Cubs. Once again, if someone's report got forgotten or mis-credited, it's my fault and I ask that you contact me so that I can correct it.

For those of you going to games, remember, what we want is stuff that we can't get from the box scores. We want descriptions of defensive ability, what pitches people are throwing or hitting or windups and batting stances. Stuff like that. But we do appreciated anything and everything you give us.

We do have one comment on Randy Wells, so everyone should check that out.

I do have one report on the Tennessee Smokies and I am going to post it because it's very, very good. But it doesn't exactly fit the format because it's only one report. We can clearly use more. And we still have nothing on Daytona.

Once again, credit goes to the Cub fans out there going to minor league games and telling us what they see. And while it's not absolutely necessary, if people were to contact me ahead of time, I can give "assignments" on things that we want to know about. I'd certainly like to have more on Randy Wells right about now.

Esmailin Caridad

“And then there was Caridad. He had a great fastball to start, clocked in as high as 94 mph in the first, but little else to offer. I think I saw maybe a dozen off-speed pitches all night, only one of which sticks in my mind as having good action. He had success as long as his placements were accurate, but wasn't nailing down his locations right from the start. By the middle of the second (30 pitches in) his velocity had dropped off to high eighties, and his control started to go shortly thereafter, probably indirectly resulting in a run-scoring balk. The third was just ugly, with four hits, two walks, and a total of five runs (all earned). Final numbers: 104 pitches in 4 and 2/3; 4 K's, 5 BB, 7H, 6ER, and a balk.” Znohitter 4/21/09 ABQ@IA

“Esmalin looked solid in almost every aspect of his game—fields his position well—bulldog attitude on the field—clearly wants to compete. The wind was blowing in pretty hard—so he got a little help—but definitely a name to watch.” Cubfever7 4/26/09 IA@NASH

Randy Wells

“Wells looked shaky in the first, loading the bases and walking in one of the two runs that inning. He settled down nicely after that, though, and seemed to be getting pretty much what he wanted for location and action for the next few innings.” Znohitter 4/18/09 Round Rock@Iowa

Brad Snyder

“Brad Snyder had a few very good lines to balls in RF in the first that particularly impressed me (he dealt with the bullpen mound on one just like a seasoned vet).” Znohitter 4/18/09 RR@IA

Andres Blanco

“Andres Blanco didn’t look like he was hustling at the start of the game.” Znohitter 4/18/09 RR@IA

“Andres Blanco looked better than he did Friday at SS. He also had a good night, drawing 2 walks (1 intentional), an RBI single in the 5th, and a sac hit in the 4th” znohitter 4/19/09 RR@IA

“The infield looked really good, particularly Blanco at SS.” Znohitter 4/24/09 ABQ@IA

Jake Fox

“Despite the wind, both the home runs for the I-Cubs were to the left of dead center. Jake Fox hit his to the left of the LF alley, and although it stalled, it cleared the fence with room to spare. On a calm day, it might have cleared the suites in LF. Fox looks too anxious at the plate, though. He was swinging for the fence at everything that looked close, and his swing looks too forced in a lot of cases. (Oddly enough, in the top of the 9th after he had switched to RF, he kept starting to trot to the dugout on any ball that might end the inning. Indicative, perhaps?)” znohitter 4/19/09 RR@IA

“[Fox’s] 2B in the 3rd would have been a HR at Wrigley (in the basket). It hit about 20 feet up the LF wall and went off the Cub Club windows. It was also through a 20mph wind.

" His K in the 5th was on a terrible call. The ball was about mid shin and hadn’t been called all day.” Andrew Snook 4/20/09

“Jake Fox grounded out 3 times and struck out once to end his hitting streak. “ znohitter 4/21/09 ABQ@IA

“Jake Fox had another off night, going 0-for-3 with a walk and 3 Ks. On the other hand, he is a very amicable guy, as several of us were bantering with him from the RF railing for a fair portion of the game. When I asked what he had changed to come out this year and whack the crap out of the ball, he grinned real big and shrugged. Somebody suggested that he would get a trip up when Fukudome was sent down, to which he seemed indifferent, but when it was posited that a more likely scenario was Bradley blowing out a knee, he nodded and grinned. He is not the fastest guy on the team, but he does have enough speed to get into foul territory to make a catch when he needs to, as was demonstrated in the 8th. I still have not seen him make any poor defensive plays in person, which leads me to believe that the criticism of his fielding is exaggerated somewhat.” Znohitter 4/24/09 ABQ@IA [Ed note: Yeah, Fukudome is going to get sent down. Baseball sure does change fast]

“Jake Fox can still rake—and duBois also holds his own—but they seem to be the proverbial AAAA players.”
Cubfever7 IA@NASH 4-26-09

Jason Dubois

“Dubois had trouble with the wind in LF, allowing one ball to drop when he went back too far; this led to at least one of the runs in the 4th and could have been ruled an error, IMHO. His HR was no doubt, though; on a calm day it would have been a 435 foot shot down the alley, but the wind pushed it to near dead center with just enough left to clear the fence.” Znohitter RR@IA 4/19/09

“Dubois did a great job running down a ball up against the LF foul wall in the 4th, managing both catching the ball and avoiding a faceplant into the wall.” Znohitter 4-24 ABQ @ IA

Mitch Atkins

“Atkins was very impressive, throwing five 1-2-3 innings (according to the scribbles on the back of this McDonald’s receipt, anyway). The only trouble he really got in was in the 4th, when he gave up both runs and three of his four hits. His fielding is also quite sharp; he made one very good stop on a liner back to the mound in the 3rd and either grabbed or knocked down everything else that came his way.” Znohitter RR@IA 4-19-09

Jason Waddell

“Waddell looked shaky in his two-thirds in the 8th. He got very lucky in having Matt Matulia (2B) get his glove on a sharp grounder and start the DP; otherwise, the inherited runner would have been in and, thanks to his walk, it would have been runners on the corners for the next batter too.” Znohitter RR@IA 4/19/09

“Waddell threw strikes as well. He gave up a single in the one inning I saw.” Andrew Snook 4/20/09 RR@IA

Chad Fox

“Chad Fox looked a little better. His walk came on a full count and could have gone either way, and the hit was right down the line and wound up in the bullpen bench, IIRC.”
Znohitter Round Rock at Iowa 4/19/09

“Chad Fox made the hitters he faced look flat out silly—they flailed away like a drunk at a piñata” cubfever7 IA@NASH 4/26/09

Jose Ascanio

“Jose Ascanio had control problems with his breaking stuff. Walked the P on 4 straight in a sac bunt situation. He walked the P again in the 5th. The pitcher scored both times.” Andrew Snook RR@IA 4/20/09

J. R. Mathes

“Mathes came in and immediately gave up a run-scoring single but he threw strikes.” Andrew Snook RR@IA 4/20/09

“Mathes is an interesting pitcher to watch. He’s a location lefty; I don’t think I saw more than 80 mph on the radar gun from him, but his off speed stuff drops down to below 60, and while he wasn’t dominant (only 2 Ks), he induced a lot of groundouts to short and managed to go six with only two hits.” Znohitter 4/24/09 ABQ@IA

Nate Spears

“Nate Spears looked really uncomfortable playing 3B and made a few mistakes that a natural 3B would not. [I-Cub manager Bobby] Dickerson was constantly positioning and repositioning him. Andrew Snook 4/20/09 RR@IA

Bobby Scales

“Bobby Scales caught a screamer at 3B during the 6th, and managed to get it over to 1B to double up the runner who was going.” Znohitter 4/34/09 ABQ@IA