Results tagged ‘ Alberto Cabrera ’
The Smokies return slugger Justin Bour. (Photo by Rodger Wood)
Coming off of a 2011 Florida State League title, many believed the Tennessee Smokies were destined to repeat in 2012. But that didn’t happen, as the team hovered around .500 for much of the year, finishing 72-68.
This year’s Smokies might not have the hype of the 2012 squad, but after retaining 17 players and adding a few highly touted prospects, a league title could again be in their sights.
The 2013 offense is fronted by a few key returnees in Justin Bour and Matt Szczur. Bour, a 24-year-old first baseman, was the rock in the middle of the order last season, hitting .283/.360/.455 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 17 homers and a franchise-record 110 driven in. If he’s not moved up, he could near that RBI total again, especially considering Szczur and newcomer Arismendy Alcantara will bat ahead of him in the lineup.
Former fifth-round pick Szczur was all over Single-A hitting before his call-up last season. Though he struggled at Double-A (.210/.285/.357 in 35 games), he performed well in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .264 and drawing 14 walks in 105 at-bats. He also stole nine bases.
The 21-year-old Alcantara was promoted after a stellar 2012 in Daytona, where he hit .302/.339/.447 with 13 doubles and swiped 25 bags. The versatile infielder will likely line up at short, and he’s a tough out at the plate.
Alberto Cabrera is a Tennessee newcomer who will head a rotation that features three returnees. The 24-year-old Cabrera pitched in relief for the first time in his career last season and reached the majors, where he went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 21.2 innings. Eric Jokisch, Dae-Eun Rhee, Dallas Beeler and call-up Kyle Hendricks round out the starting staff.
Buddy Bailey returns to manage the Smokies, who play Friday night at 7 p.m. CST. Here’s the roster Bailey will have to work with to start season:
Frank Batista RHP
Dallas Beeler RHP
Alberto Cabrera RHP
Marcus Hatley RHP
Kyle Hendricks RHP
Eric Jokisch LHP
Trey McNutt RHP
A.J. Morris RHP
Kevin Rhoderick RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee RHP
Zach Rosscup LHP
Brian Schlitter RHP
Tony Zych RHP
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs agreed to terms with all 21 pre-arbitration eligible players currently on the organization’s 40-man roster Monday. Terms were not disclosed.
Right-handed pitchers Michael Bowden, Alberto Cabrera, Rafael Dolis, Trey McNutt, Hector Rondon, Arodys Vizcaino and Robert Whitenack; and lefties Brooks Raley, Chris Rusin and Travis Wood were all signed to new deals.
Catchers Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger; infielders Darwin Barney, Junior Lake, Anthony Rizzo, Christian Villanueva, Josh Vitters and Logan Watkins; and outfielders Brett Jackson, Dave Sappelt and Matt Szczur also earned updated contracts.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Steve Clevenger’s play at the start of 2012 definitely opened some eyes
He was named to the Cubs’ 25-man roster when the club broke camp, beating out the highly touted Welington Castillo for the backup catcher position behind Geovany Soto. Then the rookie started April going 11-for-22 with five doubles before injuries set him back for the rest of the season. Clevenger finished the year hitting .201 in 215 plate appearances.
In the offseason, the Cubs went out and got a former All-Star in Dioner Navarro to back up Castillo in 2013. Though both catcher spots are already accounted for, Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been looking for ways to get Clevenger more at-bats, even if it means putting the catcher at different positions around the infield.
A seventh round pick in 2006, the 26-year-old Clevenger was selected as an infielder and didn’t switch exclusively to catcher until 2009. He spent much of his time at first base, but also played second and occasionally third. While he’ll be in the lineup as a catcher on Monday when the Cubs host Cleveland, don’t be surprised to see him logging some innings at first this spring, with the hopes of being the squad’s backup first baseman, third catcher and left-handed bat off the bench.
Alberto Cabrera will get the start Monday. It will mark his second appearance of the spring. In his first appearance last week, he went 2.2 innings, surrendering two earned runs and striking out three. The organization appears high on the 24-year-old, who will likely try his luck as a starter in Triple-A to begin the season. In 21.2 innings of major league ball in 2012, the Dominican native had a 5.40 ERA, but struck out 27 batters.
First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 CST, and the game will be webcast at cubs.com. The Indians will be sending Zach McAllister to the hill. Here is the Cubs full batting order:
SS Luis Valbuena
CF Darnell McDonald
RF Scott Hairston
LF Alfonso Soriano
C Steve Clevenger
3B Junior Lake
1B Brad Nelson
DH Jorge Soler
2B Logan Watkins
Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt was one of the top performers in the Venezuelan league this winter (Photo by Stephen Green).
Winter league regional play finally came to a conclusion last night as Magallanes fended off Luis Valbuena and his Lara squad to win the Venezuelan title and claim the final spot in the Caribbean Series. The offseason leagues were an opportunity for players to rack up a few more innings of experience while still competing at a high level. Many of the Cubs took advantage of the opportunity, and some excelled in their respective leagues. Below is a list of Cubs representatives who fared well this winter.
Michael Bowden: Pitching for the Aguilas Cibaenas, Bowden posted a 2.76 ERA in 32.2 innings of work. He earned a 3-2 record and struck out 35 batters.
Alberto Cabrera: Playing for the Toros del Este, the Dominican native was used more frequently in the postseason. In 19.2 innings and four starts, Cabrera went 1-1 with a 0.92 ERA, fanning 15 batters and walking just six. He surrendered two earned runs in the playoffs.
Junior Lake: Representing the Estrellas de Oriente, Lake tore apart opposing pitchers, finishing with a line of .312/.382/.474 (AVG/OBP/SLG). The infielder was one of the Cubs’ top performers, hitting five homers, driving in 24 and stealing 11 bases in 154 at-bats.
Nelson Perez: A teammate of Lake’s in the Dominican, Perez was often utilized as a bat off the bench. In 84 at-bats, he compiled a .443 on-base percentage, drawing 29 walks and driving in 21. The Estrellas made the playoffs but were eliminated in the round robin portion.
Esmailin Caridad: The lone Cubs representative who will be participating in the Caribbean Series, Caridad was a solid bullpen arm this winter. In 42.0 innings during the regular season, the righty had a 2.57 ERA, struck out 49 and walked 12.
Jay Jackson: Jackson put up consistent numbers for the Venados de Mazatlan, posting a 3.86 ERA in 49.0 innings of work. The righty went 3-2 and struck out 34 batters over 10 starts.
Yoanner Negrin: In 12 starts for the Leones del Caracas, Negrin was tough to beat. Not a huge strikeout guy (38 K in 58.2 innings), the righty still managed a 2.61 ERA and a 4-1 record.
Dave Sappelt: Sappelt was another elite player this winter. In 116 at-bats, the outfielder put up a .336/.378/.526 line, belting five home runs and five doubles. He also stole five bases and drove in 15.
Luis Valbuena: One of the top performers in all the winter leagues, Valbuena powered his Cardenales de Lara side all the way to the Venezuelan championship. The Cardenales were eliminated last night, losing 11-9 in a back-and-forth Game 7 affair. During the regular season, the Cubs infielder hit .306/.414/.497 with 39 RBI in 183 at-bats. He also drew 34 walks. All of those totals were good enough for top 10 in the league. In the postseason, he hit .341 and drove in 21 in 91 at-bats.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Alberto Cabrera had a career year in 2012, his first as a full-time reliever. So perhaps it’s only natural the Cubs want to give him another shot at starting.
That’s because the team saw several different pitchers emerge as Cabrera climbed from Tennessee to Iowa to Chicago. In 21 big league innings, he showed a surprisingly lights-out slider. Meanwhile, in the minors, he showed good feel for a change-up that later went unused. This all complements his mid-90s heat. At just 24 and with the team searching for upper-level arms, Cabrera could become a power starter if he truly does have command of all three pitches.
In the Dominican playoffs, the right-hander pitched four scoreless innings on Wednesday, scattering six hits, striking out seven and walking none. But the effort wasn’t enough, as his Toros del Este fell 4-3 and were eliminated from the playoffs.
Cabrera got off to a fast start, retiring the side in order in the first inning behind two strikeouts. He started the second with another strikeout, but then loaded the bases after a pair of singles and a hit batsman. Cabrera worked out of the jam, striking out Fernando Tatis and getting former Cub Henry Blanco to pop out to end the threat.
After surrendering a single to lead off the third, he struck out the side. In his final inning, Cabrera surrendered a bunt single to start off the frame, but started a double play on the next batter. Willy Aybar and Tatis both singled, but Blanco made the third out on a ground ball to the first baseman.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
There are always players likely to start the season in Triple-A who are seen as replaceable or who are simply holding a spot for a prospect in the wings. Then there’s Alberto Cabrera.
The 24-year-old righty has been a potential piece of the Cubs’ future since they signed him in July 2005. The hard thrower has a fastball that reaches 94 miles per hour with a low 80s slider. Prior to the organization going out and obtaining four big league starting pitchers this offseason, there was talk that Cabrera could compete for one of the rotation spots in 2013. Now, he’ll more than likely get everyday starts in Triple-A Iowa to begin the year.
Last season, the Dominican native threw exclusively out of the bullpen, splitting time in Tennessee, Iowa and Chicago. In the minors last year, he went 4-1 with a 3.11 ERA in 55.0 innings, striking out 74 and walking just 14. Cabrera saw a lot of action in 25 games (21.2 IP) after an August call-up. Despite a 5.40 ERA, the front office fully expects him to return to the major league level in the near future. He could likely fill a bullpen role in 2013, but the Cubs are interested in seeing what the talented righty can do in the starting rotation.
Cabrera opted to play limited winter ball this offseason and finished the Dominican regular season with solid numbers. In 14.1 innings, he recorded a 3.14 ERA and fanned 20 batters for the Toros del Este.
The Toros dropped a playoff matchup against Estrellas on Thursday despite Cabrera’s strong effort. The Cubs prospect surrendered no earned runs and scattered five hits over 5.1 innings, walking two and striking out one.
Other notes around the Caribbean:
Nelson Perez recorded a pair of hits for the Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican league.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Despite Alberto Cabrera‘s impressive finish to the 2012 season, the Cubs have said they plan to start him in Triple-A this season to see if they can stretch him out as a starter. The 24-year-old pitcher, who complements a mid-90s fastball with an effective slider, showed a promising arm in his first stint with the Cubs last year, posting a 5.40 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.
Cabrera turned some heads Sunday in his first winter start in his native Dominican. The 6-foot-4 right-hander logged four hitless innings, racking up 10 strikeouts and six walks, as the Toros del Este beat the Leones del Escogido 8-6 to snap a six-game losing streak. In six appearances this winter, five in relief, Cabrera has posted a 3.14 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 13 walks in 14.1 innings.
Cubs lefty Jeffry Antigua struggled for the Toros in the same game, giving up two earned runs in one-third of an inning. His ERA now stands at 5.24 in 22.1 innings.
Other highlights around the Caribbean:
Cubs infielder Junior Lake continued to crush the ball this winter, powering the Estrellas past the Gigantes 5-3 with a fifth-inning grand slam. Lake is hitting .324/.394/.493 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in the Dominican with five home runs and 23 RBI.
Right-handed reliever Ty’Relle Harris pitched a scoreless inning with one srikeout and no walks for the Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico. In two appearances (2.0 IP), Harris has a 0.00 ERA with three strikeouts and no walks.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Cubs reliever Michael Bowden told Vine Line in August that he was excited about playing baseball this winter in the Dominican Republic.
“I love the opportunity of getting to go to new places and seeing what it’s like and learning a new culture, so I think it’s a great experience and I’m looking forward to it,” Bowden said. “And I get to play some ball.”
While Bowden will likely be coming out of the bullpen for either the Cubs or Triple-A Iowa in 2013, his Dominican squad—Aguilas Cibaenas—has made the 26-year-old a regular in their rotation. In five starts, the Winfield, Ill., native has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.92 ERA in 20.2 innings. And five of his nine earned runs allowed this winter came in one outing.
Bowden was clicking on Monday, as he went 5.1 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. The effort was good enough to earn the righty a win in a 6-4 decision.
Other highlights around Caribbean:
Alberto Cabrera came on in relief for Toros del Este of the Dominican league. He pitched four innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out three.
Infielder Junior Lake finished the day 2-for-5 with a walk in a 7-5 loss for Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican league.
The leagues in Puerto Rico and Venezuela were off Monday.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Whether you’re all about the tryptophan-induced football coma or you prefer bowling away the holidays with your family, we’ve got a bonus, Thanksgiving-themed edition of Cubsgrafs for you.
Let’s define a new toy stat—a “turkey”—based on the nickname given when a bowler rolls three strikes in a row. For baseball, we’ll tally a turkey each time a pitcher records a three-pitch strikeout. The results for the 2012 season, limited to Cubs with at least 20 innings, are below.
So who are the Cubs’ 2012 turkey champions? The answers may surprise you.
It turns out three relievers—Scott Maine, Shawn Camp and Alberto Cabrera—stood above the rest with more than 6 percent turkeys per batter faced. But it’s Camp who deserves special recognition for being so efficient with the strikeouts he did rack up. Nearly four out of every 10 of his K’s took the minimum three pitches. It turns out that, while Camp may have been a fair bit below the team’s average strikeout rate, he also had the bullpen’s highest strike percentage (64%). It’s a definite boost for the Cubs that they’ve re-signed Camp for 2013.
Similarly, Travis Wood may have been only average with his strikeout rate, but he established himself as the rotation’s leader in three-pitch K’s. He and fellow lefty Paul Maholm were pretty efficient when they did rack up strikeouts, while the actual K kings Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster were a little less direct to the end goal.
Now, there’s not much reason to think that’s a bad thing. Many times you want a pitcher to bury his secondary offerings and get batters to chase. But for tonight’s feast, we’ll hand out the drumsticks to Camp and Wood and let the rest work their way through some sides first.
Alberto Cabrera pitched a pair of scoreless innings for Toros del Este Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Estrellas de Oriente went more than the distance Tuesday in a 6-5, sixteen-inning win over Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League. The almost seven-hour game finally ended when Juan Diaz singled to left in the top of the 16th, scoring Jonathan Galvez. A pair of Cubs prospects played a role in the win.
Nelson Perez‘s on-base percentage jumped when he reached base in five of his eight at-bats. The Double-A outfielder went 1-for-4 and drew four walks. He’s hitting .244 with a .385 OBP on the season. Dominican teammate Junior Lake went 1-for-7 with an RBI single in the seventh.
Another pair of Cubs arms played for Toros del Este Tuesday. Major league reliever Alberto Cabrera made his second appearances of the Dominican season, going two innings, surrendering no runs on two hits, and striking out four in a Toros loss. Jeffry Antigua pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out two.
Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt hit his first homer of the Venezuelan season, a two-run shot to center. He finished the day 1-for-5 in a 12-2 Bravos de Margarita win.
In other Venezuelan action, Luis Valbuena had a pair of hits, including a double, in a 6-5 loss for Cardenales de Lara.
In Mexico, Esmailin Caridad pitched a scoreless eighth in a 3-0 win for Yaquis de Obregon.