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dominican flagStudious observers like BN’er Kyle have been asking for a little while now: where is Juan Carlos Paniagua?

The Cubs’ top international signee in 2012, and one of the better pitching prospects in the system, Paniagua has been out of sight so far this year at Spring Training. No one has expressed any concern about it – it’s not on an operating table somewhere – but he’s not in Arizona.

So where is he?

Still in the Dominican Republic, according to Ben Badler. Paniagua successfully received his work visa to enter into the United States last year after signing, but this time around the U.S. Consolate is asking for additional paperwork, including some for his younger siblings, according to Badler. (Is the implication there that the Consolate wants to make sure Paniagua isn’t posing as one of his younger siblings? I’m guessing so.)

You may recall that Paniagua, 22(ish), was twice signed before by teams whose deals with Paniagua were voided because of questions about his name/age/paperwork/etc. The Cubs felt confident enough that, this time, everything was in order, and took a chance on signing Paniagua to a $1.5 million bonus.

Badler goes on to explain that U.S. Consolate personnel in the Dominican Republic just rotated this year, and this is the first Spring Training with that new personnel in place. So, there’s probably a learning curve for both the personnel and Dominican citizens who are looking to come to the United States for baseball. And, in a case like Paniagua’s, where there’s already a history of document issues, you can understand why there might be a closer look.

Hopefully this is merely a delay, and everything will be sorted out shortly. Even if it’s just a delay, Paniagua is already missing development time (though I’m sure he’s been staying in shape), and may now have to stick in extended Spring Training for a while before finally joining a minor league squad.

  • JR

    WTF, it’s always something.

    • Spriggs

      Incredible, isn’t it?

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

    “studious observer” is a very nice way of saying “WTH Kyle, get a life. Seriously.”

  • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

    Obviously, the Cubs will need to evaluate where he is pitching-wise, but I sure hope he’s been throwing in the Cubs’ DR complex.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m sure he has been. But, yeah, there’s going to be a lot to do when he shows up state-side. Evaluation, tweaking, instruction, etc.

  • Spriggs

    Thanks for the info, Brett. I can stop searching for him at Fitch Park now. Plus I don’t have to look at all the puzzled faces when I try to pronounce his name.

    • JulioZuleta

      pon-ee-AH-Gwa

  • Rebuilding

    That’s too bad. On the pitching side of things he’s probably the guy I wanted to see the most this spring

    • Boogens

      Agreed. No real basis for this but I am as hopeful for his development as I am for Pierce Johnson.

  • Stevie B

    Take offense if need be, but damn…are we going to have any American players on our team after the next year or so? Right now it’s Castro, Castillo, Valbuena, and soon to be Baez. Add Paniagua, Vizciano, Marmol…etc etc etc
    I completely understand the Caribbean talent is overwhelming…just seems like a tidal wave.
    Here’s hoping Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, Dan Volgelbach, and Logan Watkins eat their Wheaties.

    • Eric

      You mean White. Because anyone can be an American.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

        It’s a good thing he listed Paul Blackburn in there, giving him just enough plausible deniability to let it slide.

        • Matt G (not garza)

          Are you thinking of Duane Underwood here?

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

            Apparently. Google Image Search needs to get its ish together.

            • Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

              May the “black” in Blackburn got you a little confused. :)

            • Whiteflag

              The word black in his last name probably threw you off. It does look like about half the club won’t be American born. Who cares though.

              • hansman1982

                Give me 25 penguins from Antarctica if it means we win the world series.

        • JulioZuleta

          Huh, google imags threw me off too. I thought Blackburn was black as well, not that any of it matters. Stevie, that one Rizzo guy should be around for a while, if that makes you feel any better. Baez and Almora are both Americans, as well. I don’t know that anyone would take offense to that comment necessarily, but it’s not really one worth making. Especially when your use of the word “American” really just means “white person.”

          • Edwin

            Rizzo? You mean that traitor who played for team Italy? (Joking of course).

            • JulioZuleta

              Yeah, Rizzo <3's Mussolini. Damn Eye-talians. I loved Rizzo's comment that he was really confused when asked to be on Team Italy because he's never been there.

          • JulioZuleta

            Also, Darwin Barney, Dave Sappelt, David DeJesus, James Russell, Matt Garza, Samardzija, and several others.

            • Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

              There is no way a guy named Garza or Samardzija can be American.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I’ve known many Native Americans, and none of them are white.

        • hansman1982

          I’m 1/16th Native American and I’m white…

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Well, I’ve never actually met you….

            • hansman1982

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I’m clever.

    • MichiganGoat

      Guessing you’re still upset that Jackie Robinson got to play baseball, hmmm

      • BluBlud

        I think he just offended me. ;)

      • Cubbie Blues

        I bet his favorite Manager of all time is Whitey Herzog.

        • hansman1982

          Whitey Ford for greatest pitcher ever!

    • JR

      Who give a shit Stevie B. I could care less if every player on the Cubs was from Mars if they made the Cubs a contendor finally. All your comment is going to do is get people worked up. Come on now…

      • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

        I’m with JR.

        • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

          The DR just SWEPT the WBC! Maybe there is talent in that place? Unless your MARGE SHOT, talent should come before race… Jeez are we really having this discussion in BN?

      • Misuser use of Hyperbelanalogy (BluBlud)

        I prefer my prospects be from Jupiter. I heard players from mars have a hard time adjust to the American Culture..

        • JR

          Good point Blu. For whatever reason though dudes from Jupiter seem to have serious Visa issues when they work with the U.S. Consolate:)

          • Kev

            Having said that, if you can hit a baseball on Jupiter, that’s much more impressive than being able to hit on Mars, since Jupiter’s gravity is six times stronger than Mars.

            I don’t know how you’d play ball on Jupiter, exactly, since there’d be nothing to stand on, but damn, those players would probably tear it up on other planets.

      • Justen

        I’ve heard there are some obscure prospects in the remote areas of Uranus. It is a risk though because a good amount of them turn out to be pretty shitty.

        • DarthHater

          Players from Uranus stink.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          That joke works only if you miss pronounce the planet (it’ “your-in-us,” not “your-ay-nus”). However, that does leave you with a world of urine jokes from which to choose, so all is not lost.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Thank goodness all is not “Lost”. We would never understand anything that is going on. ;)

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Right, so from now on, the players smell sort of moldy and they remind you of grandpa’s old couch for some reason. Or my dog finds that player unusually interesting. Etc., etc.: the fun just never ends!

          • Edwin

            One of my favorite jokes from Futurama was when they re-named Uranus to Urectum.

          • DarthHater

            Thanks, “Miss Pronounce.” :-P

          • DarthHater

            Anyway, dictionaries still list both pronunciations as acceptable, so it is incorrect to say that the anus pronunciation is simply wrong, even if it is poo-pooed these days (ha-ha-ha-ha!).

            And the anus jokes are less tortuous than urine jokes and funnier for those of us stalled at an emotional age of nine. :-D

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8516/8598360344_7a66079055_b.jpg[/img]

        • Cubbie Blues

          They just throw too many balls.

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        I don’t know, all those aliens lost to Michaal Jordan, I don’t think they’re good athletes.

  • Eric

    Once Vizciano starts rehabbing, Vogelbach starts playing with regularity and Panniagua gets here it will get a tad bit more exciting.

  • JJ

    Not to pile on, but Baez is an American citizen (by birth, if it matters).

  • Stevie B

    I don’t give two craps what color a person is (my last name is Brown!!!) I love the Jackson signing…He is going to be a great addition…. Dawson was one of my alltime fav Cubs.
    I almost feel like screaming…I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!! ala Jerry Maguire…
    I SHOULD have said, I wish we didn’t have to import so many players.
    There, does that satisfy any of you???

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Mr. Know It All (Kyle)

      It’s just awfully coincidental that your list of “I hope these prospects pan out” didn’t include a single one of our exceptional, American non-white prospects.

      • hansman1982

        [img]http://flyopia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/aliens-meme-generator-300×262.jpg[/img]

        There is a much better cartoon I have in mind…maybe I will have to create it.

        • DarthHater

          I hope so. That “cartoon” really sucked. :-P

    • Edwin

      Sure, although I still don’t see your point. What is wrong with having players from other countries, as opposed to American born citizens? Some of the most productive Cubs players from the past decade have been from other countries: Soriano, Ramirez, Zambrano, Sosa, Dempster, Soto. If anything, it is a sign of how popular baseball has become on a worldwide stage, and how MLB is the most competative league in the world. I think it’d be hubris to think that America should be always be able to produce the best baseball talent.

      • Stevie B

        Edwin,

        Very good summation. Again, the point I’m failing miserably to make is….that if given the choice, I’d prefer to not have to rely so heavily on imported talent.
        How about this…would you prefer to have American auto makers make a quality, dependable, affordable automobile and not have so many Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, or KIA’s on the road?
        Yes, I know most are made here in the US…but you should get my point.
        All you jackasses calling me racist…get a life. I make a valid point, get over it.

        • Edwin

          I’d prefer to buy the highest quality automobile I can afford, whether it be made in Detroit, Japan, or Europe. I’d love for America to be the best at everything, but I don’t think that’s always realistic. If America makes the best automobile for me, I’ll buy American, and be happy to do so. If Honda makes a better car, I’ll buy the Honda.

          I understand your point, it’s just that personally I don’t get that much more marginal enjoyment out of a player just because they’re American born.

          But I understand why it’s nice to have a player on your favorite team who you feel you can somehow relate to, or take national/regional pride in. I’m sure part of the reason why the Twins like Joe Mauer so much is that he’s from Minnesota, and is a “Homegrown” hero.

        • Bilbo161

          You are not racist. PC believers are just too thin skinned. Just wait and see what happens when you miss spell something or God forbid, forget how to punctuate!

          Now if Soler could just be the next Hawk! That would make everyone happy.

      • spencer

        Strasburg, Harper, trout, rizzo, stanton, verlander, i could go on all day…

    • TWC

      Translation: “I’m not a racist! I’m just a raging nativist!”

      • Edwin

        Like in Gangs of New York? Daniel Day Lewis is the shit.

      • DarthHater

        1908 World Series champion Chicago Cubs:

        [img]http://www.fun.downloadaneh.com/upload/b6e0f0e4e2b3b15adf01111d94c2e09d.jpg[/img]

        • TWC

          I gotta get pants like those guys have. Top frackin’ notch, man.

          • DarthHater

            It’s an ensemble, man. Gotta wear the whole package, or it just doesn’t work.

          • hansman1982

            Where’d you get your pants from…

            eh, I’m tired of quoting Anchorman.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          huh, looks like a Doctor Who fan convention to me…..

    • BluBlud

      Wow, Dude, your comment was not all that serious to start with. I understood exactly what you were saying. I like to see American born players also. It’S no big deal. You don’t have to scream, “I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE.” Maybe you could have worded a little better to sastify the sensitive people, but it’s cool.

    • Eric

      Even if you were born in America, some day, in the distant past, one of your great great grandparents were in the same boat as Soler, Panniagua, etc. . In that they immigrated here, and we accepted them with open arms. Because we are America.

      • Eric

        Well except in the case of the white settlers, who pretty much just conquered America.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          [img]http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/30029_128081713880281_8156272_n.jpg[/img]

  • daveyrosello

    Geez, outrageous outrage from outraged, douchy bloggers on some topic du jour, imagine that. This time, faux racism! Eleventy!! Countdown to Godwin’s Law in 3, 2, 1…….

    • DarthHater

      There you go trying to restrict the content of discussion – just like Hitler. :-P

      • daveyrosello

        Lulz. The bait was so tasty, no?

    • TWC

      You new to the internet, davey?

  • Kev

    Can everybody PLEASE just start calling him by his translated name? From now on, Juan Carlos Paniagua will be referred to as: John-Chuck Bread-n-Water

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