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81 Cubs Minor Leaguers Punch Tickets to Mesa

81 Cubs minor leaguers will be reporting to the Cubs Under Armour Performance Center at Mesa Riverview Park over the next few days. 

57 of the players have been assigned to the "basic" (traditional) Cubs AZ Instructional League squad, 17 have been assigned to the "advanced" Instructs squad, and seven have been assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.  

2016 Post-Season Roster Eligibility

A club's Active List (25-man roster) must be submitted to the MLB Commissioner prior to the start of each post-season series (Wild Card game, LDS, LCS, and World Series).  

A club's Active List can be changed (tweaked) prior to the start of each series (LDS, LCS, and WS)

Trade Assignment Waiver Rules Are Now in Effect

Normally the deadline for "non-waiver" (unrestricted) trades is 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st. but because July 31st fell on a Sunday this year, the "non-waiver" trade deadline was extended one day (to 4 PM Eastern on August 1st) in 2016 (only). 

No trades can be made between 4 PM and 5 PM (Eastern) on July 31st (August 1st in 2016), and then beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on July 31st (August 1st in 2016) and extending through to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before players on MLB 40-man rosters can be traded. (Waivers are never required to trade a player on a minor league reserve list).  


Bad Blood Moon Rising Marinerates Over Mesa Riverview

17-year old Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Hermosillo, Mexico - $850K signing bonus) drilled a pinch-hit walk-off RBI single into the right-centerfield alley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Mariners 8-7 in AZL action Thursday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

18-year old Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) belted a two-run HR, a two-run single, and a double, and drew a walk and Yohan Matos tripled, singled, and walked and scored the game-winning run in the 10th to aid the Cubs cause. (Zamudio leads the AZL Cubs in HR, RBI, and SLG). 

The game featured a rare (for the AZL) bench-clearing skirmish at 2nd base in the bottom of the 7th inning. The bases were loaded with one out with the Cubs having already scored three times to take a 7-6 lead, when Ruben Reyes bounced into an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP. But Cubs baserunner Yohan Matos slid hard into Mariners SS Joseph Rosa while attempting to break-up the DP, and the two players came close to exchanging blows before other players pulled them apart. There was only one ejection resulting from the tete-a-tete, that being Mariners 1st base coach James Lofton. (Cubs Manager Carmelo Martinez was also ejected later in the game, but he got his while arguing balls & strikes in the bottom of the 9th). 

The last three innings of the game were somewhat tense as both benches alternately chanted, yelled, and jeered with every pitch (VERY unusual for an AZL game, which normally has the ambience of a public library), and the Mariners bench erupted with loud cheers of joy after Joseph Rizzo (Mariners 2016 2nd round draft pick - Oakton HS - Vienna, VA) laced a game-tying RBI triple into the RF corner on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the 9th to drive-in Anthony Jimenez (who had reached base after being hit by a pitch with two outs and nobody on base). But the Cubs were not to be outdone, as the entire team mobbed Paredes (who struck out five times in five AB versus the Mariners Wednesday night in Peoria) between 1st & 2nd after he delivered his game-winning hit... just before it started to rain.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only): 

Albertos Gives D'backs Plenty of Nothin' at Salt River Fields

RHSP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M signing bonus) hurled four innings of one-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts and Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick Michael Cruz (making his pro debut) belted an RBI double off the top of the right-centerfield fence (near HR) with two outs in the top of the 8th that drove-in the run that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game, as the AZL Cubs withstood a four-run 9th inning rally and edged the AZL Diamondbacks 5-4 in Arizona League action Wednesday night on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Strick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Besides the 8th inning RBI double, Cruz also was hit by a pitch (right shoulder) in his first pro AB, fouled a ball off his right instep in his second AB, and took a foul-tip off his right shoulder in the bottom of the 4th while working behind the plate (he caught all nine innings in 105+ degree heat). Welcome to pro ball. 

The 17-year old Albertos was masterful beyond his years in his four innings of work, staying ahead in the count (69% of his pitches were strikes) and mixing a 96-98 MPH fastball with a plus-change and an occasional curve to keep the opposing hitters off-balance. In fact, the Albertos change-up was so deceptive that one D'backs hitter injured his right knee (and had to leave the game) screwing himself into the ground on a swinging third strike trying in vain to hit one. The only hit off Albertos was a broken-bat line drive single over the third-baseman's head with two outs in the top of the 1st.

The AZL Diamondbacks were held to one hit (the first-inning broken-bat single) through the first eight innings of the game, but Kyle Smith (two-run double), Juan Araujo (RBI double), and Michael Branigan (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to the four-run 9th inning rally that fell a run short, as the potential tying and winning runs were left-stranded on the bases.

LHRP Jack Leathersich (ex-NYM) had another clean 1-2-3 inning (K, K, 6-3), as he continues to impress in his rehab from July 2015 TJS.    

Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only): 

AZL Cubs Five-Run 8th Tops AZL Brewers at Riverview

18-year old power-hitting C-1B Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) slugged a two-run home run over the LF fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard and speedy Luis Ayala belted a three-run inside-the-park home run into the right-centerfield alley two outs later, as the AZL Cubs rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th and defeat the AZL Brewers 5-3 in Arizona League (AZL) Opening Day action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

AZL Cubs LHP Yapson Gomez hurled three innings of perfect baseball in relief and picked-up the win. 

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) pitched the first inning for the AZL Cubs (14 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no runs and a single, with a strikeout and 1/1 GO/AO. 

19-year old RHP Erling Moreno (2013 IFA - Colombia - $650K signing bonus) was the scheduled starter for the AZL Cubs, but he ended-up piggy-backing the rehabber (Crow). Moreno worked five innings (77 pitches) and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits (five singles and a double), no walks, and an HBP, with three strikeouts and an 8/3 GO/AO.  

Brew Crew SP Nash Walters (Brewers 2015 3rd round pick - Lindale HS - Lindale, TX) threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts and Nicolas Pierre drove-in all three AZL Brewers runs with a third-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning two-run double.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):

Leathersich Impressive at Salt River Fields

RHSP Melvin Ovalles hurled three innings of shutout ball and combined with four relievers to toss a three-hitter and Kyle Smith (2016 NDFA - Vanderbilt) drilled an RBI double and later scored to highlight a two-run 4th, as the AZL Diamondbacks took a 3-0 lead and then held-on to edge the AZL Cubs 3-2 in AZL mini-camp pre-season game action Saturday night on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

The game was called by mutual-consent after seven innings of play. 

Ex-NYM LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) was unhittable in his one inning of work for the AZL Cubs, striking out the side (all three swinging).  

In AZL Cubs roster news, C-1B Michael Cruz (Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick - Bethune-Cookman) has arrived and he was in uniform at Salt River Fields, although he did not play in the game. Cruz was the first (and is apparently the only) 2016 draft pick signed by the Cubs (so far).  

Also, 16-year old SS Christopher Morel (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $800K signing bonus) has been added to the AZL Cubs roster. Morel suffered a severe laceration to his left arm last off-season that delayed his pro debut and he has been rehabbing at the UAPC for the last few months. He will provide temporary infield depth for the AZL Cubs until more draft picks arrive, and then he will be sent to the DSL.   

Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only): 

Joe Nathan Back in Action at Riverview Park

Luis Ayala tripled, walked twice. stole a base, and scored three runs, Jose Gonzalez belted a two-run triple, and Isaac Paredes smacked an RBI double for the AZL Cubs, and Kal Simmons singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, Mark Karaviotis (2016 19th round draft pick - U. of Oregon) collected three singles and an RBI, and RHP Jhoan Duran hurled four innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts for the AZL Diamondbacks, as the two teams played to a 4-4 tie in AZL mini-camp pre-season game action Friday evening on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Veteran RHRP Joe Nathan (on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL - April 2015 TJS) saw his first game action in 14 months, throwing a shutout inning (15 pitches) for the AZL Cubs (6-3, 1-3, 1B-CS).  Nathan is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL on July 16th, and barring a medical setback, he should be ready to join the Cubs bullpen by that date. 

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (on the AAA Iowa Cubs 7-day DL - April 2015 TJS) returned to action after being shut-down on May 10th while warming up for an EXST rehab appearance versus the Giants in Scottsdale, and he also threw a shutout inning (18 pitches) for the AZL Cubs (K, F-9, 1B-CS).   

RHSP Tyler Wagner (on AAA Reno 7-day DL) got the start for the AZL Diamondbacks and worked three innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple) and a walk (and two WP).

RHRP Evan Marshall (also on AAA Reno 7-day DL) followed Wagner to the hill and tossed a 1-2-3 4th inning (5-3, 6-3, 4-3), before Duran came into the game and shut the AZL Cubs down (retiring the last eight men he faced in a row, five on punch-outs).  

Besides Karaviotis at DH, LF Myles Babitt (2016 25th round pick - Cal State East Bay) and 2016 NDFA SS Adam Walton (U. of Illinois) were in the AZL Diamondbacks starting lineup. (The Diamondbacks have already signed 25 of their 40 2016 draft picks plus two NDFA, and nine of them have reported to Salt River Fields and the other 18 are on the active rosters at Hillsboro and Missoula). But a week after the draft, there are no Cubs 2016 draft picks (or NDFA) on the field at Riverview Park or at Eugene, and only one (7th round pick C Michael Cruz) has reportedly signed (and it isn't even official yet).  

AZL Opening Day is this coming Monday (6/20), and RHP Erling Moreno will get the start for the AZL Cubs versus the AZL Brewers. It is supposed to be somewhere near 120 degrees in the Valley of the Sun over the next couple of days, so I'm expecting a hot time in the old ballpark Monday night.

Here is the abridged box score from Friday night's game (AZL Cubs players only), followed by the updated AZL Cubs roster: 


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  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 5 hours 50 min ago view
  • crunch 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 11 hours 25 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs

    link

    Arizona Phil 23 hours 39 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 1 day 5 hours ago view