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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  • QuietMan 10 hours 49 min ago view
  • Javy's grunge dive into the stands for the popup was awesome - the hitting into the double play not so much

    Eric S 11 hours 18 min ago view
  • Third time I've tried to post this (forgive me if it winds up appearing three times)

    Junior Lake, batting 9th and playing RF for the Blue Jays...

    Transmission 11 hours 30 min ago view
  • *That was a fun HALF inning.

    Brick 12 hours 35 min ago view
  • this game is no longer awesome.

    crunch 12 hours 35 min ago view
  • he did...it was awesome.

    crunch 12 hours 44 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure that Len called Bryant's home run a Brexit.

    Old and Blue 12 hours 45 min ago view
  • everyone but heyward with a hit and a 3 run lead with coghlan on 3rd through 5 batters. hell yeah.

    okay, this is just silly. 19 pitches in, 1 out, 4 runs in, men on 1st and 2nd...hendricks up to bunt.

    ...and almora contributes the final out. that was a fun inning.

    crunch 12 hours 48 min ago view
  • this game is awesome already.

    also, there's a lot of cubs fans in the park tonight.

    crunch 12 hours 56 min ago view
  • Clearly, Joe Maddon is a Lineup Wizzard.

    Transmission 12 hours 56 min ago view
  • "Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."

    crunch 14 hours 19 min ago view
  • Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.

    Old and Blue 15 hours 35 min ago view
  • how many pairs of dice did dusty leave hidden around the park when he left the cubs?

    crunch 16 hours 29 min ago view
  • Line-up shakeup, going all-2015 with pitcher batting 8th, Bryant 2nd

    J-Hey, Bryant 1B, Zobrist, Willson, Coghlan, Baez 3B, Russell, Hendricks, Almora

    Eric S 16 hours 53 min ago view
  • The Cubs are currently down Schwarber, Fowler, Soler, and Rizzo and Montero appear to be day-to-day. Maybe not surprising that they are struggling a bit as they rely more than expected on Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, and Szczur to provide offensive value.

    Charlie 19 hours 33 min ago view
  • Joe: "I loved the way we brought it today, man. We'll take this every night and win a lot of ballgames like that. Losing 4 in a row...that's nothin'."

    The E-Man 1 day 10 hours ago view