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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  • Oh my! Cards down 2-1 to Reds in the bottom of the 9th -- get a leadoff triple -- and don't score!

    billybucks 3 hours 11 min ago view
  • Gameday has stopped at the top of the 8th inning. Google tells me it ended up 8-4 Pirates but I can't get further detail. Guess I'll have to wait until the Cubs' website updates...

    JoePepitone 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 4 hours 30 min ago view
  • Phil, thanks for posting. Where do find the schedule? I have a condo in Surprise, yet I drove to Mesa and Tempe looking for a game today! Thanks!

    rvimpeny 4 hours 31 min ago view
  • Dear Baseball Gods--
    My trip to Chicago has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cubs. In actuality, I am a Red Sox fan.
    Sincerely,
    CTSteve

    CTSteve 4 hours 32 min ago view
  • Well, if Strop had to give up a run...at least he hit Sean Rodriguez to do it.

    billybucks 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • strop...stawwwp.

    jaso has a cycle and 5 rbis...pit leads by 4.

    crunch 4 hours 52 min ago view
  • have a nice bowl of pizza soup deep dish pizza...or a leisurely walk around the notorious south-side (bring money)...shopping at one of the walmart supercenters...waiting in line to waste $20 at willis tower...

    seriously, though...it's chicago, a lot to do. have a dog for lunch, a great dinner, and catch some local comedy.

    crunch 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • Strange, because he really seemed to have the Pirates number last year.

    Bummer for Jake -- I think this is the first time all year his ERA has been over 3.00, and that will be his number for the year.

    billybucks 5 hours 3 min ago view
  • Jinx remover -- your trip doesn't have to be for a baseball game -- lots of stuff to do here in town.

    billybucks 5 hours 5 min ago view
  • Guess they could always try to White Sox (and Bears...sob) approach: Never Rebuild! Seems to work pretty well for them.

    billybucks 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • 3rd time this season he's given up 6+ runs to PIT...only team he's given up 6+ runs to this season.

    7 runs is the most he's given up since august 6th in colorado...in 2014.

    crunch 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • Over 100 pitches, only the 5th.

    Brick 5 hours 39 min ago view
  • coghlan out...got his cleats stuck in the wall attempting a play (failed, but looked great doing it). walking off on his own, precautionary/day-to-day looking stuff...hopefully not worse.

    also, jake arrieta is literally worse than hitler. 1-5, bottom 5. ...make that 1-6, bottom 5. ...make that 1-7, bottom 5.

    crunch 5 hours 40 min ago view
  • Coghlan crashes into wall and comes up limping, looks like left knee or ankle. Leaves game...

    Arrieta inspiring no confidence yet again.

    Rob G. 5 hours 46 min ago view
  • from a sun-times article that I won't link to so you don't have to bear the ad-loading that will crush your browser

    When he left Boston after nine years as general manager, Epstein said he believed in the philosophy espoused by legendary football coach Bill Walsh: essentially that 10 years is a natural shelf life for a high-stress job.

    Rob G. 5 hours 48 min ago view