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): 

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  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 22 min 9 sec ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 10 hours 7 min ago view
  • I. Hate. The. Mets.

    billybucks 10 hours 35 min ago view
  • OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.

    Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.

    billybucks 10 hours 35 min ago view
  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 10 hours 42 min ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 10 hours 45 min ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 10 hours 53 min ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 11 hours 4 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 11 hours 10 min ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 11 hours 11 min ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 11 hours 20 min ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 11 hours 29 min ago view