AZL Cubs

Cubs Take Two from D'backs at Talking Stick

P. J. Higgins belted a two-run HR, a double, and a single, Roberto Caro reached base six times (a double, an RBI single, three walks, and an E-6), stole a base, and scored a run, Andruw Monasterio singled twice, walked, and scored three runs, and Enrique de los Rios tossed 4.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball, as the AZL Cubs pounded the AZL Diamondbacks 12-1 in the completion of a game suspended on July 5th, and Angelo Amendolare doubled, singled, and drove-in two runs and Jose Paniagua clubbed a two-run home run to lead the AZL Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the AZL Diamondbacks in the regularly-scheduled game that followed, in Arizona League action Tuesday night on Whilrlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Sciottsdale, AZ. 

The Cubs - Diamonbacks AZL game on July 5th at Whirlwind Field was suspended in the top of the 1st inning with one out and the Cubs leaduing 3-0 due to a medical enmergency. A person attending the game suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest, and the game was halted while the Cubs & D'backs trainers performed emergency CPR until Salt River Fire Dept paramedics arrived. Unfortunately, the person could not be resuscitated, and so AZL Cubs Manager Carmelo Martinez, AZL Diamondbacks Manager Mike Benjamin, and the two umpires met at home plate and decided it would be best to just suspend the game and send everybody home. The players, managers, coaches, umpires, scouts, and many of the spectators who were there that night knew the person who very suddenly passed away in front of their eyes, and so it really wasn't possible to continue playing the game that night. 

Even the completion of the suspended game once it got going again last night was further delayed another 25 minutes in the fourth inning after the home plate umpire took a foul tip off his mask and had to leave the game with concussion symptoms. So while the players, managers and coaches were basically just standing around, the base umpire hurried back to his car to retrieve his home plate umpire gear, and then he disappeared into the Diamondbacks clubhouse to change into the outfit (which took even more time), after-which he umpired the game by himself (from behind home plate) for the final five innings (and nobody gave him any shit, either). .   

Here is the abridged box score from the suspended game from July 5th that was completed last night (Cubs players only) 

Brewers Whitewash Cubs at Sloan Park

Trent Clark (Brewers 2015 1st round draft pick - Richland HS - North Richland Hills, TX) tripled and scored, walked twice, stole two bases, and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and RHSP Miguel Diaz and three relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the AZL Brewers blanked the AZL Cubs 4-0 in Arizona League action Sunday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

Javy Baez (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL - broken left ring finger) continued his AZL rehab, playing shortstop for seven innings and batting three times: 

Baez Helps AZL Cubs Drub-Blank the Brew Crew

Javy Baez doubled, singled, walked, reached base on an HBP, and scored two runs, Roberrt Garcia singled twice, walked twice, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Carlos Sepulveda knocked-in four runs with a pair of two-run singles, and RHSP Austyn Willis hurled five innings of two-hit shutout ball and combined with three relievers to toss a five-hit shutout with eleven strikeouts, as the AZL Cubs whitewashed the AZL Brewers 11-0 in Arizona League action Saturday night at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ. 

Baez (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL - broken left ring finger) continued his AZL Cubs rehab, serving as the DH and batting five times: 

Baez Keeps on Rehabbin', but AZL Cubs Rally Falls Short at Fitch Park

Shane Conlon belted an RBI double and an RBI single and scored a run, and Mike Martin singled twice, reached base on an HBP, and scored two runs, helping the AZL Athletics edge the AZL Cubs 5-4 in Arizona League action Friday night at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.  

Baez Is Back, But Sox Edge Cubs at Sloan Park

Jake Fincher drilled two singles and a triple and scored two runs (including what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the 9th), as the AZL White Sox rallied for two runs (both unearned) in the 8th and one in the 9th to edge the AZL Cubs 4-3 in Arizona League action Thursday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Javy Baez (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL - broken finger) saw his first game action since June 7th, playing shortstop for five innings and getting three AB.

AZL Angels Rally to Edge AZL Cubs at Sloan Park

Jahmal Jones crushed a three-run HR and Chad Hinshaw drilled an RBI double and a single, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run, as the AZL Angels rallied for a run in the 7th and a run in the 8th to edge the AZL Cubs 5-4 in Arizona League action last night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.  

Rosscup Strikes Fear into the Hearts of A's at Sloan Park

Shane Conlon drilled two singles and a double, reached base on an HBP, scored two runs, and drove-in three more, leading the AZL Athletics to a 10-2 drubbing of the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action Saturday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The final two innings were played in a light drizzle.  

Yohan Matos ended a 1-25 skid by lining a bases-loaded opposite-field two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to account for the two Cub runs and avert what otherwise would have been a shutout.  

LHP Manny Rondon (acquired from the Los Angeles Angels for catcher Rafael Lopez earlier this month) got the start for the AZL Cubs and was terrible, allowing seven runs (six earned) on five hits and three walks and a WP in just 1.1 IP, including a 30-pitch 2nd inning in which he retired only one batter. 

LHRP Zac Rosscup (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with left shoulder inflammation since June 17th) made his second AZL appearance of the week and was brilliant, working one inning (16 pitches - 12 strikes) and striking out the side, with a virtually unhittable mixture of 94 MPH fastball and hard-breaking slider. The young A's hitters looked totally befuddled trying to deal with Rosscup's plus-stuff.  

20-year old RHP M. T. Minacci (Cubs 2015 33rd round draft pick - Powermill Training Academy) worked a 1-2-3 7th inning (6-3, F-7, 4-3). Minacci was a teammate of Cubs 2014 4th round draft pick LHP Carson Sands at North Florida Christian HS in Tallahassee, and was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 20th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) but did not sign,. He chose instead to enroll at Florida State, but then transferred to Chipola College after only one semester at FSU, before joining Powermill last year. Minacci was working primarily with his fastball (90-92 MPH) Saturday night, with an  occasional slider and change-up mixed-in.   

In AZL Cubs roster news, LHP Tyler Peitzmeier (Cubs 2015 9th round draft pick - Cal State Fullerton) has been moved up to Eugene, and LHP Heath Dwyer (2015 NDFA - Virginia Commonwealth) has been moved down to AZL Cubs from Eugene. Dwyer pitched the 9th inning for the AZL Cubs in Saturday night's game, and was tagged for two runs on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple). Dwyer is a soft-tossing lefty who features a mid-80's fastball, a curve, and a plus-change up, but his smoke & mirrors stuff didn't fool the A's hitters. 

Here is the abridged box score from Saturday night's game (Cubs players only):  

Cease Makes Snakes Desist Scoring Runs at Sloan Park

Alex Bautista slugged a two-run HR over the bullpen and onto the LF berm and Dylan Cease tossed three innings of shutout ball, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Diamondbacks 2-1 in Arizona League action Thursday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Rosscup Sharp at Papago Park

Rudy Martin singled, doubled, and walked, and scored two runs, and Luke Willis singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another with a sacrifice fly, lifting the AZL Royals to a 5-3 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action Wednesday night at Papago Park Sports Complex Field #2 in Phoenix, AZ.

Although they remain in the AZL West Division, the AZL Royals are playing their home games on the east-side of town at the Papago Park Sports Complex (the former home of the AZL Athletics) this season while their clubhouse is being renovated (expanded) at Surprise Stadium. (The Royals presently are in first place in the AZL West Division, and in fact they have the best record in the league). 
 
LHP Zac Rosscup (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - left shoulder inflammation) saw his first game action since June 16th, getting the start for the AZL Cubs and throwing one inning (17 pitches - 11 strikes) and allowing no hits, no runs, and no walks, with two strikeouts (both swinging). One runner reached base on an E-5. Rosscup was working his fastball at 91-93 MPH and touched 94, and his breaking ball was sharp and unhittable. He looked to be in mid-season form. (Lots of swings & misses). 

Shawon Dunston Jr (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL) continued his AZL rehab, serving as the AZL Cubs DH and batting third in the order. He drilled a one-out line-drive single to center in the top of the 1st inning, before leaving the game for a pinch-hitter in the top of the 3rd.

RHP Casey Bloomquist (Cubs 2015 17th round draft pick - Cal Poly SLO) made his pro debut, working the eighth inning and retiring the side 1-2-3 (a 5-3 GO followed by two strikeouts). Bloomquist displayed an 87-88 MPH fastball with sinking action that he mixed with a slider and a change-up that dive-bombed out of the strike zone. Bloomquist was the Mustang's "Friday night starter" (#1 starter) as a junior, and unlike some of the Cubs 2015 draft picks who were college seniors with no eligibility left (and no leverage in negotiations), Bloomquist had the option to return to school for his senior year at Cal Poly if he had not signed with the Cubs.  

The defensive Play of the Game was turned in by AZL Cubs RF Michael Foster (Cuhs 2015 16th round draft pick - Northeastern University), who made a spectacular diving catch in right-centerfield in the bottom of the 6th inning. Foster also singled twice and scored a run for the AZL Cubs in a losing cause.

Here is the abridged box score from Wednesday night's game (Cubs players only: 

AZL Royals Shut-Down AZL Cubs at Sloan Park

Carlos Diaz collected four singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Yeison Melo drilled an RBI single and a two-run double, and RHSP Arnaldo Hernandez tossed 5.2 IP of four-hit ball, leading the AZL Royals to a 6-1 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action Monday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

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