Cubs Repel Snakes at Riverview

Yovanny Cuevas (RBI triple), Cam Balego (two-run single), Jonathan Sierra (RBI single), and Fernando Kelli (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits and LHSP Brailyn Marquez and four relievers combined to hurl a five-hitter, as the Cubs cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The defensive gem of the game was turned-in by Cubs SS Luis Vazquez, who made a spectacular back-handed diving catch (at full-speed and with full extension) in short LF at the foul line, quickly righted himself, and then threw a laser-strike to 1st base to double-off the shocked/amazed D'backs baserunner to end the top of the 7th inning. (To prove he isn't ready for MLB just yet, Vazquez made a fielding error on an easy grounder to short in the top of the 9th).   
 
Recently-signed OF served as a DH in the game for the Cubs and got three AB, walking and scoring in the 1st, flying out to the warning track in CF in the 2nd, and striking out (swinging) on a 3-2 breaking ball in the 4th. Adams elected free-agency after being sent outright to AAA Gwinnett by the Atlanta Braves on April 25th,.and he officially signed with the Cubs today. He is at Extended Spring Training partly because he hadn't played in a game in about three weeks, and partly because there is not (at present) room for him at AAA Iowa.

The 28-year old Adams was one of the better "4th outfielders" in MLB last year, hitting 275/339/468 in 85 games with the Braves. But his best attribute is base-stealing. He swiped 25 bags last year, ten with Atlanta (no CS) and 15 for AAA Gwinnett prior to getting called up, after stealing 38 in AA in both 2013 and 2014, 31 in AA/AAA in 2015, and 44 in AA/AAA in 2016. 

Adams played in the Cubs organization in 2016 (first at AA Tennessee and then at AAA Iowa) after being released by the Yankees (he was released from AA Trenton to make room for OF Billy McKinney after the Yanks acquired McKinney as part of the Aroldis Chapman trade, so in a way Adams signing with the Cubs in 2016 was indirectly a result of the Chapman deal), and he was actually "on the bubble" for a potential September call-up to Chicago that season as a "5th outfielder" (late-inning pinch-runner and defensive replacement), but he never got the call.

In EXST Cubs roster news, Cubs 2017 5th round draft pick OF Nelson Velazquez (P. J. Education School - Carolina, PR) has been promoted to South Bend.  

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

CUBS LINEUP:
1a. Lane Adams, DH #1: 0-2 (BB, F-8, K, R)
1b. Alexander Guerra, PH: 1-1 (2B, R)
2. Luis Ayala, CF: 1-3 (1B, P-5, 5-3, BB, R)
3. Fernando Kelli, DH #2: 1-4 (K, L-6, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 1-3 (1B, 3-1, BB, K, R, RBI)
5a. Cam Balego, C: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, 6-4 FC, R, 2 RBI)
5b. Eric Gonzalez, C: 0-1 (K)
6. Yovanny Cuevas, LF: 2-4 (3B, 2B, K, K, R, RBI)
7. Luis Vazquez, SS: 1-3 (P-6, 3-U SH, 1B, 5-3, R)
8a. Fabian Pertuz, 3B: 0-2 (F-7, FC, RBI, CS)
8b. Henrry Pedra, 3B: 1-2 (1B, P-4)
9. Luis Hidalgo, 1B: 0-3 (K, BB, 5-4 FC, K, RBI)
10. Delvin Zinn, 2B: 1-3 (1B, E-5, P-3)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Brailyn Marquez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/AO, 37 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 17 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Manuel Rondon: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Casey Ryan: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/AO, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Mitch Stophel: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 20 pitches (18 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Luis Vazquez: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

ATTENDANCE: 6

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+

Arizona
Scoring
Service

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 

Comments

19 year old OF Nelson Velazquez promoted from extended Spring Training to Low A South Bend, starting in RF and batting sixth in his first start tonight. 

Velazquez up to SB should be accompanied by Albertos down to Mesa.  Word is that the Cubs are changing his mechanics, to avoid elbow problems which have limitied his availability.  Maybe this will work but it is not working yet.  Saw him live last night and it was worse than the bad stats indicated.  No fastball command or consistency.  To avoid walks, he was throwing BP-like pitches in three ball counts.  They were being lined all over the place.  The place to work on mechanics is not in games at the highest level a pitcher has ever thrown.  The Cubs will turn this poor kid into a head case soon with this approach, if they haven't already.

That is pathetic. They are so thin on pitching prospects, when I hear this it is not encouraging. I have no idea if this is correlated, but in seeing Tseng during his time in AA (on the same squad w/Schwarbs), command of the strike zone was his forte ( and not Matt Forte). Since then, AAA and MLB starts - its eluded him.

I should say its primarily his FB. Just can't locate it.

Az Phil, can you provide your insight again on David Bote with his taste of mlb play this year. As I recall, he’s Zobrist lite. 

CUBSTER: While (like Ben Zobrist) David Bote has positional versatility, I really don't see Bote as a Zobrist type exactly.

BRADSBEARD offered the Mark DeRosa comp here last fall when Bote was mashing in the AFL, and that's the best comp I've seen. Bote had the top average exit velocity of all Cubs minor leaguers last season, and he you can see the result of his bat-speed when he makes contact. He can rake.

Bote was a shortstop in HS and JC, and while he played some SS for the Cubs after he signed and occasionally at AA and AAA (and in the AFL lastr year), he really doesn't have the range required to play there at the big league level except in a pinch (sort of like Ron Santo would do occasionally back in the 1960's). Bote is, however, passably-adequate at 2B-3B-1B-LF-RF, and that's still a good number of defensive positions he can reasonably handle even if he doesn't play everywhere (including SS and CF), which Zobrist did in his prime.

That said, Bote could be the eventual long-term 25-man roster replacement for Zobrist (in 2020) after Zobrist's contract expires (Zobrist is signed through 2019), presuming Bote isn't traded in the meantime. 

Recent comments

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  • Hagsag 3 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Predictions on the Rule 5 draft this morning?

     

  • Hagsag 3 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Very, very interesting Phil. Thanks for the post.

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 33 min ago (view)

    What was the stated purpose of the 1953 Bonus Rule? 

    COMMISSIONER FORD FRICK: "We want the kind of bonus rule that will discourage the Majors from paying out big bonuses, and encourage the little fellows (he is referring here to the minor leagues) to sign these youngsters and then sell them to clubs of a higher classification."

     

  • crunch 10 hours 2 min ago (view)

    g.cole - yanks - 9/324m

    s.strasburg - nats - 7/245m

    a.rendon - angels - 7/245m

    boras has signed $814m of contracts for his guys this week.  not bad.

     

  • crunch 10 hours 9 min ago (view)

    still waiting for rich hill to happen over here...i promise to be totally not impressed or happy about it.  not a tj guy, but he's injured as hell and not expected to show up until mid-season at best.

    whoever they pick to give a few million dollars over a couple seasons to not pitch for the cubs in any of them, i welcome them.

    on a serious tip, there are rumors of a minor league deal for b.morrow.

     

  • bradsbeard 10 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Taijuan Walker is a good candidate. 

     

  • cubbies.4ever 12 hours 9 min ago (view)

    So who is left in the free Agent market that has had Tommy John surgery?  That seems to be a Prerequisite for Theo.  Cotton and Winkler both did adding to all the other signings of Theo.  I would love to see how many people Theo has signed or drafted who has had TJS.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 51 min ago (view)

    I hope "isn't happening" was more like, "we'd love to continue to discuss this soon"--after extensions/trades of younger players are a bit more sorted.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 54 min ago (view)

    If only they had revenue from having recently won the World Series and a string of playoff appearances along with a new TV contract! Then they could really spend.

     

  • crunch 21 hours 11 min ago (view)

    i wish this team was owned by billionaires rather than these...oh, nevermind.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Apparently Cubs were approached by Rizzo's agent about an extension. They told him it wasn't happening.

    Cubs organization is performing a master class in how to burn good will among fans!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    jdlym: The contract Brad Brach signed with the Mets includes a $850K base salary for 2020, a $1.25M club option for 2021, $400K in potential performance bonuses in 2020, potentially $2.25M in 2021 salary accelerators, and $500K in potential performance bonuses in 2021, so ordinarily the Cubs salary obligation to Brach would be the difference between Brach's new 2020 base salary ($850K) and what would have been his 2020 player option salary ($1.35M) if he hadn't been released by the Cubs. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    d.ross meets the media at winter meetings...video/audio

    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1ypKdBvlvzyJW

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Hey AZPhil, when a player is released with money/years still remaining on his contract, does his next team *have* to give him the prorated major league minimum or can they offer more (meaning the original club owes less) to "outbid" other teams that may have had interest? I'm assuming that's what happened with Brad Brach, where the Mets signed him for 2020 at $850,000.

     

  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    jeremy jeffress agrees.

     

  • Rob Richardson 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    It's high time if you ask me.