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
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"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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  • KingKongvsGodzilla 7 min 34 sec ago (view)

    AZPhil! Any impressions of Ronnier Quintero?

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 min 20 sec ago (view)

    From talking to people in the know out here, the missing level (short-season advanced -- what had been Eugene for the Cubs in the recent past) has messed up things, especially for position players.

    It's like there is a gap in the player development pipeline, with players (especially position players) who are clearly too advanced for the AZL (now ACL) but also not quite ready for full-season Lo-A in a kind of development limbo, either in over their heads at full-season Lo-A, or else dominating younger and/or inferior competition in the short-season complex leagues  

     

  • Wrigley Rat 12 min 58 sec ago (view)

    Some injuries that have been announced one way or another include Ben Hecht's TJS on 5/11 and Yovanny Cruz' "arm surgery" due to "forearm discomfort" in early May. Jack Patterson announced that he would miss all of 2021, but be back next year. Jonathan Holder was cleared to begin a throwing program last week, but was not ready for mound work at that time. On June 16th, a Rowan Wick update was "every time he ramped back up, he kept feeling something. he's throwing off a mound again, but it's gonna be a while."

     

  • crunch 54 min 29 sec ago (view)

    baseball as we know it is under heavy management shifts in every aspect of the minors and even the indie leagues with a common string being pulled by upper MLB leaders.

    it's kinda concerning to some people.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 13 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: For the first time ever the AZL (now the ACL) is being operated / supervised from outside Arizona, and so there has been some confusion on the ground. A lot of last-minute planning. Lots of TBA / TBD, both within the individual organizations and within the league itself. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 19 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's just a procedural move to open up slots on the 180-man Domestic Reserve List.

    Any player who was placed on the 60-day IL on Minor League Opening Day (5/3) or placed on the 7-day IL on Minor League Opening Day (5/3) and then subsequently was transferred to the 60-day IL is eligible to be reinstated a week from tomorrow (7/2).

    As for the type of injuries sustained by the guys who are on the 60-day IL, I would rather not say. I will leave it to the individual player and/or to the Cubs to divulge specific injury information as it relates to a particulart player.

     

  • K Dub 5 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Can't wait for ACL games to get started on the 28th! (Really wish they'd change the name of the league, though. Bad injury vibes...)

     

  • K Dub 5 hours 34 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Are you able to provide any clarifying info on the nature of Kohl Franklin's injury/rehab? I saw you moved him from the 7-day to the 60-day IL. Was that just a procedural move because enough time has passed or is that a sign that he's out for the season? Also, of the guys on the 60-day IL, can you clarify who is definitely out for the season/having surgery and those who might return?

    Thanks!

     

  • Eric S 11 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Great stuff, Charlie - Thanks!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 25-year old 6'5 260 RHP Adam Heidenfelder from Gary (American Association) and he has been assigned to the ACL Cubs.  

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone know what type of injury Amaya has?

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    I can not believe what a good 3b he has been playing.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Robert Stock was claimed off waivers by the Mets.

     

  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    HR in the 8th.  dope.

     

  • crunch 2 days 41 min ago (view)

    he's back out in the field in the top 3rd...must be okay, but he sure doesn't look confidently healthy.  *shrug*  off-day tomorrow...

     

  • crunch 2 days 51 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom seems to have injured his right leg/knee swinging a bat...