Cub Offense Fades to Black at Indian School Park

RHSP Gregory Santos and four relievers combined to hurl a five-hitter (all five hits were singles) and Ricardo Genoves knocked-in both runs with an RBI GO and a sacrifice fly, as the Giants black squad edged the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #2 (AKA "Jim Davenport Field") at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Cubs pitchers also allowed only five hits (all singles).

The Cubs scored their lone run in the top of the 2nd inning on three consecutive two-out singles (RBI single by Fidel Mejia).  

In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Luis Ayala (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder strain) has completed his EXST rehab and has rejoined Myrtle Beach. 

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

1. Fernando Kelli, CF: 0-4 (F-9, 6-3, L-4, K)
2. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 4-3)
3. Alexander Guerra, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K)
3b. Henrry Pedra, 3B: 0-1 (6-3)
4a. Yovanny Cuevas, LF: 0-1 (6-3, HBP)
4b. Jose Alonso Gaitan, LF: 0-1 (6-3)
5. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-3 (3-U, K, F-7)
6. Luis Vazquez, DH #2: 0-2 (F-9, BB, L-9)
7. Cam Balego, 1B-DH: 1-3 (1B, P-4, 6-3, R)
8. Fabian Pertuz, SS: 1-2 (1B, 3-U, HBP)
9. Fidel Mejia, 3B-1B: 1-2 (1B, 4-3, 1-4 SH, RBI)
10a. Raymond Pena, C: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3)
10b. Eric Gonzalez, C: 0-1 (K)

1. Riger Fernandez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 BALK, 1/2 GO/AO, 33 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Yovanny Cruz: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 27 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Casey Ryan: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 16 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Stephen Ridings: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 0/2 GO/AO, 21 pitches (15 strikes) 
5. Eduarniel Nunez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes) 
6. Mitch Stophel: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 16 pitches (13 strikes) 



WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80's 


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


How's Pertuz looking?  SS in Mesa?

TIM: Fabian Pertuz is clearly talented both offensively and defensively, but he has a tendency to play too fast and tries to do too much. He needs to calm down a bit, especially defensively. He could probably benefit from a year in the DSL, although his assignment is still TBD.

Luis Verdugo will likely be in the AZL this year, though. He's the real deal and he looks like he's ready to roll right now. So it would appear that Luis Verdugo and Josue Huma will probably be the two primary Cubs shortstops in the AZL (one assigned to each of the two Cubs AZL teams), unless Fabian Pertuz remains in Mesa and/or Christopher Morel doesn't go directly to Eugene (Morel would likely get reps at both 3B and SS if he is assigned to one of the AZL teams, but he would probably play mainly 3B at Eugene because Luis Vazquez will very likely be the primary Emeralds SS until he gets moved-up to South Bend). 

Hey Phil, do you have any insight on Eduarniel Nunez? He's got a decent pitcher's frame and put up solid numbers in his DSL debut last season. Does he stand out to you in any way? 


K-DUB: Prior to yesterday Eduarniel Nunez was featuring a FB that topped-out at 94 but with poor command and no usable secondary stuff. He had had much difficulty negotiating through innings and throwing strikes.

Yesterday he was used in a more-traditional relief-type role (prepped as a pre-planned one-inning stint) and he struck out the side (he also issued one walk) relying heavily on his FB which he was (finally) able to command.

The Cubs have other pitchers up from the DSL this year who are similar to E. Nunez (projectable but raw), although E. Nunez throws the hardest of the bunch. Sometimes these pitchers develop and sometimes they don't and sometimes injuries delay or derail the pitcher's career, so it takes time (sometimes a couple of years) to sort them out and see which ones (if any) are able to launch.

Oscar de la Cruz is the most-recent success story, but for every ODLC there are a dozen others who never get out of short-season ball.

K-DUB: I know you ask about FB velocity from time-to-time, and so I have attempted to gather info about Cubs EXST FB velo:

Eury Ramos: 93-96 T-97
Danis Correa: 92-94 T 95-96
Stephen Ridings: 92-94 T-95
Jeremiah Estrada: 91-94
Eduarniel Nunez: 91-94
Fauris Guerrero 91-93 T-94
Ivan Medina: 91-93 T-94
Mitch Stophel: 91-93
Yovanny Cruz 91-93
Brailyn Marquez: 89-92 T-93
Jesus Tejada 91-92
Jose M. Gonzalez: 89-91 T-92
Faustino Carrera: 88-91
Benjamin Rodriguez: 87-90 T-91
Didier Vargas: 87-89 T-90-91
Eugenio Palma: 87-89 T-90

I don't have anything on some of the others (like Raidel Orta), and a pitcher's FB velo can vary from outing-to-outing. 

And of course command, pitch movement, deception, seconday stuff (other pitches besides the FB), stamina (including the ability to throw more than 15-20 pitches in a given inning without losing something in the process), and maintaining mechanics (like arm slot and release point) from one outing to the next are other issues that come into play, and (taken collectively) they are at least as important (or more-likely even more important) than velocity. 

Thank you so much, Phil. Very kind.

Very rough go so far for Bleacher Nations #1 Cubs prospect Jose Albertos. Currently sporting an 18.23 ERA in 7 appearances (4 starts) thanks mostly to a ridiculous lack of control: 24 walks and 9 wild pitches in 10.1 IP, along with 15 hits allowed. On the bright side, only 1 HR allowed so there's that. 

Thanks Phil, you are amazing.

Recent comments

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  • Eric S 5 hours 38 min ago (view)

     Cubs were Nootbaar'ed to the tune of 12-4 in Game 2


  • Cubster 6 hours 39 min ago (view)

    With a Doubleheader loss, the Cubs are back on track for a better draft choice. Right now at 67 wins they pick #7, just ahead of KC and Minnesota who have 68-69 wins. 


  • crunch 8 hours 9 min ago (view)

    the shit sandwich that is zach davies is a 6 foot party sub.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 8 hours 12 min ago (view)

    I am celebrating the day he signs with another team this offseason. I didn't know I could hate him more than I did when he was in Milwaukee but here we are!


  • crunch 8 hours 31 min ago (view)

    wisdom can hit some bombs when he does

    also davies still sucks.


  • tim815 9 hours 6 min ago (view)

    McAvene is struggling against hitters in Instructs. He's not ready for the AZ Fall League. I'd expect to see Juan Gamez otr Aneuris Rosario first. Vazquez, I agree with, entirely.


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 57 min ago (view)

    On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.

    Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate. 


  • First.Pitch.120 12 hours 14 min ago (view)



  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Cubs select contract of RHRP Jason Adam from AAA Iowa and he will be the "29th man" in today's DH with STL. Also,.C Robinson Chirinos to 10-day IL with oblique strain, and OF Greg Deichmann has been recalled from Iowa.  


  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 57 min ago (view)

    FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right?


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five sing


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    chris clarke could use the work.

    brennen davis...bryce ball and casey opitz, maybe.  *shrug*

    i'd like to see ethan roberts in the mix.


  • ggross 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Phil (or anyone else),

    Who are your guesses for Cubs in the Fall League this year?  When will the announcements be made?  Thanks!