More of Morel with Some Cuevas

Christopher Morel drilled a two-run double in the 1st, doubled and scored in the 6th, reached base on an HBP in the 8th, and stole a base, Yovanny Cuevas belted a two-run triple, doubled and scored, walked, and stole a base, and Eduarniel Nunez hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Sunday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair. 

Here is the box score from the game:  

1. Luis Verdugo, SS: 2-4 (1B, 5-3, 5-3, 1B, R, SB)
2a. Chris Coghlan, RF: 0-1 (BB, 3-U, R)
2b. Herson Perez, PH-DH: 2-2 (1B, 1B)
3. Jonathan Soto, DH #1: 0-4 (K, K, 6-3 DP, 6-3)
4. Christopher Morel, 3B: 2-3 (2B, F-7, 2B, HBP, R, 2 RBI, SB, CS)
5a. Henderson Perez, C: 1-2 (4-3, 1B)
5b. Richard Nunez, C: 0-0 (BB, R)
5c. Franklin Tineo, C: 1-1 (1B)
6. Josue Huma, 2B: 1-4 (E-3, 4-3, 1B, K, RBI, SB)
7. Jose Gutierrez, DH-RF: 0-3 (K, K, BB, 6-3)
8. Jose A. Gonzalez, CF: 0-3 (5-3, K, 6-4 FC) 
9. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 0-3 (E-5, K, K) 
10. Ruben Reyes, LF:  2-3 (4-6-3 DP, 3B, 1B, PO)

1. Fernando Kelli, CF: 1-3 (K, BB, K, 1B, R, SB)
2. Jonathan Sierra, DH #1: 1-3 (K, F-8, 1B, BB, 2 R)
3. Alexander Guerra, C: 1-3 ( F-9, HBP, 4-3, 2B, R, RBI, SB)
4. Yovanny Cuevas, RF: 2-3 (F-9, BB, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI) 
5. Cam Balego, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, P-3, F-9 SF, K, RBI)
6. Luis Vazquez, SS: 1-2 (BB, 5-4-3 DP, 1B, RBI, SB)
7. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 0-2 (P-4 DP, BB, E-4, R)
8. Yonathan Perlaza, 3B: 0-1 (BB, BB, 6-3, R, SB)
9. Jose Alonso Gaitan, LF: 0-3 (K, F-9, 3-U) 
10. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, 3-U, K, RBI)

1. Eduarniel Nunez: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1/4 GO/AO, 59 pitches (33 strikes) 
2. Nathan Sweeney: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 2/2 GO/AO, 32 pitches (12 strikes) 
3. Dalton Geekie: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/AO, 18 pitches (10 strikes) 
4. Stephen Ridings: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (7 strikes) 
5. Casey Ryan: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 3 WP, 22 pitches (14 strikes) 

1. Eury Ramos: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 6/1 GO/AO, 59 pitches (38 strikes) 
2. Luis Aquino: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (11 strikes) 
3. Yan de la Cruz: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/AO, 27 pitches (12 strikes) 
4. Jake Steffens: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 1/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Eugenio Palma: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/0 GO/AO, 10 pitches (7 strikes) 

2B Josue Huma: E-4 (missed catch on attempted pick-off at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
2B Josue Huma: E-4 (dropped pop fly in short RF allowed batter to reach base safely) 

1. 1B Kevin Zamudio: E-3 (errant underhand-flip on attempted 3-1 put-out allowed batter to reach base safely)  
2. 3B Yonathan Perlaza: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

1. Henderson Perez: 0-2 CS, 1 PB 
2. Richard Nunez: 0-1 CS 
3. Franklin Tineo: 0-1 CS 

Alexander Guerra: 1-4 CS, 1 PB 


WEATHER: Clear skies with temperatures 100+ 


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


Morel seems like the real deal.

AZ Phil, how has Jonathan Sierra looked in general? I seem to recall rave reviews last spring for his work ethic, but he struggles a good bit in the AZL. Haven’t heard much about him this spring. Any thoughts on his development so far? Do you think he’ll be up in Eugene when their season starts?

BRADSBEARD: Jonathan Sierra will likely be assigned to Eugene, but he hasn't developed quite as was expected from his original projection. I mean, he's not another Darryl Strawberry.

Sierra is a good outfielder with a plus arm and he runs the bases well, but he's an extreme pull hitter (opposing teams use an infield shift on him even in Extended Spring Training games) who hits the ball on the ground a lot and doesn't show much power in games (although he does in BP). But there is no point in having him repeat AZL. He needs to move along.

Actually, the left-handed hitting outfielder who's the hitter the Cubs thought Sierra would become is Abraham Rodriguez. He can really rake. Rodriguez laces line-drives foul line to foul line, and he hits HR in games, too. But he is defensively challenged no matter where he plays (1B-LF-RF). BTW, Rodriguez would have played in the AZL last year, but he missed the entire 2017 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in April.

Probably the only position players at Cubs Extended Spring Training right now who have a shot at skipping AZL and going directly to Eugene are C Alexander Guerra (who is 21 years old and played a couple of seasons in Serie Nacional in Cuba prior to defecting), SS-3B Christopher Morel  (who is probably one of the Cubs Top 10 prospects), and C Jonathan Soto (the Cubs #2 catching prospect, behind only Miguel Amaya), and maybe CF Fernando Kelli (the fastest player in the organization). 

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  • jdrnym 2 hours 53 min ago (view)

    All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.


  • Arizona Phil 5 hours 19 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March. 


  • crunch 9 hours 41 min ago (view)

    the toles update is worse than his troubled past.  toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years.  he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.

    hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.


  • jdrnym 12 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.


  • jdrnym 14 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?

    And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.


  • crunch 15 hours 22 min ago (view)

    though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.

    there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.


  • Cubster 15 hours 52 min ago (view)

    "In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."


  • crunch 17 hours 3 min ago (view)

    it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ.  they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.

    with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0).  now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.


  • crunch 17 hours 18 min ago (view)

    cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.

    he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.

    he's 38 years old, btw.


  • Hagsag 1 day 17 min ago (view)

    Bravo Crunch!


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing.  also, ha.


  • Rob Richardson 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups? 


  • Rob Richardson 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Well said Crunch.


  • Cubster 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    1956 Cub Hoax...

    Hit .215, 5 HR. Age 28 season