Leathersich Impressive at Salt River Fields

RHSP Melvin Ovalles hurled three innings of shutout ball and combined with four relievers to toss a three-hitter and Kyle Smith (2016 NDFA - Vanderbilt) drilled an RBI double and later scored to highlight a two-run 4th, as the AZL Diamondbacks took a 3-0 lead and then held-on to edge the AZL Cubs 3-2 in AZL mini-camp pre-season game action Saturday night on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

The game was called by mutual-consent after seven innings of play. 

Ex-NYM LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) was unhittable in his one inning of work for the AZL Cubs, striking out the side (all three swinging).  

In AZL Cubs roster news, C-1B Michael Cruz (Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick - Bethune-Cookman) has arrived and he was in uniform at Salt River Fields, although he did not play in the game. Cruz was the first (and is apparently the only) 2016 draft pick signed by the Cubs (so far).  

Also, 16-year old SS Christopher Morel (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $800K signing bonus) has been added to the AZL Cubs roster. Morel suffered a severe laceration to his left arm last off-season that delayed his pro debut and he has been rehabbing at the UAPC for the last few months. He will provide temporary infield depth for the AZL Cubs until more draft picks arrive, and then he will be sent to the DSL.   

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

AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Luis Ayala, RF: 1-2 (1B, F-7, BB, R)
2. Jose Gonzalez, CF: 0-2 (L-5 DP, 5-3, HBP, R)
3. Jhonny Bethencort, SS: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, SB) 
4a. Gustavo Polanco, C: 0-2 (6-3, BB, 6-4-3 DP)
4b. Eric Gonzalez, C: NO AB 
5. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, K, K)
6. Adonis Paula, DH: 1-3 (1B, F-9, K)
7. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 0-3 (6-4-3 DP, K, F-7)
8. Edgar Rondon, 2B: 0-2 (K, 3-U, BB)
9. Ruben Reyes, LF: 0-3 (3-1, K, F-9)

AZL CUBS PITCHERS
1. Javier Assad: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/AO, 36 pitches (23 strikes) 
2. Jack Leathersich: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 16 pitches (12 strikes) 
3. Junior Marte: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 20 pitches (14 strikes) 
4. Tanner Griggs: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 1/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes) 
5. Eugenio Palma: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (12 strikes) 
6. Yapson Gomez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes) 

AZL CUBS ERRORS: 3 
1. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely) 
2. SS Jhonny Bethencourt: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
3. SS Jhonny Bethencourt: E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE 
Gustavo Polanco: 0-2 CS 

ATTENDANCE: 19

WEATHER: Clear with temperatures 110+  

Comments

PHIL: Any guns on Nathan or Leathersich? Are they in mid-90's? Which one is making up to the show first in your opinion?

E-MAN: I don't have velocity readings on Nathan, but Leathersich was throwing a four-seamer 90-91 (touched 92-93) and a curve last night. Leathersich reminds me of Travis Wood (except Wood has the versatlity to start or relieve and pitch multiple innings) in that when you see the reactions of the hitters to Leathersich's fastball you would think he is throwing harder than he really is. Leathersich's history shows a consistent "reverse split," where he is tougher on RH hitters than on LH hitters, and it has appeared to be that way down here, too. So Leathersich is NOT a LOOGY, he's a one-inning reliever who happens to throw LH. 

Joe Nathan is a proven closer and I do not have his fastball velocity from his outing on Friday night, but I was told that he was throwing his fastball at 93-94 MPH in bullpen side-sessions over the last couple of weeks. Of the two, Nathan is most-likely to arrive in Chicago first (probably in mid-July when he is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL), but Leathersich is looking good (so far) and he could get called-up sooner rather than later. I'm just not sure that Maddon values what Leathersich brings to the table (a one-inning only version of Travis Wood). 

Nathan and Leathersich (and Aaron Crow,  Brian Matusz, and Joel Peralta, too) are all potential alternatives to Richard, Warren, and Grimm, but I'm not sure they would be better. They might be, or they might not be.

CHILDERS: I wrote this last Monday and there is nothing more to add to it at this time, other than that if he continues to throw side-sesseions without medical setbacks, he should see AZL game action within a week or two... 

"RHSP Oscar de la Cruz (right elbow soreness) threw a 25-pitch bullpen side-session this morning (6/13) and apparently had no problems, unlike last week when his bullpen was shut-down after only a half-dozen pitches. One of the Cubs top prospects (he was ranked as the Cubs #3 pitching prospect and their 8th best overall prospect by 
Baseball America coming into the 2016 season), de la Cruz has not pitched in a game since being shut-down with a sore elbow at Minor League Camp in March."  

Hudson is 19, Cease is 20, and Paulino is 21.

As far as Jose Paulino is concerned, he throws a 91-93 MPH two-seamer that touches 94-95, a slider, and a change-up, and he is an extreme ground ball pitrcher. Because his stuiff is so electric he struggles with command from time-to-time. He is a legit prospect. He was one of the last three pitchers cut from the South Bend roster at the end of Minor League Camp (Lewis and Araujo were the other two). Paulino is Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and being a lefty, he could get grabbed by another organization post-2016 even without having pitched on a full-season minor league team. If the Cubs were to add him to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) post-2016 (not likely, but possible), he would have four minor league options rather than the usual three. 

Phil, Cease, Hudson and Paulino have been nails for Eugene to start the year. All are 19 yrs old I believe. What did you see in Paulino? Also, any updates on Oscar de La Cruz? Seems like he's probably going to miss this yr. Thanks,

Does anyone know what type of injury Ryan Williams has and is he in Mesa?

HAGSAG: Ryan Williams was at the UAPC last week but I didn't see him out on the field. I don't know what his injury is. 

Tommy Birch @TommyBirch Ryan Williams said he felt some discomfort in his shoulder. That's what landed him on the DL. Says it's nothing serious. Precautionary.

Thank Phil. I apologize for making you repeat yourself there.

CHILDERS: Not a problem. I don't mind. 

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  • crunch 7 hours 9 min ago (view)

    kevin rizzo is in camp with the cubs and is in workouts with the team.

    very tiny guy, no power, but he can run down a ball in the field and he's almost impossible to pitch to.  time to give him a contract and put him in the OF.

    https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/1366081602242023425

     

  • crunch 7 hours 49 min ago (view)

    Marquee has added a tuesday game, so now the first televised cubs game is March 2nd (3pm EST)

     

  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 39 min ago (view)

    The DFA of Robert Stock to make room for Kyle Ryan coming off the CoViD-related IL wil need to be followed by removing another player on the 40 to make room for Ryan Tepera. 

    It's possible somebody (like a pitcher) is injured to the extent that he might be placed on the 60-day IL, or else maybe somebody else will go on the CoViD-related IL (which is 40-man roster exempt) in the coming days to make room for Tepera.

     

  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 14 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed LHSP Ben Holmes (ex-LAD) and RHRP Jose Moreno (ex-NYM) to 2021 minor league contracts. Both were post-2020 minor league 6YFA and neither has been on an MLB 40-man roster.

    Holmes pitched collegiately at Oregon State and has some AAA experience, but Moreno hasn't pitched above Lo-A over the course of seven seasons in the Mets organization.  

     

  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    side note...k.wong is on 1st putting on one of those "baserunning mitts" (hand protection for sliding) that's extending past the length of his hand/fingers by at least 2-3 inches.

    they're going to have to start regulating this piece of equipment if this keeps up...

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Q with LAA in his debut for them...HBP, a wild pitch, and BB through 7 pitches...then 3 pop-outs to follow.

    blah blah spring training...

    baseball on TV...neat.

     

  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    We just traded for Maddux!!!   ......... nope, the other one.

     

  • crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    yeah, i'm just saying i did consider piling onto it with a troll-level post about the trade...it's practically asking to be written that way.

    jeff passan did it quite well... https://twitter.com/jeffpassan/status/136577746706...

    that said, i had no idea zach bryant existed before today, but his early numbers looked oddly good (which means nothing without context that early in his career).

     

  • Charlie 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Oh, I mean the trade. You were quite diligent in posting!

     

  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    i contemplated writing the post totally trolled out as hell with "zach" coming after a wall of text.

    i decided the cubs being cheap was enough pre-season punishment without piling on.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    This is a straight up troll 

     

  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    rsox aquiring ZACH bryant from the cubs.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player...

    ptbn from the josh osich deal.

    totally useless trade...hopefully not a terrible loss.

     

  • Hagsag 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal

     

  • crunch 4 days 8 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.

     

  • crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.