Giants Bash Carlos Rodriguez and Cubs in AZL Action

Dillon Dobson (SF 2015 23rd round draft pick - Appalachian State) belted a two-run triple and an RBI double, and Nathaniel Javier and Matt Winn (SF 2015 14th round draft pick - VMI) clubbed solo home runs, helping the AZL Giants hammer the AZL Cubs 11-6 in Arizona League action last night on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Robert Garcia drilled an RBI triple and an RBI single, walked, and scored a run (Garcia has now driven-in six runs over his last two games) and Carlos Sepulveda ripped a double and a two-run single for the Cubs in a losing cause. 

Cubs 2014 6th round draft pick RHP Dylan Cease (2014 TJS) got the start for the Cubs and threw his best outing of the year, two innings of no-run/no-hit ball (24 pitches - 18 strikes), with two strikeouts (the first two men he faced) and a 3/0 GO/FO. Cease was delivering fastball velocities in the upper 90's with a sharp-breaking curve and a quality change-up throughout Extended Spring Training, but this was the first time he was able to actually command his stuff and throw strikes.

LHP Carlos Rodriguez followed Cease to the mound and had an odd bi-polar type outing, allowing six runs on five hits (two singles, a double, a triple, and a home run) and a walk in his first inning, then he retired nine men in a row (5-3, F-8, P-6, 4-3, K, F-7, K, K, 3-1), and then he allowed four more runs on four hits (three singles and a home run), Rodriguez is the classic "soft-tossing lefty" (mid-80's fastball, curve, and change-up) who relies on command to be effective, and when he doesn't put his fastball exactly where he needs to put it, or if he hangs his off-speed stuff, he gets whacked big-time (which happened last night). He did throw a very high percetange of strikes (73%), but he also allowed ten runs (all earned) in 3.2 IP (60 pitches - 44 strikes).   

Cubs 2013 6th round pick RHRP Scott Frazier continued his recovery from the "yips" with an inning of relief (17 pitches - 11 strikes). While he did allow a run (HBP, RBI double, and a walk), he also showed solid command, and could be up for a promotion to Eugene or South Bend before too long.   

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

CUBS LINEUP
1. Sutton Whiting, 2B: 1-4 (BB,K, 2B, F-7, K, R, SB)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, SS: 2-5 (K, 2B, F-8, F-8, 1B, 2 RBI)
3. Wladimir Galindo, DH: 0-4 (L-8, BB, K, 5-3, K)
4. Joey Martarano, 1B: 1-4 (K, L-9, 1B, 4-3, RBI, SB)
5. Alex Bautista, RF: 1-4 (F-8, 2B, F-8, K, R)
6. Jose Paniagua, LF: 1-4 (5-3, 1B, K, F-7)
7. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-3 (2B, 1-6-3 DP, K, BB, 2 R)
8. Robert Garcia, CF: 2-3 (3B, HBP, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
9. Carlos Jimenez, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, K, 4-3, 1B, R)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Dylan Cease: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 24 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 3.2 IP, 9 H, 10 R (10 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 1 WP, 3/4 GO/FO, 60 pitches (44 strikes)
3. Santiago Rodriguez: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (27 strikes)
4. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (11 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 2B Sutton Whiting: E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 1B Joey Martarano: E-3 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely) 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS


Comments

BP writeup on Mark Zagunis (and a few other minor leaguers)...
Mark Zagunis, OF, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach) As if the Cubs' system needed any more offensive intrigue, they may just have found some in the third round last summer. Zagunis is a converted catcher with the requisite size and strength for the position packed onto a muscular frame. He’s an aggressive player with purpose in his actions, and while he shows strong athleticism in his movement, there’s some rigidity and stiffness in his swing. The bat path is fairly linear and lacks a ton of extension in the follow-through, and that limits his ability to drive pitches to the pull side, but he showed an advanced ability to track pitches and he was consistently short to the ball with above-average bat speed. He controlled the zone well in the All-Star Game despite a couple of whiffs, demonstrating intriguing selectivity in his approach while working up the middle and away in his other three at-bats. I’m not sure how much game power he’s going to be able to develop with the current mechanics and approach, but he showed a very strong baseline package for the hit tool. Zagunis played center for most of the game and acquitted himself well before sliding over to right. He showed off above-average foot speed into the gap and a strong arm in cutting down an over-aggressive runner at second. The whole package is an interesting one, particularly if continued reps in center yield a player capable of holding down the position even on a part-time basis at higher levels. –Wilson Karaman
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Due for a promotion, Zagunis was not in the Pelican lineup last night; but no explanation anywhere that I can see.