Trey McNutt Takes Mound in Game for First Time in Two Years
Miguel Mercedes slugged a two-run triple in the top of the 1st inning and Robert Mullen smacked a two-run triple in the 6th, Rangel Ravelo singled, doubled, reached base on an HBP, and scored two runs, and Brett Siddall drilled a two-run double to cap a five-run 8th, as the AZL Athletics rallied to defeat the AZL Cubs 9-6 in Arizona League action Thursday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
Wladimir Galindo belted a two-run triple and a double for the AZL Cubs in a losing cause. The 18-year old man-child also did his best "Bull in a China Shop" impression, doing a "header" while sliding head-first into third base on the triple, and crashing his face into the 3rd base bag and almost knocking himself out in the process.
Cubs 2015 24th round draft pick Sutton Whiting got the start in LF and he probably did knock himself out (albeit briefly) after he crashed at full speed into the LF fence while attempting to corral Mullen's two-run triple in the 6th. The speedy Whiting played SS at the U. of Louisville, but the Cubs have been working him out at 2B and now LF (probably with an eye toward using him as an IF-OF "super-sub" as he moves up through the system). But somebody better tell him that the LF fence (which he may never have met up-close-and-personal previously) doesn't have a lot of "give" to it, and that he might want to show just a wee bit more caution before he tries running through it again.
25-year old RHP Trey McNutt (2014 shoulder surgery) saw his first game action in more than two years, getting the start for the AZL Cubs and facing five batters (17 pitches - only 5 strikes). He walked the first man he faced on four pitches (runner was then CS) and retired the second batter on an F-8 FO, before allowing a single, an HBP, and the Mercedes two-run triple. McNutt's fastball lacked velocity or movement, and he couldn't throw his breaking ball for strikes.
There was a time not that long ago (well OK, five years ago) when McNutt and RHP Chris Archer were considered to be the Cubs top two pitching prospects, and when the Cubs acquired RHP Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Ray in January 2011, the pitching prospect going back to Tampa Bay was to be either McNutt or Archer (Cubs choice supposedly), and Cubs GM Jim Hendry opted to keep McNutt over Archer. McNutt did feature a 94-96 MPH fastball and an explosive slider at the time and Archer had command issues throughout his minor league career up to that point in time, but however it went down, it would appear that the Cubs ended up with the "short stick."
McNutt is eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 six-year minor league free-agent (6YFA) after this season, so this may be his last chance to make a favorable impression with the current Cubs regime. And from what I saw last night, he is nowhere close to the Trey McNutt I remember from 2010 or even from before the shoulder injury. 21-year old 6'2 220+ Dominican RHP Pedro Silverio followed McNutt to the mound and retired 13 of the first 15 men he faced (both of the batters reached base on an HBP), and he did not allow his first hit until his fifth inning of work (when he clearly was tiring). Silverio has a similar repertoire as that of Panamanian RHSP Erling Moreno (89-91 MPH fastball that touches 92, a plus-curve, and a decent change-up), but he doesn't have Moreno's "ceiling" (Moreno is three years younger). Still, Silverio was the ace of the 2015 DSL Cubs prior to getting moved-up to the AZL Cubs last month, and he was impressive last night (his second strong outing in a row). Silverio was signed as an 18-year old by the Cubs post-2012, but his pro debut was delayed for almost a year after he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a PED in April 2013.
RHP Trey Masek (Cubs 2013 5th round pick - Texas Tech) continued his rehab (2014 right shoulder surgery), but had major control issues, surrendering a single and walking three (the last one to force-in a run) in just a third of an inning as the A's rallied for five runs in the 8th.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Robert Garcia, RF: 1-4 (K+WP, 1B, K, F-8, BB, R, CS)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-5 (1B, K, K, 6-3, K)
3. Wladmir Galindo, 3B: 2-4 (E2-CI, 3B, 2B, L-5, F-9, R, 2 RBI)
4. Joey Martarano, DH: 1-5 (5-4-3 DP, 1B, F-9, K, 6-4 FC, R, RBI)
5. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, K, R)
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-4 (L-8, E-5, 4-6-3 DP, F-8, R)
7. Roberto Caro, CF: 1-4 (2-U, 1B, 4-3, F-8, RBI)
8. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-4 (5-3, F-9, K, 2B)
9a. Sutton Whiting, LF: 0-2 (E-4, F-7, R)
9b. Alex Bautista, LF: 1-2 (1B, 1-3)
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Trey McNutt: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (5 strikes)
2. Pedro Silverio: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP, 7/4 GO/FO, 74 pitches (45 strikes)
3. Tanner Griggs: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Trey Masek: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Santiago Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (27 strikes)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. LF Sutton Whiting: E-7 (throwing error allowed batter to advance an extra base on a single)
2. LF Alex Bautista: E-7 (fielding error allowed batter and runner to advance an extra base on single)
AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS:
CF Roberto Caro - runner thrown out 8-6-5 trying to stretch double into triple
Hagsag 4 hours 4 min ago (view)
Cardinals have two games left with Detroit, not the Cubs.
blockhead25 9 hours 45 min ago (view)
Ahh, 2 games against the Tigers, but seems to imply they'd only play those games if it will impact which teams make the playoffs. If the Cardinals win their last 2, I don't believe the other games could impact which Team makes it. Why would Detroit have any incentive to win those games? Well, hope the Cubs won one of the next 2 so it doesn't matter.
crunch 10 hours 30 min ago (view)
yeah, it may be another team. i just know they have a possible monday double header...unless i got that wrong, too.
blockhead25 11 hours 1 min ago (view)
Cubs? We played the cards the full 10 slate?
if Cards make playoffs, I would think they'd want nothing to do with having to play a double header Monday to improve playoff seeding.
crunch 11 hours 9 min ago (view)
the cubs may or may not have to play a doubleheader vs STL on monday depending on the next game or 2...i think
blockhead25 11 hours 11 min ago (view)
How did the Cubs not just clinch the division?
Aren't the Cards only scheduled for 58 games?
beat Cards can do is 31-27. Worst Cubs can do is 33-27.
crunch 11 hours 31 min ago (view)
j.baez is batting left handed...and hits a double.
CWS have a position player "pitching"
crunch 11 hours 33 min ago (view)
2nd contreras homer...no bat flip, no staring down the pitcher, quick trip around the bases, into the dugout.
crunch 11 hours 34 min ago (view)
i wish more non-AFL winter league was televised. dominican, puerto rico, etc...you can straight up showboat if you've earned it on a play without having to deal with retaliation (most of the time). bat flips, pitcher celebrations, swagger home run trots, etc...all fair game. it's you know...fun.
Craig A. 11 hours 57 min ago (view)
Plunking a guy for a bat flip only proves the pitcher has thin skin and short fingers. I'm glad Contreras scored.
Cubster 12 hours 13 min ago (view)
I goofed wrt Bluejays/Astros. They clinched a WC #2 and 8 seed but Houston has a lock on West div team 2. The Indians will be 7 seed and wild card #1, abd team #3 from the central
crunch 12 hours 14 min ago (view)
hey, guess who just got a fastball in the back.
crunch 13 hours 2 min ago (view)
that contreras bat flip, tho...
Cubster 14 hours 32 min ago (view)
Cards lose game 1 of DH w Brewers
crunch 15 hours 41 min ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / baez / schwarber / caratini / kipnis / hoerner(3rd)
eloy will not start this weekend for CWS and may be unavailable to pinch hit, too (foot injury).
Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 50 min ago (view)
Even more of a shame when you consider we gave up a decent prospect for him