Rondon Makes Cub Debut & Cease Fires No Hit Stuff for AZL Cubs
RHP Luis Jimenez hurled five innings of shutout ball with nine strikeouts and combined with two relievers to toss a two-hit shutout, as the AZL Indians whitewashed the AZL Cubs 5-0 in Arizona League game action Saturday (5:30 PM local start time) at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
RHP Dylan Cease got the start for the Cubs and had the best outing I have seen from him yet (and I have seen all of his pro game outings, including "sim" games, intrasquad games, Extended Spring Training games, and AZL games), throwing three dominating innings of no-hit ball with three strikeouts (all three swinging) and a 5/1 GO/FO. When he didn't notch a strikeout, he induced weak contact and broken bats from the Tribe hitters. He walked the first man he faced and then retired the next nine batters in a row (K, 3-U, K, 4-3, 6-3, P-6, 4-3, K, 1-3), with the walk coming around to score thanks to two stolen bases and an E-2 overthrow at 3rd base by Cubs catcher Yohan Matos.
20-year old Venezuelan LHP Manny Rondon (acquired along with an ISBP SBV slot from the Los Angeles Angels for catcher Rafael Lopez just yesterday) made his Cub debut in the game, and looked pretty much like he did the last time I saw him, which was in his last outing for the Angels (against the Cubs) a week ago last Thursday in Tempe, when he surrendered six runs on nine hits (including two triples and a double) in 3.1 IP. This time Rondon worked four innings in relief and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits (including three singles, a double, and a triple). On the positive side, he issued no walks and struck out three (two swinging), with both swinging punch-outs coming on a two-strike change-up (which is his best pitch). And while he did get cuffed around a bit, 71% of his pitches were strikes.
Rondon works his two-seam fastball at 88-89 MPH and occasionally touches the low 90's with it, but the change-up is his "money" pitch. To make it all work, he has to throw his fastball down at the bottom of the strike zone and can't allow it to get ripped all over the yard while setting up the change-up, and he has had trouble avoiding that outcome in his last two AZL outings. However, he did pitch very well in his first AZL appearance (getting the start and throwing five innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts for the Angels versus the A's on AZL Opening Day), and he was the DSL Angels best pitching prospect last season. So perhaps (hopefully) there is a mechanical flaw that can be corrected, and his last two outings will be remembered as just a temporary detour from the Road to Success.
Cubs 2015 27th round draft pick INF Angelo Amendolare (Jacksonville U.) has been moved-up to AAA Iowa from the AZL Cubs before he had a chance to make his pro debut in an AZL game. Because of promotions, trades, and injuries, the I-Cubs needed bench guys ASAP, and with the 22-year old Amendolare being a mature and polished college senior from a D-1 program (with additional experience playing summer ball in the Cape Cod League last year), he got the unexpected call-up (as did IF-OF Varonex Cuevas, who moved-up to Iowa from Eugene). It's probably just a temporary assignment, but still, that's a nice way to make your pro debut (presuming he gets into a PCL game while he's there).
Here is the abridged box score from Saturday's game (Cubs players only):
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Robert Garcia, CF: 0-3 (K, K, K, HBP)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-4 (4-3, 4-3, 6-3, 3-6 FC)
3. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 1-4 (1B, K, L-7, 4-U FC)
4. Joey Martarano, DH: 0-4 (4-U FC, E-5, 6-3, F-7)
5. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 0-4 (K, K, 6-3, 6-3)
6. Alex Bautista, RF: 0-4 (K, 4-3, P-6, F-8)
7. Yohan Matos, C: 0-2 (6-3, K, HBP)
8. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 0-1 (BB, BB, F-9, SB, CS)
9. Donnie Cimino, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, 5-3)
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Dylan Cease: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 5/1 GO/FO, 45 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Tanner Griggs: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 12 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Manny Rondon: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 5/4 GO/FO, 56 pitches (40 strikes)
4. Ariel Ovando: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 12 pitches (10 strikes)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: 2;
1. C Yohan Matos: E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 3rd base allowed runner to score)
2. 3B Wladimir Galindo: E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely and runner to score from 2nd)
AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yohan Matos: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
Arizona Phil 2 hours 13 min ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of 25-year old 6'5 260 RHP Adam Heidenfelder from Gary (American Association) and he has been assigned to the ACL Cubs.
Hagsag 12 hours 21 min ago (view)
Does anyone know what type of injury Amaya has?
Hagsag 12 hours 24 min ago (view)
I can not believe what a good 3b he has been playing.
Wrigley Rat 18 hours 15 min ago (view)
Robert Stock was claimed off waivers by the Mets.
crunch 20 hours 14 min ago (view)
HR in the 8th. dope.
crunch 22 hours 25 min ago (view)
he's back out in the field in the top 3rd...must be okay, but he sure doesn't look confidently healthy. *shrug* off-day tomorrow...
crunch 22 hours 35 min ago (view)
p.wisdom seems to have injured his right leg/knee swinging a bat...
crunch 22 hours 57 min ago (view)
“It did not feel good to take Javy out of the game,” Ross said. “I never feel comfortable doing that at all. That's a pit in my stomach and it was in my stomach the entire game.”
“I blame it on myself. I lost the count of the outs,” Báez said. “We talked about it. We're on the same page. I'll be there tomorrow to help the team.”
First.Pitch.120 1 day 33 min ago (view)
The thing that gets me is that she cheated with the guy providing religous-based pre-marital counseling. Hmmm... this guy is abusing his (quasi-)professional couseling position to pursue an intimate relationship; forgot the parts of the Bible about lying, cheating, & doing dirty by the 2016 WS MVP; and clearly has very conflicted feelings on the marriage construct... yep, I'm blowing up multiple people's lives to ride-or-die with THAT guy.
Hagsag 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
I am with my hero Zo.
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
whole zobrist thing got fleshed out (no pun) in public now...
Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have signed C Harrison Wenson (ex-LAA) to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to Hi-A South Bend. Wenson spent five seasons in the Angels organization, and he got an NRI to MLB Spring Training as an extra catcher with the Halos this past spring.
crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
69 (nice) pitches...goes 4.2ip and leaves with a man on 1st
4.2ip 3h 1bb 5k, 3r/er (2hr)
alzolay continues to have the HR screw him over. 12 given up in 62.1ip
crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
d.ross pulls baez for alcantara for what was either a mental mistake forgetting the outs or totally not hustling by baez in the bottom 4th running the bases.
cubs are down by 1.
hell of manager power play. hope this plays out well...expect it will.
crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
nico expected back in early july...duffy had a "setback" and is in limbo...bote has started baseball activities, but nowhere near a return time.
crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
haha. ump checked alzolay's hat and glove between innings and declared it all clear.
stuff so nasty they wanna make sure you're not on that "sticky fingers" bandwagon.