Cease Can't Stop Firing Blanks at AZL Giants

Joey Martarano belted three doubles, knocked in two runs, and scored another, Andruw Monasterio drilled a line-drive RBI triple and a single and walked, and Dylan Cease tossed three innings of perfect baseball (6-3, K, F-8, K, 1-3, K, L-9, F-7, 4-3) and combined with three relievers to hurl a four-hitter, as the AZL Cubs defeated the AZL Giants 6-1 in Arizona League action Friday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

While Cease did in fact throw three perfect innings, he also only threw 56% strikes, getting behind on most of the hitters he faced before rallying to put them away. 

Shawon Dunston Jr (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL) continued his AZL rehab, playing the entire game in LF and going 2-4 with a single, a double, and a walk, so he should be just about ready to return to the Pelicans.  

After making his pro debut Thursday night with a pinch-hit game-winning two-run double, Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick D. J. Wilson (Canton South HS - Canton, OH) made his first pro game start in Friday night's game, playing CF and hitting lead-off. The 18-year old went 1-4, flying out to RF in the bottom of the 1st inning, drawing a walk, stealing second base, and then scoring the Cubs first run of the game on a Carlos Sepulveda RBI single to short-right in the 3rd (Wilson made a really fine "tight cut" coming around third, which alllowed him to score just ahead of the throw home), used his plus-speed to beat out what should have been a routine 4-3 ground out for an infield single in the 4th, struck out swinging with one out and a runner on 3rd in the 6th, and popped out to the second-baseman in short RF in his final PA in the 8th. He also made a nice running catch in right-centerfield to end the top of the 1st inning. A Vanderbilt recruit, Wilsom received a $1.3M signing bonus (equivalent to "2nd round money") to forgo college in favor of a pro baseball career. He reminds me a bit of Lenny Dykstra, except Wilson has not served time in a federal prison. 

After making his pro debut as a pinch-hitter Thursday night (FC), Cubs 2015 16th round pick Michael Foster (Northeastern U.) also made his first pro game start Friday night (he was the Cubs DH), going 1-4 with an RBI single and a run scored. The toolsy Foster was a "two-way player" (RHP/SS) in college, but figures to play CF in pro ball. He was both a champion swimmer and a member of the Candian Junior National baseball team as a teenager, and he majored in chemical engineering at Northeastern, so he's apparently a schmart guy, too.

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

1. D. J. Wilson, CF: 1-4 (F-9, BB, 1B, K, P-4, R, SB)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-5 (K, 1B, 4-6 FC, F-7, F-7, 2 RBI)
3. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 2-4 (1B, 2B, L-9, P-4, BB)
4a. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 2-4 (3-U, K, 1B, 1B, R, CS)
4b. Carlos Jimenez, 3B: 0-1 (K)
5. Alex Bautista, RF: 1-4 (L-9, K, K, 1B, R)
6. Joey Martarano, 1B: 3-4, (2B, 2B, 4-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
7. Marcus Mastrobuoni, C: 1-4 (3-U, F-9, 2B, 4-3, R)
8. Michael Foster, DH: 1-4 (3-1, 1B, 6-3, P-4, R, RBI)
9. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 2-3 (K, 1B, 3B, BB, RBI)

1. Dylan Cease: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 39 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Manny Rondon: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 5/4 GO/FO, 65 pitches (39 strikes) 
3. Luis Hernandez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 15 pitches (11 strikes) 
4. Carlos Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes) 



AZ PHIL: Wilson was a 2015 draftee, wasn't he? Wondering, from what you've seen, does Cease project to a #3 in the bigs? That is what I thought Tseng could achieve but his control has improved level to level. As for Foster, great to hear. Plus if his baseball career doesn't pan out he could always start a meth lab.

AZ Phil: I suspect Baez and LaStella are in AZ (as well as Rosscup). Let us know your take on how far away they are. If they are just starting "baseball activities" I'm assuming they are probably 2 weeks before activation although LaStella's (oblique) might be a longer timetable then Baez (finger) and Baez might go to Iowa first anyway. from the Trib/Mark Gonzales this am:
Extra innings: Infielder Javier Baez was cleared to start swinging a bat. Infielder Tommy La Stella also was cleared to begin baseball work. ... Left-hander Zac Rosscup began throwing bullpen sessions in Arizona.

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  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 8 min ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.


  • Cubster 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!


  • Mornington Crescent 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.


  • crunch 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.

    marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd


  • Hagsag 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Yes they did.


  • crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).

    billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.


  • Mike Wellman 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?


  • Craig A. 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.


  • Hagsag 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.


  • CubbyBlue 3 days 23 hours ago (view)



  • CTSteve 4 days 20 min ago (view)

    It was time. 


  • Hagsag 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Love it Jackstraw.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed OF Cameron Maybin to a 2021 minor league contract.

    Because he was an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2020, he gets the automatic $100K retention bonus and June 1st player opt-out if he is not released or added to the MLB 40-man roster by MLB Opening Day.