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):
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
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)
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
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)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: NONE