AZL Royals Shut-Down AZL Cubs at Sloan Park

Carlos Diaz collected four singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Yeison Melo drilled an RBI single and a two-run double, and RHSP Arnaldo Hernandez tossed 5.2 IP of four-hit ball, leading the AZL Royals to a 6-1 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action Monday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

RHJP James Norwood (on South Bend 7-day DL) got the rehab start for the Cubs and worked three innings (49 pitches), allowing three runs on six hits (all singles). He did not issue any walks, and struck out one (swinging) with a 5/2 GO/FO and a GIDP. Despite the mediocre results, he was throwing his fastball in the mid-90's, and looks to be ready to return to the SB-Cubs.       

25-year old RHP Trey McNutt (2014 shoulder surgery) followed Norwood to the mound, making his second AZL rehab appearance and working a 1-2-3 inning (5-3, 4-3, P-4). While he did retire the side without allowing any baserunners, McNutt is still unable to elevate his fastball velocity past 90 MPH, and there is no sign of his wipeout power slider. McNutt is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (6YFA) post-2015, so if he doesn't start to show more than he has so far, the Cubs are unlikely to offer him a 2016 minor league successor contract.   

Cubs 4th round draft pick D. J. Wilson (South Canton HS - Canton, OH) played CF and went 0-4 (4-3, F-8, F-7, F-7).

In AZL Cubs roster news, 1B Joey Martarano (hitting 315/345/426 with a team-leading 12 RBI) has been moved-up to Eugene. Martarano (who plays pro baseball as a sort of "summer job"), will be returning to school at Boise State in about three weeks, where he is a linebacker on the Bronco football team.  
Here is the abridged box score from last night's game (Cubs players only):  

1. D. J. Wilson, CF: 0-4 (4-3, F-8, F-7, F-7)
2. Robert Garcia, RF: 2-4 (1B, 1-3, 1-3, 1B, R)
3. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 2-4 (2B, F-7, 1B, K, CS)
4. Alex Bautista, LF: 0-4 (6-3, K, K, 6-3, RBI)
5. Yohan Matos, DH: 1-4 (6-3, 1B, 5-3, K)
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-4 (E-6, L-6, E-3, K) 
7. Carlos Jimenez, 3B: 1-3 (4-3, K, 1B)
9. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 0-3 (K, 1-3, L-9)

1. James Norwood: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 5/2 GO/FO, 49 pitches (36 strikes) 
2. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (7 strikes) 
3. Jesus Camargo: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 46 pitches (37 strikes) 
4. Erling Moreno: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Jesus Castillo: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 15 pitches (11 strikes)

1. P Erling Moreno: E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)
2. 3B Carlos Jimenez: E-5 (overthrow at 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd)

Jhonny Pereda: 0-2 CS  


AZ Phil - any updates on Javier Baez? I know he's in AZ and cleared to do baseball activities but hasn't appeared in a game yet.

jtsunami: Javy Baez is at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Paek, and is doing rehab on an individual basis, which means he can take BP and infield practice pretty much whenever he feels like it, either individually in the enclosed cages or out on Field #1 with the AZL Cubs.

I haven't seen Baez take pre-game BP with the AZL Cubs yet, but because he is on the Iowa DL he cannot rehab anywhere but with a short-season affiliiate (AZL Cubs or Eugene), so Baez will very likely play in all of his rehab games with AZL Cubs (for at least a week or maybe two), before he returns to Iowa. I would think he would much prefer just staying in Mesa rather than taking long overnight bus rides through Oregon, Washington, and Idaho with the Emeralds.   

Players on the Cubs MLB DL (like Tommy LaStella and Zac Rosscup) can rehab with any minor league affiliate, so LaStella and Rosscup might play in just a couple of games with the AZL Cubs before moving their rehabs up to South Bend, Myrtle Beach. Tennessee, and/or Iowa. 

"because he is on the Iowa DL he cannot rehab anywhere but with a short-season affiliiate" That's probably the rule for other players, but I'm pretty sure Baez can do whatever the fuck he wants.


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  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 48 min ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 4 days 16 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."



  • bradsbeard 6 days 11 hours ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 


  • Arizona Phil 6 days 11 hours ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 


  • crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw


  • erich081 1 week 3 hours ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


  • Hagsag 1 week 7 hours ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.


  • Charlie 1 week 12 hours ago (view)

    Watched it yesterday with my girlfriend and while Skyping my dad. It was fun to give her running commentary since she's only been a Cubs fan for the last five years.


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    MLB is sidestepping this "to the surface" pushing issue by choosing to "finacially support" minor league players according to a press release from a couple days ago.  minor league pay has been a recent source of embarrassment for MLB...

    i have no idea how robust this assistant will be, but anything less than 100% for most players (no matter the source) would be a disservice to future of the game.