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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  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 40 min ago (view)

    Someone to keep an eye on in 2021 is RHRP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter. 

    He was selected by the Cubs from the Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft and the Cubs  immediately converted him from a mediocre AA first-baseman to a full-time pitcher, having seen him throw garbage innings in blow-outs for the Pirates AA Altoona affiliate in 2019.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 47 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 


  • crunch 13 hours 10 min ago (view)

    "He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

    reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 20 min ago (view)

    TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well. 


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 58 min ago (view)

    AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

    He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

    His receiving should improve with experience as well. 


  • azbobbop 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?


  • tim815 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 


  • Charlie 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 


  • crunch 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year