Sloppy Defense, Mental Mistakes, Walks, and Silent Bats Doom AZL Cubs at Sloan Park

Evan Marzilli (on AAA Reno 7-day DL) singled twice, walked, stole a base and scored a run, and four pitchers combined to hurl a five-hitter, as the AZL Diamondbacks defeated the AZL Cubs 5-1 in Arizona League action Wednesday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

LHSP Eric Jokisch (on Iowa 7-day DL with a strained oblique) made his first game appearance in almost two months, getting the start and throwing 2.1 IP (38 pitches - 24 strikes - 4/1 GO/FO, with one GIDP). He allowed three runs (all three runs were unearned) on three hits, a walk, and two WP, but he was the victim of bad infield defense (three errors) and a fly ball that was misplayed into a double. 

RHP Dylan Cease had his worst outing of the year, getting just two outs in the 5th before being relieved. (He was scheduled to work three innings). He allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits and two walks and a WP, and could not throw strikes (28 pitches - only 11 strikes). His fastball velocity was OK (94-97 MPH), but he was unable to command his pitches (fastball or curve). Cease might need an extra bullpen side-session or two before he gets into another game.    

LF Angelo Amendolare (Cubs 2015 27th round draft pick - Jacksonville U.) had a night to forget, misplaying a routine fly ball into a double in the 3rd inning, grounding into an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP in the 7th, and getting thrown out attempting to steal 2nd base with two outs in the bottom of the 9th with his team down 5-1. (For some unknown reason, Varonex Cuevas decided to steal third-base--and he just barely made it there safely--earlier in the inning). In Amendolare's defense (at least as far as the misplayed fly ball is concerned), he was a second-baseman in college, and may not have ever played LF before this past week. 

AZL Cubs third-baseman Carlos Jimenez committed two more errors in the game (this time they were both throwing errors), for a total of four errors in two nights (his two errors Tuesday night were both fielding errors). 

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

1. Robert Garcia, RF: 1-4 (1B, 3-U, P-2, F-8)
2. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-3 (6-3, BB, 1B, 5-3)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-4 (1-2 FC, 4-3, L-8, 1B)
4. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 1-3 (HBP, 1B, E-6, F-9, R)
5. Varonex Cuevas, DH: 1-4 (L-7, E-6, K, 2B)
6. Angelo Amendolare, LF: 0-3 (P-3, 6-U FC, 5-4-3 DP, BB, CS)
7. Roberto Caro, CF: 0-4 (1-3, 3-6 FC, 4-3, K, RBI, CS)
8. Carlos Jimenez, 3B: 0-3 (L-7, 6-3, BB, K,) 
9. Marcus Mastrobuoni, C: 0-3 (5-3, BB, 4-6-3 DP, K)

1. Eric Jokisch: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 4/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (24 strikes) 
2. Matt Brazis: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (21 strikes) 
3. Dylan Cease: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/FO, 28 pitches (11 strikes) 
4. Ariel Ovando: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 0/5 GO/FO, 39 pitches (25 strikes) 
5. Scott Effross: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 2/2 GO/FO, 20 pitches (12 strikes) 

1. 2B Carlos Sepulveda: E-4 (errant throw attempting 4-6 FC allowed baserunner to arrive safely at 2nd base) 
2. 3B Carlos Jimenez: E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach second-base) 
3. 3B Carlos Jimenez: E-5 (errant throw to 1st base on bunt single allowed baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd) 


Phil, what is your scouting report on Sepulveda? He seems interesting since this is his first pro season. Also, I know the Dominican facility is state of the art, but do you know what kind of set up the Cubs have in Ven.?

HAGSAG: Carlos Sepulveda was the #1 rated amateur prospect in Mexico last season (he was the 1st overall pick in the Mexican Pacific League Draft last August), and the Cubs signed him in December. He was supposed to be just a second-baseman, but the Cubs found out after he arrived in Mesa that he has the arm, range, and ball-handling skills required to play shortstop, too.  

Sepulveda has a slashing-style swing and he is capable of driving the ball with authority. He hits home runs in BP and he hit a couple in intrasquad games in Extended Spring Training. He has above-average speed and he likes to take charge in the infield. He's a bit bossy and intense and doesn't mess around much, sort of like Javy Baez in the field, but of course without Javy's bat speed and HR power at the plate.

I don't know anything about the Cubs VSL facility other than that it is a small stadium with a clubhouse. It is NOT an actual "academy" like the one the Cubs built a couple of years ago in La Gina, Dominican Republic (which is a slightly smaller version of the Cubs facility in Mesa, with multiple fields, batting cages, and bullpens, dormitory, cafeteria, kitchen, classrooms, and physical training center).   

ArizonaPhil. On another board, someone posted Rule 40 (a)(3), which he claims says that in order to be eligible for the post season roster, they must be on the 25 man roster on August 31. This seems to be contrary to your article, although I may well be misreading it. Are you familiar with the above rule?

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full)    

Last updated 1-24-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Brad Boxberger
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Julian Merryweather
Ethan Roberts 
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

* Tucker Barnhart 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
* Eric Hosmer
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

Kevin Alcantara
* Cody Bellinger 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents