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).   

Thanks Phil.

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?

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 54 min ago (view)

    I understand why it feels unsettling. I remember the series well (though I, unlike Theo, actually was in high school). Anyway, I view it as a chance to right previous wrongs in the same way we stomped StL out of the playoffs in 2015, or the way the Nationals got to burn through two teams last year that had dumped them out of October in previous seasons.

    But if we lose, of course that was 17 years ago so it's two extremely different organizations.


  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 55 min ago (view)

    DJL: All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player has not spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment. Players cannot be optioned to the minors again until Spring Training. 


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 16 min ago (view)

    CHAMP: No option year is spent just by calling up a player to MLB. An option year is spent only if a player on an MLB 40-man roster is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days in a given season. 

    Also, Brailyn Marquez is (was) eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so the Cubs were going to add him to the 40 on 11/20 anyway. They just did it a couple of months early.  


  • bradsbeard 23 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series. 


  • Craig A. 1 day 24 min ago (view)

    I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls. 


  • bradsbeard 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly. 


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.

    good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    ...or he won't make it out of the 8th

    0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches

    there's some great stuff in that arm.  mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless.  21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)



  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.


  • Charlie 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Reminds me a little of Jeff Samardzija's debut. Adrenaline throwing straight gas but all over the place. Samardzija threw a fastball all the way to the backstop in his debut (2008).


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    back to back 3-2 count 6-pitch walks.

    he's not in the zone.  he's throwing almost totally fastballs, too.


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    alzolay's gotta be locked in for a start given what he's done lately.

    i wonder what role j.lester will be given.  if he's starting, hopefully he's the 3rd/4th starter, if at all.  someone will probably give him a 2021 contract if he doesn't retire...hope it's not the cubs giving that contract, though.


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    dude's thrown a 97mph and 98mph fastball to start and both looked like he was barely expending effort.

    unfortunately, neither were near the plate.


  • Charlie 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    So, Alzolay gets at least one October start, right? He'd be a weapon out of the pen if the Cubs had more than two believable starters ready.


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Q goes 2 effective (2ip 2h 1bb 2k, 0r/er) and here comes b.marquez...