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?

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  • Cubster 52 min 2 sec ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.


  • Cubster 1 hour 1 min ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts


  • crunch 11 hours 34 min ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.


  • crunch 15 hours 53 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.


  • Jackstraw 16 hours 20 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

    the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*


  • Ryno 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Depends on who you are.


  • Ryno 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.


  • Ryno 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.


  • Hagsag 2 days 1 hour ago (view)



  • Cubster 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    speaking of Trump's trained rats...


  • Hagsag 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!


  • BobbyD 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.