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): 

AZL CUBS LINEUP:
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)

AZL CUBS PITCHERS
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) 

AZL CUBS ERRORS: 3 
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) 

Comments

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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  • crunch 2 hours 2 min ago (view)

    it screws up stats.  i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.

    it also makes historical comparisons difficult.

    the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high.  what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.

     

  • Charlie 3 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-runner-on-second-i...

    I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 hours 51 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List. 

     

  • crunch 6 hours 16 min ago (view)

    well that sucked.

    2-game sweep, 2 games under .500

     

  • crunch 6 hours 42 min ago (view)

    stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...

    https://www.mlb.com/cut4/chipper-jones-sciambi-lau...

    boog used to call games for ATL, btw...

     

  • tim815 9 hours 12 min ago (view)

    Someone on social media was floating Yoelqui Cespedes to the Cubs in a Bryant trade.

    I was clueless if it was permitted. It is.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 20 hours 12 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson, who was with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, but is formerly of the big league White Sox, Dodgers, and A’s. The Diamondbacks are getting cash in the deal, which is a reflection of the reality that Thompson, 30, is a depth outfielder at this point in his career. Thompson is the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson. https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/05/11/cub...

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    i'd like to point out ross feels more comfortable with j.pederson and k.bryant in CF over j.heyward.

    watching heyward not just look human in the OF, but having a bit of a hard time is rough.  he's just not getting to stuff like he used to.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    bryant out of the game for no apparent reason...that...doesn't seem good...

    he's "under the weather" according the clubhouse.  that's better than screwed up oblique or similar, at least.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    this shane bieber guy kinda sucks.  1 run in, bases loaded 0 outs.

    i hope 4-5 innings of alzolay and the 5 pen guys after him hold it down.

    ...hey wow, bases loaded 0 out turns into 0 runs...very cubs.

     

  • George Altman 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Baseball wants more offense, fans want more action -- limit pitching staffs to 12, ideally transition to 11 over a 3 year period. 

    Teams are asking RPs to throw only 45 pitches a week. Think about that.

    SPs who throw 175 IP/Yr will be museum pieces in 5 years.

    It's not shifts. Oh....and electronic Strike zones as soon as possible. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    given that the starters are on pace to pitch around 150 innings this year they might need the zillion relievers.

    i'm under the impression that d.ross got a new Fitbit exercise tracker prior to the season and likes to have excuses to walk to the mound for higher step counts.  i'm going with this theory until proved otherwise.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    I get that 40 man rosters are complicated, but now we have 10 GD relievers and 3 bench guys, one of whom is an obviously injured Javy.

    I can't wait until they reinstate the 13 pitchers maximum rule.

     

  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    baez (again) a late scratch because back ouchies.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    OF Jake Marisnick to 10-DAY IL, and Cubs recall LHRP Brad Wieck. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Prior to last season, Rule 4 Competitive Balance Draft picks could be traded in advance of the draft (the window beginning on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the start of the draft), although the pick could not be sold for cash, the pick itself could not be the PTBNL in a trade, and once traded the pick could not be flipped to a third team.

    However, there is presently a moratorium on trading Competitive Balance picks that extends through the conclusion of the 2021 draft, so right now no draft picks may be traded.