Angel 18-Hit Attack Too Much for Cubs at Instructs

David Calabrese (Angels 2020 3rd round pick) drilled a three-run HR to put his team on the board, Jeremiah Jackson (Angels 2018 2nd round draft pick) blasted a solo HR, doubled and scored, and drew a walk, Werner Blakely (Angels 2020 4th round pick) belted an RBI triple, singled twice, and scored two runs, Arol Vera (Angels 2019 $2M IFA signing) singled twice, walked, reached base on an HBP, scored four runs, and drove-in another, Nataneal Santana singled twice, walked, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in two more, and Jordyn Adams (Angels 2018 1st round draft pick) collected three singles, as the Angels lashed-out 18 hits en route to an 11-3 pasting of the Cubs in AZ Instructional League game action Tuesday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Cubs 2021 7th round pick Parker Chavers singled, doubled, and scored a run, Cubs 2020 1st round pick Ed Howard singled twice and scored a run, and Owen Caissie (acquired from the Padres in the Darvish trade) and Miguel Fabrizio collected RBI singles for the Cubs in a losing cause.    

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

1. Parker Chavers, RF: 2-5 (6-3, 2B, 5-3, 1B, 4-3, R)
2. Ed Howard IV, SS: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, 1B, K, R)
3. Alexander Canario, CF: 0-2 (BB, F-8, BB, E-5, PO)
4. Owen Caissie, LF: 1-4 (K, K, K, 1B, RBI)
5. Miguel Fabrizio, DH: 2-4 (K, 1B, 1B, K, RBI)
6. Casey Opitz, C: 0-4 (4-3, K, 5-4 FC, K)
7. Liam Spence, 3B: 1-4 (L-9, 1-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
8. Peter Matt, 1B: 1-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, K, CS) 
9. Miguel Pabon, 2B: 0-4 (K, 5-3, K, 4-3, RBI)

1. Luke Little: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/AO, 48 pitches (27 strikes) 
2. Luis Angel Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 52 pitches (33 strikes) 
3. Frankie Scalzo Jr: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 43 pitches (27 strikes) 
4. Burl Carraway: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 25 pitches (11 strikes)

P Frankiie Scalzo Jr: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd) 

Casey Opitz: 1-2 CS 

CF Alexander Canario - batter thrown out 8-6 attempting to stretch single into double


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+ 


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"   


Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five singles, and Cubs 2020 2nd round draft pick LHRP Burl Carraway had very poor command of both a 92-93 T-94 FB and a CV (he threw only 44% strikes and labored to complete his one inning of work).     

The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 

Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 

So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?

FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right? I mean, if they've already mastered this stuff and can do it without making mistakes, they wouldn't be down here. 


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  • Cubster 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    Lefty Matz to Cardinals. 4/44. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    With the CBA expiring on December 1st, MLB owners and the MLBPA have jointly agreed to move the contract tender date up from Thursday December 2nd to Tuesday November 30th (that's a week from today). 

    Then (presumably) the lock-out will start the next day (Wednesday). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Not that TJS is ever necessarily a good thing, but taking a year off from catching could give Miguel Amaya a chance to work on his hitting.

    His glove & arm were probably a year ahead of his bat coming into 2021, so once he gets going again hopefully he will be able to spend a significant part of his rehab working in the cages. 

    Also, although he won't be able to throw for a while, he should be able to work on his receiving during the summer, once he is cleared to resume non-throwing baseball activities.  


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless you consider Erick Castillo and Tyler Payne as legit contenders to be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2022, the Cubs have no catcher who is projected to eventually play in MLB anywhere near MLB ready.


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    With Amaya's 2022 year as a catcher essentially an non-factor and Robinson Chirinos and Austin Romaine again free agents, It looks like any rumors of moving Willson Contreras will go quiet. At least Chirinos could hit (for a backup catcher). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Matt Burch, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Marco Prieto,  RHP Jorge Remon, RHP Dawel Rodriguez, and OF Vance Vizcaino, so the off-season Cubs Minor League Domestic Reserve List is now at 169 (21 slots are open).  

    Six of the nine players who were released (Allen, Apostel, Joaquin, Kelly, Remon, and Vizcaino) were Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and all six had been left off the Iowa Reserve List when rosters were filed last Friday. 


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    sorry, posted in other thread.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Also, Justin Steele gets a 4th minor league option in 2022 (must be used in 2022). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: Of all the TJS rehab types, a catcher TJS rehab is probably most similar to a pitcher's because of the laser pinpoint rifle throws a catcher needs to make to 2nd base.

    So I would expect Amaya will be able to DH by mid-season (hitting shouldn't be a problem by then), and then (hopefully) be able to throw normally in games (as a catcher) at post-season Instructs and then maybe in the AFL, with 2023 Spring Training being when he should be 100%. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Yes, except a position player only gets a maximum of 20 days on a minor league injury rehab assignment, so the 30 extra days allowed for a position player rehabbing from TJS would mean a maximum of 50 days, whereas it would be a maximum of 60 days for a pitcher (the original 30 days that pitchers get plus the additional 30 days in the form of three 10-day increments). And this also only applies to players on an MLB IL. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    DSJ: Exactly. Even though he was just acquired in a trade, the Cubs still might opt to non-tender Ramirez on 12/2, that is, as long as he goes along with the plan. I doubt that the Cubs would non-tender him if he declines (in advance) to sign a 2022 minor league contract.  


  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    well...that's one hell of a forearm strain.


  • tim815 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Arizona Phil. Would Amaya, as a catcher, be eligible for the TJS exemption?


  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    w.franco (rays) extend 11y/185m

    not bad for a guy with 1/10th of a season service time.


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Miguel Amaya to have Tommy John surgery. Will likely miss most of next season. (I speculate that he could maybe DH a bit in the second half and throw towards August.)


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    When you add in the arb-eligibility, that's gotta make Ramirez a real contender for Hermosillo's "non-tender poster boy" title