Underwood Hurls Blanks at Royals at Riverview

Victor Caratini (Cubs) ripped an opposite-field two-out triple into the rightfield corner, Dan Vogelbach (Cubs) followed with an RBI double down the RF line to knock-in Caratini, and Andrew Daniel (Angels) drove-in Vogelbach from 2nd with an RBI ground single to center to open the scoring in the bottom of the 1st inning, and Cubs top pitching prospect RHP Duane Underwood Jr hurled four innings of no run/no hit ball with five strikeouts and combined with four Cub relievers to toss a three hitter, as the Angels/Cubs co-op squad defeated the Royals 4-1 in AZ Advanced Instructional League action this afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The Royals were held hitless through the first six innings of the game, before Austin Bailey lined a single to center off Rob Zastryzny leading off the top of the 7th. 

Here is the box score from today's game (Cubs players highlighted in bold and underlined) 

1a. Carlos Garcia, 2B: 0-2 (P-5, 2-3) 
1b. Austin Bailey, 2B: 1-2 (1B, 1-3)
2a. Raul Adalberto Mondesi, SS: 0-2 (K, K) 
2b. Humberto Arteaga, SS: 0-2 (4-6 FC, 6-3)
3a. Orlando Calixte, 3B: 0-1 (6-3, BB)
3b. Wander Franco, 3B: 0-1 (L-8)
4a. Ryan O'Hearn, 1B: 0-2 (L-9, F-7)
4b. Samir Duenez, 1B: 0-1 (F-7)
5. Elier Hernandez, RF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, R)
6. Alfredo Escalera, LF: 1-3 (4-3, 4-3, 1B)
7a. Anderson Miller, CF: 0-2 (P-4, 4-3)
7b. Amalani Fukofuka, CF: 0-1 (5-3)
8a. Chad Johnson, C: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
8b. Xavier Fernandez, C: 0-1 (5-3, RBI)
9. Cam Gallagher, DH #1: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3)
10. Chase Vallot, DH #2: 0-2 (BB, F-8, K)

X-1 Wade Wass, DH-C: 1-3 (K, BB, F-9, 2B, RBI) 
NOTE: Wass batted third in bottom of the 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 8th innings) 
X-2 Bo Way, PR: NO AB (R, 2 SB, CS)
NOTE: Way pinch-ran for Wass in bottom of the 5th & 8th innings) 
1. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (L-9, 5-3, 5-3, 1B, R)
2. Chesny Young, 2B: 2-4 (3-1, 1B, 1B, F-8, SB)
3. Victor Caratini, C-DH: 1-2 (3B, 4-3, BB, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-3 (2B, F-8, P-6, BB, R, RBI, CS)
5. Andrew Daniel, 3B: 1-4 (1B, F-9, F-7, K, RBI)
6. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (K, K, F-8)
7. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-3 (5-3, K, F-9)
8. Kody Eaves, SS: 0-3 (K, F-8, P-4)

1. Eric Skoglund: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 3/1 GO/AO, 46 pitches (33 strikes) 
2. Matt Alvarez: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 19 pitches (13 strikes) 
3. Josh Staumont: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/4 GO/AO, 35 pitches (17 strikes) 
4. Evan Beal: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 0/4 GO/AO, 33 pitches (20 strikes)

1. Duane Underwood Jr: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 3/4 GO/AO, 62 pitches (36 strikes) 
2. Jordan Minch: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. Rob Zastryzny: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 27 pitches (18 strikes) 
4. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Michael Jensen: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (10 strikes) 

C Xavier Fernandez - E-2 (errant throw on stolen base attempt at 3rd base allowed runner to score)


1. Chad Johnson: 1-3 CS 
2. Xavier Fernandez: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above) 

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures 105+



What happens to the post-season schedule if this game is still going on Thursday?

Oh good, Austin Jackson is up to bat. Said no one ever, except for fans of opposing teams.

Piscotty injured in LF collision http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/6479266/v5071148...

It seems that catcher is no longer a position of weakness in the Cubs chain.

Pitching on the other hand...

the cubs have e.jokisch and d.beeler on their 40-man...that's just sad on it's own. j.turner should be 100% next year, though he's not really exciting even when healthy. he's most likely the closest quality arm that's MLB-ready in the minors, though. CARL edwards seems like he's a pen guy now because of control and stamina questions. AA/AAA is looking really thin aside from p.johnson and r.williams (assuming underwood isn't going to start in AA...which he may).

My take is Theo made the decision 4 years ago to center the rebuild around position players (e. g. Bryant, Schwarber, Soler, Baez etc.). They've drafted quantity in rounds 2--10, but not any TOR except maybe Underwood being close. To me, this why FA payroll is for Lester, Price, or whoever they can attract.

Beaten TCR dead horse, meet The E-Man...

im still shocked they turned down a chance at a.nola for schwarb (who was not expected to stick at C and quickly move to LF for about 90%+ of the observing world) given the state of the system at the time...though, at the time it was hard to complain about getting one of the best college bats in the draft. schwarb's been good...i'll take it.

Nola has been good also, 6-2 win a 3.59 ERA this season for the Phils. Either pick in hindsight would be a win.

Schwarb adjusting right now to say the least. Average dropping fast last 60 days

Him, Fowler, Russel and Rizzo have all had bad Septembers. Schwarber is still taking walks thankfully and is a sign he'll hopefully pull out of this slump but really need some better hitting out at least a couple of those 4 in the playoffs.

Fowler batting .204 in September, Schwarber hitting .179. Not sure I like Schwarber batting 2nd in the WC game if both remain ice cold for the rest of the season. Addy is hitting .203 in September as well.

Eeek! /Bryant is hitting, right?RIGHT?!?!?

He has a 1.002 OPS in September so yeah been on fire. Montero, Soler, Castro, Coghlan, La Stella all have had decent to good Septembers too.

Coghlan very cold now, though -- I think that now makes him 0 for his last 15 and 2 for his last 27. Yuck.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 37 min 51 sec ago (view)

    Someone to keep an eye on in 2021 is RHRP (ex-1B) Jerrick Suiter. 

    He was selected by the Cubs from the Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft and the Cubs  immediately converted him from a mediocre AA first-baseman to a full-time pitcher, having seen him throw garbage innings in blow-outs for the Pirates AA Altoona affiliate in 2019.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 44 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 


  • crunch 12 hours 7 min ago (view)

    "He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

    reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 16 min ago (view)

    TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well. 


  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 55 min ago (view)

    AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

    He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

    His receiving should improve with experience as well. 


  • azbobbop 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?


  • tim815 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 


  • Charlie 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 


  • crunch 4 days 4 hours ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.


  • crunch 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year