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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  • Charlie 18 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Currently at a near full-time job that just barely covers my monthly expenses if nothing emerges.

    I make more than that.


  • crunch 19 hours 16 min ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is considering opening the season in empty spring training parks -- with no fans and all players quarantined.

    The plan would have all teams stationed in one centralized location -- likely Arizona"


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 1 week 13 hours ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 1 week 19 hours ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 week 21 hours ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.