Senzel Can't Be Stopped or Contained

Blake Trahan lofted a sacrifice fly to left with one out in the 7th to tie the game and Daniel Sweet followed with a two-out RBI single to give his team a 3-2 lead, and Nick Senzel (Reds 2016 1st round draft pick - 2nd overall pick in the draft) provided an insurance run with a gargantuan home run over the scoreboard in right-centerfield leading off the bottom of the 8th, as the Reds rallied late and then held-on to edge the Angels/Cubs co-op squad 4-3 in AZ Advanced Instructional League game action Tuesday afternoon on Field #1 at the Cincinnati Reds Player Development Complex in Goodyear, AZ.  

Brendon Sanger (Angels) and Alberto Mineo (Cubs) belted solo home runs and Mineo also doubled and scored on a Jason Vosler (Cubs) two-out RBI single to account for the three Angels/Cubs runs.  

Although they lost the game, Angels/Cubs pitchers (actually they were all Cubs pitchers) fanned 14 Reds in the game (11 swinging). 

Nick Senzel continues to wow scouts & spectators alike with his awesome power to all fields. Reds fans didn't have a whole lot to cheer about this past season, but I would expect the University of Tennessee product to make the Riverfront Stadium scene sooner rather than later, providing misery to Cubs pitchers (and to all opposing pitchers) for years to come. He could be the next great young stud MLB third-baseman, following in the footsteps of Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado, and Kris Bryant. 

The Reds starting lineup featured four players who will be playing for the Peoria Javelinas in Arizona Fall League beginning next week, including SS Zach Vincej (singled and scored), CF Brian O'Grady, 1B Chad Wallach (RBI double), and 3B Brandon Dixon. Wallach is the son of long-time MLB third-baseman Tim Wallach (Expos, Dodgers, Angels).  

Here is the box scoere from the game (Cubs players highlighted in bold and underlined):

1a. Donnie Dewees, CF: 0-3 (L-8, 4-3, K)
1b. Brennon Lund, CF: 0-1 (K)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-4 (P-3, P-6, 3-U, P-6)
3. Christian Villanueva, DH #1: 1-3 (BB, 1B, F-8, P-4, PO) 
4a. Matt Thaiss, 1B: 0-2 (P-5, F-9)
4b. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 2-2 (2B, HR, 2 R, RBI)
5a. P. J. Higgins, C: 0-1 (BB, F-9, CS)
5b. Ian Rice, C: 1-2 (F-8, 1B)
6a. Hutton Moyer, SS: 1-2 (P-4, 1B)
6b. Connor Justus, SS: 1-1 (HBP, 1B) 
7. Jason Vosler, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 5-4-3 DP, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, RBI)
8. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF: 0-2 (L-4, 6-3, BB)
9. Brendon Sanger, LF: 1-2 (BB, HR, F-7, R, RBI)
10a. Jose Briceno, DH #2: 0-2 (P-6, F-7)
10b. Jared Walsh, PH: 0-1 (K) 

1a. Zach Vincej, SS: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R)
1b. Blake Trahan, PH-SS-DH: 0-1 (P-3, F-7 SF, RBI)
1c. Mitch Trees, PH: 0-1 (K) 
2a. Brian O'Grady, CF: 0-2 (K, K)
2b. Daniel Sweet, PH-LF: 1-2 (F-7, 1B, RBI) 
3a. Chad Wallach, 1B: 1-2 (6-3, 2B, RBI)
3b. Gavin LaValley, 1B: 0-2 (L-9, 4-3)
4a. Brandon Dixon, 3B: 0-2 (4-3, K)
4b. Nick Senzel, 3B: 1-2 (K, HR, R, RBI)
5a. James Vasquez, DH: 0-0 (BB, BB)
5b. Alfredo Rodriguez, PH-DH-SS: 1-2 (2B, F-9)
6a. T. J. Friedl, LF: 0-2 (K, 3-6 FC)
6b. Aristides Aquino, RF: 0-2 (L-8, K)
7. Jose Siri, RF-CF: 1-4 (1B, F-8, K, K)
8a. Cassidy Brown, C: 0-2 (K, K)
8b. Chris Okey, C: 0-1 (BB, 6-3, R)
9a. Brantley Bell, 2B: 0-2 (K, K)
9b. John Sansone, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K, R)
1. Oscar de la Cruz: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 35 pitches (21 strikes) 
2. Justin Steele: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/AO, 41 pitches (27 strikes) 
3. Kyle Miller: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/AO, 34 pitches (19 strikes) 
4. Manuel Rondon: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 0/4 GO/AO, 19 pitches (11 strikes) 
5. Tommy Nance: 1.0 IP,  1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 0/1 GO/AO, 15 pitches (10 strikes) 
6. James Norwood: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (9 strikes) 

1. Braulio Ortiz: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 1/6 GO/AO, 50 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Lucas Benenati: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/AO, 40 pitches (24 strikes) 
3. Jesse Strickland: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 0/3 GO/AO, 22 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Patrick Riehl: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Joel Kuhnel: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 1/1 GO/AO, 13 pitches (9 strikes)



Cassidy Brown: 1-1 CS 


WEATHER: Sunny & a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90's 


Thanks PHIL. Indeed the Reds after making the Playoffs with Dusty, have embraced the SUCK model. With Senzel and RHP Robert Stephenson, plus OF Jesse Winkler, they should be very competitive soon enough. I should also say that the times I have seen the Brewers at Wrigley this year, they have some very nice young talent that should make an impact the next 3-5 years as well.

Article up at Cubs site today breaking down Cubs defensive efficiency ratings: Leads me to wonder, should the Cubs start Baez at 2B and Zobrist in LF for game 1? It not only gives you better overall infield defense, but it also allows the Ross-Baez combo to be an additional deterrent to the running game. Or do you sit Baez in favor of getting Coghlan's lefty bat in LF?

HUGE proponent that KB/Addy/Baez/Rizz is what I want to start for me in the Playoffs. The margin for error is SO slim, and with runs even more difficult to come by (with a sometimes-RISP-challenged team), I feel ya on having Zobrist in the OF. Soler is a butcher in the OF and with Lester on the mound I want the absolutely the best 8 guys I can muster.

I would put Baez at 3rd and Bryant in LF because he seems to be a bit better against bunts than Bryant. Baez and Rizzo on bunt coverage have been very impressive.

for the last 5 Lester starts it's been, Ross, Rizzo, Zobrist (2B), Russell, Baez (3B), Bryant (LF), Fowler, Heyward

That's correct. Friday will be the certified Lester Lineup that Maddon has put together: Fowler, Bryant (LF), Rizzo, Zobrist (2B), Russell, Heyward, Baez (3B), Ross, Lester.

presuming either Colon or Cueto in Game 1

Cubs vs Cueto (

vs Colon (

summary: a few guys with good numbers vs. Colon, a lot of bad numbers vs. Cueto although Russell and Bryant have had limited success against him

from rotoworld

Should the Mets win the Wild Card Game against the Giants on Wednesday, Bartolo Colon or Robert Gsellman would start Game 1 of the NLDS. Colon is an option to pitch out of the bullpen during the Wild Card Game. Should the Mets not need him in that capacity on Wednesday, though, he would start the first game of the NLDS (assuming a victory). Gsellman would start Game 1 if Colon is used out of the bullpen in relief of Noah Syndergaard during Wednesday's winner-take-all contest against Madison Bumgarner and friends.

rumor being that Strasburg should be available in NLCS if Nats advance

Bochy put Ninja and Cueto on the Wild Card roster, mentions Ninja has bullpen experience. I mean, if I had that hot mess of a bullpen, I'd certainly rather throw either of those 2 guys before just about anyone else.

really grown to love the 1-game WC sudden-death game. it weakens the entry of the WC team as opposed to the older version where they started on the same pitcher use as division champs. plus, it's like having 2 "Game 7" games to kick off the playoffs. i hope we're done with playoff expansion with adding more teams, though. i don't want the post-season saturated.

uh oh... 3r HR in the top 9th with 1 out for SF...double-sided shutout over. looking a lot like SF is going to get a chance to extend their "even numbered year" streak.

That's what happens when you use your closer in a non-save situation. Actually, it's standard procedure for the home team to use its closer in the ninth inning of a tie game, since there will never be a save situation in that particular game (except for the visitors).

SF @ CHC on friday. woo.

At least we'll only see Bumgarner once.

Ken Rosenthal is pretty sure Bumgarner will be there in relief in game 5. Personally, I don't expect a game 5.

LEAVE NO DOUBT! Make sure they remember -- FOREVER! -- the year they played the Chicago Cubs!

The Cubs should watch last nights game to see how not to play the Giants. You need to get to their bull pen, so allowing Madbomb to only pitch 14 pitches to get through 2 innings is not a great approach.

I didn't see, did Madbum even throw > 100 pitches last night? It didn't seem like it. The Mets were doing things like rolling over the first pitch into a double play. Weak. I think the Cubs and Giants are evenly-matched teams in many ways, so I expect this divisional series to be a very good matchup. Whoever wins has a very good chance at advancing to the W.S.

119 total CG for Madbum. What a gamer.

He made 119 pitches, and I disagree the Cubs and Giants are evenly-matched. That said in a short series where the Giants will have two very good pitchers making three of the five starts anything can happen so I get your point. The Cubs offense needs to force the Giants starters out of the game early by driving up their pitch counts, and they need to avoid turning average or below average players into heroes.

The Giants have some good starters, arguably better than the Cubs this year if you take out the defensive equation. But on every other level the Cubs are the better team.

The Cubs need to force long AB's and get into the bullpen, everyone knows this. That being said, they can't be so driven for long AB's to miss hittable pitches early in the count.

But for a match-up for the Cubs pitchers, the Giants were definitely the best lineup to face. Apparently Nunez is hurt, so the running game won't be much of an issue for Lester or Arrieta(although they have Span and Pagan too who are okay). And they reallly don't have a lot of home run hitters and putting the ball in play is exactly what this Cubs team and defense is designed for...

Saw a tweet this morning that teams that won 15 or more games that matched up in the playoffs saw the better team winning 9 out of 10 match-ups. The only loser was 2001 Mariners versus the Yankees.

I think the Cubs win this in 4. And I've decided I'd rather face the Dodgers (Kershaw, HIll and Maeda) then the Nats (Scherzer, Roark and Strasburg) because #1) Cubs have killed lefties all year and #2) losing to Dusty Baker would be the epitome of Cubbery.

I'm expecting a relatively low-scoring and exciting series where the Cubs frequently have a runner on base and put a little more consistent pressure on the Giants' pitchers. And I'm hoping the RISP gods just aren't peeved at the Cubs for some reason.

losing to Dusty Baker would be... No. Just... no.

losing to Dusty Baker would be... unpossible.

"I disagree the Cubs and Giants are evenly-matched." So do I. The Giants have one guy (Belt) with a higher OPS than Zobrist and Fowler, let alone our big boys. Russell would lead them easily in HR and RBI. What they are, really, is a bunch of Zobrists and Fowlers. Not that that's easy to beat, but they're not like us.

I would've preferred to see the Mets, but there's no way I can be upset that they lost.

My 10 year old was hoping for the Mets to win so the Cubs could "crush them" this year. Ever since last year's playoffs, she's had an unhealthy hatred for the Mets. :)

Don't worry hatred of the Mets is perfectly natural.

I thought this morning (for once) - for those thinking, "Oh shit, they have to face the Even-Year Giants & their pitching" - but then I thought, "SHIT! They are playing the Cubs now!" Anyway, b/c they were in cruise control for so long, we forget that this is really a very, very good team. We'll see if they can sustain this soon enough. #Cubswin

my meaningless predictions...

  • Cubs over Giants
  • Dodgers over Nationals
  • Blue Jays over Rangers
  • Indians over Red Sox


  • Blue Jays over Indians
  • Cubs over Dodgers


  • Cubs over Blue Jays

There's really no rhyme or reason other than it always seems a WC gets to World Series these days and hell if I'm picking the Giants. Also think the Red Sox pitching is crap, they may get past Indians because of injuries, but I'm not jumping on their bandwagon.

Thanks for posting stuff today. I should be working, but I'm agonizing and I need content to insert into my eyes and ears. I don't know how long I'll survive this postseason.

Remember its just baseball :)

this is good baseball writing

On Kyle Hendricks....

That is a really nice piece of sports journalism, and here's what I like most about it: It undercuts the inaccurate caricature of Hendricks as "The Professor." (Well, it does reinforce it a little when it talks about why Hendricks can make that in-season adjustment.) He may be a white kid with mediocre velocity who went to an Ivy League school, but his pitching performances in 2014 and 2015 were neither cerebral nor crafty. He was a two-pitch starter who relied on raw stuff and throwing strikes to be effective. Now he's a got a pitch mix that gives him more strategic options. He's learned more of his craft this year.

Still, if I had to nominate a Cub to take the ACT for me, Kyle would be my guy.

C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C...

Acabacadaba /Solid c Everytime

acdc acdc For test scores that rock.

Nice article; but I kind of agree with Charlie that it makes Hendricks look not-so-smart. Get by with two pitches? Even Chapman has three, now that he's flashing that dagger-to-the-heart changeup.

There was Bobby Hill and there was Eric Patterson and now there is Arismendy Alcantara

@mlbtraderumors Reds Claim Arismendy Alcantara, Designate Patrick Kivlehan

interesting story on Chapman...tough position to be in especially at that age.

The Trib piece on Chapman is a must read.

it's crazy what a couple of clankers off the glove and a badly played fly ball can do to an inning. 5 runs scored off 2 clankers and 1 badly played ball all after 2 outs. plus, ham threw a zillion pitches in the 3rd (42 pitches). no errors, and those clankers were off hard hit balls, but that was a 6 out inning.

anyone know why Carlos Gomez is in LF and Ian Desmond is in CF? Team seniority or is Gomez hurt?

gomez barely played CF in his short time with the TEX team, plus he came to TEX from HOU after playing some questionable D there. that said, ian desmond settled out as an average-at-best type defender in CF after starting his tenure there playing some flashy CF...him tracking that ball he totally missed was a hell of a time for that average style to turn into crap.

figuring it's some BS like well Desmond played there before you got here. Gomez's issues in Houston all seemed to be mental gaffes from what I read and he seems to be back on track in Texas. The statcast replay they just showed had Desmond tracking it quite well and alligator-arming it near the wall that he wasn't actually that close to...oof.

here's the box score from Cueto's game vs. Cubs in Sept

a look at his game logs and he seems to be very efficient with his pitches, I only see one start where he really labored (left after 6 innings with 117 pitches vs Yanks in July)

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  • crunch 2 min 23 sec ago (view)

    cubs game totally not a delay broadcast for ESPN...thanks for that gem heyward.

    dunno if they'll be printing up any "You better have your shit in line" t-shirts, but it's as least as good as "Try not to suck"

    heyward on d.ross when he was a rookie playing with d.ross in ATL (nsfw) ...btw, it was very windy today at the game, even for ARZ.


  • Sonicwind75 3 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Thanks Phil, these pitching summaries are great!


  • Eric S 3 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Thanks, AZ Phil.  Looks like a better use of the off-season by Maples than Carl Jr's hop-in-delivery was a few years ago - and not against the rules either. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Even though he is signed to a minor lesague contract and is not on the MLB 40-man roster right now, I would think Eric Sogard is a virtual lock to make the Cubs Opening Day Active List 26-man roster. 

    The Cubs were reportedly looking to sign a left-handed hitting second-baseman, and Sogard certainly fits that description. And unlike Jason Kipnis, Sogard has the versatility to play 3B and SS as well as 2B. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 51 min ago (view)

    ERIC: Just as you said, the short-arm technique can improve command, hopefully without impacting the quality of a pitcher's stuff.

    Based on what I saw yesterday, Maples' stuff is as good as ever, and his command was better, too. Hopefully it will continue, because he probably has the best pure stuff on the staff. Command has always been the problem.  


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 59 min ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless there is a wave of pitcher injuries in Spring Training I would think Shelby Miller will probably begin the season at AAA (or at the ATS, since the start of the AAA season is supposely going to be delayed) where he can get stretched out.


  • Eric S 5 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Ha! I wish that was the case!


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Eric S.... you wouldn't happen to be new Cubs NRI Eric Sogard would you????


  • Cubster 7 hours 38 min ago (view)

    I read that Shelby Miller is now using a new slider to help out his other pitches (FB, curve).  AZ Phil, any thoughts about Miller making the team possibly as a swing guy out of the pen/spot starter? 


  • Eric S 8 hours 36 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil - Saw a report that Maples is using a short arm delivery now. I can't recall his prior delivery but perhaps the short arm delivery may be more repeatable and lead to better command (perhaps minus a few mph on the fast ball, etc). Thanks so much for your on-site observations - my favorite part of Cubs spring training. 


  • Hagsag 12 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Thanks Phil.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 19 min ago (view)

    Neither Robert Stock nor Duane Underwood Jr have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, although both will be minor league 6YFA at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2021 World Series if the player is either not added back to the 40 or signs a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Here are some pitching info from today's game for those of you who didn't see it: 

    Adbert Alzolay:
    FB: 93-95 
    CH: 87 
    SL: 84 
    CV: 82 
    COMMENT: Threw mostly FB and looked sharp... thought he might go two IP but it was at least a good start..

    Dan Winkler:
    FB: 91-94
    CV: 83-84
    COMMENT: Lots of FB and he got good results with the limited arsenal he showed today..  

    Jonathan Holder: 
    FB: 91-94 
    CH/CT: 88-89 
    CV: 83 
    COMMENT: Nothing special but got a 1-2-3 inning... 


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    looked sharp as hell today with a groundout to 1st and a couple Ks.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    odd with JD in the booth without len...nice to see the cubs back in action.

    sciambi is a nice replacement.  can't complain.


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    maples, the unpolished diamond...maybe he'll figure it out in his 5th year of trying...

    so far he's dollar store discount bin carlos marmol.