Schwarber & Zagunis Star at Riverview Park

Kyle Schwarber singled, doubled, and scored a run, Mark Zagunis ripped an RBI double and scored and drove-in another run with a sacrifice fly, and Charcer Burks singled twice and walked, in a seven-inning AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.  

The contest was game one in a five game intrasquad "Cubs World Series" to be played at Riverview Park this week, between the "Northside Rooftops" and the "Wrigley Field Ivy," each team chosen by draft by the two managers (Jimmy Gonzalez and Mark Johnson). Team Johnson won today's game by a score of 3-1.

Gioskar Amaya got the start at catcher for Team Gonzalez, and handled himself well behind the plate for the four innings he spent there. (Amaya is in the Catcher Conversion Program at Instructs). He then moved to 3rd base for the final three innings and made the defensive play of the game, a run-saving stop & throw to end the top of the 5th. Amaya had a fine day offensively, too, with a line-drive double into the LF corner, a walk, and a stolen base.   

Kevin Encarnacion played RF for Team Johnson, his first game action since suffering a near career-ending shoulder injury and 3rd degree burns in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last December. He (understandably) looked rusty both in the field and at the plate, committing an error on a ground single to right (he bobbled the ball, allowing a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd), and he went 0-3 at the plate with two strikeouts (both swinging) and a weak infield pop out. Probably because of the injuries he sustained in the car crash, Encarnacion is now hitting only left-handed (he previously had been a switch-hitter). In his one AB batting LH against a LH pitcher (Jordan Minch), Encarnacion struck out on three pitches. 

The Cubs are not playing games against other MLB organizations at Instructs this year, instead opting to spend more time on morning field instruction & afternoon classroom training. Players attending Instructs are also spending some of their off hours researching the history of the Cubs, and presenting the information they learn to the the other players. 

Most of the Cub brass are in attendance at Instructs this week, including Team President Theo Epstein, Executive VP & GM Jed Hoyer, and Senior VP & Scoutng/Player Development Director Jason McLeod.

Here is the box score from today's game:

TEAM JOHNSON LINEUP:
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, F-9, BB)
2. Chesny Young, 2B: 0-3 (F-9, 4-3, 5-3)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (K, 1B, 2-3, R)
4. Kyle Schwarber, C: 2-3 (2B, 3-1, 1B, R, SB)
5. Mark Zagunis, LF: 1-2 (2B, L-7 SF, K, R, 2 RBI)
6. Mark  Malave, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, L-6, RBI)
7. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (K, P-4, K)
8. Tyler Alamo, DH: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B)
9. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3 SH, 6-4-3 DP)

TEAM GONZALEZ LINEUP:
1. Charcer Burks, CF: 2-3 (1B, K, BB, 1B, R, CS)
2. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-4 (F-9, 6-3, 5-3, K)
3. Billy McKinney, RF: 0-2 (F-9, BB, K, HBP)
4. Victor Caratini, 1B-C: 1-4 (F-8, F-8, 1B, 4-3, RBI)
5. Jordan Hankins, 3B-1B: 0-3 (L-8, 6-3, K)
6. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 0-2 (L-6, BB, P-2)
7. Gioskar Amaya, C-3B: 1-2 (2B, BB, F-8, SB)
8. Kevonte Mitchell, LF: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
9. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (2B, K, BB)

TEAM JOHNSON PITCHERS:
1. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/5 GO/FO, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Ryan McNeil: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 39 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Santiago Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 29 pitches (19 strikes)
4. Oscar de la Cruz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/0 GO/FO, 24 pitches (11 strikes)

TEAM GONZALEZ PITCHERS:
1. Jeremy Null: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 30 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Yapson Gomez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 4/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Trey Hedges: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 27 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Jordan Minch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (9 strikes)  

TEAM JOHNSON ERRORS: 1
RF Kevin Encarnacion - E-9 (fielding error on ground single allowed baserunner to take an extra base)

TEAM GONZALEZ ERRORS: NONE

TEAM JOHNSON  CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Kyle Schwarber: 1-2 CS, 1 PB

TEAM GONZALEZ CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Victor Caratini: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 28 (mostly scouts)

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Comments

Cubs claim LHP Joe Ortiz off waivers from the Rangers

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/o...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/play...

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/...

One scout told me that Ortiz reminds him of former Ranger reliever Eddie Guardado in that Ortiz is a fun guy, but a hard-nosed competitor. Like Guardado, he doesn't have a high-octane fastball, but he knows how to locate pitches.

Was he hurt? He had good looks at AAA in 12 and 13 but spent this season between Rookie Ball and AA. Sounds like an interesting LHRP prospect at 24 years old.

he missed almost all of last year after he was "clipped" by a motorcycle, breaking his foot. he didn't have a very good return when he came back, but it was very limited action. that said, he profiles as a loogy rather exclusively.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/short-pitchers-s...

short pitchers are the new market inefficiency...

cue the Randy Newman song...

AZ Phil...would love your insight on Victor Caratini as a catching prospect (from the Braves system for Russell and Bonafacio) and team Gonzalez' starter with the awesome pitcher's name, Jeremy Null (I hope he has "infinite" talent).

CUBSTER: Jeremy Null is a VERY tall (6'7 or 6'8) RHP who "stands tall" and throws from an extreme downhill plane. He has a plus-slider that's gets a lot of swings & misses and an OK low-90's fastball that he uses to set-up his slider. He's trying to learn a change-up (but who isn't trying to learn a change-up at Instructs?).

Victor Caratini is a good hitter from both sides of the plate with a line-drive stroke that he uses to drill balls into the OF gaps and down the lines. Defense needs work, although he works hard in drills and appears to have the physical tools necessary to be a catcher. But he'll probably need some time to develop defensively. His bat is ahead of his glove right now.

"Bill Mueller has resigned as hitting coach of the Chicago Cubs, but don't expect Manny Ramirez to be the one filling his shoes, a source told ESPNChicago.com. A source close to the situation said the Cubs are already close to hiring a replacement for Mueller, whose resignation, a source said, came just more than a week after assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley was dismissed. Ramirez received positive reviews from his stint with Triple-A Iowa this season, but a source said Ramirez isn't under consideration for Mueller's job. However, the source said Ramirez could be in the mix for the assistant hitting coach position." http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/116...

It's hard to image Manny Ramirez being an assistant anything.

$15.3M will be the qualifying offer for this offseason.

Mattingly benching Puig tonight, putting Ethier in CF. Puig was 4th in the NL in wrc+, Ethier...was somewhere much farther down. Can't even call it a defensive move.

That's , um, something.

Puig tripled last night too, albeit K'ing a lot in the series.

dodger beat writer says Puig playing through ankle injury. Ethier walks in first AB.

Every once in a while, the numbness wears off, and I am amazed at the guaranteed money baseball players are paid -- even those who will never make an All-Star team and who are not particularly good (by MLB standards). If not for baseball, most of these guys would be selling used cars in some hick town. Crazy stuff.

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  • Charlie 9 hours 48 min ago (view)

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

     

  • bradsbeard 14 hours 46 min 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

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

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    shout out to 1999 1st base gold glove winner rafael palmeiro.  25 starts (28 games total) at 1st...128 starts at DH.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.

     

  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

    He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 

     

  • KingKongvsGodzilla 5 days 1 hour ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!

     

  • crunch 5 days 11 hours ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.

     

  • bradsbeard 6 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there.