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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  • crunch 8 hours 46 min ago (view)

    semi-interesting winter league note...

    trey mcnutt (yes, that guy) is having a hell of a winter league in mexico (one of the less talented winter leagues) so far as a closer.  15.2ip 8h 4bb 24k, 0.57 era.

    giants signed him to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago.  he never went anywhere.  he's been consistently playing ball in the minors and indie league ball since he was last a noteworthy player.  last season he played in the OAK minor league system.  30 years old now...

     

  • jdrnym 15 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal. Wasn't his 2020 club only supposed to be on the hook for league minimum?

     

  • crunch 16 hours 19 min ago (view)

    when he got to the mets he suddenly learned how to throw with control (small sample size etc).  last year was not a fun bullpen year...

     

  • crunch 18 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.

     

  • bradsbeard 20 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 39 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 52 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 22 hours 8 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t

     

  • bradsbeard 22 hours 9 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:

    https://twitter.com/mlbastian/status/1202973097223237632

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers.