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.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 2 hours 23 sec ago (view)

    3 dot crew represent.  i didn't have an opinion, but now i'm 100% on board.

     

  • Charlie 2 hours 8 min ago (view)

    I agree on most of this, but I especially support three fillable dots for the outs--and fill in the third before cutting to a commercial!

    Not doing homework on the players in a Spring Training broadcast is pretty forgiveable, but ESPN is really bad about it pretty much all year. It would be nice if they made a habit of picking up a local color commentator and sort of interviewing them throughout games.

     

  • George Altman 6 hours 11 min ago (view)

    The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport,  to learn something from the broadcast crew.

    Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't,  and I know about NOTHING about football. 

     

  • First.Pitch.120 8 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3.  If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #.  eg - OUTS: 1  It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 2 min ago (view)

    tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.

     

  • First.Pitch.120 9 hours 24 min ago (view)

    General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.

     

  • crunch 10 hours 48 min ago (view)

    brews sign j.bradley 2/24m...decent deal for a quality CF'r.  he can opt out of the 2nd year.

     

  • crunch 11 hours 27 min ago (view)

    the national broadcasts on ESPN suffer badly from a lack of "homework" on the teams they're covering.

    yesterday i heard more riffing between the announcers about each other more than the players.  the only thing that saved them from more of that and dead air was in-progress action and player interviews (too many player interviews, but it's spring so whatever).

     

  • Hagsag 14 hours 3 min ago (view)

    Not impressed with ESPN's broadcast. I like Mendoza's work, but how many kids did we have to see rolling around the grass. Good day to see some young players ,but half the time you had no idea who was batting or pitching.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 55 min 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"

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 55 min ago (view)

    Jason Adam is another who throws short arm. I don't think he was a position player, but maybe falls into the arm injury category?

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Phil, these pitching summaries are great!

     

  • Eric S 1 day 5 hours 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 1 day 5 hours 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 1 day 6 hours 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 1 day 6 hours 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.