Felix the Top Cat at Riverview

Felix Stevens belted a solo HR, singled twice, and scored two runs, Pedro Ramirez (Cubs 2021 IFA - U. S. game debut) drilled an RBI double, singled, stole a base, and scored a run, Frank Hernandez (Cubs 2019 IFA - Team Spain 18U - U. S. game debut) singled twice and drove-in a run, Reggie Preciado laced an RBI single and drew a walk, and RHP Luis Devers tossed 3.1 IP of shutout ball anf picked a runner off base (third PO in his last two games), helping the Cubs throttle the Athletics 7-4 in AZ Instructional League game action Thursday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

A's 2021 2nd round pick Zack Gelof ripped a two-run double in a losing cause. 

Pedro Ramirez and Frank Hernandez were supposed to have made their U. S. game debut on Tuesday versus the Angels, except the contest was rained out just as the Cubs were about to take the field. (Angels 2021 1st round pick RHP Sam Bachman was to be the Halos' SP). Cubs SP Luke Little had finished his warm-up in the pen and the umpires were meeting with the Cubs and Angels managers at home plate, when lightning from an approaching storm drove everybody off the field. Then within ten minutes a gully-washer downpour flooded the field and canceled the game (and the planned U. S. game debut of P. Ramirez and F. Hernandez). The Cubs had an instructional "Camp Day" yesterday (emphasizing situational hitting, baserunning, and relay throws from the outfied), so today's game was the first AZIL game played by the Cubs since Monday. And for Ramirez and F. Hernandez, it was certainly worth the wait! 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):       

1. Yeison Santana, SS: 1-4 (K, K, L-6, 1B, R)
2a. Ronnier Quintero, C: 1-3 (K, 1B, K, RBI)
2b. Moises Ballesteros, C: 0-1 (K) 
3. Felix Stevens, 1B: 3-4 (HR, K, 1B, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
4. Peter Matt, RF: 0-3 (HBP, K, 6-3, E-6, R, SB)
5. Pedro Ramirez, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 6-3, 3-1, 2B, R, RBI, SB)
6. Liam Spence, 3B: 1-3 (HBP, K, 1B, K, R)
7. Frank Hernandez, LF: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 1B, RBI)
8. Reggie Preciado, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, BB, L-4, RBI)
9. Ezequiel Pagan, CF: 0-3 (P-2, 4-6-3 DP, F-7) 
10. Bryan Serra, DH #2: 0-3 (E-8, K, K, R)

1. Drew Gray: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/AO, 40 pitches (22 strikes) 
2. Burl Carraway: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Luis Devers: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 1/5 GO/AO, 41 pitches (26 strikes)
4. Dominic Hambley: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 18 pitches (9 strikes) 
5. Frankie Scalzo Jr: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/AO, 27 pitches (19 strikes) 

1. 3B Liam Spence: E-5 (errant throw to 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd) 
2. 2B Pedro Ramirez: E-4 (errant throw on attempted 4-6 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely) 

Ronnier Quintero: 0-1 CS 


WEATHER: Cloudy and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90's 


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 


Our little Pedro seems very impressive.

he's doing a lot better than the other pedro (martinez) middle IF'r that was traded away for jose martinez (TB).  his year off in 2020 did not serve him well.

jose martinez was f'n special for the cubs.  it takes talent to get a -0.6 WAR in only 22 PA.

Acquired for his bat, proceeds to go hitless and look so lost, we sent him to the alt site and he has not seen big league action since.

NEVER TRADE WITH TAMPA (just ask Pittsburgh how that Archer trade worked out)

Is there a game on Friday? If so, is it at Riverview?

Kimbrel has fully reverted to the pre 2021 form. With 2 outs, he gives up a 7th inning 2 run double and then a Tucker 2 run HR. Astros up 9-4 after being down earlier 4-2. WSox fans must dislike the Madrigal trade as much as we don't like the Q trade.

Well I mean we haven't even seen Madrigal yet so jury is still out... it'd be nice to pay them back for the Q trade, to say nothing of the Garland for Karchner fleecing 

Heuer looked impressive, is a bargain compared to Kimbrel and with club control to boot. 

low-key rooting for the astros because i want dusty to get his manager ring (player ring in 81, doyers).

this will be the first time i'm rooting for an AL team to win it and it feels a bit dirty.

Especially the trash can loving Astros! Crunch how could you 

in dusty i trusty?

heh.  straight up, i'm a big dusty fan.  got his short-printed rookie baseball card and everything (that he shares with don baylor and tom paciorek (wsox annoucer in the 90s)).

I really pissed off some Sox fans in September about Larussa's misuse of Kimbrel. I don't see how Hahn trades for the best Closer in MLB, gives up 2 long term controllable assets for a 60 day Rental, and then lets DUI boy move him to a set up role. Then every Sox fan, Steve Stone, et al defend TLR's galactic stupidity. He was great at handling a Bullpen......in 2010......with Duncan doing the heavy lifting. 

Dusty's luck, he loses to the Giants.

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  • crunch 1 hour 36 min ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 5 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 32 min ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 16 hours 42 min ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 23 hours 23 min ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:

    RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN


  • Childersb3 1 day 12 hours ago (view)


    Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?


  • Hagsag 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.


  • tim815 2 days 20 min ago (view)

    If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.


  • crunch 3 days 34 min ago (view)

    bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.

    as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.

    it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.


  • Cubster 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.