Two Red Taters Sink Angels/Cubs at Riverview

Aristides Aquino and Jose Siri belted solo home runs, providing just enough offense to allow the Reds to edge the Angels/Cubs co-op team 2-1 in AZ Advanced Instructional League game action Wednesday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a seven-inning affair. 

Here is the box score from the game (Cubs players highlighted in bold & underlined): 

1. T. J. Friedl, CF:  0-2 (K, BB, 1-3, SB)
2. Gabriel Ovalle, SS-1B: 0-2 (K, BB, 6-3)
3a. Phil Ervin, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
3b. Daniel Sweet, LF: 0-1 (6-3)
4a. Aristides Aquino, RF: 1-2 (HR, F-7, R, RBI)
4b. Jose Siri, RF: 1-1 (HR, R, RBI)
5a. James Vasquez, 1B: 0-2 (4-3, 6-3)
5b. Alfredo Rodriguez, SS: 0-1 (4-3)
6. Chris Okey, DH: 0-2 (K, 6-3, BB)
7a. John Sansone, 2B: 0-2 (F-7, K)
7b. Francis Azcona, 2B: 0-1 (L-8)
8a. Cassidy Brown, C: 1-1 (1B)
8b. Mitch Trees, PH-C: 1-2 (1B, K)
9. Brantley Bell, 3B: 0-2 (4-6-3 DP, 6-3)

1. Donnie Dewees, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, 6-3)
2. P. J. Higgins, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, 6-3, CS)
3. Matt Thaiss, 1B: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, K)
4. Andrew Daniel, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, F-7)
5a. Brendon Sanger, RF: 1-2 (6-U FC, 1B)
5b. Brennon Lund, RF: 0-1 (K) 
6. Eddy Julio Martinez, LF: 1-3 (6-3, F-8, 1B)
7. Ian Rice, C: 0-2 (P-4, BB, F-7)
8a. Hutton Moyer, SS: 1-2 (2B, K, R)
8b. Connor Justus, SS: 0-1 (K)
9. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-2 (1B, L-7, RBI)
10. Alberto Mineo, DH #2: 0-2 (K, P-6)

1. Ryan Hendrix: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 4/1 GO/AO, 49 pitches (33 strikes) 
2. Tanner Rainey: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GO/AO, 37 pitches (22 strikes) 
3. Jimmy Herget: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 31 pitches (20 strikes) 

1. Dylan Cease: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/AO, 30 pitches (19 strikes) 
2. Thomas Hatch: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/AO, 27 pitches (12 strikes) 
3. Jen-Ho Tseng: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 13 pitches (7 strikes) 
4. Justin Steele: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 7 pitches (5 strikes) 
5. Jared Cheek: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/AO, 18 pitches (10 strikes) 



Cassidy Brown: 1-1 CS 

Ian Rice: 0-1 CS 

LF Eddy Julio Martinez - batter thrown out 7-4 attempting to stretch single into double 


WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 90's 


Hey AZ PHIL: Thanks as always. How does Thomas Hatch look to you? Is he getting some positive attention? Any ideas where he'll be placed in the system? With more kids seemingly being able to throw in the high 90's these days, what Cubs youngsters other than Cease have a buzz?

E-MAN: I think the fact that Thomas Hatch was moved-up from Basic Instructs to Advanced Instructs this week indicates the Cubs are putting him on the fast track for 2017. That doesn't mean he will necessarily begin the 2017 season at Myrtle Beach, but I do think he will get a good shot.

I actually like Bailey Clark (Cubs 5th round pick) better than Hatch. I have seen both of them pitch, and Clark has filthier stuff. BTW, the only reason Clark is not at Instructs is because he returned to Duke to complete his degree, but I think he's got the highest ceiling of any of the Cubs 2016 draft picks. Hatch is more-polished, but Clark has the best pure stuff. 

Based upon my own personal observations and after speaking with others in the know both inside & outside the Cubs organization, I would say that AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW, the 15 best Cubs starting pitching prospects below AA are Dylan Cease, Trevor Clifton, Oscar de la Cruz, Jose Paulino, Bailey Clark, Jose Albertos, Thomas Hatch, Bryan Hudson, Manuel Rondon, Jake Stinnett, Justin Steele, Brailyn Marquez, Ryan Kellogg, Preston Morrison, and Kyle Miller (in that order).

I believe there are four main reasons to implement the DH in the National League:

1. To protect starting pitchers from added injury liability beyond that incurred by pitching or fielding his position. The cost of starting pitching is such that it isn't worth it to risk an injury to a pitcher by having the pitcher bat and run the bases, unless he knows what he's doing (and most pitchers don't).

2. With the number of interleague games played during the MLB regular season plus the World Series, the rules should be the same in both leagues. It is unfair to have National League teams with a roster constructed without the DH have to play against American League teams who construct their roster with a DH, and it's also unfair to American League teams to not be able to use their DH when playing road games versus National League teams.

3. Adding the DH would provide a marginal increase in offense.

4. Expanding the DH to the National League would allow more veteran players to extend their careers as a DH.

Two suggestions for changes in the DH rule as it presently is constituted:

1. The DH can be used to hit for any player in the lineup. The DH does not have to replace the pitcher, so if you have a Madison Bumgarner or Jake Arrieta pitching, he can hit, and the DH can bat in place of one of the other position players (defensive-oriented catcher, slick-fielding SS, Gold Glove defender in CF, etc).

2. The DH can be moved to a defensive position or even back & forth to DH and a different player can be moved to DH or inserted into the game as the DH during the course of the game. This preserves strategy, and allows a manager to put his best defensive team on the field if he has a starting pitcher who is a good hitter. And then when the starting pitcher leaves the game, the original DH can move to a defensive position and/or a different player can replace the starting pitcher in the batting order and play defense or be the DH if the original DH moves to a defensive position.

Interesting thoughts AZP. I fully agree that they need the same rules for both leagues -- once they moved the Astros to the AL, and created two 15-team leagues, it basically forced interleague play on a daily basis. It made no sense to do that but not align the rules. Same thing for the WS -- deciding the championship with teams playing under different rules from the regular season is bizarre. It would be as if the NBA allowed 3-point shots in the Eastern Conference but not the Western. A couple reactions: - I can't think of many pitchers getting hurt due to hitting. I understand the risk, but I don't remember it happening much. - I thought the DH could already bat for anyone in the lineup?

A few have been hurt running the bases over the years. Wainwright and Chien-Ming Wang come to mind.

Both Zambrano and Prior got hurt not just from the hitting but from the running after and there's a good chance that the Prior injury was what ended his career. I personally cringe every time I see one of the Cubs pitchers running and would be happy never having to see one slide again.

Fair enough. I'm in.

I believe there are four five main reasons to implement the DH in the National League: 5. Kyle Schwarber

AFL streaming Mesa vs Salt River at 3:35pm

Len Kasper(Marquette alum...Go Warriors) tweetstorm...wise words though.

Beware of narratives. "History staring Cubs in the face" pretty much irrelevant to Contreras/Baez/Bryant/Lester. They're just trying to win. Been around big league teams enough to see what makes them tick. 100 things to worry about when game starts. Franchise history not 1 of them. I LOVE a good story. Non-fiction fanatic. But narratives are retroactive. We assign larger themes to events after they occur. Human nature. So, while there IS value to extrapolating what it all "means" to us, do not let people tell you it steers games/performances. It doesn't. Lastly the Cubs' motivation in the 9th to win wasn't "we need to avoid the tension of heading home 2-2." It was, "LET'S WIN THIS GAME BOYS!" Does this make sense? We watch & think, "If they don't win, Game 5 will be tough" But players just think about the moment & just try to win. Only AFTER the game are players confronted with the "Man, facing Cueto would have been difficult." You're not thinking that in the 8th inn

@Ken_Rosenthal Source: Qualifying offer this off-season will be $17.2M. System expected to remain in place in new CBA, with possible adjustments.


Dusty on Game 5: "Tell you the truth, I got up this AM, said my prayers like I always do, had a cup of coffee & started packing for Chicago"

Says Strasburg won't be available in NLCS

Dusty still lives in Chicago?


@MDGonzales Lester Game 1 starter, all signs point to Hendricks for Game 2 but nothing official. Zastryzny in mix if Cubs opt for 12 pitchers

jason "has jason hammel been traded yet" hammel seems to be quite undesired.

Dodgers. Rob Z smiles.

crawl says: Dusty goes to 1-7 in potential series clinching games. Then they say Dusty has been in 9 potential series clinchers. So it's some really ugly number between 7-9.

Games that His Team Could Advance

  • 1998: Loss WC tie-breaker to Cubs (0-1)
  • 2002: Beat Braves in NLDS after being down 2-1, Beat Cards in 5, then loss to Angels in 7 with 2 shots (2-3)
  • 2003: Beat Braves in NLDS in 5 but were up 2-1, loss to Marlins in 7 after being up 3-1 (3-7)
  • 2012: Loss Game 5 to Giants in NLDS...after being up 2-0 (3-10)
  • 2013: Loss WC to Pirates (3-11)

 Elimination Games

  • 1997: Swept by Marlins (0-1)
  • 1998:  Loss to Cubs in tie-breaker game (0-2)
  • 2000: Loss to Mets in NLDS 3-1 (0-3)
  • 2002: Beat Braves in Game 4 of NLDS down 2-1 and then won Game 5, loss Game 7 to Angels  (2-4)
  • 2003: Beat Braves in Game 5 of NLDS, loss to Marlins in Game 7 of NLCS (3-5)
  • 2010: Swept by Phillies in NLDS (3-6)
  • 2012: Loss Game 5 to Giants in NLDS...after being up 2-0 (3-7)
  • 2013: Loss WC to Pirates (3-8)

Rob G smiles also :)

What I thought I heard on the broadcast was that he had lost 9 clinching opportunities in a row. That would be the 3 with the Cubs against the Marlins in 2003, 3 with the Reds against the Giants in 2012, the wild-card loss to the Pirates in 2013, and the 2 clinching opportunities this week.

that seems to be it...thanks.

Ken Rosenthal has the lowdown on Javy Baez. Loved the whole piece, but especially the part where Wilken praises Maddon.

We all know the stories of how Trib and Zelll handcuffed Wilken when drafting, think he did a good job with the circumstances.

H. Simpson notwithstanding, but it isn't like 16th picks are locks anyway and there aren't a ton of guys around that area that got picked that really have done much. C. Yelich being by far the best (at 24 but out of high school so probably out of Cubs budget at the time)

VItters was unfortunate, he wanted Wieters (and you have to go the 9th or 10th pick before anyone that had any real success in J. Parker and M. Bumgarner).

The Colvin/Samardzija gambit actually worked out pretty well. Donaldson is a beast. You look from 2006-2011 and it isn't super-flashy, but a lot of decent major leaguers(LeMahieu, Samardzija, Barney, Cashner) just not a lot of stars and probably the best of the bunch never played for the Cubs (Donaldson).

I said many times since this thing got going that, "if the player makes it to the majors, its considered a success". That was before I realized what Theo really could really get accomplished. He plays at a completely different level- but made mistakes as well. Henry just missed on too many upper round prospects year-after-year. Or, traded the best ones for horse shit. At best, Hendry overall was a middle of the pack, or below, GM.

When I was in the mood to defend Hendry from the accusation that he mainly provided employment for cronies, I used to cite Wilken as a good outside hire. Later I learned that he went to the same high school, too. (I think it was Dunedin.) Whenever I see Bochy, I'm reminded that Hendry almost hired him when his term expired in San Diego, but at the last minute chose Piniella instead. The rest is history (three titles in SF and 0-6 in the postseason for the Cubbies); but if Bochy had managed the Cubs it might have saved Hendry's job for a while and there might never have been a Theo regime, or at least not as soon.

Hendry's secret plan was just to set up the pieces for Theo to take over and save the franchise. He's the real genius.

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  • Hagsag 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Ine of my alltime favorites.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    He played in the big leagues longer than he played any other level of organized baseball combined.


  • crunch 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    al kaline has died at age 85.

    from highschool to the majors without touching the minors...22 seasons, all with DET...18x all-star...3000 hit club.


  • Charlie 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Currently at a near full-time job that just barely covers my monthly expenses if nothing emerges.

    I make more than that.


  • crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is considering opening the season in empty spring training parks -- with no fans and all players quarantined.

    The plan would have all teams stationed in one centralized location -- likely Arizona"


  • Arizona Phil 6 days 15 hours ago (view)

    In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).   


  • JustSayin' 1 week 29 min ago (view)

    Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 week 2 hours ago (view)

    Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.

    That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.


  • Hagsag 1 week 3 hours ago (view)

    Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.


  • Arizona Phil 1 week 17 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020. 


  • JustSayin' 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    "According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

    so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.


  • crunch 1 week 4 days ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 1 week 5 days ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 1 week 5 days ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 week 6 days ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...