Cubs Hitters Go Old School Clutch All Day Long at Instructs

Jared Young singled twice, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Alfonso Rivas (RBI single), Matt Mervis (two-out RBI double), Cam Balego (RBI double), Christopher Morel (RBI triple), and Rafael Morel (game-tying two-out two-run single) collected run-scoring hits for the Cubs, and Armani Smith belted a booming three-run home run and Tyler Fitzgerald drilled a line-drive solo shot for the Giants, as the two teams played to a 7-7 tie in AZ Instructional League game action Saturday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

RHP Manuel Rodriguez (on Cubs MLB 60-day IL) made his first game appearance since leaving a Cactus League Spring Training game last March with a right biceps strain, throwing one inning (10 pitches) and allowing one hit and one run (Fitzgerald's solo HR). He struck out one (swinging) and retired the other two batters on a 4-3 GO and F-8 FO.    

INF Kevin Made (July 2019 IFA - Dominican Republic - $1.5M signing bonus) made his pro game debut and got a hit in his first pro AB, reaching base on a two-out bloop single that fell in front of a diving Giants RF in the bottom of the 7th inning. Made would later score one of the two runs driven-in by Rafael Morel.  

You may have noticed that the Cubs have been playing their infielders all around the infield in AZIL games (and in instructs pre-game and Camp Day infield practice as well), and that's because with the extensive use of shifting today in MLB, infielders need to know the mechanics of all three positions (2B, 3B, and SS) as they move forward, even if the player might profile primarily at one infield position in particular.     

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

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

CUBS LINEUP
1a. Alfonso Rivas, DH: 1-2 (BB, 1B, K, RBI)
1b. Fabian Pertuz, PH-DH: 0-2 (3-U, K) 
2a. Ed Howard IV, SS: 1-3 (1-3, 6-3, 1B, R)
2b. Andy Weber, SS: 0-2 (L-7, 6-3)
3a. Bryce Windham, C: 0-2 (4-3, 3-1)
3b. Cam Balego, C: 1-2 (2B, F-8, BB, R, RBI)
4a. Christopher Morel, 2B: 1-3 (K, F-8, 3B, R, RBI)
4b. Kevin Made, 2B: 1-1 (1B, R) 
4c. Luis Vazquez, PH: 0-1 (FC) 
5a. Jared Young, LF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, F-8 SF, R, RBI, SB)
5b. Jacob Wetzel, LF: 0-1 (K+WP, BB, R)
6a. Chase Strumpf, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, P-3, K)
6b. Rafael Morel, 3B: 1-2 (1B, 6-4 FC, 2 RBI)
7a. Nelson Velazquez, CF: 0-2 (5-3, K)
7b. Edmond Americaan, CF: 0-1 (K, BB) 
8. Matt Mervis, 1B: 1-3 (3-1, 2B, L-3, BB, RBI)
9a. Yohendrick Pinango, RF: 0-2 (E-6, 6-3, R)
9b. Jordan Nwogu, RF: 0-1 (BB, K)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Manuel Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/AO, 10 pitches (8 strikes) 
2. Manuel Espinoza: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 2/2 GO/AO, 46 pitches (30 strikes)   
3. Jose Miguel Gonzalez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 5 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 50 pitches (19 strikes) 
4. Eduarniel Nunez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/AO, 21 pitches (12 strikes) 

CUBS ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Bryce Windham: 1-2 CS 

ATTENDANCE: 0 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Arizona 
Scoring
Service 

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

Comments

Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?

not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).

I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability

Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 

Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.

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

jim hickey new nats pitching coach.

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  • Wrigley Rat 7 min 52 sec ago (view)

    3 dots on this evening's Cubs-Dodgers game - makes sense & they do color in the 3rd dot as they're going to commericals (Spectrum Sportsnet).

     

  • crunch 2 hours 20 min ago (view)

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

     

  • Charlie 2 hours 28 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 31 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 51 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 22 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 44 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 11 hours 8 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 48 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 24 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 23 hours 16 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 1 hour 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.