Cubs Get Long Ball from Strumpf and Wetzel at Sloan Park

Chase Strumpf belted a two-run HR halfway up the LF berm and singled and scored, Jacob Wetzel clubbed a two-run HR halfway up the RF berm and walked and scored, Andy Weber stroked a single and a two-run double, and Alfonso Rivas drilled an RBI single, walked twice, and stole a base, in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Wednesday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was called with one out in the top of the 5th once all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work. (The Cubs were suppoosed to host the A's in an AZIL games, but the game was canceled and so the Cubs played an intrasquad game, and the four pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the AZIL game pitched in the intrasquad game instead).  

Here is the box score from the game: 

1. Fabian Pertuz, SS: 1-3 (2B, E-5, F-7, 2 R)
2. Chase Strumpf, 3B: 2-3 (HR, K, 1B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
3. Bryce Windham, C: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, L-8, R, RBI)
4. Jacob Wetzel, CF: 1-2 (F-8, HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI)
5. Andy Weber, 2B: 2-3 (3-1, 1B, 2B, 2 RBI)
6. Yonathan Perlaza, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, K)
7. Edmond Americaan, RF: 0-1 (4-6-3 DP, BB, PO) 
8. Matt Mervis, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 2B) 
9. Nelson Velazquez, DH: 0-2 (F-7, F-8) 

1. Christopher Morel, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 6-4 FC, 2B) 
2. Cole Roederer, CF: 1-2 (K, 2B, BB, R)
3. Ethan Hearn, C: 0-1 (BB, BB, F-9, R)
4. Alfonso Rivas, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B+E9, BB, RBI, SB)
5. Luis Vazquez, 3B: 0-2 (P-2, K) 
NOTE: Slot was skipped third time through the order
6. Jared Young, LF: 0-2 (BB, 3-1, 6-3, R, SB)
7. Jordan Nwogu, RF: 0-2 (L-8, F-9) 
8. Luis Verdugo, SS: 0-1 (F-9 SF, 1-3, RBI) 
9. Pablo Aliendo, DH: 1-1 (1B, BB, R)

1. Danis Correa: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 1/4 GO/AO, 52 pitches (24 strikes) 
2. Eduarniel Nunez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 56 pitches (27 strikes) 

1. Koen Moreno: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/AO, 35 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Cam Sanders: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 0/3 GO/AO, 61 pitches (37 strikes) 

RF Edmond Americaan: E-9 (fielding error on line-drive single to RF allowed batter to advance to 2B) 

3B Luis Vazquez: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Bryce Windham: 0-2 CS, 2 PB 

Ethan Hearn: 1 PO 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 


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


Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 

BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 

He reminds me a bit of Harrison Bader.

I would say Wetzel is a legit second tier prospect right now (somewhere near the back of the org Top 30), but he could be better than that once he gets settled in pro ball.     

I think if this had been a normal season Wetzel would have been an 11-15 round pick, probably would have split his first summer between AZL and Eugene, and then he would have begun 2021 at South Bend. Or he might have even transferred back to D-1 for his junior year and tried to elevate his draft status because he would appear to have a lot of untapped potential.  

Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 

There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 

RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists

nico played 37 games (22 starts) at 2nd over 208 innings...roughly averages out to around 25 games worth of playing 2nd if he got all his play there as starts.  he was good there, though not flashy.

heyward keeps getting nominated after turning in average-at-best performances.  he does have a knack for finding some highlight reel catches, though.  even "average" heyward is nice to have in RF.

Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.

shout out to 1999 1st base gold glove winner rafael palmeiro.  25 starts (28 games total) at 1st...128 starts at DH.

In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year

i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.

Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!

iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.

I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 

This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.