Mervis Clout and Rivas Line Drives Rule the Day in Mesa

Matt Mervis crushed a solo HR over the RF fence & 30-foot high screen and off the outside west wall of the stadium across the street, Alfonso Rivas rifled an RBI double and a single and scored run, and Nelson Velazquez walked, stole a base, scored a run, and collected an outfield assist, in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Saturday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game was originally scheduled as an AZIL game versus the Giants at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, but the Giants canceled and so the Cubs remained at their complex in Mesa and hastily arranged an intrasquad game on Field #1 so that the three pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the AZIL contest could get their work. (A fourth pitcher who would have traveled to Scottsdale as the "emergency back-up pitcher" did not throw in the intrasquad game). 

The ad hoc intrasquad game was pre-planned as only a four inning affair because there weren't enough Cubs pitchers prepared to throw in a game today to play more innings than that. (The Cubs and Giants would have probably played eight innings if the scheduled AZIL game had been played in Scottsdale).   

The DH was not used in the game (eight-man batting orders were employed instead) to maximize the number of plate appearances each position player would get over the course of four innings.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

1. Cole Roederer, CF: 0-3 (F-9, 3-6 FC, K, SB) 
2. Jacob Wetzel, LF: 0-3 (L-8, F-8, K)
3. Cam Balego, 3B: 0-3 (K, E-5, 5-3)
4. Nelson Velazquez, RF: 0-1 (BB, K, R, SB)
5. Alfonso Rivas, 1B: 2-2 (2B, 1B, RBI, R)
6. Bryce Windham, 2B: 1-2 (1B, L-1 DP) 
7. Pablo Aliendo, C 1-2 (E-1, 1B) 
8. Luis Vazquez, SS: 1-2 (F-7, 1B)

1. Kevin Made, SS: 1-2 (K, 1B) 
2. Chase Strumpf, 2B: 1-2 (2B, K, R)
3. Felix Stevens, RF: 1-2 (F-8, 1B) 
4. Rafael Morel, 3B: 0-2 (K, K)
5. Yonathan Perlaza, CF: 0-1 (BB, K)
6. Jordan Nwogu, LF: 0-2 (5-4-3 DP, 5-3)
7. Matt Mervis, 1B: 1-1 (HR, R, RBI)
8. Ethan Hearn, C: 0-0 (BB, PO)

1. Jose Miguel Gonzalez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/1 GO/AO, 27 pitches (14 strikes)
2. Bailey Reid: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1/0 GO/AO, 32 pitches (21 strikes) 

Cory Abbott: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2/5 GO/AO, 71 pitches (44 strikes)


1. 3B Rafael Morel: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. P Cory Abbott: E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

Pablo Aliendo, 1 PB, 1 PO 

Ethan Hearn: 0-2 CS 

RF Nelson Velazquez: Baserunner (Kevin Made) thrown out 9-5 attempting to advancce from 1st to 3rd on line-drive single to RF


WEATHER: Cloudy with temperatures in the 80's 


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


A number of AZIL games (including Cubs games) have been canceled over the past couple of weeks as the result of teams (NOT the Cubs) receiving positive CoViD-19 test results (at least one of the teams has shut down completely and canceled all of their remaining games).  

The way things are going, the Cubs might not be able to complete what remains of their AZIL schedule.  

No surprise, Descalso option declined.

QO for t.bauer(CIN), m.stroman(NYM), g.springer(HOU), j.realmuto(PHI), d.lemahieu(NYY)...and k.gausman(SF) for some reason.

Regarding Gausman, they say there are no bad one year deals.  What is the going rate for a 30 year old 3 or 4th starter? 3 years for $36 to $45 million?  Looking at baseball reference he's durable and takes the ball every 5th day. He's coming off a good season.  SF overpays for a single year but they need somebody to fill the innings.

Michael Brantley not getting an offer surprised me. He's the kind of hitter the Cubs could use but budgets and luxury taxes and Covid. 

brantley is healthy.  that's not the cubs wheelhouse.

gotta sign 5 injured, washed up, or former top prospect guys for the price of 1 healthy guy and wait to see who's worth a damn.

Maybe Theo will let Jed take the wheel this year and just back-seat drive.  Maybe Jed likes healthy guys.  Just brainstorming.

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  • crunch 11 min 43 sec ago (view)

    sahadev sharma (the atlantic) says w.contreras is all but gone via trade if jed can't get an extension worked out.

    unless you're a yan gomes fan, the catcher market is nearly non-existent this off-season.


  • Cubster 10 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Heartwarming Trent Giambrone story in Tribune...

    "Dad, that's yours." (...gets misty eyed)


  • Hagsag 12 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Thanks crunch.


  • crunch 22 hours 33 min ago (view)

    It seems to be up to individual country origin promoters at this point, many not english translated.  coverage from mlb/milb was limited in 2018 and they seem to have given up in 2019.  last year was the same thing even though they were operating a nearly post-covid type structure.

    we start tomorrow and nothing seems to be in place for casual english-speaking fans (that i know of).


  • Hagsag 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    How do I find the site for Caribbean winter baseball? Looking for rosters, box scores and etc.


  • azbobbop 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    I'm not a frequent poster but I am a daily reader who really appreciates this site


  • SheffieldCornelia 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    I echo this!


  • Cubster 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    btw, gotta love the banner photo showing white cleats with Wrigley mud stuck to them. Great choice (and very 3D).


  • Hagsag 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Cant picture not having AZ Phil as a infomation source.


  • Mike Wellman 3 days 23 min ago (view)

    On top of what everyone else sez, TCR is my passport to the I-Cubs every year. Plz keep up the good work!


  • First.Pitch.120 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I echo what everyone else has said. I am in no way an expert (or even novice) at the nuts & bolts of website construction; however, I have dabbled in some website maintenance for various entities. If there is a need for another set of hands, I would be willing to see if I could help ( or at least pull a Jonathan Herrera & cheer from the bench with an awesome helmet).


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    This site is great! It's pretty much the only Cubs site I visit daily, other than a Google search for Cubs news. 90% of the information I get on Cubs prospects is from here. Commenters are usually very respectful and it seems that most are well-informed or want to be. I'm hoping the site can continue. Thanks to everyone who contributes to its content! :)


  • George Altman 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    I'd like to add, without meaning to take a superior attitude, that ALL the content and commentators on TCR are a step above every other Cubs Blog I've seen. I'm better informed, better briefed about not only what's happening but what's likely to happen.

    You all have made me a better Cubs fan. Whatever happens,  thank you. 


  • Charlie 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    I will be happy to continue to do gameday posts for another season and would like to keep the site active. Thanks for your labor!

    Sorry for all the delayed and abbreviated posts at season's end, by the way.


  • fullykräusened 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Like the other posters, I don't post often, but have enjoyed Arizona Phil and crunch (who was right about Jason Heyward :) ). I am grateful for all the work that has gone into maintaining the site, and whatever you want to do to make it work is okay with me!


  • Cubster 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Chiming in that TCR is still a major part of my daily Cub routine and has always been my browser homepage. The site contains much love for AZ Phil and his subtle sense of humor as the war correspondent for the Arizona Scoring Service. 

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