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 5 hours 23 min ago (view)

    side note...k.wong is on 1st putting on one of those "baserunning mitts" (hand protection for sliding) that's extending past the length of his hand/fingers by at least 2-3 inches.

    they're going to have to start regulating this piece of equipment if this keeps up...


  • crunch 7 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Q with LAA in his debut for them...HBP, a wild pitch, and BB through 7 pitches...then 3 pop-outs to follow.

    blah blah spring training...

    baseball on TV...neat.


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 45 min ago (view)

    We just traded for Maddux!!!   ......... nope, the other one.


  • crunch 23 hours 15 min ago (view)

    yeah, i'm just saying i did consider piling onto it with a troll-level post about the's practically asking to be written that way.

    jeff passan did it quite well...

    that said, i had no idea zach bryant existed before today, but his early numbers looked oddly good (which means nothing without context that early in his career).


  • Charlie 23 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Oh, I mean the trade. You were quite diligent in posting!


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    i contemplated writing the post totally trolled out as hell with "zach" coming after a wall of text.

    i decided the cubs being cheap was enough pre-season punishment without piling on.


  • Charlie 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    This is a straight up troll 


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    rsox aquiring ZACH bryant from the cubs.

    ptbn from the josh osich deal.

    totally useless trade...hopefully not a terrible loss.


  • Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal


  • crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 6 days 6 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.