Rosey Debut for Cub Draft Pick in Mesa
Making his professional debut, Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick Neftali Rosario (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy) belted an RBI double to drive-in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 5th, but the bullpen could not hold the lead as the AZL Mariners rallied to score six runs over the final four innings, defeating the AZL Cubs 10-6 in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this evening.
The 17-year old right-handed hitting Rosario struck out in both of his first two at bats (and looked bad doing it), before delivering a laser-shot liner off the top of the LF fence on a 2-2 slider that drove-in Dong-Yub Kim from second-base, and missed being a two-run HR by inches.
Rosario also looped a single to right-center in the 7th, and lined a rocket (unfortunately) right at the third-baseman for the final out of the game.
Rosario showed-off his arm from behind the plate, too, nabbing two base-stealers, and throwing out another trying to take an extra base on a Wild Pitch.
On the negative side, while he has a strong arm, he has a lot of work to do on his catching mechanics & receiving skills. He was charged with one Passed Ball (could have been two), and was consistently unable to block pitches in the dirt, resulting in four Wild Pitches charged against Cubs pitchers.
Rosario also is a sucker for high fastballs, swinging through most every one he saw. But when he did connect, he displayed outstanding bat-speed and plus-power.
He reminds me a lot of Welington Castillo.
While the Cubs pitchers struggled throughout the game, the offense did not.
Playing 3B tonight (he moves around between 2B-3B-SS, but his best defensive position is 3B), Gioskar Amaya had three more hits, raising his slash line to 400/435/488 (he is now 4th in the AZL in hitting). The 18-year old Venezuelan also scored two runs, stole a base, and laid-down a picture-perfect textbook sacrifice bunt. He is a magician with the bat, an ideal #2 hitter.
With Taiwan Easterling having been promoted to Peoria and Zeke DeVoss having been moved up to Boise, 18-year old Dominican CF Oliver Zapata is back in his accustomed lead-off slot, where he has excelled all year. He reached base three more times tonight on two singles and a walk, and he also stole a base and scored a run. A 5'9, round, bowling ball of a young man with a Kirby Puckett-like physique, the speedy switch-hitting Zapata has taken the lead-off gig very seriously, shortening his swing and following each pitch into the catcher's glove, just like Pete Rose used to do. As a result, he leads the AZL in walks. He also has been running the bases with abandon, having stolen 10 (good for 3rd the AZL) while getting thrown-out just twice.
After missing six weeks with a broken hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch in the final game of Extended Spring Training, OF Jesus Morelli returned to the AZL Cubs lineup Monday night versus the AZL Dodgers, going 0-3 with a walk. But he had a very good game tonight against the Mariners, driving-in a run with an RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd, and clubbing a game-tying 400+ ft solo HR over the left-centerfield fence in the bottom of the 5th. He also threw out a runner trying to score on a fly ball out to LF. (Morelli has a RF arm, so it's almost "no contest" when the opposition tries runs on him when he's playing LF).
Morelli was seemingly destined for a return trip ticket to Boise when he suffered the broken hand (he spent most of last season at Boise, too), so he probably won't be staying in Mesa too much longer. It would just be a matter of clearing a roster slot for him at Boise. (Actually, when he leaves, he really should be going to Peoria).
And after spending most of the season on the AA Tennessee Smokies DL with a broken hand, OF Jim Adduci has finally returned to action over the past few days in Mesa, and he continued his rehab tonight, playing RF and getting five plate appearances for the AZL Cubs. He popped out, flied out, grounded out, singled, and was called out on strikes. While he looks like he is probably ready to return to Tennessee, there may not be room for him there at this time, what with Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Spencer, Ty Wright, and Nelson Perez all vying for playing time in the crowded Smokies outfield.
tim815 29 min 13 sec ago (view)
Actually, Nick Castellanos and his opt out.
crunch 1 hour 16 min ago (view)
hendricks wins #13...11 in a row.
dude leads MLB in wins...and also hits given up.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 2 min ago (view)
I think we're going to get very experimental over these last two months in the high leverage spots. Only caveat is they may want to see if Wick can handle the 9th once he's back.
That, I'm pretty sure Ryan would have been my last guess to close out a game. Either him or Megill.
crunch 2 hours 5 min ago (view)
javy swings on 3-0 pitch, outside, fouls off.
javy strikes out, foul tip low and outside.
crunch 2 hours 8 min ago (view)
baez coming into the bottom 9th, down by 1, man on 1st.
standing O. NY loves him so far. part of the crowd is chanting "javy" and others "baez"...they'll figure it out in a few games.
crunch 2 hours 15 min ago (view)
k.ryan coming in for the save, but j.jewell is in the pen warming up...don't think anyone is officially "closer"
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 17 min ago (view)
If we're looking to tank next year I think it would be wise to keep Brothers, Morgan, and Ryan. Toss em in high leverage spots, too.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 18 min ago (view)
I'd guess it's him too. If we wanted boring it would be Winkler.
Hopefully Ross gives the ball to MANROD.
crunch 2 hours 27 min ago (view)
wasn't ugly, but it was nothing masterful...heuer goes 1ip 0h 0bb 0k only giving up an unearned run on a sac fly. he may get the 9th because he barely worked the 8th (9 pitches).
crunch 2 hours 35 min ago (view)
rex brothers sucks. here comes heuer with the bases loaded and 0 outs.
Eric S 3 hours 1 min ago (view)
Still trails Rizzo by 1 HR for a New York franchise
Eric S 3 hours 2 min ago (view)
JHey with a bouncer thru the right side gets a two out rbi - his first rbi since July 16. Happ with another true outcome nite: 3 Ks and a walk
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 9 min ago (view)
I'd guess Rivas at first. More contact, more low power.
Wisdom at 3B!
crunch 3 hours 10 min ago (view)
i imagine they'll go with hoerner/madrigal (aka, "hoes mad" for the disrespectful youth out there) at SS/2nd.
that's a lot of contact without power, though. this team needs to go buy/trade for some power.
crunch 3 hours 14 min ago (view)
javy hits hit 1st NYM homer
Charlie 3 hours 46 min ago (view)
I could see the Cubs signing a free agent 1B or Ss, an ok starting pitcher, and doing a half-competitive (i.e. finish in third place) phase while waiting for some of these prospects to arrive. Wouldn't be shocked if they get Rizzo back. It will take more than one season to build a real pitching staff, but I think ownership won't be willing to fully tank in the meantime.