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.
Charlie 9 min 44 sec ago (view)
Weather looks a *little* spotty for this afternoon. Here's hoping for no interruptions while Darvish is still in the game.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 58 min ago (view)
It really speaks to how hard he is to get to that he continually danced out of danger multiple times without his best stuff until the 7th. Once the 8 and 9 guys were on, he definitely shouldn't have turned the lineup over again. Agreed someone needed to be ready to throw 7th
Charlie 10 hours 50 min ago (view)
He was missing badly in the middle of the zone throughout the game. No idea why someone wasn't warmed up to start the 7th.
crunch 14 hours 30 min ago (view)
i wasn't initially on board with the extra wildcard team, but the 1-game playoff and having to start the next round almost immediately after burning a top pitcher really made that "extra slot" earn it's keep competitively.
i don't think i'm going to be won over by a 16-team playoff no matter how it's presented, though.
Sonicwind75 15 hours 2 min ago (view)
I triple that motion. Really liked the 3 in and 2 WCs with a 1 game playoff, best playoff setup of my lifetime. It reinforces the importantance of 162, winning your division and there is a benefit to get that number 1 seed too.
Eric S 17 hours 26 min ago (view)
Unfortunately scoring one run in playoff games is a continuing trend for this core group of Cubs
Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 31 min ago (view)
Hendricks really did a great job today. You could tell he didn't have his best stuff but kept them off the board for 6 innings. Deserved better than the L.
Normally I'd say this one was on Ross for not seeing that Hendricks was done when the 8 and 9 hitters got on in the 7th but.... one run isn't going to win a lot of games.
crunch 18 hours 42 sec ago (view)
he also had his first 3-walk game since april 1st, 2019.
Eric S 18 hours 1 min ago (view)
Hendricks battled but the Cubs luck ran out in the 7th.
Lots of Cubs weak sauce on display this afternoon
crunch 18 hours 31 min ago (view)
ATL wins, bottom 13th.
HOU advances over MIN. part of me hopes this sub-.500 team makes it to the world series so more people can push back on this 16-team playoff stuff. it would be eyerolling if it's 2 sub-.500 teams (MIL/HOU).
crunch 19 hours 7 min ago (view)
cubs game suuuuuuuuuuucks. straight garbage.
cin/atl is off the hook (scoreless in the 13th).
crunch 1 day 5 min ago (view)
happ / rizzo / bryant / schwarber / contreras / heyward / baez / caratini(DH) / kipnis
ABC broadcast (all 3 games, W/Th/F)...
j.osich DFA'd...j.phegley added to be the "3rd/emergency" catcher
btw, the cubs play all early day games this round. wtf...
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Couldn't agree more. It was fine for this nonsense season, but playing a full 162, what's the point of pushing for 100 wins if 80 gets you in, and there's no real benefit to winning 100, as if you lose the wrong two games, you're gone
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
There's a lot I hate about this playoff format and I hope we get back to 3-in with 2 teams playing a brutal 1-game playoff format.
i don't want to watch 162...or 150...games to see 16 out of 30 teams get a shot at winning it all.
we just watched the cubs drop 3 out of 4 to a team that was 15-38. dropping a playoff series to a team that had the 5th best record and survived a 1-game sudden death playoff has a bit more legitamacy than a team that didn't even have a .500 record (MIL + HOU this year, btw).
Charlie 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
Yay for playoff games taking place in the middle of a workday? I'll be watching this one well after the fact. Enjoy, to all those watching it live on Wednesday afternoon!
champsummers 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
And I did not know he was eligible already. Makes sense..