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 15 min 13 sec ago (view)
That is a solid recap--thank you!
Eric S 2 hours 12 min ago (view)
Childersb3 7 hours 49 min ago (view)
Since Jake Arrieta won't be ready to pitch in four or five days, I hope they keep Keegan up there. I'd say he deserves to start one more game for them until Jake comes back.
Arizona Phil 16 hours 48 min ago (view)
RHP Kohl Stewart was recalled from AAA Iowa as the "27th man" for Game # 2 of the doubleheader but he did not pitch in the game.
The 27th man is only available for both games if the doubleheader was scheduled as the resuilt of a postponed game from a previous series, so since the doubleheader resulted from the first game of the current series being postponed, the 27th man was only available for the second game.
Arizona Phil 17 hours 23 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released RHRP Brandon Workman. He was Designated for Assignment last Thursday.
So the Cubs are now on the hook for Workman's $1M salary, but it would be offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB contract with another club, or sign a minor league contract with another club and then have his contract selected to an MLB 40-man roster.
Arizona Phil 17 hours 25 min ago (view)
The Cubs have signed second contract minor league FA LHP Alex Katz (ex-KC) and RHP Austin Krzeminski (ex-LAA) to minor league contracts.
Charlie 17 hours 36 min ago (view)
If you predicted the Cubs take both sides of the doubleheader vs Kershaw and Bauer, I hope you put some money on it.
crunch 18 hours 51 min ago (view)
i wish i didn't have to crash and get up early. hate missing the rest of this. wow.
crunch 19 hours 10 min ago (view)
...and a solo HR to follow it up. that's neat-o.
crunch 19 hours 11 min ago (view)
hey, look...runner scores on a wild pitch.
crunch 19 hours 14 min ago (view)
hol up...we really bringing maples into a game where a guy starts on 2nd with 0 out?
alright...we're living dangerously.
crunch 19 hours 29 min ago (view)
kimbrel blew the save, giving up a solo homer, but this isn't a case of "kimbrel sucking"...he looked good.
crunch 20 hours 17 min ago (view)
damn this is a good game.
bauer keeps coming close to screwing up badly and gets out of it. cubs have a 1 run lead and it seems like it should be a few more.
thompson looked great since an "average at best" 1st inning.
Jackstraw 21 hours 6 min ago (view)
"Go get 'em, kid. We've got three of the best guys on our roster out there behind you, and the other guy on the bump, well, his Cy Young should come with an asterisk."
Childersb3 21 hours 53 min ago (view)
It's the opening night for MiLB, I knew SB was now A+ ball, and of course I get confused the first time I look at the GameDay for SB just now.
That's going to take the full season to get used too.
crunch 22 hours 6 min ago (view)
thompson's got some good movement on his stuff (not extrodinary).
his mid-90s fastball looks effortless. he's got a cutter he can bring 90+.