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.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 13 min ago (view)
CRUNCH: The only way this makes sense is if the Cubs promised Ryan when they outrighted him in May that he would be added back to the MLB 40-man roster within a certain number of days or by a certain date (June 20th). Otherwise, it makes no sense.
Ryan did have the right to elect free-agency when he was outrighted, but he accepted the assignment.
crunch 2 hours 4 min ago (view)
alzolay activated, k.ryan down. ryan was brought up less than 24 hours ago and not used yesterday. he was already earlier optioned to AAA and the cubs DFA'd r.stock to add ryan to the 40-man yesterday. odd use of the roster, kinda...
Wrigley Rat 18 hours 52 min ago (view)
Exactly what I needed - thanks AZPhil!
Arizona Phil 21 hours 59 min ago (view)
I doubt that whatever changes are made in the new CBA regarding compensation draft picks for losing a Qualified Player will be implemented in the 2022 draft. They might, however, remove the penalty of losing a draft pick after signing a qualified player, and that could easily be implemented in the 2022 draft. That would seem to be a demand the MLBPA would make that the MLB owners could accept.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 10 sec ago (view)
W-RAT: Going over the CBT threshhold in 2020 but not in 2021 will not affect which draft pick a club receives if it loses a player who receives a Qualifying Offer post-2021 World Series and that player subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club prior to the 2022 MLB Rule 4 Draft (MLB First-Year Player Draft).
crunch 22 hours 34 min ago (view)
w.franco getting called up by TB. he's amazing. check him out. agressive at the plate and on the bases (and gets away with it)...rather decent in the field. javy baez meets ronald acuna type stuff...
tim815 1 day 59 min ago (view)
With the CBA expiring in the off-season, nobody has any idea what will happen in 2022, if there's an MLB season in 2022.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
kinda crazy cubs even matter in 2021 this late in june...also, that the cards are barely playing .500 ball.
cubs were supposed to be "competitive" going into the season, but we were hearing a lot more about who's going to be traded mid-season than how competitive they were/are expected to be.
also, the dbacks are down by 8 runs on their way to their 17th loss in a row. they've only won 20 games this year. AZ games are my go-to late night (east coast over here) preferred viewing and it's been some terrible baseball to watch.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Sorry if this is explained somewhere and I missed it, but who knows the exact compensation the Cubs would get if they made qualifying offers to Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez after the season, all three turned them down and they each signed with different teams? I read that the Cubs exceeded the Luxury Tax in 2020, so apparently that changes the draft pick value. Thanks in advance!
Cubster 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Rockies tie game w 6-spot vs Brewers
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
schwarber has 5HR in the last 2 days (3 games) and 9 homers in his last 10 games.
also, t.chatwood picked up a spot save for TOR today.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
let's never do chris myers in the booth for a full game again, much less a full series.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of INF Edwin Figuera (ex-STL) from York (Atlantic League) and LHSP Dalton Stambaugh (ex-BAL - was Orioles 2019 30th round draft pick - Morehead State) from Evansville (Frontier League), and they have been assigned to ACL Cubs.
The Cubs have been minng the independent leagues big-time.
Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
To give up on a guy who throws 101 when you don't have to do it is kind of dumb. Granted Stock is 31 and still has command issues, but there is obviously nothing wrong with his arm. Why not just hang onto him into next season and see what happens over the off season and then in Spring Training?
The Cubs could have transferred David Bote or (especially) Justin Steele to the 60-day IL. Steele has already been on the 10-day IL for 30 days, and he will need a rehab assignment -- which for pitchers can be up to 30 days -- before he is reinstated.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Cubs DFA Stock. Bummer to cut a guy who throws 100. They didnt really give him a chance either.
But don't worry, Kyle Ryan is back, we're saved!
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Higgins is hurt, Romine is hurt, Amaya is hurt, Wolters has been even worse offensively than Lobaton at AAA.