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.
crunch 6 min 1 sec ago (view)
(c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season
seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers. he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.
Charlie 29 min 57 sec ago (view)
This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.
crunch 19 hours 19 min ago (view)
wow...and he's done for the night. that's not good...well, for mets fans.
"right shoulder soreness"
crunch 19 hours 35 min ago (view)
meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings. he's also got a RBI single.
crunch 20 hours 14 min ago (view)
and d.smith gets HBP.
this is high end next level strategy. you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game. moneyballs.
crunch 20 hours 20 min ago (view)
ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.
Arizona Phil 20 hours 39 min ago (view)
CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.
Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.
This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now.
Charlie 21 hours 37 min ago (view)
That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.
crunch 22 hours 18 min ago (view)
brews did the cubs a solid by losing before the cubs have to take on degrom.
crunch 23 hours 38 min ago (view)
*laughs nervously looking over at craig kimbrel*
Jackstraw 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Guys who haven't been cheating don't need to change a thing.
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
dude can barely move behind the plate these days. i wouldn't trust him to stop a passed ball or a wild pitch even with his advanced skill.
that said, all the cubs in-house options kinda suck.
hey d.ross, grab a glove and get to work.
Charlie 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Tyler Glasnow sprained his UCL and is pretty openly objecting to the MLB pushback on use of "sticky stuff," saying he thinks not using his "substance of choice," rosin and sunscreen, lead to his injury and will lead others to injury. I will be interested to hear a more open discourse on what pitchers use to get a grip on the ball, what will be permitted, and what adjustments pitchers will make.
Hagsag 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Time to sign Wilson Ramos.
Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Beginning today (June 16th), post-2020 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who signed a 2021 MLB contract will no longer have an automatic "no trade" right, so Arrieta, Chafin, Marisnick, Pederson, and Romine can now be traded without restriction.