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 6 hours 42 min ago (view)
He didn't walk anybody! Woohoo!
crunch 7 hours 15 min ago (view)
phew...wow. cubs win.
Eric S 7 hours 23 min ago (view)
Hopefully Ryan is more 88-87 tonite instead of 86-85
crunch 7 hours 25 min ago (view)
wow, kimbrel out with 1 out, men on 2nd/3rd.
0.1 ip 2h 0bb 1k
k.ryan coming in.
Wrigley Rat 7 hours 48 min ago (view)
So MLB has changed the rules again. Instead of going from 30 to 28 to 26 players this year, teams will only go from 30 to 28 this Thursday and stay at 28 through the post-season.
Thinking about the Cubs potential moves, I would imagine that Jose Quintana and Brad Weick will be added at some point before the post-season and Rex Brothers, Colin Rea, Justin Steele, and one of Josh Phegley or Daniel Winkler would be sent down to South Bend (or released).
crunch 7 hours 50 min ago (view)
jeffress used in the 8th...easy one for him. looks like kimbrell is still the 9th inning guy.
crunch 8 hours 53 min ago (view)
he's done nothing extordinary out there, but he's looked a lot more comfortable out there this year.
he was especially bad at anything near the line the last few seasons, not making the play or getting over there so late somewhat ordinary popouts looked like great effort. small sample size and all, but it looks like he has a bit more of a clue. if he can be at least average-ish out there, his arm gives him a nice plus on top of it.
Childersb3 9 hours 28 min ago (view)
Anyone else think Souza isn't any better than Almora?
Should Souza's PAs go to Almora?
Eric S 9 hours 29 min ago (view)
Schwarbs looks more comfortable defensively in left field than Souza
Eric S 9 hours 33 min ago (view)
JHey joins the HR crowd - woot woot!!!
Eric S 9 hours 47 min ago (view)
Ideally would prefer Hendricks not pitch right after Mills given their similar profiles
crunch 10 hours 31 min ago (view)
bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarber(DH) / contreras / heyward / souza(LF) / kipnis / happ
Eric S 10 hours 59 min ago (view)
Nick Castellanos with HR number 6 tonight against the Indians. He's just killing it to start the season
crunch 13 hours 20 min ago (view)
i haven't heard anything beyond speculation. i don't even know if it was even addressed in the mlbpa/owners agreement, but i imagine it is in some way.
Sonicwind75 13 hours 25 min ago (view)
Has there been any indication on how much effort will be made to make up the games lost to a team Covid shutdown?
crunch 13 hours 30 min ago (view)
cubs gave d.bote a highlight reel tweet from his 3 notable plays last night.