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 11 hours 5 min ago (view)
cubs in 11!
7-2 record to start the year.
the "socially distanced high-5s" in the middle of the infield is good stuff.
crunch 11 hours 42 min ago (view)
been a while since i've seen a solid home plate collision...couldn't be avoided.
crunch 11 hours 56 min ago (view)
game on...stupid rain delay...
Charlie 12 hours 46 min ago (view)
Any other readers in southern Il.--are you blacked out of Cubs games? My dad is always blacked out as of this year even though MLB tv lists his zip as blacked out for Cards only.
Sonicwind75 13 hours 18 min ago (view)
When then is ever over, gonna have to have some of them Magic City wings, they must be something!
Cubster 13 hours 34 min ago (view)
For all the heat Lester took to this point, he's really "pitched" excellent in both starts. In fact, the entire starting staff has been really good. Bullpen not so much although I've liked Jeffress.
crunch 13 hours 46 min ago (view)
cepedes is "opting out" of 2020, but didn't let the team properly know. glad they found him.
Eric S 13 hours 58 min ago (view)
60 game schedules are a perfect fit for Lester. Hell, if we know 2021 will also go 60, Cubs could do a lot worse than re-signing Big Jon
crunch 13 hours 58 min ago (view)
we're 10-ish games in and the future is looking dim for finishing the season, much less forming a 16-team post-season.
at this point it seems making it to playoffs with enough people to fill a roster is a wiser move than actually winning games.
Eric S 14 hours 1 min ago (view)
Magic City wings could be in play here.
Eric S 14 hours 4 min ago (view)
Well done, Dr Cubster
Cubster 14 hours 6 min ago (view)
more on Cardinals...
Jeff Passan says: The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Cardinals took more tests this morning, and results of those should arrive by tonight.
Robt Murray: The St. Louis Cardinals have multiple new positive tests, according to sources with direct knowledge.
crunch 14 hours 17 min ago (view)
...and no one seems to know where y.cespedes (NYM) is...didn't show up for the game today and isn't answering calls. they're on the road @ATL.
Cubster 14 hours 22 min ago (view)
Telecast with Len/JD saying that several more Cardinals tested positive this am. Can't find it on twitter or net yet.
Another Pirate pitcher removed with injury.
KB in Covid protocol even though he had a negative rapid test today.
This is stressful.
crunch 14 hours 35 min ago (view)
contreras breaks up the no-hitter with a double in the 5th.
lester needs to throw a complete game today.
Cubster 17 hours 44 min ago (view)
Norwood to Chicago, IL (formerly DL). Shoulder inflammation.