Schwarber & Zagunis Star at Riverview Park

Kyle Schwarber singled, doubled, and scored a run, Mark Zagunis ripped an RBI double and scored and drove-in another run with a sacrifice fly, and Charcer Burks singled twice and walked, in a seven-inning AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.  

The contest was game one in a five game intrasquad "Cubs World Series" to be played at Riverview Park this week, between the "Northside Rooftops" and the "Wrigley Field Ivy," each team chosen by draft by the two managers (Jimmy Gonzalez and Mark Johnson). Team Johnson won today's game by a score of 3-1.

Gioskar Amaya got the start at catcher for Team Gonzalez, and handled himself well behind the plate for the four innings he spent there. (Amaya is in the Catcher Conversion Program at Instructs). He then moved to 3rd base for the final three innings and made the defensive play of the game, a run-saving stop & throw to end the top of the 5th. Amaya had a fine day offensively, too, with a line-drive double into the LF corner, a walk, and a stolen base.   

Kevin Encarnacion played RF for Team Johnson, his first game action since suffering a near career-ending shoulder injury and 3rd degree burns in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last December. He (understandably) looked rusty both in the field and at the plate, committing an error on a ground single to right (he bobbled the ball, allowing a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd), and he went 0-3 at the plate with two strikeouts (both swinging) and a weak infield pop out. Probably because of the injuries he sustained in the car crash, Encarnacion is now hitting only left-handed (he previously had been a switch-hitter). In his one AB batting LH against a LH pitcher (Jordan Minch), Encarnacion struck out on three pitches. 

The Cubs are not playing games against other MLB organizations at Instructs this year, instead opting to spend more time on morning field instruction & afternoon classroom training. Players attending Instructs are also spending some of their off hours researching the history of the Cubs, and presenting the information they learn to the the other players. 

Most of the Cub brass are in attendance at Instructs this week, including Team President Theo Epstein, Executive VP & GM Jed Hoyer, and Senior VP & Scoutng/Player Development Director Jason McLeod.

Here is the box score from today's game:

TEAM JOHNSON LINEUP:
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, F-9, BB)
2. Chesny Young, 2B: 0-3 (F-9, 4-3, 5-3)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (K, 1B, 2-3, R)
4. Kyle Schwarber, C: 2-3 (2B, 3-1, 1B, R, SB)
5. Mark Zagunis, LF: 1-2 (2B, L-7 SF, K, R, 2 RBI)
6. Mark  Malave, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, L-6, RBI)
7. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (K, P-4, K)
8. Tyler Alamo, DH: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B)
9. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3 SH, 6-4-3 DP)

TEAM GONZALEZ LINEUP:
1. Charcer Burks, CF: 2-3 (1B, K, BB, 1B, R, CS)
2. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-4 (F-9, 6-3, 5-3, K)
3. Billy McKinney, RF: 0-2 (F-9, BB, K, HBP)
4. Victor Caratini, 1B-C: 1-4 (F-8, F-8, 1B, 4-3, RBI)
5. Jordan Hankins, 3B-1B: 0-3 (L-8, 6-3, K)
6. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 0-2 (L-6, BB, P-2)
7. Gioskar Amaya, C-3B: 1-2 (2B, BB, F-8, SB)
8. Kevonte Mitchell, LF: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
9. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (2B, K, BB)

TEAM JOHNSON PITCHERS:
1. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/5 GO/FO, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Ryan McNeil: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 39 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Santiago Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 29 pitches (19 strikes)
4. Oscar de la Cruz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/0 GO/FO, 24 pitches (11 strikes)

TEAM GONZALEZ PITCHERS:
1. Jeremy Null: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 30 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Yapson Gomez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 4/2 GO/FO, 19 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Trey Hedges: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 27 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Jordan Minch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (9 strikes)  

TEAM JOHNSON ERRORS: 1
RF Kevin Encarnacion - E-9 (fielding error on ground single allowed baserunner to take an extra base)

TEAM GONZALEZ ERRORS: NONE

TEAM JOHNSON  CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Kyle Schwarber: 1-2 CS, 1 PB

TEAM GONZALEZ CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Victor Caratini: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 28 (mostly scouts)

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Comments

AZ Phil...would love your insight on Victor Caratini as a catching prospect (from the Braves system for Russell and Bonafacio) and team Gonzalez' starter with the awesome pitcher's name, Jeremy Null (I hope he has "infinite" talent).

CUBSTER: Jeremy Null is a VERY tall (6'7 or 6'8) RHP who "stands tall" and throws from an extreme downhill plane. He has a plus-slider that's gets a lot of swings & misses and an OK low-90's fastball that he uses to set-up his slider. He's trying to learn a change-up (but who isn't trying to learn a change-up at Instructs?).

Victor Caratini is a good hitter from both sides of the plate with a line-drive stroke that he uses to drill balls into the OF gaps and down the lines. Defense needs work, although he works hard in drills and appears to have the physical tools necessary to be a catcher. But he'll probably need some time to develop defensively. His bat is ahead of his glove right now.

"Bill Mueller has resigned as hitting coach of the Chicago Cubs, but don't expect Manny Ramirez to be the one filling his shoes, a source told ESPNChicago.com. A source close to the situation said the Cubs are already close to hiring a replacement for Mueller, whose resignation, a source said, came just more than a week after assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley was dismissed. Ramirez received positive reviews from his stint with Triple-A Iowa this season, but a source said Ramirez isn't under consideration for Mueller's job. However, the source said Ramirez could be in the mix for the assistant hitting coach position." http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/11658610/bill-mueller-resigns…

$15.3M will be the qualifying offer for this offseason.

Mattingly benching Puig tonight, putting Ethier in CF. Puig was 4th in the NL in wrc+, Ethier...was somewhere much farther down. Can't even call it a defensive move.

That's , um, something.

Puig tripled last night too, albeit K'ing a lot in the series.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

Every once in a while, the numbness wears off, and I am amazed at the guaranteed money baseball players are paid -- even those who will never make an All-Star team and who are not particularly good (by MLB standards). If not for baseball, most of these guys would be selling used cars in some hick town. Crazy stuff.

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