AZL Cubs Five-Run 8th Tops AZL Brewers at Riverview
18-year old power-hitting C-1B Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) slugged a two-run home run over the LF fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard and speedy Luis Ayala belted a three-run inside-the-park home run into the right-centerfield alley two outs later, as the AZL Cubs rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th and defeat the AZL Brewers 5-3 in Arizona League (AZL) Opening Day action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
AZL Cubs LHP Yapson Gomez hurled three innings of perfect baseball in relief and picked-up the win.
Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) pitched the first inning for the AZL Cubs (14 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no runs and a single, with a strikeout and 1/1 GO/AO.
19-year old RHP Erling Moreno (2013 IFA - Colombia - $650K signing bonus) was the scheduled starter for the AZL Cubs, but he ended-up piggy-backing the rehabber (Crow). Moreno worked five innings (77 pitches) and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits (five singles and a double), no walks, and an HBP, with three strikeouts and an 8/3 GO/AO.
Brew Crew SP Nash Walters (Brewers 2015 3rd round pick - Lindale HS - Lindale, TX) threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts and Nicolas Pierre drove-in all three AZL Brewers runs with a third-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning two-run double.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
1. Luis Ayala, RF: 3-5 (K, K, 1B, 1B, HR, R, 3 RBI)
2. Jose Gonzalez, CF: 0-5 (F-8, 1-3, F-8, K, P-4)
3. Jhony Bethencourt, SS: 0-2 (6-3, BB, BB, 4-3, SB)
4. Gustavo Polanco, DH: 2-4 (K, 1B, L-9, 1B, R)
5. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, K, K, HR, R, 2 RBI)
6. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 0-4 (K, K, K, K)
7. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-4 (P-6, F-7, E-6, 6-3, SB)
8. Yohan Matos, LF: 1-3 (E-6, BB, K, 1B, R, SB)
9. Edgar Rondon, 2B: 1-2 (4-3, 1-3 SH, 1B, BB, R)
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Aaron Crow: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikers)
2. Erling Moreno: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 8/3 GO/AO, 77 pitches (50 strikes)
3. Yapson Gomez: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 6/1 GO/AO, 28 pitches (22 strikes)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: 2v
1. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (throwing error on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures 110+
Charlie 39 sec ago (view)
Trading away some good prospects during the win-now phase is a confounding factor, since some of those guys *could* have gone on inside the organization to bolster the reputation. But one can hardly blame those trades for the lack of pitching development.
Arizona Phil 2 min 37 sec ago (view)
K-DUB: Eury Ramos FB was 97-99.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 56 min ago (view)
20s sounds about right. Considering they have gotten pretty much nothing out of pitching development in the last decade and only number one picks and Bote on the hitter side in the same time frame, that's pretty telling. I guess Contreras falls into that too but he had been around quite a while before Theo and Jed
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 58 min ago (view)
I was thinking that too, Phil. EJM failing so badly was another spectacular miss. Guess they should have let sleeping dogs lie when his first deal fell through (Dodgers or Giants, I think?)
tim815 6 hours 50 min ago (view)
MLB.com rated the Cubs 22 out of 30.
This season figures to tell quite a bit. No teams are terrible at player development anymore, and no teams look at the draft as a hopeless puzzle.
KingKongvsGodzilla 10 hours 4 min ago (view)
Are these guys out of the org now?
K Dub 14 hours 41 min ago (view)
PHIL: Any velo readings on Ramos? Earlier reports also had him sitting 98-99. Thanks!
George Altman 20 hours 42 min ago (view)
Phil, serious question: How good is the Cubs Player Development Department? Scale of 1 to 30 with 1 being best. I mean, I can think of 5 teams right now who don't have near the Cubs resources but do better year after.
I mean there are organizations across sports who seem to coach the crap out of their draft picks and signees. They just got 4 teenagers for Darvish, but do they have the coaches to get any of them to the show?
My pessimistic grade would be about 24.
Arizona Phil 20 hours 56 min ago (view)
DJL: How about Eddy Julio Martinez as a spectacular miss? A $3M signing bonus out of Cuba and he never made it out of AA.
Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 3 min ago (view)
Wow, that's a pretty spectacular miss. He was so highly thought of when he signed.
Arizona Phil 21 hours 35 min ago (view)
TIM: Richard Gallardo doesn't seem to be progressing as a SP, so he has apparently been moved to the bullpen. He has a tendency to labor through innings and nibble too much and throw a lot of pitches.
tim815 21 hours 49 min ago (view)
Anything on Gallardo, of interest, from today?
Arizona Phil 21 hours 51 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released LHP Ryan Kellogg, RHP Alex Moore, 3B Fidel Mejia, OF Jose Gutierrez, OF Eddy Julio Martinez, and OF Zac Taylor from Minor League Camp.
Arizona Phil 21 hours 57 min ago (view)
And despite what you might read elsewhere, It was - NOT - a "hot" gun.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 23 min ago (view)
He certainly could have forced the Cubs to release him with full salary as termination pay, so he must like it with the Cubs.
Charlie 1 day 13 min ago (view)
Follow-up on last week's discussion of Baez's contact and plate discipline woes. Another Fangraphs article notes that he is among league leaders in combined positive change in zone swing rates (swinging at more pitches inside the strike zone) and reduction in chase rate (swinging at pitches outside the zone). See the last table: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-look-at-some-earl...
This makes his 45% strikeout rate and 1.7% BB rate all the more strange.