Oscar de la Cruz Goes Six Strong at Riverview

Oscar de la Cruz hurled six innings (78 pitches - 72% strikes) of one-run/three-hit ball (run was unearned) with five strikeouts and no walks, Cam Balego drilled an RBI single and an RBI double and drew a walk, Delvin Zinn singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jonathan Soto belted a two-run HR and a single, and Alexander Guerra smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Alec Mills (Iowa) and Oscar de la Cruz (Tennessee) were the starting pitchers in the game. Both were left behind in Mesa by their respective full-season clubs so that they could pitch in a game on what was their normal day to pitch, with both scheduled to make regular-season starts for their teams this coming Sunday or Monday. So it was a matter of them getting both their normal-scheduled work and increasing their pitch counts closer to regular-season levels.  

Enrique de los Rios and Brendan King followed de la Cruz and Mills to the mound, getting stretched-out in preparation for being Cubs EXST SP.  
 
Here is the box score from the game:      

SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Roberto Caro, LF: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, F-7, P-5, CS)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 2-4 (2B, K, K, 1B)
3. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-4 (F-7, P-2, F-7, 4-3 DP)
4. Alexander Guerra, C: 1-4 (K+WP, K, 6-3, HR, 2 R, RBI)
5. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 0-4 (P-6, K, 5-3, E-5)
6. Fidel Mejia, 3B: 2-4 (E-4, 3B, 1B, F-9)
7. Ramsey Romano, SS: 0-2 (F-8 SF, 1-3, F-9, RBI)
8a. Christopher Morel, DH: 0-2 (F-9, 5-3)
8b. Eric Gonzalez, PH: 0-1 (F-9)
9. Fernando Kelli, CF: 0-3 (K, F-8, P-4)

SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
X. Chris Coghlan, RF: 0-2 (BB, K, BB, P-2)
NOTE: Coghlan led-off 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th innings
1. Delvin Zinn, 2B: 2-4 (5-4 FC, 2B, 1B, K, 3 R, SB)
2. Jonathan Soto, C: 2-4 (K, F-7, HR, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
3. Cam Balego, 3B: 2-3 (2B, 1B, BB, 5-4-3 DP, 2 RBI)
4. Luis Diaz, DH: 1-4 (5-3, 6-3, 5-4-3 DP, 3B, R)
5. Luis Vazquez, SS: 1-4 (E-5, L-9, P-3, 1B, RBI)
6. Joe Martarano, 1B: 0-4 (K, K, 5-3, K)
7. Jose Gutierrez, CF: 0-3 (0-3, 4-3, K, K)
8. Jose A. Gonzalez, LF: 0-3 (K, F-8, 6-3)

SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Alec Mills: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 4/2 GO/AO, 75 pitches (48 strikes)
2. Brendan King: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 2 GIDP, 4/3 GO/AO, 55 pitches (35 strikes)  

SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Oscar de la Cruz: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 2 WP, 2/9 GO/AO, 78 pitches (56 strikes)
2. Enrique de los Rios: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3/5 GO/AO, 52 pitches (31 strikes)

SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 1
3B Fidel Mejia: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
1. 2B Delvin Zinn: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Cam Balego: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alexander Guerra: 0-1 CS

SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jonathan Soto: 1-1 CS

SQUAD "A" OUTFIELD ASSIST:
CF Jose Gutierrez - batter (Fidel Mejia) thrown out 8-6-2 attempting to stretch triple into inside-the-park HR

ATTENDANCE: 16

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's

Arizona
Scoring
Service

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"

Comments

Phil, do you expect some additional players from the D.R. academy soon?

HAGSAG: Yes. They will be arriving this weekend.

PHIL: I noticed the AZ and DSL inactive lists have several players listed as signed for future service. This happens every year but I forget when those guys are able to start playing.

Are those players able to participate in extended spring training? And is their any significance to the placement of some of those "signed for future service" guys on the AZ roster? Are they more advanced and likely to start the season in Mesa or is it more just a clerical thing like you can only have so many inactive players per team?

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

K-DUB: A player who is "Signed for Future Service" is any player who signs his first pro contract after July 1st (typically an International Free-Agent, but not always) where the contract is for the following season.

These players can participate (without any restriction) in post-season Instructs, Minor League Camp (Spring Training), and Extended Spring Training, and as long as the player is not placed on a full-season affiliate's roster, the player does not count against the affiliate's reserve list limit until that affiliate's Opening Day (which isn't until June for short-season clubs like Eugene, AZL Cubs #1, AZL Cubs #2, DSL Cubs #1, and DSL Cubs #2). This effectively allows an MLB organization to sign as many IFA as it wants after July 1st without having to worry about overloading an affiliate's reserve list -- that is, until the start of the short-season leagues in June.

No more than twelve players "Signed for Future Service" can be assigned to any one affiliate, and the player loses this status if he is transferred to an MLB or full-season affiliate's roster.

The Cubs had two players with "Signed for Future Service" status (C Alexander Guerra and INF Christian Donahue) at Minor League Camp this year, but Donahue (who was Signed for Future Service as a NDFA out of Oregon State last August, and then was transferred to the South Bend reserve list a couple of days ago) no longer has "Signed for Future Service" status and so he now counts against the South Bend 35-man reserve list.

PHIL: Thank you, sir!

In case you are wondering why the Opening Day rosters of the Cubs four full-season affiliates (Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend) are described as "preliminary" and have more than 25 players listed, players on minor league rosters cannot be placed on a minor league club's disabled list (7-day or 60-day) until Minor League Opening Day, so expect a flurry of additional roster moves on Thursday as injured or rehabbing players are placed on the DL. The rosters that I provided (and updated daily) during Minor League Camp are where the players were actually assigned that day at Minor League Camp. Injured and rehabbing players on the reserve list of a full season affiliate (including pitchers in the Rehab Throwing Program) will be placed on that affiliate's DL on Thursday. Injured or rehabbing players on a short-season affiliate's reserve list cannot be placed on the DL until the short-season leagues begin play in June.

PHIL: What do you see from Stephen Bruno lately? You liked the kid 4-5 years ago (or, maybe it was 10?). Now, at 27, is it time for him to consider another career?

dude is made of glass. im a bit surprised he's not 100% blind, totally deaf, and in one of those wheelchairs you gotta blow into a straw to operate. seriously, though...he's had some tough luck injuries. speaking of, it's nice to see oscar de la cruz go 6 deep with 5 Ks and no walks. he's not just made of glass, he's a straight up pre-shattered Bag O' Glass.

E-MAN: The Cubs like Stephen Bruno but there is no clear pathway for him to get to MLB. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2018, so he will probably try his luck in another organization next season.

speaking of... it seems like a lot of these types of guys under the current developmental crew are getting a lot more "super utility" type work in the minors to see if they can add some value to their fringe skills. is this a thing or does it just seem this way?

CRUNCH: The Cubs have definitely placed a greater emphasis on position-versatility in their minor league system since Joe Maddon became manager.

it's unreal how the "humidor balls" are acting at Chase Field (ARZ).

stuff is dying in the OF after getting totally crushed.  pitchers gotta be loving it, though.

Phil, in addition to Vasquez, which players have impressed you the most this spring?

azbobbop: If you're talking just about position players, nobody makes harder contact than Christopher Morel. I can close my eyes during BP and tell you when Morel is hitting because it sounds like a rifle shot. He has been playing both SS and 3B at Minor League Camp (for example, he played 3B yesterday and SS today) and handles himself well at both spots. He has a high ceiling, and is probably a Cubs Top 15 prospect right now.

Miguel Amaya, Henderson Perez, and Jonathan Soto are the next wave of Cubs top catching prospects. M. Amaya is already at South Bend, while H. Perez and Soto will be at Extended Spring Training. M. Amaya is clearly a Cubs Top 15 prospect right now, but it is possible that H. Perez or Soto could jump AZL and end up at Eugene (as happened with M. Amaya last year). H. Perez is more-polished but Soto probably has the higher-ceiling (more like M. Amaya).

A couple of players you don't hear much about are 2B Luis Diaz and OF-1B Abraham Rodriguez, probably because both are "bat-first" guys (A. Rod is a train-wreck in the outfield). Both of them consistently drill hard-contact line-drives foul-line-to-foul-line.

A. Rodriguez missed the 2017 season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder, but he is starting to get some lift in his swing, and could become a very interesting hitting prospect later this season (probably in the AZL, but maybe at Eugene).

L. Diaz is a bit stiff defensively and so 2B is probably his best-position going forward (as opposed to elsewhere in the infield). While he appears (right now) to be perfectly adequate at 2B, an eventual move to LF is possible (presuming he hits enough to play a corner OF slot). Like A. Rodriguez, L. Diaz could skip AZL and go directly to Eugene depending on how things go for him at Extended Spring Training.

Thanks, Phil! When John first wrote about Luis Diaz at Cubs Den, he called him primarily a "speed guy". Then, Luis put up some surprising power numbers last year in the DSL. He's listed as 5'9", 160 lbs. As far as you can tell, did he fill out any? If so, did it affect his speed? Is he still what you would describe as a "speedster"?

K-DUB: Luis Diaz has strong wrists and forearms, and that's where he gets his bat-speed. He is a fast runner, but not in the class of Fernando Kelli and Zach Davis (who are probably the two fastest runners in the Cubs system).

Wow, great to hear about Christopher Morel. Can't wait to see who will be coming this weekend from the D.R.

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  • Charlie 6 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.

     

  • Cubster 9 hours 26 min ago (view)

    IN BRIEF (Tribune, from their mini-sports section):    In a letter, MLB rejects players’ plan for 114 gamesNews services Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan.

     

  • Cubster 9 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Pete Ricketts causing some backspin on their serve...Chi Tribune, Thursday AM:

     

  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Here are the last two Cubs minor league releases from this week (for a final total of 30): 

    Conor Lillis-White, LHP (acquired frrom LAA for Tommy LaStella post-2018 - missed 2019 season with hip flexor injury)

    Alberto Mineo, C-1B (has been quarantined in Italy since he re-signed with Cubs in February) 

    Lillis-White was eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and Mineo was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 

     

  • Charlie 19 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Great read from players I came of age watching. Really shows how badly MLB needs to empower their players to speak in real time and not just after retiring.

     

  • crunch 20 hours 52 min ago (view)

    "A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America"

    https://theathletic.com/1849574/2020/06/02/a-conve...

    d.glanville, j.rollins, r.howard, d.willis, t.hunter, l.hawkins

    unlocked/free article.

     

  • Jackstraw 22 hours 55 min ago (view)

    I'm trying to come up with scenarios where saying "The problem I have with you people....." really helps the conversation move forward constructively.  None really jump to mind.

     

  • crunch 23 hours 13 min ago (view)

    i still want proof that tom ricketts and ted cruz aren't the same person

     

  • Cubster 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Tom's older brother is an ass, even with an embarrassing apology.

    Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker: 

    https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/12678894685...

     

  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    I agree.  Laura is the real deal. I think she was the major influence that showed Tom R. and Crane Kenney how to show a "human side" and deal realistically and in a non-threatening way, with the local Chicago politicians. Kenney was clearly clueless in his initial attempts regarding the neighborhood, the Rooftop owners, and the Wrigley Field rebuild. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    I am a Laura Ricketts fan. To hell with the rest of them.

     

  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    some higher-end high school kids not expected to go very early in the draft are taking themselves out of the draft...including some top-100 ranked talent.

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3

    Last night, my son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd. His story is not unique. Countless others have also experienced this use of excessive police force while trying to have their voices heard.

    Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3

     

  • BobbyD 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    But he has vicious dogs ready to kill the nig***. Oh wait, thugs. He's a real man. 

     

  • Cubster 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    "this idea isn't a proposal at all and may actually be a measure that is forced into action by the league if the two sides can't sort out the financial details for a longer season."

    MLBPA: Over our dead bodies. Followed by Trump sending in the military to force ballplayers and fans to perform like puppets on strings with fans to yell (and cough and sneezing) at the umpires. Ah, baseball before Jackie Robinson. The Trump Republican Party: Bring back the Cheating/Pandemic  1919 White only - White Sox. Say it ain't so, Joe.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Trump waiving a bible in front of the church is a total disgrace.