Cubs Get Long Ball from Strumpf and Wetzel at Sloan Park

Chase Strumpf belted a two-run HR halfway up the LF berm and singled and scored, Jacob Wetzel clubbed a two-run HR halfway up the RF berm and walked and scored, Andy Weber stroked a single and a two-run double, and Alfonso Rivas drilled an RBI single, walked twice, and stole a base, in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Wednesday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was called with one out in the top of the 5th once all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work. (The Cubs were suppoosed to host the A's in an AZIL games, but the game was canceled and so the Cubs played an intrasquad game, and the four pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the AZIL game pitched in the intrasquad game instead).  

Here is the box score from the game: 

1. Fabian Pertuz, SS: 1-3 (2B, E-5, F-7, 2 R)
2. Chase Strumpf, 3B: 2-3 (HR, K, 1B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
3. Bryce Windham, C: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, L-8, R, RBI)
4. Jacob Wetzel, CF: 1-2 (F-8, HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI)
5. Andy Weber, 2B: 2-3 (3-1, 1B, 2B, 2 RBI)
6. Yonathan Perlaza, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, K)
7. Edmond Americaan, RF: 0-1 (4-6-3 DP, BB, PO) 
8. Matt Mervis, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 2B) 
9. Nelson Velazquez, DH: 0-2 (F-7, F-8) 

1. Christopher Morel, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 6-4 FC, 2B) 
2. Cole Roederer, CF: 1-2 (K, 2B, BB, R)
3. Ethan Hearn, C: 0-1 (BB, BB, F-9, R)
4. Alfonso Rivas, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B+E9, BB, RBI, SB)
5. Luis Vazquez, 3B: 0-2 (P-2, K) 
NOTE: Slot was skipped third time through the order
6. Jared Young, LF: 0-2 (BB, 3-1, 6-3, R, SB)
7. Jordan Nwogu, RF: 0-2 (L-8, F-9) 
8. Luis Verdugo, SS: 0-1 (F-9 SF, 1-3, RBI) 
9. Pablo Aliendo, DH: 1-1 (1B, BB, R)

1. Danis Correa: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 1/4 GO/AO, 52 pitches (24 strikes) 
2. Eduarniel Nunez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 56 pitches (27 strikes) 

1. Koen Moreno: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/AO, 35 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Cam Sanders: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 0/3 GO/AO, 61 pitches (37 strikes) 

RF Edmond Americaan: E-9 (fielding error on line-drive single to RF allowed batter to advance to 2B) 

3B Luis Vazquez: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Bryce Windham: 0-2 CS, 2 PB 

Ethan Hearn: 1 PO 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 


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


Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 

BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 

He reminds me a bit of Harrison Bader.

I would say Wetzel is a legit second tier prospect right now (somewhere near the back of the org Top 30), but he could be better than that once he gets settled in pro ball.     

I think if this had been a normal season Wetzel would have been an 11-15 round pick, probably would have split his first summer between AZL and Eugene, and then he would have begun 2021 at South Bend. Or he might have even transferred back to D-1 for his junior year and tried to elevate his draft status because he would appear to have a lot of untapped potential.  

Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 

There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 

RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists

nico played 37 games (22 starts) at 2nd over 208 innings...roughly averages out to around 25 games worth of playing 2nd if he got all his play there as starts.  he was good there, though not flashy.

heyward keeps getting nominated after turning in average-at-best performances.  he does have a knack for finding some highlight reel catches, though.  even "average" heyward is nice to have in RF.

Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.

shout out to 1999 1st base gold glove winner rafael palmeiro.  25 starts (28 games total) at 1st...128 starts at DH.

In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year

i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.

Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!

iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.

I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 

This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Charlie 25 min 39 sec ago (view)

    I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.


  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 28 min ago (view)

    DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 11 min ago (view)

    I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point


  • waveland 17 hours 57 min ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates


  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 51 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 


  • bradsbeard 20 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 


  • Arizona Phil 21 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

    Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 12 min ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option


  • bradsbeard 22 hours 17 min ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 18 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could. 


  • crunch 22 hours 35 min ago (view)

    i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.

    even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.


  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 57 min ago (view)

    At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...). 

    Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.

    Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.  


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 28 sec ago (view)

    I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered. 


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 11 min ago (view)

    With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed).


  • Arizona Phil 23 hours 31 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.

    So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.   

    The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open).