Timely Hitting the Rx for Cubs at Sloan

Cole Roederer drilled a line-drive two-out two-run single to CF to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 1st, Alfonso Rivas doubled, singled, and scored, Luis Verdugo doubled, singled, and scored, Nelson Velazquez singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, Ethan Hearn singled twice and knocked-in a run, Cam Balego singled twice and scored twice, and Matt Mervis doubled and singled, as the Cubs collected 13 hits and edged the Athletics 5-4 in AZ Instructional League game action Monday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Jonah Bride (two-run HR) and Tyler Soderstrom (solo shot) belted four-baggers for the A's in a losing cause.

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):  

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Andy Weber, 3B: 0-5 (4-3, 4-3, F-8, K, 6-4 FC)
2a. Cam Balego, C: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K, 2 R)
2b. Ethan Hearn, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, RBI)
3. Alfonso Rivas, LF: 2-5 (2B, 1B, 6-3, 3-6-3 DP, 4-3 DP, R)
4. Nelson Velazquez, RF: 2-4 (K, 1B, E-9, 1B, R, RBI)
5. Cole Roederer, CF: 1-3 (1B, 4-6 FC, K, BB, 2 RBI, CS)
6. Chase Strumpf, 2B: 0-2 (L-8, F-9, BB, 5-4 SH) 
7. Matt Mervis, 1B: 2-4 (1B, 2B, E-6, K) 
8. Luis Vazquez, SS: 0-4 (F-9, E-6, K, F-9)
9. Luis Verdugo, DH: 2-4 (K, K, 2B, 1B, R)
 
CUBS PITCHERS
1. Cory Abbott: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 2/5 GO/AO, 60 pitches (37 strikes)
2. Danis Correa: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 1/2 GO/AO, 32 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Eduarniel Nunez: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP,  3/5 GO/AO, 37 pitches (20 strikes) 

CUBS ERRORS: 2 
1. 1B Matt Mervis: E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. SS Luis Vazquez: E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Cam Balego: 0-1 CS 

CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS
CF Cole Roederer - baserunner thrown out 8-5 attempting to advance from 2nd to 3rd after F-8

ATTENDANCE: N/A 

WEATHER: Sunny and very breezy with temperatures in the 60's 

Arizona 
Scoring
Service 

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

Comments

Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?

AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

His receiving should improve with experience as well. 

He works hard and seems to get along well with everybody and so he should be able to develop a solid catcher - pitcher relationship with the pitching staff no matter what team he's on. 

I don't think there is any question that Hearn is one of the Cubs Top 10 prospects at this point in time. He just needs time to develop. 

"He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 

Amaya and Strumpf are probably the closest to being MLB-ready (ETA for both is maybe mid-to-late 2022 or more likely 2023), but Amaya is a catcher (who usually require more development time than other positions) who has yet to play above Hi-A, and Strumpf has yet to play above Lo-A, although he was an advanced college hitter with plus-HR power when the Cubs drafted him and so he possibly could move quickly once the minor leagues start playing again (presuming he hits the ground running).   

The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 

Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development

Recent comments

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  • Charlie 1 hour 31 min 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 9 hours 33 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 10 hours 17 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 19 hours 2 min ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 57 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 21 hours 40 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 22 hours 15 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 23 hours 18 min ago (view)

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

     

  • bradsbeard 23 hours 23 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 23 hours 24 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 23 hours 35 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 23 hours 41 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 1 day 3 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 1 day 5 min 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 1 day 17 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 1 day 36 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).