Cubs & A's Tie It Up at Riverview

Ezequiel Pagan belted a two-run HR, Matt Mervis blasted a solo HR off the third base-side exterior facade of Sloan Park, Yeison Santana singled twice and drove-in a run, and Parker Chavers (Cubs 2021 7th round pick) singled, walked, stole a base and scored two runs for the Cubs, and Zack Gelof (Oakland Athletics 2021 2nd round draft pick) drilled a two-run triple, a double, and an RBI single, and scored two runs, Max Muncy (A's 2021 1st round pick) singled twice, walked, and scored two runs, and Denzel Clarke (A's 2021 4th round pick) laced an RBI double, walked, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run for the A's, as the two teams played to a 6-6 tie in AZ Instructional League Opening Day game action Tuesday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

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

1. Parker Chavers, CF: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, BB, F-8, 2 R, SB)
2. Christian Olivo, SS: 1-4 (1B, 5-3, F-8, K) 
3. Yeison Santana, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 1B, E-6, K, RBI)
4. B. J. Murray, 3B: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, F-7, 4-3, RBI)
5. Matt Mervis, 1B: 1-4 (P-2, K, F-7, HR, R, RBI)
6. Kevin Alcantara, RF: 1-4 (L-4, K, 1B, K, R)
7. Ezequiel Pagan, LF: 1-4 (3-1, P-5, HR, L-6, R, 2 RBI)
8. Malcom Quintero, C: 0-3 (K, E-3, K, BB, R)
9. Luis Verdugo, DH: 0-3 (K, K, BB, E-4)  

1. Michael McAvene: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R ( 3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 20 pitches (10 strikes) 
2. Chase Watkins: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 52 pitches (36 strikes)
3. Angel Gonzalez-Martinez: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/AO, 50 pitches (28 strikes)
4. Didier Vargas: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 16 pitches (8 strikes)

1. 1B Matt Mervis: E-3 (throwing error after pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to score from 3rd)
2. 2B Yeison Santana: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

Malcom Quintero: 1-3 CS 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+ 


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


Poor outing for Michael McAvene at Instructs... couldn't throw strikes, bounced his breaking ball, FB velo only 90-92... faced five batters and allowed three runs on walk, single, double, and triple, and only recorded one out before being relieved...  

Dillon Maples Clears Waivers, is Outrighted to Triple-A Iowa, and Will Be a Free Agent After the Season:

AZ Phil, thank you as always for these game updates!  It's an exciting time for the lower levels of the Cubs' organization (hopefully soon-to-be the higher levels!) and I'll be reading these with much interest.

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  • crunch 2 hours 54 min ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 6 hours 37 min ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 51 min ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 18 hours 53 sec ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 1 day 41 min ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:

    RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN


  • Childersb3 1 day 13 hours ago (view)


    Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?


  • Hagsag 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.


  • tim815 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.


  • crunch 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.

    as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.

    it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.


  • Cubster 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.