Angel 18-Hit Attack Too Much for Cubs at Instructs

David Calabrese (Angels 2020 3rd round pick) drilled a three-run HR to put his team on the board, Jeremiah Jackson (Angels 2018 2nd round draft pick) blasted a solo HR, doubled and scored, and drew a walk, Werner Blakely (Angels 2020 4th round pick) belted an RBI triple, singled twice, and scored two runs, Arol Vera (Angels 2019 $2M IFA signing) singled twice, walked, reached base on an HBP, scored four runs, and drove-in another, Nataneal Santana singled twice, walked, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in two more, and Jordyn Adams (Angels 2018 1st round draft pick) collected three singles, as the Angels lashed-out 18 hits en route to an 11-3 pasting of the Cubs in AZ Instructional League game action Tuesday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Cubs 2021 7th round pick Parker Chavers singled, doubled, and scored a run, Cubs 2020 1st round pick Ed Howard singled twice and scored a run, and Owen Caissie (acquired from the Padres in the Darvish trade) and Miguel Fabrizio collected RBI singles for the Cubs in a losing cause.    

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

1. Parker Chavers, RF: 2-5 (6-3, 2B, 5-3, 1B, 4-3, R)
2. Ed Howard IV, SS: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, 1B, K, R)
3. Alexander Canario, CF: 0-2 (BB, F-8, BB, E-5, PO)
4. Owen Caissie, LF: 1-4 (K, K, K, 1B, RBI)
5. Miguel Fabrizio, DH: 2-4 (K, 1B, 1B, K, RBI)
6. Casey Opitz, C: 0-4 (4-3, K, 5-4 FC, K)
7. Liam Spence, 3B: 1-4 (L-9, 1-3, 4-3, 1B, R)
8. Peter Matt, 1B: 1-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, K, CS) 
9. Miguel Pabon, 2B: 0-4 (K, 5-3, K, 4-3, RBI)

1. Luke Little: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/AO, 48 pitches (27 strikes) 
2. Luis Angel Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 52 pitches (33 strikes) 
3. Frankie Scalzo Jr: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 43 pitches (27 strikes) 
4. Burl Carraway: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 25 pitches (11 strikes)

P Frankiie Scalzo Jr: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd) 

Casey Opitz: 1-2 CS 

CF Alexander Canario - batter thrown out 8-6 attempting to stretch single into double


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+ 


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


Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five singles, and Cubs 2020 2nd round draft pick LHRP Burl Carraway had very poor command of both a 92-93 T-94 FB and a CV (he threw only 44% strikes and labored to complete his one inning of work).     

The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 

Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 

So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?

FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right? I mean, if they've already mastered this stuff and can do it without making mistakes, they wouldn't be down here. 


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  • crunch 2 hours 57 sec 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 5 hours 43 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 10 hours 57 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 17 hours 6 min ago (view)

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


  • azbobbop 23 hours 47 min ago (view)

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


  • tim815 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 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 5 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 5 hours ago (view)

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


  • Hagsag 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 9 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 12 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 17 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.


  • tim815 2 days 44 min ago (view)

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


  • crunch 3 days 58 min 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 13 min 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.