A's Pitchers Whitewash Cubs at Fitch Park

SP Mitch Myers (A's 12th round pick in 2021 dtaft) and five relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout and A's 2021 9th round pick Shane McGuire drilled a PH RBI single to highlight a two-run 5th, as the Athletics blanked the Cubs 2-0 in AZ Instructional League game action Saturday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Cubs SP Luis Devers hurled three innings of no-run / no-hit ball for the Cubs. Not counting 2021 draft picks who spent time in Mesa during the course of the ACL season, Devers was (by far) the ACL Cubs top pitching prospect, and probably should be considered one of the Cubs Top 15 pitching prospects going into the 2022 season.  

As was the case with many ACL games and is the case with most AZIL games, the contest was pre-planned as a seven-inning affair.  

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

1. Parker Chavers, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, P-6, PO) 
2. Ed Howard IV, SS: 0-3 (3-U, 3-1, 4-3)
3. James Triantos, Jr, 2B: 1-3 (2B, 4-3, 4-3) 
4. Alexander Canario, LF: 0-3 (K, 1-3, F-8)
5. Yeison Santana, 3B: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, SB, PO) 
6. B. J. Murray, 1B: 0-2 (4-3, P-5)
7. Matt Mervis, DH #1: 0-2 (3-1, K) 
8. Peter Matt, RF: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
9. Malcom Quintero, C: 0-2 (F-9, F-8)
10. Christian Olivo, DH #2: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3)

1. Luis Devers: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 3/1 GO/AO, 40 pitches (31 strikes) 
2. Angel Gonzalez-Martinez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/AO, 27 pitches (12 strikes)
3. Sheldon Reed: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 35 pitches (25 strikes) 

1. 3B Yeison Santana: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. P Sheldon Reed: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
3. SS Ed Howard IV: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

Malcom Quintero: 0-2 CS 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 


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


PHIL: Thanks for the update on Devers. Are you able to give us some more context (velocity, pitch mix, etc)? Also, was Drew Gray included in the group you compared Devers to when you said Devers was "by far" the ACL Cubs best pitching prospect? I ask because I know Gray only pitched 4 innings this season. 


K-DUB: I don't have velo on Devers from Instructs, but toward the end of ACL he was throwing a 92-95 FB with sink, a CV, and an occasional CH that he has been working on.  

"On Wednesday, and again on Friday, manager Joe Maddon said the Angels needed to land two front-line starters or risk perpetual mediocrity. On Saturday, Mike Trout said the Angels had “a lot of money to spend” and the offseason was “going to be big.”"

$180.3m payroll and the star player + manager softly demanding more talent.

wait.  you can do that?

hey d.ross and...umm...hold up...do you have to have a star player to make this kind of demand?  sigh.

You can pretty much figure out from my AZIL game reports who the Cubs will likely target if they trade Kyle Hendricks to the Angels during the off-season (which I believe is a distinct possibility).  

AZ Phil, I don't doubt that trading Hendricks to the Angels is a possibility, but even with Hendricks in the mix we're looking at a 2022 Cubs rotation needing at least two more starting pitchers to be added to the roster.  Trading Hendricks then gets rid of the presumptive Opening Day starter and creates yet another hole.

If the Cubs deal Hendricks, any thoughts as to the plan to replace him?

bartolo colon is pitching in mexico this season...a few hundred thousand should lock him up as our 2022 ace.  the savings could be used to build the Chicago Cubs Draft Kings Luxury Betting Lounge and Make Your Own Taco Bar Emporium.

Zach Davies is a free agent. Let's double down on him!!!

Maybe Arrietta has a little more gas left in the tank! Bringing him back to where he's comfortable and enjoyed success earlier in his career will just revitalize his career.  Oh wait, I've seen this movie before.   

Jeff Samardzija is still available I believe. Get the crew back together!

this is all terrible.  bring it on.

let's round it out with carlos zambrano and he's only allowed to drink coffee in the dugout.

"Sir... I'm afraid your right fielder has been dead for 130 years."

"Damnation! Alright, find me some good players. LIVING players!"

Maybe a Mad Max Terrordome contest of Zambrano vs. Lackey for a rotation spot.  Would be more entertaining than watch the Cubs lately. 

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  • crunch 2 hours 39 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 21 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 35 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 45 min ago (view)

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


  • azbobbop 1 day 25 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 51 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.