Ballesteros Provides the Offense for Red Squad at Instructs

Moises Ballesteros ripped an RBI triple, walked twice, and scored a run, and five pitchers combined to hurl a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts, as the Cubs "Red Squad" blanked the Cubs "Blue Squad" 2-0 in AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Friday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Ismael Mena collected the two Blue Squad hits (both singles), but he was thrown out attempting to steal both times he reached base.  

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning contest. 

This was the final AZIL Cubs game. 
 
Here is the box score from the game: 

CUBS "RED SQUAD" LINEUP
1a. Kevin Alcantara, CF: 0-2 (K, BB, K, CS) 
1b. Christian Olivo, CF: 1-1 (1B)  
2. Cristian Hernandez, SS: 1-3 (1B, BB, K, 6-3, SB, 2 CS) 
3. James Triantos, 2B: 1-4 (K, 5-3, 1B, F-9, R) 
4a. Raino Coran, RF: 0-2 (K, K) 
4b. David Avitia, C-DH: 0-1 (F-7, BB) 
5a. Moises Ballesteros, C-1B: 1-1 (BB, BB, 3B, R, RBI) 
5b. Ke'Shun Collier, LF: 0-1 (3-U) 
6. Alexis Hernandez, 3B: 1-2 (1B, BB, P-6)  
7. Frank Hernandez, DH-RF: 0-1 (BB, 5-3) 
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER 
8. Miguel Pabon, 1B-C-DH-1B: 0-2 (K, 6-3 DP) 
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED THIRD TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9. Cristian More, LF-DH: 0-1 (BB, K) 
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED SECOND TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10.  Reggie Preciado, DH #2: 0-2 (K, P-6) 
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED THIRD TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11. Adan Sanchez, DH-C: 0-2 (K, 5-3) 
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER 

CUBS "BLUE SQUAD" LINEUP:
1. Pedro Ramirez, 2B: 0-3 (K, K, 4-U)
2. Ismael Mena, CF: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, 2 CS) 
3. Jefferson Rojas, SS: 0-3 (4-3, P-2, 5-3) 
4. Rafael Morel, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, K, HBP, SB) 
5a. Haydn McGeary, C: 0-1 (K) 
5b. Yoanis Aleksandrov, C: 0-1 (K) 
5c. Malcom Quintero, C-DH: 0-0 (BB, SB) 
6a. Nazier Mule, DH #1: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3) 
6b. Erbin Jaque, LF: 0-1 (K) 
7. Anderson Suriel, 1B: 0-2 (K, F-9)
8, Josefrailin Alcantara, RF: 0-2 (K, K) 
9. Brayan Altuve, LF-DH: 0-2 (K, K) 
10. Carlos Ramos, DH-C: 0-2 (K, K) 

CUBS "RED SQUAD" PITCHERS
1. Michael McAvene: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
2. Angel Gonzalez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 16 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. Brody McCullough: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes) 
4. Grant Kipp: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 25 pitches (17 strikes) 
5. Nick Hull: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 2/0 GO/AO, 35 pitches (20 strikes)  

CUBS "BLUE SQUAD" PITCHERS
1. Max Bain: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 16 pitches (12 strikes) 
2. Michael Arias: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1 BALK, 1/0 GO/AO, 35 pitches (16 strikes) 
3. Branden Noriega: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 18 pitches (4 strikes) 
4. Frankie Scalzo Jr: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 1/3 GO/AO, 30 pitches (22 strikes) 
5. Brandon Birdsell: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GO/AO, 32 pitches (20 strikes) 

CUBS "RED SQUAD" ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "BLUE SQUAD" ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "RED SQUAD" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Miguel Pabon: 1-1 CS 
2. Adan Sanchez: 1-3 CS

CUBS "BLUE SQUAD" CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Haydn McGeary: 3-4 CS 
2. Yoanis Aleksandrov: 2 PB 

ATTENDANCE: 4 

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 90's

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

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

Comments

This AZIL "season" seemed like the Max Bain project. Sounds like it was positive for him. Cubs not only shortened his motion, they adjusted Jensen and Franklin the same way as well.

Nice to see Birdsell "overwhelm" in Instructs. He'll start in MB or maybe SB if healthy. 

I'm a Division 2 guy myself, so I'm routing hard for McGeary and McCullough. I went to school in McCullough's conference so that would be pretty cool!

I also coached basketball at the JUCO level so I'm hoping Mr. Collier can hang around move up some levels eventually. 

It was certainly an interesting draft.

Also hoping CHernandez has a bit of a break out yr in MB in '23. Even if it's not a "break out" yr, just something solid for him to build on. Lots of potential there of course. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: Max Bain really seemed to get it together by the conclusion of instructs. It looks like the Cubs may be priming him to be one-inning high-leverage reliever, where he can combine his 95-97 FB with one or two secondaries he can throw for strikes. 

Haydn McGeary is a definite DH prospect, something you didn't see in a National League organization until fairly recently. While he has a plus arm behnd the plate (he threw out three basestealers in yesterday's game), everything else about his catching looks below average. Same goes for first base, actually. But he does have "light-tower  power" that plays in games (it's not just "BP power"). 

Ke'Shun Collier's bat will need to improve for him to move up through the system. He does have plus-speed and is certainly one of the fastest players in the Cubs system (probably it's Erbin Jaque, Christian Olivo, Zach Davis, Ke'Shun Collier, and Ismael Mena #1-#5). 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Phil,

Can McGeary run well enough to potentially handle a Cr OF spot as well as DH? Haven't read anything about his wheels or lack there of.

If the Cubs can produce waves of guys that have 97+ heat with some type of breaker we'll finally have the chance for some consistent winning. Don't care if they're relievers or starters. Just need some strike throwing heaters!!

Thanks!

Phil,

Did Collier show anything of note at the plate? I don't recall him getting anything more than a 1B (if that).

Today's (Saturday) final AZIL Cubs workout was canceled by rain, however, Mason McGwire, Nazier Mule, and Freilyn Silverio were able to throw bullpen sides before the downpour hit. 

Of the 31 pitchers who were at Cubs instructs, 19 (Arias, Bain, Birdsell, C. Garcia, A. Gonzalez, Y. Gonzalez, Hull, Kipp, McAvene, McCullough, McGwire, Noriega, Paredes, K. Perez, W. Rodriguez, Rujano, Santy, Scalzo, and K. Valdez) pitched in at least one game, three (Ferris, Mule, and K. Moreno) threw "live" BP more than once but did not throw in a game, and nine (Bello, Horn, Horton, Leigh, L. Little, Peters, Reindl, Sierra, and Silverio) did not face batters either in "live" BP or in a game, although Horn and Leigh arrived late because of the Southern League playoffs and then went almost directly to the Mesa Solar Sox workouts.   

the first postseason game to go scoreless through 14 innings happened 7 days ago (ended in 15 innings, TB/CLE).

the second has happened tonight (HOU/SEA).  to the 15th...

And SD sinks the Dodgers 3 games to 1, coming back from a 3-0 deficit with a 5 run inning. Some pretty exciting playoff baseball this year so far. 

[ ]

In reply to by JoePepitone

NLCS teams are the 2 "low" wildcard (seed 5+6) teams.

dodgers + mets + braves (all with 100+ win seasons) and the top wildcard team were eliminated by teams that wouldn't be playing in the original 3 division winners with single wildcard team playoff system.

PHI fired joe girardi mid-season because of a poor performing team (22-29 when fired) and now they're going for the NL pennant.

this year's playoffs has had some amazing games.

AZ Phil - You've given us yet another wonderful season of information on some of the most exciting Cubs' prospects down in Arizona. If you are thinking of taking a well-deserved, extended break this offseason, please let us know when we can expect you back so we don't worry. Even though we've never met face-to-face, you're still an important person in so many of our lives! Thanks again for all that you do!

[ ]

In reply to by Wrigley Rat

At the risk of sounding redundant, AZ Phil, you're work here is incredible.  Not only do you have a firm grasp of the players in the system today, you remember Freddy Martin and his importance in Cubs history, and many other stories besides.  Wish we all could hop on a zoom call sometime and raise an Old Style or a Goose Island, or anything but a Budweiser.

I concur with the above sentiments. Phil, you are very much appreciated and please do let us know if you plan on taking an extended break. I was major worried last year when you went dark for a little while.   Thanks for all you do and share with us!

I've been on here since 2006 (I believe) and Phil just keeps getting better. There is NO better Cubs coverage from MLB to the DSL than The Cub Reporter. Thanks for continued excellence,  Phil.

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36 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (four slots are open)  

Last updated 12-2-2022
 
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Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
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Codi Heuer 
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Caleb Kilian 
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Manuel Rodriguez
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Marcus Stroman
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Erich Uelmen 
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Christopher Morel
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Brennen Davis
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