Nelson Velazquez

Mervis Clout and Rivas Line Drives Rule the Day in Mesa

Matt Mervis crushed a solo HR over the RF fence & 30-foot high screen and off the outside west wall of the stadium across the street, Alfonso Rivas rifled an RBI double and a single and scored run, and Nelson Velazquez walked, stole a base, scored a run, and collected an outfield assist, in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Saturday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Giants Put the Slug on the Cubs at Sloan

Hunter Bishop drilled an RBI triple and an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, Will Wilson doubled twice, singled, walked, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Luis Matos doubled twice and knocked-in a run, Brett Auerbach cracked a two-run triple, and Logan Wyatt blasted a solo HR, as the Giants thrashed the Cubs 11-4 in AZIL game action Friday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Eight of the Giants' twelve hits were for extra-bases (including five doubles, two triples, and one HR). 

Yonathan Perlaza hammered a solo HR and a triple and racked-up an outfield assist, Chase Strumpf collected two RBI singles, Jordan Nwogu singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, and Nelson Velazquez laced an RBI single for the Cubs in a losing cause.    

The 21-year old switch-hitting Perlaza is being converted from an infielder (3B-2B) to an outfielder at Instructs, in large part to let him concentrate on his hitting. (His infield defense was pretty bad, and he would sometimes seem to take an error with him to the plate). But there is no doubting his offensive tools (hard contact with a slightly upper-cut swing path from both sides of the plate and above-average speed on the bases). He has played all three OF positions so far at Instructs, but looks most comfortable in LF (he played ten games in LF for South Bend in 2019). He will likely be added to the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 so that he can be selected in the Major League Phase only ($100,000 draft price with the potential to re-claim in the Major League Phase, versus $24,000 draft price with no right to reclaim if he were to be placed on the AA Tennessee reserve list and be selected in the AAA Phase).    

Cubs RHP Danis Correa pitched the 9th inning for the Cubs, throwing mostly all fastballs and consistently hitting 97-98. Like Perlaza, the 21-year old Correa is eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, and while his secondaries need a lot of work and his command comes and goes, some club might want to take a gamble on him, if for no other reason than the high-velo FB. Because of his size (he is only 5'11 155), he likely profiiles as a one-inning high-octane bullpen arm. Like Perlaza, Correa is a virtual lock to be placed on the AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/20 so that he will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft's Major League Phase only.      

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

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.

Cubs Use Slaughter Rule to Tie Snappers at Riverview

Nelson Velazquez laced an RBI double and a single and Jake Slaughter belted a game-tying two-run double as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) rallied to tie the Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) 4-4 on Field #5, and Jeremy Eierman collected four RBI (by way of a two-run double and a two-run single), Lizaro Armenteros clubbed a solo HR, and RHSP Brady Feigl hurled three innings of one-run ball and combined with four relievers on a five-hitter with nine strikeouts, helping the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) cruise past the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 7-1 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Friday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

As is typical for Cubs Minor League Spring Training games, several players assigned to the bloated South Bend roster were moved-up to higher levels for the day. 

And MLB NRI catcher Francisco Arcia wandered into the backfields in about the 4th inning and was invited to be a DH in the South Bend game. He went 1-2 with a double into the right-centerfield alley and an F-9 (near-HR) to the warning track. 

Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only):  

Cubs Pitchers Spin Intrasquad Shutout at Riverview

James Norwood, Cory Abbott, Yovanny Cruz, and Scott Effross combined to toss a four-hit shutout, Kevin Zamudio drilled a two-run HR, a single, and a double, Nelson Velazquez singled, doubled, and walked, and Chris Carrier smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Sunday morning on John Arguello Way at the Rivervierw Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Donnie Dewees (acquired in a trade with KC Friday evening) played LF for four innings and collected a single and a SB. 

RHRP James Norwood came over from MLB Camp and threw an easy 1-2-3 1st inning for the winning squad. Taylor Davis also came over to Minor League Camp to serve as Norwood's "personal" catcher, and as is the case when a pitcher on an MLB 40-man roster pitches in a Minor League game, Norwood gets to use the higher-quality MLB baseball (manufactured in Costa Rica) instead of the cheaper minor league model (which is manufactured in China).  

RHSP Matt Swarmer left the game with a finger blister after warming up in the top of the 2nd (he had a 1-2-3 eleven-pitch 1st inning with two strikeouts). He was scheduled to work three innings or throw 45 pitches (whichever came first), but (as it turned out) that didn't happen.   

Here is the box score from the game: 

Lazarito Demolishes Cubs at Fitch Park

Lazaro Armenteros (2016 IFA - Cuba - $3M signing bonus) belted a two-run HR over the RF fence in the 1st inning, crushed a solo HR over the LF fence and onto 8th Street in the 3rd inning, and hammered a triple off the top of the 30-foot high CF Batter's Eye and scored in the 8th inning, Jordan Diaz drilled an RBI single in the 2nd, a two-run HR in the 4th, doubled in the 6th, and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly in the 8th, and Jesus Lage doubled, singled, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, leading the Athletics to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Monday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Christopher Morel ripped an RBI triple and an RBI single, Luis Diaz laced a double and an RBI single and scored a run, and Nelson Velazquez singled twice and scored twice for the Cubs in a losing cause. 

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

Bolt from the Skye Turns I-Cubs Blue at Riverview

Aramis Ademan and Nelson Velazquez each ripped an RBI triple, singled, walked, and scored two runs, Miguel Amaya drilled a two-run double and a single and scored a run, and Fidel Mejia slugged a three-run HR, helping the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) trounce the Midland Rockhounds (AA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 10-3 on Field #5, and Luke Persico and Collin Theroux roped RBI doubles, Luis Barrera hammered an RBI triple, Skye Bolt clubbed a solo HR, and RHSP Ben Bracewell tossed 2-1/3 innings of one-hit ball, helping the Nashville Sounds (A's AAA affiliate) defeat the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate 6-4 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Tuesday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Both games were eight-inning affairs.  

Because the Cubs MLB squad was playing a split-squad doubleheader, most of the Iowa position players were called-up for those games, and as a result the Iowa game featured a number of position-players from the Tennessee squad, and the Tennessee game featured a number of players from the Myrtle Beach and South Bend squads (and in fact it was some of the Cubs top prospects from the lower levels -- Ademan, Velazquez, and M. Amaya -- who had the best performances).   

Iowa Cubs reliever Corey Black (February 2017 TJS) saw his first game action since 2016 in the contest on Field #6, but it did not go too well for the righthander. Black faced three batters and threw 14 pitches (but only three strikes) and left the game with what appeared to be a right arm injury (unknown if it's related to the TJS). 

Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only):