AZ Instructional League
With many MLB organizations curtailing or (as is the case with the Cubs) completely eliminating Fall Instructs, there are plans afoot to expand the Arizona Fall league (AFL) schedule in 2019 from the present six weeks (30 games) to eight weeks (40 games). If implemented, the 2019 AFL season would begin two weeks earlier than it does now (the last week of September instead of the second week in October),
Shawon Dunston Jr (Cubs) and Natanael Delgado (Angels) stroked consecutive two-out run-scoring singles to highlight a three-run 1st inning, as the Angels/Cubs co-op team edged the Diamondbacks 5-4 in Opening Day Arizona Advanced Instructional League game action this afternoon at Diablo Stadium Complex Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
93 Cubs minor leaguers will be reporting to the Cubs Under Armour Performance Center at Mesa Riverview Park over the next few days.
68 of the players will be assigned to the "basic" (traditional) Cubs AZ Instructional League squad, 19 will be assigned to the "advanced" Instructs squad, and eight will be assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. (Two of the players assigned to the Cubs "advanced" Instructs squad will move to the AFL on 10/11).
Victor Caratini blasted a two-run home run, doubled, singled twice, walked, and scored four runs, Jordan Hankins knocked-in four runs with three run-scoring singles, Kevonte Mitchell singled twice and doubled, scored twice, and drove-in a run, Chesny Young laced a bases-loaded three-run triple and a single, and Johan Matos belted a solo home run and singled, in an AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
The game was played at "Cubs Park" (home to the AZL Cubs and the Mesa Solar Sox of the AFL, and the Chicago Cubs during Spring Training in March).
Collecting 17 hits (including three doubles, a triple, and a home run), Team Gonzalez evened-up the "Cubs World Series" at two games a piece with a 15-5 drubbing of Team Johnson.
Eloy Jimenez left the game after being hit on the left arm by an Erick Leal fastball.
Several of the Cubs young sluggers competed in the annual Cubs Instructs Home Run Derby on Field #2 prior to the game, and Billy McKinney edged out Scott Frazier to take home the title.
Frazier is a pitcher, but the 6'7 fireballer was a two-way player (pitcher/outfielder) in HS, and he showed that he still knows how to swing the lumber, clubbing several prodigious shots onto the street beyond the LF fence ("Cubs Way') during the course of the contest. He then threw a 1-2-3 7th inning in the game that followed.
Here is the box score from today's game:
Mark Zagunis singled twice, doubled, walked, stole a base, drove-in his team's lone run, and threw out a runner at the plate, in an AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #4 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Although they were outhit, Team Gonzalez took advantage of three errors, six walks, an HBP, and a PB, to edge Team Johnson 2-1 in Game 3 of the "Cubs World Series." Team Johnson now leads the series, two games to one.
Here is the box score from the game:
Kyle Schwarber ripped a double and an RBI single and scored a run, Charlie White belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, and Mark Zagunis singled twice, scored a run, drove-in another, and stole a base, in a seven-inning AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Trevor Clifton and three relievers combined to toss a three-hit shut out, as Team Johnson blanked Team Gonzalez 7-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the "Cubs World Series."
For some reason, Cubs coaches wanted Scott Frazier to face only LH hitters in his one inning of work, so the lineup was adjusted to accomodate the plan. Frazier has what some in the Cub organization believe to be the best pure stuff in the system, but the big right-hander from Pepperdine has struggled to throw strikes going all the way back to Minor League Camp in March. The Cubs have tried almost everything to try and fix the problem, with facing only LH hitters being the latest attempt.
Here is the box score from today's game: