AZ Instructional League

2014 Cubs Arizona Instructional League

The Arizona Instructional League (AZIL) is well under way, with all 15 MLB clubs that have Spring Training in Arizona plus two Korean (KBO) clubs (SK Wyverns and NC Dinos) fielding squads. 

Each MLB organization operates its AZIL squad as it sees fit. Some organizations (like SD and MIL) start their season early and end early, others (like KC and SF) start their season later and end later, while others (like the Colorado Rockies) have a very short AZIL season (just two weeks). Some clubs play 18-20 "league games" (just about every day), while others play only five or six league games with one or sometimes two Camp Days (instruction only or maybe morning instruction followed by a controlled "sim" game in the afternoon) on the days in between to work on issues or problems noted in the AZIL games.
   
The Cubs are taking a unique approach this year, cutting its  AZIL "season" back to three weeks (9/22 through 10/12) and starting later in September than most of the other AZIL clubs. Also, the Cubs have not scheduled any games against other MLB organizations or against the two KBO teams (first time I've ever seen that), opting instead to have Camp Days (Instruction only) for three hours every morning (sometimes followed by a "sim" game) over the first two weeks, and then a "Cubs World Series" (best 4 out of 7 mega-intrasquad match) the last week.

There are (or will be by next week) 74 Cubs minor leaguers (including 40 pitchers) at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa (which is about 20 more players than had been the norm for Cubs "instructs" rosters in previous seasons). The ten Kane County players who are participating will report a week late because their season ran a bit long (they won the Midwest League Championship on September 13th), and the eight Cubs players who have been assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox (Arizona Fall League) will participate only during the first two weeks (AFL Opening Day is on Tuesday October 7th), and then only as preparation for the AFL season. 

Six Latin players (three from the DSL Cubs and three from the VSL Cubs) are making their U. S. debut at "instructs," another (SS Frandy de la Rosa) is returning to the U. S. after spending the 2014 season with the DSL Cubs, and still another (RHP Jose Zapata) is active and will be making his U. S. "field debut" after spending the 2014 season on the AZL Cubs 60-day DL after suffering multiple injuries in an off-season car crash in the Dominican Republic last December. Also, OF Kevin Encarnacion (who suffered third-degree burns and a shoulder injury in the same car crash) is finally back on the field and is fully participating in all baseball-related activities.


2014 CUBS ARIZONA INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER
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Cubs Pitchers Micrify Giants with Combined Two-Hitter

Jacob Hannemann and Kelvin Freeman belted RBI doubles and Arodys Vizcaino and five relievers combined to toss a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts while retiring the last 16 batters in a row, as the Cubs edged the Giants 2-1 in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Indian School Park Field #1 in Scottsdale.

A's Top Cubs at Papago/Hannemann HR Derby Champ/Vizcaino Throws in Intrasquad at Fitch

Yairo Munoz blasted a two-run home run, D'Arby Myers, Justin Higley, and Jesus Lopez clubbed RBI doubles, and Josh Miller and B. J. Boyd drilled RBI singles, leading the Athletics to a 6-2 victory over the Cubs in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at the Papago Park Baseball Facility Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix.  

Yasiel Balaguert belted a two-run double and a single for the Cubs.

Martin & Hodges Are Batman 1-A & 1-B in 10-8 Cubs Victory

Trey Martin laced three doubles (one line-drive into the LF corner, one line-drive off the left-field fence, and one line drive into the left-center alley), walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, Jesse Hodges singled twice, doubled, collected two RBI, and scored twice, and Michael Wagner threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs outlasted the Angels 10-8 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa. 

Cubs Whitewash Dodgers at Fitch Park

Four pitchers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Cubs blanked the Dodgers 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action this aftenoon at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.

Both Daury Torrez and Jose Rosario threw three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, but Rosario was especially effective, retiring nine of the ten men he faced (allowing no hits and one walk as he recorded the rare three-inning save).  

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  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 3 hours 30 min ago view
  • I. Hate. The. Mets.

    billybucks 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.

    Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.

    billybucks 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 4 hours 5 min ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 4 hours 8 min ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 4 hours 28 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Javy! Javy! Javy!

    How sweet was that - Cranked it!

    393 happy feet

    Eric S 5 hours 41 sec ago view
  • baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaez!

    cubs take a 2 run lead in the 7th. sweet.

    crunch 5 hours 3 min ago view
  • ...and the Cards tie and take the lead in the 9th. off Familia.

    blockhead25 5 hours 8 min ago view
  • Familia blows his first save of the season -- gives up 2 in 9th to the Cards.

    Not much going our way these days.

    billybucks 5 hours 8 min ago view
  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 5 hours 25 min ago view