Featured photo of Brailyn Marquez by Rich Biesterfeld

It was a tough week for the Cubs in the Arizona Complex League as they posted a 1-4 record. I mentioned in my preview of the ACL that you frequently witness a number of ‘growing pains’ and that was a big part of the challenges this week. Several pitchers battled control issues, which led to a lot of walks (50 in 5 games) and runs, defensive miscues (some charged as errors, some not), and outfield routes which weren’t always direct and caused balls to be misplayed or lost in the sun. That’s part of the learning process for young players though, and what you hope to see is growth and fewer miscues as the season progresses.

Some highlights from the week:

  • Four pitchers made their return to the mound from the IL this week and each had success.
    • Brailyn Marquez made his first official appearance in a game since late 2020. He’s battled though several injuries and some Covid-related challenges so it was good to see him return to the playing field.
    • Max Bain made his first appearance of the season and looked sharp while retiring the side in order and collecting a pair of strikeouts. Max began the season on the development list and then had an injury setback which delayed him getting into game action until now.
    • Stephen Gonsalves hadn’t pitched in over a year and made 2 appearances this week of an inning each and was unscored upon.
    • Adrian Sampson pitched in his first rehab start on Saturday going 2 IP with 2 K’s and giving up 1 ER. It was a nice initial appearance as he comes back from the 60 day IL.
  • Manager Nick Lovullo got his first ejection as a manager in Tuesday night’s game. Nick’s managerial style is relatively low-key, but you could see his frustration growing during the game as there were several questionable calls and the home plate umpire seemed to be having some issues interpreting the pitch clock rules. I found out later that this was actually Nick’s first career ejection ever – including his time as a player.
  • Cristian More has begun to heat up in the ACL.  He spent a month with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans before being sent back to the ACL and being activated on June 5. This week he went 8-12 with a pair of doubles and a triple and 6 RBI’s.
  • Alexander Canario seems to be finding his groove at the plate with him going 5-13 on the week, including a double, triple and homerun. He also had an RBI in each game in which he played. On Monday, he played the outfield for the first time after exclusively DH’ing and then played in back-to-back games.

Comings and Goings!

There were a few more transactions this week.

Additions to the roster: Max Bain, Brailyn Marqez, Stephen Gonsalves and Adrian Sampson

Departures from the roster: Scott Kobos was activated by the Tennessee Smokies and Drew Gray was activated by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

A Look Ahead:

The Cubs have 3 homes games (D-backs Red, Giants Orange, Angels) and 2 away games (Royals, D-backs Red) this coming week. I would expect to see Brailyn Marquez and Max Bain get in some more games early in the week. Alexander Canario will most likely be playing in more consecutive games to get his legs strengthened and in ‘game shape’ before continuing his rehab assignment with another level of Cubs affiliate.