Cubs Play Long Ball with Themselves

Starlin Castro had three hits (two singles and a double) and scored three runs, and Jorge Soler, Nate Schierholtz, and Brian Bogusevic slugged solo home runs, as the White Squad defeated the Blue Squad 7-3 in a five-inning intrasquad game played this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.

Nick Struck got the start for the White Squad and had an easy eight-pitch 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning (P-5, 6-3, K-swinging), before his teammates plated three in the bottom of the 1st against Chris Rusin to take a 3-0 lead.

Starlin Castro roped a one-out double into the LF gap, and after Anthony Rizzo walked, Alfonso Soriano drove-in Castro with a single that bounced off Javier Baez’s glove and into CF. Dioner Navarro singled to load the bases, and then Ian Stewart smacked a two-out opposite-field line-drive two-run double into the left-center alley to score Rizzo and Soriano, before Navarro was thrown-out (by a mile) trying to score from 1st base to end the inning.

Jorge Soler put the Blue Squad on the board in the top of 2nd, drilling a one-out solo HR off Nick Struck on a 2-2 pitch, blasting the ball over the left-field fence and high onto the berm. Junior Lake ripped a two-out triple off the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”), but was left-stranded when Brett Jackson grounded out 4-3. (B. Jax did not show any positive effects from his new swing today, rolling-over and grounding out weakly to 2nd base twice).

Javier Baez made an outstanding diving catch to rob David DeJesus of a hit with one-out in the bottom of the second, turning it into an inning ending DP as Darwin Barney was doubled-off 1st base.

The White Squad tacked-on two more runs off Cory Wade in the bottom of the third, as Castro and Rizzo led-off the inning with singles, and Castro scored on a Soriano 6-4-3 DP. Nate Schierholtz then hammered a two-out moon-shot solo HR off the RF foul pole to give the Whites a 5-1 lead.

The Blue Squad scored single runs in the 4th & 5th, cutting the White lead to 5-3.

Welington Castillo roped a lead-off double down the LF line in the 4th off Rob Whitenack, and scored after Brad Nelson and Jorge Soler walked to load the bases (Whitenack lost the strike zone in his second inning of work) and Javier Baez grounded into an RBI 6-4 FC (outstanding play by Castro going into the hole, backhanding the ball, and then without missing a beat, throwing a strike to Darwin Barney to force Soler at 2nd base on a "bang-bang" play). Baez was then doubled-off 1st base to kill the rally as Starlin Castro caught a Junior Lake line drive and fired the ball to 1st.

Brian Bogusevic cracked a one-out solo HR over the fence in right-center off Rafael Dolis in the top of the 5th to complete the Blue scoring.

The White Squad scored their final two runs of the game off Trey McNutt in the bottom of the 5th. David DeJesus and Starlin Castro singled and Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases with no outs. DeJesus scored on a Soriano 6-3 RBI ground out (double-clutch by Baez or it would have been an easy 6-4-3 DP), and Castro scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly (diving catch by Jorge Soler in left).

Here is the unofficial box score from today‘s game:

1. Luis Valbuena, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, F-7, F-7)
2. Dave Sappelt, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 6-3)
3. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
4. Brad Nelson, 1B: 0-1 (L-7, BB)
5. Jorge Soler, LF: 1-1 (HR, BB, R, RBI)
6. Javier Baez, SS: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC, RBI)
7. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-2 (3B, L-6 DP)
8. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
9. Brian Bogusevic, DH: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)

1. David DeJesus, CF: 1-3 (3-1, L-6 DP, 1B, R)
2. Starlin Castro, SS: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, 3 R)
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, R)
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 DP, 6-3, R, 2 RBI)
5. Nate Schierholtz, RF: 1-2 (P-6, HR, L-7 SF, R, 2 RBI)
6. Dioner Navarro, C: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 4-3)
7a. Ian Stewart, 3B: 1-1 (2B, 2 RBI)
7b. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Darwin Barney, 2B: 0-1 (E2-CI, K)
9. Scott Hairston, DH: 0-2 (K, P-5)

1. Chris Rusin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Cory Wade: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

1. Nick Struck: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Rob Whitenack: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 32 pitches (15 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 15 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

Welington Castillo - E-2 - Catcher’s Interference (CI) allowed batter to reach base safely



WEATHER: Partly cloudy & cool with temperatures in the 50’s



An AZPhil boxscore and's baseball season again.

MLB Network spring games schedule..

fwiw, all but 1 cubs game (March 16, 4pm EST) are early morning or very late night replays.

Espn had attendance at well over 50.


THANKS PHIL!!!!!!!!!

Maybe they confused the temperature for the attendance?

Soler's blast.

Some guys just look like major leaguers.

Thanks for the writeup, AZ! The only thing missing is the reverse chalupa reference for which your headline begs. :)

"Scott Baker (elbow) is scheduled to throw a side session Monday before being reevaluated."

if he's not cleared to throw beyond side sessions soon there's a great chance he'll be starting the season on the DL.

if he can't throw at least 70+ pitches by the time camp breaks he's not ready for a starter workload even on a conservative scale.

Recent comments

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  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?