Czech Swing Not Up to the Challenge at Riverview

Jake Hannemann belted a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 1st inning and an RBI double in the 4th, Trey Martin tripled twice and knocked-in two runs, Yasiel Balaguert hammered a three-run HR in the 1st and walked in the 3rd, Will Remillard doubled twice and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn and seven relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) blanked Team Czech Republic 10-0 in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The Czech team (managed by Mike Griffin, with Trot Nixon and Corey Lee serving as assistant coaches) is in Arizona preparing for the World Baseball Classic Qualifier #2 tournament in Mexicali, Mexico later this week. Mexico is the host team, and Germany and Nicaragua are the other two particpants. The winner qualifies for the 2017 WBC. 

As per usual, the Tennessee squad added some additional players for the game, with RHP Corey Black, catchers David Freitas, Will Remillard, and Ben Carhart, 1B Matt Clark, SS Bryant Flete, and OF Bijan Rademacher moving down from the Iowa squad, RHRP Scott Effross, 1B Yasiel Balaguert, 2B Ian Happ, and LF Donnie Dewees moving up from the Myrtle Beach group, and 3B Adonis Paula and catcher P. J. Higgins moving up from the South Bend squad.     

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

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

1a. Jake Hannemann, CF: 2-3 (HR, F-7, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
1b. Bijan Rademacher, PH: 1-1 (3B, RBI)
2a. Chesny Young, 2B: 0-2 (BB, F-8, 5-3, CS)
2b. Ben Carhart, PH-C 0-2 (4-3, F-7)
3. Donnie Dewees, LF: 0-4 (F-9, 3-1, L-7, F-7)
4. Ian Happ, DH-2B: 1-3 (BB, 1B, 4-3, 6-3, R, SB)
5a. Mark Zagunis, RF: 0-1 (BB, F-8, R)
5b. Will Remillard, PH-DH: 2-2 (2B, 2B, R)
6a. Yasiel Balaguert, 1B: 1-1 (HR, BB, R, 3 RBI)
6b. Matt Clark, PH-1B: 1-2 (F-8, 2B, R, RBI)
7a. Jason Vosler, 3B: 0-2 (3-U, F-7)
7b. Adonis Paula, PH-3B: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, RBI)
8. David Freitas, C-DH: 0-2 (F-8, 3-U) 
9. Billy McKinney, DH-RF: 1-3 (1B, F-9, BB, 4-3, R)
10a. P. J. Higgins, DH-C: 1-1 (1B, R, SB)
10b. Bryant Flete, PH-SS: 1-2 (1B, K, R) 
11a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3) 
11b. Trey Martin, PH-CF: 2-2 (3B, 3B, R, 2 RBI)

1. Paul Blackburn: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 3/0 GO/AO, 30 pitches (20 strikes) 
2. Corey Black: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. David Berg: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 10 pitches (7 strikes) 
4. Craig Brooks: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/AO, 7 pitches (5 strikes) 
5. Josh Conway: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (9 strikes) 
6. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/AO, 12 pitches (6 strikes) 
7. Scott Effross: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 10 pitches (6 strikes) 
8. Daury Torrez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 


1. David Freitas: 0-1 CS 
2. P. J. Higgins: 1-1 CS 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70's 


While the Smokies weere trouncing the Czechs on Field #5, "live" BP continued on the other three backfields. 

Pitchers throwing "live" BP today were: 

Casey Bloomquist 
Gerardo Concepcion 
Greyfer Eregua 
Dillon Maples
Ryan McNeil 
Kyle Miller 
Jordan Minch
Jose Paulino 
Tayler Scott  

All nine pitchers threw one inning (25 pitches each).  

i'm gonna edit/delete this out. i'm just surprised t.nixon is back doing anything involving coaching baseball. he must have loved his taste last year doing paid coaching clinics for little leaguers. good for him.

strop finally pitched! 1ip 0h 0bb 2k. unf.

also, h.rondon shit himself and blew a 3 run lead in the ends in a 3-3 tie. j.baez got to play 2nd today.

Nice to see Strop back out there. I was getting a little concerned.

Strop had a lot of innings last year and while he was very good in most of them I'm happy Madden has cut back his workload so far.

John Arguello from Cubs Den was also at the game at Riverview, and took some great pics (as usual!)...  


Where are the sexy girls?

"The Cubs trimmed their roster by seven players on Monday, optioning Dan Vogelbach, Eric Jokisch and Andury Acevedo to Triple-A Iowa.

Pitchers Duane Underwood, Jack Leathersich, Jonathan Pettibone and Armando Rivero were all assigned to the Minor League camp."

In addition to Acevedo, Jokisch, Vogelbach, Leathersich, Pettibone, Rivero, and Underwood, catcher Cael Brockmeyer was also assigned to Minor League Camp today. Brockmeyer was a late NRI who was invited to report with pitchers & catcher on 2/18, and he has been in big league camp ever since (until today). 

Also, only Acevedo, Brockmeyer, Jokisch, and Rivero were actually on the field at Minor League Camp this morning (all four were with the Iowa squad).

Despite being optioned to Iowa today, Vogelbach is still physically with the big league club, and Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) and Pettibone (2015 right shoulder surgery) will be assigned to the Extended Spring Training Pitchers Rehab Group when it is formed.

Underwood has been bothered by right elbow stiffness (he did not pitch in any MLB Cactus League games), and so he could end up at EXST, too.  

More "live" BP at Minor League Camp this morning, with 13 pitchers in action on the four fields: 

* throws left

THREE INNINGS (45 pitches - 15 pitches-per-inning)
* Ryan Kellogg 
Brad Markey 

ONE INNING (25 pitches) 
Pedro Araujo
Dale Brocker
Jared Cheek 
Zach Hedges
Corbin Hoffner
Tommy Nance 
James Norwood
* Luis Parra 
Alexander Santana 
* Tommy Thorpe 
* John Williamson 

The pitchers throwing three innigs are being primed as starters, and the one-inning guys are being primed as relievers. 

Brocker and Nance are the two pitchers the Cubs acquired from Frontier League (independent) teams during the off-season.

In Minor League Camp roster news, 17-year old RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico) has arrived and has been assigned to the South Bend squad. Although he just arrived at Minor League Camp, Albertos participated in Fall Instructs at the Cubs Under Armour Performance Center in Mesa last September-October, and he is one of six IFA players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico (so far) during the 2015-16 International Signing Period (with six being as many IFA as the Cubs had signed out of Mexico over the previous ten years combined). 

In addition, RHP Matt Brazis (Iowa squad) has been cleared for full activity, while RHP Luis Hernandez (injured while throwing a "live" BP session last week) is now restricted to Limited Activity Only with the South Bend squad. 

Phil, have you heard anything about Wen Hua Sung? He was a Boras client and connected to Cubs but never heard of him signing anywhere.

I read somewhere that he didnt think much of the Cubs offer and went back to school.

The Cubs have another nice dilemma with Candelario.

I wouldn't go that far yet, but:

Wilson Contreras also having a very nice ST so far.

Lester in sim game today

Only way he will learn

Bruce Levine [email protected] 30s30 seconds ago

Cubs have forced the issue of Lester throwing to all the bases.Lester has not backed away from challenge

Unstoppable force vs. immovable object: Lester picks off Vogelbach.

Adam LaRoche retires today

$ 13 million back to Sox.
Win/Win for Reinsdorf, no free agents to spend it on, gets to keep it.

wonder if he was gonna piss dirty or something...

hopefully his "personal issue" isn't something horrible. he's been limited because of back pain this spring. maybe he just has enough money and pride to not care. maybe it's aliens.

Maybe his son is ready to graduate from Clubhouse U?

nice piece. also nice to be able to say "screw it" it $13m when you're in your mid-30s.

schwarb's back today...batting 4th and playing LF.

free live game on (video and audio) feed is SD.

t.ross lasts 0.1ip for SD...cubs up 5-0 in the 1st.

2WP for grimm...having a difficult time with his slider today, but he didn't look horrible...just a couple in the dirt.

n.ramirez strikes out 3 with 0bb/0h in his 1ip. \m/

j.andreoli inside the park HR!!!! ...still don't understand how this legit 3-OF-position dude with AAA experience survived the rule-5 even if his ceiling is believed to be a bench OF'r.

Hits and runs like a centerfielder, but mostly gets sent out to left and right. That tells me he doesn't track balls very well. Same problem as Coghlan.

Recent comments

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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract

    jacos 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 3 hours 14 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 5 hours 4 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 51 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 6 hours 52 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 59 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.


    Tito 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.


    Tito 7 hours 38 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.








    Tito 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 7 hours 46 min ago view