Welly Goes A-Ballin' at Riverview Park

Welington Castillo homered, doubled, and singled, Jesse Hodges doubled twice and walked, and Duane Underwood tossed four innings of no run/no hit ball, as the Kane County Cougars rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 9th to edge the Burlingtom Bees (Los Angeles Angels Lo-A affiliate) 7-6 on Field #3, while the Inland Empire 66ers (the LAA Hi-A affiliate) drubbed the Daytona Cubs 12-3 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

Castillo was "visiting" from MLB Camp, getting six Plate Appearances total between the two games. He moved back & forth between the two adjacent fields, serving as an extra DH and getting a PA whenever the opportunity presented itself. The HR was a line drive-blast over the LF fence in the Hi-A game on Field #6, the double one-hopped the CF fence (also on Field #6), and the single was drilled through the 5.5 hole on Field #3. After bouncing out 3-1 and going down on strikes (swinging), Castillo flied out to the warning track in RF in his last AB of the day. 

Dillon Maples got the start for the D-Cubs in Field #6, and immediately threw 10 consecutive balls to start the game. Before he was relieved with one out in the top of the 3rd inning, Maples had allowed five runs on two hits (a triple and a single), six walks, an HBP, and two WP.

Duane Underwood on the other hand was absolutely masterful on Field #3, setting down the Bees with minimum difficulty. He mixed his fastball, change-up, and curve very effectively, and never was in trouble in any of his four frames.  

The defensive gems of the day were turned-in on Field #3, as CF Rashad Crawford made a spectacular diving catch in left-center after a long run, and then 2B David Bote made a two-out run-saving leaping catch to snare a screaming line-drive seemingly headed for CF (as he jumped higher than he knew how). Both Crawford (who was an outstanding HS basketball player with the nickname "Baby Jordan") and Bote are super-athlectic, and so it's not surprising that they were today's Dynamic Duo of Defense.

Here are the abridged box scores from today's Minor League games at Riverview Park (Cubs player only)


X. Welington Castillo, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, F-9)
NOTE: W. Castillo hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st & 5th
1a. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-1 (BB, F-9, R) 
1b. Alex Sanchez, SS: 1-2 (BB, L-3, 1B. R)
2a. Kevin Brown, RF: 1-2 (6-3 DP, 1B, PO)
2b. Trevor Gretzky, RF: 1-3 (1B, P-3, 6-4 FC, R, RBI)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (2B, BB, 2B, P-4, F-7, R, RBI, PO)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH #2: 0-4 (3-U, P-4, K, K)
5. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, L-6, 1B, K, 2 RBI)
6. David Bote, 2B: 1-2 (BB, 1B, HBP, E-6)
7a. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (1-4 FC, 1-6-3 DP, R)
7b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-2 (P-4, 1-4 FC, R)
8. Charcer Burks, LF: 1-3 (BB, F-8, F-9, 1B, R)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-4 (1B, 3-1, P-4, 1B, 2 RBI)

1. Duane Underwood: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 5/5 GO/FO, 53 pitches (34 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 47 pitches (23 strikes)
3. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (7 strikes)
5. Tyler Bremer: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 8 pitches (4 strikes)

3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 


X. Welington Castillo, DH #1: 2-4 (2B, 3-1, HR, K, 2 R, RBI) 
NOTE: W. Castillo hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF-LF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 1-3, RBI)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, K, 5-3, RBI, CS)
3a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
3b. Ben Carhart, PH: 0-1 (K)
4a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (5-3, P-4)
4b. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-2 (2-5-3 DP, E-6)
5a. Danny Canela, DH #2: 0-1 (F-8, BB)
5b. Zak Blair, PH: 0-1 (K)
6a. Cael Brockmeyer, C: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC)
6b. Justin Marra, C: (0-1 (F-8)
7. Jordan Hankins, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, F-8, 1B)
8. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (5-3, F-8, 1B)
9. Trey Martin, LF-CF: 0-2 (P-3, BB, K, R)

1. Dillon Maples: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R (5 ER), 6 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 3/2 GO/FO, 66 pitches (29 strikes)
2. Jose Arias: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Justin Amlung:  1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 23 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 35 pitches (23 strikes)
NOTE: Rakkar's first inning was stopped with no outs and runner at 2nd base (after five runs had scored)
5. Hector Perez: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
NOTE: H. Perez's inning was stopped with two outs and bases loaded after second HBP of inning

SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Cael Brockmeyer: 0-2 CS
Justin Marra: 1-2 CS


WEATHER: Sunny & cloudless with temperatures in the 80's 



I wonder what a breakout season from Castillo would look like.

30 doubles and 18 HRs? Any increase in offensive value probably has to come in slugging percentage. It's hard for me to imagine him beating the .274 batting average this time around.

I can live with that

olt and baez with back to back opposite field HRs.


This makes me happy.

Olt 2 run HR in top 3rd. A blast. Followed by another blast by the Cubs 2nd baseman tonight. Who is that masked man?

Even Brett Jackson looks a bit better, triple after an rbi double by McDonald. 5 run 3rd inning. 5-0.

he's got a controlled/powerful swing...too bad he doesn't have the batting eye to go with it.

even when he fouls stuff off, it comes off the bat 100000mph. if he squared up on the barrel more stuff that he makes contact with, things could get ugly for opposing pitchers.

It's amazing how bad his results are for a guy who looks like such a good baseball player.

If he's built well and keeps doing things right, his numbers will come around.

Whenever I see Jackson I think of Corey Patterson. Patterson never looked like he had baseball-type skills. He was a good raw athlete, but didn't look like a baseball player to me. Jackson has a classic "pretty" swing, which may be a way of a guy like me who maybe doesn't know every nuance of baseball of saying he looks good trying, but he just up till now hasn't had it click for him. I assume it's routine for baseball teams to give eye checkups, but sometimes it just seems like he doesn't see the ball. I had bad vision as a kid and had trouble hitting a softball.

Nice AB by Jackson on his triple.

Cabrera has a 1-2-3 inning in 6th including striking out Profar.

scoreless 2nd inning of work by Cabrera, gets Choice, Fielder and Rios out. 2 hard hit balls out of the 6 outs, but has to give him an edge considering he's out of options.

and Baez with a double...BEAST MODE

and steals 3b (with 2 outs for some reason), altough should have been out. Kouzmanoff (still alive) missed the tag. Looked like a delayed steal of some sort.

followed by a steal of 3rd

former Cub Jim Adduci destroyed a Rivero fastball to tie game in 8th, 6-6.

Rivero does look to have some late-inning potential, big, tall kid...hit 97.

haven't seen b.schlitter in a few years...he's working on a hell of a head of hair.

sweet, extra innings means bonus Javier Baez AB

rips a liner straight to shortstop

on a Baez note, doesn't look like he has a body that is going to keep him at shorstop or 2b his entire career.

I was watching him last night, thinking that he reminds me of a RF in a lot of ways. I wouldn't be surprised to get him work there eventually, especially if Soler doesn't pan out.

this one ended in spectacular cubs-like failure with 2 outs in the bottom 10th...up at one point 6-0, lose 6-7 after 10.

at least the damage in the 10th (and 7th) came from guys who doesn't have a chance of making the MLB club.

spring don't mean a thing...and all that...but...

j.lake is 4/28 with 1 walk (.143/.167)...no x-base hits...and 13Ks.

r.sweeney is 2/26 with 1 walk (.077/.111)...no x-base hits...and 6Ks.

these are supposedly the cubs 1+2 options for CF (with lake being the majority player) unless they plan on shuffling ruggs (who's having an awesome spring) up to majority CF duty and leaving lake/sweeney to scramble for playing time.

at least there's options and all 3 are expected to make the team...and r.kalish is waiting around as a capable backup...boni can play CF, but offers little else outside of speed and hitting singles as a starter...i don't wanna talk about b.jacKson.

fwiw, lake had a rather good winter ball...could be a small sample size or whatever...not like he's expected to be a superstar anyway. the Ks more than the avg/ob% slash line bothers me, though.

If (when) Lake scuffles I expect Jackson will get another shot.

Hoping for a breakout year for Underwood!

Levine says Tigers "top executive" watching Barney and Schierholtz.

pretty much expected...especially since they seem to not be in on the ARZ SS surplus that the mets are heavily scouting.

and on the j.rollins front from his happy home in PHI...

"I don’t care which way it is tried to be twisted or said, or if it is exactly how it was said, or even if it was said, I can’t be traded," he said. "It doesn’t matter. If I was tradable it may have weight because that means I could be moving soon. But I am not tradable and so it doesn’t matter."

Dude is a motherfucking poet.

still searching for a few more owners for a Fangraphs Ottoneu League, We have 3-6 spots open (a few folks I'm waiting on). Need to fill league by this Friday. It's a $9.99 fangraphs points league, but we'll be doing another $40 or so buy-in using leaguesafe.com. Current draft day is Sat, April 5th at 10am CST, but that is subject to change if that's your hold-up.

Pains in the asses need not apply...

drop your email here or use contact form in upper right (send to Rob G. of course)

I can vouch that this is THE league of the season. It's a virtual who's who that? of internet baseball. If you've ever wanted to rub digital elbows with the type (get it?) of people who moniker themselves with a direct article (and thrive in the realm of wordification and transpartofspeachification), this is the place.

Hoo boy! This comment is a little wordplay gem all in itself!

chc/col live tonight on MLB Network, 9:40pm (ET)

fwiw, it will most likely be the ROOT Network (COL) providing the feed.

No Olt today, was suppose to play 3b...shoulder still bugging him a little.

-edit- apparently gonna start tomorrow at 3b instead

I could literally just watch replays of Javier Baez homers all day long.

I kinda want to see him play Iowa down here in Round Rock - but I more wanna see him push Theo into a too early call up.

I see this service-time issue becoming HUGE in future negotiations with the players' union. And frankly I agree that holding back players so you have longer club control is bad for the game. Not sure what can be done about it? But it really does suck for the fans and the players . . . especially great players who might be missing an opportunity to log lifetime stats towards HOF careers etc. It'll be interesting to watch in coming years . . . you can already sense the frustration bubbling.

players union doesn't care about kids. the number of them losing 50+ games to suspensions over smoking some weed is absolutely asinine. they're not even held to that standard in the bigs.

but yeah, it does suck to see the service time issue held over players...TB has been "abusing" it for years...though "abusing" might be a bit harsh for a team that's operating on their kind of revenue.

either way, situations where kids could/should be up don't materialize too often because of the service clock issue.

"We have always believed that the game suffers when teams make roster decisions based on factors other than player performance," union chief Tony Clark told FOX Sports. "The 25 players who give each team the best chance to win should be on the Opening Day roster."

Kind of a FOX Sports puff piece on the subject:


I really like the system they have in place where guys have to meet certain goals before being promoted. It takes the mystery out of what's going to happen for these younger players. Instead of thinking about whether or not they will get the call up, they can focus on improving their game. Their future is in their hands and based on their performance.

That said, I agree Baez should be in AA/AAA this year. There's no rush. He's not going to put the Chicago Cubs over the top. And I don't think it's going to hurt the game or hurt Baez's career, they just want to protect his value as a prospect and keep him under club control as long as they can.

Recent comments

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  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.