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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  • CUBSTER: I would think a cab or a limo would get Motte to the airport faster than a golf cart. The maximum speed of a golf cart is (what?) maybe 15 MPH, which could actually be dangerous on an expressway. 

  • from the Sunday Trib...

    Reliever Jason Motte waved as he left the visitor’s clubhouse at Miller Park on a golf cart en route to the airport to catch a flight to Arizona to start a rehab assignment.
    Motte has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 24 because of a right shoulder strain, but there’s a possibility he could rejoin the Cubs if they advance deep in the playoffs.
    Motte is scheduled to pitch in simulated games and in Instructional League games in Arizona.

  • 8 in a row to end the year...let's do this playoffs thing.

  • shelby miller (ATL) finishes the season with a win, snapping his 24-game winless streak...because ATL bats are non-existent.

    3.02 era, 1.25 whip, 205.1ip, 171K

    6-17 w/l...ugg.

  • Totally independent of the Cubs winning or losing today, Dan Haren came into today's game having earned $2M of his potential $3M in performance bonuses for 2015. 

    By making the start (his 32nd start of the season) he picked up $500K, and he'll get the remaining $500K if he can throw at least 8.2 IP in the game (he was at 181.1 IP coming into the game, and he needs to reach 190 IP to get the remaining $500K), 

    It's a bit like the old "Bowling for Dollars" TV show, but of course Haren is actually "Pitching for Dollars."

  • holy crap, MIL is just...awful.

  • i think he's currently playing for the Santo Domingo Meths. he's an Adderall-Star player there.

  • I'm longing for a Neifi sighting.

  • if you have stable/fast internet you can stream with and you don't mind giving up $20 a month check out "sling tv".


    TBS, TNT, ESPN 1+2, etc...100% legal.


  • 68 pitches (50 strikes)

    love seeing that...especially with the batters doing very little with it.

  • Yeah, keep him off the playoff roster.

  • Or, he's looked exactly like Ted Williams.

  • Lately he hasn't looked like Ted Williams...

  • Reading between the lines on some of his comments he seems to know his longish swing doesn't play well with a man on third and two outs, and two strikes on him. I doubt a playoff adjustment is happening, just something he'll need to figure out next year. I have this odd feeling he will.

  • Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 4m4 minutes ago
    Bryant leads NL rookies in HRs (26), RBIs (99), 2B (31) and runs (86). Last rookie to reach 26 HR, 99 RBI, 31 2bs, 86 runs and 74 BBs?

    Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 4m4 minutes ago
    Boston’s Ted Williams in 1939