Cubs Bats Alive & Well at the Wind, Not So Much on the Jack

Yasiel Balaguert mashed a two-run home run to key a three-run 3rd, Jeffrey Baez belted a solo HR, Trevor Gretzky collected an RBI double and two singles and scored three runs, Carlos Penalver singled, doubled, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, Reggie Golden singled twice, walked, drove-in a run, and scored two more, and Lance Rymel doubled and walked and drove-in three runs, as one squad of Cubs throttled one squad of Diamondbacks 10-2 on Whirlwind Field, and Ben Eckels and three relievers combined to throw a three-hitter with ten strikeouts and Damion Smith laced a bases-loaded three-run double, as the other squad of D'backs defeated the other squad of Cubs 4-1 on Jackrabbit Field, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

The game on Whirlwind Field was called by mutual agreement in the middle of the 9th inning, and the game on Jackrabbit Field was called by mutual agreement in the middle of the 8th.

The Cubs got outstanding work from their two starting pitchers today. RHP James Pugliese fired three innings of one-hit shutout ball (80% strikes) with five strikeouts on Whirlwind Field, and 19-year old Dominican RHP Alexander Santana tossed three innings of no-run/no-hit ball on Jackrabbit Field, retiring nine of the ten men he faced (the only blemish being an HBP).  

In EXST Cubs roster news, INF David Bote and C-DH Carlos Escobar have been moved up to Kane County.

Bote was hitting 219/324/344 in 12 Cactus League EXST games (37 PA), with two triples, one SB (three CS), and 5/8 BB/K. He has played 2B, SS, and 3B for the EXST Cubs, and this is the second time he has been moved up to a full-season club since the end of Minor League Camp (he was with the Daytona Cubs for about a week last month when Tim Saunders was on the DL). The 20-year old Bote was the Cubs 18th round pick in the 2012 June Draft out of Neosho County CC.     

The Cubs 2012 15th round draft pick out of the U. of Nevada, Escobar was sidelined with an ankle injury during Minor League Camp and for the first three weeks of Extended Spring Training. But he hit 462/462/846 in five Cactus League EXST games (13 PA) since returning to action, and he hammered two home runs over a period of three days last week (one in an intrasquad game at Fitch Park, and then a tape measure shot last Saturday at Maryvale). Escobar had a 25% CS in Cactus League EXST games, and he also picked one runner off base.    

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):


1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-5 (P-5, 6-3, HR, K, L-5, R, RBI)
2a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (1-3, 2B, 1B, BB, 2 R, SB)
2b. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-1 (K)
3a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-3 (3-1, HR, 6-4 FC, R, 2 RBI)
3b. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-1 (BB, K, R)
4. Reggie Golden, LF: 2-4 (1B, F-9, F-9, 1B, BB, 2 R, RBI)
5. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 3-5 (E-4, 1B, 4-3, 2B, 1B, 3 R, RBI)
6. Lance Rymel, DH #1: 1-4 (5-3, F-7, BB, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, 3 RBI)
7. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 2B, L-8, 6-3, 2 RBI, PO)
8. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-3 (BB, L-7, 4-3, L-4)
9. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (1B, K, BB, L-7, CS)
10b. Erick Castillo, DH #2: 0-2 (K, K) 

1. James Pugliese: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 40 pitches (32 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
2. Jasvir Rakkar: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 28 pitches (20 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO 
3. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO  
4. Chad Martin: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1. 2B Brad Zapenas - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Brad Zapenas - E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)


1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 3-1)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (4-3, 4-6 FC, 3B, R)
3a. Jesse Hodges, 3B-DH: 0-2 (F-9, F-8)
3b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH: 0-0 (F-8 SF, RBI)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-1 (4-3, BB, BB)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH #1: 0-3 (5-3, K, F-8)
6. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (K, K, K)
7. Jose Dore, RF: 0-3 (F-7, F-8, 6-3)
8. Xavier Batista, LF: 1-3 (F-9, 2B, K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-3 (K, K, K)
10. Bryant Flete, DH-3B: 0-2 (K, P-5)

1. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 43 pitches (25 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner; 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 43 pitches (22 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO 
NOTE: Top of the 5th inning was stopped with one out when Hoffner reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
3. Mike Hamann: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 40 pitches (27 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO  


Justin Marra: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's

NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an intrasquad game yesterday (Thursday) morning at Fitch Park Field #4.

Albert Almora played five innings (four innings in CF) for Squad "A" and batted three times, leading-off the top of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings, He reached base on an E-6 (a throwing error on what should have been a routine 6-3 GO) in his first AB, flied out to RF his 2nd time up, and reached base on an infield single (ball grounded through the box, nice play to even get to the ball by SS Frandy de la Rosa) in his 3rd and final PA. He then stole 2nd base, and scored on a HR.

Jose Rosario got the start for Squad "A" and worked five innings (80 pitches), allowing three runs on five hits (three singles, a double, and a two-run HR). Rosario did not walk anyone (although he did hit a batter), and he struck out seven. Rosario is stretched-out enough to be moved-up to Kane County or Daytona if the Cubs wish to do that. although he has not pitched particularly well so far.

Reggie Golden and Jesse Hodges each smacked a two-run HR, and Xavier Batista, Jacob Rogers, and Lance Rymel belted RBI doubles.

Neftali Rosario left the game after suffering what appeared to be an ankle or foot injury while running the bases in his one and only AB (F-8). He walked (limped) to the clubhouse under his own power, not needing any assistance from man or golf cart to get there.

Here is the box score from the intrasquad game:

X. Albert Almora, CF: 1-3 (E-6, F-9, 1B, R, SB)
NOTE: Almora batted three times, hitting lead-off in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings
1. Kevin Encarnacion, DH-CF: 1-3 (4-3, F-8, 2B, F-9 SF, R, RBI)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-2 (HBP, 5-3, F-8, F-8 SF, RBI)
3. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-4 (5-4-3 DP, 4-3, 6-3, K)
4a. Rony Rodriguez, C: 2-3 (1B, 2B, 6-3, 2 R)
4b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (F-7)
5a. Neftali Rosario, DH #2: 0-1 (F-8)
5b. Xavier Batista, PH-DH: 2-3 (2B, 1B, P-2, RBI)
6. Jose Dore, RF: 1-2 (2B, BB, 3-U)
7. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-3 (5-3, 6-3, 1B, R, RBI, SB)
8. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-2: (6-3, HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI)
9. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-3 (K, F-8, 2B, R, RBI)

1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-4 (3-1, K, K, E-4, SB, CS)
2, Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-3 (K, F-9, 4-3, BB)
3. Alberto Mineo, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-8, BB)
4. Erick Castillo, C: 1-3 (3-1, 1B, 3-6 FC, R)
5. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (HBP, 1B, P-3, R, RBI)
6. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, F-8)
7a. Reggie Golden, LF: 1-2 (HR, F-8 DP, R, 2 RBI)
7b. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-0 (BB, R)
8b. Lance Rymel, DH #2: 1-1 (2B, R, RBI)
9. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3, RBI)
10. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-3 (K, 2B, 4-3)

1. Jose Rosario: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 1 WP, 80 pitches (58 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Juan Francisco: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 43 pitches (20 strikes) 4/1 GO/FO,

1. Daury Torrez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 26 pitches (21 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 46 pitches (27 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of 6th inning was stopped with two outs when O. Rodriguez reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
4. Jorge Diaz: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/4 GO/FO
NOTE: Game was called with two outs in top of 8th inning when J. Diaz reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game

2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

SS Frandy de la Rosa - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

1. Rony Rodriguez: 0-1 CS
2. Justin Marra: 1-2 CS

Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS

CF Kevin Encarnacion - runner (Brad Zapenas) thrown out 8-5 trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd on F-8


Wittenmyer article:

Exiled third baseman Ian Stewart — who cleared ­waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster Wednesday — was out of the Class AAA Iowa starting lineup for the sixth straight game Thursday. But he came off the bench to pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out, making him 4-for-45 since his minor-league rehab assignment-turned-option at Iowa.

The Cubs have buried him on the minor-league bench. And after failing to get another team to claim him on waivers, they appear to be trying to trade him for whatever savings they can get off his $2 million salary.

so...when almora stole his base...did he slide head first?

I think judging by tonight's performance, safe to assume Starlin Castro would be the 2nd greatest leadoff hitter ever.

Bulls/Heats game looks like the old Bulls/Knicks series (or Bulls/Pacers or Bulls/Pistons)

that was an extremely quick 10 run game...and the cubs lose.

garza goes for iowa tomorrow...75 pitches.

i.stewart still in the doghouse in a pinch hit appearance...0/1 with a K.

via rotowurld...via p.mooney

"Scott Feldman is a candidate to lose his rotation spot when Matt Garza (lat) returns from the disabled list.

The Cubs plan to go with a six-man rotation initially, but it's only a matter of time before Feldman or Carlos Villanueva is moved to the bullpen. Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, and Edwin Jackson are all locked into rotation spots."

a.wainwright no-hitter through 7...92 pitches

...and it's over after 7.1ip

CRUNCH-ed!!!!!! Nice work!

Recent comments

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  • I'm guessing 3/30 and all the two foot long hot dogs you can eat didn't work

  • Yes! In a 12-way tie for first!

  • Shit.

    Blew my prediction! I had them signing Zimmerman and trading for another arm.

  • Damn wanted Zimmermann

  • Yeah, this market. Remember when Ted Lilly signed a 4/$40m with the Cubs? It was like "Well, I guess if you can throw a ball, that's what the 3 and 4 starters are all getting." I'm glad I'm not a GM. Of course, they're spending our money...

  • in this market that seems like a decent deal relative to the market.

    given that d.price will probably get 30m-ish a year, 22m for 29yo zimm doesn't seem bad. i wouldn't complain about him suiting up for the cubs. one less option gone...

  • Zimmermann 5/$110m with Tigers. Youch.

    And the updated predications page:

  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing