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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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • 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.