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Giants Bash Carlos Rodriguez and Cubs in AZL Action

Dillon Dobson (SF 2015 23rd round draft pick - Appalachian State) belted a two-run triple and an RBI double, and Nathaniel Javier and Matt Winn (SF 2015 14th round draft pick - VMI) clubbed solo home runs, helping the AZL Giants hammer the AZL Cubs 11-6 in Arizona League action last night on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 

AZL Cubs Ride Haboob to Victory at Indian School Park

Wladimir Galindo reached base four times (two singles, a walk, and a HBP), scored two runs, and drove-in two more and Robert Garcia singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and drove-in four, as the AZL Cubs drubbed the AZL Giants 11-4 in Arizona League action last night on Field #2 at Indian School Park. 

The start of the game was delayed for about 45 minutes while a haboob (desert dust storm) roared through Scottsdale with winds gusting up to 50 MPH.

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The Cubs and Giants players and coaches scrambled to get inside the clubhouse as the wall of dust approached, but it looked a lot scarier than it really was. The umpires apparently hadn't been told about it, because they came out of their room and walked onto the field, except nobody was there. They looked at each other as if to say, "Are we at the right park?" 

Two Players Make Pro Debut as AZL Cubs Bat Around to Victory in Tempe

Wladimir Galindo doubled, tripled, walked, and scored two runs, Jose Paniagua singled twice, drove-in a run, scored a run, and reached base on an HBP, and Joey Martarano bashed a two-run triple, helping the AZL Cubs defeat the AZL Angels 6-4 in AZL action Thursday night at Tempe Diablo Stadium. 

Matos Dinger Lifts AZL Cubs to Victory

Yohan Matos blasted a three-run HR to cap a four-run 5th and Enrique de los Rios and three relievers combined to hurl a three-hitter, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Angels 6-5 in AZL action last night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

Camargo Sharp as AZL Cubs Defeat AZL Snakes

Andruw Monasterio drilled a two-run triple, walked twice, scored a run, and collected a third RBI on a bases-loaded walk, Wladimir Galindo belted a two-run double and knocked-in a third run with a sacrifice fly, Roberto Caro reached base on a bunt single, walked, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and RHSP Jesus Camargo hurled five innings of three-hit one-run ball with no walks and a 11/1 GO/FO, helping the AZL Cubs defeat the AZL Diamondbaks 8-4 in AZL action last night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Zastryzny Gets Start for AZL Cubs

Hector Hernandez (on Kane County 7-day DL) hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball and combined with three relievers to toss a four-hitter, as the AZL Diamondbacks defeated the AZL Cubs 4-1 in AZL action this evening on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.

AZL Cubs Drop 2015 Opener at Sloan Park

RHSP Jonathan Perrin (Milwaukee Brewers 2015 27th round draft pick - Oklahoma State) tossed three innings of perfect baseball and combined with three relievers to hurl a six-hit shutout, and Tyrone Perry (Milwaukee Brewers 2015 14th round draft pick - Lakeland Senior HS - Lakeland, FL) drilled an RBI single, doubled, and walked and scored, as the AZL Brewers blanked the AZL Cubs 4-0 in AZL Opening Day action Saturday evening at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

2015 Eugene & AZL Cubs Opening Day Rosters (Updated 6/18)

The Eugene Emeralds (the Cubs affiliate in the SS-A Northwest League) begin play tonight at Everett (Seattle Mariners affiliate in NWL) with a four-game series that extends through Monday, and the AZL Cubs begin play Saturday night at Sloan Park in Mesa with a single game versus the AZL Brewers. After a day off on Sunday, the AZL Cubs will play four days in a row and then have a day off every 5th day for the balance of the AZL schedule (barring rain-out make-up games).  

Eugene has a 35-man reserve list limit and a 30-man active list limit, of which 25 players may be designated as "active" for each game, and 10 of the 25 players designated as active must be pitchers. In effect, this means that one starting pitcher and nine relief pitchers are active for each game, so Eugene will begin the season with a 14-man pitching staff (five starters and nine relievers) and 11 position players (three catchers, five infielders, and three outfieldes).

The AZL Cubs have a 35-man reserve list limit and a 35-man active list limit, of which 30 players may be designated as "active" for each game, and ten of the 30 players designated as active must be pitchers.

2015 Cubs draft picks who sign do not have to be added to a minor league reserve list for up to 15 days after signing, or until the player is placed on a minor league active list (whichever comes first). So at least five of the Cubs 2015 Draft picks (the more-advanced ones) will be assigned to Eugene as soon as they complete their orientation at the Cubs Training Complex (Under Armour Performance Center) at Riverview Park, at which point the Eugene 30-man active roster will be full. As more draft picks are gradually moved-up to Eugene, some of the players who were on the Eugene Opening Day roster could be either promoted to South Bend, sent back to the AZL Cubs in Mesa, or released. Other 2015 draft picks will begin their pro career with the AZL Cubs and remain in Mesa for the rest of the summer.

In AZL Cubs roster news, RHP Pedro Silverio and OF-1B (ex-LHP) Chris Pieters have been moved up to the AZL Cubs from the DSL Cubs, and RHPs Francisco Carrillo and John Michael Knighton were temporarily assigned to the AZL Cubs Reserve List, although they will remain with the South Bend Cubs. (Knighton was moved up to South Bend from Extended Spring Training last Sunday).

The 21-year old Silverio was signed by the Cubs as an 18-year old out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, and he has been the ace of the 2015 DSL Cubs (so far), with a 0.00 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. He has allowed no runs, 11 hits, two walks, and an HBP, with 17 strikeouts, in 17 IP (three GS).

Pieters (signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old out of Curacao in 2011 - $350K bonus) is making the unusual conversion of LHP to outfielder in 2015, after posting an ugly 9.31 ERA and issuing 119 walks in 77.1 IP over three seasons 2012-14. The 20-year old has put up equally bizarre numbers as a position player, hitting 238/484/262 with only one XBH in 58 PA for the DSL Cubs this season, but he has drawn 16 walks and has eight stolen bases (1 CS) in just 15 games.

Here are the updated rosters for the two teams, plus the Mesa Pitchers Rehab Group:

Ramirez Heats Up & Olt Has Active Day at Riverview Park

Ricardo Marcano (RBI single) and Varonex Cuevas (two-run single) drilled run-scoring hits to highlight a three-run 4th, as the Eugene Emeralds rallied to edge the Mesa Cubs 3-2 in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

The game was called after 5-1/2 innings of play. It was supposed to be a seven-inning affair, but one of the pitchers scheduled to throw in the game (RHRP John Michael Knighton) was called up to South Bend during the game, so the contest had to be truncated.   

Knighton (known as "Bama" to his teammates) was the most-consistent Cub reliever at Extended Spring Training. He features a "natural" upper-80's cutter and a curve, and he threw the highest-percentager of strikes (67%) of any EXST Cubs pitcher who worked more than six innings in Cactus League EXST games:

JOHN MICHAEL KNIGHTON - Age 21 - 2014 17th round draft pick (Central Alabama CC)
2.93 ERA - 0.91 WHIP - .228 OppBA
15.1 IP, 13 H, 8 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 11 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 17/16 GO/FO, 67% strikes, 13.0 PITCHES-PER-INNING
NO ERRORS
11 GAMES

RHRP Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation) continued his EXST rehab, making his second appearance on the mound in three days, and Mike Olt (on Cubs 60-day DL - fractured right wrist) made his second rehab start in three days.  

Ramirez entered the game in the top of the 4th inning, with one out and a runner at 2nd base. He faced three hitters, striking out Mike Olt (looking) on a 3-2 pitch, before issuing a walk to Jhonny Pereda on a 3-1 pitch and striking out Carlos Jimenez (swinging) on three pitches.  

In 1.1 IP in two Cubs EXST intrasquad games (today and Friday), Ramirez has allowed no runs, two hits and a walk, and struck out four. 

Olt moved back & forth between the two teams, serving as a DH for the Mesa Cubs and playing third-base for Eugene.

He began the game as the Mesa DH, drawing a walk in the top of the 1st, before advancing to 2nd base on a WP and scoring on a Carlos Sepulveda RBI single to right. He batted in the bottom of the 1st inning for Eugene, reaching base on a two-out HBP. He then played third-base for two innings (top of the 2nd & top of the 3rd) for Eugene, before once again serving as a DH for Mesa in the top of the 4th (when he struck out looking against Neil Ramirez). He batted for Eugene again in the bottom of the 4th (line-drive single to right-center, then scored later in the inning on the Varonex Cuevas two-run single), before returning to the field and playing third-base again for two more innings (top of the 5th & top of the 6th). He handled two grounders flawlessly at third, turning both into 5-3 outs.    

After the game, Olt high-fived himself for doing his part to help Eugene rally to win the game, and cursed himself for not doing enough to prevent the Mesa Cubs from losing.   

Here is the abridged box score from today's game: 

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  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 11 min 5 sec ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • crunch 4 hours 20 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs

    link

    Arizona Phil 20 hours 27 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 1 day 3 hours ago view