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It's ex-Cub vs ex-D'back at Salt River Fields

Ramon Hernandez doubled twice, singled, and scored a run and Luis Silverio belted a two-run triple and scored a run, leading the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs on Whirlwind Field. and RHSP Chester Pimentel hurled five innings of shutout ball and combined with two relievers on a four-hitter, as the D'backs edged the Cubs 2-1 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were called by mutual-consent after seven innings of play. 

The Cubs have lost seven of their last ten Cactus League EXST games, and so their record now stands at 16-9-3 after a 13-2-3 start. 

Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) provided the lone EXST Cub offensive highlight of the day, smacking a two-run HR high over the LF fence and into the parking lot (just missed hitting my ride) to put the Cubs on the board in the top of the 1st inning on Whirlwind Field. In eleven Cactus League EXST games (36 PA), Paredes is hitting 323/417/645 (11% K-rate), leads the team in RBI with twelve, and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has hit three). Of the eleven Cubs 2015-16 IFA at Extended Spring Training, Paredes is the one who could skip AZL and go directly to Eugene. The one knock on Paredes is that he is definitely a below-average runner (especially for a middle-infielder), so I would not be surprised if he is moved to 3B at some point in the future. 

The game on Whirlwind Field featured the somewhat unusual (at least for Extended Spring Training) "our former guy versus your former guy" match-up on the mound, as ex-Cub RHP Jeferson Mejia (sent to AZ in the Miguel Montero deal) started for the Diamondbacks, and ex-D'back Jesus Castillo (acquired by the Cubs in the Tony Campana trade) started for the Cubs. Mejia threw 3.2 IP, walked three, hit a batter, allowed two hits (including the two-run HR to Paredes in the first), and struck out two, with a 3/6 GO/AO, and Castillo surrendered four runs in three innings on four hits (two singles and two triples) and two WP, striking out two with a 3/4 GO/AO. 

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

Cubs Bats Batter and Cubs "D" Smothers A's at Riverview Park

Jose Paniagua (RBI triple off the top of the CF Batter's Eye - near HR), Wladimir Galindo (RBI double off the CF Batter's Eye), Alberto Mineo (RBI double into the right-centerfield alley), and Gustavo Polanco (two-run single through the box and into CF) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a six-run 1st inning, and Galindo (RBI double off the RF fence) and Polanco (another two-run single into CF) tallied three more runs in the bottom of the 3rd, as the Cubs scored early and often and cruised to a 13-6 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Wednesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Cubs Overcome One-Hitter to Gain Split with Giants

Mikey Edie (two RBI singles), Beicker Mendoza (RBI double), Zack Bowers (RBI double), and Julio Pena (go-ahead two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to help the Giants rally and defeat the Cubs 7-5 on Field #1, and Marcus Mastrobuoni belted a solo home run with two outs in the top of the 6th to tie the game (and break-up a no-hitter), and what proved to be the winning run scored in the top of the 7th without the benefit of a hit (lead-off walk, WP, GO, and an E-6), as the Cubs (held to just the one hit) edged the Giants 2-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were called by mutual consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Stephen Bruno (RBI single), Chris Pieters (two-run triple), and Abraham Rodriguez (RBI single) collected run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run third inning for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1, and RHSP Melvin Adon hurled four innings of no-run/no-hit ball for the Giants in their loss on Field #2.

RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) was shut-down after waming up (unknown if related to the TJS rehab). 

Cubs Latin American Field Coordinator Dave Keller and Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Jim Brower are in town this week, and both were at today's EXST games in Scottsdale. Keller is helping to decide which of the Cubs Latin American players at EXST will stay in Arizona and play in the AZL and which will be sent to the DSL (the DSL begins play in three weeks), and Brower is evaluating the Cubs pitchers at EXST to determine which ones are candidates to be moved up to a full-season affiliate, which ones will be assigned to Eugene, which ones will remain in Arizona and play in the AZL, and which will be sent to the DSL. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Jeremy Null has been moved-up to Myrtle Beach. Null was left behind at Extended Spring Training because he was slowed a bit with arm fatigue during Minor League Camp and could not get stretched-out in time for the start of the Carolina League regular season, but he got his pitch count up to 75 in an EXST intrasquad game in Mesa last week and so he is ready to roll.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only), followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

Snakes Sweep Cubs at Riverview

Francis Martinez smacked a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run double, Ramon Hernandez belted a two-run double, and Gerard Hernandez drilled a two-run single, leading the Diamondbacks to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs on Field #5, and Fernery Ozuna ripped three singles, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Pedro Marquez hammered a two-run double and a single and scored a run, Chuck Taylor singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, and RHSP Luis Madera and three relievers combined to toss a five-hitter with ten strikeouts, helping the D'backs drub the Cubs 11-1 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Cubs & D'backs Split the Difference at Salt River Fields

Jeff Smith ripped a two-run triple, singled, doubled, and scored two runs, Alex Brown hammered an RBI triple, singled, walked and scored two runs, Fernery Ozuna drilled an RBI double, tripled, walked, and scored a run, Austin Byler singled twice, walked twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, Marty Herum smacked a two-run home run and singled, and RHSP Sam McWilliams and four relievers combined to spin a five-hitter, as the Diamondbacks crushed the Cubs 12-4 on Whirlwind Field, and Wladimir Galindo (two-run single), Tyler Pearson (two-run double), and Jhonny Bethencourt (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 7th and RHSP Pedro Silverio tossed three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the D'backs 7-5 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

The game on Jackrabbit Field was called after eight innings of play. 

Yeiler Peguero singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another and Miguel Amaya belted a two-run double and walked for the Cubs in a losing cause on Whirlwind Field, and Jose Herrera and Gerard Hernandez drilled two-run singles for the D'backs in a losing cause on Jackrabbit Field.  

RHSP Junior Marte had difficulty finding the strike zone in the game on Whilrlwind Field, walking six in just 1.1 IP (he threw only 43% strikes), and surrendering two run-scoring triples when he did throw the ball over the plate.  

RHP (ex-INF) Francisco Garay and RHP (ex-OF) Wander Feliz saw their first Cactus League EXST game action since being converted to pitchers this season (they had previously thrown only "live" BP and in intrasquad games at Riverview Park), throwing an inning a piece in the game on Jackrabbit Field. Garay got through his inning relatively unscathed (although his fastball topped out at only 86 MPH), while Feliz walked the bases loaded and then surrendered a two-run single (like Marte, Feliz could not find home plate, recording only 33% strikes).  

A 17-year old 6'2 Panamanian, Garay hit just 126/190/146 with a whopping 96 K in 220 PA while playing both 3B and SS for the VSL Cubs in his debut pro season last year, and the 18-year old 6'2 Feliz hit 235/375/333 in 202 PA and 54 games (mostly in RF) for the DSL Cubs in 2015 (his rookie season). Garay received a $200K signing bonus in July 2014, so his failure as a position player is especially noteworthy. 

Stephen Bruno saw his first game action since Minor League Camp, playing 2B for four ininngs and going 1-2 (a single and a FC) at the plate on Jackrabbit Field. 

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

Rockies Cruise Past Cubs As Victorino Bids Aloha to Extended Spring Training

Cole Anderson (RBI single), Wilson Soriano (RBI single), and Antony Brito (two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 8th, Brian Carroll belted a solo HR and a two-run single, Daniel Suero drilled an RBI double and a single, and RHSP Michael Zimmerman tossed five innings of two-run ball, leading the Rockies to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

RHSP Jesus Castillo tossed three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts for the Cubs.  

Cubs Use Long-Ball to Crush D'backs at Riverview

Jose Paniagua hammered a three-run HR, Shane Victorino belted a solo home run, Alex Bautista knocked in three runs with an RBI single, a solo home run, and a sacrifice fly, Wladimir Galindo doubled twice, singled, scored a run, and drove-in another, Yeiler Peguero tripled and scored and drilled an RBI single, and Erling Moreno hurled three innings of shutout ball, as the Cubs outslugged the Diamondbacks 12-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Francis Martinez blasted a grand slam home run, Kal Simmons cranked a two run HR, Jazz Chisholm ripped an RBI double and a triple and scored a run, and Jacy Cave doubled twice for the D'backs in a losing cause.  

17-year old RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) struck out the side in a 1-2-3 5th inning for the Cubs, mixing a mid-90's fastball with a plus-curve to blow the D'backs away.  

John Arguello has game notes from Riverview Park at Cubs Den.

link  

And here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Hudson Leads Cubs Past A's at Fitch Park

Bryan Hudson hurled three innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts, Shane Victorino singled twice and walked, and Chris Pieters singled twice and scored two runs, as the Cubs defeated the Athletics 7-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Is That Arrieta?

Dylan Cease fired three innings of shutout ball, Vimael Machin lined a triple off the CF Batter's Eye and scored and Alex Bautista rifled an RBI double into the LF corner to highlight a two-run 7th, and then Bautista ripped an RBI single through the box into CF and Yohan Matos followed with an RBI triple high off the LF screen (near HR) to spark a two-run 9th, as the Cubs plated five runs over the final three innings and defeated the Brewers 6-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") at the Maryvale Baseball Park Complex in Phoenix, AZ.  

Cease threw a higher percentage of strikes (62%) today than in any previous outing (he usually struggles to throw strikes, typically throwing 50-55% strikes), breaking his curve for called strikes time & again, and humming his heater consistently knee-high at 98-99 MPH (per both the Brewers & Cubs guns -- for example, 99-99-99-98-99-99-98-98-99-99-99 in the bottom of the 2nd). He even got a swing & miss on a change-up (the pitch that is his "work-in-progress").

Cease allowed four hits (three singles and a double) over his three-inning stint, but three of the hits were opposite-field grounders, and the fourth was a broken-bat humpback liner looped over the shortstop's head and into short left. 

Cease was so dominating that one of the Brewer pitchers seated behind home plate asked "Is that Arrieta?" as Cease dropped his knee-bending hook to get ahead 0-2 and then blew unhittable gas past the last two Brew Crew hitters for strike-three in the bottom of the 2nd (stranding runners at 2nd & 3rd). It's unusual when the other team's pitchers are mesmerized by an EXST opponent who isn't a major league rehabber.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only) 

King Kwon Helps Cubs Best Rockies in 10 at Sloan Park

Kwang-Min Kwon drilled an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to plate Tyler Pearson with the winning run, lifting the Cubs to a 7-6 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Saturday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

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  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 1 min 32 sec ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when the MJ Bulls cranked up the defensive pressure: "Time to release the Dobermans!"

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 6 min 44 sec ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 10 min 19 sec ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 37 min 5 sec ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 52 min 58 sec ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 1 hour 38 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 6 hours 36 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 6 hours 40 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 10 hours 22 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 10 hours 57 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 11 hours 10 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 12 hours 34 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 35 min ago view