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Olt & Ramirez Ready to Rumble at Riverview

Ho-Young Son tripled, singled twice, stole two bases, scored three runs, and drove-in two more, Kevonte Mitchell belted a bases-loaded triple, singled, and walked, and Joey Martarano drilled a double and an RBI single and scored a run, helping the Eugene Emeralds thrash the Mesa Cubs 10-2 in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation) saw his first game action since April 16th, and Mike Olt (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL - fractured right wrist) saw his first game action since April 20th,

Getting the start for Eugene, Ramirez allowed singles to the first two men he faced (an infield single followed by a line-drive single to right) and then the runners pulled off a double-steal. Ramirez then struck out the next two hitters, one swinging and one looking. He threw 17 pitches (11 strikes), and was pulled from the game when he reached his pre-planned pitch limit.

Mike Olt played 3rd base for three innings for the Mesa Cubs and got four Plate Appearances, one in each of the first four innings. He struck out (swinging) on three pitches against Neil Ramirez in the top of the 1st, was called out on strikes on a 1-2 pitch in the 2nd, drew a walk and scored a run in the 3rd, and grounded out 6-3 in his fourth and final PA in the 4th (with the last three AB coming against LHP Jose Paulino). He did not handle any chances in the field.

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

Martarano & Marcano Lead Emeralds to Victory at Riverview

Joey Martarano and Ricardo Marcano doubled, singled, walked, and scored two runs a piece, leading the Eugene Emeralds to a 4-1 victory over the Mesa Cubs in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game: 

2015 Cubs MLB First Year Player Draft Ticker Tracker


Ian Happ, OF-IF
B/R, 6'0 205, Age 20
U. of Cincinnati 
COMMENT::Has played all three outfield positions as well as 2nd base and 3rd base in his college career... considered to be one of the best college hitters in the 2015 draft, with a compact stroke and plus bat speed from both sides of the plate... hit 369/492/672 with 14 HR & 44 RBI, 18 doubles, 49 walks and 49 strikeouts, and 12 SB (8 CS), in 56 games (252 PA) for the Bearcats in 2015... .all-time Top 3 at University of Cincinnati in OBP and walks... 2015 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year... was ranked among the top prospects in the Cape Cod League (the top summer collegiate "wood-bat" league) by Baseball America the last two summers (ranked #2 by BA in 2013 when he was playing 2nd base, and #6 in 2014 after he moved to the outfield)... has average power and is an above-average baserunner, but has a slightly below-average arm... pro position still up in the air, but it will most-likely be either 2B or LF...  

Donnie Dewees, OF 
L/L, 5'11 180, Age 21 
U. of North Florida 
COMMENT: Took medical redshirt in 2014 so he has two years of college eligibility left... missed most of the 2014 college baseball season with a wrist injury, but then was a Cape Cod League all-star with Hyannis Harbor last summer and that put him back on the prospect map for 2015...  hit 422/483/749 with 18 HR and 68 RBI, twelve doubles and eight triples, 23 SB (3 CS), 30 walks and 16 strikeouts, in 60 games (287 PA) for the Ospreys this season... while he has the speed & range needed to play CF, he also has a below-average arm... played both baseball and football in HS and was a member of National Honor Society...  
2015 SIGNING BONUS POOL #47 SLOT VALUE: $1,292,100



3rd ROUND (82): 
Bryan Hudson, LHP 
L/L, 6'8, 220, Age 18 
Alton HS - Alton, IL 
COMMENT: Played center on HS basketball team... throws upper 80's fastball that touches 92-93... curve ball is his best pitch... a "two-pitch pitcher" at this point... throws strikes... 

D. J. Wilson, OF 
L/L, 5'8 177, Age 18 
Canton South HS - Canton, OH
: Vanderbilt 
: Fast runner and outstanding defender in CF... above-average bat speed & contact skills... 

5th ROUND (143):
Ryan Kellogg,. LHP
R/L, 6'6 230, Age 21
Arizona State
MVP of Canadian Junior National team as a 17-year old in 2012... was selected by Toronto Blue Jays in 12th round of 2012 draft but did not sign... threw a no-hitter as a college freshman... three-time first-team All-Pac 12... gets lots of ground balls with 88-91 MPH two-seam fastball... second-best pitch is change-up... inconsistent breaking ball needs work... went 9-2 with a 3.60 ERA, allowing 121 hits (10 HR) with 23/72 BB/K in 115 IP (16 GS) for Sun Devils in 2015... is majoring in mechanical engineering at ASU...

David Berg, RHP 
R/R, 6'0 190, Age 22 
COMMENT: "Rubber-arm" reliever set single-season college baseball saves record in 2013 and holds career appearances record... throws extreme sidearm/submarine... alternates an 83-85 MPH sinker that he throws with precision and a "Frisbee" slider chase-pitch... a member of Team USA in 2012 & 2013,... Pac-12 "Pitcher of the Year" in 2013... was selected by Texas Rangers in 17th round of 2014 draft but did not sign...  

Craig Brooks, RHP 
R/R, 5'10 180, Age 22  
Catawba College 
COMMENT: Two-way player in college (RHP/3B)... ABCA National Pitcher of the Year in 2015 and SAC Pitcher of the Year in 2014... 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA, 156 OppBA, and 158 strikeouts in 99 IP on the mound for the Indians in 2015... Led NCAA D-2 in strikeouts (158) and strikeouts per nine innings pitched (14.35 K/9) in 2015... 

Preston Morrison, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 185, Age 21 
COMMENT: 2014 Big 12 "Pitcher of the Year"...  11-3, 2.55 ERA, and .223 OppBA, with 93 hits (7 HR) allowed and 21/86 BB/K in 17 GAMES (16 GS) in 113 IP for Horned Frogs in 2015  

Tyler Peitzmeier, LHP 
L/L, 6'2 210, Age 22 
Cal State - Fullerton  
COMMENT: 2015 1st team All-Big West... breaking ball is his strikeout pitch...  CSF closer... 3rd in NCAA D-1 in saves in 2015... went 5-3 with 16 saves and a 2.20 ERA, 52 hits (one HR) allowed, and 11/58 BB/K in 57.1 IP for Titans in 2015...    

10th ROUND
Vimael Machin, SS 
L/R, 511 185, Age 21 
Virginia Commonwealth U. 
COMMENT: Attended the Puerto Baseball Academy prior to enrolling at VCU... has strong contact skills at plate and is a reliable and sure-handed middle-infielder, but he has below-average power, is a below-average runner, and he has a below-average arm that will likely require a move to 2B in pro ball...  hit 369/401/441 with 13 doubles, two triples, three HR & 53 RBI in 65 games (294 PA) for the Rams in 2015... was selected by San Diego Padres in 29th round of 2011 draft but did not sign... 




11th ROUND (323) 
Matt Rose, 1B 
R/R, 6'4 194, Age 20 
Georgia State 
COMMENT: Sun Belt Conference HR champ & first-team All-Sun Belt in 2015... hit 289/391/613 with 16 HR & 49 RBI, 16 doubles, and 31/43 BB/K in 53 games (243 PA) for Panthers in 2015... pre-season All-American... was a two-way player (3B/RHP) first two years at GSU, but elbow UCL sprain necessitated move to 1B this season (no TJS, however)...  has a long swing but is a very patient hitter... 

12th ROUND (353)
P. J. Higgins, C-INF  
R/R, 5;10, 185, Age 22 
Old Dominion U. 
COMMENT: Played 2B-3B-C at ODU but is projected as a catcher at the pro level... Monarchs leading hitter in 2015, putting up a 335/402/452 line with 3 HR & 32 RBI, 19 doubles, and 25/16 BB/K in 56 games (265 PA)... contact hitter with little HR power and an opposite-field line-drive stroke but he can drive ball into gaps... 

13th ROUND (383)
Kyle Twomey, LHP 
L/L, 6'3 170, Age 21 
COMMENT: Selected by Oakland A's in 3rd round of 2012 draft but did not sign... 9-3 with a 2.87 ERA .255 OppBA, allowing 87 hits (only two HR) and 38/68 BB/K in 93.2 IP (16 GS) for Trojans in 2015... lefty workhorse features an upper 80's two-seamer with plus-movement that can touch 91, an above-average change-up, and a below-average curve... Ranked 14th-best prospect in Cape Cod League by Baseball America in 2014... 

14th ROUND 
Jake Kelzer, RHP 
R/R, 6'8 230, Age 21 
Indiana U. 
COMMENT  4-5 with a 3.95 ERA, .237 OppBA, allowing 65 hits (4 HR) and 31/57 BB/K in 73.0 IP and 17 games (11 GS) for Hoosiers in 2015... 

15th ROUND 
Scott Effross, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 197, Age 21 
Indiana U.  
COMMENT: 4-4 with a 2.35 ERA and .217 OppBA, allowing 50 hits (3 HR) and 9/51 BB/K in 61.1 IP and 21 games (7 GS) for Hoosiers in 2015...  

16th ROUND 
Michael Foster
R/R, 5'11, 184, Age 21 
Northeastern University 
COMMENT: Was a member of Canadian Junior National Team as a teenager... also was a champion swimmer... was selected by Houston Astros in 38th round of 2014 draft but did not sign... was a two-way player (RHP/SS) in college but projects as a CF in pro ball... led Huskies in batting average (343), OBP (.426), runs, hits, triples, walks, and SB (10) in 2015... is majoring in chemical engineering at Northeastern...  .. 

17th ROUND 
Casey Bloomquist, RHP 
R/R, 6'3 190, Age 21 
Cal Poly - SLO  
College JR 
COLLEGE: Athletic right-hander... two-way player (RHP/SS) in HS... works with three effective pitches, an 88-90 MPH sinker that touches 92, a slider, and a change-up... 8-2 with a 2.85 ERA and .251 OppBA, allowing 93 hits (no HR) and 29/78 BB/K in 98.0 IP (14 GS) for Mustangs in 2015...

18th ROUND (533)
John Cresto, 3B  
R/R, 6'3 210, Age 18 
Cathedral Catholic HS - San Diego, CA 
COMMENT: Also plays beach volleyball... average arm but below average range as SS... projects as 3B in pro ball... expected to develop HR power as he matures... has volunteered at Outreach for Nazareth Orphanage in Tecate, Mexico...

19th ROUND (563)
Kyle Miller, RHP 
R/R, 6;2 165, Age 21 
Florida Atlantic U. 
COMMENT: 7-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, allowing 92 hits (4 HR) in 82.0 IP, with 18/62 BB/K for the Owls in 2015... 

20th ROUND (593) 
Blake Headley, 3B-1B 
L/R, 6'2 218, Age 22 
U. of Nebraska 
COMMENT: Hit 271/345/425 with 2 HR & 41 RBI, 18 doubles, and 26/39 BB/K in 56 games (256 PA) for Cornhuskers in 2015  

21st ROUND (623) 
Jared Cheek, RHP 
B/R, 5'11 180, Age 22 
U. of Georgia 
COMMENT: Two-way player (RHP/C) in HS... was a pre-season HS All-American in 2011... began college career at Georgia Southern, then transferred to Florence-Darlington Tech, and then to U. of Georgia for junior year... pitched for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in Perfect Game Collegiate League post-2012...  was Bulldogs closer in 2015, going 2-2 with six saves and a 2.34 ERA, .228 OppBA, allowing 29 hits (0 HR) with 16/31 BB/K in 34.2 IP...    

22nd ROUND (653) 
Alex Bautista, OF 
R/R, 6'0 200, Age 21 
Lindsey Wilson College 
COMMENT: NAIA 1st team All-American... Hit 371/466/728 with 19 HR & 72 RBI, 13 doubles, and 27 SB (9 CS) in 60 games (251 PA) for Blue Raiders in 2015... Transferred to LWC from Clarendon College after sophomore year...

23rd ROUND (683)
John Williamson, LHP 
L/L, 6'1 195, Age 22 
Rice University 
COMMENT: Two-way player (LHP/OF) in college... 1-2 with 3.98 ERA and .218 OppBA, allowing 17 hits (0 HR) with 6/20 BB/K in 20.1 IP, and hit 284/352/312 for Owls in 2015....    

24th ROUND (713)
Sutton Whiting, SS 
B/R, 5'9 165, Age 23 
U. of Louisville 
COMMENT: Team captain... hit 302/407/369 with no HR and 27 RBI, 13 doubles, 38/54 BB/K, and 15 SB (7 CS) for Cardinals in 2015... was 5th in NCAA D-1 in SB (37) in 2014... 

25th ROUND (743)
Marcus Mastrobuoni, C 
R/R, 5'11 205, Age 21  
Cal State - Stanislaus 
COMMENT: Transferred to Stanislaus from San Joaquin Delta CC... hit 357/415/522 with 3 HR & 30 RBI and 15 doubles, and threw out 57% of opposing base-stealers in 43 games (186 PA) for the Warriors in 2015... 1st team ABCA/Rawlings NCAA D-2 West Region...  

26th ROUND (773)
Jared Padgett, LHP 
L/L, 6'3 190, Age 18 
Graceville HS - Graceville, FL 
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Mississippi State 
COMMENT: Raw athletic talent who will require time to develop... two-pitch pitcher at this point... best pitch is spike-curve... also throws fastball that sits at 90-91 MPH and touches 94, but he lacks command of the heater... 

27th ROUND (803)
Angelo Amendolare, 2B 
R/R, 5'9 170, Age 22 
Jacksonville University
COMMENT: Team captain... polished contact hitter without much power... hit 366/441/480 with 2 HR & 42 RBI, 16 doubles, and 27/28 BB/K in 56 games (263 PA) for the Dolphins in 2015... transferred to Jacksonville from Seminole State after sophomore year...  played summer ball for Harwich in the Cape Cod League in 2014... 

28th ROUND (833) 
Delvin Zinn, SS 
R/R, 5'10 170, Age 18 
Pontoloc HS - Pontoloc, MS 
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Mississippi State 
COMMENT: Also was the star PG on HS basketball team... 2015 Perfect Game All-American Honorable Mention...  : 

29th ROUND (863)
Ian Rice, C 
R/R, 6'0 200, Age 21 
U. of Houston 
COMMENT Played 3B & catcher in HS... transferred to Houston from Chipola JC...  hit 330 with 11 HR & 51 RBI at Chipola in 2014... was selected by Boston Red Sox in 21st round of 2014 draft but did not sign... hit 
272/352/444 in Cape Cod League in 2014... has an upper-cut swing... draws lots of walks... hit 255/427/364 with 3 HR & 27 RBI, nine doubles, and 46/34 BB in 55 games (222 PA) for Cougars in 2015...   

30th ROUND (893) 
Tyler Payne, C 
R/R, 5'11 200, Age 22 
West Virginia State 
COMMENT Two-way player (RHP/C) in college... hit 354/413/571 with 4 HR & 36 RBI, 24 doubles, and 18/9 BB/K in 50 games (197 PA) and threw out 45% of opposing base-stealers for Yellowjackets in 2015... 

31st ROUND (923)
Daniel Spingola, OF 
L/R, 6'1 180, Age 22 
Georgia Tech 
COMMENT: Was selected by Cubs in 24th round of 2014 draft but did not sign... had disappointing senior year at Tech after hitting .319 as a junior in 2014, putting up a 259/341/346 line with 2 HR & 26 RBI, eight doubles, 17/27 BB/K, and 6 SB (2 CS) in 49 games (232 PA)... suffered a season-ending ankle injury prior to ACC tournament...  

32nd ROUND (953)
Fitz Stadler, RHP 
R/R, 6'8 215, Age 18 
Glenbrook South HS - Glenview, IL 
COMMENT: Was voted by scouts as one of the top prospects in the Area Code Games in 2014,,, features an 86-88 MPH fastball with sink that touches 92, and fastball velocity is expected to increase as he matures... curve shows promise... is working on a change-up... was also the QB on the Glenbrook South football team... 

33rd ROUND (983) 
M. T. Minacci, RHP 
R/R, 6'2 175, Age 20 
COMMENT: Selected by Colorado Rockies in 20th round of 2013 draft but did not sign... enrolled at Florida State after graduating from North Florida Christian HS in Tallahassee, but he did not pitch at FSU... he subsequently transferred to Chipola JC and he pitched there (briefly) in 2014, but he is not presently enrolled in college...  

34th ROUND (1013) 
Cody Hawken, OF 
R/R, 6'5 205, Age 18 
Union HS - Camas, WA 
COMMENT: 2015 Washington Gatorade Player of the Year... hit .465 with 7 HR & 30 RBI through his first 17 games in 2015... 

35th ROUND (1043)
Taylor Jones, 1B 
R/R, 6'7 225, Age 21 
Gonzaga University 
COMMENT: Two-way player (RHP/1B) in HS and first two years at Gonzaga... was rated pre-draft Top 100 prospect by Baseball America in 2012... was rated #1 HS pitching prospect in State of Washington by Baseball Northwest in 2012... First-team All-WCC in 2015... hit 358/414/545 with 5 HR & 30 RBI, eight doubles, and 10/16 BB/K in 44 games (155 PA) for the Bulldogs in 2015...  

36th ROUND (1073)
Alonzo Jones, SS
B/R, 5'9 197, Age 18 
Columbus HS - Columbus, GA 
COMMENT: Rated the fastest player in the 2015 draft... draws comparisons to Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, but Jones is stronger, with HR power from both sides of the plate... shaky defensive infielder, will probably play CF in pro ball... suffered season-ending broken hand (hamate bone) that required surgery in April... 
37th ROUND (1103)
Donnie Cimino, OF 
R/R, 6'2 205, Age 21 
Weslyan University (Connecticut) 
COMMENT: Two-time NESCAC batting champ... hit 362/424/497 with 3 HR & 28 RBI, nine doubles, 14 SB (4 CS), and 15/20 BB/K for the Cardinals in 2015... 

38th ROUND (1133)
Rayne Supple, RHP 
B/R, 6'3 185, Age 17 
Champlain Valley Union HS - Hinesburg, VT  
COMMENT: 2015 Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year... two-way player (RHP/SS) in HS... best pitch is curve ball... upper 80's fastball velocity expected to uptick as he matures... 3-0 with a 0.51 ERA, with eight hits allowed and 40 strikeouts in 27.1 IP through his first twelve games in 2015... First-Team Pre-Season Perfect Game all-Northeast Region  

39th ROUND (1163) 
John Kilichowski, LHP 
L/L, 6'5 217, Age 21 
Vanderbilt University 
COLLEGE SOPH (draft-eligible) 
COMMENT: Moved from Commodore bullpen to the starting rotation in 2015 and projects as a future TOR starter at Vandy... lanky lefty throws strikes, and combines three quality pitches, including an 88-92 MPH fastball, a hard-breaking curve, and a change-up with fade... 3-3 with 2.97 ERA, allowing 49 hits (4 HR) with 13/61 BB/K in 60.1 IP and 14 games (10 GS) in 2015... 

40th ROUND (1193) 
Domenic DeRenzo, C 
R/R, 5'11 185, Age 18 
Central Catholic HS - Pittsburgh, PA  
COMMENT: Does not possess a strong throwing arm, but he is an athletic backstop and is considered one of the top HS receivers in the draft... has plus-bat speed and shows potential as a hitter but is still very raw... 2015 Perfect Game All-American 3rd team... 

Giants Rally to Edge Cubs at Riverview

1B (ex-LHP) Nick Jones reached base four times (two singles and two walks) and drove-in what proved to be the game-winning run, Nathaniel Javier drilled a two-run double, singled, and scored two runs, and Julio Pena singled twice, knocked-in two runs, and scored another, as the Giants rallied from a 7-2 deficit to edge the Cubs 8-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

Eloy Jimenez belted a solo HR, Adonis Paula hammered a two-run double, singled twice, and scored a run, and Shawon Dunston Jr singled twice, stole a base, and scored two runs for the Cubs in a losing cause.  

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

Turner Continues Rehab at Riverview, While Denorfia is Leaving on a Jet Plane

Eloy Jimenez (two-run double), Tyler Alamo (RBI double), and Ricardo Marcano (RBI single) stroked consecutive running-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 6th, and LHSP Justin Steele (Cubs 2014 5th round draft pick - George County HS - Lucedale, MS) tossed 5.1 IP of one-run ball (11/2 GO/FO), leading the Eugene Emeralds to a 4-1 victory over the Mesa Cubs in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

RHP Jacob Turner (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL- right flexor strain) started the game for Mesa and threw 3.2 IP of shutout ball (56 pitches), allowing four hits (all singles) and two walks, with two strikeouts and a 3/4 GO/FO. This will almost certainly be Turner's last EXST rehab outing before he departs for one of the Cubs full-season minor league affiliates, where he will continue his rehab under Article XIX-C.

Turner's fastball velocity sat at 91-92 MPH through his first two innings of work, but then it spiked to 93-94 over his final two frames. He had some command issues at times with his cutter, but his breaking ball was very sharp. 

OF Chris Denorfia (on Cubs 15-day DL - hamstring strain) has definitely completed the Arizona portion of his rehab and is en route to AA Tennessee, where he will spend the weekend facing more advanced pitching than he saw at EXST. Then he will (presumably) re- join the Cubs in Detroit on Tuesday.   

Originally, Denorfia was supposed to remain at Extend0ed Spring Training through Saturday and then spend the first-half of next week at Tennessee, but the timetable was pushed-up when he got back into playing shape sooner than was expected. In six Cactus League EXST games (24 PA), Denorfia hit 400/500/550, reaching base 12 times in the six games (five singles, three doubles, and four walks). He also struck out five times in the 24 Plate Appearances.   

Prior to the intrasquad game, RHRP Neil Ramirez (on Cubs 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation), RHRP Anthony Carter (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL), and LHSP Rob Zastryzny (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL - foot injury) squared-off in a two-inining "sim" game on Field #5. Ramirez threw two innings (25 pitches - 15 in the first inning, then ten in the second), and Carter and Zastryzny threw one inning a piece (15 pitches each).   

Here is the abridged box score from today's intrasquad game, followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

A's Cry Wolff at Fitch Park

Miguel Mercedes belted a two-run home run and Vicmal de la Cruz singled, doubled, and scored two runs, as the Athletics edged the Cubs 3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Adonis Paula slugged a solo HR and Frandy de la Rosa singled and tripled for the Cubs in a losing cause. 

In EXST roster news, IF-OF Varonex Cuevas has been moved-up to AAA Iowa. The 22-year old switch-hitting super-sub was hitting only 204/235/327 with one HR and three doubles, four RBI, six runs scored, two walks, 14 strikeouts, and no SB (two CS), in 18 Cactus League EXST games (51 PA) this season, but he has been hot lately, putting up a 353/421/588 line over his last six Cactus League EXST games (19 PA). He has played 2B-3B-SS-LF at EXST. 

Cuevas was signed by the Cubs as an 18-year old out of the Dominican Republic in May 2011, and spent his first three seasons with the DSL Cubs (240/344/304 in 163 DSL games 2011-13) before arriving in the U. S. last season. He hit 288/416/493 in 24 Cactus League EXST games (89 PA) last season before being assigned to Boise, where he struggled (hitting just 118/211/235 in 12 NWL games). He then was moved down to the AZL Cubs, where he hit 318/368/466.  

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

Cubs Blank Angels at Diablo Park

Jhonny Pereda roped an RBI single, doubled, and walked, Roney Alcala doubled twice and drove-in a run, and LHSP Jose Paulino hurled five innings of shutout ball with an 11/0 GO/FO and combined with three relievers to toss a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs blanked the Angels 4-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 at Diablo Park in Tempe, AZ.

Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with a strained hamstring) continued his EXST rehab today, playing left field for all nine innings and getting four AB. He drilled line-drive singles in each of his first two PA, then walked his third time up, and flied out to the warning track in left in his fourth and final AB, Denorfia was running the bases at full-tilt and he made a nice running catch in left (although he had to wait until Jose Paulino left the game to do it, because Paulino was a "ground-ball machine" today).

The plan at present is for Denorfia to remain at Extended Spring Training through Saturday, but actually he looks to be 100% right now.

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

Denorfia and Dunston Help Cubs Salvage Tie at Riverview

Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - strained hamstring) belted an RBI double, walked, and scored a run and Shawon Dunston Jr (on Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7-day DL - right shoulder injury) doubled, stole two bases, and scored a run for the Cubs, and Jesus Lopez drilled a two-run single, doubled, and walked and Vicmal de la Cruz singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Athletics, as the Cubs and A's played to a 5-5 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

RHP Pierce Johnson (on AA Tennessee7-day DL with a lat strain) continued his EXST rehab, working three innings (37 pitches) for the Cubs and allowing two runs on four hits (two doubles and two singles) and no walks, with three strikeouts (all three swinging) and a 4/2 GO/FO. Johnson had excellent command today and threw a high percentage of strikes (71%). His fastball velocity sat consistenty at 92 MPH (max), with only an occasional drop-off to 91.  

18-year old Colombian RHP Erling Moreno (2014 TJS) made his second game appearance in a week. The 6'3 righthander allowed two hits (a single and a double) in 1.2 IP, and successfully escaped a "runner at 3rd and out out" situation. Moreno's fastball velocity sat at 89-90 (down a couple of MPH from last week), but he displayed outstanding command of all of his pitches, most noteworthy an advanced change-up (unusual for an 18-year old) 

Cubs 2014 5th round draft pick RHP Dylan Cease (2014 TJS) also made his second game appearance in a week (he faced the A's at Fitch Park last Monday), but he did not fare as well as Moreno. While he only allowed one run, he also allowed six of the ten batters he faced to reach base (three singles and three walks, plus a WP) in just 1.1 IP. Cease's fastball velocity was at 95-97 MPH in both innings, down a couple of ticks from his outing last week when he touched 99.

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game, RHP Marcelo Carreno (post-2013 shoulder surgery) and RHP Trey Masek (2014 shoulder surgery) squared-off in a two-iining "sim" game on Field #3.   

Here is the abridged box score from today's Cactus League EXST game (Cubs players only): 

Turner Uses Hidden Ball Trick to His Advantage

Eloy Jimenez drilled an RBI double and an RBI single, Erick Castillo collected four singles, scored a run, and drove-in another, and RHP Jacob Turner hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball for the Cubs, and Fernando Pujadas ripped two doubles and knocked-in two runs for the Giants, as the two teams played to a 4-4 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale, AZ.     

Jacob Turner got the start for the Cubs and was masterful, working three shutout innings (37 pitches - 29 strikes) and easily retiring the first eight men he faced (3-U, 4-3, 6-3, K, F-8, F-8, K, 3-1) on just 32 pitches, before surrendering a two-out bouncing double down the LF line (just out of the reach of a diving Adonis Paula) in the bottom of the 3rd inning. He then got the final out on a 3-1 GO to complete his outing.

Turner is on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL (retro to 3/27) with a right elbow flexor strain, and today was his first game action since being shut-down on March 10th during MLB Spring Training.  

As is the practice when a major league pitcher throws in a minor league game, Turner was allowed to use the official "Major League": baseball (which has a different feel than the official "Minor League" ball), and his club (in this case the Cubs) is responsible for supplying the Major League balls to the home plate umpire each half-inning. Then when the big leaguer finishes his inning, the Major League baseballs are sent back to the bench, and the Minor League balls are returned to the home plate umpire.

The Minor League ball that was in play when the last out of the top of the 2nd was recorded was inadvertently left on top of the mound after the conclusion of the half-inning, and when Turner got out to the mound and saw it, he picked it up, looked at it for second, and then disdainfully tossed it out of play (usually the umpires job) while a Major League baseball suddenly appeared in his glove at the exact same time (a variation on what I believe magicians call the "vanishing elephant illusion"). It was absolutely amazing (or I was in a drooling stupor, not sure which). Then Turner made the Giants disappear.

Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring strain) continued his rehab in the game, playing LF for five innings and batting four times. He grounded out sharply 5-3 on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the 1st, hammered an opposite-field double off the RF fence on the first pitch he saw his second time up, roped a line-drive single over the second-baseman's head into right-field on a 2-1 pitch in his 3rd AB, and struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 pitch in his final Plate Appearance of the day.

Denorfia has five hits (three singles and two doubles), two walks, and four strikeouts in four games (16 PA) this week, and appears to be pretty close to completing the Extended Spring Training portion of his rehab. I suppose he could go directly back to Chicago, but I suspect he will probably spend at least a day or two at AA Tennessee or AAA Iowa to face more-advanced pitching before he is reinstated from the DL.

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


Recent comments

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  • From Keith Law:

  • This from a Kiley McDaniel chat a couple weeks ago...

    "Comment From Wrenzie
    Who has more ceiling between Yusniel Diaz or Eddy Julio Martinez?

    Kiley McDaniel: Martinez. I have Eddy (20 years old) as a 65 runner with a 55 arm and 50 raw power that profiles as an everyday CF that could be above average depending on if the bat is a 45 or a 55. I have Yusniel (19) as a 60 runner with a 55 arm and 40 raw power that can be an everyday guy if he hits enough (50 or 55)."

  • "Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
    Arizona Phil 7 hours 23 min ago"

  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.