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Eloy, Happ, Freitas, and Carhart Go Yard at Minor League Camp

Eloy Jimenez belted a two-run 1st inning home run, P. J. Higgins collected four hits (three singles and a triple), scored a run, and drove-in another, and SP Preston Morrison tossed five innings of shutout ball, leading the South Bend Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Field #4, and David Freitas clubbed a two-run 1st inning HR (his second round-tripper in two days) and Billy McKinney drilled a tie-breaking RBI single in the 6th, as the Tennessee Smokies edged the Iowa Cubs 3-2 on Field #6, in Minor League Camp game action Friday morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Ian Happ smacked a solo HR for Myrtle Beach in a losing cause on Field #4, and Ben Carhart hammered a solo home run in a losing cause for Iowa on Field #6. (Carhart was temporarily moved-up to the Iowa squad from Tennessee because the three catchers assigned to Iowa are in Las Vegas with the parent club). 

The game on Field #6 was called after seven innings of play. 

There were a number of roster moves made at Minor League Camp prior to the two games, with the Opening Day rosters of the four full-season clubs (particularly regarding position players and starting pitchers) becoming a bit more clear. There are still a few more moves/cuts to be made, however, especially involving the AAA Iowa and Hi-A Myrtle Beach bullpens and the Iowa outfield, and it's always possible that some of the assignments could be changed at the last minute due to injuries or other factors.     

Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters
Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart 
(both updated daily) 

Also, 18 players who are assigned to the Cubs Dominican Acdemy but who were not invited to Minor League Camp will be attending Extended Spring Training and will be arriving over the next several days. The first three (LHP Pablo Ochoa, LHP Eugenio Palma, and RHP Andri Rondon) arrived today. Ochoa and A. Rondon attended Instructs in Mesa last Fall, but Palma is making his U. S. debut. 

Here are the box scores from the two games: 

Lackey Sharp at Riverview

Eloy Jimenez knocked-in two runs with a 1st inning RBI double and a 9th inning RBI single, Andruw Monasterio ripped a single and an RBI double, scored a run, and stole a base, and Donnie Dewees tripled, walked, and scored, helping the South Bend Cubs edge the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5-4 on Field #4, and David Freitas singled twice, walked, and smacked a two-run HR, Matt Murton drilled a two-run double, singled twice, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, Juan Carlos Perez tripled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Jeimer Candelario walked four times, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the Tennessee Smokies on Field #6, in Minor League Camp doubleheader action Thursday morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

RHSP John Lackey was left behind in Mesa when the Cubs departed for Las Vegas, and so he got the start for Iowa on Field #6. The big right-hander worked seven innings (100 pitches - 62 strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) and a walk, with eight strikeouts (five swinging), and a 7/5 GO/AO. At one point he retired eleven in a row.

Miguel Montero served as Lackey's catcher, and went 0-3 at the plate (a FO, an inning-ending GIDP, and a K-swinging on what was a nine-pitch AB) and 0-3 CS (with one throwing error), but he did pick a runner off 2nd base.  

Billy McKinney hammered a double and a triple in a losing cause for Tennessee.

RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng had a rough outing for the Smokies on Field #6, allowing ten hits (including two triples and a double) and four walks in 4.1 IP. 

The game on Field #4 was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

Because the MLB Cubs took a number of minor leaguers with them to Vegas, several players were temporariliy moved-up from a lower level group to augment the rosters of the four squads playing at Riverview.

Here are the box scores from the two games: 

2016 Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters (Updated)

4/4 UPDATE: RHP Andury Acevedo, C-1B Taylor Davis, INF Ryan Dent, and RHP Starling Peralta to AA Tennessee from AAA Iowa, RHP Cole Brocker and OF-1B Kelly Dugan to EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING from AA Tennessee, RHP James Norwood and RHP Michael Wagner to South Bend from Myrtle Beach, RHP Pedro Araujo, RHP Jared Cheek, RHP Kyle Miller, LHP Jose Paulino, LHP Tyler Peitzmeier, and RHP Alexander Santana to EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING from South Bend, C Erick Castillo to Myrtle Beach from EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING, and 3B Adonis Paula to South Bend from, EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING.

Also, SS Aramis Ademan, OF Jose Gonzalez, SS Rafael Narea, SS Yonathan Perlaza, OF Ruben Reyes, OF Abraham Rodriguez, and OF Jonathan Sierra have arrived at Minor League Camp from the Cubs Dominican Academy. 

4/3 UPDATE: 
OF Bijan Rademacher moves-down from AAA Iowa to AA Tennessee, and 3B Jesse Hodges, RHRP Daniel Lewis, RHP Tommy Nance, RHSP Jeremy Null, and C Tyler Pearson move-down from Myrtle Beach to EXST. NOTE: Tyler Pearson and Alberto Mineo MIGHT serve as player-coaches (Pearson with Tennesse and Mineo with South Bend - TBA).  

Also, 2B Jhonny Bethencourt, RHP Hector Garcia, RHP Jose Leidenz, 3B Rafael Mejia, and SS Yeiler Peguero have arrived at Minor League Camp from the Cubs Dominican Academy.   

4/1 UPDATE
: 18 players who are assigned to the Cubs Dominican Academy but who were not invited to Minor League Camp will be attending Extended Spring Training and will be arriving over the next several days. The first three (LHP Pablo Ochoa, LHP Eugenio Palma, and RHP Andri Rondon) arrived today. Ochoa and A. Rondon attended Instructs in Mesa last Fall, but Palma is making his U. S. debut.

3/31 UPDATE
The Cubs released ten players from Minor League Camp yesterday, including two one-time 5th round draft picks:  

Kalish Pinch Shot Perfect Elixir for I-Cubs at Fitch

Ryan Kalish launched a lead-off moon-shot pinch-hit home run over the right-centerfield fence and Bijan Rademacher and Willson Contreras contributed RBI singles later in the inning, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) scored three in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and went on to defeat the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) 4-2 on Field #4, and RHSP Daniel Mengden hurled five innings of one-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts, Bret Vertigan tripled, singled, walked, and scored three runs, and James Harris drove-in three runs with an RBI double and a two-run single, helping the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) blank the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 6-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Tuesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Willson Contreras collected three hits, scored a run, knocked-in a run, and stole a base, Albert Almora Jr singled, doubled, and walked, and SP Drew Rucinski retired 12 of the first 14 men he faced for the I-Cubs on Field #4. 

The game on Field #4 was called after 8-1/2 innings of play.

RHSP Brad Markey had a rough outing for Tennessee on Field #3, allowing five runs on seven hits (five singles, a double, and a triple) and two walks (and no strikeouts) in 4.1 IP. 

The Smokies were playing short-handed (four of their guys were assigned to the MLB game at Sloan Park), so four players (OF Luis Ayala, SS Andruw Monasterio, 1B Jose Paniagua, and 2B Edgar Rondon) were moved-up to the Tennessee squad for the day from Eugene/Mesa (the Extended Spring Training group).  

Ex-Cub LHP Felix Doubront (currently the Oakland A's #5 starter) came down to Fitch Park from HoHoKam and got the start for Nashville. He worked 3.2 IP and did not allow a run, but he surrendered three hits and three walks along the way, and he needed 81 pitches (of which only 54% were strikes) to record the eleven outs.    

John Arguello (Cubs Den) was at Riverview Park for the Lo-A/Hi-A games, and he has game notes and some great pics from there: 

link 

And here are the abridged box scores from the AA/AAA games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only): 

Cubs Release Three, But Not So Fast...

The Cubs released LHRP Manny Parra, INF Munenori Kawasaki, and OF Shane Victorino today, but hope to re-sign all three players. The trio were signed to minor league contracts during the off-season and were in big league camp as NRI (Non-Roster Invitees). 

Here's why this happened today... 

Cain Good, but Giants UnAbel to defeat Mota-vated Pelicans in Scottsdale

Ian Rice drilled a bases-loaded two-run single to spark a three-run 7th and SP Trevor Clifton retired ten of the first eleven men he faced, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edge the San Jose Giants (Hi-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) 5-4 on Field #2, and Byron Murray hammered an RBI triple and a single and scored two runs and Lucius Fox (2015 IFA - Bahamas - $6M signing bonus) smacked an RBI double, walked, and scored a run, leading the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants Lo-A affiliate) to an 8-3 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs), in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Monday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.    

Skyler Ewing and Dillon Dobson each belted a two-run home run in a losing cause for San Jose on Field #2, and Eddy Julio Martinez (2015 IFA - Cuba - $3M signing bonus) singled twice, walked, and drove-in a run in a losing cause for the Cubs on Field #1. (EJM has served mostly as the South Bend DH in games so far, but he played RF today). 

San Francisco Giants RHSP Matt Cain made the start for San Jose on Field #2 and worked 5.1 IP (92 pitches - 66 strikes), allowing one run on four hits (all four singles) and a walk with five strikeouts and a 5/6 GO/AO.  

In Minor League Camp roster news, long-time Cubs minor league INF Jonathan Mota has retired as a player, although he has been working exclusively as a coach with the Myrtle Beach (Hi-A) squad since Minor League Camp opened earlier this month, and will continue to do so going forward.

Now 28, Mota was originally signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old shortstop out of Venezuela in 2003, and over the years he has played in more than 1,000 minor league games for the Cubs, playing at every level (rookie ball through AAA) and every position, but he never made it to The Show. (The closest he got was an NRI to Spring Training with the big club in 2012). He was a minor league 6YFA in each of the last six off-seasons, but each time he re-signed with the Cubs. 

Mota was the ultimate "organizational player," a quiet, loyal guy who did whatever he was asked to do without bitching or moaning, moving from one level to another when needed (often without much advance notice), mentoring his younger teammates, and when not needed as a player, he would serve as a 1st base coach, bullpen catcher, batting practice pitcher, and probably the bus driver, as well, all the while staying in playing shape in case he was called to action. He volunteered for the Catcher Conversion Program at Extended Spring Training in 2010 to increase his versatility, and he even had the opportunity to pitch (in a pinch) in seven games over the course of his long career to help save his club's bullpen.

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

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

Smokies Crack Nuts with Bombs at Riverview

Jake Hannemann crushed a three-run homer, Juan Paniagua and Matt Rose each smacked a two-run HR, Victor Caratini drilled an RBI single, doubled, walked, and scored a run, Ryan Dent singled twice, walked, scored twice, and collected an RBI, Chesny Young drove-in three runs with a FC and a two-run single, and SP Preston Morrison hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) crushed the Modesto Nuts (Colorado Rockies Hi-A affiliate) 13-5 on Field #6, and Sam Hilliard tripled, singled twice, and scored two runs, Brian Mundell slugged a solo HR and singled and scored, and Jonathan Piron belted an RBI triple, singled, walked, and stole a base, helping the Asheville Tourists (Rockies low-A affiliate) edge the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 9-8 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Sunday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

P. J. Higgins blasted a two-run HR for South Bend in a losing cause on Field #3, and Ryan Stephens contributed a solo HR and a two-run single in a losing cause for Modesto on Field #6. 

LHSP Justin Steele had a rough outing for South Bend, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits (including two doubles, a triple, and a home run) and a walk in five innings of work. 

As usual, several players were temporarily moved-up from a lower level just for the day. 

The game on Field #6 was unusual in that the Cubs AA squad played the Rockies Hi-A squad. Normally AAA plays AAA, AA plays AA, etc, but the members of last season's Myrtle Beach Pelicans received their 2015 Carolina League Champion rings in a ceremony prior to the games, and because most of the 2015 Pelicans are presently assigned to the AA Tennessee squad at Minor League Camp, the Cubs Hi-A group was dispatched to Salt River Fields to play the Rockies AA squad in place of the Smokies, leaving the Cubs AA group behind at Riverview to collect their rings and destroy the Rockies Hi-A group.

John Arguello at Cubs Den has some great pictures and game reports from Saturday's games at Riveview Park. 

link  

And here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Riverview on Sunday (Cubs players only): 

 

Andreoli & Kalish Long Balls Carry Iowa Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park

Employing  the long ball (a Ryan Kalish three-run bomb and a John Andreoli solo blast) and six innings of one-run ball from 2015 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Ryan Williams, the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) defeated the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) 6-2 on Field #4, while on Field #3, Michael Soto, John Nogowski, and J. P. Sportman drilled consecutive RBI singles to highlight a three-run 7th, lifting the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) to a 6-3 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate), in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Saturday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.  

In addition to his HR, Andreoli also walked twice and stole a base.

The I-Cubs bullpen (Peralta-Edwards-Pena) retired the last seven Sounds hitters, striking out six of them.

Iowa 1B Dan Vogelbach left the game on Field #4 after being hit on the foot with a pitch. 

Gioskar Amaya reached base four times (three walks and a single), Mike O'Neill collected three singles, and Mark Zagunis drove-in all three Tennessee runs (two-run double and a bases loaded HBP) in a losing cause on Field #3. 

Smokies SP Jonathan Martinez and reliever (ex-starter) Daury Torrez had rough outings on Field #3, with Martinez allowing five hits (two doubles and three singles) and four walks in just 3.2 IP (78 pitches - only 60% strikes), and Torrez surrendering three runs on five hits in just one inning of work.  

In Minor League Camp roster news, the Cubs have released RHRP Matt Brazis (acquired from SEA for OF Justin Ruggiano post-2014), 1B Matt Clark (ex-MIL), OF Donnie Cimino (2015 37th round draft pick - Weslyan U.), LHRP Heath Dwyer (2015 NDFA - VCU), LHRP Nick Greenwood (ex-STL), C-INF Jordan Hankins (2013 11th round draft pick - Austin Peay), RHRP Santiago Rodriguez (2013 IFA - Dominican Republic), RHSP Austyn Willis (2014 18th round draft pick - Barstow HS - Barstow, CA), and LHRP Sam Wilson (2013 8th round draft pick - Lamar CC). 

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

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

Four-Run 7th Lifts South Bend Cubs Past Bees at Diablo

P. J. Higgins grounded an RBI single through the 3.5 hole to plate the first run of the inning and Ho-Young Son followed with a bases-loaded triple into the left-centerfield gap to score three more, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied for four runs in the 7th and defeated the Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels Lo-A affiliate) 7-4 on Field #4, and Brendan Sanger and Hutton Moyer belted back-to-back RBI triples to highlight a three-run 3rd and RHSP Tyler Carpenter hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Hi-A affiliate) defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 5-3 on Field #7, in Cactus League Minor League game action Friday afternoon at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ.   

Besides the four-run rally in the 7th, Carlos Sepulveda doubled twice and scored a run and Kevonte Mitchell belted an RBI triple, walked, and cut-down a baserunner 9-5 attempting to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to right for the SB-Cubs. 

RHSP Jake Stinnett had a rough outing for Myrtle Beach, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits (including the back-to-back RBI triples), a walk, and a WP in 4.0 IP (61 pitches).

Among the more-notable Cub position player prospects playing in the two games, Ian Happ played 2B and went 0-2 with two walks, a strikeout (swinging), and a 1-3 bounce-out (slamming his bat into the ground in frustration before starting for 1st) and an E-4 fielding miscue (which led to an unearned run scoring), Donnie Dewees served as a DH and reached base three times (two singles and a walk), Eddy Julio Martinez also served as a DH and drilled a ringing RBI double (near HR) off the LF wall, and Eloy Jimenez played LF and went 1-3 (double into to the LF corner, walk, and a run scored).   

Angelo Amendolare, Vimael Machin, Alberto Mineo, Andruw Monasterio, and Ho-Young Son were moved-up from the Eugene/Mesa group for the day to augment the South Bend and Myrtle Beach rosters.

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

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

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  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 12 min 50 sec ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 43 min 40 sec ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 3 hours 47 sec ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    1-3
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 12 hours 20 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 12 hours 31 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 14 hours 11 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 14 hours 18 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 14 hours 51 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 14 hours 54 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 18 hours 16 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 18 hours 38 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 18 hours 39 min ago view
  • 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 19 hours 4 min ago view