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Javy Baez Bats Eight Times in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Doubleheader

Justin Steele tossed three innings of one-hit shutout ball and Eloy Jimenez drove-in all three Cub runs with a two-run single and a sacrfice fly, as the Cubs and Giants played to a 3-3 tie on Field #1, and Dylan Davis belted a solo home run, a double, and an RBI single, and scored three runs, Steven Neff (ex-LHP) collected a single, a double, and a two-run triple, and Julio Pena slugged a solo home run, helping the Giants to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.. 

The game on Field #1 was called in the 8th inning with the score tied, and the game on Field #2 was called after six innings of play. 

Danny Gutierrez drilled three hits (two singles and a double) in the game on Field #2, but he also committed two errors in LF, one by having a line-drive clank off his glove for a two-base error, and the other when he allowed a bouncing single to hop past him for a three-base error (the batter was able to circle the bases and score)  

Javy Baez played in the game on Field #1, batting eight times (once in each inning), and playing second-base for four innings before moving over to shortstop. He went 1-7 for the day... #1) roped a line drive single to left on a 1-0 pitch in the top of the first inning before scoring the Cubs first run of the day on a sacrifice fly; #2) grounded out sharply 5-3 on an 0-1 pitch in the top of the second inning; #3) struck out swinging on a 1-2 breaking ball in the third; #4) reached base after being hit by a pitch (upper left arm) on an 0-1 count and then scored a run in the fourth; #5) struck out swinging on a 2-2 breaking ball in the fifth; #6) lined out to right on a 1-1 pitch in the top of the sixth; #7) reached base on a throwing error by the Giants shortstop on a 2-2 pitch in the seventh, and #8) struck out looking on a 2-2 breaking ball in the top of the eighth. He handled four chances in the field flawlessly. 

In three Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (15 Plate Appearances) since returning from Bereavement Leave, Baez is 3-14 with two singles and a double, six strikeouts (five swinging), no walks, and one HBP. 

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only): 

Javy Baez Goes 2-5 as Cubs Rally to Edge Angels

Kevin Encarnacion (RBI triple), Tyler Alamo (RBI single), and Jenner Emeterio (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to a four-run seventh, as the Cubs rallied to overcome a 4-2 deficit and then hung-on to edge the Angels 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Jose Paniagua belted a solo home run and Carson Sands tossed three innings of shutout ball to aid the Cub cause, and Travis Adair doubled twice, walked, and scored two runs, and Trevor Gretzky knocked-in two runs with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly for the Angels. 

Javy Baez played second-base for five innings and batted five times for the Cubs. He struck out (swinging) on three pitches his first time up, laced a line-drive double into the LF corner on a 2-0 pitch and later scored in his second AB, struck out (looking) on three pitches his third time up, roped a line-drive single to center on an 0-1 pitch in his fouth Plate Appearance, and flied out to deep RF on a 3-0 pitch in his final AB. He handled four chances flawlessly in the field.  

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game, RHPs Dylan Cease and Erling Moreno squared-off in a two inning intrasquad "sim" game on Field #4. Both pitchers are rehabbing from a 2014 elbow UCL transplant (Tommy John surgery). 

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

Javy Baez Back in Action at Extended Spring Training

Renato Nunez drilled an RBI double, walked twice, and scored a run, Iolana Akau ripped an RBI double and a single, Nate Freiman (on Oakland A's MLB 15-day DL with a lower back strain) reached base three times (walk, single, and HBP), and Matt Stalcup tossed four innings of shutout ball, leading the Athletics to a 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park in Mesa.

Frandy de la Rosa pulled a solo HR over the RF fence to account for the lone Cub run.  

Javy Baez was a DH and batted twice in the game, flying out to deep left-center his first time up, and striking out (swinging) on a 1-2 breaking ball his second time up. Baez is in the process of getting back into game shape at Extended Spring Training after missing the first two weeks of the regular season following the death of his sister.     

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game on Field #6, RHPs Jordan Brink, Jae-Hoon Ha (ex-OF), Scott Frazier, and Jose Zapata threw one inning a piece in a two-inning intrasquad "sim" game on Field #4. Baez "warmed-up" for the Cactus League EXST game by getting an AB in the "sim" game, rifling a double down the LF line off Brink. 

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

Rockies Belt Malave Offerings Around Salt River Fields & Beeler to I-Cubs

Cesar Galvez drilled a two-run double and singled, Luis Castro belted a solo home run and singled, Wesley Jones ripped two RBI singles, and Max George hammered an RBI triple, walked twice, and scored a run, as the Rockies cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Frandy de la Rosa doubled twice and scored two runs for the Cubs. 

RHP (ex-C) Mark Malave made his second Cactus League Extended Spring Training game appearance and his first start, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits (four singles, a double, and a home run) and a walk (and a WP) in just 1.1 IP.

Malave is one of three former position players being converted to pitcher by the Cubs at Extended Spring Training, with RHP (ex-OF) Jae-Hoon Ha and LHP (ex-OF) Ariel Ovando being the other two.

Ha has yet to pitch in a Cactus League EXST game, but he did throw in an intrasquad game a couple of days ago and allowed a run on three hits (all singles) with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work, and Ovando (selected by the Cubs from the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft) has yet to throw in a game. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) has completed his Extended Spring Training work and has been assigned to the AAA Iowa Cubs on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment. He did not pitch in any Cactus League MLB Spring Training games last month, and just recently began throwing in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.

Beeler threw poorly in his first EXST game on 4/15, but his fastball velocity upticked to 94 MPH and touched 95 in his second EXST start last Monday as he got his pitch count up to near 70.

DALLAS BEELER - 2015 EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING GAMES:
1. WED 4/15: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (39 strikes)
2. MON 4/20: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/5 GO/FO, 69 pitches (43 strikes)
TOTAL: 7.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 7/9 GO/FO, 63% strikes, 7.36 ERA, 2.45 WHIP

Beeler will likely be optioned to Iowa when his rehab assignment is completed (which could be up to 30 days from now), but keeping him on the DL and sending him to Iowa on a Minor League Rehab Assignment rather than reinstating him from the DL now and optioning him to Iowa immediately will give the Cubs the option to transfer Beeler to the 60-day DL if a 40-man roster slot is needed sometime over the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, RHP Justin Grimm (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right forearm inflammation since April 2nd) threw two bullpen sessions this week, and so he will probably begin pitching in Extended Spring Training games early next week.

I saw RHP Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation since 4/16) playing catch on the Agility Field on Thursday, but he has not started throwing bullpens yet, so he is a few days behind Grimm. 

Because getting "stretched-out" and building up pitch counts isn't that important for relief pitchers, Grimm and Ramirez will not need a whole lot of rehab games to get back into MLB game shape. The main thing to be concerned about with Grimm and Ramirez are medical setbacks during the course of the rehab that could send the pitcher back to "square-one" (or worse).  

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

April Showers Bring 9th Inning Luck to Brew Crew

Carlos Belonis drilled a one-out game-tying RBI double and Milan Post followed with a game-winning walk-off sacrifice fly, as the Brewers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 9th to edge the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ.      

Carlos Jimenez belted a two-out RBI double in the top of the 8th to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead, as the game was scoreless through seven innings of play. 

RHP Joshua Torres got the start for the Brew Crew and tossed four innings of shutout ball, and five Cubs pitchers had pieced-together a combined two-hit shutout through eight innings, before the 9th inning revoltin' development.    

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Ben Wells has been moved up to Hi-A Myrtle Beach. 

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

Cubs Turn Rockies to Stone at Riverview

Carlos Sepulveda tripled and singled and scored two runs, Roney Alcala belted an RBI double, singled, and scored a run, Miguel Rico drilled a two-run double, and five pitchers combined to toss a four-hitter, helping the Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Denzel Richardson and Jordan Ribera stroked solo home runs to account for two of the Rockies four runs.  

The Cubs had several baserunning gaffes in the game. Slow-footed catcher Tyler Pearson was gunned-down 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double with no outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Kevin Encarnacion was doubled-up at 1st base on a pop out to the second-baseman in the bottom of the 6th (Rockies shortstop faked like he was fielding a ground ball and Encarnacion fell for it), and Roney Alcala was called out on an appeal play at 3rd base in the bottom of the 7th inning when the home plate umpire ruled that Alcala had left 3rd too early on what should have been a sacrifice fly (it was really obvious, too), taking what should have been a third RBI away from Miguel Rico. 

So I guess we might see a special emphasis on baserunning drills tomorrow. 

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

Lew Wolff Knows Cubs CAN Go Home Again

Robero Caro (opposite-field line-drive RBI double into left-centerfield alley), Kevonte Mitchell (two-out RBI single chopped over 3rd baseman's head and into LF), Bryant Flete (two-out RBI bloop double that fell between three defenders in short rightfield), Eloy Jimenez (two-out RBI ground single pulled through the 5.5 hole), and Tyler Alamo (two-out two-run double off CF "Batter's Eye") collected run-scoring hits in a seven-run top of the 7th, as the Cubs rallied from a 5-1 deficit to beat the Athletics 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Center Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Jhonny Rodriguez drove-in three of the A's runs, with a two-run HR in the bottom of the 1st inning and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 3rd.

The Defensive Play of the Game was (once again) turned-in by speedy Cubs outfielder Roberto Caro, who made a spectacular sliding catch along the right-field line and into foul territory to end the bottom of the 7th inning.  

This was the first visit by the Cubs Extended Spring Training contingent to their former minor league HQ at Fitch Park, which is now home to the A's minor leagues. The clubhouse and batting cages have been expanded (and look great), and new bullpens have been added to the four fields.  

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

Cubs Sweep Giants & Beeler Continues Rehab at Riverview Park

Roney Alcala (RBI single), Jhonny Pereda (RBI double), and Jose Paniagua (RBI double) drilled run-scoring hits to highlight a three-run 2nd inning and Jose Paulino and three relievers combined to hurl a two-hitter, leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Giants on Field #5, and Jordan Hankins ripped a double and an RBI single and Frandy de la Rosa doubled, singled, and scored a run, as the Cubs edged the Giants 3-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.   

The Cubs scored three runs on six hits (four singles, a double, and a triple), two walks, and a HBP off veteran RHP Kevin Correia in four innings on Field #6.  

On the Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, RHP Dallas Beeler got a rehab start for the Cubs on Field #6, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits and two walks in 4.1 IP (69 pitches). He struck out two (both swinging) with a 6/5 GO/FO.

Beeler looked better today than he did in his first EXST rehab start versus the Rockies at Salt River Fields last Wednesday when he allowed four runs on eight hits (five singles, a double, a triple, and a two-run home run) in just three innings of work (61 pitches), retiring the first seven Giants he faced (K, 4-3, F-7, 3-1, 5-3, F-9, P-6) before allowing a walk and a single in the top of the 3rd, and two singles, a double, and a walk in the top of the 4th. His fastball velocity sat consistently at 93-94 MPH and topped out at 95, but he had trouble commanding his secondary stuff (breaking ball and change-up) the second time through the batting order.

It is unknown at this time if Beeler will get another rehab start in Arizona, or if he will make his next start at AAA Iowa.

In EXST Cubs roster news, Cubs 2013 15th round draft pick RHRP Michael Wagner has been moved up to AAA Iowa. Wagner was the closer at the University of San Diego prior to getting drafted and signing with the Cubs in 2013, and he was a teammate of Kris Bryant at USD.

Also, 20-year old Dominican RHP Santiago Rodriguez and 17-year old Venezuelan switch-hitting SS Andruw Monasterio have been added to the Cubs Extended Spring Training roster. Rodriguez was at Instructs last fall, while Monasterio will be making his U. S. debut. 

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only) 

Touki & Company Easily Handle Cubs at Riverview

Diamondbacks starting pitchers Touki Toussaint (Arizona 2014 1st round draft pick) and Carlos Hernandez combined to toss six innings of two-hit shutout ball, Gerard Hernandez drove-in three runs with an RBI double, a solo HR, and an RBI GO, and Ismael Pena clubbed a triple and a single, helping the D'backs sweep a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

The Diamondbacks won the game played on Field #1 by a score of 4-2, and they won the game played on Field #2 by a score of 9-2.  

Kevonte Mitchell singled twice, walked, stole two bases, and scored a run, and Ricardo Marcano ripped a two-run triple for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1, and RHP Hector Perez was rocked to the tune of seven runs on eight hits (including five doubles) and a walk in just 1.2 IP on Field #2.  

In EXST Cubs roster news, catcher Taylor Teagarden (was on Iowa Cubs 7-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) has completed his Extended Spring Training rehab and has rejoined the I-Cubs. 

In addition, RHRP David Garner (Cubs 2013 7th round draft pick - Michigan State) was moved-up to Lo-A South Bend after the game. Although he struggled a bit with his control today, Garner struck out the side 1-2-3 last Wednesday versus the Rockies and likewise in an intrasquad game before that, and was clearly throwing the best among the more-experienced pitchers left behind at Extended Spring Training.  

With Garner gone, I would think Michael Wagner (who had a strong two-inning outing today) will probably be the next EXST Cubs RHRP to move-up to a full-season affiliate. Prior to getting drafted and signing with the Cubs in 2013 (he was the Cubs 15th round pick that year) , Wagner was the closer at the University of San Diego, and was a college teammate of Kris Bryant. 

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):

Sands & Steele Help Cubs Polish-Off Giants in Scottsdale

LHP Carson Sands (Cubs 2014 4th round draft pick) and three relievers combined to toss a three-hitter, Carlos Sepulveda singled twice, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Eloy Jimenez (RBI single) and Adonis Paula (two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 4th inning, as the Cubs cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Giants on Field #1, and Kevin Encarnacion drilled three singles, drove-in two runs, stole a base, and scored a run, Jordan Hankins hammered an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and Justin Steele (Cubs 2014 5th round draft pick) and four relievers combined to hurl a three-hitter, as the Cubs edged the Giants 5-4 on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Chase Compton belted a two-run triple and then scored on a wild pitch to account for three of the Giants runs on Field #2. 

The defensive play of the day was a run-saving sliding catch by Cubs CF Roberto Caro in right-centerfield in the game on Field #2. 

Iowa Cubs catcher Taylor Teagarden (on the I-Cubs 7-day DL with a sore shoulder) continued his EXST rehab, catching seven innings and batting four times in the game on Field #1. He went 2-4 with a double and a single at the plate, scored one run but was also thrown-out on the bases trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a two-out single, and made a terrible short-hop throw on a stolen base attempt that resulted in an error. Teagarden went 4-4 (three singles and a two-run home run) versus the Rockies on Wednesday, and then he had two more hits in an intrasquad game yesterday. His throwing has been poor, however (not just today, but every day so far).  

Ho-Young Son walked twice and was picked-off 1st base again, the third time he has been picked-off 1st base in two EXST games.       

The game on Field #1 was called after eight innings, and the game on Field #2 was called with two outs in the top of the 8th 

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

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