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Cubs Play Triple-Header Ball at Riverview Park

Dan Vogelbach drove-in five runs with a grand slam home run and a bases-loaded walk and Matt Murton doubled, walked twice, and scored two runs, leading the Iowa Cubs (the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 7-3 victory over the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) on Field #6, Shawon Dunston Jr clubbed a two-run HR and Billy McKinney and Jacob Rogers singled and doubled, but it wasn't anywhere near enough as the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) belted out 14 hits (including three triples, a double, and a home run) en route to a 9-4 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, and Gleyber Torres drilled a single and an RBI double, scored a run, and stole two bases, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) cruised to an 8-4 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) in Minor League Camp game action this afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

The three games were played simultaneously.

As usual, several players were moved up to higher levels just for the day. 

John Arguello from Cubs Den was at the game, and (as usual) he has some great pics & commentary posted over there

link  

Here are the abridged box scores (Cubs players only) from the games played on Field 5 & 6, and the box score from the game played on Field #4:

Lester Goes One-for-Four at Minor League Camp

Cubs #1 prospect Gleyber Torres belted an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and side-armin' RHP Preston Morrison (Cubs 2015 8th round draft pick - TCU) tossed 3.2 IP of no-hit/no-run relief, helping the iowa Cubs edge the Tennessee Smokies 2-1 in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after six innings of play. 

Jon Lester got the start for the Smokies (pitching against Iowa) and threw five innings (68 pitches - 78% strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits (five singles and a double) and no walks, with five strikeouts (two swinging) and 8/0 GO/AO. He made three errant pick-off attempts at 1st base (with the baserunner advancing to 2nd each time), but he did pick-off Dan Vogelbach. Lester also one-hopped SS Carlos Penalver on a 1-6 FC, and Penalver made a nice play just to keep the ball from bounding into CF. 

Matt Murton saw his first game action of the Spring after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on February 26th, working as a DH for the Iowa squad and batting four times. He went 2-4 with a single, a double, a 6-3 GO, and a called third strike (all four PA versus Lester). He was running the bases full-tilt, and looks to be very close to 100%.      

David Ross was Lester's catcher (natch), and he went 0-4 (three fly outs and a 6-4-3 DP), batting once in each of the first four innings. He also threw out a runner trying to steal 3rd. Ross left the game when Lester did. 

The game also featured the first game action for RHRP Jose Rosario since 2014 (he missed the 2015 season after undergoing TJS last April), and he worked a scoreless inning. The 25-year old Rosario was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old IFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, and although he was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2015, he opted to return to the Cubs organization in 2016. Rosario shares a similar background with Cubs 3B prospect Jeimer Candelario, in that both were born in New York City, but moved to the Dominican Republic when they were children.  

Four players were added to the Iowa roster for the game, with RHP Preston Morrison moving up from the Tennessee group, SS Gleyber Torres and 2B Ian Happ moving up from the Myrtle Beach squad, and 3B Wladimir Galindo moving up from the South Bend group.

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

Here is the box score frrom the game: 

Czech Swing Not Up to the Challenge at Riverview

Jake Hannemann belted a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 1st inning and an RBI double in the 4th, Trey Martin tripled twice and knocked-in two runs, Yasiel Balaguert hammered a three-run HR in the 1st and walked in the 3rd, Will Remillard doubled twice and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn and seven relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) blanked Team Czech Republic 10-0 in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The Czech team (managed by Mike Griffin, with Trot Nixon and Corey Lee serving as assistant coaches) is in Arizona preparing for the World Baseball Classic Qualifier #2 tournament in Mexicali, Mexico later this week. Mexico is the host team, and Germany and Nicaragua are the other two particpants. The winner qualifies for the 2017 WBC. 

As per usual, the Tennessee squad added some additional players for the game, with RHP Corey Black, catchers David Freitas, Will Remillard, and Ben Carhart, 1B Matt Clark, SS Bryant Flete, and OF Bijan Rademacher moving down from the Iowa squad, RHRP Scott Effross, 1B Yasiel Balaguert, 2B Ian Happ, and LF Donnie Dewees moving up from the Myrtle Beach group, and 3B Adonis Paula and catcher P. J. Higgins moving up from the South Bend squad.     

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

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

I-Cubs Drop Pelicans at Minor League Camp

Jacob Rogers drilled a two-run single to cap a three-run 6th, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Billy McKinney ripped an RBI single to open the scoring in the top of the 4th and doubled and scored a run in the 6th, leading the Iowa Cubs to 5-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Andruw Monasterio hammered a double and an RBI single, walked, stole two bases, and scored a run, and Cubs 2015 2nd round draft pick Donnie Dewees (U. of North Florida) collected three singles and stole a base for the Pelicans in a losing cause.

18-year old 6'8 LHP Bryan Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS -Alton IL) threw two innings of hitless/shutout ball for Iowa, walking two, and striking out two.

The game was called after seven innings of play.  

Because a number of players were called up to play in the Cubs MLB Cactus League split squad games, several players were temporarily moved to different squads for the game at Riverview. Starting pitcher Jonathan Martinez, catchers Erick Castillo, Gioskar Amaya, and Tyler Pearson, and infielder Chesny Young were moved down to Myrtle Beach from Tennessee, SS Andruw Monasterio was moved up to Tennessee from South Bend, CF Trey Martin, DH Billy McKinney, and 1B Jacob Rogers were moved up to Iowa from Tennessee, 3B Andrew Ely, LF Charcer Burks, and C Tyler Alamo were moved up to Iowa from Myrtle Beach, and pitchers Justin Steele and Bryan Hudson were moved up to Iowa from South Bend.

This was the first game action for catcher Will Remillard since undergoing TJS last March. Prior to his elbow injury, Remillard was considered a rising star (at least defensively) among the Cubs catching prospects, so highly regarded by the Cubs that he received an NRI to Spring Training in 2014 less than a year after being drafted out of Coastal Carolina U. (where he was a teammate of Cubs minor league RHP Josh Conway). Although he is presently assigned to the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp, Remillard will will likely be the #1 catcher at Myrtle Beach come Opening Day. 

In Minor League Camp roster news, Francisco Garay and Wander Feliz have arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy, and both are being converted from position player to pitcher.

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.

Garay and Feliz have been assigned to the South Bend group, but both will very likely be assigned to the Extended Spring Training squad, once it is formed in the coming days.  

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

Here is the box score from today's game at Minor League Camp: 

Cubs Sign Kawasaki to Minor League Deal

Jon Paul Morosi at Fox Sports reports that the Cubs have signed veteran utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a 2016 minor league contract, and Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune further reports that Kawasaki will receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.

Try a Little Non-Tenderness

12/2 UPDATE #2: Mark Gonzales at the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs have signed arbitration-eligible LHP Clayton Richard to a 2016 contract ($2M salary), and have non-tendered RHRP Ryan Cook and LHRP Jack Leathersich. The Cubs claimed both Cook and Leathersich off waivers last month, Cook from the Boston Red Sox and Leathersich from the New York Mets.

The other twenty unsigned players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster were apparently tendered 2016 contracts, and six of the twenty (RHSP Jake Arrieta, OF-IF Chris Coghlan, RHRP Justin Grimm, RHRP Hector Rondon, RHRP Pedro Strop, and LHP Travis Wood) will be eligible for salary arbitration if the player is not satisfied with the club's salary offer.  

Cook was eligible for salary arbitration for the second time and was projected to get about $1.5M for 2016 (he was paid $1.4M in 2015), and the Cubs may not have wanted to pay him that much if he is expected to spend most of the year as "bullpen injury insurance" at AAA Iowa. So the Cubs could possibly re-sign Cook to a major league contract with a minimal base salary (perhaps $750K) plus a performance bonus based on days spent on the MLB 25-man roster in 2016 (something they could not do if he was tendered), or they could sign him to a 2016 minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training. Whether Cook would agree to such an arrangement remains to be seen, but the Cubs might not have non-tendered Cook if they didn't already have a 2016 deal in place. 

Leathetsich is not yet eligible for salary arbitration, but he could not be outrighted to the minors during the off-season (after 11/20) because he is injured (July TJS), so non-tendering him and then re-signing him to a 2016 minor league contract is the only way the Cubs can remove Leathersich from their MLB 40-man roster but still keep him under club control. Of course the Cubs could have simply waited until the start of Spring Training and then placed Leathersich on the 60-day DL (thus removing him from the 40-man roster), so it would appear that the Cubs believe they will need his roster slot on the 40 before then. It remains to be seen if Leathersich will sign a minor league contract with the Cubs, but (as with Cook) the Cubs probably would not have non-tendered him if they did not already have a pre-arranged minor league deal in place. 

So the Cubs MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster") now stands at 36, with four slots left open for free-agents who might be signed over the next few days and weeks, off-season waiver claims, or perhaps even a Rule 5 Draft pick.  

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12/2 UPDATE #1: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports reports that the Cubs have signed LHRP Rex Brothers to a 2016 contract ($1.42M salary). Brothers was paid $1.4M in 2015, and would have been arbitration-eligible for the second time post-2015. He was acquired by the Cubs from the Colorado Rockies for minor league LHSP Wander Cabrera last month.  


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Tomorrow (Wednesday December 2nd) is the deadline for MLB clubs to tender 2016 major league contracts to unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster").

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  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 1 hour 7 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 1 hour 11 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 1 hour 38 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • it's been a while since joe's over-managed a game...it's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.

    crunch 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.

    John Beasley 4 hours 42 min ago view
  • barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.

    crunch 5 hours 4 min ago view
  • Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?

    Brick 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 7 hours 28 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 8 hours 12 min ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 8 hours 31 min ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 8 hours 59 min ago view