Arizona Phil's Archives

Cubs Celebrate Teagarden Party at Salt River Fields

Taylor Teagarden drilled three singles and slammed a two-run home run, Eloy Jimenez ripped an RBI double and an RBI triple and scored a run, Tyler Alamo doubled, singled, walked, scored three runs, and knocked-in another, and Adonis Paula singled, tripled, walked, and drove-in two runs, leading the Cubs to a 13-7 drubbing of the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Josh Fuentes slugged a two-run HR and Ryan Stephens hammered a two-run triple for the Rockies in a losing cause.

The Cubs belted out 22 hits today (including five doubles, four triples, and a HR), and with a 4-4 day, Taylor Teagarden was the leading trouble maker. On the Iowa Cubs 7-day DL rehabbing a sore shoulder, Teagarden batted once each inning in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, and was the Cubs catcher for the first four innings. If today was any indication of his present state of rehabilitation, he will likely be rejoining the Iowa Cubs sooner rather later.

RHP Dallas Beeler (on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) got the start for the Cubs, making his first game appearance of the 2015 season. But things did not go well for the big right-hander, as he allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits (five singles, a double, a triple, and a two-run home run) in just three innings of work (61 pitches - 39 strikes). On the positive side, he did not issue any walks, and he struck out three (one swinging and two looking). There is a spot waiting for Beeler in the I-Cubs starting rotation, but he may need a bit more work (like getting his pitch count up to about 80) before he is ready to be reinstated from the DL.  

RHRP Austin Reed (on the Hi-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7-day DL - 2014 TJS rehab) also saw his first game action of 2015 and his first game action since undergoing elbow UCL transplant surgery last year, throwing one inning (18 pitches) and allowing one run on two hits (a double and a single) and a WP. He struck out one (looking).

The best pitching outing of the day by a Cub hurler was turned-in by RHP David Garner, who struck out the side in the 7th (two swinging and one looking). Garner also struck out the side 1-2-3 in an intrasquad game last week, so he may be the first call-up to a full-season affiliate when the need arises.  

Cubs SS Ho-Young Son had an odd day, singling twice, but then getting immediately picked-off 1st base both times (once by the pitcher and once by the catcher).

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

Cubs 2015 Extended Spring Training Full Speed Ahead

A number of players arrived at Extended Spring Training from the Cubs Dominican Academy and from Venezuela this past weekend, one player has been released, and yet another position player is making the move to pitcher, as the Cubs Extended Spring Training roster is being finalized.

Bard, Russell, and Denorfia Get Pre-Game Reps at Extended Spring Training

Adonis Paula singled twice, stole a base, and drove-in a run, Kevonte Mitchell singled twice and scored a run, and Carlos Sepulveda smacked a solo home run, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action this morning on Field #5 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

The game was called after 4-1/2 innings with the score tied 2-2. (All three Extended Spring Training intrasquad games played this week have ended in a tie)

RHP (ex-C) Mark Malave finally made his game debut as a pitcher, throwing a shutout inning (4-3, 3-1, BB, 4-6 FC). I didn't see anthing special with his stuff, although he throws both a two-seam fastball and a curve (and the curve might be his best pitch). Malave received a reported $1.6M bonus when he was signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old switch-hitting catcher out of Venezuela in July 2011, the highest bonus ever given by the Cubs to an international amateur free-agent up to that point in time. He was moved almost immediately to 3rd base, and then he was moved back to catcher again (and gave up switch-hitting to hit only RH) after the 2013 season. He struggled offensively throughout his pro career as a postion player (248/347/305 in 141 career minor league games and 560 career minor league PA), and then was converted to a pitcher at Minor League Camp last month.       

In Cubs minor league roster news, RHP Daniel Bard (signed to a minor league contract during the off-season with an NRI to Spring Training, then couldn't throw strikes) and ex-Cubs LHP James Russell (signed to a minor league contract by the Cubs this morning after being released by the Atlanta Braves last week) have been assigned to Extended Spring Training. Both pitchers threw morning bullpen side-sessions but did not pitch in the game. Rehabbers RHP Dylan Cease (2014 TJS), RHP Trey Masek (2014 shoulder surgery), and RHP Austin Reed (2014 TJS) also threw bullpen side-sessions this morning.  

Chicago Cubs OF Chris Denorfia (15-day DL - hamstring) took BP on Field #6 prior to the game.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

It's WBC Japan vs South Korea (Wada vs. Tseng) at Riverview Park

Ho-Young Son singled twice, tripled, and scored two runs, Roney Alcala belted an RBI double, singled, and reached base on an HBP, Varonex Cuevas smacked an RBI double, singled, and drove-in another run with an RBI GO (E-1), Carlos Jimenez tripled and singled and scored a run, and Eloy Jimenez singled and doubled and scored a run, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action this morning on Field #4 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

The game was called after 9-1/2 innings with the score tied 4-4. 

Chicago Cubs LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (15 -day DL - groin) continued his Mesa rehab, getting the start for Squad "A". He worked four innings (64 pitches) while allowing two runs on four hits (a triple, a double, and two singles), one HBP, and one WP, with no walks and four strikeouts (three swinging), one GIDP, and a 4/3 GO/FO. Wada threw 47 pitches in his first Spring Training Minor League Camp rehab start last Thursday, so barring a setback he should be on target to throw about 80 pitches in his next rehab start (wherever that may be), probably next Sunday or Monday. (Like the other three players on the Cubs 15-day DL, Wada is eligible to reinstated from the DL on Saturday 4/11).  

Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5th starter & 2014 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year RHP Jen-Ho Tseng got the start for Squad "B"  and threw 6.1 IP (77 pitches), allowing four runs on seven hits (five singles, a double, and a triple) and one HBP, with no walks allowed and seven strikeouts. He seemed to get stronger and more unhittable as the game progressed, striking out five of the last six hitters he faced (four swinging). Like fellow Pelican rotation starter Tyler Skulina (who threw 81 pitches in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game yesterday), Tseng was left behind when his teammates left town on Sunday so that he could remain on his rotation schedule and stay sharp (Tseng was due to pitch today, and he isn't scheduled to start his first regular season Carolina League game until next Monday). 

In Cubs minor league news, catcher Will Remillard (Cubs 2013 19th round pick - Coastal Carolina U.) underwent "Tommy John" elbow UCL transplant surgery (TJS) last month and will miss the 2015 season.


Remillard was considered to be the best defensive catcher in the Cubs system, and in fact he was so highly thought of that he received an NRI to big league camp last season after signing the previous June.

Also, Cubs minor league RHP Pierce Johnson is at Extended Spring Training, although he is not active at this time. He strained a latissimus dorsi muscle (lat) about ten days ago. 

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

It's Skulina vs Loux at Extended Spring Training

Bryant Flete singled, doubled, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, Ricardo Marcano singled, tripled, and scored two runs, Adonis Paula ripped an RBI double and a single and drove-in another run with an RBI GO, and Ho-Young Son singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run, in Cubs Extended Spring Training Intrasquad game action this morning on Field #5 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.

The game was called after 7-1/2 innings with the scored tied 3-3. 

Myrtle Beach RHSP Tyler Skulina and Iowa RHSP Barret Loux were the two starting pitchers in the game. Both were left behind in Mesa because they will not get their first scheduled start for another five or six days, and they needed to elevate their pitch counts to 80+ before their first start.

Loux was hit hard, allowing eight hits (five singles, two doubles, and a triple) in his 5.1 IP of work. Acquired from the Texas Rangers as a PTBNL in the 2012 Geovany Soto trade, Loux is attempting to come back after undergoing shoulder surgery post-2013 and UCL elbow ligament transplant surgery (TJS) last season. 

On the other hand, Skulina was really dealing, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in five innings. 

Prior to the Intrasquad game, Frank Batista and Dylan Cease squared-off in a two-inning "sim" game on Field #4. 

Here is the box score from the intrasquad game, followed by the current Cubs Extended Spring Training Roster.   

Bees Whitewash South Bend & Mr Rogers Bashes the 66ers

Jacob Rogers blasted a grand slam home run (off the roof of the Angels clubhouse) and a triple, Billy McKinney belted a solo HR, singled twice, and scored two runs, Mark Zagunis singled twice, walked, and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn threw 5.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball (no-hitter thru 4.2 IP), leading the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) to a 7-1 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) on Field #7, and Mike Bolaski (ex-3B) and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts, as the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) blanked the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 5-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League game action this morning at Diablo Park in Tempe, AZ.   

Somewhat appropriately, the Burlington Bees - South Bend Cubs game on Field #4 was delayed for several minutes while a swarm of bees hovered overhead, apparently looking for a landing spot. The players who were on the field at the time hit the ground the way soldiers do when a hand grenade is thrown into their vicinity. This is the second time in two years that bees have descended upon Diablo Park when I've been there (a hive had to be removed from a tractor that was situated in the bullpen at Field #7 last year). Naturally, the Angels have not one but two affiliates (Lo-A Burlington and AAA Salt Lake City) with the "Bees" nickname.  

The game on Field #7 was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair so that all of the pitchers scheduled to throw today could get their scheduled work. 

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

Cubs & Pelicans Pitchers Give Bees & 66ers That Sinking Feeling

Chesny Young belted a two-run triple, singled, and walked, Jason Vosler doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, Jesse Hodges ripped an RBI double and a single, Rashad Crawford roped a line-drive RBI single, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run, and Jeremy Null threw five innings of two-run ball with an amazing 12/1 GO/FO, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A  affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to edge the Burlington Bees (Lo-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels) 4-3 on Field #5, and Daury Torrez threw six shutout innings with four strikeouts and an 11/2 GO/FO, Kevin Brown belted a two-run triple, singled twice, and scored a run, Varonex Cuevas doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, and Danny Lockhart roped a two-run single, walked, and scored a run, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (the Cubs Hi-A affiliate) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.    

The 66ers had just scored four runs in the top of the 9th off Myrtle Beach lefty reliever Gerardo Concepcion to take a 6-2 lead, but the Pelicans came right back with four of their own. 

Both Daury Torrez and Jeremy Null had the sinker working to perfection, combining to produce a 23/3 GO/FO ratio over 11 innings of work, one of the most extraordinary groundball heavy minor league doubleheaders I have seen in some time. Torrez will join Duane Underwood, Tyler Skulina, Paul Blackburn, and Jen-Ho Tseng in the Myrtle Beach starting rotation, and Null will be part of a South Bend rotation that will also feature Jake Stinnett, Erick Leal, Trevor Clifton, James Norwood, and/or Zach Hedges (last slot still TBD)  

The defensive play of the day was turned-in by South Bend CF Trey Martin, who made a spectacular diving catch in right-centerfield after a long run at full speed. Martin is a "long-strider" who can make long distances seem shorter than they really are, but what was especially impressive about Martin's play was that he dived onto his left (non-throwing) shoulder to complete the catch, the same shoulder that was surgically repaired about a year ago.    

With the exception of Travis Wood and Kyle Hendricks, the Chicago Cubs left town after last night's Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in anticipation of their MLB Opening Day game tomorrow night at Wrigley Field, leaving minor league players behind to be presented as the "Chicago Cubs" for this afternoon's MLB Cactus League finale. Most of the players assigned to the MLB game at Chase were pulled from the AAA Iowa Cubs roster, but a few came from the Tennessee and Myrtle Beach squads as well. Also, several members of the Myrtle Beach squad were moved up to the Iowa Cubs for this afternoon's Cactus League minor league game in Tempe against the Angels AAA Salt Lake City affiliate, and a number of players from the Cubs Extended Spring Training contingent filled in for the missing Pelicans at Riverview, as well as providing roster depth in the South Bend, Tennessee, and Iowa games.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played today at Riverview Park (Cubs players only): 

Pelicans Gobble Nuts & Tourists Fly Past Cubs at Riverview

Jesse Hodges belted a solo HR and singled, Jordan Hankins singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Jake Stinnett tossed five innings of one-run ball as the Cubs took a 4-1 lead through five innings, but the Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies Lo-A affiliate) scored four in the 6th, two in the 8th, and two more in the 9th, to rally to a 9-7 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) on Field #5. and Jacob Rogers and Kevin Brown hammered doubles and scored, Shawon Dunston Jr and Jeimer Candelario drilled RBI singles, and Wes Darvill slugged a two-run home run to highlight a five-run 3rd, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Modesto Nuts (Rockies Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

Brown (two doubles and a single) and Candelario (two singles and a double) collected three hits a piece for the Pelicans. 

Chris Denorfia (hamstring rehab) saw his first game action in a couple of weeks, serving as a DH for Myrtle Beach and going 1-3. He led-off each of the first three innings, flying out F-9 in his first AB, bouncing back to the pitcher 1-3 his second time up, and then clubbing a ringing double into the right-centerfield gap in his third Plate Appearance.

While Denorfia jogged somewhat gingerly into second base and looked to be something less than 100% on his double, a minute later he went full-tilt from second to home to score on the Dunston ground RBI single to center. 

South Bend RHP Zach Hedges had a tough outing while piggy-backing with Stinnett on Field #5. Coming in with a 4-1 lead in the top of the 6th, Hedges allowed eight run (all earned) on nine hits (including two doubles, a triple, and a home run) and two walks (plus a wild pitch) and no strikeouts in four innings of work.  

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

Bryant & Lopez Go Deep and Arrieta & Wada Look Sharp at Riverview Park

Kris Bryant slugged a solo home run over the CF fence, lined an RBI single, walked twice, and scored three runs, Rafael Lopez belted a three-run HR and collected another RBI on a bases loaded walk, Addison Russell hammered an RBI triple, walked, and scored two runs, and Miguel Montero ripped two RBI singles and scored a run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) lambasted the Sacramento RiverCats (San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate) 14-4 on Field #6, and Ryan Dent and Cael Brockmeyer drilled back-to-back RBI doubles in the bottom of the 2nd as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) and the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate) played to a 2-2 tie on Field #5, in Cactus League minor league game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Ex-Cubs Ronny Cedeno and Brett Jackson each doubled and scored a run for Sacramento.  

With the Chicago Cubs idle, Jake Arrieta got his scheduled work in with Iowa in the AAA game, throwing five innings (58 pitches - 43 strikes) and allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) and no walks (but two WP), with six strikeouts (including five in a row at one point - the first four swinging), and a 4/4 GO/FO. 

LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (groin & hamstring rehab) got the start for Tennessee in the AA game and threw 3.1 IP of shutout ball (47 pitches - 30 strikes), allowing two hits (a single and a double) and no walks, with four strikeouts, and a 2/4 GO/FO.  

CF Albert Almora left the Tennessee game with a right knee injury, but he was able to walk (limp) to the clubhouse. 

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

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