Casper Wells

Jeffrey Baez (RBI triple and RBI FC) and Eloy Jimenez (RBI double and RBI single) collected two RBI a piece to help the Cubs take a 7-1 lead, but Fernery Ozuna drove-in four runs with two two-run singles (one in the 5th and the other with two outs in the bottom of the 7th) as the Diamondbacks rallied to tie the Cubs 7-7 on Jackrabbit Field, and Everett Williams belted an RBI triple, singled, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run, and Mark Thomas drilled an RBI single, tripled, stole a base, and scored two runs, leading the D'backs to a 7-4 victory on Whirlwind Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.

Rony Rodriguez (RBI single and a two run HR) knocked in three runs and Shamil Ubiera drilled an RBI double, singled, and scored a run in a losing cause for the Cubs on Whirlwind Field.

Both games were pre-planned as seven-inning contests.

In EXST Cubs roster news, outfielders Casper Wells (back spasms) and Justin Ruggiano (hamstring) have completed their EXST rehabs and have been moved-up to AAA Iowa (Wells has been reinstated from Iowa's 7-day DL, and Ruggiano remains on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL and is assigned to Iowa on a Minor League Rehab Assignment), and RHPs Zak Hermans and Corbin Hoffner have been moved-up to Kane County from EXST, replacing RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (7-day DL - shoulder) and LHP Nathan Dorris (moved up to Daytona) on the KC roster. 

Wells hit 182/345/273 in seven Cactus League EXST games (29 PA), with two doubles, five BB, a HBP, and three K, while Ruggiano hit 154/214/231 in four Cactus League EXST games (14 PA), with a double, a walk, and three K. Ruggiano also clubbed two ringing doubles and stole 3rd base in Saturday's intrasquad game. 

THE PITCHING LINES FROM ZAK HERMANS' EIGHT 2014 CACTUS LEAGUE EXST OUTINGS
4/9  -  1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 20 pitches (12 strikes)
4/11 - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 
4/15 - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 2/2 GO/FO, 25 pitches (14 strikes)
4/18 - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
4/24 - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/4 GO/FO, 32 pitches (22 strikes)
4/29 - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 43 pitches (28 strikes)
5/5  -  3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 1 PO, 3/2 GO/FO, 46 pitches (30 strikes) 
5/13 - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (18 strikes)  
TOTAL: 16.0 IP, 11 H, 4 R (4 ER), 5 BB, 13 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 2 PO, 1 GIDP, 18/15 GO/FO, 67% strikes, 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .196 OppBA

THE PITCHING LINES FROM CORBIN HOFFNER'S EIGHT 2014 CACTUS LEAGUE EXST OUTINGS
4/14 - 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (27 strikes) 
4/18 - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 
4/21 - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes) 
4/26 - INTRASQUAD GAME  
4/29 - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 13 pitches (9 strikes) 
5/3   - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 6/0 GO/FO, 15 pitches (12 strikes) 
5/7   - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 4/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (15 strikes) 
5/10 - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GO/FO, 22 pitches (16 strikes)
5/16 - 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 6/1 GO/FO, 28 pitches (20 strikes)
TOTAL: 14.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 2 GIDP, 25/9 GO/FO, 73% strikes, 1.26 ERA, 0.42 WHIP, .109 OppBA  

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

Jorge Ortega tossed six shutout innings, Tucker Neuhaus (Brewers 2013 Supplemental 2nd round draft pick - Wharton HS - Tampa, FL) drilled two RBI doubles, singled, and scored a run, Edgardo Rivera reached base four times (a single and three walks), stole a base, and scored three runs, and Luis Aviles smacked a three-run home run, as the Brewers outlasted the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Jeffrey Baez walked twice, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run and Eloy Jimenez singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Cubs. In 17 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (67 PA), Baez is hitting 345/433/500, with two doubles, two triples, one HR, 5 RBI, 8 RUNS, 9/8 BB/K, and 12 SB (0 CS), and he leads the team in OBP, SLG, SB, BB, and RUNS, is second only to the departed Matt Scioscia in AVG (Scioscia hit 348 in 26 PA), and is one of only three EXST Cubs players to hit a HR (Tyler Alamo and Rashad Crawford are the other two).    

Justin Ruggiano (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) and Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) continued their EXST rehab assignments in today's game, going a collective 0-8.

Ruggiano popped-out to short and flied out three times (including two near-HR hit to the warning track, one in left and the other in right-center), and Wells tapped back to the pitcher on a check-swing, popped out to the shortstop, lined-out to CF, and reached base on an E-5 (dropped infield pop fly).   

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

Bryant Flete reached base four times (two singles and two walks), knocked-in two runs, and scored another, and Casper Wells singled twice, walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, leading the Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Nataniel Delgado (2012 NDFA - Dominican Republic - $280K bonus) clubbed a three-run home run to account for three of the four Angels runs.  

Justin Ruggiano (Cubs 15-day DL - hamstring) continued his EXST rehab, serving as a DH and batting three times. He laced a line-drive single to center and then later scored in the bottom of the 1st inning, grounded out 6-3 in his second AB, and flied out to the warning track in dead CF his last time up.  

Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) also continued his EXST rehab, playing RF for seven innings and reaching base in all three of his Plate Appearances (the aforementioned two singles and a walk). He was due to hit a fourth time in the bottom of the 8th, but he had already departed for the clubhouse by that time. He looks to be 100%, and so he may be rejoining Iowa very soon.  

RHP C. J. Edwards (AA Tennessee 7-day DL - shoulder fatigue) is at Riverview Park while awaiting the results of his latest MRI. He can participate in PFP drills, but he is not yet cleared to resume throwing.  

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

Jeffrey Baez led-off the game with a home run and then laced an RBI single and stole a base in his next AB, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI triple and scored a run, Gleyber Torres singled twice, knocked-in two runs, and scored another, and Tyler Ihrig fired four innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts and combined with three relievers to help the Cubs whitewash the Giants 6-0 on Field #2, and Craig Massoni drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly and Carlos Valdez hammered a solo home run, leading the Giants to a 6-1 victory on Field #1, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.  

Slick-fielding AA Tennessee shortstop Elliot Soto (at Extended Spring Training while serving a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension) reached base four times (three singles and a walk) and stole a base in a losing cause on Field #1. 

OF Casper Wells (on AAA Iowa Cubs 7-day DL - back spasms) continued his EXST rehab, playing RF for six innings and getting three Plate Appearances (he was in the clean-up slot in the batting order on Field #2 and he batted only when his spot in the order was due to hit). Wells walked twice and grounded out 6-3.

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

Raul Linares rifled a single through the box to drive-in the tying run from 3rd base with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, as the Angels rallied for two runs in their final AB to tie the Cubs 3-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.

Eloy Jimenez singled twice and collected an RBI and Varonex Cuevas ripped an RBI triple and scored a run for the Cubs.

Casper Wells (Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) continued his EXST rehab, playing RF for five innings and batting once in each of the first five innings. He went 0-5, getting called out on strikes in both the 1st and 2nd innings (in both cases strike three was a knee-buckling curve thrown by Angels 2013 3rd round draft pick RHP Keynan Middleton), before grounding out 5-3 in the 3rd, and flying out in the 4th and 5th innings. 

After LHP Michael Heesch (Daytona 7-day DL) made his 2014 game debut with a 1-2-3 five-pitch bottom of the 1st inning (6-3, F-9, P-4), veteran MLB RHP Joel Pineiro took the hill and threw the next six innings (77 pitches) for the Cubs, allowing one run on six hits (four singles and two doubles) and a walk, with five strikeouts. Pineiro also induced three inning-ending double plays, as he really had the sinker working today (12/2 GO/FO).   

There was a somewhat larger crowd than normal at today's game, although some of the fans were clearly there to watch Angels OF Josh Hamilton (15-day DL - torn ligament in thumb) run the bases and field fly balls and grounders on an adjacent field. 

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

Emerson Jimenez (2012 NDFA - Dominican Republic - $275K bonus) stroked a two-run single and David Bergin and Miguel Dilone followed with RBI triples to highlight a four-run 3rd inning, Hamlet Marte belted an RBI triple in the 6th and doubled and scored in the 8th, Marcos Derkes collected three hits, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Ryan Garvey blasted a two-run home run, leading the Rockies to a 9-6 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action thiis morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Kevin Brown (a double and three walks) and Zak Blair (two singles and two walks) reached base four times a piece for the Cubs in a losing cause. (The Cubs left 11 men on base and had three runners thrown out on the bases).

The two teams combined to commit nine errors, including six by the Cubs and three by the Rockies.

Casper Wells (back spasms) continued his EXST rehab, serving as a DH and batting five times (once in each of the first five innings). He drew a two-out walk in the 1st inning, reached base on an HBP in the 2nd, lined out to 2nd base in the 3rd, ripped a two-run double down the LF line in the 4th and then later scored on a Ricardo Marcano RBI single, and struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 slider (from a LHP) in the 5th. 

In EXST roster news, OF Jorge Soler (hamstring) has completed his rehab assignment at Extended Spring Training and will be rejoining AA Tennessee. In seven EXST Cactus League games (34 Plate Appearances), Soler hit 179/265/214 with five hits (four singles and a double), one walk, three HBP, five strikeouts, two sacrifice flies, five RBI, and one stolen base. 

Also, RHP Michael Wagner has been moved up to Kane County from Extended Spring Training. The 22-year old 6'4 200 Wagner was the Cubs 15th round pick in last June's MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of San Diego, where he was the USD closer, second-team All-American, and a teammate of Cubs mega-prospect Kris Bryant. 

THE PITCHING LINES FROM MICHAEL WAGNER'S FIVE 2014 CACTUS LEAGUE EXST OUTINGS
4/14 - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 24 pitches (15 strikes)
4/18 - 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 23 pitches (15 strikes) 
4/21 - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (20 strikes)
4/26 - INTRASQUAD GAME
4/29 - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (12 strikes)  
5/2   - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
TOTAL: 9.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 7/10 GO/FO, 62% strikes, 1.92 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .222 OppBA

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

Gabriel Sanchez belted a bases-clearing three-run double to cap a four-run 7th inning, and Justin Higley singled twice, stole two bases, scored two runs, and drove-in another, as the Athletics rallied to defeat the Cubs 5-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

Jeffrey Baez had three hits and Varonex Cuevas smacked a triple and an RBI single for the Cubs in a losing cause.

Jorge Soler (hamstring rehab) is still at Extended Spring Training, and (just like yesterday) he played RF for all nine innings in today's game. He had four Plate Appearances in the game, hitting a check-swing dribbler back to the pitcher on a 3-0 pitch in his first AB in the bottom of the 1st inning, walked on four pitches in the 4th, grounded out 5-3 in the 7th, and (representing the tying run) lined-out to right with runners on 1st & 2nd and out out in the 9th.  

Veteran MLB OF Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL) returned to game action today after missing about six weeks with knee and back issues. He batted five times in the game--once in each of the first five innings, going 1-4 with two infield pop outs, two fly outs (one of which was a run-producing sacrifice fly), and a line-drive single. For a player who has missed as much time as he has, he showed plus bat-speed and really nailed the ball with authority in three of his five AB, and showed good speed on the bases, too.

Wells was an NRI outfielder at Cubs MLB Spring Training, and probably would have been the Opening Day RF at Iowa if he hadn't started the season on the DL. He also probably would have been the logical candidate to replace Justin Ruggiano when Ruggiano went on the DL with his hamstring injury last month, because Ruggiano and Wells are very similar-type players. 

RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa (2013 TJS rehab) and RHP Jesus Castillo (one of two pitchers acquired from Arizona in the Tony Campana deal) were scheduled to throw "live" BP on Field #5 prior to the game on Field #6. Both pitchers warmed up in the Field #5 bullpen, and while Castillo did throw his two "innings" (40 pitches total - 20 pitches in each inning), Fujikawa returned to the clubhouse after completing his warm-ups and did not throw BP.   

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

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