Cubs Extinguish Blaze, but Dragons Burn Cougars at Fitch Park

Darnell McDonald singled twice, doubled, walked, scored twice, and knocked-in a run, Taiwan Easterling singled, doubled, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, drove-in two runs, and made two outstanding catches, Jeffrey Baez drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a bases-loaded HBP, and Dan Vogelbach crushed a tape-measure two-run home run, leading the Daytona Cubs to a 10-7 victory over the Bakerfield Blaze (Cincinnati Reds Hi-A affiliate) on Field #3, and Starling Peralta celebrated his return to the Cubs organization with 3.1 IP of one-hit shutout ball, Gioskar Amaya singled and tripled, and Dong-Yub Kim singled twice, stole a base, and scored a run, but it wasn't enough as Joe Hudson (Reds 2012 6th round draft pick - Notre Dame) slugged a HR over the LF fence and onto Center Street to lead the Dayton Dragons (Reds Low-A affiliate) to a 3-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game on Field #2 was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers could get their scheduled work.

Drew Carpenter and Darnell McDonald are assigned to the Iowa squad and Rob Whitenack and Austin Kirk are assigned to the Tennessee squad, but the quartet was left behind at Fitch Park as the I-Cubs and Smokies traveled to Goodyear where they played the Reds AA and AAA affiliates. All four saw action in the game on Field #3.

McDonald was a DH and got five Plate Apearances in the first five innings of the game, hitting 2nd in each inning. Carpenter started the game for Daytona, and was followed to the hill by Whitenack and Kirk. All three pitchers threw multiple innings. Whitenack walked four, hit a batter, and threw a WP in 3.2 IP as he continues to have difficulty throwing strikes, but Kirk had five punch-outs in 2.1 IP.

Because all of the Daytona innings were assigned to Iowa and Tennessee pitchers, Starling Peralta and Austin Reed were dropped down to the Kane County game to get their work (both are assigned to the Daytona squad).

Dillon Maples threw a two-inning "sim" game (30 pitches - 15 pitches per inning) versus players from the Boise/Mesa squad on Field #4.

The defensive gems of the day were turned-in by Daytona LF Taiwan Easterling, who made a spectacular diving catch in left-center field, and then another running catch on the warning track.

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


1. Oliver Zapata, RF: 1-4 (5-3, 4-3, 6-3, 1B, CS)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 6-3, K, 3B)
3. Marco Hernandez, DH; 0-4 (F-7, 3-U, 6-3, L-6)
4. Ben Carhart, 1B-3B: 1-4 (K, 1B, 5-3, 5-3)
5. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-4 (1B, 5-4 FC, 1B, 5-3, R, SB, CS)
6a. Taylor Davis, C: 0-3 (F-8, 6-3, F-9)
6b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
7a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-1 (BB, 6-3)
7b. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-1 (E-3, BB)
8. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-3 (K, 1B, F-8, BB)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (BB, L-8, 6-4-3 DP, F-9)

1. Ian Dickson: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 72 pitches (51 strikes), 7/5 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (22 strikes), 3/5 GO/FO
3. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 22 pitches (17 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO

1. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 - throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely
2. P Ian Dickson - E-1 - errant throw on pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed baseruner to advance to 3rd
3. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E-4 - throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely
4. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 - fielding error allowed batter reach base safely

Taylor Davis: 0-2 CS


X. Darnell McDonald, DH #1; 3-4 (6-3, BB, 1B, 1B, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: McDonald batted 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1a. Tim Saunders, SS: 2-3 (2B, 1B, K, R, SB)
1b. David Bote, 2B: 0-1 (BB, 1-U, RBI)
2a. Zeke DeVoss, CF: 1-4 (K, 1B, 4-6 FC, F-8, 2 R)
2b. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-1 (K)
3. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-5 (K, F-7, HR, K, K, R, 2 RBI)
4a. Chadd Krist, C: 0-3 (4-3, P-3, HBP, K)
4b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (F-9)
5. Anthony Giansanti, 3B: 1-4 (1B, BB, 5-3, L-5, F-9, 2 R)
6. Jeffrey Baez, RF-CF: 1-4 (2B, HBP, K, K, K, R, 3 RBI)
7a. Bijan Rademacher, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, K, RBI)
7b. Sergio Burruel, PH: 0-0 (HBP, R, SB)
8a. Taiwan Easterling, LF: 2-2 (1B, HBP, 2B, 2 RBI, SB)
8b. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-0 (BB)
9. Wes Darvill, 2B-SS: 1-4 (K, P-6, 6-3, 1B)

1. Drew Carpenter: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 32 pitches (24 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Rob Whitenack: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 61 pitches (31 strikes), 4/5 GO/FO
3. Austin Kirk: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 43 pitches (29 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO



WEATHER: Warm & sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 70's



Koyie Hill signs minor league deal with Marlins. Heh.


Aww, now he's sad.

AZ Phil: DIdn't you mention that Dillon Maples had some injury this spring? Did you ever find out what was his problem? Does the sim game mean he's in some form of rehab program prior to getting into a real game?

Thanks again for fantastic coverage of...well, virtually everyone in the Cubs system.

I hope Rob Whitenack finds his way back. It sounds like he's got a rough road ahead. I was able to ask him some questions about his TJ surgery at the Cubs Convention this year.

The star of that session wrt personality was Dallas Beeler. I'm rooting for his success too. How has he looked this spring?

CUBSTER: Although he threw a "sim" game today (30 pitches), it was Dillon Maples' first "game action" of any kind the year, and he is still in the Fitch Park rehab group. I don't know the nature of the problem that put him in the rehab group, but he did have a sprained elbow ligament this time last year and missed most of last season as the result (although he did NOT have TJS). 

I have only seen Dallas Beeler throw "live" BP because I haven't seen that many minor league games (due to the conflict with Cubs games at HoHoKam Park). All I can tell you is that he is healthy, and he was moved down to the Tennessee squad from the Iowa squad about a week ago.

BTW, several pitchers at Minor League Camp were moved down a level this weekend as the result of the most-recent cuts from big league camp (Rusin, Dolis, Coleman, Parker, Chapman, Lewis, and Carpenter), including Kyle Hendricks, Kevin Rhoderick, and Zac Rosscup (Iowa to Tennessee), Lendy Castillo, Luis Liria, Larry Suarez, and Yao-Lin Wang (Tennessee to Daytona), Steve Perakslis (Daytona to Kane County), and Ethan Elias and James Pugliese (Kane County to Boise/Mesa). 

Several other pitchers (and position players) have (for lack of a better description) very recently "disappeared," and I'm sure some of them were released (INF Dustin Harrington is definitely one of them). Because their Next of Kin may not have been notified, I will not mention the names of the others I suspect were released at this time.

Probably old news but...Baseball America says the cubs have...Released: RHP Ryan Hartman, RHP Su-Min Jung

and this commentary based on them acquiring Jose Dore from the Padres:

The Cubs have acquired a handful of Padres prospects in recent years, including Jose Dore (’10 eighth round; signed for $450,000), righthander Zach Cates (’10 third round; signed for $765,000) and first baseman Anthony Rizzo (no introduction necessary). This is no coincidence given that Chicago GM Jed Hoyer, senior VP of scouting and player development Jason McLeod and scouting director Jaron Madison acquired all three players when they manned the same posts in the Padres front office.

Welington Castillo made it into Nick Cafardo's weekly baseball column:

6. Welington Castillo, C, Cubs — Castillo, 25, has become the Cubs’ full-time catcher and will be the one who shapes the pitching staff. Manager Dale Sveum, pitching coach Chris Bosio, and top brass Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein are all on board with Castillo’s ability to be that building-block player. “He’s come a long way in a short period of time,” said Bosio. “He’s a very talented guy with the arm, block-ability and throw-ability. His knowledge and aptitude have become a lot better.”

What I've really disliked in the recent past about the Cubs is being asked to watch a team full of journeymen. So it's nice to see the Cubs roster begin to take shape in the way of some home grown talent like Castro, Castillo, Barney, and I'll include Rizzo simply because TheoCorp has been stalking him all these years. Even if they don't have a great record, I can root for these guys and actually even give a damn. It even feels to me like Soriano is a Cub now. It was enjoyable watching him rise up to the challenge last year of becoming a better player.

Clevenger gets final bench spot...Lohse signs with Brewers for 3/33.

Henry Owens was ridiculous today...

faced 15 hitters in a minor league game, struck out 13 of them. (ground out and single on a flare to right were the other 2).

Would be a Theo draft pick with the Bosox.

"Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette indicated Monday that Ryan Flaherty is the favorite to be the club's designated hitter against right-handers following the Wilson Betemit injury."

dude wut?

I feel old

Back in 2006 I saw Dunston at ST throwing bp to his young son off on the fields. I said to him "so you made him hit left handed." Shawon SR said "everyone says that, he did that on his own."

Does anybody know of any video of Shawon Sr. really showing off his throwing arm at short? For example, as the middle man on a 4-6-3 double play or a rifle shot from deep in the hole? Any one of those throws that made you wince as that little white missile smacked into Mark Grace's mitt with enough force to fracture a metacarpal or two? Watching Grace catch a Dunston throw was an exercise in experiencing pain by proxy. You could hear the emphatic "POW" as it burned into the leather. Man, how I miss that!

I'd love to show my son video evidence of this and have not been successful in digging anything up. My best chance was the DVD of the Cubs' playoff game against the Giants in '89 -- the Mark Grace game -- there was only one play involving a Dunston throw and it wasn't one of his signature cannon shots. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

if you go to You tube there are several "the boys of Zimmer" videos. The one I watched had more Jerome Walton's hitting streak stuff but Shawon is there too. Might be on one of them. (boys of Zimmer #3)

That's wonderful, and yes, the very first highlight is Dunston, throwing.  Though it's not the sort of epic throw we remember...

Thanks, Cubster. I'll have to spend some time going through all of them and see if they show any classic Dunston stuff.

Recent comments

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  • Which means if you shut this place down, and the Cubs go back to their old ways, we will all have to hunt you down, kidnap you, and strap you to a chair to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck repeatedly, with dollops of Hawk Harrelson thrown in for good measure.

  • You got a problem with David Ross?

  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!